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I have an 8KW Generac that is natural gas powered. It will also run on propane without modifications. I haven’t added the plumbing to use propane, but it’s a pretty simple thing. We had a EF-5 tornado come through our little town in 2011. My house wasn’t damaged, but a block away was total devastation. Looked like it has been carpet bombed. The power went off and the generator kicked off and never skipped a beat. Until, the gas company shut off the main. There must have been 1000 houses ripped off their foundations, and most of them had a gas line. Took about two weeks to get power back. Got gas back at the same time. We lost power for 28 hours last month after a severe thunderstorm. The generator kept us in lights, tv, fans etc.,but no AC. In winter, the generator will operate the gas heat. If I had it to do over, I’d have installed a bigger generator. But it was installed in 1999, in anticipation of Y2K.
I would love to have city gas and a tank crossover, but live way out in the country. As uncertain as things are, am considering a larger tank, or another linked in series. I've seen that, but don't know the details.
 

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We have a Generac whole house generator that runs on natural gas. Very happy with it. Previously, we had a gas powered generator that ran a few key circuits but also went through ~5 gallons of gas every eight hours. I was never really crazy about storing a few days worth of gas (45 gallons for just 3 days) in my detached shed, and it was a PIA remembering to rotate the gas supply so it wouldn't go bad. IMO, natural gas is by far the best option.
 

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Get a nice solar panel and a battery rack for the same cost.

At least you can use that everyday.
Would that necessarily have to go on the roof? The main problem in our area is hail and wind, and roofs have to be replaced ALL the time. We had baseball sized hail earlier this year, coupled with 80 mile-an-hour wind gusts. I'm sure the insurance company would jack with me if they had to insure solar panels.
 

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I bought a 1,3000 surge watts PTO set that runs off of my Kubota Diesel tractor. Got the unit about seven or eight years ago and it runs like a champ. It will run everything in the house. And it only uses a little over a gallon of off road diesel per hour. So I am looking at +/- three bucks an hour to run it. And with the two 275 gallon tanks that I keep in the barn I can run for half a day for weeks at a time. We shut it off at night. No Ac required at night here even in the summer and the wood stoves provide plenty of heat. I looked at the Generacs and other units, but the gas consumption was very high.
I have been very happy with this less than two thousand dollar unit. Treated Diesel keeps about forever and is very efficient. If I did not have a tractor I would go with a Kohler Diesel unit for sure.

 

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I bought a 1,3000 surge watts PTO set that runs off of my Kubota Diesel tractor. Got the unit about seven or eight years ago and it runs like a champ. It will run everything in the house. And it only uses a little over a gallon of off road diesel per hour. So I am looking at +/- three bucks an hour to run it. And with the two 275 gallon tanks that I keep in the barn I can run for half a day for weeks at a time. We shut it off at night. No Ac required at night here even in the summer and the wood stoves provide plenty of heat. I looked at the Generacs and other units, but the gas consumption was very high.
I have been very happy with this less than two thousand dollar unit. Treated Diesel keeps about forever and is very efficient. If I did not have a tractor I would go with a Kohler Diesel unit for sure.

Great idea! Got the tractor, but a lot less fuel than you have. Might get the small one just to have power when wanted at remote places on the property. Thanks!
 

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In our old house before this one I had a 30 KW propane generator that ran everything. It was surplus from a Publix, had a six cylinder Ford engine and sounded like a school bus at full throttle.

We have a bigger place now with a guesthouse etc. and I have another surplus unit. It’s a 50 KW or maybe 75KW diesel generator With a 385 gallon diesel tank. I haven’t finished all the mechanical work and haven’t plumbed the lines yet but this latest storm will remind me to get moving.

Generators are very nice if you can get them. I was in Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas many years ago in August. It was over 100° . The island was powered by two giant caterpillar generators, one went down in need of repair and the other one blew up about four in the morning. I got out of bed, cranked the generator on the boat and went back to sleep. Power was out for three days, people were almost rioting demanding flights to get them out of there and the pool was inhabited by pissed off tourists elbow to elbow trying to keep cool.

I highly recommend a whole house generator.
 

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Great idea! Got the tractor, but a lot less fuel than you have. Might get the small one just to have power when wanted at remote places on the property. Thanks!
The smaller one, 7,800 KW I think it is would give to a pretty good source of efficient power. Mine has been trouble free since day one. Run it once in a while and have changed the oil once. And if you use your tractor regularly you know that it will run as well. Those 275 gallon diesel tanks usually can be found d second hand fairly cheaply. That is how I got both of mine. You just have to get ones that are in decent shape and not full of something. Sometimes easier said then done. I would keep it stored in a dry place though.
And I would also advise getting the little buggy that goes with them. Those things have a lot of torque. It will save you some headaches.
 

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The smaller one, 7,800 KW I think it is would give to a pretty good source of efficient power. Mine has been trouble free since day one. Run it once in a while and have changed the oil once. And if you use your tractor regularly you know that it will run as well. Those 275 gallon diesel tanks usually can be found d second hand fairly cheaply. That is how I got both of mine. You just have to get ones that are in decent shape and not full of something. Sometimes easier said then done. I would keep it stored in a dry place though.
Got a 125 gallon poly tank in the machine shed. Bought for a project I since abandoned. Will have to check the specs at Tractor Supply to see if it can handle diesel. Typical year, unless we get drifted in, I probably use 20 gallons. Probably have to put up a little shed for it, the machine shed is too close to the well.
 

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Got a 125 gallon poly tank in the machine shed. Bought for a project I since abandoned. Will have to check the specs at Tractor Supply to see if it can handle diesel. Typical year, unless we get drifted in, I probably use 20 gallons. Probably have to put up a little shed for it, the machine shed is too close to the well.
I am guessing that the 7,800 watt unit likely runs the same way as the 13,KW unit in that you have to set your tractor idle to 540 RPM. In which case depending on your tractor, 125 gallons should keep you up and running for quite a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I bought a 1,3000 surge watts PTO set that runs off of my Kubota Diesel tractor. Got the unit about seven or eight years ago and it runs like a champ. It will run everything in the house. And it only uses a little over a gallon of off road diesel per hour. So I am looking at +/- three bucks an hour to run it. And with the two 275 gallon tanks that I keep in the barn I can run for half a day for weeks at a time. We shut it off at night. No Ac required at night here even in the summer and the wood stoves provide plenty of heat. I looked at the Generacs and other units, but the gas consumption was very high.
I have been very happy with this less than two thousand dollar unit. Treated Diesel keeps about forever and is very efficient. If I did not have a tractor I would go with a Kohler Diesel unit for sure.

Yeah, my Miller (welder generator) BB400 has a Catapilar 1.5 turbo diesel, that thing is stingy on the fuel. It is using less than a 1/4 gallon per hour, granted its only running my refrigerator, the neighbors and a few laptops and smart phones. Just a little loud, also its a killer welder...
 

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Yeah, my Miller (welder generator) BB400 has a Catapilar 1.5 turbo diesel, that thing is stingy on the fuel. It is using less than a 1/4 gallon per hour, granted its only running my refrigerator, the neighbors and a few laptops and smart phones. Just a little loud, also its a killer welder...
I have been looking at welding machines for a while. Still trying to deciding whether to go with a stick welder or a MIG.
 

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I installed a smart propane Generac unit years ago as it was easier to shelter in place than move my stroke damaged wife. We loose power often living out in the country. Doesn’t have to be a hurricane, a bad nor’easter can do it.
 

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Thats something I didn't think about! Its only been a few times in 22 years I lost power here. I dont think a 22K generator is in my pay grade. Really just need lights and refrigerator, fans and power up devices. But going to look at Generic and Solar back up.
Sounds like if it’s not a regular occurrence you got it right the first time, plug the essentials into your welder then when it subsides go back to business as usual.
 

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While we don't have hurricanes here in Utah we do lose power on occasion and we just try to keep the essentials going with a Honda 7000i generator. Last time I had four cords running to four houses just to keep essentials going for us and neighbors. We have a wood burning stove in the basement for heat and gas appliances. The worst outage we had about 8 years ago was five days. I would love a whole home system with switchover like many of you have but it is probably overkill for us. All the best to those recovering from Ian. That was one monster storm.
 

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While we don't have hurricanes here in Utah we do lose power on occasion and we just try to keep the essentials going with a Honda 7000i generator. Last time I had four cords running to four houses just to keep essentials going for us and neighbors. We have a wood burning stove in the basement for heat and gas appliances. The worst outage we had about 8 years ago was five days. I would love a whole home system with switchover like many of you have but it is probably overkill for us. All the best to those recovering from Ian. That was one monster storm.
Have to laugh, for most of us it isn't a whole lot different than carrying a gun. People in either case need to provide for local conditions!
 

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Maybe a generator that runs off propane, I'd just need to lease another 200lbs tank.
Propane is the cleanest and you can let sit until you need it. Anything to do with gasoline rots rubber with today's gas if it sit's. You can rent a 320 gallon propane tank for less than $100 a year and it's $2.75 per gallon. Motors run cool with propane. Diesel you can let sit for 4 years or so but needs to be cranked every 6 months. You can have the house wired to come on automatic for $$$s. You need something to keep the dirt dobber out of the generator to keep from shorting. Motors have less ring ware and the valves last forever and no carbon with propane.
 

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I had my main panel set up where I can power selected circuits from a generator. I have one generator that I can connect to the panel and a second smaller generator to power anything I forgot. Heat, AC, Refrigerator, Freezer, selected lights, and receptacles are ready to run.

Being prepared isn't hard if you start early.

Grumpy
 
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