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Home Generator


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#1 Warrick

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 02:48 PM

Anyone have the whole home standby generator?

I have a nice gas one, but am thinking about getting an estimate on a Generac home system.  I have a decent sized finished basement, don't really want it flooded, and would like that furnace available in winter, seems more and more ice every year.

Thanks for any feedback.

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#2 dcmidnight

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 03:22 PM

My parents got the whole home Generac two winters ago and I am really glad they did. I dont know the system specs at all but its the kind that is wired directly into their box so that when the power goes out, it kicks in a few seconds later. Some of them require a manual flip of the switch I think?

It has been a huge relief for my brother and I knowing that they have it. The dealer comes out I think a couple times a season to check on it. It gets used a few times a season and they have never had an issue with it. My dad can be pretty crusty about bad companies/bad brands but he seems really happy with the purchase so far.

The only change I know they made is adding a second propane tank to the backyard.
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#3 Warrick

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 03:28 PM

Awesome, good to hear.  My plan would be to go natural gas.

I have not read much bad about them.  I have a gas powered electric start Generac, works great.  I just think about when I am not home.

Thanks.
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#4 chickenpotpie

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 01:20 PM

I tried to get one at the new house Iím living in, but long story short, they pack the houses so tight that there was no room....unless I put it in the middle of my back yard, so close to a pool that kids would jump off it Iím sure.  Would have cost $15-17K too.

Ended up getting a 7500 W dual fuel generator (runs on gasoline or a propane tank like you use for grilling) from Costco for $800, a transfer switch from HD for $600, and an electrician for $600 to hook it all up.  Now basically all I need to do is fire up the generator, flip the transfer switch and enjoy power.  Also if I use propane I donít have to worry about the gas additives corroding tue generator.  The downside is that I canít power everything but in an outage, I can get the necessities.  Itís simple enough my wife can turn it on too.
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#5 bigred90gt

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 09:51 AM

View Postchickenpotpie, on 23 January 2019 - 01:20 PM, said:

I tried to get one at the new house I'm living in, but long story short, they pack the houses so tight that there was no room....unless I put it in the middle of my back yard, so close to a pool that kids would jump off it I'm sure.  Would have cost $15-17K too.

Ended up getting a 7500 W dual fuel generator (runs on gasoline or a propane tank like you use for grilling) from Costco for $800, a transfer switch from HD for $600, and an electrician for $600 to hook it all up.  Now basically all I need to do is fire up the generator, flip the transfer switch and enjoy power.  Also if I use propane I don't have to worry about the gas additives corroding tue generator.  The downside is that I can't power everything but in an outage, I can get the necessities.  It's simple enough my wife can turn it on too.

Just out of curiosity, how much run time can you get on a standard size propane tank (bbq pit sized tank)?


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#6 SixtySomePing

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 12:01 PM

There's an electrical contractor in our town that puts them in. People who have them seem to love them. I've been thinking about it too.
Maybe you can get a bit of info off of this page...
http://ipoweru.net/a...ckup-generators

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#7 Warrick

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 12:14 PM

I have watched the infomercial on DTV, have been on the site, done some pretty good research.  My current portable is a Generac.

I am actually about to schedule the free in-home consultation.
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#8 Chief Illiniwek

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 01:49 PM

My dad has one and loves it. We live in rural central IL where power outages aren't as frequent as they were when I was a kid but still have a few weather related problems every year.

I don't know the industry but I'd guess another time of year than mid winter is the best time to get a quote.

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#9 dcmidnight

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 03:20 PM

View PostChief Illiniwek, on 24 January 2019 - 01:49 PM, said:

My dad has one and loves it. We live in rural central IL where power outages aren't as frequent as they were when I was a kid but still have a few weather related problems every year.

I don't know the industry but I'd guess another time of year than mid winter is the best time to get a quote.

My parents live in rural NH and wanted the auto-on-system for a couple reasons. Mainly if they are out of town and lose power in the winter, they'd be looking at the real possibility of their pipes freezing during a power outage. A more minor reason is if they werent there to turn a manual system on, they'd lose a fridge and two freezers fulll of meat/food.
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#10 MtlJeff

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 09:39 PM

Warrick, just curious....how long does your power typically go out for?

Here in Montreal, we had a horrible ice storm back in 1998 that is famous to this day. Power went out province wide for like 2-3 weeks. But honestly other than that living my entire life here we've never lost power more than 6-7 hours at a time. And even that has only happened maybe a couple of times.

My wife has asked me to buy a generator but i just havent done it yet. In the past 20 years there has not been a case where i would have needed one

Just curious how the grids are in other areas. Is it normal to lose power for long periods?

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#11 chickenpotpie

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 11:55 PM

A couple houses ago I lived in a town of roughly 50,000.  We seemed to lose power for multiple day stretches at least once a year with blips here and there.  What was frustrating is that my next door neighbor and everyone else down the street from there had no such issues, or at least not the same severity.  What we came to find out was the power lines were laid differently in our area and basically my next door neighbor and I lived at the ends of completely different runs.  Just so happened that ours featured a utility pole that frequently fell down due to weather but also drunk drivers.

Had we had the money back then I for sure would have gotten a Generac.  My subsequent houses, itís more of a luxury peace of mind thing.
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#12 Fellaheen51

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 04:02 AM

View Postchickenpotpie, on 23 January 2019 - 01:20 PM, said:

I tried to get one at the new house I'm living in, but long story short, they pack the houses so tight that there was no room....unless I put it in the middle of my back yard, so close to a pool that kids would jump off it I'm sure.  Would have cost $15-17K too.

Ended up getting a 7500 W dual fuel generator (runs on gasoline or a propane tank like you use for grilling) from Costco for $800, a transfer switch from HD for $600, and an electrician for $600 to hook it all up.  Now basically all I need to do is fire up the generator, flip the transfer switch and enjoy power.  Also if I use propane I don't have to worry about the gas additives corroding tue generator.  The downside is that I can't power everything but in an outage, I can get the necessities.  It's simple enough my wife can turn it on too.

Doesn't sound like your using gas.  However, the most important thing is to run ethanol free gas in a generator.  Any 2 or 4 cycle small engines for that matter.  Ethanol creates issues with fuel lines, carbs over time.  In addition, I always add Sea Foam Motor Treatment to fuel used in small engines.  A cleaner and fuel stabilizer.  Plus I routinely run it for a couple hours with a small load (drop light) a couple times a year, as a form of preventive maintenance.  Don't want it to be difficult to start during a storm when the power goes out.  One or two pulls is all that's needed to start.  

A Generac is a quality generator system.  If one needs the wattage they provide and the requirement of turning on automatically upon the loss of power, it's the one to get.  But they're rather expensive.  My late FIL had  a 10k watts one installed appx. 8 years ago, IIRC was ~ $15k.  Overkill for his needs, but there was no deterring his wanting one installed.  The task is determining the right electrical contractor to perform the install.  And would perform any necessary maintenance and warranty work if required.  My FIL had a warranty issue, and the contractor (HD?) was not responsive in addressing the issue.  

While a Generic system would be a nice to have, I use a 6500W Honda generator wired into the panel via a transfer switch.  Does what it needs to do.  Powers a 220v well pump, furnace, two refrigerators and a freezer, lights within the home, without the need for zoning.  The only thing it labors with is turning on the A/C (tried only once, tripping the breaker).  But that is not a necessity in a power outage.  

Have had the generator since the late 90's.  Back then, we would have power outages with regularity.  A clap of thunder, the power would go out.  The power company has made improvements to the grid since then, do not lose power near as often as we once did.  We live in a semi-rural environment.  During a significant outage, we seemingly are always late in the restoration of power as the grid comes back up.  We still experience extended power outages a couple times a year, of 8 hours or greater.  I'll fire up the generator, after waiting an hour or so.  The family starts grousing if they're off the grid much longer than that.  I consider having a generator to power up the house during an outage a necessity of home ownership.

Edited by Fellaheen51, 25 January 2019 - 04:11 AM.

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#13 Warrick

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 07:49 AM

View PostMtlJeff, on 24 January 2019 - 09:39 PM, said:

Warrick, just curious....how long does your power typically go out for?

Here in Montreal, we had a horrible ice storm back in 1998 that is famous to this day. Power went out province wide for like 2-3 weeks. But honestly other than that living my entire life here we've never lost power more than 6-7 hours at a time. And even that has only happened maybe a couple of times.

My wife has asked me to buy a generator but i just havent done it yet. In the past 20 years there has not been a case where i would have needed one

Just curious how the grids are in other areas. Is it normal to lose power for long periods?


We really do not have a bad history with outages, but the weather has become much more volatile.  We get some crazy extremes in Iowa, from 100's, humid and Tornadoes, to days like today with a15 below wind chill and a foot of snow.

I m trying to be more forward thinking, being reactionary is not always the right solution.

I just wanted to get some feedback.
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#14 MtlJeff

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 08:00 AM

View PostWarrick, on 25 January 2019 - 07:49 AM, said:

View PostMtlJeff, on 24 January 2019 - 09:39 PM, said:

Warrick, just curious....how long does your power typically go out for?

Here in Montreal, we had a horrible ice storm back in 1998 that is famous to this day. Power went out province wide for like 2-3 weeks. But honestly other than that living my entire life here we've never lost power more than 6-7 hours at a time. And even that has only happened maybe a couple of times.

My wife has asked me to buy a generator but i just havent done it yet. In the past 20 years there has not been a case where i would have needed one

Just curious how the grids are in other areas. Is it normal to lose power for long periods?


We really do not have a bad history with outages, but the weather has become much more volatile.  We get some crazy extremes in Iowa, from 100's, humid and Tornadoes, to days like today with a15 below wind chill and a foot of snow.

I m trying to be more forward thinking, being reactionary is not always the right solution.

I just wanted to get some feedback.

Oh I wasn't questioning anything by any means, was just generally curious what the grids are like elsewhere since I'm in a pretty big town
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#15 Warrick

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 08:07 AM

Actually pretty good here for the most part.  My concerns are more weather related than the power grid.

I will get the consultation here after I get back from my trip, will make a decision then.

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#16 chickenpotpie

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 03:51 PM

View PostFellaheen51, on 25 January 2019 - 04:02 AM, said:

View Postchickenpotpie, on 23 January 2019 - 01:20 PM, said:

I tried to get one at the new house I'm living in, but long story short, they pack the houses so tight that there was no room....unless I put it in the middle of my back yard, so close to a pool that kids would jump off it I'm sure.  Would have cost $15-17K too.

Ended up getting a 7500 W dual fuel generator (runs on gasoline or a propane tank like you use for grilling) from Costco for $800, a transfer switch from HD for $600, and an electrician for $600 to hook it all up.  Now basically all I need to do is fire up the generator, flip the transfer switch and enjoy power.  Also if I use propane I don't have to worry about the gas additives corroding tue generator.  The downside is that I can't power everything but in an outage, I can get the necessities.  It's simple enough my wife can turn it on too.

Doesn't sound like your using gas.  However, the most important thing is to run ethanol free gas in a generator.  Any 2 or 4 cycle small engines for that matter.  Ethanol creates issues with fuel lines, carbs over time.  In addition, I always add Sea Foam Motor Treatment to fuel used in small engines.  A cleaner and fuel stabilizer.  Plus I routinely run it for a couple hours with a small load (drop light) a couple times a year, as a form of preventive maintenance.  Don't want it to be difficult to start during a storm when the power goes out.  One or two pulls is all that's needed to start.  

A Generac is a quality generator system.  If one needs the wattage they provide and the requirement of turning on automatically upon the loss of power, it's the one to get.  But they're rather expensive.  My late FIL had  a 10k watts one installed appx. 8 years ago, IIRC was ~ $15k.  Overkill for his needs, but there was no deterring his wanting one installed.  The task is determining the right electrical contractor to perform the install.  And would perform any necessary maintenance and warranty work if required.  My FIL had a warranty issue, and the contractor (HD?) was not responsive in addressing the issue.  

While a Generic system would be a nice to have, I use a 6500W Honda generator wired into the panel via a transfer switch.  Does what it needs to do.  Powers a 220v well pump, furnace, two refrigerators and a freezer, lights within the home, without the need for zoning.  The only thing it labors with is turning on the A/C (tried only once, tripping the breaker).  But that is not a necessity in a power outage.  

Have had the generator since the late 90's.  Back then, we would have power outages with regularity.  A clap of thunder, the power would go out.  The power company has made improvements to the grid since then, do not lose power near as often as we once did.  We live in a semi-rural environment.  During a significant outage, we seemingly are always late in the restoration of power as the grid comes back up.  We still experience extended power outages a couple times a year, of 8 hours or greater.  I'll fire up the generator, after waiting an hour or so.  The family starts grousing if they're off the grid much longer than that.  I consider having a generator to power up the house during an outage a necessity of home ownership.

Yes, itís the ethanol added which in turn attracts water.  I have used Seafoam and Sta-bil to resolve this in the past but itís a pain.  And you hope to not have to use your generator so the gas can go bad over a period of years anyway.  Found this out the hard way when I tried to start my generator once after a couple year hiatus.
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#17 HackerDave

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 05:01 PM

In-laws have either a Generac or a Kohler at their home in southwest Michigan.  Well worth it for them.  They live in a pine forest so any time there is a big storm, there is a good chance a tree will take out a power line somewhere along the way.   Works like a charm and powers the entire house.  They have had it for at least 15-20 years.   We get annual service on it but other than that, it is maintenance free.

Edit:  Forgot to mention that ours is powered by natural gas.

Edited by HackerDave, 25 January 2019 - 05:02 PM.


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#18 USAF Retired E7

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:07 AM

My dad passed last year so we got one for my Mom's house, she lives in rural northern Wisconsin.  The power went out 3 days after hookup and it kicked on perfectly.  My Mom was very happy

Was about $4300 for the unit and switch panel, waiting for the electrician's bill, as he just hooked it up 2 weeks ago.  

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