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Generators

Everybody that has one are happy they do, last week especially.

I never needed to worry about it, that's irrelevant.

But curious as to the installation options, popular brands, where you purchased/why, min/max amps needed, automatic, security re: theft, any whistles or bells/options. sound proofing? Which one would you buy if you had to do it all over again? Install it any differently? Any info.

I have one here in CT (650amps).  Never used it yet.  But my house is on a well, so no living here without power.  This house was built with a special panel to plug the generator into next to the breaker box.  CT has a history of outages related to winter storms.

Friends in PR installed a big Gererac on a cement slab next to the house.  They are designed to come on automatically when there is an outage.  They are happy.  One question I have.  With a fuel tank next to the generator, how do you ensure that the fuel is good, if the unit is unused for long periods of time?  I have had problems with fuel for the lawn mower getting water from just sitting in the tank.  Used additives, but not sure if it is a good practice for a generator.

Looked it up, they run on LP gas - no issues with fuel.

I believe that you can find units that run on gas, LP and Diesel. Depends on the model and the adapters used.

Somebody posted that PR had a huge tax around 4k for permanent whole house generators. I am not sure is this is true or not, but given the electric issues in the island, it would be against logic to have a special tax on top of the standard IVU.

Wow, but I guess that falls in line.

My q would initially be how would The Hacienda or local govt know in the first place.

Anyone living in PR have an answer?

I own a 6500w gas unit. Last used two years ago (and really needed it 2yrs back).

When I change (not if), I will go LP. Dedicate a 100# bottle just for it. They run so quite! My gas unit is very noisy!

Do check the signal put out by the generator. The cheap guys are square wave, the better unit are sine wave. This matters if your going to run that 60" TV or your computer with on the generator. There are converters out there, but buying one already doing is better in the long run. Bottom line, sine wave.

I have a manual transfer switch (not auto). I just don't need the lights or TV to jump right back up! In fact last year the power went down for 4hrs and didn't take out the generator. I reacted when it came back on with "Bummer. I liked the quite!"

I only take it out after 8hrs down. And then only run it for 2hrs at a time to keep the freezer and the frig cold. Well, and re-stock water from the well.. Do laundry, shower.. etc.

I have propane cooking, so no power doesn't effect us. I heat with wood, so again no issue.

Sizing comes down to what you need to happen and when.
My 6.5KW generator is all I need!
A friend installed a 14K unit and all I could do was laugh.. "You trying to power the neighborhood?"

Sitka :

I have one here in CT (650amps).  Never used it yet.  But my house is on a well, so no living here without power.  This house was built with a special panel to plug the generator into next to the breaker box.  CT has a history of outages related to winter storms.

Friends in PR installed a big Gererac on a cement slab next to the house.  They are designed to come on automatically when there is an outage.  They are happy.  One question I have.  With a fuel tank next to the generator, how do you ensure that the fuel is good, if the unit is unused for long periods of time?  I have had problems with fuel for the lawn mower getting water from just sitting in the tank.  Used additives, but not sure if it is a good practice for a generator.

Do you really have 650a unit? Was that a typo? If not that's a HUGE unit...

Sorry - I got it wrong, it's a Generac GP7500E  -  7500 watts.    Its a portable unit that will put out enough power to run the refrigerator, pump, and a few lights.

Maybe I can answer my own q about how the tax guys would know.

I remember the fella across the road from me, wealthy Puerto Rican, had a beautiful spread and alot of stuff going on.

Last spring, he installed a new generator, maybe 3x2x3. And installed it on a slab he had poured immediately adjacent to his meter which was essentially road side.

I'm guessing now he had to put it there because that was a spec's necessity.

If I am right and that's how the Tax guys find out, that's a consideration on buying one of the super-duper ones.

Sitka :

Sorry - I got it wrong, it's a Generac GP7500E  -  7500 watts.    Its a portable unit that will put out enough power to run the refrigerator, pump, and a few lights.

Cool! No issue, just sounded really big!!!

7500w is close to what I have.

USCG :

Maybe I can answer my own q about how the tax guys would know.

I remember the fella across the road from me, wealthy Puerto Rican, had a beautiful spread and alot of stuff going on.

Last spring, he installed a new generator, maybe 3x2x3. And installed it on a slab he had poured immediately adjacent to his meter which was essentially road side.

I'm guessing now he had to put it there because that was a spec's necessity.

If I am right and that's how the Tax guys find out, that's a consideration on buying one of the super-duper ones.

Pouring a pad upon it sits does not mean perminate. Just means a place to put it.
What is comes down to is the unit has to be a sort that it can be conveyed.
Language is important here.

You put it on  a cart, that one would ever be able to move, it's still portable.
Language of the Law.

I have two storage buildings on my land I'm not taxed for because they 'Portable'.
I'll be if I and six of my friends could move them without equipment and there on cement pads.
The Pads are only where I place them as required.

Be careful how you state what your doing...

Whatever type of generator you have installed, please make sure you have a transfer switch (automatic or manual) installed, too! Too many people use an extension cable with two male plugs which is not only stupid but dangerous, too.

We have a 5.7 kW Rigid, powered by a Yamaha (gas) engine and a manual transfer switch.
The set is strong enough to power fridge, freezer, lights, couple of 'puters in the office, fans and a TV set, We even use it to make some warm water but turn almost everything else off when we do that. We also help the neighbors with an extension so they can run fridge and freezer and their TV,

We run it like 8-10 hours these days and that costs us around 12 dollars in gas daily.

I'll repeat Gary's statement. Please install a transfer switch. In the US it's the LAW. It's ensures no power is back feed into the street and saves lives!

Has anyone seen solar powered generators on the island? Our community does not allow gas powered ones.

Solar powered generators don't really exist You would need to get a bunch of solar panels on your roof, batteries to store the electricity for when there's no sun and of course the installation to make it all work, including the option to sell electricity to the power company when your panels produce more than you need.

You can see an example here: http://www.goalzero.com/power-packs

Karenqc :

Has anyone seen solar powered generators on the island? Our community does not allow gas powered ones.

Don' get caught up in the term 'Solar Powered Generator'. It's a marketing term and typically very small units. You can do the same yourself pretty easily.

If you have an Association were you live, then I would suggest talking to them about a decent size LP generator you all can use (and split the costs).

olddawgsrule :

Don' get caught up in the term 'Solar Powered Generator'. It's a marketing term and typically very small units. You can do the same yourself pretty easily.

Exactly. These are basically battery packs, nice to charge a phone or a laptop or run some lights.
They charge on AC and have a very limited run time. You could charge them with a solar panel (sold separately as they write).
One way or another, these units need to be charged first and can be used after that for a very limited time.

A generator, on the contrary, delivers power as long as the engine runs. Gas generators are relatively cheap but very loud. Not suitable for communities where houses are close and forbidden in most condominiums.
LP generators and larger (expensive) "whole house" diesel generators are quiet enough to run even when the neighbors are close.

Karenqc :

You can see an example here: http://www.goalzero.com/power-packs

Nicely done marketing. Clean looking units.

Their 1400w unit would run your Frig for about 1 1/2hrs. This what I mean by 'their small units'...

It takes a serious sized battery bank, charged by a serious size solar array to keep you appliances running for a substantial amount of time.

If you only looking to charge you cell phone or laptop, buy a Type 31 deep cell battery and a 12v adaptor. Charge with your car chargers. I have this setup on my batteries for my drill. Good for the cell phones!

For emergency lighting, I really like the 'bulb style' LED lights I bought. Run on a 18650 li-on battery and lasts 6hrs on low.
Slim K LED light
I seem to remember buying a 3 pack for that same amount, so search around a bit.

So how do you figure out what size you need for a whole house?
Do you go with KWH used in a month or do do go around checking the wattage of everything you have in the house?
One last question: How do you know if the generator is being overloaded or having issues keeping up?

ReyP :

So how do you figure out what size you need for a whole house?
Do you go with KWH used in a month or do do go around checking the wattage of everything you have in the house?
One last question: How do you know if the generator is being overloaded or having issues keeping up?

Dig out your electric bills. It shows your consumption.

Now I would just look at what appliances you need to keep running. Look at the amperage rating, multiply by voltage (120v) and you have wattage. Most generators are rated in wattage.

My transfer switch is only to certain circuits. I.E. Refrig (kitchen), freezer (basement) and well.
6500w is fine for me!

Dawg, What are your thoughts about gasoline vs LP? How much was your 6500?

USCG :

Dawg, What are your thoughts about gasoline vs LP? How much was your 6500?

I will go LP next time around. My Gas 6500w Was $275 8yrs ago. On sale at Lowes. Now there at $800.
Shop it around and you will find LP's around $1,000. Shop the gass ones and you'll buy on around $500. (Generac 6500w is selling $800)

What I hadn't seen before are these Dual fuel models. Seems a bit weird to me since LP takes different jets vs. gas.. I have to research them before I bought in on the idea...

Generac 6500w

Little smaller unit and Dual fuel.
LP Generator

Home Depot has LP ones too. Nice little unit! 8hr run time on a 20lb tank (50% load). Not bad for $800

LP 7000w

Actually 6000w.. 7000w surge..

Wouldn't a electric start be a oxymoron for a generator? LOL...

I've stayed quiet on this one, as most has been well covered.  Only thing missing from the conversation is the fact that LP units are capable, with an auto-transfer switch, of starting automatically when the power goes out.  Gas and diesel must be started manually when the power goes out.  So if you are looking for a generator that will kick in even if you are not home, go with LP.

By the way, many solar panel installations have a plug for a generator as well, so if the grid goes down, you can simply plug the generator into the solar control power center, and you're all set!

If you have camped in a park that allows the huge RV's with the gas generators, you know what I meant of them being noisy! May gas unit is very loud and hate the dam thing because. Necessary evil when you need power.. LP is my next!

Still have not found a good review on any 'dual fuel' to comment one way or the other.
Anyone does, please share!

Why are LP generators less noicy?
A multi fuel one still would be using the same engine, no?
Which one is cheaper to run? - somebody just quoted a 20lb tank per 8 hours and I think Gary seem to have quoted about 20 dollers a day for a gas one.

ReyP :

Why are LP generators less noicy?
A multi fuel one still would be using the same engine, no?
Which one is cheaper to run? - somebody just quoted a 20lb tank per 8 hours and I think Gary seem to have quoted about 20 dollers a day for a gas one.

Efficiency of fuel/combustion. LP is so much higher/better!
It costs me about $20-22 to fill a 20lb LP tank. Lasts by numbers 8 hrs. 6.5Kw (6500w) x 8 means 52Kw on a tank. Not bad for $22 (+-).
Gas will cost me for the same time frame close to the same. I'll go through a bit more fuel and the noise.. well, that's my issue..

I would go strictly LP. These dual fuel things just don't make sense of be efficient on either...

I would also go a much larger tank than 20lb. Think larger picture.. Heat, cook, water heat with LP. Your cost goes down wth a larger tank.

"still would be using the same engine, no?"
Generator yes, motor, no. Well, dual would be, but I can't see how they could be efficient.. Go strictly LP.

I don't know if PR has natural gas lines.. If so, and you get hookup, nothing better cost wise than Natural gas (CNG)!

"I think Gary seem to have quoted about 20 dollers a day for a gas one"
I don't know longer he runs it, yet in my experience, of mine, costs are close.
Again depending on costs of each. Gas seems to be more of a fluxuator in $$ than LP (or CNG).  Has a lot to do with our cars... and use of.. and how they can take advantage.. yada, yada..

Loud doesn't have anything to do with the fuel, it has to do with
  1. exhaust or a "spark arrestor". The latter is loud, a good exhaust is not
  2. noise suppressing housing.

The more expensive, stronger units come with both an exhaust and housing.

About the automatic transfer switch, again this doesn't have anything to do with the fuel type, only with the type of starter, manual or electric. Generators with an electric starter can be activated by an automatic transfer switch, manual starter gennies can not.

The whole house types are most like 15 kW or more. This allow the use of A/C unit(s), microwave, oven, electric water heater (there you have the most power consuming electric units).

Rey, when I run my 5,7 kW (5700W) gas generator for something like 8 hours I use around 5 gallons of gas. At 72 ct/liter (today's price for regular that adds up to $13.50.

A 20kW diesel generator at 1/2 load consumes around 0.9 gallon/hour.
Those generators start around $4,500, add 400 for an automatic transfer switch. Then you need a concrete pad to mount it on, a tank for the diesel. All in all 7, 8 Grand I'd say.

If you just want to run fridge, freezer, a couple of fans, lights, computer, TV a 5 - 6,5 kW generator will do the job (loud) Like Olddawg said, those run around 800 bucks. (that's what I paid for my Rigid)

Bottom line on generators: What ever you decide to buy, size it to what you require to keep running. Do buy a transfer switch to isolate the back feed. Only feed the circuits required.

Fuel, be sure you can keep it stable. LP doesn't go bad, yet a good stabilizer for gas will work.

Don't waste your dollars to keep the TV running. Books are cheap! Conversations even less and more exciting!

Lighting can be handled with candles or my LED bulbs. They work great for area lighting.

Maintaining a lead acid battery (standard marine style) can be a pain if not used regularly. These Li-ons are suited better for this if done right (learn about this please).

Those that can go 'Off Grid' with a full sized Solar System, power to you (pun intended)! You have the way, yet not all can..

I do use my generator as the need requires and very happy I have it.

olddawgsrule :

I do use my generator as the need requires and very happy I have it.

Same here! :D

There are people going around stealing generators. Careful with that.
Thanks for the info, guys.

Specs state it will run a fridge for 24 hours on a daily charge, I don't know where you got your information, it wasn't from the stats on their webpage.

If anyone else knows where I can find something like this unit, please comment, this is what WE want and NEED for our particular circumstances.

Gary :

Loud doesn't have anything to do with the fuel, it has to do with
  1. exhaust or a "spark arrestor". The latter is loud, a good exhaust is not
  2. noise suppressing housing.

The more expensive, stronger units come with both an exhaust and housing.

About the automatic transfer switch, again this doesn't have anything to do with the fuel type, only with the type of starter, manual or electric. Generators with an electric starter can be activated by an automatic transfer switch, manual starter gennies can not.

The whole house types are most like 15 kW or more. This allow the use of A/C unit(s), microwave, oven, electric water heater (there you have the most power consuming electric units).

Rey, when I run my 5,7 kW (5700W) gas generator for something like 8 hours I use around 5 gallons of gas. At 72 ct/liter (today's price for regular that adds up to $13.50.

A 20kW diesel generator at 1/2 load consumes around 0.9 gallon/hour.
Those generators start around $4,500, add 400 for an automatic transfer switch. Then you need a concrete pad to mount it on, a tank for the diesel. All in all 7, 8 Grand I'd say.

If you just want to run fridge, freezer, a couple of fans, lights, computer, TV a 5 - 6,5 kW generator will do the job (loud) Like Olddawg said, those run around 800 bucks. (that's what I paid for my Rigid)

And I'll bet your Rigid is more quite than my Lowes unit! LOL!!!

Try Amazon they seem to cary Solar Generators.
Also check out: http://www.clasificadosonline.com/UDMis … er=9435286

By the way there is no Natural Gas in PR, only exception is from old farts.

Karenqc :

Specs state it will run a fridge for 24 hours on a daily charge, I don't know where you got your information, it wasn't from the stats on their webpage.

If anyone else knows where I can find something like this unit, please comment, this is what WE want and NEED for our particular circumstances.

Others will jump in as required, but those spec's are on 1C not 20C.. Important...
There's a reason Telsa is selling their bank for thousands more...
It's all in the math.

ReyP :

Try Amazon they seem to cary Solar Generators.
Also check out: http://www.clasificadosonline.com/UDMis … er=9435286

By the way there is no Natural Gas in PR, only exception is from old farts.

Get them together, it can work! lol!

That system is old school. The large box you see contains lead acid batteries (really don't even care if gel..), still betting LA's. Either way.. No.

Still curious how many 10's of thousands their attempting to charge to the unknowing.

Size to your need when power goes down.

You wish to step off the 'grid', we need another thread!

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