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OT Stand by Generator, what do you have?

Now you tell me!

Can you inform me/us or what specific parts fail most on the Generacs? Perhaps I can keep them as spares.



Twenty years ago I managed the generator standardization program for a large telecom company. We had 1000+ generators across the country from all of the major suppliers.

Hands down, there were more failures on the Generac units than all of the others combined. Usually not major failures, typically some $10 or $100 part going bad and shutting the generator down or preventing it from starting.

We standardized on Kohler units, with Cummins Onan being our second choice.
 
In hurricane country you can easily be without power for days and even over a week.

A generator can be the difference between evacuating or not and a week in a motel can run up quite a bill. Ask me how I know.



Around here we can do without the furnace, but NOT the AC and that's always a power hog. Fortunately our power is very reliable and a rare 'long' outage might be 4 hours or so.
 
iffin you got the coin,buy a BIG enough one to run the whole dam farm,AND,thats turns on and off auto like.
the one i have puts fire in the wire in less than 5 seconds,A/C,the well, animal water heaters,fish pond bubblers,barn lites, a fricken gold plated coffin aint gonna do ya any good, go big bro,make it so your happy ya got it.
 
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I just lost power for a couple of days last week.

My shop is in a separate building behind the house with it's own electrical service.

I was feeling pretty smug with the whole-house generator keeping things running in the frigid temps.

I didn't use the shop during the blackout, and figured, so what if it gets cold out there?

Yesterday I found out that the water pipes in the shop froze and burst, and water had been running onto the floor in one section for over a week!

I'll remember to power up the shop at least for heat next time the temps are below freezing during a blackout.
 
I had to close off the front room (milkhouse) here last week as the whole place* was cold with that big fan blowing sub-zero through the wall. it is normally heated in there, but I put heat tape on the pipes many years ago. One worked this week, and the other'n didn't, so that one "ran" for a few days. I think the resulting ice is all melted by now finally...

* It was still very cold in here EVEN WITH the front room and breezeway closed off!
Usually 70* here, and I typically don't have to actually heat it all that much to get there normally.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 
Now you tell me!

Can you inform me/us or what specific parts fail most on the Generacs? Perhaps I can keep them as spares.
It varied. The last one that I worked on had an oil pressure sensor fail at 20 hours of runtime, and then the starter drive failed at 35 hours. I was able to source a generic oil pressure sensor at an auto parts store to get it back in service, and I rebuilt the starter drive using the old parts.

Before that circuit breakers would fail on the 35KW and 50KW units, wire terminals would break off from vibration, temp and oil pressure sensors, and main circuit boards. They did not like to sit unexercised either.
 
Back in the 80s there was very long power linesman strike here .....some places where an out occured and not repaired were without power for maybe 4 months......because it wasnt a general strike ,no emergency was ever declared.......claimed a third of houses have solar now,but the catch is a lot of solar wont work without mains power as well .....even battery systems wont charge without mains power,unless you pay for the whole system yourself......IE no power company subsidy,which is considerable .
 
our house is 100% electric (including heat) and on a well. We lost power for multiple days at least once a year for the first 8 years we lived here. I ran a series of cheap 8-10kw gas generators (put a valve stem through the head on the first one after about 200 hours). Then in Jan 2020 I finally got a used, low-hour 17kw propane kohler. 3 120 gallon tanks (need to parallel 2 of them in the cold for evap rate). Haven't lost power for more than a couple of hours since.
 
I have recently picked up an 8KW nat gas Generac that I got secondhand for $300 that has 14 hours on it. Runs great and is plenty for our whole house other than A/C. Don't use it much but after a winter where we were without continuous power for almost a week figured what the heck. I have a portable 5K that ran the house just fine too but lugging it out and hooking it up is a pain compared to just flipping a couple switches.
There are many bargains on used generators to be had. Many people and companies buy them for a one time situation and then sell them off cheap to save storage space. Returns from big box stores are also usually much cheaper than new.
 
I just lost power for a couple of days last week.

My shop is in a separate building behind the house with it's own electrical service.

I was feeling pretty smug with the whole-house generator keeping things running in the frigid temps.

I didn't use the shop during the blackout, and figured, so what if it gets cold out there?

Yesterday I found out that the water pipes in the shop froze and burst, and water had been running onto the floor in one section for over a week!

I'll remember to power up the shop at least for heat next time the temps are below freezing during a blackout.
Another solution is to arrange a slow drain for the pipes as moving water won't freeze as easily. In a home running water a small amount of water from the taps will often do it along with draining heating systems and electric water heaters.
 
Back in the 80s there was very long power linesman strike here .....some places where an out occured and not repaired were without power for maybe 4 months......because it wasnt a general strike ,no emergency was ever declared.......claimed a third of houses have solar now,but the catch is a lot of solar wont work without mains power as well .....even battery systems wont charge without mains power,unless you pay for the whole system yourself......IE no power company subsidy,which is considerable .
Yeah, the inverters need something to synch up with and in most cases that is a generator. To do that legally and safely you need a transfer switch that will keep the cells and inverter connected to the house while disconnected from the grid.

The commercial battery backup units use inverters with internal oscillators to maintain 60Hz (or 50Hz).
 








 
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