Whole House Generator

Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Beth Gallagher, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    That's basically how a system in an RV works... 12 volt/110 power, generator, and an inverter with battery bank. We are quite versed in that gasoline generator/inverter setup but the whole-house system will be a whole new ballgame.
     
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  2. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I was mostly responding to the "pilot light" remark and I'm aware that there must be an electronic igniter since we have a gas furnace, gas water heater, and gas stove in our house now. The water heater has a pilot light so we have hot water in a power failure, and I can light my stove with a match. The furnace has an electric blower so it needs more than an igniter to work in a power outage.

    I suppose since I have had natural gas in every home I've ever lived in, I have no fear of it. It is "odorized" and I know that smell very well. :D
     
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  3. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    LOL. The "dealer" said they are better... I'm shocked. :D:D Interesting about the exercise reset; we have frequent power blips in our area so I hope that won't be a thing. Thanks for sharing your experience.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher

    Sorry, I guess I got ahead of myself, and gave you a befuddled account of different application. To clarify, I meant any device using natural gas or propane as a fuel to provide HEAT requires some kind of ignition source to ignite it, pilot or electric spark in most modern applications. To run an engine (generator) on the stuff only requires that it be metered into the engine. BUT for the larger generators, some means of turning it over to start it must be provided, such as a battery-powered starter. Mine was a 16 HP pull-start, and it was a BEAR to start!

    Frank
     
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  5. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Hey bud. I think we both understand this; just didn't express ourselves very well. :D I've had natural gas appliances for years and know there has to be an ignition source. I'm glad to learn more about how the whole-house generators work, though.
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Don Alaska

    Your description tells exactly how I hooked up our generator to the house. Disconnect from the grid was done manually at the main circuit breaker. I back-fed 220 volts into an outdoor outlet I had installed previously; this fed 220 into the mains of the house breaker panel. With the generator running, I could then control which appliances and lights would be powered up. Water heater and kitchen stove had to be ON separately, only 3500 watts available. Couple of ceiling lights and we got by.

    Frank
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher

    When I was growing up, gas appliances were prevalent all around our area. Not for heating the home, however, due to supply limitations. When my Dad converted over from coal-fired hot water boiler, we had to burn oil for about a year; it took that long for permitting for gas heat. Travelling through the country once, we came upon a huge construction/excavation operation which my Mother promptly identified as the new "Big Inch" gas supply pipeline being run from Texas, I think it was, clear on up to Detroit.

    "The Big Inch and Little Big Inch, collectively known as the Inch pipelines, are petroleumpipelines extending from Texas to New Jersey, built between 1942 and 1944 as emergency war measures in the U.S. Before World War II, petroleum products were transported from the oil fields of Texas to the north-eastern states by sea by oil tankers. After the United States entered the war on 1 January 1942, this vital link was attacked by German submarines in the Operation Paukenschlag, threatening both the oil supplies to the north-east and its onward transshipment to Great Britain. The Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, championed the pipeline project as a way of transporting petroleum by the more-secure, interior route.

    After the end of the war there were extended arguments over how the pipelines should be used. In 1947, the Texas East Transmission Corporation purchased the pipelines for $143,127,000, the largest post-war disposal of war-surplus property. The corporation converted them to transport natural gas, transforming the energy market in the north-east. The Little Big Inch was returned to carry oil in 1957. The pipelines are owned by Spectra Energy Partners and Enterprise Products and remain in use."


    So, with the emergency measures employed during the War, a pipeline crossing the entire U.S. was accepted by it's populace. Today, we dare not build even a short link. Go figure!

    Frank
     
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  8. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    I have an electric-start 10KW generator that I store in the garage to keep it warm in winter. I simply roll it out and connect it to the outlet on the side of the house. It is not quite enough to completely operate the house, but it will operate the furnace and the well pump, as well as most of the lights and outlets. When I was younger, we could go down to the lake and fetch water through holes in the ice in winter to flush toilets and such. Now that I am old and somewhat feeble, I don't want to rely on hauling lake water and the wood stove unless it is a true emergency. A big earthquake in the dead of winter here would be a true catastrophe, but we a re as prepared as we can get at the moment. I am concerned every spring with the wildfire season too. Living here isn't for weaklings:).
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Don Alaska

    "Now that I am old and somewhat feeble,"

    This hits home. Along with my kidney failure has come a peculiar enfeeblement limiting the extent of physical ability I took for granted all my life. Things having reasonable weight, such as a bag of sugar which I lifted and carried about I can now barely lift. Everything seems much heavier than it should.

    Frank
     
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  10. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    Yeah, I was pretty active until I fell off the roof and broke my back. That aged me 10 years.
     
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  11. Boris Boddenov

    Boris Boddenov Well-Known Member
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    I should have clarified, he also sold and still sells Generacs. In fact, he sends out monthly newsletters and even today reports occasionally on some problem with them , as well as solutions.
     
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  12. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Well apparently the whole-house generator biz is hoppin'. It's been over 2 months and we still don't have an estimate. :rolleyes: Of course, hurricane season starts next week so even more people will be lining up for generators.
     
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