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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, Ms Newbie here trying to think through an important installation decision.
Currently getting quotes for whole house backup generator. Had first installer appt today.
Considering either Generac or Kohler in 18-22 KW range depending on the load calculation.

One complicating factor:
Electrical meter is on house left side. Gas meter is near the AC units on house right side.

Are there any other advantages / disadvantages of these 2 install options that I'm missing?

Installation options seem to be:

=== Option A: Locate generator on house right near GAS meter.

Need to run electrical 75' under the deck in the backyard to the electrical meter.

Perceived Advantages:
  • Generator would be inside my fence. Prefer this from a safety / vandalism standpoint
  • Running electrical 'seems' safer to me than running gas that distance.
Disadvantages:
  • More noise. It would be closer to master bedroom
  • When deck is redone, careless workers more likely to damage the generator
=== Option B: Locate generator on house left near ELECTRICAL meter

Run gas 75' under the deck in the backyard to the generator on house left side near the electrical meter.

Perceived Disadvantage:
  • Running gas could be riskier when my deck is rebuilt in next 2 years?
Perceived Advantages:
  • 3'rd party servicing would be easier if not behind a fence? ...Though it's on my house projects list to put a Simplex lock on the fence to make that easier.
  • Somewhat less exposed to hail storms than in other location. In 20 years, I've had to replace my roof twice due to hail damage.
  • Less noise. It would be directly outside of laundry room.
 

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build a HD box cover that can be set in place for when the deck is serviced.
run the long electric.
long gas lines are not a good idea as the large dia size for long runs is an issue.

if you are on gen power if you can hear the gen that is a good thing.. or go the indicator / alarm route.
you can build a gen quiet box or generator shack or barrier to hold down the elf noise.
quiet is a good thing for when you are on gen. you do not want to have extra noise.

if your gen of choice has a remote meter system this is a good thing.
temp, run time, error codes, power condition. the more data the better from remote.

watch the exhaust from the gen set as well. make sure it will not re enter the house.

now with that said, make sure you are 2x or 3x the gauge size on the wire for the feed on the electric from the gen set.
this is where most fail to build in the over kill on a GOOD gen system.

if you are choosing to use a non inverter gen system. make sure you have real good UPS units on all sensitive equipment. this does include the furnace if it has late model computer controls.
and things like tv, wifi, and so forth need the ups unit as well.
you can use rack mount ups units at the location of the device, or share a ups close to your electric panel.

some choose to use a smart inverter system.
and make a multi power inverter system with a battery bank like a smart wall. and then use the gen as just another
power input.

it is all about what your budget is...
just leave the system as scalable so you can add on or add features super easy with out having to rip out everything
and start all over again.

plan your power, add meters now before you do the gen set.
a recording meter system is nice for this plan.
get an idea how much power you are using on peak and off peak use.
that will help with your generator choice.

for me a gen system that is scale able so I can add another gen for when the demand for power is more.
this is all about fuel cost.
it costs 2x to 3x or more to generate your own power VS grid power..
so plan on this as a hidden back up power system cost.
I went tri fuel.
that way if I need to source fuel another way... I can.
natural gas is my primary as I am in town and natural gas is low cost.

just a few tips from a system plan person.
 

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Its typically recommended to install standby units closer to the gas meter. Long electrical feeds are usually less complicated then long Natural gas feeds.

Having the generator near your bedroom isn’t that big of a deal, standby generator enclosures are built to be noise reducing, and a little white noise might even help with sleeping. That electrical run would require 1 gauge copper wire minimum.

Installing near Your electrical meter would mean a very long gas run. You will need a larger volume gas meter regardless. If your neighbor hood is fed with a high pressure system then 1.25” pipe minimum should supply proper volume without jumping to 1.5” pipe.

What Have your contractors suggested? Materials and labor will vary greatly.
 

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I have the same situation.
Gas meter and bedrooms on one side and the utility on the other.
I had a black iron pipe run from the gas meter to the genreator.
No noise in the bedrooms from the generator.
Cost was about the same either way.
 

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yea it is a long run period...
i agree drmerdp...
yea bigger is better!! I would run the electric that far... 75 feet...
and over kill it use wire rated for 30kw... and metal conduit all the way...
pain to run that far period..
I hope you have unfinished basement or drop in celling down there..

but if you are handy and have a bit of help and take your time.
it is a good project!!
copper is the way to go 1/0-4 min for that 75 + foot run would be my choice..
when you buy your wire always buy 15 to 25 foot more than you measure...
lol hard to stretch cable but it cuts easy with an angle grinder and a cut off wheel.
or use proper large cable cutters

and you are looking at large conduit... I always go the next dia larger for an easy pull..
2 inch is ok.
I just used emt thick wall. and found the fittings online for the best price..
chop saw and a deburr tool and a die grinder and angle grinder.. 80 grit flap wheel works best to round the outside edges and the die grinder with a sand drum for the inside.
and water resistant connectors for the pipe.. just in case!! lol!!

watch your wire!! there is some aluminum core stuff out there right now!!
looks like copper on the outside but it is aluminum in the center!!
avoid this stuff when you can...
watch the letters and numbers on the spool...

I also like 4/0 copper for the entrance cable when you can find it for the right price..
every now and then you can get a cut spool for scrap copper price!!

back in 2010 I found a 4/0 copper cut spool for $400.00
lol I snapped that up!! I bet there was 500 feet left on that spool!!
that stuff in THHN runs over $1700.00 / 500 foot at todays price wow!

last big run like that I had to run it in the attic...
it had a damp crawl space below...
it was that or on the outside of the house... and would to have looked like heck..
a bit tricky on the drop in the wall..
but hot in the attic.. I did that one at night!
not bad at 4 am!!

spend the bucks to run it right once!!
so you do not have to spend it twice!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
> I hope you have unfinished basement or drop in celling down there..
I wish! Am in Austin, Texas. No basement. Just lots of hard rock.
The first installer who visited usually pipes above ground near the house.
 

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yea too bad only one meter set per location in most areas..
you could ask the utility company for 2 meters and then they would run to the location you need gas.
and that would be on the utility's responsibility to the meter.

it would be worth a call to the utility company to ask if they could set 2 meters!!

here in Iowa it is $16.00 per month min service charge as of march 2020.
and they can have 2 meters on the same bill address here.

I am lucky as my gas meter is 20 foot from my generator location.
 

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If it weren’t for the smart meter, I would not be able to effectively monitor the energy consumption ... In general, I had a lot of problems with the energy supplier and as a result I decided to change it because I was not happy with the standard tariff plan and I did not have the opportunity to switch to another tariff plan .. The fact that he is losing light is most likely an interruption in the supply of energy and a problem in the supplier. To do this, he needs to contact the supplier directly. He can also change the provider, but first, I would recommend that he read a lot of useful information at https://usave.co.uk/.
 

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A quick question speaking about distances...... how long can the power cable be from the generator before you run into problems?
 

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The longer the run, The heavier the cable.

As long as the cable size is appropriate the distance doesnt matter.

Granted, heavy gauge cable gets expensive and more challenging to handle but its not a big deal.
 

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A quick question speaking about distances...... how long can the power cable be from the generator before you run into problems?
well speed it depends on the voltage of the generator.
and then the gauge of the wire...
I have good sources for soow cable now up to 4/4 gauge.. and that is 100 amps at 240 volt per 100 feet at max..
for most gens I run 6/4 and it is good for 50 - 60 amps at 50 feet or so depending on connections.
if it is all hard wired 60 amps easy.
6/4 is easy to find almost any where these days.
pm if you need links for it!!
I just ran 50 feet of 6/4 for a new system.. works perfect!! we did the first run up late today.
 
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