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Home standby generator

jim_51 Member Posts: 69
I am looking to purchase a home standby generator. Size would be 12-18 kw. Is there a brand that folks like better than another such as Generac vs Kohler or Briggs & Stratton.

Unit will run off of LP. Most important is install and service by certified folks.



  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,157
    If I were to invest

    in a unit in that size range, and planned on it being used :) I would look at the co-gen units that provide electricity and capture and utilize the heat energy.

    I have a portable welder with a 7KW generator that keeps me in heat and water when we have ice storms here. it is fairly noisy and not the most efficient, but there are plenty around on the used market. Try to find a brand that operates at lower rpms, mine needs to be full throttle to generate.

    The PTO types would be another consideration if you have a small tractor.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Rich Davis_2
    Rich Davis_2 Member Posts: 117
    I'm Impressed


    I have a mobile mower maintaince service,one of my customers also has a 14K Generic Gen. It's a real nice well made unit has a feature that automatically starts and runs it for 10 min once a week.  It's totally automatic, lose power it starts and auto switches from line power to generator.  Easy unit to service.  It's pretty soficistated so should be professionally installed. Just my opinion.
  • pipe4zen
    pipe4zen Member Posts: 108

    Honda Generators.
  • pipe4zen
    pipe4zen Member Posts: 108
    edited August 2010

  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    edited August 2010
    Honda inverter

    The inverter units only spin as fast as whats needed, making them extremely quiet and fuel efficient when at partial load. They also produce a very clean sine wave which is critical for electronics and variable speed motors including constant pressure well pumps. Standard two stator generators have to spin at 3600 rpm continuously to maintain 60 hertz, this is very annoying! You can step up to a four stator generator that will run a 1800 rpm, like at Miller Legend but at that cost your already at a inverter.
  • Ex Maine Doug
    Ex Maine Doug Member Posts: 162
    Generator Testing etc

    I am not aware of inverter generators in the 12 to 18 KW sizes.  At this size one should stick to 4 pole 1800 rpm units that produce a better quality wave shape that can be further processed or filtered.

    The periodic auto testing for 10 minutes only tells you that it starts. It is just like the CO detectors when you push the button and find that the button and horn work.  Standby gennys need to be load tested which people do not do because it is inconvenient. 

    A friend in New Orleans had a big Generac installed in the new home after the big flood. Started and self tested and all was well.  The first day it was actually needed it started but did not make power.  A classic problem. The expensive setup needed costly new boards which had to be ordered and obtained by the service company with the usual excuses and promises.

    If you really need reliable quality emergency power, buy a quality unit.  Gasoline as a generator fuel is cheap but has a short shelf life.  Diesel is better and can be stabilized like heating oil.   NG is great of you have it and don't expect to lose the supply. I have seen rooftop mounted gennys on row homes running on NG. Propane has a very long shelf life but requires that big tank for long usage/demand. Propane is probably the best for fuel supply independance and long term storage. I had metered propane in FL.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Standby gennys need to be load tested which people do not do because it is inconvenient.

    A friend of mine told me of an interesting experience he had in the military. They had a very big emergency diesel-powered emergency generator. They tested it periodically by disconencting the utility power, let the emergency generator take over, and ran it for 5 minutes. It always passed that test.

    When the emergency happened, the diesel generator came on, ran for 5 minutes, and quit.

    There is probably a lesson to be learned there somewhere.
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