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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    Posts
    1,510

    Default What's the best whole house generator?

    I've installed 2 generators in the past, but never one this big.

    The home has 2 200 amp panels with a total of 32 circuits and the home has natural gas.

    My question has 2 parts.
    Which generator would you recommend?
    Which transfer switch?

    I've looked online and found a generac 60,000kw for 13000.00 and a 400 amp transfer for 1800.00.

    I've had little experience with installing these larger units and would like to hear everyone's thoughts before I purchase.
    Has anyone had problems with these particular units?
    -Dennis

    Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    I would check with the manufacturer to see what they recomend. Are you trying to power the entire house? Also, check the gas service to ensure it will be able to deliver enough for the generator-this can be a problem.
    John from Baltimore
    "One Day at a Time"
    The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low cost is forgotten!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    I would use a 100 amp sub panel with a 100 amp transfer switch for "necessary"circuits:lights,heat,some cooling,kitchen,tv, security.Probably 15kva generator.

    Bob O.Eighty Four,Pa.15330

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    Posts
    1,510

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    yes I'm trying to power the whole house, and I will have my plumber check the gas consumption versus feed (I never even thought of that).

    I tried to sell the 100 amp, but they just weren't biting.

    Calling the manuf. has always been hit or miss for me, here I can trust peoples opinion because there is no bias.
    -Dennis

    Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Caterpillar generators are very highly regarded. They're a whole 'nother class up from normal residential generators - and priced accordingly.

    But perhaps only the best will do...

    http://www.cat.com/cda/layout?m=37508&x=7
    Last edited by Cheyenps; 02-26-2007 at 10:04 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by WarriorWithWood
    I tried to sell the 100 amp, but they just weren't biting.
    They'll probably stop biting when they find out how big and how expensive the unit they believe they want really is, and how much it will cost them to have you install it. If you're looking at a unit that delivers say 150KW, the cost will be around $25K plus a 400 amp Xfer switch that will cost you around $2K. Now you have to pour a concrete pad that will hold this thing and then hire a crane to drop it onto the pad because it weighs about 2500 lbs (you can't move this around with a hand truck). Now you and the plumber have to come in to work your magic so that your customer can watch the Superbowl when the power goes out !!!

    Believe me, they're just making you spin your wheels because they don't realize what it takes to have something like this installed at a residence. Go ahead and give them a price for the big unit but in reality, don't expect to install it. Have your price ready for the one you recommend. If you go to the Northern Tool web site you'll find a 16 KW Guardian unit with a 100 amp, 16 circuit ATS for about $3.6K. This unit will start a 5 ton AC unit. I know you've probably done this already but you have to explain to your potential customer that this generator is to be used for a back-up only during power outages. You don't need to run your double wall oven, microwave, dishwasher, electric dryer, 3 AC units and your welder in the garage all at the same time during a power failure.

    I believe you'll have a better chance of selling a 16 KW unit (or similar unit) than one that will power the whole neighborhood. Take the advice from the others here. Make sure you have a big enough NG service to run this unit.

    Just my opinion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa.
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    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Well 35k to them is really no big deal for their "peace of mind" considering they spent 2mil on this house.

    I'll let you know what they say when I give them the number.

    Thanks for the info guys, it looks like either Cat or Generac.

    I was even thinking of 2 smaller generators (150 amps for each panel) might be a better (cost effective) idea, but then I believe noise can be an issue.

    I will let you guys know how I make out.
    -Dennis

    Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    will they accept a diesel unit? A good 45kw unit with a cummins or perkins engine, soundproof enclosure and 100 gal belly tank can be had for around $20k. At full load consumption is around 3-4 gal/hour.

    I've installed a number of propane gens. Never really liked the big gas burners.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    When you're up to that size of a genset or larger, I only install Cat. Smaller one's, for me, it's a toss up between Kohler and Onan.
    -Marc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Unless they expect the power to be off often, going to a hotel is the better choice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Roberts View Post
    Unless they expect the power to be off often, going to a hotel is the better choice.
    Ha! Right....

    About once a year, the wife and I will get a hotel room on the other side of town for no reason at all. Sorta nice.
    -Marc.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,819

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Oh, I'll bet you've got a reason... ;-)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa.
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    1,510

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    yeah they have 3 kids, all under 5. Need I say more:-(
    -Dennis

    Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Here is some commercial-free info on residential stand-by generators:

    http://www.toolbase.org/TechInventor...ntDetailID=671

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,819

    Default Re: What's the best whole house generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by 78_GMU View Post
    Here is some commercial-free info on residential stand-by generators:

    http://www.toolbase.org/TechInventor...ntDetailID=671
    I don't see any generator info there, just battery systems.

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