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Discussion Starter #1
Whole house generator. Talk to me.

I'm in the market for something in the 10kW on the low to 16kW on the high end. I can get a Generac 10kW at Costco for 2 dimes, which includes the xfer switch.

Don't know much about the Kohler's but I read good things about them.
Natural Gas will be the fuel.

So, who's got a whole house generator, and what / why did you go with what you have?
 

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Kohler IMO. I have limited experience with them as far as Generators go but from my experience with Dixie Choppers the Kohler Command will outperform and be far more reliable than an equivalent power Generac. Kohler's are also much easier on the pocket book when it comes to maintenance. My main Dixie Chopper w/ 27hp Kohler has 13,000 hours on it and has needed nothing more than the occasional spark plug and oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thing I'm having a hard time finding out is who builds the engines for Kohler, or if in fact they build their own engines. Same with Kohler. Or do they OEM Deere, Kawasaki, Onan, etc. ?
 

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I work for a company that sells Generac but we work on everything. There isn't a whole lot of difference in the new Kohlers and the new Generacs. Not meaning that the Generacs have gotten much better since i started with the company 5 years ago but that Kohler has come down.

Its all going to come down to the service department of your supplier.

For your house you are going to need a larger unit. Probably at least 30Kw if I had to guess. But more than likely higher.

Remember always buy more generator than you need. The common mistake is to get one just big enough to cover it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kohler sizes the unit needed as 14kw. That's basically for essentials, which is all I'm looking for. Heat, sump pumps, refers, basic lighting, critical power, etc. It's not intended to run the entire house under house an off grid condition.

So, yes, would I like a 30KW unit, of course. To the tune of 10 or 12 dimes. Would a 10kw or 14kw unit work for my intended purpose? Yes. To the tune of 3 or 4 dimes.
 

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For heat, sump pump and refers? Seems a little small to me. But it depends on the size of the equipment you are powering. Its the amp draw of all those motors starting up at once when the power goes out that is usually the issue.
 

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For heat, sump pump and refers? Seems a little small to me. But it depends on the size of the equipment you are powering. Its the amp draw of all those motors starting up at once when the power goes out that is usually the issue.
Just curious because you seem to be fairly knowledgeable...

Since that is a known issue is there any sort of circuit box out there that one could place between the generator and those higher demand systems that would allow you to program some sort of systematic delayed start up of each one? Sounds like if there is something like that out there it would be a far cheaper option than a generator that is so far in excess of the desires of the home owner.
 

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Here's my scenario: (which is far more than I'd run in a power out / storm scenario)

Total Running Watts: 8865 W
Total Starting Volt-Amps: 20000 VA
Home Square Footage: 5,000 Square Ft
Appliances:
Dishwasher Significant use 700 W 1500 VA
Microwave Oven Significant use 1200 W 1200 VA
Garbage Disposal Significant use 200 W 450 VA
Refrigerator Significant use 500 W 2000 VA
Coffee Maker Significant use 1500 W 1500 VA
Stereo Significant use 200 W 200 VA
Radio Significant use 50 W 50 VA
TV Significant use 500 W 500 VA
Personal Computer Significant use 700 W 700 VA
Sump Pump Significant use 1000 W 2000 VA
Security System Significant use W VA
Dehumidifier Significant use 1000 W 1200 VA
Dryer (Gas) Significant use 500 W 900 VA
Washer Significant use 700 W 1300 VA
Well Pump Significant use 750 W 1500 VA
Garage Door Opener Significant use 500 W 1500 VA
Stand-Alone Freezer Significant use 500 W 1500 VA
Furnace Fan Significant use 750 W 2000 VA
 

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Just curious because you seem to be fairly knowledgeable...

Since that is a known issue is there any sort of circuit box out there that one could place between the generator and those higher demand systems that would allow you to program some sort of systematic delayed start up of each one? Sounds like if there is something like that out there it would be a far cheaper option than a generator that is so far in excess of the desires of the home owner.
Yes its called load shedding. You can buy automatic transfer switches that will do that for you.
 

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^^ This^^
We'll spend the few extra dollars to add another sub-panel to create a "critical power" board that the xfer switch will connect to / which the generator will power first, and then any additional outside of that should capacity be there to support it.
 

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Quads I will get with one of our sales man to see what he says. They are better at sizing than I am. They can probably look at your list and pop it right out.

For just the essentials i think you will be OK. But if you start trying to do to much the 14kw unit will show it real quick. As I said I believe in up sizing and having more than you need in case the power is off for days and the unit really has to work. Better safe than sorry.

Also make sure that you get 14kw from the type of fuel you will be running. 14 is more than likely on propane. Its likely to be 12 or 13 on natural gas.

And make sure their quote includes an automatic switch. You are going to need a 200a switch or you will be limited to only 100a worth of juice available to the house. Its a common trick that I have seen. They low ball the bid and say it includes the switch but its a 100a breaker panel that you have to go out and manually switch over from city power to the generator. Of course the up charge for the better switch is significant.
 

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^^ This^^
We'll spend the few extra dollars to add another sub-panel to create a "critical power" board that the xfer switch will connect to / which the generator will power first, and then any additional outside of that should capacity be there to support it.
You can get a 200a load shed switch that does everything for you. Its a bit pricey but you save on having the switch plus the extra panel plus the electrician and supplies to put them both in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quads I will get with one of our sales man to see what he says. They are better at sizing than I am. They can probably look at your list and pop it right out.

For just the essentials i think you will be OK. But if you start trying to do to much the 14kw unit will show it real quick. As I said I believe in up sizing and having more than you need in case the power is off for days and the unit really has to work. Better safe than sorry.

Also make sure that you get 14kw from the type of fuel you will be running. 14 is more than likely on propane. Its likely to be 12 or 13 on natural gas.

And make sure their quote includes an automatic switch. You are going to need a 200a switch or you will be limited to only 100a worth of juice available to the house. Its a common trick that I have seen. They low ball the bid and say it includes the switch but its a 100a breaker panel that you have to go out and manually switch over from city power to the generator. Of course the up charge for the better switch is significant.
I appreciate it.
Yes, most ratings are on diesel or whatever fuel gives the best output.
This will be on Natural Gas, so the output will be slightly less, and of course you never run a genny at 100% load, so 10KW is in reality an 8KW, running at the rule of 80% duty cycle.

But yes, any add'l info from your boys would be sweet.
Nice bottle of scotch in store for wholesale pricing that's drop shipped to the customer too!
 

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Love my Generac 16Kw with Automatic Transfer switch fed by natural gas. I put the switch that includes an interior circuit breaker so that I can turn items on and off as I need them. I have a "hard start" capacitor installed on the AC/Heat which allows it to crank without as many initial draw.
 

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Hey Quads. Still waiting to hear back from the dumb ass sales man.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No worries.
Still waiting to hear back from underwriting on our close date.
 
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