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Need Advice!!

WaterinHoleBrew

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Hey all, looking at putting in a generator here at the house! We don’t have the option for natural gas… so it’d be propane or gasoline! Or is solar an option?!?
Our house is just shy of 3,500 square foot. I am just wondering on our options. I don’t have much electrical background, just know the minimal basics… Like I can do the basics… change out electrical outlets, light fixtures etc. So I am just wondering how to approach this? I appreciate in advance your input and open to any thoughts or changes in plans! Thanks all!
 

Winterrider

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I would say propane would be option A.
Gasoline, can get stale if trying to keep enough on hand if you were powerless for 3-5 days or longer.
Solar , ??? Never really heard of it for backup power. Power outage usually equates to shitty weather, enough sun / solar to recharge ?
I know I only have about 10gals of gas on hand, that is only going to get me about 24 hrs of generator power (6500 watts)
 

Steve H

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There are many options here. And with your self proclaimed limited knowledge. I would have a pro install the switch gear if you take that path for alternate power.
For sizing a generator. You need to decide what you want to have power for in the event of a power loss. I would have a contractor come to your house to get an idea of your needs. Then get at least 3 quotes.
 

Steve H

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I would say propane would be option A.
Gasoline, can get stale if trying to keep enough on hand if you were powerless for 3-5 days or longer.
Solar , ??? Never really heard of it for backup power. Power outage usually equates to shitty weather, enough sun / solar to recharge ?
I know I only have about 10gals of gas on hand, that is only going to get me about 24 hrs of generator power (6500 watts)
Solar is a popular option. It just stores power to batteries. But it can be pricy for the initial set up. More so if this is for back up power. And maintenance on the systems is something to consider if you are not comfortable in doing it yourself.
Another thing to consider. Some power companies will buy your extra power from your solar grid.
 

R Blum

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Generac whole house generator for propane. Have it installed. Expensive but worth the money. We just had a 24 hour outage here and it didn't affect me at all. I have another house that I use a Champion Bi Fuel Generator. Runs on gas or propane.
 

rjob

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Great advice from Steve H. Would add consider a contractor in your area that will also service the generator. This might impact the brand you select.
Have a generac 20kw propane with auto transfer switch about seven or eight years old. A few issues - plug coils failed and replaced a battery. Runs complete house.
Solar - do your research. Panels,batteries and controllers vary know the technical options and specs.
 
Last edited:

indaswamp

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One tip: Do not put it too close to the house. Rising exhaust can enter the eve vents and concentrate in the attic, then slowly fill up the house. Had a LOT of problems with this after Hurricane Ida...Lots of carbon monoxide calls. If you HAVE to put it close to the house, be sure to run an exhaust pipe up and above the edge of the roof, or away from the house.
 

tx smoker

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I would have a pro install the switch gear
Steve has a great point. You'll definitely want to have an automatic transfer switch installed. That way if you're not around when/if the power goes out it'll automatically switch to generator.

Generac whole house generator for propane.
I was the Director of Engineering at a huge full-service Marriott hotel for several years. Generac was the brand we had as an emergency back-up for the hotel. It was obviously much larger than you'd need but it was an outstanding unit. They also had us on a regular service / maintenance plan and were always spot-on with the maintenance. In my climate I'd prefer to go diesel but where you live that could be an issue of the fuel gels up in cold weather. I'd agree that propane is probably your best option.

Robert
 

Bearcarver

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I have a 6500W Honda Inverted, and it's great. It powers everything I need, but I have to hit the Transfer manually first.
If I had it to do over I think I would go with a Generac with Propane.
We switched over to Gas Heat back-up, instead of my old Electric Heat Pump, so we could have heat during a power outage.

Bear
 

Steve H

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Great advice from Steve H. Would add consider a contractor in your area that will also service the generator. This might impact the brand you select.
Have a generac 120kw propane with auto transfer switch about seven or eight years old. A few issues - plug coils failed and replaced a battery. Runs complete house.
Solar - do your research. Panels,batteries and controllers vary know the technical options and specs.
I'm guessing you mean a 12KW. 120KW is a ton of power. About 930 amps give or take.
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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I would say propane would be option A.
Gasoline, can get stale if trying to keep enough on hand if you were powerless for 3-5 days or longer.
Solar , ??? Never really heard of it for backup power. Power outage usually equates to shitty weather, enough sun / solar to recharge ?
I know I only have about 10gals of gas on hand, that is only going to get me about 24 hrs of generator power (6500 watts)
Thank you!
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Joined Jun 18, 2013
There are many options here. And with your self proclaimed limited knowledge. I would have a pro install the switch gear if you take that path for alternate power.
For sizing a generator. You need to decide what you want to have power for in the event of a power loss. I would have a contractor come to your house to get an idea of your needs. Then get at least 3 quotes.
Appreciate your input Steve!
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Joined Jun 18, 2013
Generac whole house generator for propane. Have it installed. Expensive but worth the money. We just had a 24 hour outage here and it didn't affect me at all. I have another house that I use a Champion Bi Fuel Generator. Runs on gas or propane.
Thank you!
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Joined Jun 18, 2013
Great advice from Steve H. Would add consider a contractor in your area that will also service the generator. This might impact the brand you select.
Have a generac 20kw propane with auto transfer switch about seven or eight years old. A few issues - plug coils failed and replaced a battery. Runs complete house.
Solar - do your research. Panels,batteries and controllers vary know the technical options and specs.
Appreciate it!
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Joined Jun 18, 2013
One tip: Do not put it too close to the house. Rising exhaust can enter the eve vents and concentrate in the attic, then slowly fill up the house. Had a LOT of problems with this after Hurricane Ida...Lots of carbon monoxide calls. If you HAVE to put it close to the house, be sure to run an exhaust pipe up and above the edge of the roof, or away from the house.
Thanks, I’d not have thought of that! Sure appreciate it!
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Steve has a great point. You'll definitely want to have an automatic transfer switch installed. That way if you're not around when/if the power goes out it'll automatically switch to generator.



I was the Director of Engineering at a huge full-service Marriott hotel for several years. Generac was the brand we had as an emergency back-up for the hotel. It was obviously much larger than you'd need but it was an outstanding unit. They also had us on a regular service / maintenance plan and were always spot-on with the maintenance. In my climate I'd prefer to go diesel but where you live that could be an issue of the fuel gels up in cold weather. I'd agree that propane is probably your best option.

Robert
Thank you for the insight my friend, much appreciated!
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Joined Jun 18, 2013
I have a 6500W Honda Inverted, and it's great. It powers everything I need, but I have to hit the Transfer manually first.
If I had it to do over I think I would go with a Generac with Propane.
We switched over to Gas Heat back-up, instead of my old Electric Heat Pump, so we could have heat during a power outage.

Bear
Thanks Bear, appreciate your input!
 
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