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TOPIC: Generator
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you can just buy a tank outright. we too did not want anything to do with the 'free' tank from one supplier. thus, we can buy from anyone.

Philadelphia PA
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You Cannot run a Generator on a tall tank such as a 100 pound or 200 pound cylinder.... The volume and rate that it burns the Gas will Cause the tank to freeze over in @ 10 minutes at even an idle, thus causing the propane to stop flowing and cause the generator to stop running, or possible damamge the unit. A Propane tank form a Grill would freeze over in less time, The long tank leeps the surface area spread out so that the top doesnt gather the ice crystals to coagulate around the discharge point on the tank.

To a Degree I agree with Propane over Natural since the propane is an independant source of gas. Although the natural is an abundant source of fuel so long as it is not turned off. We used 200 gallons of propane over the course of just 72 hours.

We have a 500 gallon tank, that is filled to 80% most of the year. ( the reason they only fill to 80% is to prevent blowoffs during the summer when the tanks heat up from the sun. you can have a tank buried , but we opted against so that we are not forced to stay with 1 company. our tank was located in a shady portion of our property between my shop and house.

Burlingham NY
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i am also on with the LP. If you do not have a little submarine tank buried you can do it easily and then use extra lines for your grill, etc. i am happy with it, and thankfully it gets no use.

Philadelphia PA
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My personal opinion, Go with the LP option and keep a couple tanks (the same you use for your grill) on hand. I understand not wanting gasoline. If you run a natural gas line from your house feed, what will you do if the gas company does a shut off? Stored fuel is the way to go. LP is cheap and available at every gas station, big box store, and industrial gas provider.

Toledo OH
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I would stick with Generac generators. They have become so common the parts are easy to get and everyone knows how they are put together.

They have a full line in size and features, so just talk to your electrician and match it to your needs. The switchovers have come such a long ways. You can easily set it up to shut down circuits that are not manditory automatically, so the generator itself doesn't have to be so large and a fuel hog. If I remember correctly, the 20kw has a 90 amp main in it, which is more than enough to run most houses completely, and almost any critical systems you would find in residential.

They are also simple to go from natural to lp. Simply flip a lever in the carb.

Good luck.

Harmony FL
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There are a lot of choices, PTO run from lawn tractor. Gasoline, natural gas, propane, or even wood debri. You need to figure how much power you will need to run the generator with the available fuel.

We at one time had a Chrysler hemi powering a PTO generator that powered a two story building containing both police and fire dept, on natural gas. Natural gas and propane are better for long periods than gasoline. A wood burning(gasification) is a little more work for most people to mess with, but fuel is cheap, especially after a disaster. A lot of power companies will sell and install generators, both auto starting and manual. They usually build the cost into the billing cycle.

IMO propane is your best fuel source.

Sanford NC
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We're going to hire people to install it even though hubby is very good with electricity.

Rumson NJ
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Fun is correct about the gerry rigged stuff. Electricity is nothing to play around with.

You can just as easily run a transfer switch without using a massive generator, it just won't be an automatic switch over if the cost and maintenance are a factor. There are lots of solutions and nearly as many ways to get there.

Personally I don't like automatic switching. I'd rather be in control of it myself.

Long Beach CA
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Another advantage of the whole-house unit with an automatic transfer switch is safety. If you gerry rig a portable generator into your system, then forget to throw the main disconnect, you potentially backfeed current into the power distribution system. A lineman, thinking he is working on a de-energized line, could get killed.

Belle Chasse LA
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Another bonus of the standby generator is that if you are home alone you have to do NOTHING , but wait @ 15 seconds for the unit to fire up. they can also run for indefinite periods of time W/o worry of over heating. Less chance of carbon monoxide entering the home, No Cords to worry about hooking up.

It is an Expensive alternative but well worth the investment compared to draggin out a portable, plugging in a cord, and starting a generator, as well as the periodical shutdowns to gas up and cool downs.

Burlingham NY
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TOPIC: Generator