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Thread: What size generator for large modern home

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    Default What size generator for large modern home

    I'm looking to get a generator sufficient to provide during outages for:

    - modern gas/forced air furnace AND HRV system too, for ~ 2500 sq foot house (5+ energy star rated, so its efficient equipment)
    - Garage heater (gas/forced air)
    - large kitchen fridge/freezer
    - 3 chest freezers, all the smallest size made (7 cu feet?)
    - plus a couple of lights

    I'm looking at a 7,000 or 8,000 watt generator. Am I in the right ballpark?

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    Not sure if your looking for portable or fixed but this page has some great info and a nice Watt Calculator.

    http://www.reviewportablegenerators.com/
    I'm Pro-Pike.

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    Default thanks WW

    Wow, what a great site WW.

    If anyone is interested, I did calculate the appliances I listed in my first post, and found out that:
    - if every last one of them turned on at the same time that size generator would be 10 percent too small
    - at normal operating mode, if every last one of those items were running (which probably would never happen; they're sporadic) that generator could support that load at 1/2 of its WOT.

    So, the answer appears to be yes, that is the right size. Next step is what brand. Honda would be my preference but they have the richy-rich-generator market sewn up tight, so forget them. Briggs and Stratton aren't looking as good as I thought...... Is Generac a real brand? I'm starting to think maybe so.

    +1 WW for the great recommend. I can't believe my searching didn't find that, but I guess I knew I needed to ask.

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    Before you pick a generator you should decide if you want a auto-transfer switch or manual. Are you going to keep filling the fuel tank every few hours or have a bigger one. If you balance your load and select the items you needed to run you could power everything with a 2k generator. The watt calculator is helpful or you could look at the appliance label for a more information.

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    Default portable 8K

    I've got my eye on a 8K semi portable model (250# & 2 dumb little wheels) with a 9 gallon tank & electric (and pull) start. We should be able to light the place up and keep it going just fine running at half throttle.

    I'm plugging in. Newish house; all major appliances (furnace, HRV, well) already plug into standard outlets, so pretty easy to plug'm into a live extension cord when the time comes to switch over.

    Anyone know a Valley or Anchorage source to buy about 10 5-gallon gas cans cheap?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Anyone know a Valley or Anchorage source to buy about 10 5-gallon gas cans cheap?
    AIH has them cheaper than Fred Meyers Was just in there a week ago.

    BTW, are you looking for something for a back up, or living off grid? If you're looking to get through an outage of the grid power system, I suggest you study up on electricity management/rationing. You don't need to power your entire home and have "...every last one of them turned on at the same time." Your chest freezers can go 2-3 days powered off and keep everything frozen, which means you only need to run your freezer twice a week to keep all of your moose and salmon. Most of the electric stuff in your home is flat out unnecessary. Even that forced air heater for your home. I know of people whose heaters cut out while they were on vacation; their home was without heat for four days in January and it was just above 35 when they got home.

    I'm not saying don't get a gen set, or having a gen set is stupid, but maybe you should prioritize your needs and capabilities. The more stuff you want to power, the more fuel it will require, and, in a real emergency (not this kiddie play we had 2 weeks ago), you may not be able to get fuel, so those jerry cans are all you'll have. Use them wisely.

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    Default What size generator for large modern home

    Check Costco. They've carried home generators for white some time now. I do believe it was a Honeywell brand.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Good advice TWB. I did, and Sams club too. Neither had the brand I had settled on.

    I'd rather not talk brand yet; it might not come true. I found a local source for a really nice one and not-huge cost. But driving within miles of there the exact same generator is at sears (.com, but in stock here in town) for over twice the same amount. For what appears to be the exact same generator. From a major big box store that will tack on another 3 years warranty including lemon protection that has it in stock just a few miles from here, at apparently a great deal. And usually sears has pretty good prices...

    FL: Just outages. But these wimin & chillin' here just don't know how to rough anything. So they're getting the red-carpet generator solution. We have a friend in Anchorage that lost all meats/fish/freezers/fridge/everything from their recent 8 day outage, and we figure we are going to choose to not have that happen to us.

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    I have a Generac 6500 I picked up from a friend that had no use for it, I had not heard of them before but for $75 I couldn't pass it up! I am in Palmer area and have used it several times and it runs great and doesn't do bad on fuel consumption from what I used it for. I agree though it will only help if you can access fuel. But as for the brand if you.find it buy it, great generator!

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    Familyman, if you're still in the market for a new gen set, Costco is advertising a "PFD Sale" flyer right now that lists a 7kw Champion (looks like a Generac knock-off) for $100 off at $680. Prices good Oct 4-14.

    http://www.championpowerequipment.com/generators/41532/

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    Thanks for thinking of me FL. That does look like a nice set of features on that; I especially like its remote start feature. Don't know too much about the Champion brand name. Waterwolf's post clued me in to all the poor reviews there are for off-name brands, I thought that since this fits into my classification of "safety equipment" I pulled out all the stops and got a big Generac 8KW/10KW.

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    having spent more then a few years off the grid wiht Gen power...

    gas of any type is HIGH maintence... has less power out put, and are shorter lived...

    understanding yours is a back up plan.. that may be acceptable.

    however.. a slow lister 8K will runn an entire house. for days or weeks for under a gallon an hour. my last set up was a 2500+ sq foot 4 br , that ran 24/7 in the winter for ~ 250-300 gallon a month. oil changes are easy and maintence was very low ...

    i ran a northern lights deal from homeless depot... and it ran 3.5 weeks.. and died.. high RPM ate it up...

    for any type of heavy load or long term use a low RMP generator is nearly mandatory.. the listers ran 1600-1800 rpm under full load... did not brown out as new load came on..

    the important part is being able to adjust Hz cycle as new load comes up... and maintain the 60Hz. to keep home electronics from burning out. most home appliances are light duty, and will not sustain a low Hz cycle for to long.. before they require replacement as well..

    that said... while a few bucks may be saved on a sale of Gen sets... the cost of a good one will be saved over the cost of appliance and electronic replacement over the year or two...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Familyman, if you're still in the market for a new gen set, Costco is advertising a "PFD Sale" flyer right now that lists a 7kw Champion (looks like a Generac knock-off) for $100 off at $680. Prices good Oct 4-14.

    http://www.championpowerequipment.com/generators/41532/
    have tried to rebuild several of these for friends... some run for a year... some for an hour.. and stop making elec... knock off is right.. these are JUNK!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Default What size generator for large modern home

    Vince, I'm surprised at your northern lights experience... Was it a blue lugger diesel? My friend runs a 6.5 NL and it has been bulletproof.

    They are spendy, but in my experience, northern lights diesels are the standard for round the clock, all year usage.

    Another friend runs an Isuzu 12.5, and is looking to upstate to a NL for the fuel economy and reliability. He starts his in december, and turns it off in April.
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    On my new Generac (XG, not XP - it greatly matters!) I like:
    - Safe for electronics
    - Low oil cut off switch
    - elec. start with recoil backup
    - easy control up front to let it run the carb out of gas
    - big 10 gal. tank
    - second generation gasoline motor with overhead valves and pressurized oil distribution should greatly lengthen motor life
    - 4 year onsite warranty from big-box seller means they come here to make it run right/better.

    I've got 20 hours on its meter so far. Looking to get 30 so I can do its first oil change.

    Generac recommends synthetic for below 10F, but I don't like synthetic in new engines so it'll be 5W30 for me this year. Runs like a champ. Pull starts easily. I'm happy.

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    Default What size generator for large modern home

    I use a 1800 rpm 10kw Isuzu. It burns 1/2 gal of diesel per hr. I also have a 8kw northern lights I haven't used yet.
    The main thing if looking for high quality is 1800rpm. Not 3600.
    If a gas gen is desired Honda or Yamaha have both treated me well. All the gensets in the box stores are junk!
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfkiller View Post
    If a gas gen is desired Honda or Yamaha have both treated me well. All the gensets in the box stores are junk!
    Yeah, but honda or yammie costs easily 4 times as much. I couldn't justify that. Of the non-honda and non-yammie brands, generac was reviewed the highest, with their low spot being (easily fixed if you're a motorhead) little dumb stuff that causes infant mortality for the generator. That's why I got the extra warranty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfkiller View Post
    I use a 1800 rpm 10kw Isuzu. It burns 1/2 gal of diesel per hr. !
    Is the 1/2 gal per hour of diesel at full load (10kw) or something less?

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    Default What size generator for large modern home

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    Is the 1/2 gal per hour of diesel at full load (10kw) or something less?
    Yes I live off the grid and only run my gen at full load. I use it to charge batteries. It runs about 5 hrs a week in the winter. Solar makes my power in the summer.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfkiller View Post
    10kw Isuzu. It burns 1/2 gal of diesel per hr.
    I don't know how a generator these days could do better than that, economy wise.

    My new 8KW is rated at 3/4 gal/hr at a half-load --- that is considerably more cost.

    How many hours do you have on the Isuzu? Any repairs?

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