New generator!

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Mar 31, 2010
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Iowa
The last couple of years our area has lost power for several days, which got me thinking about how much it sucks to lose electricity. Once in the heat and once in the cold.. And we lose our well too. Makes for some crappy times.

Was considering building my own or buying a ready to run unit. Wanted to be able run the whole house and run off LP. Building probably would have made a "better" unit but probably would have been more money and involved a fair bit of tuning and tweaking - not sure if I have the knowledge or resources to do that. So after mulling over my options for back up power for a while, I decided to go the most sensible route and buy one. My matco dealer actually had a 10k tri-fuel Firman Gen for $1200 which seemed like a fairly competitive price, plus he threw in a cover.

Got it set up and going to replace the torch spark plug with an ngk, then hook it up to LP and run it against the house loads for a while for break in..

II figure it's the cheapest way to guarantee I'll never lose power again for more than a few minutes 😂

20220125_145947.jpg
 
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all depends on $$$$ a decent genny to run essentials is cost effective! beware of dirty power if you believe that as its said it can KILL sensitive electronics + costly inverter gennys are said to be safer but $$$$$
 
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Looks like a nice machine it will definitely not produce peak output running off LP but in the long run it'll burn cleaner & less maintenance involved during storage. Follow the break-in and use a good oil it'll last many years..
 
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Looks like a nice gen set. I sure hope you've got wheels for it! Don't be too quick to toss that Torch OEM plug. I have the same in both of my Westinghouse 9,500 Watt units, and they run beautifully.

Like you, I ran out and bought a couple of NGK's to have ready to go. But I have yet to use them. Granted I don't have a hell of a lot of hours on them yet. But they run beautifully with the OEM Torch's.
 
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Buying a generator is only half the job. Setting up the house with a transfer switch is not a trivial task. Have you calculated the load required? A well pump especially if its a 3/4 HP will have a large starting load.

What size propane tank do you have to run it off? There are vaporization rates to consider.

Please don't tell us your going to backfeed. Its illegal and dangerous.
 
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Nice unit!
Change the oil early and often during break in.
Batteries die at the most inconvenient time. Maybe get a battery tender to keep the battery charged (one like for motorcycles when stored over the winter).
 
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all depends on $$$$ a decent genny to run essentials is cost effective! beware of dirty power if you believe that as its said it can KILL sensitive electronics + costly inverter gennys are said to be safer but $$$$$
That whole dirty power thing is very overblown . No " sensitive electronics " run off straight AC . They all have a DC power supply that filters out most of the ripple . In mt experience It's the cheap stuff that is the most vulnerable .
 
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That whole dirty power thing is very overblown . No " sensitive electronics " run off straight AC . They all have a DC power supply that filters out most of the ripple . In mt experience It's the cheap stuff that is the most vulnerable .
Motor loads such as ac, clothes dryer, pumps, refrigerator are more concerning on sensitive electronics over a Genset. Genset can go out of tune but if they're producing 220+ volts at 60hz then you're in good shape
 
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Nice! Ditto on a battery tender. You might do a quick test to see if that unit charges its own battery while it's running. Surprisingly, many of them don't.
 

The_Eric

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Looks like a nice gen set. I sure hope you've got wheels for it! Don't be too quick to toss that Torch OEM plug. I have the same in both of my Westinghouse 9,500 Watt units, and they run beautifully.

Like you, I ran out and bought a couple of NGK's to have ready to go. But I have yet to use them. Granted I don't have a hell of a lot of hours on them yet. But they run beautifully with the OEM Torch's.
The Gen did come with a wheel kit, I had just unboxwd it and snapped a pic before assembly, which came later.

On the torch, you're probably right.. But I've read just enough (and experienced on customer equipment) that I didn't want to chance it. The second time (this year early winter thunderstorms knocked out power to many for several days), I had to borrow a friend's gen which required repair of the carb and troubleshooting of the genset itself, all the while it was cold and windy and the house was cold and without water.. No fun. So, if I can skip the possibility of screwing around with a temperamental spark plug by spending an extra couple bucks, I am. Also the possibility exists that it may only be my wife would be around to get it set up and running and/or monitoring it, so the fewer possibilities for problems, the better.
 

The_Eric

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Have you calculated the load required? A well pump especially if its a 3/4 HP will have a large starting load.

What size propane tank do you have to run it off? There are vaporization rates to consider.
I have not, but figure having about 40 amps of 240v is enough to keep heat or AC running, my well pump and whatever lights and minimal entertainment we will need. If we're not stupid, it will even run the hot water heater. (did all this on a smaller, borrowed unit earlier this year)

The well isn't so bad because it is run off a VFD and has a soft start.

For the break in and exercising, I will run it off of a bbq grill sized tank, but I know that won't run it for long.. Moving forward it will be hooked to our 500 gallon LP tank in times of need.

So what do you mean "vaporization rates"? Will that only be a factor on small tanks?
 

The_Eric

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Red Ride and Dave, for sure will be doing several short oci's. Will be putting in some syn 10w40 as a balance between extended runtime, hot weather protection and cold start ability..

Good point on the tender - now that you mentioned it, I will also be installing a tender too. It has a recoil start, but am unsure if my wife will be able to manage it? It's got to be ready for her to hook it up when ever
 
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The_Eric

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BTW, I remember someone here giving some rough math on fuel usage under load (probably max) for LP.. Can anyone refresh my memory so I know what to expect when the time comes?
 
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I have not, but figure having about 40 amps of 240v is enough to keep heat or AC running, my well pump and whatever lights and minimal entertainment we will need. If we're not stupid, it will even run the hot water heater. (did all this on a smaller, borrowed unit earlier this year)

The well isn't so bad because it is run off a VFD and has a soft start.

For the break in and exercising, I will run it off of a bbq grill sized tank, but I know that won't run it for long.. Moving forward it will be hooked to our 500 gallon LP tank in times of need.

So what do you mean "vaporization rates"? Will that only be a factor on small tanks?
There are tables available that show how many BTU per hour can be pulled out of a certain size tank at a certain temp. The minimum size recommended for a generator is 100 gal (not 100 lb). The colder the temp and/or smaller the tank the less BTU/hr can be pulled.

Your manual for generator should say at full load how many BTU per hour it will need. You then look that up on a vaporization rate chart. Sometimes the figures are in other than BTU, but same idea.

The generator MUST run at 3600 RPM all the time. It needs to be supplied all the fuel it needs.

There may also be in the generator manual some comments about hose or pipe size and one or two stage regulators.

I bought a 100 gal tank off Craigslist for my old house to run the generator. Now I moved and have a 500 gal buried tank. Good idea to never rent propane tanks, always buy. Especially for a generator.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
27,783
Location
Near the beach in Delaware
I have not, but figure having about 40 amps of 240v is enough to keep heat or AC running, my well pump and whatever lights and minimal entertainment we will need. If we're not stupid, it will even run the hot water heater. (did all this on a smaller, borrowed unit earlier this year)

The well isn't so bad because it is run off a VFD and has a soft start.

For the break in and exercising, I will run it off of a bbq grill sized tank, but I know that won't run it for long.. Moving forward it will be hooked to our 500 gallon LP tank in times of need.

So what do you mean "vaporization rates"? Will that only be a factor on small tanks?
If its warm you may be able to start it on a BBQ tank but probably not exercise it, if that means putting a decent load on it.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
5,430
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Midwest
The last couple of years our area has lost power for several days, which got me thinking about how much it sucks to lose electricity. Once in the heat and once in the cold.. And we lose our well too. Makes for some crappy times.

Was considering building my own or buying a ready to run unit. Wanted to be able run the whole house and run off LP. Building probably would have made a "better" unit but probably would have been more money and involved a fair bit of tuning and tweaking - not sure if I have the knowledge or resources to do that. So after mulling over my options for back up power for a while, I decided to go the most sensible route and buy one. My matco dealer actually had a 10k tri-fuel Firman Gen for $1200 which seemed like a fairly competitive price, plus he threw in a cover.

Got it set up and going to replace the torch spark plug with an ngk, then hook it up to LP and run it against the house loads for a while for break in..

II figure it's the cheapest way to guarantee I'll never lose power again for more than a few minutes 😂

View attachment 86119

I live about 30 minutes south of you irrc. We bought a generac homeline 8000/6500 after the derecho. I fire it up every quarter and hook it up to the house and switch the panel over to the generator to get a workout. One of those things I hope I never need but with ice storms and the derecho, having it is a large piece of mind. I can run everything but our AC, which, I can survive without AC for a while but surviving winter without power and heat is a different story. This one is straight gasoline and I keep a 5gal on hand for emergencies and cycle it through the mower since its used year round with the mower deck and then blade during winter. I pull it out once every quarter and exercise it by hooking it up to the house for an hour. Then I refill a litt

How do you plan to connect to your house? We had an electrician install a panel interlock and hookup on the exterior of the house - much cheaper than a giant switch.

I broke mine in with the 30w that came with it and then switched to HDEO 10w-30 to balance the heat/cold like you mentioned above.
 
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