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Old 11-14-2012, 05:44 PM
boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
Location: USA
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 9,049
Mein Auto: BMW M428i
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Pretty much all of the generator backups that can run on propane and natural gas are pad units that look like an air conditioner, they are typically piped directly in to specific circuits in the house, so that when an electrical interruption is detected they turn on and take over.

Cheaper ones are $1500-$2000 and the more expensive ones can run upwards of $10K. Look at it this way, you are going to spend $500-$1000 or more having it installed (more than likely)... it might not make sense to cheap out on something, that even while it doesn't get used often, you expect it to work even if your next big electrical problem does not happen for 10 years.

Lower end units may or may not provide enough power for the entire home. Your electrician should be able to help you get an idea of your max draw, and ideally you simply get a generator that can handle everything other than really high usage appliances (electric clothes dryer, etc). The bigger/heavier units can put out upwards of 10,000 watts and some of them can also provide power on your 220V circuits so that even electric ovens and clothes dryers continue to operate during an outage.

Worst thing would be to get something with a poor reliability record, go through all of the trouble and then when you have another episode, find out that the unit is no longer functional. Another factor to consider is noise level, some of the cheaper units are quite noisy (think lawnmower engine)... so you might want to get an idea of the relative noise level... your neighbors won't be too happy with you if you have a super loud generator cranking during an extended power outage.

To put it another way, someone in your neighborhood probably has the higher end generator backup and feels, after this storm, that it's the best money they've ever spent.

I'll know more later this week when the generator guys come to my house.

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