Generac or Kohler whole home standby generator?

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sean donato

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@sean donato
I don't think I saw mention of what size diesel generator you have. Care to share?
It's a mosa 6000D, rated at 5500 running watts. 10hp air cooled yanmar. They are kinda rare in the states, and gen side parts are a bugger to get. I actually had a capacitor go out in it last year, and thanks to farmer Steve I now have a back for my back up. He gave me a 5000 watt Coleman gasoline gen. Have both working now and a few spare caps for the mosa.
We don't have natural gas, and the stove and water heater are electric, so they keep us going when the power is out. 2 is 1 and one is none.... learned that the hard way....
 

sundance

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It's a mosa 6000D, rated at 5500 running watts. 10hp air cooled yanmar. They are kinda rare in the states, and gen side parts are a bugger to get. I actually had a capacitor go out in it last year, and thanks to farmer Steve I now have a back for my back up. He gave me a 5000 watt Coleman gasoline gen. Have both working now and a few spare caps for the mosa.
We don't have natural gas, and the stove and water heater are electric, so they keep us going when the power is out. 2 is 1 and one is none.... learned that the hard way....
I've got a 5KW diesel I bought from Northern Hydraulic 20 odd years ago. It's only been used a couple times in all those years. We lead a simple life (with no kids) so for the normal handful of hours outages we usually just do without. It was handy for our 2 day outage last fall. Years back when I was traveling a lot for work the wife went 5 days without power. Generator was too much for her to try and drag out and start.
For our needs I don't see spending what a whole house set-up costs.
 

JustPlainJeff

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They are good for peace of mind but I wonder how many people get their money's worth out of them.
I'm going a lot during Winter for extended periods. If she even uses it once a year when I'm not home, I'm just fine with the money spent. Shoot, even for me, if it goes out when I'm home, I like to live comfortably, and have the ability to run the A/C and be comfortable. I have zero qualms about spending the money. The power has been out here four times in the last ten months. Two of those times for over two days each.
 

dboyd351

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I guess I'm fortunate we don't have that many power outages I've been here 15 years and there was one time it was out for the better part of the day
Other than that it has never been more than an hour or two at a time and many years doesn't happen at all
 

Toyboy

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They are good for peace of mind but I wonder how many people get their money's worth out of them.
We've had automatic gen-sets since 1994, and to us it's a nice comfort to have. There have been times we've had guests here when a storm hits, but are not inconvenienced if we drop from mainline. Life goes on as usual.
One time it fired up mid week on a beautiful day. Come to find out it sensed low voltage (brown out) and took over until it was back to normal and then shut off. Only time that's happened.

If a whole house gen-set is not for you, don't go there. Just get yourself a little portable unit if that fits your needs. Or do nothing and ride it out.
It's all about choices. I've made mine.
 

NJ1911

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We bought a house in June 2020 that came with an 8kw Generac, ATS and a 1000 gallon propane tank. It was one of the things that sealed the deal for us, having dealt with 4 day outages and a portable generator at our old house. 9 months later the motor on the generator locked up. I attribute that to age and lack of maintenance by the previous owner.

Our generator man ordered us a new 10kw Generac in March 2021 which had an 8 month lead time since there was no supply. It arrived in October and was installed, all other electrical and the ATS remained the same. It runs the lights, well pump, boiler, refrigerators, TV, etc and uses very little fuel. We have estimated over 20 days on the 800 gallons in the propane tank based on load if it came to that. Cost was $3400 installed for the new generator. We love the peace of mind it provides.

Whatever you decide I would get your order in now. No telling what the lead time is these days.
 

sundance

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I've got a 5KW diesel I bought from Northern Hydraulic 20 odd years ago. It's only been used a couple times in all those years. We lead a simple life (with no kids) so for the normal handful of hours outages we usually just do without. It was handy for our 2 day outage last fall. Years back when I was traveling a lot for work the wife went 5 days without power. Generator was too much for her to try and drag out and start.
For our needs I don't see spending what a whole house set-up costs.
I should add......I also lost a capacitor a couple years ago.
 
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that's the size my dad is getting installed this month, says 5 days on 400 gal of lp I think.
Here the one my dad got installed yesterday, must be atleast 10k+ watts he said with the bigger one the transfer switch was included and was a better deal for the money. I believe he said 1-3 gph on propane depending on load. Resized_IMG_20220627_142859.jpeg
 

richg

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The propane tanks have become very difficult to get, and the prices have essentially doubled, when they can be found. Searching online, back in February, I found a large home improvement chain that listed the 420# (nominal 100 gallon) tanks as available, with a 90 day lead time, I wish that had even been close. We ordered 8 tanks Feb 26th, they were supposed to be delivered to the store May 15th, that got pushed out to June 16th, then another email pushing them out to July 14th, then last Monday June 13th, with dread, I opened a new email, to be Pleasantly Surprised that the delivery date was revised to July 1st.

I Hope that the new date is accurate, as their nearest store is Cheyenne, WY, is where we will be picking them up. It will be about a 2,500 mile round trip to pick them up. We are keeping 2 tanks for ourselves, and have commitments on at least 4 of the other 6 tanks already, just talking to people we know, without advertising them at all. The price difference between what is sometimes available locally, and what we paid to order them is worthwhile to make the trip. It is a road trip that the Wife and I are looking forward to, but the price of fuel is going to add a bit to each tank compared to when this trip was planned in February

In our area, the 100 gallon tanks are about the largest that can be placed without setback requirements from the house, a serious consideration for us.

While “Leasing “ a tank from a propane company isn’t expensive on its face, you are committed to buying propane from ONLY that company, and the difference in price between filling a leased tank, and being able to shop around for the Best delivered price can be substantial. Plus no other company will fill a leased tank.

Doug
I refer to it as "propain". I too made the mistake of leasing a 500 gallon tank in 2009 and the leasing fees by this point would have paid for purchase of the tank. Not being able to shop around is a serious PITA because they have customers by the short hairs.

Back to the original question about which generator, something to keep in mind is that many standby units will auto test at a predetermined frequency and nibble away at your propane supply while doing so. This is not an issue for people who have a natural gas line but it can literally be lights out if you don't monitor the levels in a dedicated propane tank connected to your standby generator. This is not to discourage you from getting a propane-powered standby....A properly sized propane tank hooked to a standby generator will get you through just about any conceivable scenario whereas gasoline powered portable units are vulnerable to fuel supply disruption. I'm in NJ and Hurricane Sandy knocked out gasoline supply in most of the state. People who had portable generators generally didn't have adequate gasoline reserves on hand and a lot of folks ran the generator 24-7 instead of intermittently as to preserve fuel. There were panic rushes at gas stations when somebody posted on the interweb that XYZ gas station had fuel. I currently have a 8500 surge/6500 constant portable generator and curse whenever power goes out and the thing needs to be dragged out of the garage and connected to the transfer switch external outlet. And then I look at the cost of a propane standby unit and usually wind up saying "Screw it" and getting a pizza.
 

Sawyer Rob

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My propane supplier doesn't charge any tank rent, as long as you buy at least 400 gallons a "year", and that I think is reasonable.

My generator of choice for short term outages, is a small Honda "inverter" generator, as it's VERY quiet and doesn't burn near as much fuel as most other generators. "Inverter" makes all the difference!!

For a whole house generator, I have a PTO powered generator that I can hook to my tractor, and it's been GREAT as my tractor is always ready to go, so it's a really good option for me.

SR
 

ChasSC

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I just bought a Kohler 20kW system with the ATS and two power relay modules to decrease the load at start up, not even installed yet. It's a smart system with load shedding. I learned a bunch from the sight I bought it from. You can order it direct, don't forget to add the battery to your cart. Here's where I got it from, link below. Runs off NG or LP. It also has a monitoring system you can use on your phone or computer with a lot of features. I went with Kohler after being on "My Tractor Forum" and seeing how many old tractors had kohler engines. They have been around a long time. Generac is also good, they just have a lot more advertising and dealerships. There's actually a propane dealership here that can add a monitor to your tank and automatically schedule a refill if it gets below a pre-determined level, like 25%. Fortunately I am on NG even though both Kohler and Generac produce more power on LP. For instance, in my case the Kohler 20kW produces 20kW on LP and 18kW on NG.


I have an 8000w with a Honda engine and a 5500w with a Briggs that I would have to pull out and hook up. Plus I made this small gas tank I converted to run my generators to keep them running and lubed up. I just disconnect the gas line at the filter and hook up my small tank so I don't have to put gas into the tank of the portable generators.

Gas Tank Conversion.jpg
 

blades

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I have a generac that came with house- cica 90"s as for age. no problems with it . I had Generac dealer come out and service/ check over last year. It runs on propane. I do a yearly prebuy, 500 gal. with my current provider. I have never had a bill for rental of the tank. This year it was $1.99/gal and prices almost always go up come the cold weather, I drive them a bit crazy as I never use that much. be aware that a propane tank is only filled to a max of 80% of rated capacity I have a propane hot air furnace which I seldom use and hot water heater which is what uses the most fuel. the Gen set kicks on once a week for a bit , but I am going to change that to very other. 2 weekends ago I was out back splitting wood when I shut down the splitter I noticed that the gen was running. Power had gone out to the house about 10 am. came back around 1pm I have no idea why as it was a clear day mild breeze. not particularly hot . so either someone trashed a line pole or the electric co shut things down for something. I do not know the size of the unit but the stove is not hooked up to it ( dryer is ?). my wood stove will heat the whole house for apx 10-12 hours when i am gone furnace set for apx 65 should I be gone longer so it seldom runs total fuel used was 166 gal since last fill , i think oct. might have been sept. . Hot water heater is a 1991 install standing pilot type 75 gal ( way over kill for just me.) 2200 sq ft house. It is orginial to the home, so it is apx 32+ years old ( that ain't going happen again, but it hasn't died yet) Only the gen set and the furnace and hot water heater are propane. Keep thinking of a new hw but my goodness they are pricy nowdays- particulary for a 12 year warranty unit.
 

blades

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Not a big deal for me as I do not use the stove much at all Electric frying pan crock pot/ roaster and Micro wave. sometimes when I have a little more time fire up the grill.
 
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