In my town, the town provided generators to a couple of local gas
stations. The station I go to said the generator caused the computer to
shut down and he could only pump gas while the computer was working. I
suspect that if he had a UPS and had the generator charging the UPS, he
would have been OK.
Its a common problem. I lot of generators (built for big box price
point) put out really poor quality power. Unfortunately a UPS will only
help to a certain extent. I have seen cases where a UPS won't even go
back to line mode because the power from the generator is so bad.
For some reason they only accepted cash ...
Usually gas is cheaper in NJ than it is in NY, especially on the Thruway.
When I went to Kingston NY, ~1 week after Sandy, gas was cheaper there
than by us ... Go figure <grin>.
Where I am (NY area) Verizon internet worked after the storm but not cable co.
Anyway, if they can't process credit/debit cards there's always cash. And some
small businesses (me included) can process credit cards on a smartphone.
Many of them use a satellite link. Next time you go by a gas station
look for a satellite dish on the roof, it may not be for TV. I know
this because I service and install POS systems in a lot of businesses
which have a satellite link for primary or backup data communications
with their corporate office. ^_^
A lot of the retailers I've been servicing are switching to DSL as their
primary data link and using the Hughes Satellite as a backup.
Some are doing away with the satellite link and going T1 or DSL as
the primary data link and a unit manufactured by Feeney Wireless
using the 3G cellphone network as the backup. A few locations are
even using cable modems for data communications. The data speed is
much greater with the 3G modems than the satellite links and perhaps
the retailers are getting a better deal on price compared to what they
have been paying Hughes. I'm waiting for the neutrino based or quantum
particle based instantaneous communication modems in the near future. ^_^
Perhaps something like this might suit your needs. No affiliation, etc.,
just one that a friend of mine had mentioned to me for my prospective future
I realize that others here have stated their concerns about Generac,
however, at a price of around $1800 or so, not including installation, plus
the fact that it can use either natural or LP gas, it might be worth a look.
It also includes a transfer switch. The only negative thing that I've read
about this particular model is that the engine is noisy. So, for probably a
total cost of about $3000 (I'm guessing at the cost of the gas line &
transfer switch installation), you'd have a system that could run the basic
household necessities, such as the refrigerator, the furnace, the coffee
maker, and so on, depending upon your priorities.
In the aftermath of Sandy, while being without power for just shy of a week,
I used a portable 5000W gasoline fueled generator with extension cords to
power a refrigerator, a natural gas furnace, a clock radio with a built-in
light, a coffee maker, and a corded fluorescent drop light. This was only
for the last several days of the power outage. The gas situation wasn't too
bad as I had planned ahead and bought gas in order to use the generator at a
different location. Overall, it wasn't too bad of an experience, but I had
to be there for it to happen. It wasn't a user friendly experience that
you'd have your spouse or child perform. That's why I started looking into
one that should be expected to perform "automatically" on its own. Had this
location been prepared for use of a generator in advance, it might have been
easier, but there's still the gasoline issue to be addressed.
With regard to fuel, there would have to be a major disaster to interrupt
the natural gas supply, so this type of generator should eliminate the need
for carting gas cans back and forth to a gas station, whose supply may be
cut off due to the power outage.
The bottom line being that it's better to have something, regardless of its
type, rather than nothing at all.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. That is about what I'm looking for. I
am bothered by the poor reviews for the Generac and I probably look at
other models. There are at least 3 houses near me that have nat gas
generators so will be talking to them to see what they are running.
A fireplace guy said he would install gas logs (vented/non-vented combo)
for $1300). That would give me heat and smaller generator would be used
to supply the other stuff you mentioned. No decisions yet. Just mulling
With a generator, why on earth would you want to rely on gas logs
for heat? A typical furnace doesn't take very much power to run.
I ran two houses with two gas furnaces plus 4 refrigerators/freezers
on a 4500 watt one.
Nobody had mentioned this yet: gas pressure.
I don't know the first thing... but in other threads I've read
gas pressure has come up.
From context, I'm guessing that a generator needs a certain
minimum gas pressure to function and that might be higher than
what is coming in on the gas utility's line.
May turn out tb FUD, but it seems worth investigating
Warning: Conjecture follows:
I think the pressure is constant throughout the system*, it's the volume of
gas that can be delivered that's the issue. Obviously a 1" gas line can
deliver more natural gas than a 1/2" line. So, then, when installing the
piping, go for as large a diameter pipe as you can.
* Unless the generator is putting the big suck on the supply. Even then, I
suspect the regulator on the meter will throttle down the flow.
Yes, a natural gas generator is no different than any
other gas appliance in that regard. Works using the same
pressure, you just need to size the piping correctly.
The 12KW one I'm screwing around with has a 1" gas
fitting and runs around 240,000 BTUs at full tilt, about
half that at half power.
BTW, I have a nice 26hp nat gas engine, low hours,
from that generator, if anyone is interested.
Not sure it makes sense to fix
the generator section, given what I've seen of all
the bad reviews of Generac online. Probably going
to part it out.
On 11/18/2012 8:39 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I installed a Generac 7KW unit myself 5 years ago after a very prolonged
10 day outage. I also assisted several other people with selection and
installation of Generac units ranging in size from 7 to 16KW, all
powered by natural gas. In some cases, commercial installations were
done. In others it was, like mine DIY.
The total labor involved in about 10 hours give or take. The electrical
is maybe 2 or 3 hours to install the transfer switch, move the circuits,
and run the connection between the indoor transfer switch and the
outdoor generator. The gas line is another 2 to 3 hours, possibly a lot
longer, to tap off the gas main, run the line to where it is needed,
pressure test, etc. Physically installing the generator with ground
rod(s), slab, is another hour or two. Some of the work requires two people.
Generac has a DIY DVD video which shows all the steps. It is very
The big surprises may come if you have too little gas delivery in your
current setup, requiring your gas meter to be increased in capacity.
Even the 7KW size needs a lot of BTU/hr. I forget the specifics but I am
guessing at least 120,000 BTU/hr. Obviously the larger generators need
I share your concern about the Generac models reliability, although mine
starts faithfully every week for its weekly exercise. I have never
needed to really use it for an extended period of time so I can't
comment on its performance under long term load.
Installation labor costs here in the immediate period after the freak
ice storm in 2007 were insane and Generacs were also in short supply
locally. I ordered mine from Amazon, avoided the sales tax, installed it
myself, and had a total cost of $1600 for the generator, $250 or so for
parts, and a couple days of work putting it in. My friends and neighbors
spent as much as $5K for the same unit installed owing to the local
Hope this is useful info.
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