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Q: Information about home electric generators ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Information about home electric generators
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: beauregard-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 03 Jun 2003 09:57 PDT
Expires: 03 Jul 2003 09:57 PDT
Question ID: 212475
I am about to make an offer to purchase a new home. The construction
is not yet complete and I'm going to request that the builder purchase
and install a natural gas fired home generator system, one that is big
enough to power
everything including the air-conditioner. My real estate broker said
that I should arm myself (figuratively speaking)with information about
these units so that I can talk (semi-) intelligently about them when
we all meet tomorrow. What sort of information can you find about
these units? These are permanent installations, always done
professionally, and sit quietly by just waiting for the electricity to
go off. Soon as it does, these spring to life and take up the slack,
so to speak. I know they are noisy. I want to know about various sizes
that might be available (amperes? watts? KVA?) and ballpark costs
associated. Thank you in advance.
Subject: Re: Information about home electric generators
Answered By: websearcher-ga on 03 Jun 2003 11:27 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello beauregard:

Thanks for the interesting question. 

The product you are thinking of is typically called a residential
natural gas powered automatic *standby generator*. Some facts about

* They are typically not intended to be running 24/7, but only in
emergencies when the regular electric service is interrupted.

* Most models seem to have an automatic start-up feature, where they
kick in upon disruption of the normal electrical service.

* They come in a wide variety of power levels, from 3 kW to 40kW or
more. (See for a chart of power
needs for your planned home.)

* Many models can be powered either by natural gas or liquid propane
(often a single model can switch between either).

* The price range tends to depend on wattage and available features,
but many smaller units are between US$3000 - US$5000.

* Most need to be professionally installed - so that will be an extra

Some of the most well-known makes and models I was able to find

Company: Genpro Power Systems Inc.
Power Range: 7.5 - 10.5 kW
Cost: $3,125 - $3,965

Company: Guardian
Power Range: 7.12 - 45 kW
Cost: not available through website

Company: Onan
Power Range: 10 - 42 kW
Cost: $3,687 - $14,550

I hope this information helps with your research. Good luck tomorrow.
If you need any clarification of the information I have provided,
please ask using the clarification feature and provide me with
additional details as to what you are looking for. As well, please
allow me to provide you with clarification(s) *before* you rate this
Thank you.                          
Search Strategy (on Google): 
"standby generators" information
"natural gas generators" home standby
"natural gas" generators home standby
beauregard-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great answer. The links are invaluable. I'm going to have spec sheets
printed which I can give to the builder. He'll balk, but then I'll not
buy the house. Thank you very much.

Subject: Re: Information about home electric generators
From: pinkfreud-ga on 03 Jun 2003 11:52 PDT
Somehow I would be a bit uneasy about buying a product 
whose brand name was 'Onan'. Might it not have a tendency 
toward... um... spillage? ;-)
Subject: Re: Information about home electric generators
From: featser-ga on 03 Jun 2003 17:21 PDT
It gets worse; Onan is owned by Cummins

Subject: Re: Information about home electric generators
From: beauregard-ga on 04 Jun 2003 00:17 PDT
Miss Pink,

Somehow I knew you could not let this question go without comment. I
must protest that the question was asked in all seriousness and in
good faith. But you just had to find an, er, erotic connotation. I
assure none was intended. My house-to-be is not yet finished, and in
fact, the yard has yet to be seeded, so this is the perfect time for
this purchase. One of the units I am looking at has a Wankel engine
and I am leaning close to this one. None must be started by hand, a
feature I appreciate. Each can turn on by itself. And each avoids
spillage with the use of rubber gaskets at every joint.  So you see,
this issue is strictly related to the generation of emergency electric
Subject: Re: Information about home electric generators
From: pinkfreud-ga on 05 Jun 2003 16:13 PDT
General Beauregard,

It is reassuring to know that you have the matter well in hand. I am
sure that in areas of power-generation, you can hold your own.

Subject: Re: Information about home electric generators
From: beauregard-ga on 05 Jun 2003 17:33 PDT
Miss Pink,

You are correct. What's more, I don't have to look my best.

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