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zacht 08-08-2011 10:39 AM

Questions about portable generators vs standby generators
Hello, this is my first post as a member of this board. I just joined this site because it looks like a helpful community and I am in the process of restoring a family owned farmhouse (from 1920s) in rural NC and this site looked like it could help with me pretty much any questions I might have. I hope this thread is in the right section.

As stated in the title, I am in desperate need of a generator because of consistent loss of power. Due to the rural power structure, it seems as if any strong winds can knock out power. I have been looking at sites that have portable generators and most of them carry these standby units as well; sites like this (home standby generators). I am not very familiar with these standby generators for home use (I always thought they were more a commercial thing). After looking into them I see that the most basic difference is the standby generators are meant to be more permanent structures and require minimal effort to engage. If anyone could elaborate more on what needs one would have in order to justify the purchase of a standby vs a portable, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, does anyone know if having a standby generator could possibly help sell a house?

speedy petey 08-09-2011 03:19 PM

Copied from my reply on another message board:

It ALL boils down to money.

Automatic standby with a main transfer switch = Most money, NO work other than yearly maintenance.

Automatic standby with a transfer panel = A little bit less money, with a limited choice of circuits to power. Also NO work.

Portable unit, manual transfer switch/interlock = MUCH cheaper, but more physical work.

BridgeMan 08-10-2011 09:04 PM

Having a reliable standby generator hard-wired into your home's electrical system would be a definite selling point, and would add considerably to the home's value. I know I'd have one in the old house we're in, if I could afford it. And I would definitely be willing to pay more for an existing home that already had a system installed.

Fuel choice depends on a number of factors, but I think I'd be leaning towards propane or natural gas. Best to talk to an expert on the subject.

lloyd 08-15-2011 04:52 AM

Bridge man is right on the natural gas. If you have it, that's what I'd go with and not have to worry about getting fuel to it. After losing a leg of the three phase that supplies our building we are looking at one to run the elevators, but we don't have natural gas so we have to go with diesel.
If your power fails often like you were saying, I'd want the transfer to be as simple as possible. I'll bet that mose potential buyers would like to see a backup generator when they're looking into buying a country home.

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