Installation Cost of Nat Gas Generator?

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How much should I figure in my budget for installation of a natural gas generator? I'm looking at a 6-7 KW generator to handle refrigerator, freezer, sump pump, gas furnace, computers, TV and some lights but not Air Conditioning. It looks like I need an electrician for installing a transfer box and outlet to the outside to connect to the generator and a plumber to hook up a gas line. Generator would be about 20 feet from the electric breaker box and the gas line.
There are a number of companies here (Central NJ) that will do the whole job and wonder what a package price might be for everything that I described above?
This may be a DIY for many people but DIY is not for me for this project.
I would do this in the Spring after all of the work on Sandy repair is done.
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On Thu, 15 Nov 2012 17:22:56 -0500, Arnie Goetchius

$65 to $75 an hour around here.
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Cost of Nat Gas Generator?:

NJ is all union all the time, so $150 to $250 per hour in NJ.
If it was me, I would skip the xfer switch and just use extension cords. You seldom get outages lasting more than an hour right?
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CRNG wrote:

Sandy was 11 days, Irene was 4 days and the October 2011 snow storm was 3 days. I can live with an outage of a couple of hours and would not install a generator for that.
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On Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:47:57 -0500, Arnie Goetchius
Re Re: Installation Cost of Nat Gas Generator?:

Ok, I didn't realize you got hit that bad/often (other than Sandy), so you will need a xfer switch. I myself would still try to avoid the built-in solution and go with a portable solution if possible. Built in gets expensive.
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Per CRNG:

I was determined to forego the transfer switch because outages were infrequent.
That lasted about three years. Now I'm sick of fooling around with extension cords - usually in the dark in inclement weather.
Fee to install on the transfer switch is going to be about $250.
I kind of went nuts on the switch. Got one with automatic load-shedding capability to help with my dinky little 2kw gennie... so it's costing me about $350 from B&H Photo.
Bottom line looks like about $600.... assuming I continue to forgo the outside plug...
--
Pete Cresswell

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Sounds like a great idea, which switch is that? What I found on B&H was an APC switch that was more designed for computer backup it seemed
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Han
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Per Han:

This one: http://tinyurl.com/bmvg7tp
NB: it is 120v only. There's a sister product that does 240/120.
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Thanks, Pete. That is the one I had found. Now to go and find the manual ... Then talk to my electrician friend.
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Han
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It would seem to me to be a better strategy to spend $75 on an interlock for the main panel and the other $275 on a bigger generator. Automatic load shedding and a 2KW generator does not compute in my world

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Per snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net:

I got the small gennie with the idea of "Lifeboat" vs "Cruise Ship": low gas consumption, easy to transport to somebody else who might need it, and so-forth.
Experience so far indicates that 2kw is enough to get by on, although that's without the furnace in the picture.
Push-comes-to-shove, I'll get a second 2k and parallel them.
But the automatic load shedding would seem to extend the range of a small unit bc you can hang stuff on it that would otherwise cause repeated breaker trips due to startup surges. With automatic load shedding, my understanding is that whole circuits are gracefully de-powered and then powered up again as capacity permits.
Case in point would be refrigerators and freezers.
Supposedly the panel's load shedding can be prioritized. My hope is that it can be set up so that when a refrigerator and or freezer needs a startup surge that would be otherwise unavailable, the panel can shut down, for instance, the circuit servicing the computer room/LAN closet (both of which have their own UPS) long enough for the refrigerator and/or freezer to get started.
Just found out that B&H has me back-ordered on the panel, so all this is speculation.
--
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I haven't hired an electrician here in NJ for a long time, but that sounds low. The car stealerships now charge $150 an hour for example. And it's impossible to give a price, because it also depends on what they have to go through to run the wiring, if there is something already there to attach new gear to, etc. You also need a plumber and the cost of permits. If I had to guess, I'd bet you're looking at $1000 between the two. Plus the cost of the generator, which is probably $2500 or so.
Before laying out the $$$ for ANY Generac home product, I'd suggest you go to Amazon, look up Generac products and see what people are saying. Also take a look at PisssedConsumer.com.
I have a 12KW Generac sitting here, probably gonna part it out, largely after reading those reviews. This one was given to a friend by a neighbor. It was about 5 years old and failed during the hurricane a year ago. Service guy told him the $3,000 unit was not worth fixing. The rotor is shot, possibly more. Look on those sites and you'll see a LOT of people with long, similar stories. Including ones that were bad right out of the box, or that were just 2 years old, went through the automatic testing every week, then died in an hour during real use.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Wow. Alot of people have had problems with Generac. I may need to consider something else besides Generac. Perhaps Kohler or Briggs and stratton. Or just forget a Gas Gen and go with a portable to power refrigerator, freezer, TV and computer. Install gas logs in the fire place for heat.
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Arnie Goetchius wrote:

I can understand why you would consider this a not-DIY project. You may be overly complicating the basic requirement for a smidgen of electrical power.
What you COULD do is: 1. Get an ordinary portable generator of the appropriate capacity. 2. Get a NG adaptor for that normally gasoline-powered unit. 3. Tap into your existing gas line with a detachable hose to the generator. 4. Add an interlock switch and input junction to your existing breaker-box.
The only item that might generate an unconsionable cost is having a certified, licensed, and unionized plumber to attach a suitable "T" and valve for the NG connection.
As an even cheaper alternative is to score a pile of gas cans. When a storm is imminent, get them ALL filled. For a local outage, say a car knocks down a pole in the next block, one five-gallon can should be enough to get you started; you can fill other cans, from a station two blocks, away while the generator is working on the first.
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HeyBub wrote:

Yes, I am considering just going with a portable and a pile of gas cans and plenty of Sta-Bil. Couple that with an interlockkit may be a reasonable approach.
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wrote:

A pile of gas cans is not a small problem. Even with stabilizer added, it only lasts so long. How long depends on how lucky you feel. So, you still have a bunch of gas cans to manage. You can also siphon it out of your cars, but that's no fun either. I'd probably go with a natural gas portable. I've seen 5KW or so ones for $2,000 with a Honda Engine. You could also get a conversion kit and a gasoline generator and make one yourself for about half that. Some kits allow use of 3 fuels and you can switch back and forth between gasonline, propane, nat gas. Overall, one of those approaches sound better than a Generac standby to me.
Regarding Interlockit, folks on here have used them. If you're planning on using one and having it inspected, I'd check with the inspector. I've seen other discussion threads where the issue of UL lisiting comes up. Apparently they are not UL listed and some inspectors might reject it. The other solution would be to get a new cover panel from the manufacturer with interlock attached, if available.
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On Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:21:24 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
Re: Installation Cost of Nat Gas Generator?:

OP: just remember that when burning NG or propane in a gasoline generator, that the generator will only produce about 80% of the rated power because the NG/propane has about 20% less energy per unit volume compared to gasoline.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

There's another strategy that mitigates the problem of managing gas cans.
Have ONE five-gallon can full of gas and ten or more empty ones.
If you have a local outage - say a pole gets knocked down - the five gallons should provide enough slack such that you can fetch more from a station outside the black-out zone.
If, on the other hand, wide-spread outage is possible, such as the warnings over Sandy or a hurricane entering the Gulf, you'll have ample warning to fill all the cans you have.
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wrote:

That would be my thinking. FWIW, Sandy has shown that something needs to be done to insure a supply of gasoline to gas stations, plus gas stations will need to have generators ...
Hereabouts, the story is that someone came to his regular gas station, and asked for gas. Gas station guy said I have gas, but no power. Customer says, I'll loan you my generators, be right back. Result: Long lines at that gas station.
--
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Han
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