Standby generator

tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)September 5, 2011

Hi all,

We just went a full week without power, just running my 2K Sears generator, which holds about 3 quarts of gas. Really tries the patience. Seems time for a serious upgrade. Early stages of planning.

I am thinking one of the smaller standbys, although I guess that would require a propane tank (no Nat Gas here). Seems the stanbys are generally quieter than anything with wheels. For my situation, that would be a big plus.

My question right now would be can a standby be located under a structure. The 2 pics below are my Do-it-yourself Ipe deck. the lattice (2" holes) keeps the critters out, but sufficient air circulation to keep the Ipe deck boards from warping. The lattice is on three sides of the deck. I already have two - 2Ton Goodman compressors under the deck. Both vent upwards, aluminum grates in the deck boards seem to work fine. So, is it possible to put something like a Generac 8K to 10K generator under there?

Thanks in advance!!

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I may not understand what you are after. 8 or 10K seem a little small for a true standby generator. My neighbor got one that is 17 or 18K and that is still wired leaving the air conditioners and a lot of other stuff out of the system.

8K is almost like my 7K 7 gal portable unit. The issue about under the porch is that exhaust could be drawn into the basement through the vents. I don't know the code but I would bet that it would want a more open location even if all vents on that side of the house were sealed because it is such a long vulnerable wall.

I brought my unit up because it can run a fair amout of stuff including an air conditioning unit. Of course, I wouldn't expect to keep it running constantly for a week, but rather, several hours off and on to keep the refrig/freezer going and lights as needed.

I have a 500 gal propane tank like my neighbor. While one wouldn't have to keep filling a gasoline unit over and over, even a big tank will run out eventually, and a small tank like you would probably get would become problematic far sooner.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 5:13PM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

Thanks for the thoughts Charles.

I'm starting 8-10K, see if it can work. I'm not really looking to run the whole house, just enough to get by. We havea 400 amp service now, half of that is two electric furnaces and heat pumps. But I don't even use that, Burned 7 cords of wood last year, switch to coal this winter. So, for heat I just need to run one 220v blower. Other than that, have a 15K/220v water pump, similar with a water heater. On and on - A/C heat pumps. etc. Just want to run a few things, maybe 6 hours per day. My neighbor has a 20K Generac (propane), fully automatic. He says it costs $100/day to run (continuous, I guess). That's pretty high.

I was thinking that even a professionally installed transfer switch would let me pick and choose what utilities to run, a few hours/day.

That side of the house (under the house) does have one basement window. I didn't realize that was a big problem. I was thinking more that running a generator under the deck could cause the machine to run too hot, not enough ventilation. My current 2K generator I run right next to the house. Never smelled fumes in the basement.

Thanks again for input.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 6:26PM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

That side of the house (under the house)

Sorry, meant "That side of the house (under the deck)"

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 6:27PM
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