Ugh Generators


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I know you Yankees are used to the cold but down here we aren't! :) That was the coldest winter I've ever seen in my 40+ years down here! Of course I saw colder in college in Wisconsin but not down here.

My family and I survived on a dinky little 2000 Watt generator with no power for 3 days.

I vowed that will never happen again so I'm looking at whole home generators or a massive portable generator but there will be a better solution than what we put up with. 3 families in one house huddled in the master bedroom around a space heater on low with just enough power for the tv and satellite was not fun.
 
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I have the Honda EU7000iS and love it. Super quiet starts like a dream. I have had good luck with their 2000 series generators for years with our camper and jobs sites. We have our house wired to a generator panel and we just plug it in and done. It provides true clean energy so using the electronics around the home has no issues. We have a well and that is the biggest load we have and it does great. I actually have it in a shed built just for the generator so I do not get wet while filling it up. Works great. I decided against the permanent house generator so I can use it for other things if needed. The most full home I see around here is Kohler and Generac and seem to like both brands.
 
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I also use a portable generator.

A warning: if you connect a portable generator to your home wiring, it has to be done correctly or you can back feed power into the utility company's wiring. That's a very bad scenario for more than one reason.

I have a 6 circuit manual transfer switch next to my circuit breaker panel.
Outside is a large weatherproof box with a 40 amp female outlet which feeds the manual transfer switch.
If the power goes out, I roll my generator to the side of the house and plug it into that big outlet. I start the generator, go inside and flip the six circuits over to "generator ".

My mother-in-law has a Generac standby generator that runs on propane. Those Generacs are common and are supposed to be the number one brand. My experience with that one has not been good. Early on, the main board went bad. Luckily it was still under warranty. Then the battery wasn't charging. The charging circuit wasn't working. We had to add an external charger.

The other problem is that it's real difficult finding someone who will actually come out to service it.

If I were in the market for a standby generator, I'm not sure I would buy a Generac. At the very least, I would pay for an extended warranty, and I'm not usually a warranty guy.
 
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We have a Briggs & Stratton propane stand by generator. It isn't quite 'whole house' but it keeps the essentials going during an outage. It kicks on automatically 30 seconds after power goes out & runs the well pump, microwave oven outlet, refrigerator, downstairs freezer, hot water heater, outlets in the master bedroom, outlets for computer & phone lines, the garage (obviously a guy installed it! lol) and (most importantly) the pond pumps! It unfortunately isn't large enough to power the electric heat pump (much higher price tag for that unit) but we can get by running a space heater & keeping the fireplace blazing, if necessary.

PS - Like poconojoe's experience with the Generac, our circuit board was bad early on (actually right out of the box! we discovered during the first power outage when it didn't run) But we had no problem finding a repair tech, it was fully covered under warranty & once replaced it's worked flawlessly for over 11 years now.
 
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We got a portable generator last year when things were feeling rather dicey in the world. We hired an electrician to install an outlet so we just plug it in and it's ready to go. It will power our kitchen, furnace, and lights. Runs on gasoline. I hope we never need it, but it is a measure of security to have it. I hope we get an opportunity to test it out some nice, warm, dry, summer day... and not in the midst of a blizzard!
 
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Maybe 10 years or so ago we had a bad ice storm. It looked gorgeous outside, a winter wonderland, but we lost power for 4 days. My little portable generator saved us.

We had neighbors over taking showers and bringing the contents of their freezers. One neighbor liked to cook, so I put him on the stove. He cooked up all that food from everyone's freezer. We had a feast!

My stove/oven, clothes dryer, barbeque grill and fireplace all run on propane. So, all of that worked. My heating is oil fired, hot water baseboard which doesn't need much electricity to function.
 
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PS - Like poconojoe's experience with the Generac, our circuit board was bad early on (actually right out of the box! we discovered during the first power outage when it didn't run) But we had no problem finding a repair tech, it was fully covered under warranty & once replaced it's worked flawlessly for over 11 years now.
The quality of workmanship and quality control these days is not what it used to be.
Too many people these days have no pride in their work. They go through the motions and collect their pay.
 

Jhn

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Have a Generac generator and have had no issues with it in the 11 years we have had it, but it does get serviced twice a year. Used to use my portable work generators at my first house during outages, which after a hurricane one year was like around 2 weeks, it was definitely a life saver.
 
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Have a Generac generator and have had no issues with it in the 11 years we have had it, but it does get serviced twice a year. Used to use my portable work generators at my first house during outages, which after a hurricane one year was like around 2 weeks, it was definitely a life saver.
That's great! Glad your Generac experience has been better than mine.
 
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I'm learning all I can. Soft start devices to put on A/Cs to reduce Load, something called a Generlink that cuts off the power coming from the generator when it senses power coming back on and I've got my eye on the biggest darn inverter generators I've ever seen.


My problem is reducing the startup load on the A/C to something it can handle. I'm hoping the soft start can do that.

I've also got an appointment for a whole home generator from Generac in late April. I understand they don't take cash anymore so I'm going to clean the kids up real nice and talk about their talents when the rep comes.
 

brokensword

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Around here, we have residents suing the electric company for taking down trees all the while, we lose power 6 times a year, on average, from hours to days. Got tired of this a number of years ago and now have a gasoline powered unit to get us through. Two summers ago, started thinking Generac when the power went out and we were gone for a few days. Was difficult trying to tell my non-mechanical son how to hook up and start the gasoline system. We got the call early on a Sunday and were home by that night.

Anyway, got an estimate for something mid-size and the tab was going to be 10k without AC and 12k with it. That had me backing up the truck and reconsidering. Still going to get one in the near future but trying to figure out how much I can do and exactly what I need to pay for. The older I get though, the easier to lean into the Generac idea.
 
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addy1

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We have lost power twice in our 10 years here, both time car accidents bringing down the power pole. They are real good about trimming trees back in the fall from the power lines.
 

Doctor mcboy

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i like to live on the edge so i do not have a generator. we lost power for 3 days one winter and it was exciting! i got warm cutting firewood all day and then slept with my kitties in front of the fireplace at night.
 

mrsclem

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Most of our power losses are due to hurricanes, only one major ice storm that had power out for 2 days. 1200 gas powered for ponds only, 5500 for house. Only had to use it twice.
 
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Around here, we have residents suing the electric company for taking down trees all the while, we lose power 6 times a year, on average, from hours to days. Got tired of this a number of years ago and now have a gasoline powered unit to get us through. Two summers ago, started thinking Generac when the power went out and we were gone for a few days. Was difficult trying to tell my non-mechanical son how to hook up and start the gasoline system. We got the call early on a Sunday and were home by that night.

Anyway, got an estimate for something mid-size and the tab was going to be 10k without AC and 12k with it. That had me backing up the truck and reconsidering. Still going to get one in the near future but trying to figure out how much I can do and exactly what I need to pay for. The older I get though, the easier to lean into the Generac idea.
It's nice to have a whole house generator, but as you can see they can be expensive.

To save money and fuel, you may be able to get away with a smaller standby unit that takes care of the essentials only.
Someone I know has an 8k Generac that has an automatic transfer switch with only 10 circuits. She gets away with a smaller unit because her heat is oil fired, not electric.
 
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well I got some bad news. There's a device called Generlink that basically puts a plug on your meter and allows you to hook up a generator and would automatically cut power from the generator when power comes back and you use your own breaker panel without any other installation but the JACKASSES at Encor our power provider wont allow it. GRRRR

The whole home generator folks come out at the end of april. I only hope they dont want both kids as payment. I'd like to keep one.
 
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brokensword

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well I got some bad news. There's a device called Generlink that basically puts a plug on your meter and allows you to hook up a generator and would automatically cut power from the generator when power comes back and you use your own breaker panel without any other installation but the JACKASSES at Encor our power provider wont allow it. GRRRR

The whole home generator folks come out at the end of april. I only hope they dont want both kids as payment. I'd like to keep one.
consider future costs and keep the one which insures you don't have to live under a bridge. Or, the one you think will pick out the nicest retirement home. ;)
 

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