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post #1 of 7 Old 02-15-2019, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Gathering opinions over natural gas generators

Most of the threads I found here involve converting a gasoline generator to natural gas, or propane.

One issue is that NG generators run hotter than gas ones and some say this might void a warranty.

I would like a generator designed as an NG generator from the get-go but would allow conversion to propane as a backup. Conversion to tri-fuel to add gasoline would be a plus but not a determining factor.

I am also concerned with noise levels as I am on a 5,000 sq ft postage stamp sized lot so neighbors are close.

I confess I haven't down my homework yet as to size but I only really need it to run two recirculating pumps on my NG furnace (one pump was replaced a few months ago and the other is an original and probably a power hog so it would have to be replaced) and a modern energy efficient refrigerators. Oh, and my wife says it needs to also run a hairdryer. LOL, I'm thinking 3,000kw would be more than enough.

Can someone provide any recommendations on NG generator makers, brands and models, or why my approach is not practical?

I would be glad to collect user's opinions about models represented in this review and buying guide?

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-15-2019, 02:29 AM
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3000kw is 3 million watts which those generators are the size of a semi trailer. I'm thinking you meant 3kw which would be way to small. I can just barely run my house on a 5500 watt, 5.5kw generator with fridge, freezer, sump pump and furnace. I would look at a generator in 7-10kw range. That way if you lose power in summer you still can run ac and a stove and not trip the generator. A 5500 would probably work for most people to just run the minimum. But you never lose power at ideal times or seasons. It will always be 95* or -10* when the power goes out.

The price difference between 3kw and 5kw and 7kw is really negligible when your looking for a out of the box NG generator. And the bigger expense is the switch gear and wiring the generator to the house.

Last edited by elvenhome21; 02-15-2019 at 02:35 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-15-2019, 03:51 AM
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Re: Gathering opinions over natural gas generators

Go and check the actual power requirements of each of the appliances you want to work. That will give you the minimum power you need to keep everything running. Note, you need a bigger generator than this, as some appliances will need significantly more power to start them going.

As well, come up with a plan on how to switch between utility-feed and your generator, as you need to disconnect from the utility lines when your generator is working (ie, for safety of the utility workers, fixing power lines when there is an outage, and bad things can/will happen when both your generator and the utility lines are connected when they are both powered).

For example, the hair dryer on high, uses about 1.2-1.5kW. I would expect your pump motors to use more, and also need significantly more power just to start them up.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-15-2019, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Gathering opinions over natural gas generators

thx for contributing fellas, could you also tell which models you actually use?
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-15-2019, 10:38 AM
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Re: Gathering opinions over natural gas generators

If you are going through the expense of buying a gen and hopefully a transfer switch, I would suggest you go a bit bigger than you think you need. No sense living in the dark ages anymore. You will need lights, water (if you're on a well), and possibly a microwave depending upon the duration of the outage. As was mentioned previously, A/C might also be an option. I can run the fridge, freezer, furnace, water heater, 220v sewage grinder pump and kitchen lights on a 20 year-old 5500w Generac (Briggs & Stratton engine) portable. As also mentioned, some motors require up to 50% more power to start up so include that in your calculations. Make sure it has wheels. They are heavy.

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post #6 of 7 Old 02-25-2019, 11:14 PM
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Re: Gathering opinions over natural gas generators

We like the propane model we have to run our RV and property. It's a Champion 3500 dual fuel. Biggest factor for us is not having to haul gasoline and everything that goes with that, Carb issues, keeping gas stable etc and a 100lb PP tank will last quite some time. Not sure of your power needs but ours will run our air conditioner, microwave and well pump, just not any of those three at the same time, the rest of the camper runs just fine with any one of those so not an issue for us. My vote, PP if you can get one to suit your need
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-26-2019, 08:06 AM
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Re: Gathering opinions over natural gas generators

I installed and permanent Generac 22kw with a service rated automatic transfer switch. It is dual fuel nat gas and propane. I use nat gas which reduces power output to about 20kw. I choose generac because they are very common in my area and have a decent reputation. As to noise, thatís nice of you to be considerate of your neighbors so place it in a way that is safe and reduces impact on them. Also, make sure you are aware of any neighborhood or community rules that address generators and noise. Typical lawnmowers produce 90 dB. Some Generac generators range from 63 to 68 dB. Not terribly loud during the day but plan on the generator running at all times of the day and night. Check out Ziller Electric for extensive generator discussions. Good luck.

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