Whole house generator question

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eric.tech

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Good morning my Reef2reef folks! So as many may have seen on the news or have experienced themselves, in the Midwest we got hammered by some pretty significant storms and some are still without power.

My question is, are whole house generators by some of the big names, Generac for example, inverter type generators or do they have some sort of power filter internal to them that cleans up the incoming signal? I currently have a 5500w portable generator that is wired up to back feed my main electrical panel during an outage via an exterior 220v socket and generator cord. I run all my sensitive equipment through surge protectors to help buffer the spikes/surges, but I am aware that they can only do this for so long before having to be replaced. Also, before someone asks, yes it has a lockout plate for the main breaker so the line workers don’t get a nasty surprise.

I know of the whole house filters that clean up incoming power, but in the future when we spring for the whole house option, we want to get it right on the first shot.
 
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fishybizzness

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This is what the generac site says.
 

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Gtinnel

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I don't know that I am qualified to answer your question, but I can say that my Generac 18kW house generator is not an inverter style. I guarantee that my neighbors wish it was though.
I have only heard of inverter style generators on portable units. I'm also, not sure that being an inverter style necessarily makes it unsafe to use with electronics.
I have never had any issue with the power supplied from my generator effecting anything in my house, aquarium related or otherwise.

It is one of the best upgrades I have made to my house and I don't regret it at all.
 
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Thanks for the follow up on the question. Makes me feel better about them when the time comes to pull the trigger. The portable generator has not failed us, but I want to be able to leave the house and not worry about outages.
It is well worth the upgrade and having the auto transfer switch is great. I've actually woke up in the morning to my generator running and didn't even realize the power went off in the middle of the night.
 

Reeferbadness

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It's not cheap but when we installed solar, i had them add a Tesla power wall - primarily to protect the 2 reef tanks (180 g and 200g) in case of power outage. We actually had one last night for about an hour. The power was only off for about 10 seconds before the power wall kicked in. Another bonus is that during a prolonged power outage (i'm in San Diego where a major earthquake will knock out power at some point - sometimes for a week) - the wall is recharged during the day and can run the tanks (and other basic power needs ) indefinitely.
 

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Gtinnel

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It's not cheap but when we installed solar, i had them add a Tesla power wall - primarily to protect the 2 reef tanks (180 g and 200g) in case of power outage. We actually had one last night for about an hour. The power was only off for about 10 seconds before the power wall kicked in. Another bonus is that during a prolonged power outage (i'm in San Diego where a major earthquake will knock out power at some point - sometimes for a week) - the wall is recharged during the day and can run the tanks (and other basic power needs ) indefinitely.
The problem with solar to me is that for power outages it relys on batteries, and even though battery technology has improved dramatically, they still wear out over time.
 

DivingTheWorld

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It's not cheap but when we installed solar, i had them add a Tesla power wall - primarily to protect the 2 reef tanks (180 g and 200g) in case of power outage. We actually had one last night for about an hour. The power was only off for about 10 seconds before the power wall kicked in. Another bonus is that during a prolonged power outage (i'm in San Diego where a major earthquake will knock out power at some point - sometimes for a week) - the wall is recharged during the day and can run the tanks (and other basic power needs ) indefinitely.
You had a 10 second delay? Are you sure it was installed correctly? We have a couple powerwalls and the switch between doesn't even cause a light flicker. It's instant and you would never know except the text message that you're off grid. We run on our powerwalls during peak and partial peak rate periods every day and they charge back up each morning during off peak from solar.
 
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You had a 10 second delay? Are you sure it was installed correctly? We have a couple powerwalls and the switch between doesn't even cause a light flicker. It's instant and you would never know except the text message that you're off grid. We run on our powerwalls during peak and partial peak rate periods every day and they charge back up each morning during off peak from solar.
I think it is a little different if the power fails and the gen set has to start and switch over compared to just cutting from live power to backup with both working..
 

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I just bought 2 small UPS to plug the Hydros and pump controllers into.
That is a very good idea. I was going to so this with my apex system but unfortunately I don't have enough room to put the UPS in my stand, and my wife wouldn't want it sitting beside the tank.
 

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I think it is a little different if the power fails and the gen set has to start and switch over compared to just cutting from live power to backup with both working..
Correct, generators are different because they need to power up and normalize the output before they switch the house power back on. For powerwalls, it's just a battery so instant.
 

Bad Company

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I was a product manager for Kohler Power Systems generators for four years.

Home generators consist of an engine paired to an alternator (basically an electric motor).

Any generator supplies pretty good power if the load is fairly consistent, and modern generators typically have low total harmonic distortion. Harmonic distortion can impact sensitive electronics (depending on their power filtering/delivering capability).

Any time you add significant load (A/C compressor turns on for example), any generator will experience a frequency drop, and then a voltage drop as the engine works to recover frequency. The generator will then recover speed (frequency) and voltage over a second or two.

Portable generators may not have as high quality power output as a stationary unit. Read the specs on total harmonic distortion.

In general, I would have no qualms using either.

Cheers!
 

Mical

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Reviving an earlier thread, but currently my 16k generator is running my whole home (as I type this) and has been for the past 2 hours. No severe weather except for some pretty gusty winds. But I'm glad I have it. As they say, "when you least expect it..."
 
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Reviving an earlier thread, but currently my 16k generator is running my whole home (as I type this) and has been for the past 2 hours. No severe weather except for some pretty gusty winds. But I'm glad I have it. As they say, "when you least expect it..."
I don't think I'd ever own a home without one again, and not just for the aquarium. It's really really nice never losing power.
 

olonmv

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I run my whole home with a predator 8750 inverter generator…..including my 4 ton central air. Trick is to install a soft start on your central air condenser. I bought the micro air one for about $350 and it installed super easy. Once I convert my generator to natural gas the entire setup will still only cost me just over 2k. Not bad for a generator setup that runs a whole home AND is still portable to boot.
 

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Good morning my Reef2reef folks! So as many may have seen on the news or have experienced themselves, in the Midwest we got hammered by some pretty significant storms and some are still without power.

My question is, are whole house generators by some of the big names, Generac for example, inverter type generators or do they have some sort of power filter internal to them that cleans up the incoming signal? I currently have a 5500w portable generator that is wired up to back feed my main electrical panel during an outage via an exterior 220v socket and generator cord. I run all my sensitive equipment through surge protectors to help buffer the spikes/surges, but I am aware that they can only do this for so long before having to be replaced. Also, before someone asks, yes it has a lockout plate for the main breaker so the line workers don’t get a nasty surprise.

I know of the whole house filters that clean up incoming power, but in the future when we spring for the whole house option, we want to get it right on the first shot.
Regarding line workers nasty surprise, has this ever happened? I would think the generator would fail/trip trying to feed the neighborhood - town - grid.
 

mottomegl

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I would recommend if you are spending money on a whole house generator i would avoid generac generators i know people here will dispute this but i would look into using kohler generators or cummins the reason i say this generac has had a tremendous amount of failures when they were needed they failed to start they failed to continue running there is a long history of this i own a construction buisness and we only will use kohler you can research this i would not want you to spend all these money and then when needed it fails
 

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I run my whole home with a predator 8750 inverter generator…..including my 4 ton central air. Trick is to install a soft start on your central air condenser. I bought the micro air one for about $350 and it installed super easy. Once I convert my generator to natural gas the entire setup will still only cost me just over 2k. Not bad for a generator setup that runs a whole home AND is still portable to boot.
can you elaborate on this soft start feature.
I also have the 8750 predator generator ( with the 6 circuit gentran) and would love to have my central air on the circuit as well
 
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