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In need of help buying a Generator

  1. Jan 5, 2008 #1
    I need to purchase a generator to run our home. We live in the country so i would like to have enough power to run our lights, Deep Freezer, Side by side refridgerator, pellet stove (only heat source) and cooking stove, hot water heater. Our home is approximately 1600sf. I would like to know if a propane, gas or diesel generator would be the best and size, type, ect. for what I need. Any help will be greatly appreciated as we are one household of the 1 million in California right now without power.
    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2008 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Firstly, you need to work out how much power your home will require at peak load. Count up your lightbulbs, look at the rating plates on your appliances, and think about other smaller items you may have turned on at the same time (radios, power tools, TV etc). Add all these up, and you'll have an idea of the size of generator you want. You'll also need to consider the large appliances that may be switching on and off and imposing transient loads on the generator, though from your description it doesn't sound like there's anything major.

    The choice of fuel is more based on local availability and cost than anything else, though the range of Diesel fuelled generators is much wider than any other fuel.
  4. Jan 6, 2008 #3
    Google generator sizing yamaha and you'll get a handy tool for figuring your answer.
  5. Jan 6, 2008 #4


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    You do have to be careful when it comes to "peak load." By counting all of the power requirements and totaling them, you still need a but extra to handle the inrush current draws for some of the major items like a refrigerator or AC. Those inrush currents can run quite a bit higher than you would think.

    TVP45 has a good idea. I have played with that calculator and it is a good one.

    When it comes to the different types, that will depend on you. I have a gas powered one which is pretty bullet proof, but is somewhat loud. I am pretty impressed with the natural gas ones I have seen in operation. If you spend the money to get a whole house one that does auto switchover, you will not be sorry. Plus, the ones I have seen were quite a bit quieter. However, if you don't have a natural gas line run, that isn't possible. You'll need to determine what will be best for your particular situation.
  6. Jan 7, 2008 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Converting the stove and hot water heater to gas/propane would seem to be a good idea, to help reduce the size of the generator. Also add a propane heater to augment the pellet stove.
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