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natural gas generator #4440637
06/24/17 09:07 PM
06/24/17 09:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,300
Golden Meadow, LA
mobilaltima Offline OP
mobilaltima  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,300
Golden Meadow, LA
Along with a new ZTR mower, my dad is now looking to buy a 20-22kw natural gas generator, the ones that turn on automatically when the power goes out. He's about to sell a truck he has, and the money will go towards the generator. He has a 12 year old 8kw Blackmax with the 13hp GX390 Honda that has a natural gas kit on it, it has been flawless and never missed a lick in 12 years. Bought it right before Katrina, but he just wants an automatic one now(as opposed to having to drag the blackmax out, hooking up the natural gas hose and cranking everytime the power goes out.) I dont blame him. We have looked at a GE, with a Briggs Vanguard engine, a Kohler, A Generac with a Generac OHVI engine, and a Briggs and Stratton with a Briggs Vanguard engine. Which one of these, generator and engine, would be the best buy and give the most reliable years of service? I'm not fond of the Briggs engines taking 5W30 oil and them being air cooled, but if thats what they require for warranty then I guess we have no choice.

Last edited by mobilaltima; 06/24/17 09:09 PM.

2006 2500 Dodge 5.9 Cummins Mobil Delvac 15W40, Fleetguard Stratapore 90k miles
Early '99 F250 ECLB 7.3 Stroker, 223k miles
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4440675
06/24/17 09:58 PM
06/24/17 09:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,810
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,810
Upstate NY
Winco makes a better generator than Generac. I have taken most of the Winco I have apart to replace the generator head as the previous owner ran it 24x7 for months on end and overloaded it. It's well built and no scrimping.

20kw is probably still air cooled in most cases.

Be aware that the auto transfer switch can cost a lot and need an electrician to wire it.

Some generators are packaged with a auto transfer switch.

I see some on CraigsList where the hours are all weekly tests.

Many engines can be switched between propane and natural gas.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4440679
06/24/17 10:02 PM
06/24/17 10:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,121
Lima, Ohio, USA
earlyre Offline
earlyre  Offline

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,121
Lima, Ohio, USA
dad has the generac, and it's also an air-cooled Vtwin, that specs 5w30.

hasn't had any issues with it, but honestly not much use either...
he has a maintenance contract with the company that put it in (and the furnace, AC, Water heater, etc), and they come out twice a year, change the oil and filters on the Gen, and the furnace filters.

I'm fairly certain they use M1 5w30. and the official generac filters. ugh..
I know it uses the same battery as my old neon, and if IRC, the Filter crosses to the same ones as the 1zzfe(toyota engine) the Vibe in my sig takes.

tried to convince dad he could save a ton of money and let me do the maintenance, but... he'd rather pay them.


Mine:
13 Ford C-MAX hybrid: MC 5w20, & FL910s (in theory)
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4440700
06/24/17 10:32 PM
06/24/17 10:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,454
San Antonio, TX
E150GT Online content
E150GT  Online Content

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,454
San Antonio, TX
Ive sold a few for jobs at work and I hear through the grapevine that Kohler make good units. Ive sold a few Generac but have heard mixed things.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 57k 10w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 31k 5w30
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4440963
06/25/17 09:57 AM
06/25/17 09:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,991
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,991
Waco, TX
Briggs Vanguard engines (used to be) as good as a Honda. They WERE made in Japan... are they still?

Generac is "just OK".


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441046
06/25/17 11:39 AM
06/25/17 11:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,226
Buffalo, NY
JTK Online content
JTK  Online Content

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,226
Buffalo, NY
20-22Kw can be quite a draw on your natural gas service. Hopefully your system and other gas appliances can cope.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441123
06/25/17 01:17 PM
06/25/17 01:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,353
Texas
JustinH Offline
JustinH  Offline

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,353
Texas
Are long power outages frequent in Louisiana?

When I lived in NY we would have quite a few from ice storms, etc.

But since I moved to Texas, most of the electric utility wiring is underground and we have had a few dips in power but no outage for more than an hour in five years.


'11 Hyundai Sonata GLS
'11 Scion XB
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441182
06/25/17 02:39 PM
06/25/17 02:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,300
Golden Meadow, LA
mobilaltima Offline OP
mobilaltima  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,300
Golden Meadow, LA
Yes, especially during hurricane season. We haven't had a bad storm in years. For Katrina we didn't have power for 2 weeks if I recall correctly


2006 2500 Dodge 5.9 Cummins Mobil Delvac 15W40, Fleetguard Stratapore 90k miles
Early '99 F250 ECLB 7.3 Stroker, 223k miles
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441212
06/25/17 03:08 PM
06/25/17 03:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 778
Pa, USA
NH73 Offline
NH73  Offline

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 778
Pa, USA
Originally Posted By: mobilaltima
I'm not fond of the Briggs engines taking 5W30 oil and them being air cooled, but if thats what they require for warranty then I guess we have no choice.
It should work fine using 5w30 full synthetic which is probably the recommendation. You could also use 10w30 full synthetic, which would be acceptable by B&S. If you don't like neither, B&S newest recommendation is Vanguard Full Synthetic 15w50.


2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
2012 Gravely ZT XL 48 w/ Kawasaki FR730
Re: natural gas generator [Re: NH73] #4441284
06/25/17 04:52 PM
06/25/17 04:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 164
Gonzales, La.
SwampDweller Offline
SwampDweller  Offline

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 164
Gonzales, La.
I'm a neighbor of yours up in Gonzales. Have had a Generac 20kw with the auto panel now for 4 years. Has only kicked on 3 times for outages from 2 to 5 hours. Cranks right up after about 10 seconds.

So far, I would give it a recommendation. I change the oil and filter once a year with Rotella 15/40 and a Fram Ultra XG4967 on the V-twin 999. Good luck

Last edited by SwampDweller; 06/25/17 04:53 PM.

From the Swamp, Lenny

16 F150 XLT 5.0 Super Crew
16 Ford Fusion SE 1.5 Turbo

14 Hustler ZTR 54 Super Duty 23/Kawasaki
Generac 20 KW 999V twin
15 Mercury 50 HP 4 Stroke
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441382
06/25/17 06:44 PM
06/25/17 06:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 189
Michigan
jkasch Offline
jkasch  Offline

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 189
Michigan
Plan to spend about a grand on a big a$$ gas meter. At least that's what Consumers Energy charged here in Michigan.

Re: natural gas generator [Re: jkasch] #4441431
06/25/17 07:46 PM
06/25/17 07:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,893
Upper Midwest
kschachn Online content
kschachn  Online Content

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,893
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: jkasch
Plan to spend about a grand on a big a$$ gas meter. At least that's what Consumers Energy charged here in Michigan.

Here they just upped our pressure to 2psi, and installed a regulator on the gas appliances. The cost was about half what you were charged.


1994 BMW 530i, 241K
1996 Honda Accord, 267K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 409K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441466
06/25/17 08:45 PM
06/25/17 08:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,810
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,810
Upstate NY
Has anyone done the needed calculations as to how many KW are actually needed for the critical loads?

If power outages are few and far between then maybe get enough to power the critical loads?

A peak-hold AC clamp-on ammeter would be handy.

If your Dad lives in LA he needs to determine if AC is a critical load.

Around here, my critical loads are water pump, heat, and power to cook on gas range or microwave. Maybe a couple of lights in the kitchen.

Water pump is the largest load.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: natural gas generator [Re: mobilaltima] #4441500
06/25/17 09:14 PM
06/25/17 09:14 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,066
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,066
ME
My former job had a gas generator and while the gas meter was "sized" for a certain flow it could do 150% of that rating, per the gas company. Might be worth asking them. They'd love to sell you more gas. wink

They put effort into residential gas delivery in a crisis (so you can heat the house) to a point that they cut off industrial users if there isn't enough.

Re: natural gas generator [Re: eljefino] #4442092
06/26/17 04:11 PM
06/26/17 04:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 164
Gonzales, La.
SwampDweller Offline
SwampDweller  Offline

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 164
Gonzales, La.
Agree with above, original gas meter was used. No issues after 5 hour run with high loads.

Donald, the auto panel is equipped with power shedding. Mine has run both central A/C units together though.

Last edited by SwampDweller; 06/26/17 04:14 PM.

From the Swamp, Lenny

16 F150 XLT 5.0 Super Crew
16 Ford Fusion SE 1.5 Turbo

14 Hustler ZTR 54 Super Duty 23/Kawasaki
Generac 20 KW 999V twin
15 Mercury 50 HP 4 Stroke
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