GENERATOR-All House Generator-Discussion

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  TRex2 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    <span style=”color: #800080″>Another thread got an extended discussion going on ‘All-House’ generators. Since, it is an on-going discussion, I’m starting this separate thread for it, including the original posts I moved over to here:</span> -k


    @patrioticstabilist wrote:

    My husband has agreed to get us a whole house generator, to run it all likely need a 20kw. But like he says, why do we have to run everything, some stuff isn’t essential. With that I agree so going to get a bit smaller one that won’t take so much fuel. That sure relieves my mind. I’m more concerned about tornadoes or earthquakes.

    When prepping for an earthquake then it makes plenty of sense to size the generator to the necessary load with very little overage since you’ll need your own fuel supply. Also, make sure you have enough fuel supplies on hand since getting more during an emergency can be a real problem…just ask any of the Sandy victims that stood in long lines to get gasoline for their generators.

    Over here in New England I’m not worried as much about earthquakes so I have a 20kW whole house generator piped into the utility natural gas lines. But it’s duel fuel so I could get a large propane tank, but I’d be using a LOT of propane if I needed to keep this puppy running for long.

    Good luck with your project and your preps!

    • This topic was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by  ReadyMom.
    • This topic was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  ReadyMom.


    What type of whole/half home generator would you purchase or have? Not manufacturer, fuel type. Diesel, LPG, solar? I don’t think NG would be an option because you would still need electricity at the compressor stations. Everything Ive read about the fossil fuel options shows them to be very inefficient. Plus the finite supply of fuel doesn’t make these options a good long term solution. Maybe bio-diesel? Everything on solar is EXPENSIVE, plus not all areas of the nation receive ample sunlight year around for that solution to be feasible. Perhaps a combination of them all? I have seen dual fuel genies before, but have zero knowledge on them.

    No reason for my question, just thought it would be an interesting discussion on what everyone’s solution for their own situation is.



    Bumping for visibility and hoping others will update conversation.



    Since if I replied it got lost in the great WordPress move…

    My system is a 20kW Generac system with their 200 AMP automatic transfer switch. Made installation easier that I didn’t have to have an electrician move selected loads to a daughter panel.

    Technically it’s an 18kW generator since I’m using natural gas. If I flip the switch and hook up a propane tank, then I’d get the 20kW full rating.

    While I’m on a major road and most power outages are short duration (15 minutes or less), we’ve had a few long duration outages of over 24 hours. Enough that I went out and bought enough oil and filters to do two maintenance changes myself. Since it recommends an oil and filter change after 200 hours of operation, this gives me flexibility in case of an event. Normally I have a contract with the installer so they come by every six months to change the oil and give the unit a quick checkup.



    For 20KW, you would need a fairly substantial propane tank.
    Any Idea how many gallons of propane you would consume per day?



    At full load it would burn 2.9 gallons per hour. It’s supposed to use last as the demand drops off, but at half load it’s supposed to use 1.89 gallons per hour. Less than the full demand, but not exactly half…

    Realistically, if an event stops natural gas then I go to plan C – cooking with solar oven or rocket stove, lighting from solar chargers or glow in the dark sheets (UV Paqlite) and radio gets batteries recharged via crank or solar battery chargers. Plan D involves candles…drives my wife nuts, but I have lots of layers to my preps – gotta be ready when the fallback plan fails since while failure is always an option, giving up shouldn’t be. 😛



    I agree about failure and giving up.

    Looks like, at idle, your generator uses about .9 gal per hour.
    Average load would be just under half, maybe as little as one forth.
    I would plan for (1.667 gal/hour) 32 gal per day, if you go to propane.

    My own plans, should I be able to make them work are to use a much smaller generator, and plan to only run it intermittently to keep the freezer cold. Haven’t begun to work on how to do that automatically, if I am away when the power goes out.

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