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Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by bigmoose, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. bigmoose

    bigmoose Well-Known Member Established Member

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    I'm looking for some thoughts and feedback on home standby generators as i'm considering getting one.

    I've determined i need 10-12k unit to power my entire house with some headroom. I have natural gas so i plan to go that route. I want a whole house transfer switch as not to deal with individual circuits.

    So far I've looked at the Generac Guardian 7033:
    http://www.generac.com/all-products.../guardian-series/11kw-7033-whole-house-switch

    And the Kohler 12RESVL:
    http://www.kohlergenerators.com/home-generators/products/12RESVL

    I have a licensed electrician and pipe fitter in the family, so this will be a "self" install. On paper is seems the kohler is a better engine and has better controls as they advertise 1% voltage regulation. The kohler also includes remote monitoring with a decent app, the generac one is optional.

    My parents have a generac and have not had a problem. There are also a few generac ones in my neighborhood and they were all humming away during our last outage.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. STAMPEDE3

    STAMPEDE3 SAULS BROTHER Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Most major brands are good. Generac is more popular mainly due to being first to the market.
    However, 2 things on these, I prefer the aluminum coated shell on the generac over the steal coated Kohler.
    Go overkill....Always. Even if all gas 11KW is not much.
    And them saying 12K will run a 5 ton A/C unit is pushing the limits IMO.
    For a couple hundred more you can probably go up to a 16KW
     
  3. 7998

    7998 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    I have a whole house Generac and love it. I've had it for 4 years with no issues whatsoever. I live in the woods off a back that's off a back road so when we lose power it is at least 6 hours. It tests itself once a week so I know it is ready. One thing to consider is in an emergency if you need parts or service which one has a bigger dealer network?
     
  4. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    Get the biggest engine you can. Also, if you find a model that runs 1800rpm instead of 3600rpm it will be much quieter. You also probably won't get as much power from NG as you would LP.
     
  5. ur bittn

    ur bittn By the snake Established Member

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    I have always had good luck with Onan, not sure if they do NG.
     
  6. bigmoose

    bigmoose Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far. My AC system is a 2.5 ton LG mini split that draws about 2000-2500 watts when running, it's pretty efficient (23 SEER).

    I have a smart zwave meter clamped to my mains in the panel and can view on demand power usage. The max I've seen is 9kw but that was when my electric dryer was running. I plan to switch this to NG soon. When the dryer is not running I've never seen over 5kw. My stove is NG and all my lights are LED. At night with my lights, tv, and NG boiler running I'm using like 1500w.

    SID, why do you prefer the aluminum case? Is it quieter?

    It's gonna be NG all the way regardless. With the cost and availability of NG in the Northeast LP can't compete.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  7. Buckwheat 1

    Buckwheat 1 I love it Lucy Established Member Established Member

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    Aluminum doesn't rust. Another advantage with Genrac is it UL listed to be installed with 24 inches of your house. They are all fairly quite. The other brands need a minimum of 5 feet from your house.
     
  8. 7998

    7998 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    You still need to be 5 feet from any opening as per code.

    OP when we did the load calcs I was right on the line between 11kw and 14kw. The difference being the 14kw's engine used almost twice the fuel (500cc vs 1000cc). Well with the Zombie Apocalypse and all, coupled with my twin 500 gallon tanks. I figured I could bug in a lot longer with the 11kw. As long as I don't run the A/C and the clothes dryer along with everything else in the house at the same time.
     
  9. specracer

    specracer SVTOA MCA Premium Member

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    We have an about 20 year old generac that has a GM 4.3 V-6. Sucker is loud, but I sure dont mind, as when its making its racket, it sure beats the alternative. Whole house (minus AC and ovens if I recall). Our case is steel, and it does rust. Aluminum would be nice.
     
  10. bigmoose

    bigmoose Well-Known Member Established Member

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    I believe they are down to 18" now. Kohler switched from composite to steel to match this distance as well. However I think that's from a non combustible surface. My house is sided with wood shingles, so I think I might need more.
     
  11. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    My neighbor has one with a 2.3 Ford in it.
     
  12. newbie1276

    newbie1276 Member Established Member

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    I do this for a living. And am a certified dealer for Kohler , Cummins/Onan, Generac, Briggs and Stratton and Winco
    The pecking order goes
    Onan
    Kohler
    Generac
    Briggs and Stratton
    I have installed just shy of 100 kohler units in 2017
    They all have NFPA 18inch setback
    So they can all be 18 inches from the house. No need to dig a trench anymore
    I have a Kohler 20resd and it has been worry free for 2 years.
    Kohler also provides oncue monitoring for free. Email notifications of any problems and when it is running.
    Onan is the quietest and they also have power command portal monitoring at no charge but that comes with a premium price for the quiet and the Cummins name.
    I make a ton of money on generac warranty so that speaks for it self and they along with Briggs and Stratton charge monthly for monitoring.
    Stay away from the models labeled RESL, RESVL
    They are watered down big box store versions.
    In the early years the L stood for Lowe's
    3600 RPM is going to be air cooled
    1800 RPM is going to be water-cooled which is quiter but more money.
    One of the biggest mistakes my customers make is they only want certain circuits to be powered and once it is done they regret not doing the whole house and don't forget the garage doors it sucks to have power but can't get out of the house to go fetch beer. Most of the time it is only a few hundred dollars difference
    Feel free to PM me for any questions.
     
    T56LS102, Mojo88, JetmechF16 and 2 others like this.
  13. newbie1276

    newbie1276 Member Established Member

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    18 inches from anything combustible per NFPA
     
  14. newbie1276

    newbie1276 Member Established Member

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    They do work on both NG and LP
    And they are the best. The mushroom GSBB was an amazingly quiet unit and their new version is not to shabby
     
  15. Equalbracket

    Equalbracket Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Cant go wrong with anything Kohler, but nothing with their name on it is cheap.
     
  16. bigmoose

    bigmoose Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Great info! Thanks.

    I'm looking at Cummings/onan and their 12k unit looks to be priced on par with the generac and cheaper Kohler units.

    I do see a 12RES from Kohler that's several hundred more than the 12RESV/L but don't see the difference in specs.

    It also looks like all the units in the 10-12k range are 3600RPM air cooled units. I think the larger units that are liquid cooled are overkill for my needs.
     
  17. specracer

    specracer SVTOA MCA Premium Member

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    Id rather it be a Ford, but it is what it is. Its the only GM product we own (and will be the only).

     
  18. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    Ford powered generator you say? How about one with a 6.8L V10?

    s-l1600 (3).jpg s-l1600 (4).jpg s-l1600.jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600 (2).jpg
     
  19. newbie1276

    newbie1276 Member Established Member

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    Nice vintage 2007Cummins with the fuel guzzling V10
    Generac uses them engines in alot ofc their units.
    I have never seen something empty a propane test tank so fast.
    However they are beasts and run great.
    And you need to be a rocket scientist to operate all the options those power command controllers can do
     
  20. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    Just be glad it wasn't this version:

    hydrogen_engine.jpg
     

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