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bluemoons
New Orleans Saints Fan
the marsh
Member since Oct 2012
4661 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

So they are telling you roughly 7 days running that big of a generator on 500 gallons of propane, even with other appliances running. That's pretty damn good for a unit that big. Refill trucks were running two days after the storm here in Lafourche parish also.


Right. I think so too. I've given a lot of thought to the situation and I've questioned two other gas suppliers about it, and they told me about the same timeline. I also talked to a friend who has a 25kw generator on propane who told me that she was able to get a refill from a local company like 4 days after Katrina. She couldn't give me a 100% accurate measure, but she estimated that she could run hers for 7-10 days depending on the load on 500 gallons. FWIW, the Lacox rep I spoke with gave me those numbers based on 23.5 hours of run time per day and 75% load.

My research and conversations with industry people are in line with your thinking. Propane generators use a lot of gas. That said, when I compare it to places that limit or lose natural gas supply following disasters, it honestly seems to me like propane has more value than NG. The first time I really started paying attention to NG supply was after the freezes in Texas last winter.

To me, diesel is a non-starter just because of storage and stabilization issues. I need a generator because my house is going up outside of town in an area that isn't likely to get power back soon after an outage, plus we've got a well, so propane is the easy answer for me. The convenience outweights the constant re-fueling and mobility of a small portable generator too IMO, though I will definitely keep my 6500 as a backup.
This post was edited on 9/14 at 2:17 pm


FOBW
UNO Fan
N.O.
Member since Sep 2016
134 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Cummings 30kw

LINK

50% Load
219 ft³/hr
NG Fuel Consumption @ 100% Load
380.9 ft³/hr
LP Fuel Consumption @ 50% Load
2.7 gallons/hr
LP Fuel Consumption @ 100% Load
4.5 gallons/hr


RealityTiger
LSU Fan
Geismar, LA
Member since Jan 2010
19434 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

not even close to $100 per day
I just paid my Atmos bill today. My 22kw ran for 8 days, and the bill was right at $250. I don't know who came up with the $100 a day thing, but that's not the first person I've heard say that.


Antib551
LSU Fan
Houma, LA
Member since Dec 2018
212 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

LP Fuel Consumption @ 50% Load
2.7 gallons/hr
LP Fuel Consumption @ 100% Load
4.5 gallons/hr


Holy crap. That's like 1.7x the fuel burn of the 30kw diesel version.
This post was edited on 9/14 at 8:35 pm


tke_swamprat
LSU Fan
Houma, LA
Member since Aug 2004
7874 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
I have unlimited supply to diesel. I just don’t like the starting price tag of about 15k for something that rarely gets used.


Antib551
LSU Fan
Houma, LA
Member since Dec 2018
212 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Can't disagree with that.

I could have used that unlimited supply the week after the storm. I'll admit it was way tougher finding diesel than I could have imagined.
This post was edited on 9/14 at 9:23 pm


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ellunchboxo
New Orleans Saints Fan
Gtown
Member since Feb 2009
17820 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

just paid my Atmos bill today. My 22kw ran for 8 days, and the bill was right at $250. I don't know who came up with the $100 a day thing, but that's not the first person I've heard say that.


Got my bill today with Atmos.

Generac 22KW ran for 6 days was $300. Minus the $50 my bill usually is that’s $250. So $42 a day.

Worth every penny.


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footballdude
LSU Fan
BR
Member since Sep 2010
776 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

I am in the process of a new build right now and we are installing a 30kw Cummins on propane. I don't have natural gas where we are building so it's not an option. Lacox told me that I would be looking at about 7 days on 500 gallons depending on load and auxiliary gas usage. Lacox was servicing customers here in Covington 2 days after the storm.


My advice is 500g for the house and a separate 500g for the generator.


footballdude
LSU Fan
BR
Member since Sep 2010
776 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

I'll tell you currently in Houma, there are A LOT of whole home nat gas units that aren't able to run full or even half capacity due to low gas pressure.


If you are that close to the coastline, you should not rely on natural gas to be operational after a cat 4 or 5. Too much infrastructure damage. You should have a propane tank.

If you are further from the coast, natural gas is fine as long as your meter is big enough. Most Generacs need a bigger gas meter, most other brands do not.




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bluemoons
New Orleans Saints Fan
the marsh
Member since Oct 2012
4661 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
I have actually considered and am still considering that, but both gas companies that I will potentially rent my tank from have programs during hurricane season where they come by once a month and top everything off.

If I did it that way, I would probably have a 250 gal for everything else and a 500 gal for generator. Two 500 gallon tanks is a lot of real estate.


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lsu777
LSU Fan
westlake
Member since Jan 2004
19117 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

I think a big problem is that people should get a bigger meter when getting a Generac but they opt not to.


i think alot dont know any better nor do the plumbers know any better. the plumbers usually dont size those, its the gas company. but yea that is a huge problem and contributes heavily to the issues many have with the stepping motor.

also most gas companies are not prepared to handle everyone having a whole home. Within the next decade many higher end neighborhoods will have whole homes at 90% of the homes, thats going to be an issue.


Jon A thon
Member since May 2019
495 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Only kind of relevant here, but I've been nervous with what my generator will put out on natural gas vs. the load my 3 ton AC unit will require. Installed a soft start today and am impressed. I measured 23 amps for the in-rush and 7.5 amps running. That's less than 50% of my starting watts, and 1800 watts to run the unit. I didn't get a chance to measure prior to installing, but know that's a significant reduction. Would recommend for anyone trying to run a central unit on a generator.


LSUtigerME
LSU Fan
Walker, LA
Member since Oct 2012
2993 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

Only kind of relevant here, but I've been nervous with what my generator will put out on natural gas vs. the load my 3 ton AC unit will require. Installed a soft start today and am impressed. I measured 23 amps for the in-rush and 7.5 amps running. That's less than 50% of my starting watts, and 1800 watts to run the unit. I didn't get a chance to measure prior to installing, but know that's a significant reduction. Would recommend for anyone trying to run a central unit on a generator.

Nice. I’ve had the same worries as I sit here waiting on all the equipment to arrive. What SEER is your unit?

I have a 4T, 16SEER unit and ordered the soft starts. Hoping to be able to run on a 9500/12000 generator.

How are you measuring the in-rush current?


Jon A thon
Member since May 2019
495 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Mine is a 16 SEER. I'm using a clamp meter on the compressor looking for the max amperage during the startup. I ran the start up several times. It is interesting how it "learns" and lowers after the first few starts. Went from 28 initially to 22.5 at the lowest.

I can admit I don't have a super pricey tool, so not sure how accurate it is. But I doubt it's 50% off. And to be honest if it was 50% off, that's still 34.5 amps and still would probably work with my 11,000/8,400 watt generator.

Let me know how yours goes. I have a 4ton unit for my downstairs that I hadn't intended to power since all bedrooms are upstairs. But if it's not that much more than the 3ton unit, there's a decent chance I can run both, or at least bounce between the two. And if I ever upgrade generators, I can definitely do it.
This post was edited on 9/16 at 1:58 pm


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
3431 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

LSUtigerME & Jon-A-Thon

You guys using the Micro-Air soft start kit?

You do need an Amp Meter with an In-Rush function, most off the shelf amp meters don’t have that function, to accurately measure start-up amps when the compressor kicks on but I have little doubt that you are getting significant reduction.


Jon A thon
Member since May 2019
495 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Yeah, I'm sure the sample rate of the cheap one I have is far to slow to be dead on capturing the peak in-rush. I do trust the running amps a bit more though and was surprised to see that. I have a lot more confidence that the generator can handle it easily now.


Neauxla
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
33252 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Anyone have a portable NG generator with a transfer switch in their electrical panel?

I'm looking at a Motorhead 12000/20000 or 13000/23000 so I can take it with me when I sell my house. Thoughts on disadvantages?


LSUtigerME
LSU Fan
Walker, LA
Member since Oct 2012
2993 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
quote:

Anyone have a portable NG generator with a transfer switch in their electrical panel?

Like an automatic transfer switch?

My neighbor had a firman tri-fuel that he ran on NG and connected a cord into his transfer switch during Ida. It ran like a champ.

I have a 50A Generator Inlet box that I’m planning to use with my portable, and connect a hose to the NG.

To me the primary disadvantage of the portable is that it doesn’t automatically kick on during an outage. You have to wheel it over there, turn off all the breakers, plug it in, hook up the hose, start it up, then bring your circuits online. However, you also have a portable generator you can bring with you, or use anywhere outside of your home.


Neauxla
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
33252 posts
 Online 

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
Yeah I don’t mind it not being automatic if I can bring it with me. I really want to get a Motörhead 12000/20000 tri fuel so I can run everything but can only find the dual fuels. I know they used to make them


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Jon A thon
Member since May 2019
495 posts

re: Home Generators and Natural Gas
My transfer switch was installed this morning. Runs everything but the downstairs 4t AC . Haven't gotten the parts to convert to natural gas just yet. But hopefully by next weekend, I'm all set to not need gas. Now I'll probably never have an issue to use it, but I'm prepared, haha.


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