Natural Gas Generators

randytsuch

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Alright everyone what do you think,

at 30 hours you need to change the oil. I think they ship them with slightly different spec oil, and it has the smaller OEM Mitsubishi oil filter on it vs the larger Generac one
I pretty much followed this:
Break in portable generator

No idea how you'd adjust for a built in generator.
But it makes sense to me that you'd let it run a while with no load, then change the oil before running it under load.

Obviously more work, but hopefully its worth it down the road.

Randy
 

ptzman

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Alright everyone what do you think,

at 30 hours you need to change the oil. I think they ship them with slightly different spec oil, and it has the smaller OEM Mitsubishi oil filter on it vs the larger Generac one

Would you wait to hit 30 hours on outages/exercise on its own, or run it on load to hit 30 and then change the oil? I think getting the 30 hours on it right away might be good, incase there is a problem. But then I'm "using up" the hours on it too

I really don't want to hit 30 in the middle of an extended outage

View attachment 83803
I don't understand why you would have to do so much daily checking, especially the fuel line?

I would run it at the maximum load for at least 8 hours (electric heaters make a nice load), check the frequency (60 hz +/- .5 hz) while it is running as well as the voltage. Shut it down then check the oil. I would do this about three times over the next month or so. Also, while it is running check for gas leaks by spraying a soap solution on the gas fittings. Then expect a high gas bill.
 

samplenhold

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Your best bet is to ask the company that is doing the install and will probably be doing the maintenance.

On my 10Kw Onan diesel, the first oil and filter was at 50 hours then yearly or every 150 hours. Coolant change isn't until 1500 hours.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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I pretty much followed this:
Break in portable generator

No idea how you'd adjust for a built in generator.
But it makes sense to me that you'd let it run a while with no load, then change the oil before running it under load.

Obviously more work, but hopefully its worth it down the road.

Randy
It comes already filled and ready to run, you just have to change it at 30. Funnily enough the cheaper air cooled units only "Recommend" you change at 30, makes you wonder

I don't understand why you would have to do so much daily checking, especially the fuel line?

I would run it at the maximum load for at least 8 hours (electric heaters make a nice load), check the frequency (60 hz +/- .5 hz) while it is running as well as the voltage. Shut it down then check the oil. I would do this about three times over the next month or so. Also, while it is running check for gas leaks by spraying a soap solution on the gas fittings. Then expect a high gas bill.
I think its just a cover your ass thing, no one will be checking their generator daily I bet. I probably will just because I like looking at cool things

Your best bet is to ask the company that is doing the install and will probably be doing the maintenance.

On my 10Kw Onan diesel, the first oil and filter was at 50 hours then yearly or every 150 hours. Coolant change isn't until 1500 hours.
They all just go by Generacs word, which I personally don't value very much. Their answer is to just let it hit 30

My thought it that perhaps we have another freeze or pouring rain, or something. if it hits 30 and I'm a week into a 2 week power outage, I don't want to let it run another full week without changing the oil, and now I'm in the middle of a horrible situation

My thought is if I get it to 30 quickly, I can cut out that 30 hour maintenance while also uncovering any potential issues while I don't actually need the generator. The bi-weekly test is unloaded, which I think is kind of stupid too. I'll probably do my own loaded test at least once every 2 months
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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Something I've noticed since looking into generators. EVERYONE is an expert, even people who know squat about motors or electrical

Everyone will tell you that XYZ brand is the best, but they don't even own a generator, have never looked into them, and don't work on them. Very odd

I'm sure all those people won't want to come to my nice cool house in summer when the powers out :p
 

wittaj

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Something I've noticed since looking into generators. EVERYONE is an expert, even people who know squat about motors or electrical

Everyone will tell you that XYZ brand is the best, but they don't even own a generator, have never looked into them, and don't work on them. Very odd

I'm sure all those people won't want to come to my nice cool house in summer when the powers out :p
No different than people commenting on cameras:p Or even camera manufacturers with the games they play to give a great still image LOL...
 

samplenhold

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EVERYONE is an expert
Yup. Opinions are like assh0les. Everyone has one, and everyone else's stinks.

'Experts' SMH. I love the MSM 'news' stories where the say "Experts say..." who the fork are these 'experts'? How did they become an 'expert'? Did they take a test? Was there a vote? What criteria was used to determine that they are 'experts'?
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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An update here on my install

Before I was paying an extra $1500 for 100 feet of cable to the meter. Now I am getting solar, and they are moving the meter to right next to where the generator goes under the same project, meaning I'll save that $1500, and best of all, 26% of everything is written off under the federal tax credit

Solar is grid tied, so it will not provide any backup power until I get a battery (And right now, there is no compelling options) but it does offset 109% of my electric for less money per month meaning I'll never pay for an electric increase for the next 30-40 years, and when I pay it off, I just get free power
 

tigerwillow1

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meaning I'll save that $1500, and best of all, 26% of everything is written off under the federal tax credit
The solar subsidies are the only government do-good income redistribution program I've ever been able to take advantage of.
I'll never pay for an electric increase for the next 30-40 years, and when I pay it off, I just get free power
Don't count on it. In my state (Oregon) I get credited the retail consumption rate for what I put into the grid. Some other states that started that way are now paying less for what you put in than what you take out. Even though it works against me, it is reasonable because someone who is net-zero for grid consumption is not paying for any of the infrastructure. I have a 400 amp service, so there has to be infrastructure there for me to pull 96 kW from the grid, which the other ratepayers are paying for. As more and more homes get solar and the power company gets less and less money to maintain the infrastructure, it will reach a breaking point, and the grid-as-a-free=storage-battery gravy train will end.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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The tax credit is pretty foolproof, I haven't read about anyone not getting it

As long as I can get a battery in the next few years, I should be able to be completely self powered which should be pretty cool. Even thought that would eat into the savings of the system, I'm not really get this for savings
 

tigerwillow1

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Wait, so if I get a cow I can use it to fuel the generator AND get free milk?
I'm really dumb for posting this....
When I was a kid and wondered where natural gas came from, I pictured a huge room with hundreds of toilets, somebody sitting on each one. I'll leave the rest of the details to imagination :)
 
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Has anyone gotten one installed? What do you have, and how much did it cost?

In the order of preference I think Kohler is the best, Cummins is second, and Generac is third. However, the Generac units are popular enough I think it may be easier to find parts

Liquid cooled is preferable to air cooled, but almost doubles the cost. Sadly my local Kohler reseller is kind of annoying, so I'm looking at the Cummins units. around $10K for a 22kw air cooled, or $17K for a 22kw Liquid Cooled.

Still trying to decide between liquid or air. I think Liquid would be nice, but is it 7K more valuable than the air cooled? Probably not. They both do the job, and I'm not losing power every week
I have the 14kW Kohler RCA standby generator at my house. A lot of people I know have Generac standby units installed at their homes, including my parents. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Generac. A lot of people I know have had issues with them ranging from snapped push rods, to overspeed alarms, oil leaks etc. My parents Generac (2014 14kW model) had to have a part on the throttle replaced within two years after the original installation. The faulty part would cause the generator to shutdown right away and cause an overspeed alarm. However, they haven't had an issue with it since then.

I've watched a series of YouTube videos comparing Generac and Kohler and it appears Kohler can handle heavy loads better. There's a YouTube video of an 8kW Kohler standby generator starting a 4 Ton A/C unit with a 4.8kW preload on it.

I also like how the Kohler (14kW and up) has Hydraulic Valve lifters so you don't have to do valve adjustments. I am aware that Generac just started offering Hydraulic Valve lifters on certain models within the past year or so.

Based on my personal experience between my parents Generac and my Kohler I've noticed the Kohler to have a cleaner power output especially when starting appliances that place a large start-up load on the generator.

If remote management and email/text alerts are important to you I would stay away from Generac. This is based on my personal experience with Generac's remote management app. Generac charges you a monthly or yearly fee for this service. The app is fairly basic and is extremely slow to update. For example, my parents generator is set to exercise on Sunday at 1:00pm. Sometimes I wouldn't get the notification from the generator that it exercised for a few hours after it completed the exercise. On a few occasions I wouldn't get notified until the next day! The same notifications delay is true for power failure notifications.

Maybe they fixed this issue with the new Generac's that have built in wifi but I don't have one to test.

Kohler's remote app is free to use and provides status updates within seconds. The app allows you to schedule exercises and will allow you to start a fully loaded exercise cycle. It is also detailed and provides you with Engine RPM, Generator Frequency, Oil temp, Controller temp etc. The Kohler also connects to the internet with an ethernet cable which I prefer.

With all of that being said, if I knew the house I'm currently in was going to be my forever home, I Would've went with the Cummins RS25 standby generator. The Cummins is a liquid cooled engine running at 1800RPM (quieter operation and longer life of the generator). The alternator is brushless so it provides cleaner power and based on videos I've seen the remote management app is pretty advanced.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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Not sure if you've made your way through all 8 pages here, but I actually wanted a Kohler, but the only local authorized installers are dicks, so that's out the window

After that I contacted my local Cummins rep to get the RS25, and at the same time contacted the largest Generac dealer around. Cummins have still not contacted me, and I've signed the papers on the Generac 27kw Liquid cooled 1800rpm unit. Pretty much completely different to all the air cooled ones, no issues with valves etc. It has local management, but I'll also be running this: jgyates/genmon
 
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Not sure if you've made your way through all 8 pages here, but I actually wanted a Kohler, but the only local authorized installers are dicks, so that's out the window

After that I contacted my local Cummins rep to get the RS25, and at the same time contacted the largest Generac dealer around. Cummins have still not contacted me, and I've signed the papers on the Generac 27kw Liquid cooled 1800rpm unit. Pretty much completely different to all the air cooled ones, no issues with valves etc. It has local management, but I'll also be running this: jgyates/genmon
honestly, I read through a lot of the thread but not all of it lol.

I’m familiar with genmon and I’m considering it for my parents generator. I’m not sure about their liquid cooled units, but I remember reading on a Generac forum that the Evolution 2.0 controllers are going to be encrypted after a certain firmware version. The encryption will not allow installation of a 3rd party modules for remote management. So before you buy that unit I would double check and make sure the generator you’re going to get isn’t going to have an encrypted controller.

Edit: Here is the link discussing the encryption -https://www.zillerstore.com/post/email-from-generac-stating-that-evolution-2-0-controllers-will-now-be-encrypted-10519789?pid=1311597551&highlight=encryption
 
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