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#162264 - 04/15/07 08:49 PM Generator Brands
Tiger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 714
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
I'm looking at 15/16kW residential generators. Anyone prefer a particular manufacturer? I'm looking at the Generac because it runs weekly in a quiet idle mode.

Dave

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#162265 - 04/15/07 09:17 PM Re: Generator Brands [Re: Tiger]
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
normally i used the Kholer or Onan both are very good to me.

just make sure you get sound enclosure with it [ it will cost little more than standard units will charge ]

the other thing is check the warranty as well

but Dave just a head up if you get natural gas genny make sure you give the coumster a head up may have to change the gas metering to handle extra load on it .

Merci , Marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#162275 - 04/16/07 04:11 AM Re: Generator Brands [Re: frenchelectrican]
resqcapt19 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
What good does it do to run the weekly exercise in idle mode? I was always taught, and many operations manuals require, that the generator be run at 50% to 100% load for at least one hour a month.
Don
_________________________
Don(resqcapt19)

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#162276 - 04/16/07 04:21 AM Re: Generator Brands [Re: resqcapt19]
LarryC Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 776
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
The load requirement is very important for diesel engines to prevent "wet stacking" in the exhaust piping. Unburnt fuel can collect in the exhaust system, and when the engine runs for an extended time under load, a chimmney fire can result.

I do not know if a similiar effect happens with propane or Natural Gas fueled units. If the generator is hooked up to city gas, it may require more than just an upsized regulator, it may also require a larger line to the house.

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#162281 - 04/16/07 08:04 AM Re: Generator Brands [Re: Tiger]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
It's no accident that Generac has just kicked off a very aggressive marketing campaign.

I have installed a few gennys, and not a one of them was a Generac. Indeed, all were specified by someone else; my opinion was not asked for.

I am given to understand, from those with more direct experience, that this brand has a poor track record. I am told that the company has a very one-sided 'dealer' contract with EC's, and require they you stock lots of unique spare parts.

You are quite correct is suggesting that the genny itself is perhaps the least critical part of the install. The muffler is critical; most sets run with a roar that will wake the dead. The exerciser, load bank, and transfer switch are critical components.

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#162284 - 04/16/07 10:41 AM Re: Generator Brands [Re: renosteinke]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 884
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
I'm starting to get a fair amount of pressure to spec the Generac gensets...and I'd appreciate input as to why to avoid them.

I haven't heard anything specific, mostly generic comments from the field about service, pricing, quality of field support and delivery.

Anything that I can use to produce a better design for everyone concerned will be most appreciated.
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#162285 - 04/16/07 11:16 AM Re: Generator Brands [Re: ghost307]
LarryC Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 776
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
In a previous life, I used to repair standby and portable generators. The number 1 and 2 brands were Onan and Kohler. I believe Onan was bought by Caterpillar.

Generacs were disliked for two reasons. First, they were 2 pole machines which meant they rotated at 3600 rpm instead of 1800 rpm. Higher speeds equals more engine noise and more vibration and potentially shorter mechanical life.

Second, they used epoxied sealed plug in "blobs" for control units i.e. voltage regulators and such. Each model apparantly used unique blobs with no interchangebility. That goes back to the previous comment about needing to stock too many spare parts.

Personal opinion, if I were to install a standby unit for my house, I would look at Winco. Back in the early 90's they made a nice 20 KW unit that used the Ford industrial 4 cylinder engine, which used the same parts as the Pinto car. Obviously not top of the line like Cat or Onan, but good enough for most residential and small industrial applications.

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#162295 - 04/16/07 03:50 PM Re: Generator Brands [Re: LarryC]
Dnkldorf Offline
Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
I like the Siemens. They use a Generac motor, with their own controls and bells and whistles, but come in 3600 rpm, water cooled.

Kinda a mid range between the Onans, and the Generac/guardians.

IMO

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#162301 - 04/16/07 05:14 PM Re: Generator Brands [Re: LarryC]
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
 Originally Posted By: LarryC
In a previous life, I used to repair standby and portable generators. The number 1 and 2 brands were Onan and Kohler. I believe Onan was bought by Caterpillar.

Generacs were disliked for two reasons. First, they were 2 pole machines which meant they rotated at 3600 rpm instead of 1800 rpm. Higher speeds equals more engine noise and more vibration and potentially shorter mechanical life.

Second, they used epoxied sealed plug in "blobs" for control units i.e. voltage regulators and such. Each model apparantly used unique blobs with no interchangebility. That goes back to the previous comment about needing to stock too many spare parts.


I will like to correct one mistake here real quick the Onan is broughted by Cummins engine company not the Caterpiller Company.

let you know the correction there

as what other reflect what they saying about Generarc Generators i do agree with them.

I have few issuse with them as well the part network is very poor and majorty of items is not really standard parts at all that why i shy away from that company

most of my generator sale is kinda like pretty well equal Onan [ Cummins company ], Caterpillar ,Kohler , but few other as well if the comuster request it

My typical choice for resdental area is a slow speed [ 1800 rpm units ] useally 12-18 Kw range [ that will be serve most home load easly unless supersized home that diffrent ]

for fuel choice it depending on the area majorty of small units genrally spec'ed for Natural gas or LPG but diesel units as well but some local area may not allow diesel unit at all for other reason so just check all angle for this


my home i have 20 KW diesel unit with subbase fuel tank that will useally last me about 2 days of full running time but half load it will get 3 1/2 days

then again i will mention that the Generarc generators is " cheap " to me


Merci, Marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#162305 - 04/16/07 05:44 PM Re: Generator Brands [Re: frenchelectrican]
bigrockk Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 175
Loc: Middle of Canada
Years ago when I worked for the railroad and they still ran cabooses; all of ours were equipped with Onan generators. Well I have to say these genney's were tough. Very few breakdowns. The biggest problem we had with them (and that was fairly infrequent) was the "charging diode" for the battery charging circuit. These units were subjected to the worst of conditions and just seemed to keep on running for years.
Although these units are probably not the same as "resi" units there quality was impressive.

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