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So glad I stumbled upon this forum, so much useful info! I still have questions though 馃槒

I'm on the Gulf Coast and have been planning for a long time to get a generator for hurricane season, but after this great Texas winter blackout, I'm definitely following through now. I calculated the necessary loads and thought I should get a Generac GP 6500 or 8000, but then I learned about total harmonic distortion and am thinking I need to get a smaller inverter for the electronics and maybe the GP 6500 will suffice for fridge, chest freezer, portable AC unit, and coffee maker or toaster oven. This would also be a more affordable option for me instead of getting a single inverter with low THD that's big enough to support all the loads.

Now I have to consider cable management... is it safe to have half a dozen power cords running from the gennys in the back yard all through the house, some to major appliances? (I'm already looking at a reference chart to determine the length/current/gauge relationship, just trying to figure out other safety considerations)

I did think about getting a whole home unit instead, but considering the cost and lack of portability, I'd rather have 2 portables that I could take elsewhere if needed.

Are there other options I'm missing?
 

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I hope you guys are ok down there, I have two sisters in TX. Time for this old man to hit the sack it's 12:01AM here as I'm posting this. I'll kick this around and reply tomorrow.
Stay warm and good luck with the situation there. Has not been much better in WV.
 

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If you don't need to power 240V appliances, you can still wire a smaller generator to your panel, or you can install a sub panel for just the circuits you want to run. A 120V generator will only be able to power one leg of a panel, so the breakers for those circuits would all need to be on that same leg. I never liked the idea of running extension cords. You could use the second generator for one or two bigger items like the portable AC unit using a cord.

I went with the Honda EU7000is inverter style since it powers the whole panel with 240V, has clean inverter power, is super quiet, runs up to 18 hours on a tank, is portable, and is fuel injected so there is no carburetor to worry about. Expensive, but works great for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hope you guys are ok down there, I have two sisters in TX. Time for this old man to hit the sack it's 12:01AM here as I'm posting this. I'll kick this around and reply tomorrow.
Stay warm and good luck with the situation there. Has not been much better in WV.
Thank you sir, we managed to escape mostly unscathed.

If you don't need to power 240V appliances, you can still wire a smaller generator to your panel, or you can install a sub panel for just the circuits you want to run. A 120V generator will only be able to power one leg of a panel, so the breakers for those circuits would all need to be on that same leg.
This was also another consideration... ideally, yes, I would like to have the ability to just "plug in" the house to the genny, but the cost must be high to have a licensed electrician rewire everything at the panel. What's a ballpark price tag for that?
 

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Thank you sir, we managed to escape mostly unscathed.



This was also another consideration... ideally, yes, I would like to have the ability to just "plug in" the house to the genny, but the cost must be high to have a licensed electrician rewire everything at the panel. What's a ballpark price tag for that?
I had an electrician install and wire the input box which was about 10 FT from the main panel, the generator breaker, reroute some circuits and install the interlock kit and he charged me $500, but I'm in an expensive part of NY and we get gouged here. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find an electrician to do it for less. One to 2 hours of labor I would guess if you supply the parts.

Between the Honda generator, 100 FT 240V 30A cable, input box, interlock kit, 12VDC siphon kit, new gas cans, new breakers and the electrician's time, I probably spent $6k on my backup generator solution. It was well worth it for me just for the peace of mind. Losing power for 3 days this past summer was a breeze with the new system. It already saved me over $1k in potentially lost food (2 full sized refrigerators, one full sized freezer and one half sized freezer...all full due to COVID preparations).

The good thing is that if I ever move to a new home, I can take most of that stuff with me, with the exception of the input box and the interlock kit.
 

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i have a 17kw generac that takes up no more space than a 11 or 12 it runs my whole house, well pump ,hot water heater , you name it, last long outage it used 145 gallons of propane for 6 days
so why 2 smaller when one works as well
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i have a 17kw generac that takes up no more space than a 11 or 12 it runs my whole house, well pump ,hot water heater , you name it, last long outage it used 145 gallons of propane for 6 days
so why 2 smaller when one works as well
Do those large Generacs have a low THD so they can safely run electronics, computers, etc? I can't find details on that on their spec sheets. That's part of the reason why I was considering 2 units: a 2-3kW inverter for the sensitive electronics, and a mid-size generator for the appliances and such.
 

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So glad I stumbled upon this forum, so much useful info! I still have questions though 馃槒

I'm on the Gulf Coast and have been planning for a long time to get a generator for hurricane season, but after this great Texas winter blackout, I'm definitely following through now. I calculated the necessary loads and thought I should get a Generac GP 6500 or 8000, but then I learned about total harmonic distortion and am thinking I need to get a smaller inverter for the electronics and maybe the GP 6500 will suffice for fridge, chest freezer, portable AC unit, and coffee maker or toaster oven. This would also be a more affordable option for me instead of getting a single inverter with low THD that's big enough to support all the loads.

Now I have to consider cable management... is it safe to have half a dozen power cords running from the gennys in the back yard all through the house, some to major appliances? (I'm already looking at a reference chart to determine the length/current/gauge relationship, just trying to figure out other safety considerations)

I did think about getting a whole home unit instead, but considering the cost and lack of portability, I'd rather have 2 portables that I could take elsewhere if needed.

Are there other options I'm missing?
Check these out:

I have the Model# 100519 6250 Watt Inverter.
I also have a Generac GP15000E. The Generac GP series are not low THD models.

I have high regards for Champion products. The one I have now is the second one I have owned.
 

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Do those large Generacs have a low THD so they can safely run electronics, computers, etc? I can't find details on that on their spec sheets. That's part of the reason why I was considering 2 units: a 2-3kW inverter for the sensitive electronics, and a mid-size generator for the appliances and such.
i don't know the real answer but can say i have run my home computers and BIZ server while on it with zero issues for the almost 600 hours that read on my running time meter
 

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First off remember, if you're worried about THD, most all of the whole house units are not inverter type generators. And they are designed to run your entire house, and everything in it. THD is way overstated anyway. I have 2 Westinghouse 9,500 watt, dual fuel models. They have a THD of, "less than 23%". Which most of these "clean power" guys will throw up their hands in horror at.

Yet I have run both of my desktop computers, a laptop computer, 3 flat screen TV's, (one with a DVD player operating), and 2 freezers, and a microwave thrown in just for kicks. Everything ran just fine. If it weren't for the cords and the noise outside, you wouldn't know the power wasn't coming from the meter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First off remember, if you're worried about THD, most all of the whole house units are not inverter type generators. And they are designed to run your entire house, and everything in it. THD is way overstated anyway. I have 2 Westinghouse 9,500 watt, dual fuel models. They have a THD of, "less than 23%". Which most of these "clean power" guys will throw up their hands in horror at.

Yet I have run both of my desktop computers, a laptop computer, 3 flat screen TV's, (one with a DVD player operating), and 2 freezers, and a microwave thrown in just for kicks. Everything ran just fine. If it weren't for the cords and the noise outside, you wouldn't know the power wasn't coming from the meter.
Good point. Does it have to do with a larger unit having more stable power? Or how many or types of loads it's running? And out of curiosity, do you have those electronics plugged into power conditioners or UPS's? Wondering if that would help alleviate the "dirty power" problem.
 

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Good point. Does it have to do with a larger unit having more stable power? Or how many or types of loads it's running? And out of curiosity, do you have those electronics plugged into power conditioners or UPS's? Wondering if that would help alleviate the "dirty power" problem.
I have my desktop computers on a couple of those large back up power units. You know, the kind that beep every 10 seconds the power is off. And drive my little dog crazy in the process. I don't know how much they "clean up" the power, if they do at all. I'm not sure if the size of the generator has anything to do with how much or how little THD it has. THD figures are all over the map on these units. And the numbers published are anything but precise. It is usually given as a "less than" number. Which means it most likely fluctuates under different load conditions.

But if it's "clean power" you're after, the only sure way to get it is with an inverter unit. How much it is or isn't necessary, is up to the individual. As always with these things YMMV.
 

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One thing to remember is that inverters can go bad and start sending out weird stuff too.

I suspect the cheaper ones go bad first, generally speaking.

I just replaced a $500 thermostat on my heat pump. It was a victim of the ice storm when the utility power went off and seemingly sent some bad stuff that killed the device. Who knows?
 

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One thing to remember is that inverters can go bad and start sending out weird stuff too.
Very true. More parts equal more parts to fail. And many of these electronic parts used in these units.... Most ALL of these units, are generic. Look under the hood of your American car, and you would be surprised at how many electronic parts and units come from China. They were probably designed here, but mass produced there. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing. It's just that most people don't stop to think globalization effects ALL brands. Not just the less expensive one's.
 

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So glad I stumbled upon this forum, so much useful info! I still have questions though 馃槒

I'm on the Gulf Coast and have been planning for a long time to get a generator for hurricane season, but after this great Texas winter blackout, I'm definitely following through now. I calculated the necessary loads and thought I should get a Generac GP 6500 or 8000, but then I learned about total harmonic distortion and am thinking I need to get a smaller inverter for the electronics and maybe the GP 6500 will suffice for fridge, chest freezer, portable AC unit, and coffee maker or toaster oven. This would also be a more affordable option for me instead of getting a single inverter with low THD that's big enough to support all the loads.

Now I have to consider cable management... is it safe to have half a dozen power cords running from the gennys in the back yard all through the house, some to major appliances? (I'm already looking at a reference chart to determine the length/current/gauge relationship, just trying to figure out other safety considerations)

I did think about getting a whole home unit instead, but considering the cost and lack of portability, I'd rather have 2 portables that I could take elsewhere if needed.

Are there other options I'm missing?
I wired a 50 amp plug to a 50 amp breaker in my main panel. Installed a hardware interlock on main and 50 amp breaker that generator is wired to. It allows only one or the other to be live at a time. WGen9500DF hooked up to my natural gas and it runs my entire house including a/c and all appliance, electronics as normal. I too am on the Texas Gulf coast and bought mine after the last hurricane threat and it came in handy this past freeze and power outage.
 

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........... WGen9500DF hooked up to my natural gas and it runs my entire house including a/c and all appliance, electronics as normal........
Does it run on natural gas with the unit on the propane setting? Or did you have to make some modifications?
 

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Does it run on natural gas with the unit on the propane setting? Or did you have to make some modifications?
If ran on NG right out of the box. I was expecting to change out the propane regulator that came with it with one designed for NG ($75) but I didn鈥檛 have to because it ran almost two days straight on NG without missing a beat! No mods needed except not using the high pressure propane bottle regulator that came on the hose.
 

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If ran on NG right out of the box. I was expecting to change out the propane regulator that came with it with one designed for NG ($75) but I didn鈥檛 have to because it ran almost two days straight on NG without missing a beat! No mods needed except not using the high pressure propane bottle regulator that came on the hose.
So, you are running low pressure NG tee'd off from the low pressure side of the meter, straight into the threaded input on the regulator on the unit? (I'm just trying to understand your setup, because it's worth knowing if I ever have to do the same).

 
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