Guardian Generator by Generac

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Having just lived through Frances and the power outage, we're in the market for a standby generator. I read the archives and seems like Generac is a good one. Home Depot sells and installs them. It would add value to our home. Does anyone have any feedback positive or negative about their generac generator? We're looking at the 7K model. We also looked at Honda but their prices are considerably more for the same features. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ....................Tango, first off hope you made IT thru the storm , O.K. Well, Generac is OK for what I'm supposing that you want to do. I think I have seen the Exact model you are looking AT. It has a 13 horse engine with spin-on oil filter like a typical automotive filter . Just be aware of the power limitations and if it will supply enough wattage for the things you consider to be essential then it should work . You really need to make a list of the items you need to supply power to and then calculate a "load" . Such as I had a genset about the same size as the one you're looking At and here is what it would power ....(2) 8,000 Btu window units set on "low" , (2) ceiling fans , average size fridge , 3 or 4 75 watt lights , A 1 horse water well motor that would start and stop to fillup my 100 gallon pressure tank......I tried to make sure the fridge and WW were't running at the same time . What I did was to establish a comfortable "load" for the getset....I would start it and have everything else....Turned OFF....Then , I started both window units ...(start with the items that will be running constantly), next the ceiling fans, lights as necessary . Then fridge , and after fridge cycles OFF, then run water until your pressure switch kicks your WW on and let it cycle completely Thru . By limiting your constantly running items to a minimum , you enable the genset to supply additional power for items whose services become necessary at odd times , like the disposal , etc .....fordy... :eek: :)
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks fordy. We won't be running our heating or cooling systems but the ceilings fans will be running (three) , limited lights as we need them, the large freezer in the garage and fridge in the kitchen and the well pump which is 1/2 hp (150 ft. well) to have flushing and shower water. I'm trying to get through to my electrician to help me decide which one to buy and hoping he'll say the 7K one which is the least expensive :) I can't find the paperwork on my freezer or fridge so I'm not sure how much wattage they use.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Tango, is that unit electric start? Generators are seldom used and they can get difficult to start when you most need them. You need to establish a regimen for the runing and maintaining of the generator. If I could afford the price difference I would go with the Honda. The Honda reputation for small engines is hard to beat for reliability. If you were ever to sell or upgrade the price difference will be recaptured. I use a diesel gen removed from a highway construction lighted sign. Diesel fuel stores much better. Your choice of a generator in the 7k wattage is a good one. Anything else is too small.
     
  5. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,
    After the outage of 03, my MIL wanted a genny and asked my advice and if I'd install it. I had her purchase a a Generac portable generator at Tractor supply for $1199.00. It is 15hp and handles 7500watt continuous and 13,200 on a surge. It has a 50 amp and 30 amp 220 plug as well as a round 110 and a 110 duplex plug. It has a built in 12volt battery charger, pressurized oil system, quiet muffler, pleated air filter, electric start with battery maintainer, cover, extra oil and air filter and extra spark plug with wrench.
    I wired a 50 amp 220 circuit from her panel to the garage where the genny is and made a male to male jumper to connect the genny to the plug. I then made a male to male extension cord to connect the 30 amp plug on the genny to a plug I installed below the disconnect on her outside A/C unit. I had to do this because she has interruptible service on her A/C and it is wired right to the meter box outside. This setup allows the 50 amp circuit to back feed the house with the main disconnected and 30 amp circuit powers the whole house A/C.
    I have tested this system and have run the following at once with the genny on and no problems at all: 26CF fridge, 20CF fridge, 200 bottle wine cooler, outside A/C condensor, furnace blower and condensate pump. 12-75watt flood lights, 2-ceiling fans and various small household loads.
    I really dig this genny over my 5000/6250watt coleman powermate. It has worked great so far and was only $1200.

    Ed
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    agmantoo, it is an automatic start. I don't have to turn it on. It should start on its own when the electricity to the house goes off. What I really like about this model is that it is LP or natural gas run. I don't have to store gasoline. I looked at Honda first but didn't see a standby generator, all seem to be portable and quite a bit of a price difference. The generator is being given to us by family but I don't want to take advantage of a gift by asking for more than what we can get by on.
     
  7. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ed. I forwarded your letter to my partner who will be doing the buyying in Tampa. That sounds like an awesome generator.
     
  8. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genracs being sold by HD are ok, but the 7K model is going to be to small. You want the larger 10 or 15K models.
     
  9. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Tango
    Our neighbor started to get the 7000w unit but decided that for $800 more he could go to the 15,000w unit and it provides 12 circuits.

    Here's a link to the one he bought.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=45957


    Of the people that have stand-by gen sets in our community all but one wishes that they had went ahead and invested a little more for a bigger unit. Since your getting one from family maybe you could pony up the extra bucks and go with the 15,000w. If 7000w will suffice now think about a year down the road.

    Also having an electrician install it is an excellent idea. Have him/her to give you the form that certifies that the back-up generator can not FEED BACK on the power lines. This will keep your insurance from going up and in the event someone else unit harms a repair person your covered your own rear.

    Let us know what you decide.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  10. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

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    I have the exact same set up at my house. I just set it all up a few weeks ago, works great.
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I casually mentioned the 12K model. With two hurricanes past us and facing preparations for a third, we really don't have the cash to pitch in. We'll see. I don't dare ask for the 15K model. Basically we don't want all of our appliances running. Just the fridge, freezer, a couple of ceiling fans and most importantly the well pump. I'm sure the 12K model will handle that quite well. I'll let you know what we get. Thank all. Definitely going with an electircian, LOL. I can imagine the damage I could do with a couple of wires :rolleyes:
     
  12. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ............................Tango , Are you going to have this genset ...Installed...Before...Ivan arrives in Florida??? And , Do you have a FULL propane Tank , I certainly hope so. Better go pickup some Tortillas , Tequila , and Cuban Cigars, then you can Kick back and Let the Storm rage like Hemmingway.....I Ain't afraid of No Stinking Hurricane!!!!!...fordy... :eek: :) :p :yeeha:
     
  13. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    ROFL fordy :haha: No chance of having it installed before Ivan at all. I can't even get an appointment with my electrician for two weeks :( Ivan is due on Monday :eek: Insurance claims are backlogged as you can imagine after two hurricanes in FL. Today on my drive back from Sebring, I saw a Guardian generator being taken to someone's home and I was envious. I know I shouldn't be. Our travel trailer is where we'll be if Ivan hits nearby- we'll be in Georgia :D It is entirely propane driven but got smacked by Frances a bit and I've been brushing it up to take it on the road. That is a definite no on the cigars but tortillas and a bottle of something sounds like what the doctor should be ordering right about now. :)
     
  14. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    Tango,

    I hear you loud and clear about your current circumstances regarding the generator you are acquiring. I would like to give you more fuel for thought, however.

    My own homestead is off grid and for years I did fine with no electric power. My bride, however was rather insistent so after considerable research and consideration I set up my own system with a battery bank of 440 amps capacity at 24 volts. That feeds a Trace inverter to provide ac power in the house. Recharge is through a genset.

    The point here is that buying a gas engine driven genset is much less than optimal. Virtually all of the gas driven gensets are designed for occassional temporary use, not for heavy duty steady use. As such they burn a lot of fuel and are prone to many sorts of breakdowns. Their lifespan tends to be short. Plus fuel is available without the road taxes paid which saves on costs, too.

    The solution to all these headaches is a diesel genset. Yes they do cost more, but they run seemingly forever. They are very simple technically and built to last. Much as I hate to buy anything made in China, I did buy a China Diesel genset. They have available an 8 kw water cooled generator that will probably live forever. Purchase price includes all parts needed for an engine rebuild at who knows how many hours. Mine has been running every second or third day for five years and shows no signs of tiring yet. One of these generators will outlast several gas engine driven gensets and combined with that long lifespan is actually lower cost long term.

    Under the circumstances you describe this likely will not meet your needs, but long term it will more than satisfy you.

    Look at www.hardydiesel.com and find their 8 kw genset. For what you get, I think it is worth the money. A much better quality system is available with an Isuzu engine and English manufacture alternator, but at more than twice the cost. See http://www.tubanonline.org/IsuGens.htm

    bearkiller
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    bearkiller, I mentioned above that I bought a highway construction light generator that is diesel. I was interesting at the sale that none of the other bidders saw an alternate use for the devices. They were advertised to be 4000 watts but were actually 6600 watts. These units are mounted on good high speed trailers (15 inch tires) and are driven by water cooled 3 cylinder Kubota diesels. Additionally the units have good protection circuits in event of malfunction as they were designed to run unattended. The fuel tanks are sized to permit a full weekend of running. Anyone wanting a affordable generator set should watch the equipment auctions and should familiarize themselves with how to read a data plate and go prepared. I bought 2, one for a friend, at a mere $700 apiece.
     
  16. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Hey bearkiller :)
    Thanks for the links and info. We've looked at hardy diesel for years but didn't consider this time. We'll give it a second look though. I know it is worth the consideration. I was pretty sold on not having to store any fuel for the Gardian, apart from propane. That is a neat feature- and the automatic start is very neat also. Diesel has always been a mystery to me but I will look at it closely. this is a huge decision and I want to make a lasting choice with no regrets but a modest choice :)
     
  17. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    So you did Agmantoo. But I wanted to emphasise the many benefits of the diesel. Yours seem an especially good move on your part. Good for you!


    Tango,

    Diesel engines are even simpler and much more durable than gas engines. Plus they usually operate at low engine speed...1800 rpm rather than the usual 3450 rpm of a gas engine. This results in lower fuel consumption and more durability. Plus diesels are built tough to last a very long time. Mine I never did hook up a battery to it for electric start simply because it is so easy to start with just a hand crank. The Hardy 8 KW plant has been tested to burn a bit over 1/2 gal/ hr of diesel for 7 KW of power. That is pretty good, better than most gas engines.

    A conversation with the Hardy Diesel people will get you what is needed for automatic start as well. Since I am off grid I never considered it. I admit I love it when I come down my hill and find Uncle Milton with no power. I simply am never aware of what the PUD is doing.

    I'm not far from setting up a bigger genset system to run more tools so may well buy another China Diesel. But I admit I am looking very hard at the Isuzu power from TIPCO. Lots of cash, but I've seen them up close and personal and they look like they'll run forever.

    Another trick I use is to bring in my diesel in 55 gal drums. As mentioned, no road tax for red diesel. Plus I plumbed in a fuel line directly to the genset so don't have to keep filling the fuel tank. Takes a long time to burn 55 gal fuel. Yes those drums are about 450 lbs full, but I drop them off the truck onto stacked tires and most of the time they land right side up. Then where it needs to go with front loader. Pretty easy handling even for an old man.

    bearkiller
     
  18. aaatraker

    aaatraker Well-Known Member

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    Your power company will have rules for you to follow on how to hook- up you genset. The rules are there so you don't backfeed on to there system while they are doing repair work. Call them and find out so you and your electrician can install a safe system for you and the power workers.
    kurt
     
  19. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I asked for the 12K model and they're giving us the 15K model. Having it shipped directly from the manufacturer since all Home Depots ar eout of all generators. Does anyone know if the composite pad that comes with it is really able to take the place of a concrete pad? Is the wiring enough? Sounds like it needs to be set up directly beneath the main power panel. Has anyone had one of these things delivered? Were they set on the pad ? At almost 500 pounds I don't think I could move it there later.