10 YEAR Factory WARANTY PROMO ENDS 9-1-17 free liftgate
10-Year Extended Warranty* and your first year of maintenance FREE
http://p1.hostingprod.com/@tools-plus.com/rebates/GNR/generac-20... 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/22KW-Guardian-Standby-Generator-w-200a-3... 

+ 2% in eBay 
bucks YMMV
($100 eBay Bucks)

The 7043 includes:
1x Generac 7043 22/19.5KW Guardian Standby Generator
1x Generac RTSW200A3 200A SE Nema 3R Transfer Switch

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rated:
They also offer down to 9kW in this series and a separate 7.5kW series. True Fatwallet is buying only what you need, I can't imagine any typical 3br, 2000-3000sqft house actually using 22kW unless it was in a northern climate powered only by electric heat.

rated:
Most modern homes in the south have central AC, 3 ton minimum.  Larger homes (3000 sq ft and up) will almost ALL have 2 zones at 3 ton minimum each and probably more like 3 and 5, 4 and 4, or similar.  You won't start a 3 ton central AC on most portable 7500 watt or smaller.  22k is a good size for any modern 2 zone home in the south (IE Texas) that might lose power to a hurricane (Harvey).  My next door neighbor just had this exact model installed.  He's sitting pretty now just waiting for the grid to go down in our area.

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RaidV92C said:   Most modern homes in the south have central AC, 3 ton minimum.  Larger homes (3000 sq ft and up) will almost ALL have 2 zones at 3 ton minimum each and probably more like 3 and 5, 4 and 4, or similar.  You won't start a 3 ton central AC on most portable 7500 watt or smaller.  22k is a good size for any modern 2 zone home in the south (IE Texas) that might lose power to a hurricane (Harvey).  My next door neighbor just had this exact model installed.  He's sitting pretty now just waiting for the grid to go down in our area.
  Just remember that these units suck fuel in a big way. If you run it continuously, expect to go through $70 of propane per day. At that price, you need to ask yourself why you're staying home and not just getting a room in a hotel. 

We have a 13KW generator that came with the house that we bought, and once it breaks I won't replace it. They're basically toys.
Here's why:
1) The basic purpose of this unit is to power your fridge while you're on vacation so that food doesn't go bad. However, if you leave the unit on automatic and go on vacation, you'd better hope that power is not out for more than a few days. Why? Because you will come home to $500 of propane gone, a seized generator (they need oil changes every 24 hours of continuous run time), and your food is still spoiled.
2) If you're home and the power goes out, you can can up with alternatives to save your food. The food won't spoil for a good two days.
3) If you're home, do you really want to run this machine for $70+ per day to cool your house and keep the lights on? Just get a hotel room.
4) If you intend to use it during a hurricane, better have a LARGE propane tank, or you'll suck it dry in a few days (500 gal minimum, and the generator will be starved of fuel once the level reaches 30% or so). If it's powered by natural gas - good luck. That will likely get shut off in a major wind/flooding emergency (for safety reasons).
5) If you plan to run it intermittently, remember that the starter is battery-powered. You will quickly run down the battery, unless you leave it on for multiple hours each time to recharge.

rated:
canoeguy1 said:   However, if you leave the unit on automatic and go on vacation, you'd better hope that power is not out for more than a few days. Why? Because you will come home to $500 of propane gone, a seized generator (they need oil changes every 24 hours of continuous run time), and your food is still spoiled.
I'd like to see the manufacturers recommendation on that, and if so, I wouldn't purchase from a company that makes such an unreliable product.

Five or more Summers back, I ran mine 24/7 for 8 days without a hitch, and intermittently since, without any problems.
If it's powered by natural gas - good luck. That will likely get shut off in a major wind/flooding emergency (for safety reasons).
Let's unpack this.

About 99% of the time, it will be a power outage, as a result of downed wires or a tripped transformer or breaker. Natural gas works just fine and it's reasonably priced.

In a major disaster, yes the natural gas could be off, which is why I have propane backup. But if it's a major disaster, that hotel you're counting on might not have power or natural gas either.
If you plan to run it intermittently, remember that the starter is battery-powered. You will quickly run down the battery, unless you leave it on for multiple hours each time to recharge.
If the engine is operating, it is charging the battery. You could also use an inexpensive solar trickle-charger.
 

rated:
HBaxx said:   
canoeguy1 said:   However, if you leave the unit on automatic and go on vacation, you'd better hope that power is not out for more than a few days. Why? Because you will come home to $500 of propane gone, a seized generator (they need oil changes every 24 hours of continuous run time), and your food is still spoiled.
I'd like to see the manufacturers recommendation on that, and if so, I wouldn't purchase from a company that makes such an unreliable product.

Five or more Summers back, I ran mine 24/7 for 8 days without a hitch, and intermittently since, without any problems.
If it's powered by natural gas - good luck. That will likely get shut off in a major wind/flooding emergency (for safety reasons).
Let's unpack this.

About 99% of the time, it will be a power outage, as a result of downed wires or a tripped transformer or breaker. Natural gas works just fine and it's reasonably priced.

In a major disaster, yes the natural gas could be off, which is why I have propane backup. But if it's a major disaster, that hotel you're counting on might not have power or natural gas either.
If you plan to run it intermittently, remember that the starter is battery-powered. You will quickly run down the battery, unless you leave it on for multiple hours each time to recharge.
If the engine is operating, it is charging the battery. You could also use an inexpensive solar trickle-charger.

  We have a generator made by Generac, with a Honda engine. These are good brands. The manual spells it out - you need an oil change after 24 hours if operated continuously.. You can pull up the manual online if you don't believe me. Of course you can go longer intervals. Just like you can run a car for 50k miles without an oil change. You're just doing a lot of damage, and eventually, the engine will seize. As I said - these generators are toys.

Regarding natural gas - if you can't rely on the generator to have fuel in a major disaster (which is the one and only time it really has any use), what good is it? As I stated, if it's just a power outage, there's little reason to run it at $70+ per day just to keep lights and A/C on.

You are correct that the engine charges the battery - but it has to be running! In other words, if you use it during an extended outage for one hour on, one hour off, to preserve propane, you'll kill the battery after 9-10 starts. The built-in charger does not recharge the battery fast enough. I know - I've tried this. A solar trickle charger will do nothing for you in this case. You could try swapping out the battery with your car battery every few hours, and running your car to charge the dead one with the alternator, but at some point the generator is just not worth the effort and money spent on it.

rated:
canoeguy1 said:   
HBaxx said:   
canoeguy1 said:   However, if you leave the unit on automatic and go on vacation, you'd better hope that power is not out for more than a few days. Why? Because you will come home to $500 of propane gone, a seized generator (they need oil changes every 24 hours of continuous run time), and your food is still spoiled.
I'd like to see the manufacturers recommendation on that, and if so, I wouldn't purchase from a company that makes such an unreliable product.

Five or more Summers back, I ran mine 24/7 for 8 days without a hitch, and intermittently since, without any problems.
If it's powered by natural gas - good luck. That will likely get shut off in a major wind/flooding emergency (for safety reasons).
Let's unpack this.

About 99% of the time, it will be a power outage, as a result of downed wires or a tripped transformer or breaker. Natural gas works just fine and it's reasonably priced.

In a major disaster, yes the natural gas could be off, which is why I have propane backup. But if it's a major disaster, that hotel you're counting on might not have power or natural gas either.

If you plan to run it intermittently, remember that the starter is battery-powered. You will quickly run down the battery, unless you leave it on for multiple hours each time to recharge.

If the engine is operating, it is charging the battery. You could also use an inexpensive solar trickle-charger.

  We have a generator made by Generac, with a Honda engine. These are good brands. The manual spells it out - you need an oil change after 24 hours if operated continuously.. You can pull up the manual online if you don't believe me.

Oh, I believe you, I also stand by my earlier post. I wouldn't purchase such an unreliable product.

Now, this could be a situation where you purchased a lightweight model from their product line that is only intended for short duration intermittent usage when the power is out for a few hours, and they also make more heavyweight models that would have no such stipulation, but I don't know, as I'm not familiar with Generac. What I do know is my manufacturers manual says NO SUCH THING, and a number of different brands of commercial generators I've worked with which are made to run continuously in the field (including Honda), and their manuals say NO SUCH THING.
Regarding natural gas - if you can't rely on the generator to have fuel in a major disaster (which is the one and only time it really has any use), what good is it?
Again, in a major disaster there's propane backup for that 1% of the time. And again, that hotel you're counting on may not have electricity or natural gas either, or even still be standing.
You are correct that the engine charges the battery - but it has to be running! In other words, if you use it during an extended outage for one hour on, one hour off, to preserve propane, you'll kill the battery after 9-10 starts. The built-in charger does not recharge the battery fast enough.
I've never had such an issue. You posted about running it intermittently, well that's always more than enough to recharge what little juice is utilized to do a start.
 

rated:
Not sure I'd take much generator advice from someone who hasn't heard of Generac. Just sayin'.

rated:
the same ebayer has smaller combo units listed also, saw a nice 16KW w/transfer switch, 100a or 200a listings...see sellers other items = generators.

rated:
RaidV92C said:   Most modern homes in the south have central AC, 3 ton minimum.  Larger homes (3000 sq ft and up) will almost ALL have 2 zones at 3 ton minimum each and probably more like 3 and 5, 4 and 4, or similar.  You won't start a 3 ton central AC on most portable 7500 watt or smaller.  22k is a good size for any modern 2 zone home in the south (IE Texas) that might lose power to a hurricane (Harvey).  My next door neighbor just had this exact model installed.  He's sitting pretty now just waiting for the grid to go down in our area.  

Remember there are two partsto the clean air standard, The total annual out put and the Maximum hourly emmisions standard just lowered 6 months ago for PM10 and PM2.5. Separate rule for thourly NOX. Does he have pernits? He will need a water injector even with NG to meet NOx hourly caps. For PM he needs a an electrostatic precipitation. Did he remember that the TCeQ lost their delegation of authority to issue air permits for EPA. Does he have both TeCQ and Region 6 air permits?

rated:
tuphat said:   Not sure I'd take much generator advice from someone who hasn't heard of Generac. Just sayin'.
Too bad for you nobody posted they hadn't "heard of Generac". Just sayin'.
 

rated:
I wouldn't worry too much if they hadn't heard of Generac. I would worry if they had not heard of Cat, Popping Johnny, Ingersol, Rolls, Siemens, ABB, Solar, Komatsu, Daewo. Does the transfer gear meet the new FERC/NERC regs for grid interconnect and transfer. Certification to connect is going to cost $1200 for one test and if you don't pass you get to pay for another one. Its not like solar where the industry standard was first and the utility has to accommodate. You are treated like a wind turbine. 18 CFR 292 if you are really bored. Written by engineers and transcribed by lawyers. Some of the most unintelligible literature on earth.

rated:
That's a great deal considering it includes the 200a switch. Btw, the 22kw is based on propane, natural gas reduces that to 19500. Expect to pull permits and spend another $2-$3k for a qualified installer. These units test themselves weekly and within the next few months Generac dealers will have remote monitoring so in the even it throws a code while you're away it can be serviced. The 10 warranty is bumper to bumper excluding the battery and required maintenance after the first year. Move quickly if you want to take advantage of this warranty deal as it is about to go away. It's also loud as hell when it's running. The previous owners had everything setup on my home with natural gas including a 200a transfer switch and a pad. Its going to cost me $6k for the 22kw unit, load shedder (we have a 5 ton heat pump), NON Generac battery, power wire and control wire. That's the best deal I could find. You may want to call Generac and get the explanation about the "code" and how it relates to getting that 10 year warranty.

I've done the research and understand the pros and cons, the wife wants it so be it. I could care less but if this thing works when it's called upon, I'll be a happy camper. I like the hotel idea personally. 😎

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Although not nearly as glamorous, I got a Duromax XP10000E for $500 from a recent FW deal, then had an electrician put in a manual mechanical transfer switch (Cutler-Hammer K6510 for my panel). Cost for the backfeed setup was $900, which included that switch, some panel rework to move breakers, two 50A backfeed inlets (garage and basement walkout), and a custom-made backfeed cable. (Unfortunately the run from the garage to the panel was the longest possible diagonal through the house, which when sized for 50A at that length, resulted in some hefty wire costs.)

rated:
This seems the most practical setup and the approach I'm taking. Pay big money for an auto-on generator that auto-burns-itself-up after consuming a lot of expensive fuel... not good.

If a cheap one dies, buy another.

Natural gas conversion kits are low cost and I've never experienced a drop in gas pressure, even when electricity is out for days. Doesn't mean NG supply is 100% reliable, but it costs less and is the least hassle.

rated:
No need to bother with conversion kits anymore, as I've recently seen NG/Propane versions in the smaller portable generators.

rated:
We have a generator made by Generac, with a Honda engine. These are good brands. The manual spells it out - you need an oil change after 24 hours if operated continuously.. You can pull up the manual online if you don't believe me. Of course you can go longer intervals. Just like you can run a car for 50k miles without an oil change. You're just doing a lot of damage, and eventually, the engine will seize. As I said - these generators are toys.  

As an automotive mechanic.. this statement intrigue me.. so I dug into it a bit..  Just want to make sure that proper information get shared here

Manual Here

(Pg 21)

CHECK Oil level monthly or 24 hours of continuous operation
CHANGE Oil and Oil Filter every 2 years or 200 hours of operation**

**Change oil and filter after the first 25 hours of operation. Continue to check at intervals of 200 hours or 2 years, whichever occurs first. Severe duty oil drain intervals: In cold weather conditions (ambient below 40 ºF/4.4 ºC) change engine oil and filter every year or 100 hours of operation to prevent accumulation of water in the oil. If the unit will be operated continuously in hot ambient conditions (ambient above 85 ºF/29.4 ºC), change every year or 100 hours of operation.

rated:
AH. Indeed.

rated:
pointies said:   
We have a generator made by Generac, with a Honda engine. These are good brands. The manual spells it out - you need an oil change after 24 hours if operated continuously.. You can pull up the manual online if you don't believe me. Of course you can go longer intervals. Just like you can run a car for 50k miles without an oil change. You're just doing a lot of damage, and eventually, the engine will seize. As I said - these generators are toys.  

As an automotive mechanic.. this statement intrigue me.. so I dug into it a bit..  Just want to make sure that proper information get shared here

Manual Here 

(Pg 21)

CHECK Oil level monthly or 24 hours of continuous operation
CHANGE Oil and Oil Filter every 2 years or 200 hours of operation**

**Change oil and filter after the first 25 hours of operation. Continue to check at intervals of 200 hours or 2 years, whichever occurs first. Severe duty oil drain intervals: In cold weather conditions (ambient below 40 ºF/4.4 ºC) change engine oil and filter every year or 100 hours of operation to prevent accumulation of water in the oil. If the unit will be operated continuously in hot ambient conditions (ambient above 85 ºF/29.4 ºC), change every year or 100 hours of operation.

 

Remember: That manual doesn't apply to all generators, only that specific model.

I have a 13KW Generac, model 005282, approx 7 years old. On Page 25 of the manual, under Service Schedule (section 4.12), it clearly states:

CHANGE:  
"oil every 200 hours, or 24 hours of continuous use, or 2Y"


Same wording for the oil filter.


Here's the link to the manual:
http://soa.generac.com/manuals/7375044/0F9421 

Looks like various models of Generac generators have different requirements. 


 

rated:
canoeguy1 said:   
pointies said:   
We have a generator made by Generac, with a Honda engine. These are good brands. The manual spells it out - you need an oil change after 24 hours if operated continuously.. You can pull up the manual online if you don't believe me. Of course you can go longer intervals. Just like you can run a car for 50k miles without an oil change. You're just doing a lot of damage, and eventually, the engine will seize. As I said - these generators are toys.  

As an automotive mechanic.. this statement intrigue me.. so I dug into it a bit..  Just want to make sure that proper information get shared here

Manual Here 

(Pg 21)

CHECK Oil level monthly or 24 hours of continuous operation
CHANGE Oil and Oil Filter every 2 years or 200 hours of operation**

**Change oil and filter after the first 25 hours of operation. Continue to check at intervals of 200 hours or 2 years, whichever occurs first. Severe duty oil drain intervals: In cold weather conditions (ambient below 40 ºF/4.4 ºC) change engine oil and filter every year or 100 hours of operation to prevent accumulation of water in the oil. If the unit will be operated continuously in hot ambient conditions (ambient above 85 ºF/29.4 ºC), change every year or 100 hours of operation.

 

Remember: That manual doesn't apply to all generators, only that specific model.

I have a 13KW Generac, model 005282, approx 7 years old. On Page 25 of the manual, under Service Schedule (section 4.12), it clearly states:

CHANGE:  
"oil every 200 hours, or 24 hours of continuous use, or 2Y"


Same wording for the oil filter.


Here's the link to the manual:
http://soa.generac.com/manuals/7375044/0F9421 

Looks like various models of Generac generators have different requirements. 


 

  page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

rated:
CreveCoeur said:     page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

  I would agree, except for the battery problem I described. The built-in charger doesn't charge the battery fast enough. If you only run it one hour on, one hour off, the battery will die after 9-10 starts. I know since I tried to do exactly that. We have an aquarium. so we need power for the pumps on at least an hourly basis, or the nitifying bacteria die and the aquarium crashes. I finally hooked up the pumps to an inverter and ran it from the car battery, bypassing our expensive generator.

Of course, you could buy an extra battery, and swap out the batteries every 20 hours or so. However, that solution only works if you're home during the outage. The generator cannot be set to run intermittently while you're away, and someone has to be home to physically swap the batteries and set up the spare on a charger.

To use a generator the way most people assume it should be used, several changes need to happen:
1) Generator must be able to run at least 5 days without an oil change. Preferably 10 days.
2) It must be able to be set up to auto-run intermittently (with duty cycle set by the user)
3) It needs a better battery charger that will rapidly recharge the battery (a weak point with Generac's-the cheap built-in trickle chargers also used to overcharge the batteries, cause the battery acid to evaporate, and blow them up)

Without all of the above, I would not bother buying another generator. You could probably engineer work-arounds for points 2 and 3 if you're willing to dig into the circuitry and hack the generator, but it's just not worth it.

rated:
canoeguy1 said:   
CreveCoeur said:     page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

  I would agree, except for the battery problem I described. The built-in charger doesn't charge the battery fast enough. If you only run it one hour on, one hour off, the battery will die after 9-10 starts. I know since I tried to do exactly that. We have an aquarium. so we need power for the pumps on at least an hourly basis, or the nitifying bacteria die and the aquarium crashes. I finally hooked up the pumps to an inverter and ran it from the car battery, bypassing our expensive generator.

Of course, you could buy an extra battery, and swap out the batteries every 20 hours or so. However, that solution only works if you're home during the outage. The generator cannot be set to run intermittently while you're away, and someone has to be home to physically swap the batteries and set up the spare on a charger.

To use a generator the way most people assume it should be used, several changes need to happen:
1) Generator must be able to run at least 5 days without an oil change. Preferably 10 days.
2) It must be able to be set up to auto-run intermittently (with duty cycle set by the user)
3) It needs a better battery charger that will rapidly recharge the battery (a weak point with Generac's-the cheap built-in trickle chargers also used to overcharge the batteries, cause the battery acid to evaporate, and blow them up)

Without all of the above, I would not bother buying another generator. You could probably engineer work-arounds for points 2 and 3 if you're willing to dig into the circuitry and hack the generator, but it's just not worth it.

 Hi.  Our 20KW Generac seems to charge battery in 15 minutes as that is the time it runs every week to stay tuned up and it has ran the test dozens of times before power outage that might be one minute. 
There are less the handful of times our generator has ran hour or more in last 5 years.  Never ran more then 2-3 hours.  We are on original battery I am changing soon.
 
Group 26R battery 535 CC 

Those are just recommendations and I have no doubt generator would be fine running for week.  I have only changed our oil once in 5 years with synthetic oil/spark plug but this thread motivated to change oil with battery too. 

rated:
CreveCoeur said:   
canoeguy1 said:   
CreveCoeur said:     page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

  I would agree, except for the battery problem I described. The built-in charger doesn't charge the battery fast enough. If you only run it one hour on, one hour off, the battery will die after 9-10 starts. I know since I tried to do exactly that. We have an aquarium. so we need power for the pumps on at least an hourly basis, or the nitifying bacteria die and the aquarium crashes. I finally hooked up the pumps to an inverter and ran it from the car battery, bypassing our expensive generator.

Of course, you could buy an extra battery, and swap out the batteries every 20 hours or so. However, that solution only works if you're home during the outage. The generator cannot be set to run intermittently while you're away, and someone has to be home to physically swap the batteries and set up the spare on a charger.

To use a generator the way most people assume it should be used, several changes need to happen:
1) Generator must be able to run at least 5 days without an oil change. Preferably 10 days.
2) It must be able to be set up to auto-run intermittently (with duty cycle set by the user)
3) It needs a better battery charger that will rapidly recharge the battery (a weak point with Generac's-the cheap built-in trickle chargers also used to overcharge the batteries, cause the battery acid to evaporate, and blow them up)

Without all of the above, I would not bother buying another generator. You could probably engineer work-arounds for points 2 and 3 if you're willing to dig into the circuitry and hack the generator, but it's just not worth it.

 Hi.  Our 20KW Generac seems to charge battery in 15 minutes as that is the time it runs every week to stay tuned up and it has ran the test dozens of times before power outage that might be one minute. 
There are less the handful of times our generator has ran hour or more in last 5 years.  Never ran more then 2-3 hours.  We are on original battery I am changing soon.
 
Group 26R battery 535 CC 

Those are just recommendations and I have no doubt generator would be fine running for week.  I have only changed our oil once in 5 years with synthetic oil/spark plug but this thread motivated to change oil with battery too. 


The battery recharges from the utility-supplied power when the generator is off, so a single start once a week tells you very little about charging time. The battery has a full week to recharge from the grid before the next test!

Remember to change your oil filter as well.
If your battery is 5 years old, check the electrolyte level. Top up if it's low, or it may explode on you if the plates get exposed, buckle, and touch each other. The constant trickle charging from the grid tends to cause this, particularly with older Generacs.that supply too high of a voltage. Certainly be very careful moving it if you're replacing it. I would wear eye protection as a minimum.
I'm saying this from experience. We bought the house when the generator was 4 years old, and the electrolyte level in the battery was already dangerously low. I replaced the battery and check it every year now.

The one time when you really have a long outage, and truly need the generator, is also the time when you'll discover the battery problem. After 9-10 starts over a 24 hour period, it may go flat. If it's an old battery, it may happen sooner.

rated:
canoeguy1 said:   
CreveCoeur said:   
canoeguy1 said:   
CreveCoeur said:     page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

  I would agree, except for the battery problem I described. The built-in charger doesn't charge the battery fast enough. If you only run it one hour on, one hour off, the battery will die after 9-10 starts. I know since I tried to do exactly that. We have an aquarium. so we need power for the pumps on at least an hourly basis, or the nitifying bacteria die and the aquarium crashes. I finally hooked up the pumps to an inverter and ran it from the car battery, bypassing our expensive generator.

Of course, you could buy an extra battery, and swap out the batteries every 20 hours or so. However, that solution only works if you're home during the outage. The generator cannot be set to run intermittently while you're away, and someone has to be home to physically swap the batteries and set up the spare on a charger.

To use a generator the way most people assume it should be used, several changes need to happen:
1) Generator must be able to run at least 5 days without an oil change. Preferably 10 days.
2) It must be able to be set up to auto-run intermittently (with duty cycle set by the user)
3) It needs a better battery charger that will rapidly recharge the battery (a weak point with Generac's-the cheap built-in trickle chargers also used to overcharge the batteries, cause the battery acid to evaporate, and blow them up)

Without all of the above, I would not bother buying another generator. You could probably engineer work-arounds for points 2 and 3 if you're willing to dig into the circuitry and hack the generator, but it's just not worth it.

 Hi.  Our 20KW Generac seems to charge battery in 15 minutes as that is the time it runs every week to stay tuned up and it has ran the test dozens of times before power outage that might be one minute. 
There are less the handful of times our generator has ran hour or more in last 5 years.  Never ran more then 2-3 hours.  We are on original battery I am changing soon.
 
Group 26R battery 535 CC 

Those are just recommendations and I have no doubt generator would be fine running for week.  I have only changed our oil once in 5 years with synthetic oil/spark plug but this thread motivated to change oil with battery too. 


The battery recharges from the utility-supplied power when the generator is off, so a single start once a week tells you very little about charging time. The battery has a full week to recharge from the grid before the next test!

Remember to change your oil filter as well.
If your battery is 5 years old, check the electrolyte level. Top up if it's low, or it may explode on you if the plates get exposed, buckle, and touch each other. The constant trickle charging from the grid tends to cause this, particularly with older Generacs.that supply too high of a voltage. Certainly be very careful moving it if you're replacing it. I would wear eye protection as a minimum.
I'm saying this from experience. We bought the house when the generator was 4 years old, and the electrolyte level in the battery was already dangerously low. I replaced the battery and check it every year now.

The one time when you really have a long outage, and truly need the generator, is also the time when you'll discover the battery problem. After 9-10 starts over a 24 hour period, it may go flat. If it's an old battery, it may happen sooner.

  Great point about battery trickle charging from electric.  I will have to call or email generac to see what they say minimum run time in extended outage to fully recharge battery is.  Assumed it was sealed battery.  Never checked water level.  Will wear glasses.  Thanks

rated:
canoeguy1 said:   
CreveCoeur said:     page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

  I would agree, except for the battery problem I described. The built-in charger doesn't charge the battery fast enough. If you only run it one hour on, one hour off, the battery will die after 9-10 starts. I know since I tried to do exactly that. We have an aquarium. so we need power for the pumps on at least an hourly basis, or the nitifying bacteria die and the aquarium crashes. I finally hooked up the pumps to an inverter and ran it from the car battery, bypassing our expensive generator.

Of course, you could buy an extra battery, and swap out the batteries every 20 hours or so. However, that solution only works if you're home during the outage. The generator cannot be set to run intermittently while you're away, and someone has to be home to physically swap the batteries and set up the spare on a charger.

To use a generator the way most people assume it should be used, several changes need to happen:
1) Generator must be able to run at least 5 days without an oil change. Preferably 10 days.
2) It must be able to be set up to auto-run intermittently (with duty cycle set by the user)
3) It needs a better battery charger that will rapidly recharge the battery (a weak point with Generac's-the cheap built-in trickle chargers also used to overcharge the batteries, cause the battery acid to evaporate, and blow them up)

Without all of the above, I would not bother buying another generator. You could probably engineer work-arounds for points 2 and 3 if you're willing to dig into the circuitry and hack the generator, but it's just not worth it.

  
Sounds like you need to use a UPS for the fish tank.  You could probably get by running the generator a little longer but at a higher interval.

If you are REALLY serious about it you need a pair of cheaper generators and a three pole transfer switch.  Nobody uses single generators for a continuous run scenario, unless they have no choice.  We do in cellular because we have WAY too many sites to cover, but every single site also has 3-8 hours minimum and usually more battery backups feeding the rectifier bay (the equipment is DC anyway).  So the Generator is there to recover the batteries and the batteries still can take over while another generator trailer is pulled out.  On long outages second sets will be deployed as they arrive from other markets.  (they usually rail them down - and everyone hates it because nobody takes care of "loaner" generators and they need service when they get back) 

Here is the thing about Generators - -they have an idle and a running (load) consumption.  A 10KW generator under full load will use more fuel than a 20KW at "idle" that still provides 10KW (it is also often called the "nominal" output).  So as long as your nominal output is properly sized for your job having a larger generator actually uses less fuel.  You can tell by listening to the genset under load where you are at.  Ideally you want to have the load slightly over the nominal output so that no power is wasted and it is in the most efficient powerband.  

Unless you have the right hardware in place there is no point in an autostart, you run a high risk of surging out your electronics due to the brown-out plus start surge. Especially if mains comes back up in the middle.  In prime power generator setups there is battery storage, capacitor arrays, and a transfer buffer -- the only reason you know that the generators are online is because you can either HEAR them, are in the control room where the genset lights are flashing, or there are intentionally lights in the ceiling that are NOT wired to the backup bus.  (or all three in the last facility I worked in -- they had PLENTY of capacity to run the lights - it was just an intentional visual indicator if you were on the equipment floor because you could not hear the generators there)  I worked several major storms as well as during an accident where someone damaged a power pole and they had to kill the grid to safely fix it.  During the storm we had the only lights for a mile...  we were the main Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) for two states so we had three massive Dual Fuel Generac's.  (Diesel start and NG sustain with 1500gal of Diesel reserve)
 

rated:
thanks op

rated:
RedWolfe01 said:   
canoeguy1 said:   
CreveCoeur said:     page 25 of that manual says that but the 'X' is in the 'inspect' box for oil and in the 'change' for oil filter. Seems a typo somewhere there. 

You are practicing poor fuel management to run 24 hours continuous.  Best to run 1-2 hours couple times to keep freezers and fridges cold.  Have battery banks for small stuff like lights, LEDs and gadgets.
Our 20kw kicks on about once a month for a minute to couple hours for power outages, but if hurricane comes would only run couple times a day.  1,000 pig only holds about 750 gallons here and running 20kw uses 2-3 gallons an hour, so 50-75 continuous and we are empty in 10 days if use foolish.  Plus they want to charge close to $3 a gallon to deliver in Miami after first delivery.

  I would agree, except for the battery problem I described. The built-in charger doesn't charge the battery fast enough. If you only run it one hour on, one hour off, the battery will die after 9-10 starts. I know since I tried to do exactly that. We have an aquarium. so we need power for the pumps on at least an hourly basis, or the nitifying bacteria die and the aquarium crashes. I finally hooked up the pumps to an inverter and ran it from the car battery, bypassing our expensive generator.

Of course, you could buy an extra battery, and swap out the batteries every 20 hours or so. However, that solution only works if you're home during the outage. The generator cannot be set to run intermittently while you're away, and someone has to be home to physically swap the batteries and set up the spare on a charger.

To use a generator the way most people assume it should be used, several changes need to happen:
1) Generator must be able to run at least 5 days without an oil change. Preferably 10 days.
2) It must be able to be set up to auto-run intermittently (with duty cycle set by the user)
3) It needs a better battery charger that will rapidly recharge the battery (a weak point with Generac's-the cheap built-in trickle chargers also used to overcharge the batteries, cause the battery acid to evaporate, and blow them up)

Without all of the above, I would not bother buying another generator. You could probably engineer work-arounds for points 2 and 3 if you're willing to dig into the circuitry and hack the generator, but it's just not worth it.

  
Sounds like you need to use a UPS for the fish tank.  You could probably get by running the generator a little longer but at a higher interval.

If you are REALLY serious about it you need a pair of cheaper generators and a three pole transfer switch.  Nobody uses single generators for a continuous run scenario, unless they have no choice.  We do in cellular because we have WAY too many sites to cover, but every single site also has 3-8 hours minimum and usually more battery backups feeding the rectifier bay (the equipment is DC anyway).  So the Generator is there to recover the batteries and the batteries still can take over while another generator trailer is pulled out.  On long outages second sets will be deployed as they arrive from other markets.  (they usually rail them down - and everyone hates it because nobody takes care of "loaner" generators and they need service when they get back) 

Here is the thing about Generators - -they have an idle and a running (load) consumption.  A 10KW generator under full load will use more fuel than a 20KW at "idle" that still provides 10KW (it is also often called the "nominal" output).  So as long as your nominal output is properly sized for your job having a larger generator actually uses less fuel.  You can tell by listening to the genset under load where you are at.  Ideally you want to have the load slightly over the nominal output so that no power is wasted and it is in the most efficient powerband.  

Unless you have the right hardware in place there is no point in an autostart, you run a high risk of surging out your electronics due to the brown-out plus start surge. Especially if mains comes back up in the middle.  In prime power generator setups there is battery storage, capacitor arrays, and a transfer buffer -- the only reason you know that the generators are online is because you can either HEAR them, are in the control room where the genset lights are flashing, or there are intentionally lights in the ceiling that are NOT wired to the backup bus.  (or all three in the last facility I worked in -- they had PLENTY of capacity to run the lights - it was just an intentional visual indicator if you were on the equipment floor because you could not hear the generators there)  I worked several major storms as well as during an accident where someone damaged a power pole and they had to kill the grid to safely fix it.  During the storm we had the only lights for a mile...  we were the main Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) for two states so we had three massive Dual Fuel Generac's.  (Diesel start and NG sustain with 1500gal of Diesel reserve)

  Good points.
Unfortunately, the fish tank also requires periodic heating in winter-particularly if the power fails in the house, and the house cools off. That's 500W, which is too much for an UPS.

BTW: The residential generators are mostly autostart. The transfer switch kicks the power feed over to the generator, the engine starts up, gets up to speed, and then, once the proper frequency is reached, it starts delivering power. I haven't seen any brownout effect. If the mains come back, the transfer switch kicks the feed back to mains power before the genset starts to shut down. Again, no brownout that I can see.

The autostart has all the other issues I mentioned though. It's just not very useful in a residential scenario where people would want to use the generator as backup during a vacation.
 

rated:
RedWolfe01 said:   Here is the thing about Generators - -they have an idle and a running (load) consumption.  A 10KW generator under full load will use more fuel than a 20KW at "idle" that still provides 10KW (it is also often called the "nominal" output).  So as long as your nominal output is properly sized for your job having a larger generator actually uses less fuel.  You can tell by listening to the genset under load where you are at.  Ideally you want to have the load slightly over the nominal output so that no power is wasted and it is in the most efficient powerband.
The latest units have digital monitoring of the load which constantly electronically fine tunes the output to the load, dramatically increasing fuel efficiency, thereby resulting in much longer run times. I recently saw a new Briggs & Stratton with this setup.
 

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