• Welcome back Guest!

    MARSH is a private reefing group. Comments and suggestions are encouraged, but please keep them positive and constructive. Negative threads, posts, or attacks will be removed from view and reviewed by the staff. Continually disruptive, argumentative, or flagrant rule breakers may be suspended or banned.
  • Hello Guest,

    How would you like to get a Build Thread Contributor title/badge?
    Go here for instuctions.

Standby generator (1 Viewer)

RR-MAN

Director
Staff member
Moderator
Board Member
Supporting Member
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
5,221
Reaction score
787
Location
Pearland
wow... those are $5400 online. you just need to act like General Contractor and get an Master Electrician and a plumber who is familiar with NG. Oh and know that you will face a 1k NG bill if that genny runs for a week or so.

Man have you seen the generac installation process? I would not trust joe the plumber or electrician with this thing.

Someone with actual installation experience. And then you probably lose your warranty since generac did not install it. I would say bite the bullet and do it all through the company.
 

reeftopia

Director
Staff member
Moderator
Board Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
2,721
Reaction score
814
Location
montgomery tx, lake conroe area
I had a master electrician friend who hooked mine up. He did a good job on the hook up but didnt know about the gas reducer. He also installed my
100 wt breaker box in the building. He said they were a pain and would only install them for family or friends. Guess he did a good job has run for 8 yrs now,
 

chrisfoos

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
59
Reaction score
73
If you get a generac I would get one that has the dial to switch over to propane and have a few large tanks on hand. Apparently some people had issues with Natural gas as well. Appears our grid is a large % natural gas, and the delivery for that relies on the grid... Bad enough storm hits us and it could knock out gas as well.

I'm thinking of going with solar and a powerwall or 4. I saw a video on youtube where a guy in Austin had solar and 2 powerwalls and was able to get enough power each day to keep his house from freezing even with some panels covered. If he had 4 power walls and a way to clear the snow off the panels he may have been able to keep power the whole time. If I remember correctly this is also the last year for rebates on solar unless the new administration extends them.

I would still have my portable generator and you can add a whole house with a powerwall and solar has been proven to pay for itself. If our electric prices go up it may pay off faster.
 

gregg

President
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Board Member
MARSH Secret Santa 2020
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Messages
5,706
Reaction score
1,887
Location
Downtown
If you get a generac I would get one that has the dial to switch over to propane and have a few large tanks on hand. Apparently some people had issues with Natural gas as well. Appears our grid is a large % natural gas, and the delivery for that relies on the grid... Bad enough storm hits us and it could knock out gas as well.

I'm thinking of going with solar and a powerwall or 4. I saw a video on youtube where a guy in Austin had solar and 2 powerwalls and was able to get enough power each day to keep his house from freezing even with some panels covered. If he had 4 power walls and a way to clear the snow off the panels he may have been able to keep power the whole time. If I remember correctly this is also the last year for rebates on solar unless the new administration extends them.

I would still have my portable generator and you can add a whole house with a powerwall and solar has been proven to pay for itself. If our electric prices go up it may pay off faster.
Isnt a hurricane just gonna blow those panels off? And what about if you need a new roof?
 

chrisfoos

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
59
Reaction score
73
Isnt a hurricane just gonna blow those panels off? And what about if you need a new roof?
If mounted properly they will go wherever the roof goes.

They just make replacing the roof cost a bit more. Have to have solar people come out and take them down, then put back after roof is done. If your roof is brand new and has 30 years life left that is not going to be a big deal. If your roof needs to be replaced soon you should probably do that at the same time and see if you can find someone that can do the roof and solar as a package deal.

If you have $$$ Tesla has the solar roof that is solar shingles and as long as you are not within a mile of the gulf they should be rated for your wind zone. Might be a better looking option for someone that needs a new roof anyway. I would double check the rating though. I have a buddy in FL and we were looking to see if it was an option for him and it looks like they may meet the rating for the area he is, but it is a bit close for comfort so he would want to make sure insurance will cover it first.

If you are thinking of the junk installs that are an inch off the roof and look like sails, they have installs that are closer to flush and have trim around the edges to prevent any wind from getting under them. In the end a solar install is just like a roof install. Bad install and a stiff breeze will remove it for you. Great install and wind damage will not be from your roof running away, but from your neighbors roof landing on yours.
 

BigRick

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2009
Messages
1,588
Reaction score
384
Location
Cypress- Bridgeland
Solar panels/roof, battery panels and gas/propane generator is the only safe bet. Don't rely on anyone else for YOUR needs.
 

reeftopia

Director
Staff member
Moderator
Board Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
2,721
Reaction score
814
Location
montgomery tx, lake conroe area
I really looked seriously at solar panels. Decided the reasoning behind them was full of holes. First off payouts were 12 to 15 years. Maintenance.
Even thought many claim 10 yrs or more on warranty. Solar companies for the most part are usually out of business by then. As a 41 yr
maintenance man these products will have problems and chances are you will be paying to fix them. The fact that they are outside means
rusty parts and bolt downs witch may mean complete panel replacements if they are still available. Not buying the part about roof replacement.
Removing old panels could be tricky especially if done by a roofing contractor. The reinstallation cost would be the same if not more than
original installation plus replacing panels that get broke during this process. My 2 cents as a maintenance repairman.
As far as generac service I would never trust natural gas as that power could also be lost or downgraded in a major event ice or wind. Propane
is the way to go expensive up front cost. If you already have a propane tank on site definitly the way to go. If not the Best is a trifuel generator so should gas supplies
dry up at last you can add gasoline. Friends have found that gas generators are usually great the problems of finding gas can become a real problem.
Would have at least 4, 5 gal gas cans full to start you can always put that gas in the car after the storm.
just pros and cons
 

steveb

Administrator
Moderator
Board Member
Supporting Member
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
2,525
Location
Spring
As far as generac service I would never trust natural gas as that power could also be lost or downgraded in a major event ice or wind. Propane
is the way to go expensive up front cost. If you already have a propane tank on site definitely the way to go. If not the Best is a trifuel generator so should gas supplies
dry up at last you can add gasoline. Friends have found that gas generators are usually great the problems of finding gas can become a real problem.
Would have at least 4, 5 gal gas cans full to start you can always put that gas in the car after the storm.
just pros and cons

I like the idea of tri fuel and I do exactly what you speak with regards to gas in cans. I just give it the kids.

My main concern with gasoline for a week is having 50g of gasoline in 5g plastic cans in my garage as a fire hazard at the start and but gets used over time.. I guess I've done it through two hurricanes and a freeze now. so...

I have also considered getting a 100g propane cylinder (and will have room once I remove the heater and evap cooler off our pool) but am still concerned about fire/explosion as the pad i would use is right next to the house (also wondering if HOA would give me any crap about it). Not sure how difficult it would be to get it installed/refilled.
 

chrisfoos

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
59
Reaction score
73
I really looked seriously at solar panels. Decided the reasoning behind them was full of holes. First off payouts were 12 to 15 years. Maintenance.
Even thought many claim 10 yrs or more on warranty. Solar companies for the most part are usually out of business by then. As a 41 yr
maintenance man these products will have problems and chances are you will be paying to fix them. The fact that they are outside means
rusty parts and bolt downs witch may mean complete panel replacements if they are still available. Not buying the part about roof replacement.
Removing old panels could be tricky especially if done by a roofing contractor. The reinstallation cost would be the same if not more than
original installation plus replacing panels that get broke during this process. My 2 cents as a maintenance repairman.
As far as generac service I would never trust natural gas as that power could also be lost or downgraded in a major event ice or wind. Propane
is the way to go expensive up front cost. If you already have a propane tank on site definitly the way to go. If not the Best is a trifuel generator so should gas supplies
dry up at last you can add gasoline. Friends have found that gas generators are usually great the problems of finding gas can become a real problem.
Would have at least 4, 5 gal gas cans full to start you can always put that gas in the car after the storm.
just pros and cons
If you are worried about the panel warranty, get an LG or Panasonic panel. I doubt either of those are going out of business any time soon.

For the payback, panels are warrantied for 25-30 years and if they pay off in half that time, the other half they are making you money. On top of that, the life expectation is not for when they will stop working, but when they will hit 80% of original power. LG warranty's their panels for 25 years.

For the rust concern, the panel frames are aluminum. So long as the installer uses same grade aluminum and not a different metal you should make it 50 years before the corrosion is an issue.

As for maintenance, wash them once or twice a year to maintain peak output, or don't if losing a few % is fine.

For the roof replacement part, I should have been clearer. If your roof has 10yrs or less life you should probably wait until you replace the roof to get solar and get a package deal. It is not that you can't get solar on a degraded roof, it is just that you are going to spend more money when you replace the roof. A good installer should inspect the roof before quoting you and refuse on a bad roof. Tesla is the only company I would not worry about inspecting since I have heard of people getting new roofs for free when Tesla misses an issue with it.

I poured concrete driveways for a while for my family. As a family business we focused on delivering quality and took steps to make sure the install was done properly. As part of this I did some tear outs and saw several driveways that were garbage after just a few years. When you tear them out and find that the wire mesh or re-bar is flat on the bottom and barely in the concrete it is rather obvious. Those driveways are easy to tear out. The ones where the wire or rebar is in the correct location are a nightmare. People saved a few hundred on install of a multi thousand dollar install and a 30 year product became a 3 year product. Same thing with solar, buy cheap Chinese knock-off panels and have some random guy from a home store parking lot install it, and you will regret it fast. Buy quality parts from a well known company and hire an installer certified by that company that has done good installs for a while, and you will have a product that will last a long time barring any freak accident.

Solar is in no way perfect, and does you no good in an outage without batteries as well, but a generator is not perfect either. Hence me wanting solar and a generator. Do the bulk of my backup with solar and have the generator to fill any gaps caused by really bad weather or issues with the solar.
 

chrisfoos

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
59
Reaction score
73
I like the idea of tri fuel and I do exactly what you speak with regards to gas in cans. I just give it the kids.

My main concern with gasoline for a week is having 50g of gasoline in 5g plastic cans in my garage as a fire hazard at the start and but gets used over time.. I guess I've done it through two hurricanes and a freeze now. so...

I have also considered getting a 100g propane cylinder (and will have room once I remove the heater and evap cooler off our pool) but am still concerned about fire/explosion as the pad i would use is right next to the house (also wondering if HOA would give me any crap about it). Not sure how difficult it would be to get it installed/refilled.
If you have a shed or can get one, I would leave the gas there. Could also stash a decent amount of propane in a nice sized shed. HOA would never know.

I think a large tank needs 10 foot clearance from house openings, combustables, and property lines. The tank itself should not explode as they add a pressure relief valve. If the tank gets hot enough to overwhelm that valve and blow up, your house already burnt down. As for propane causing a building to explode, it is heavier than air so as long as there is a ground level vent it should clear out. Just don't store in a basement or bunker. There were some guys that died a while ago when a propane heater in their underground bunker started to leak and they ignited it entering the bunker.
 

reeftopia

Director
Staff member
Moderator
Board Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
2,721
Reaction score
814
Location
montgomery tx, lake conroe area
Your right about the 10 ft clearance, I have heard that now days they must be buried but dont know that for a fact. Disagree on one point aluminum
may not rust but it does corrode, same difference
 

reeftopia

Director
Staff member
Moderator
Board Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
2,721
Reaction score
814
Location
montgomery tx, lake conroe area
To add to every ones thoughts I read today where people loss natural gas power also. So if your generator only runs on natural gas it could end up being worthless.
 

chrisfoos

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
59
Reaction score
73
Your right about the 10 ft clearance, I have heard that now days they must be buried but dont know that for a fact. Disagree on one point aluminum
may not rust but it does corrode, same difference
I didn't mean to suggest it does not corrode, but properly installed you should get 50 year service life from it, maybe more. The problem is if you mix alloys and create a galvanic cell. For example I think aluminum and stainless steel mixed results in aluminum being basically a sacrificial anode and corroding very fast. Any time you mix dissimilar metals you make a galvanic cell and one of them will corrode first and/or faster than it normally would.

This is the same reason you put zinc rods in water heaters. If you get an extended warranty kit for your water heater, it is just an extension for that rod so that it takes longer for the zinc to be used up and the tank ends up lasting longer as a result.
 

steveb

Administrator
Moderator
Board Member
Supporting Member
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
2,525
Location
Spring
If you have a shed or can get one, I would leave the gas there. Could also stash a decent amount of propane in a nice sized shed. HOA would never know.

I think a large tank needs 10 foot clearance from house openings, combustables, and property lines. The tank itself should not explode as they add a pressure relief valve. If the tank gets hot enough to overwhelm that valve and blow up, your house already burnt down. As for propane causing a building to explode, it is heavier than air so as long as there is a ground level vent it should clear out. Just don't store in a basement or bunker. There were some guys that died a while ago when a propane heater in their underground bunker started to leak and they ignited it entering the bunker.
1614879115202.png

There really isn't room in our back yard for a shed (nor would my wife want one installed). Too much hard surface pool decking/patio & pool.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
123
Reaction score
250
Location
Lake Jackson
I ordered a Generac 24Kw this past September with an estimated install date of late December to early February and it was just installed on Monday March 1st. I imagine the install time is going to be extended even more after this last freeze.
 

chrisfoos

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
59
Reaction score
73
1614879115202.png

There really isn't room in our back yard for a shed (nor would my wife want one installed). Too much hard surface pool decking/patio & pool.
Had not looked up all the restrictions. Looking like a large tank is going to be tough in the city unless you have a huge yard. For me, distance to windows and A.C. would rule out against the house anywhere, and utility easements rules out the property line. I would need one in the middle of my back yard, or need to stick to moveable tanks.

I'm thinking for me it would have to be NG with Propane backup and I would just have to keep a few 20Lb tanks in one of those plastic yard storage things.

I found out the last covid relief extended solar rebates so it is still 26%. I think I'm going to end up just pulling the trigger on tesla solar and power walls. Apparently they got the fail-over to battery when you lose power so seamless that people don't even know the power is out. No lights flickering or anything. Then I would just keep the smaller generator for now instead of a whole house one.
 

Ostentum

Supporting Member
MARSH Secret Santa 2020
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
2,209
Reaction score
204
Location
Porter, TX
There are others that make whole home generators besides the very popular Generac. Look into Kohler, Onan (cummins), Champion power (no persona experience with this one)..... Look up Lime Instruments, there was a guy on FB posting possible discounts for reefers on Generac units.
They are actually coming out to give me a quote on Weds will let everyone know what they tell me
 

steveb

Administrator
Moderator
Board Member
Supporting Member
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
2,525
Location
Spring
I was looking at the Generac GP17500E Electric Start Portable Generator.
AC Rated Output Running Watts 17500
AC Maximum Output Starting Watts 26250

So assuming 17,500 watts at 240vac that is 72.9167 amps

The generator only has these 240v outlets which kind of sucks..
(1) 120/240V 50A 14-50R Outlet
(1) 120/240V 30A L14-30R Twist Lock Outlet

240x50a = 12000
250x30a = 7200
That is 19200w

Would really love to be able to feed all 70A @ 240VAC into my panel. So that kind of sucks. Wondering if there is a way to tap off control panel and get 70amps.
 

steveb

Administrator
Moderator
Board Member
Supporting Member
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
2,525
Location
Spring
Had not looked up all the restrictions. Looking like a large tank is going to be tough in the city unless you have a huge yard. For me, distance to windows and A.C. would rule out against the house anywhere, and utility easements rules out the property line. I would need one in the middle of my back yard, or need to stick to moveable tanks.

I'm thinking for me it would have to be NG with Propane backup and I would just have to keep a few 20Lb tanks in one of those plastic yard storage things.

I found out the last covid relief extended solar rebates so it is still 26%. I think I'm going to end up just pulling the trigger on tesla solar and power walls. Apparently they got the fail-over to battery when you lose power so seamless that people don't even know the power is out. No lights flickering or anything. Then I would just keep the smaller generator for now instead of a whole house one.
There is a 100lb bottle that is "portable" that is what I'm looking at.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top