Thread Number: 72174  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Generac Standby Generator
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Post# 954476   8/25/2017 at 16:12 (2,462 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Anyone have a whole house standby generator or knowledge of them? I have a Generac 16 KW that was installed in 2007. It has worked flawlessly until 2 weeks ago when the electricity went out. The generator started automatically as it should however there still was no electricity. I called the dealer that installed it. He thought it was the voltage regulator but after waiting 10 days for the part and installing it, there still was no electricity being produced. Now he thinks it is the alternator that needs to be replaced at a cost of $2500 for parts and labour! This sounds absurd. I've asked him for a breakdown of part and labour costs but so far I have not received an answer. I called another dealer and am waiting for a quote from them.


Post# 954484 , Reply# 1   8/25/2017 at 16:40 (2,462 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Boy you are having a run of bad luck :( 

Post# 954493 , Reply# 2   8/25/2017 at 18:15 (2,462 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
fixed those(and similar)before

I have fixed a few of those- one unit I fixed under warranty had a wire break loose from the slip rings-one I have in the shop now keeps the starter engaged after engine start,grinding the pinion against the flywheel.If you want to repair the generator yourself,post the model#and I will check if it is the same model I have in the shop :)

Post# 954497 , Reply# 3   8/25/2017 at 18:24 (2,462 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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There are some of my neighbors have Generacs. I hear them once a week cycling but have never heard they had any problems with any of them. After the big ice storm in January 1998, when we lost power for 2 weeks, those started being installed. I have a Craftsman that I bought when the ice storm started, and it runs everything in the house I need. Problem is, that it eats 5 gallons of gas in 5 hours.

Post# 954508 , Reply# 4   8/25/2017 at 19:51 (2,462 days old) by realvanman (Southern California)        
GenerJunk has a very bad reputation

But FIRST get rid of any "technician" who is really just a "parts swapper", and is taking the "shotgun" approach with YOUR money. Indeed you should not pay for any parts that were installed to replace parts that were still good.

One who knows what they're doing will diagnose the problem and any faulty parts BEFORE buying any new parts.

I HIGHLY recommend the good folks on this site:

I specifically linked to the Onan forum because all of the excellent generator technicians hang out there. Many have GenerJunk experience and will be able to walk you through the troubleshooting process.


Post# 954511 , Reply# 5   8/25/2017 at 20:17 (2,462 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The Generac is model # 0052431. I have little mechanical/electrical skills so I don't plan on repairing the unit myself but I would like to be educated on what has to be done. From the research I have done, the alternator seems to be in the $300-500 range. I don't understand how labour could be $2000, even at a high rate of $100/hour that would mean 20 hours to replace the part? Something just isn't right.

Post# 954514 , Reply# 6   8/25/2017 at 20:43 (2,462 days old) by realvanman (Southern California)        
I understand your frustrations

There are a few tests that should have been carried out on the generator, before the regulator was ordered.

These tests can quickly rule out a problem with the generator, and narrow the possibilities down to the regulator or wiring.

As a further test, the regulator can be bench tested if the technician knows how, just to make double sure that it is indeed truly the problem.

Since he evidently did not do any troubleshooting, he still does not know what is actually wrong. He may very well have ended up with a bad regulator out of the box, or there may well be something wrong with the generator.

As mentioned above, the problem could be as simple as wiring or brushes. All of these things should be ruled out at the very beginning of the troubleshooting process.

I'd still recommend a chat with the guys on the Stak, even if only to help you make sure that you have a competent technician.


Post# 954515 , Reply# 7   8/25/2017 at 20:47 (2,462 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Whether or not the generator was broken and then got fixed, and supposing that it *is* now fixed, has the technician made sure that the transfer switch (which cuts off the utility and patches in the generator) is working properly? Because one can spend a whole week diagnosing and "fixing" a generator but if the transfer switch is broken, it will still not work.

Not that I'm judgmental or anything... :-P

Good luck!

Post# 954532 , Reply# 8   8/25/2017 at 23:56 (2,462 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Before the service guy came out to look at the generator, I had an electrician out. He checked and tested the transfer switch and said that everything was OK. He was the one that diagnosed that there was no electricity coming into the transfer switch. He also checked the generator and thought that the voltage regulator was OK. He didn't have the schematics for the generator so couldn't diagnose what the real issue was.

Post# 954571 , Reply# 9   8/26/2017 at 08:58 (2,462 days old) by beekeyknee (Columbia, MO)        

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Apparently the Onan Generator would be the type of generator that would be up the average members alley. Vintage and made in USA. Something new (or old) to look into.

Post# 954609 , Reply# 10   8/26/2017 at 12:23 (2,461 days old) by realvanman (Southern California)        
That or a good old Kohler generator

I have several in my collection. :)

Post# 955169 , Reply# 11   8/29/2017 at 09:37 (2,459 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The generator guy has been no help whatsoever....even so far as to not return my phone call which I made to him about 2 minutes after receiving an email from him yesterday morning. I called another dealer to get an estimate of the cost to replace the alternator and I have not heard from him either. Generac is offering a 10 year warranty on new generators if purchased by Sep. 01 so I have decided to get a new one. The electrician I had out last week will do the swap out of the old one. He knows someone that is looking for a small engine so I may be able to sell the engine out of the generator. It is going to cost me more than I had anticipated but hopefully I will have piece of mind for 10 years.

Post# 955339 , Reply# 12   8/30/2017 at 17:28 (2,457 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Generac - why make the same mistake twice!

There's a reason telephone co.s, fire & police stations, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. usually stick with either Cummins, Kohler or Caterpiller gen sets.

Cincinnati Bell Telephone uses Cummins equipment exclusively, both permanent and trailer mounted.

Post# 956768 , Reply# 13   9/9/2017 at 13:28 (2,447 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Some of my neighbors have those Generac whole house units that run from propane that is stored via underground tanks. Most had them installed after all the hurricanes we had in 2004. As far as I know they are all working fine, although one house that has one has been vacant as the owner had to move into assisted living.

Post# 956805 , Reply# 14   9/9/2017 at 16:44 (2,447 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Engine RPM's

Another thing to look for is one whose engine operates at 1800 RPM instead of 3600 RPM. Many of the less expensive units intended for residential use have the 3600 RPM engines, while most commercial grade have the 1800. The 1800 RPM engines usually last longer with less maintenance.

Post# 956854 , Reply# 15   9/10/2017 at 00:10 (2,447 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Electricians call them Genecrap. I'm not kidding. And they can't even use a simple ATS 2 wire start circuit but that might have changed. As Cirle W said there is a reason why Cummins, Cat act are used in real emergency applications.

If you want a real generator go for a 1,800 rpm liquid cooled unit. For low cost or outages that don't occur often go for 3,600rpm Kohler.

Post# 956855 , Reply# 16   9/10/2017 at 00:20 (2,447 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I considered installing a generator for our house but being right beside the hospital and police departments our electricity is never off for very long at a time.

Post# 956860 , Reply# 17   9/10/2017 at 01:29 (2,447 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Car hit a pole right down the street and killed power to my neighborhood. House next door has solar with backup batteries that will run critical stuff for a few hours. Of course seeing how it only affected 837 homes they took their time fixing it. Power was out for 12 hours but luckily our old fridge still has good door seals and insulation. The ice hadn't even started to melt when power came back. Would have been nice to have some kind of generator even if all it could do is the fridge and some lights. I have big and small computer UPS's on the pc's and av stuff but they only run half to a few hours max depending on what's on them. Fortunately that doesn't happen very often and usually they fix it quickly. Last ice storm power went out 5 hours but it was high teens low twenties so it got pretty cold in here.

Post# 956862 , Reply# 18   9/10/2017 at 01:56 (2,447 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I was wakened by a partial power failure-called GUC and it was fixed in less than an hour!

Post# 956918 , Reply# 19   9/10/2017 at 11:02 (2,446 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The Generac I have now, has been installed for 10 years and until this last episode...ran fine without any issues. We get power outages frequently. We had one for almost 24 hours starting on the afternoon of Dec. 24. The electricity did not come back on until noon on the 25th. My house was the only one on the street with electricity. The longest the electricity has been out is for 3 days about 10 years ago which prompted me to get the generator. I live in the country and as such I required electricity to run the water pump, sewage pump, etc. There are no dealers in this area for residential units for the other manufacturers mentioned.

Post# 956958 , Reply# 20   9/10/2017 at 16:35 (2,446 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Where I live our power is never out for long. We've had a lot of random outages caused by the fuse at the street blowing presumably because of an intermittent short in the underground wiring feeding a string of transformers in the neighborhood, it only seems to happen during fair weather when power use is low so that's just a wild guess. Our typical outage lasts 1-3 hours. PoCo usually responds within the hour. Longest we've been out is 24 hours when a tree limb fell on a line, took them awhile to get to it as there were far bigger issues in the area after a tornado had swept through.

With that said, a generator has never really been a priority here, though we do have a portable one. In some neighborhoods just a short ways south of me I see generators at almost every other house, so they must have a lot of issues with outages.

I did notice someone a few blocks from me on the same circuit from the sub station as us just had a Generac NG generator installed. They live on a swampy lot and have a basement so they probably wanted the piece of mind that their sump pumps will always have power.

Post# 957068 , Reply# 21   9/11/2017 at 03:11 (2,446 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Despite the 40 yr old plus underground wiring in my neighborhood-the power has been very reliable.No need for me to get a genset.Sat morning had a partial power outage-one leg went out.Power co fixed it in less than an hour.Someday they are going to have to replace their old wiring.The water company replaced their old pipes last year.

Post# 957132 , Reply# 22   9/11/2017 at 15:36 (2,445 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Just got a call from the electrician. The generator is in and will be installed on Wed.....yay!

Post# 995181 , Reply# 23   5/25/2018 at 16:07 (2,189 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Always have somewhere to put what will spoil!

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Had one last month; pics & relating stories below: 



Right when the clothes washer was filling and I dumped the soap in it, the power went right out--from thinking I just blew a fuse, to the whole house becoming pitch black & me clamoring to get up & out of that dark basement, to seeing the whole neighborhood in darkness...


SO, then, thanks to bringing everything that was highly perishable (dairy products, meat, milk & fish) over to my dad's (& he is in a much more power outage-prone area than we are) I saved everything; a little in his refrigerator, a LOT in his freezer!


(Eating what was nearly-empty & couldn't fit in there)


Then, at last, I had awoken at SEVEN-A.M. to everything finally back on, so I tirelessly, had to run back to dada's to retrieve everything I had brought over hours before, & brought back home... (Funny what a difference an address can make: On my way back from there, after dropping everything off, I saw one half of a block that didn't have its electricity, right next to to the lucky half that DID!) & too bad that Laura's school still lost its power, so there was no school for her today...




-- Dave


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Post# 995224 , Reply# 24   5/25/2018 at 22:53 (2,189 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        
I dont have a Generac

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But I wouldnt be without my little Honda EB3000c generator. Its great to have when I need it. All I need to run is the Monitor Top, a few lights, and computer and charge phones.

Post# 995241 , Reply# 25   5/26/2018 at 08:00 (2,189 days old) by paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
How do you test them?

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My in-laws had a Generac installed a year ago. Propane powered.
How do you test it (while you still have power) to ensure it is working?

Post# 995313 , Reply# 26   5/27/2018 at 05:22 (2,188 days old) by retro-man (- boston,ma)        

The ones that I have seen have a timer with an automatic testing startup. Usually once a week it will run for 20-30 minutes then it shuts down. The one that does our building at the beach starts on Monday morning at 8:30am till about 9:00 am.


Post# 995316 , Reply# 27   5/27/2018 at 06:21 (2,188 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

In my experiences with gensets at radio stations-you will need to exercise it under load.either a test load (big resistive dummy load) or the actual load the generator is supposed to power.We do this at the transmitter plant here.At the VOA Wash DC studio plant their genset exercised into the dummy load in the building parking lot.950Kw.That generator had a remote radiator that was cooled by a large electric fan-this cooled the load too-both built in one cabinet.Caterpillar.At other radio stations the genearots were exercised by timers that started them and ran them under the station load-usually transmitter sites on Sunday mornings-the times when fewer people were listening.One station didn't pay attention to the genset fuel level-it ran out while they were on the air-then went off!!!The commercial power failed.They had to make a call to a fuel truck to fill their tank.

Post# 995321 , Reply# 28   5/27/2018 at 08:32 (2,188 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Electricians don't think highly of them (aka Genecrap), however they have improved a bit the last couple of years. Kohler, Onan, ect are what sparkies use on their own home.

Tolvic is right, test under load. Starting is a start, but testing under load makes sure the alternator side of things are working and it allows for the engine to warm up. Warming up is essential for diesels, forgiving on gas units- but still a good idea.

Post# 995337 , Reply# 29   5/27/2018 at 12:42 (2,187 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        
No thanks

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I just replaced the carb on a 4000 watt Generac last night. What an absolute turd they are. The new ones are even worse made in China. I'll spend the money and stay with Honda. Hell even Predator is a better generator than Generac.

Post# 995379 , Reply# 30   5/27/2018 at 19:05 (2,187 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The Generac tests itself weekly on the day and time selected. It starts, runs for 5 minutes and then shuts down. If I want to test that it will supply electricity when the electricity goes out I just have to turn off the main switch on the electrical box that brings electricity into the house. After 30 seconds the generator will start and everything that the generator has been wired to run, should work.


Post# 995408 , Reply# 31   5/28/2018 at 00:09 (2,187 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

At both work and home the power is VERY reliable.For work the generator is used more for load management than emergency use.For at home a home genset is just not worth it to me.

Post# 995567 , Reply# 32   5/29/2018 at 17:15 (2,185 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

The 60 KW diesel Kohler my aunt had at her previous home would start automatically every couple weeks, and would exercise under a partial load.

My neighbor down the street has a Winco 8 KW, and it exercises every week, but not under any load. I've told her it needs to be exercised under load every couple months, especially to make sure the transfer switch is working correctly. She's had trouble with that switch a couple times - it would stick in the middle position, so genset would run but no power, and none when utility power would return, either.

Post# 1160517 , Reply# 33   9/27/2022 at 18:42 (603 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

With Hurricane Ian on the way, have really been thinking about getting one of these. Every hurricane that crosses our path typically get 2 weeks with no power. After Irma in 2017 we were out four weeks.

I'm just dreading thinking about it. I don't even mind being without TV, internet, lights etc, it's just the AC being out. The hot humid weather with little to no breeze is almost unbearable with no AC for weeks. It seems like the older I get the worse it bothers me.

I am considering after we get into the winter season and hopefully demand for these drops looking into having one installed. Our next door neighbor just had one installed a few weeks ago. I didn't see the brand, but most around here are Generac.

Is there a substantial quality difference between them and Kohler, etc? I know a lot of our neighbors had them installed in 2004 so they're going on 20 years old and as far as I know they're still working. I think they were all Generacs.

Really just had enough of these power outages that last for weeks, and having to clean up a yard and going to work during these long outages just really adds to an already stressful time.

I just having trouble weighing if it's worth it. I mean like now we may only get one hurricane every 5 years but then like in 2004/05 we may get three in a row, which to me would make it worth its weight in gold.

Post# 1160520 , Reply# 34   9/27/2022 at 19:39 (603 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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I had a Generac installed 3 years ago and never regretted it. Moments after power goes out, the Generac starts and power is back on. Mine runs on propane. You know when power is restored with a big snap from the Generac box. I feel it is good insurance and it has paid off for me.

Post# 1160523 , Reply# 35   9/27/2022 at 20:19 (603 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Don't waste money and time on those old petroleum powered generators. You'll still be dependent on gas which, if supply is interrupted will mean you have no power in two ways.

The big new stuff is with Solar generators. It's basically a solar charge controller, inverters, several batteries, and a bank of various outlets all neatly packed into a convenient generator sized package with a handle.

And you can charge it either with typical home power, or simply plug solar panels into it and charge it for free.

It makes no or little noise so you can have it inside where it's safe.

And they are affordable and no installation is necessary. No gas piping to install. None of that garbage.
And at a fraction of the price. One could easily buy a couple of theses, the solar panels, and a window AC unit to use when the power goes, for much MUCH less than that old dangerous gas stuff.

You might like it so much you'll decide to continue using it even when/if the grid tied electric comes back on. Why? Because it's FREE electric.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO bradfordwhite's LINK

Post# 1160525 , Reply# 36   9/27/2022 at 20:33 (603 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        
simply plug solar panels into it and charge it for free.

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Generally not much light during a hurricane for recharging, even if one could make the solar panel(s) stationary enough not to fly away.

Post# 1160530 , Reply# 37   9/27/2022 at 21:16 (603 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Hurricanes only last for about a day, then the sun comes out and it's beautiful again.

...well except for all the subdivisions and infrastructure that has been leveled but, whatever....


One can buy a standard 100 watt solar panel for about $100 these days.  Affordable.

I think I would have 5 panels on my roof or on a rack in my yard.

I would be taking them off as a storm is approaching and bring them in.

Very easy to uscrew and unplug them.

The generator is already indoors so one is all protected during the storm and can use the power in the batteries of the generator.

The next day, when it appears that all hope is lost, the power is out, an numerous subdivisions are now dust...

I'd simply re-install said panels as that sun will most likely be shining.


You can also now buy foldable solar panels.  Just unfold them, and plug them in. 


And remember, one doesn't need bright sun, especially in FLA, to still get solar charging.  The batteries in these generators last for days without ANY charging at all.


It's all these technology advancements AND reduced prices that makes solar so incredibly AWESOME!




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Post# 1160533 , Reply# 38   9/27/2022 at 21:59 (603 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

My Aunt in Mississippi had a Kohler that runs on diesel - either 50 or 60 KW. She could use anything in her all-electric house, just as if the utility power was on. Fuel tank large enough for several days; used it for five days during Katrina. She did have to limit running air conditioning after a couple days to not run out of fuel. My cousin Shawn has an even larger diesel Kohler on his poultry farm. Kept all the birds alive during and after Katrina.

If I were purchasing one, I'd get one with an 1800 rpm liquid cooled engine, regardless of whether gas or diesel. These are industrial grade machines, and have better voltage and frequency regulation than 3600 rpm engines on the residential models. My neighbor down the street has a Winco 8 KW natural gas unit, and it doesn't have good voltage or frequency regulation, and has caused problems with their microwave oven, refrigerator, and florescent light ballasts.

In addition to Kohler, Cummins and Caterpillar are good brands. Generac is probably OK in the 1800 rpm models, but have heard the smaller units having issues.

Post# 1160535 , Reply# 39   9/27/2022 at 22:23 (603 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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Brad, Solar wont work for me as I am surrounded by forest growth. I looked into it but it just wont work for me. I have just my house and my Generac keeps everything I need powered up and working fine. Next thing I want to put in is a heat pump as that will save on heating oil costs.

Post# 1160541 , Reply# 40   9/28/2022 at 00:06 (603 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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We hardly ever lose power here yet I have a 5000 watt 20 year old Honda on standby because when its out its for days. If you live in an area of the country where you lose power seasonally from hurricanes or tornados it is wise to have at the least a 6500 watt generator and four 5 gallon gas cans for reserve fuel in case damage is so bad gas will be hard to find. Engine powered generators are still the best option and 8500 watts is best if you want run most things as if line voltage was still live and you dont want to balance not running the washer if the fridge is running etc.

Post# 1160542 , Reply# 41   9/28/2022 at 00:09 (603 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Cummins and "Cat" are brands for industrial and commercial gensets.Neither of these market to residential-households.The transmitter plant I am at has a 2.2Mw Cat 16 cylinder genset-3200Hp!In its own metal buiding.It can come on automatically in case of power outage-or for load management start it manually from a control panel in the site control room.Sometimes the power co out here will request we run on generator for load management if the load on their lines is high.Homes don't have to worry on this.What about folks in California when you get rolling outages-can you use your own genset?My sister has to go thru the rolling blackouts in the LA area.

Post# 1160544 , Reply# 42   9/28/2022 at 00:30 (603 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        
And How MUCH do these gas powered jobbys cost up front?

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holy-ScHmIT !


And I know they are loud. 

Back in 2000 I had a neighbor who foolishly got suckered into buying one of these and had it installed between our two homes.  When ever that would cycle, like once a week or something, you could definitely hear it come on.


If someone is willing to flush that kind of money down the drain they can certainly do a lot toward a solar set up that's permanent.  


If a person doesn't have any sunlight reaching their lot or house that's an unhealthy situation and some of those trees should be removed.  It's also rather dreary and depressing living without the natural vitamin D that sunshine provides.

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Post# 1160552 , Reply# 43   9/28/2022 at 06:55 (603 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

My house is covered by trees.Lets see-I have 10 of them!The tree cutter charges about $2000 per tree! Not possible for me! The cost is high becuase the sawyer has to take the tree down in peices.Forttunately the time I had to do this-storm damage,insurance paid for the cutting.My youger brother in Soux Falls,SD has a solar system at his place.Works out for him.IN this area solar systems start at 40K!!!Power is VERY reliable here.

Post# 1160558 , Reply# 44   9/28/2022 at 09:20 (603 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

How high do you have to mount these to protect them from 12 foot storm surges so that they will be usable after a storm like Ian? Florida is pretty flat and hurricane winds are high so depending on your topography, if you would have to consider a tower-mount installation, that could be complicated, but if flood waters around your house were that high, the house would not be habitable anyway.

Post# 1160561 , Reply# 45   9/28/2022 at 10:53 (602 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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My Generac was a very good investment. I did not get suckered in and certainly did not flush money down the drain. I can not cut trees as I am in a Resource Protection Zone because of the lake. There are 2 big solar farms going in nearby that people can buy into. Solar may work for some but not for me. And my electric usage is low so any savings would be minimal.

Post# 1160572 , Reply# 46   9/28/2022 at 14:09 (602 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Solar panel racks are great because they can serve several purposes:

Hold the panels and make them accessible


Over a garden you can plant things beneath them that will give the plants a break during parts of the day from blistering sun.


Here in Calif, and no doubt other places, it's not unusual to see structures over parking lots/parking spaces giving cars protection from the sun


As a patio canopy providing protection from the sun.


Of course if one has a large solar array on their roof and it's damaged from what ever disaster, it should be covered by your home owners insurance policy for replacement.

If you've rented your roof to a solar installer to install their panels than they would be responsible to replace them.


Another benefit of covering your roof with solar panels is it prolongs the life of your roof.  If you can keep the sun and weather off direct contact with it's surface it's going to last much longer.


Like I stated, I wouldn't leave PERSONAL solar panels up when the threat of hurricane exists.  Just as one wouldn't leave loose garden furniture and other things you wouldn't want damaged outside.


Solar panels are meant to withstand wind and rain and depending on how well they've been anchored in place they shouldn't blow off.  

With hurricane winds and tornados ANYTHING can be damaged including powerlines, substations, and even one's own electric meter can take a direct hit that would knock out your power.  


Some people cover their windows with boards during hurricanes for protection with plywood.  If they can do that, they can just as easily remove their solar panels temporarily until after the winds pass.


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Post# 1160584 , Reply# 47   9/28/2022 at 17:02 (602 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Cummins gensets

Rex, Cummins has had a line of residential models in many sizes that run on natural gas or propane for several years. If you need a diesel generator, you have to get one of the commercial models. As for Cat, I was at a model home (mansion) in Dayton, OH several years ago that had one, think it was natural gas. The Cat distributor had a rep there, and I got a brochure about them.

When my Aunt Doris got her Kohler in the late 90's, standby generators weren't sold through retail stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. She had to buy it through an electrical contractor. At that time, about the only homes that had them were large country estates or farms. Natural gas service wasn't available at her location, and she decided against propane because she didn't want the tank. Her neighbor next door had one that operated on propane. They had a greenhouse on their property to grow plants for their floral shop, so had to have reliable power to protect the plants. Neither of these large generators were any louder than the 8 KW unit my neighbor Marilynn has.

Diesel gensets probably aren't too practical for city homes or small suburban lots, but diesel equipment is very common on farms, so not out of place there.

Link is to Cummins.


Post# 1160597 , Reply# 48   9/28/2022 at 21:18 (602 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

Gee Bradford! I wonder how many solar panels are still standing in Southern Florida right now!

Post# 1160598 , Reply# 49   9/28/2022 at 21:50 (602 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
solar panels

they would need to mounted good:) I get strong winds in my area,so i have mine mounted rigid and secure.Hail is also a hazzard,so i have a heavy wire grid over the panels for hail protection.One of my backyard buildings has a 1981 vintage Onan generator salvaged from a wrecked motor home:opposed twin engine runs quietly at 1800 RPM,about 275#,4KW rating.Onan later came under cummins influence...

Post# 1160608 , Reply# 50   9/28/2022 at 22:40 (602 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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You'll have to investigate that Greg.

It will be interesting to know how many HOMES are no longer standing due to the 155 mph winds and the fact that even though the hurricane has been on land now for several hours, it's still considered a hurricane.

Usually they quickly fall apart once reaching land.


This storm is the 5th worst hurricane in weather history to hit the U.S.  It's slow moving and will dump several feet of rain in the next couple of days.




As for hail on solar panels, I've had fears of that too.  Apparently they can handle up to 1" hail


Putting wire mesh is a good idea. 

Do you leave that over them all the time or put it over when you know it's supposed to hail?  I would think it would create a shadow that would affect output.  

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Post# 1160677 , Reply# 51   9/29/2022 at 23:43 (601 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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See how sunny it was today in Lee County where the hurricane landed yesterday.


If you were lucky to be one of the homes that wasn't too badly damaged/demolished, had a solar system as described above, and you'd taken your solar panels in over night, this morning one could simply re-install and you'd be set with electric.


Turn on your AC unit, enjoy a refrigerator, charge cel phones, all while the rest of the county has little or no electric from the grid (and probably won't for quite a while).


It's supposed to be sunny and in the 80s for the next week in Lee County.  You can count on it being miserably humid as well.


Of course the solar generator would still have had power in its batteries as the batteries last several days.  So last night, when the hurricane knocked out power, you'd have had silent electric lit lights to ride out the storm with. 


And look at that, there are at least a couple of homes that survived AND have what appears to be solar panels on their rooves.  They are all set to go depending on what type system it is.


I doubt a gas generator installed on the ground would be any good with a 9' surge of water.  Not even a 2' surge would save those over priced and noisy clunkers.  Then the question is, is the gas working?  And of course in FLA., is there gas service AT ALL since, experience has shown, they really don't need it in homes in FLA. and many areas don't have it.  And if you're thinking propane, remember the tanks float. 


If you have an electric car  a home solar system will allow you to charge your car for FREE.  And you can do it that way all the time.  No worrying about gas rationing and sky rocketing prices.  Or even the pumps not working because the electric is out.

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Post# 1160692 , Reply# 52   9/30/2022 at 05:00 (601 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Radio Stations are limited to 50,000 watts

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Tolivac, why would your radio station need a 2,200,000 watt generator to run the transmitter? Even with other systems at the station it could not possibly be that much. Maybe a total of 150,000 watts for the whole station with the AC, lighting, etc. Are you exaggerating?

2.2 MW megawatts = 2,200,000 watts
50,000 watts - 50 Kw Kilowatts
150,000 watts = 150 kilowatts.

Post# 1160699 , Reply# 53   9/30/2022 at 07:17 (601 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        

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Of course if one has a large solar array on their roof and it's damaged from what ever disaster, it should be covered by your home owners insurance policy for replacement.


We have 27 panels on the roof.  I don't know if that's considered large solar array or not.  They are warranted for 25 years from any kind of damage or production failure, etc.  They monitor the panels remotely and if they see any panel has reduced production they will come out and repair or replace.  I can monitor via a phone app and if I see and issue I can call them as well for repair.


They warranty the roof against any issues for 10 years.  I called our insurance company when we installed them and she told me if something happened that they didn't cover it would go through our home insurance.  We had a new 30 year roof put on the house about five months before we got the panels so likely the only thing that might happen is a leak where the panels are attached to the roof.  There is only one hole through the roof for the entire installation where it comes into the attic and across the house to where the panel is on the side of the house.  They did a really nice, very clean job of installing.





Post# 1160724 , Reply# 54   9/30/2022 at 17:02 (600 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Ralph, that's sounds great.

I'm curious what kind of contract arrangement you have, since there are several ways in which a person can "go solar".

Post# 1160725 , Reply# 55   9/30/2022 at 17:07 (600 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Picture of a home who's solar array apparently made it through the storm, but the house didn't.  


With the roof on the ground it would be easy to reach the panels to carefully remove them and put them in storage.  No ladder necessary.  That's what I'd do.  Re-install them where ever the party ends up moving to.

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Post# 1160768 , Reply# 56   10/1/2022 at 06:57 (600 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The Marti/VOA transmitter site owned and operated by the government to broadcast on short wave to other countries.It can broadcast to anywhere in the world.The transmitters at this site run at 250Kw(6) 2(500Kw) and one 50Kw sideband.The 50Kw sideband rig is no longer on the schedule.The generator is actually too small to run the transmitter at full power.When on the generaator they have to be cut back.Otherwise the gen breaker will trip or the engine will shut down from overload.

Post# 1160781 , Reply# 57   10/1/2022 at 09:02 (600 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Rex, it sounds to me that they need to install a second large generator for part of the equipment. I went past a business the other day that has just installed three large Kohler generators at the side of their parking area. Don't know what KW they are, but each was the size of a large car, but taller.

Post# 1160814 , Reply# 58   10/1/2022 at 13:37 (599 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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Solar may work great in places that have alot of sun but in this neck of the woods we have alot of clouds and fog. What we do have is abundance of off shore winds. A past governor tried to have wind mills put in to get that free power but the feds nixed it because it would harm the whales. Now it is the lobster fishing industry that they say is killing whales but only 1 has been entangled in rope in 2 decades and that was off Mass.

Post# 1160873 , Reply# 59   10/2/2022 at 00:21 (599 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

We have been wanting another genset -but get turned down-even having the generator from the closed site sent to our site-the powers to be don't want to do that.Even got offers from the Army Corps of Engineers to install a gas turbine generator-5Mw- but it got turned down.The generator was free except for delivory and installation and we would also pay for fuel.Could choose from natural gas or diesel to run it.The combusters on the turbine are made for the fuel you want to use.Cannot be changed in the field.Engine has to go to a rebuild shop.So we have to "baby" the generator we have.

Post# 1160900 , Reply# 60   10/2/2022 at 10:11 (599 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Solar panels and storms

combo52's profile picture
Reply number 51

You do not remove solar panels when a storm is coming from your roof itís not like taking in the patio furniture.

These panels are designed to withstand severe storms, I even walk on my solar panels although I donít know if they recommend it or not lol.

It takes multiple people to install the panels theyíre heavy it would be very dangerous to even consider removing them.

John L

Post# 1161037 , Reply# 61   10/3/2022 at 10:22 (597 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Walking on Solar panels, etc.

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I had a chat with the installers on this subject.  He said they are built to withstand 1XX MPH (can't remember the exact number but it was high) winds, hail up to I think 2 inches and they can be walked on.  


We are lucky to have a roof large enough to accommodate our 27 panels in one large array like a big square.  They had to walk on them to do the install and will have to walk on them to service as needed.  I asked if they would remove some to get to others and he said no they are strong enough to be walked on.  They are large and heavy and won't be removed in advance of a storm.

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