Why not buy a traditional Standby Generator vs. your system?
The reasons to buy this system in order of importance:
- Ongoing Maintenance Costs
What I find amazing is that looked at my onboard run meter on my original generator to find out that I have used my portable, natural gas, whole-home power distribution setup for only 31 hours since 2009 (12 years). Of course, I didn’t bother with firing up the generator when power outages were just an hour or two in duration. But let’s say I did run the generator for every short-term outage, and my running hours were doubled to 60 hours on my generator. So over the last 12 years, for an average of 5 hours per year (which is on the high side), I could in no way justify an outlay of $15K plus $500-$1000 per year for maintenance. Don’t get me wrong, traditional standby/fixed installation generators are the gold standard. Who doesn’t want one of those? They come on automatically without you having to get out of your chair! However, they are quite expensive to purchase and maintain to run for an average of 5 hours a year? Thankfully, I never went that route because I have moved twice over the 12 years since I have had this generator. I have easily picked up my portable system, hoses, connections, etc., and taken it with me! They have worked perfectly at each home.! My neighbor calls my setup, a “practical man’s solution to a rich man’s generator.” The bottom line, we all want standby power. We all want energy security. However, we want the best price, most practical solution that will deliver “A lifetime of energy security with one purchase.” This is what our systems offer.
What modifications, if any, need to be made to the generator so that it can run on NG? Are you / your LLC personally making these modifications?
No. The Honda Engines being used come directly from the factory configured to run on LP and Natural Gas. No modifications whatsoever are done to the engine, hence the factory warranty of 3 years offered by Honda remains!
PWHG Rapid Connection®
- ® “One Line In / One Line Out
- LPG/NG Hose Plus Quick Connects/ Disconnects (IN)
- One Cord / One Plug Electric Power (OUT)
The generator itself is just one component of the PWHG Rapid Connection®. What are the additional costs to install the generator this way?
ESTIMATED COST FOR ALL PLUMBING and ELECTRICAL PARTS and PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION: Approx. ~$1375.00 – $1575,* in addition to the price of the generator:
Plumbing Connection from NG Gas Meter to Generator:
- Licensed Plumber: ~ $375 (Houston TX, July 2021)
- Plumbing Fittings/Hose Cost for hooking up PWHG 6901 to NG Meter with 1” connections and 20 ft. of NG 1” Hose: ~$550*
- Plumbing Fittings/Hose Cost for hooking up PWHG 3901 to NG Meter with ¾” connections and 20 ft. of ¾” Hose ~$425
Subtotal Costs for Plumbing: ~$800 – $925.00*
Electrical Connection from Generator to Breaker
- Licensed Electrician $300
- Corresponding Interlock Panel for your breaker box plus 30 or 50 Amp Inlet Plug – $200
- Assuming 20 feet of 30A or 50A’ of 8 gauge or 6 gauge electrical cord: $75.00- $150
Subtotal for Costs for Electrical from Generator to Breaker Panel: ~$575 – $650*
TOTAL Costs for Electrical and Plumbing Parts and Installation: $1375.00 – $1575.*
*Based on actual costs incurred with installations on July 2021 (Houston, TX), All costs are based on both connections requiring 20 ft of electrical or gas hose. Prices are based on prices paid. Installations include costs for independent Master Electrician and Plumber. Cost vary depending on length of connections. Applicable sales taxes are not included
PWHG RAPID CONNECTION® – ® -Installation of Plumbing Connections for Gas (LPG/NG)
I want the PWHG Rapid Connection® setup to my natural gas meter Do I purchase parts myself, or do I let the plumber provide?
PLUMBING CONNECTIONS: The plumbing connections are trickier and harder to procure. Just let PWHG know what length of hose you want to connect from your Natural Gas Meter / Propane Tank to your generator. We will work up prices and send to you for approval to purchase. We are hopeful to have the ability to purchase your connections available on our website soon, where all you do is choose the length of hose you need from your NG/LPG source to your generator’s running location (the location you intend to run the generator in an emergency). Until this feature is offered online, please email PWHG before or after your generator order and we will work up pricing and delivery timing for you.
What is the minimum pressures required to operate your generators?
Please see individual specifications for each generator for the answer for NG and LPG options.
What’s the furthest I can install the larger PWHG 6901 generator from the Natural Gas meter?
The furthest practical distance is 40’ from a 1” ID pipe at the gas meter that sends a minimum of 7 IWC (inches of water column) into the Quick Connect. (if uncertain of your pressure, look at the panel on your regulator and look for IWC stamped on the specification panel). This is the maximum distance you can be from the source with 1” connections. You can go up to 100’ with 1 ¼” connections and hoses, but that requires 1 ¼” source piping at your gas meter (typically only found on larger gas meters on large houses or pool heaters). Assuming that access, you need 1 ¼ inch ball valves, quick connects, hoses, etc. These connections are VERY difficult to get, VERY expensive, and managing a 100’ of 1 ¼” ID hose size hose for this distance is pretty much unmanageable. It would be better to have your plumber permanently run a 1” line from your 1” home inlet at your gas meter to get you closer to your Generator Running Location (GRL). From there, you can use shorter temporary connections (hose and quick disconnects).
Are the quick connect hoses and power cord included in your scope of supply?
For plumbing – yes! For Electrical, eventually we may offer the appropriate power cords. However, in the interim, we will guide you to items that you/your electrician need to purchase to achieve the PWHG RAPID CONNECTION® “One Line In / One Line Out
- LPG/NG Hose Plus Quick Connects/ Disconnects (IN)
- One Cord / One Plug Electric Power (OUT)
The biggest challenge revolves more around procuring the correct plumbing connections, hoses, quick connects, etc. from your gas meter (or propane tank) to the generator. To connect the typical PWHG generator to your natural gas meter requires a number of unique parts and connections. I will be providing these at an extra charge above and beyond the price of the generator pricing.
Who installs the plumbing connections?
All plumbing parts will be provided by PWHG at an additional cost to the customer. Installation is done by the homeowner’s local plumber of choice. The connections are straightforward, but we will be available to provide answer any questions and provide expert guidance to your plumber to ensure the correct connections are made.
Do you need to have a valve ahead of the quick-connect?
Technically, the gas is sealed off by one side of the quick-connect until it is securely connected with the corresponding opposing connection. However, a licensed plumber will insist on having an “open/close” full port ball valve (like mine did) for safety and for isolating the quick connect to be removed, changed, or serviced in the future without having to turn off the natural gas service at the meter.
What are the challenges for Natural Gas Connections to portable generators?
Quick-Connects to your Gas Meter and to your generator is an easy concept to discuss, but execution can be complicated and difficult. Let me explain:
After many years of studying this challenge thoroughly, and developing some reference charts, we have a great deal of confidence in our ability to do get the sizing and connections from the gas meter to the generator correct. What is important is that we understand the limitations of these types of connections. Getting the right gas flow/pressure, and the right length hose and ID, the correct fittings integrated with the proper gas flow control at the generator itself has taken some time to understand and successfully integrate into our generator offering.
These challenges are especially true for the PWHG 6901 Series, where the ID (Interior Diameter) at corresponding lengths are especially critical. Even the most seasoned generator suppliers have no idea how to tackle this challenge cleanly and most sell awfully short hoses that are pre-cut, (with no quick connect options) often inconveniently placing the generator in the grass or mud near the gas meter. This pushes the customer to make electrical connections standing in the wet grass at the generator. Gas Flow/hose sizes/connections are critically important.
Do you just sell the plumbing Quick Disconnects and Hoses so I can hookup my existing generator?
Not at this time. We provide this support and option only for customers who purchase a PWHG generator from us.
I want the PWHG Rapid Connection® setup to with one line out from my generator to my breaker panel. Do I purchase parts myself, or will the electrician provide?
Regarding electrical connections, we strongly suggest that the first thing you do is to take a picture of your breaker panel open and send to the electrician of your choice to get a price for the installation of a Breaker Interlock Panel, the corresponding 30A or 50A generator inlet breaker, and either a 30A or 50A Power Inlet Box at the breaker panel. Your electrician can supply these with the installation of the breaker interlock. I have found this to be the preferred method as the parts are sometimes easier to the source. If you have any problems sourcing the special correct Power Inlet Box for your installation, please contact PWHG, and we will guide you to the best place to purchase.
What is a breaker interlock panel?
This is a low-tech and the most cost-efficient alternative to a costly transfer switch. The interlock is the simplest safest way to connect portable a portable generator to your electrical distribution panel and will let you have control over what you power at any given time
Electrical generator “interlock kits” are a simple mechanical device that safely and legally permits “back-feeding” a home electrical panel from a portable generator during an electrical power outage. Unlike a transfer switch, an electrical panel interlock kit provides a flat metal panel that is slid into position and then locked in place to assure that a main electrical panel circuit breaker remains in the OFF position when using a backup generator to power your home.
In the event of an electrical power failure the main breaker is switched off and locked off by the interlock panel that is made specifically for your breaker panel. Then a backup generator, connected to the panel, can power the panel’s circuits.
To use an interlock kit typically the user must do the following:
- Turn the main circuit breaker OFF
- Turn all branch circuit breakers OFF
- Slide the InterLock panel into position so as to block the appropriate breakers from being flopped back ON
- Turn the generator circuit breaker (elsewhere in the panel) ON
- Turn on essential breakers one at a time.
Warning : PLEASE allow appliances to start before engaging the next circuit.
What are the Pros & Cons of Interlock Kits for Backup Generators?
Interlock kits (panels/plates) are generally such a simple device that it is less costly to purchase and install than a transfer switch. In addition, the interlock kit gives greater flexibility of choice of which electrical circuits will be powered by the backup generator than a pre-wired transfer switch. Breaker Panel Interlocks should be installed by a licensed electrician.
NOTE: Also, installing the interlock kit isn’t as trivial as simply bolting a sliding panel to the electrical panel face panel. Additional modifications are needed within the electrical panel, AND there must be at least 2 (TWO) free circuit breaker spaces in the existing panel. Only a licensed electrician should ever remove the front panel of the breaker panel.
NOTE: A typical interlock kit installation has no means to prevent a user from turning on additional circuit breakers in the panel such that the generator may be overloaded.
NOTE: Overloading the backup generator can damage the generator and possibly some appliances.
BOTTOM LINE: When connected to a generator and powering up circuits one at a time, go slowly and methodically. Use common sense!
When generator is operating and powering up my home, how will I know when line power is restored?
Most electrical companies message you to let you know power has been restored. Alternatively, you can purchase a “utility power return alert” that is wired ahead of the main circuit breaker in the electrical panel that will alert you when power is restored.
Who installs the breaker interlock panel and inlet wall plug at my breaker box?
The electrician of your choice. If in the Houston area, we can make some recommendations.
How do I know what breaker interlock panel to get?
Your electrician is the one who should source and install this interlocking panel. Every breaker box is different. If you intend to operate your generator with a single connection to your breaker box (like the PWHG Rapid Connection®), before purchasing, we strongly recommend you take a picture of your main breaker box panel (door open) and send to your electrician for a price quote in install the breaker interlock and Inlet Power Outlet. For the PWHG 3901, you need a 30A inlet power outlet, a 30A breaker that fits in your breaker box, and a generator cord that connects from your generator to your inlet box. For the PWHG 6901, you need a 50A inlet power outlet plug, a 50A breaker that fits in your breaker box, and a generator cord that connect to both connections properly.
What size/specification of electrical connection is required for each generator.
For the 3901 Series (30A generator outlet plug):
Generator Connection: To distribute power throughout your house, with one connection, the generator itself comes with a 30 Amp 4-Prong Twist Lock Outlet Plug (NEMA L14–30R) Connection
Power Inlet Box at Breaker Panel: There are a number of choices that you can have your electrician install. They are 3 pronged and 4 pronged Power Inlet Boxes. All will work equally well, but my preference is the 4 Prong Twist Lock NEMA L14-30P connection. Irrespective of your connection, you need to make sure you are consistent with ordering your power cord that will connect to the generator (NEMA L14-30R) and whatever inlet Box NEMA connection you have installed.
For the 6901 Series (30A and 50A generator outlet plug):
Generator Connection: To distribute power throughout your house with one connection, the generator itself comes with the following outlet connections:
- 1 – 120v/240v 50A Heavy-Duty Receptacle (NEMA 14–50R)
- 1 – 120v/240v 30A Twist Lock Outlet Receptacle (NEMA L14–30R)
To get the most power from your generator into your home, you must use the 50A connections. The 50A connection from your generator to your electrical distribution panel (breaker box) will give you the maximum power to your breaker panel
Generator Connection: To distribute power throughout your house, with one connection, the generator itself comes with a 50A Heavy-Duty Receptacle (NEMA 14–50R)
Power Inlet Box at Breaker Panel: There are a number of choices that you can have your electrician install. However, a strongly prefer the 3 Prong Twist / NEMA SS2-50P. Irrespective of your connection, you need to make sure you are consistent with ordering your power cord that will connect to the generator (NEMA L14-50R) and whatever Power Inlet Box connection you have installed.
What is the procedure General Procedure to Turn ON a Bckup Electrical Generator using a breaker interlock at your breaker box?
Please follow the steps below:
- At the main electrical panel: Turn off the main switch in the main electrical panel. This manually isolates your whole home from the electrical grid, doing a favor for the utility company by reducing the power surge that the grid experiences when everyone’s power is turned back on at once.
- Turn off all Breakers in your breaker panel
- Connect the generator: Plug in the power cord into the generator outlet plug and then plug the other end of the generator’s output power cord into the Power Inlet Box (receptacle) at your breaker panel.
- Start the generator. If your portable generator was in storage you’ll usually need to move it outdoors to a sheltered location close-enough to connect its power cord to the transfer box before you start the engine.
- Run the generator to let it get up to normal and stable operating speed. Inspect the generator to make sure it’s operating safely, for example that it is not sending exhaust fumes into the building (risking fatal carbon monoxide poisoning), then
- Slide the Breaker Interlock (typically upward) to “lock out” the Main Breaker Switch
- Flip on your Generator Inlet Breaker (this allows electricity to enter the breaker Box). Flip the transfer switch to the Generator position
What is the procedure General Procedure to Turn OFF a Backup Electrical Generator using a breaker interlock at your breaker box?
Please follow the steps below:
General Procedure to Turn the Backup Emergency Electrical Generator OFF
- At the breaker, FIRST turn off the Generator Inlet Breaker. By doing so, there is no longer any electricity feeding your breaker panel
- Slide the breaker interlock panel (typically downward) which will allow you to turn the main breaker back to the “on” position.
- At your breaker panel, flip the main circuit breaker to the On position.
- At the generator: turn off the backup generator.
- Disconnect the backup generator power cord from the the generator and the inlet box.
- Store it: Return the backup generator, cords, hoses, etc.
How many surge watts required for every 1 ton of A/C?
For every 1 ton of Central A/C, you need approximately 3KW Surge Watts (or 3,000 watts) to start up the compressor unit outside. For example, a 5 ton A/C typically needs 15KW Surge watts available to start up this size of the unit. Once Running, it will use a small fraction of that as running watts. Note: to ease your generator’s output during Central A/C startup, it is recommended that your A/C have a “Hard Start” kit installed. This kit helps your A/C compressor unit start-up quickly so it only draws the surge watts from the generator for a short amount of time. Most late model Central A/C’s are equipped with ‘hard start’ kits when manufactured.
What is the maximum distance you can connect a generator cord for the larger PWHG 6901 Series?
Theoretically, you can go up to 100 ft with a 50 Amp generator cord. However, this distance is at the very limit (and maybe a little beyond the limit) before you get voltage losses due to distance. Plus, a 50A cord that is pre-made for this distance is ~$400 or more, and at 6 gauge copper, it is quite heavy and difficult to handle.
Could the generator Power Inlet Box (plug) be located outside, with the GRL being 50 feet away (say behind a fenced area of the yard) for help with security and CO concerns?
Absolutely. However, you must take into the GRL Considerations (see above). The further away you are from your connections, the more expensive your natural gas hose and electric power cord will be. Hoses and cords for longer distances are larger and heavier (in diameter, weight, gauge, etc.) and are more expensive. To determine the best GRL, the right balance needs to be struck based on the homeowner’s layout. In addition, I prefer all of my connections to be inside of the garage as they are out of the rain and water.
While the electrician is installing the breaker interlock panel, and the power inlet box, is there anything else I should have him look into while there?
Yes! 2 things strongly recommended!
#1. Have him check your ground connection. It is our experience that when the electrican checks the ground connection. Why? Because virtually EVERY connection we have seen thus far, we have found that home builders used a galvanized clamp (instead of brass), which has long since rusted away. What does this mean? This means that many customers do not have a good ground connection! Without a solid ground connection, you are at risk of major damage to your home and appliances (even home fires) if you do not have a good ground connection.
#2. Inquire about a Whole House Surge Protector while you have your electrician on-site.. This is NOT required for any of our generators. However, if you do a little research, you will find that this may be one of the best investments you can make to protect your home against power surges and lightning strikes. But remember, no matter how much you spend on a whole house surge protector, your house is UNPROTECTED if your home is not grounded properly.
Can I hook up 2 small generators to power up my house at the same time?
NO. Due to varying power inputs this is NEVER a good idea. However, some may argue the possibility of doing so with an “isolation switch” which isolates power from one generator (or power source) so it doesn’t interfere with another source. This can be complex to do, and because of this, we strongly recommend you steer clear of attempting this.
“Dirty Power” – What is it and what are the risks of sending “dirty power” throughout your home?
I wanted to learn more about the insidious nature of “Dirty Power” and the risks
Why is the alternator so important?
Aside from the engine, an equally important component of a generator is the alternator. When focusing on purchasing a generator, most focus on the size and quality of the engine because we are more familiar with engine brands. But, what about the quality of the alternator? As the alternator is often overlooked, the cheapest alternators are used in the portable generator market. Considering that the power coming from the alternator will be fed throughout your home and to all electronics and appliances, I would argue that the quality of the alternator is EQUALLY important to the quality of the engine when buying a generator! To dig deeper into understanding the alternator power coming from a portable create electricity that is defined as being “dirty power.” So exactly,
What is dirty power?
“Dirty power” is an abnormality in the power quality that is being delivered to a system. These abnormalities can include low power factor, voltage variations, frequency variations, and surges. All electrical systems and components are based on a consistent supply of power at a certain voltage and frequency.”
To be perfectly frank, all portable generators produce “dirty power.” The cleanest portable generator power you can typically get is an “inverter” generator that produces the cleanest power possible (Target: < 5% Total Harmonic Distortion or “THD”). As a result, inverter generators typically cost 2X that of a normal generator. PWHG generators are not inverters, but due to the quality of the alternator, along with Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR), our generators deliver the cleanest possible power (<4% THD).
I will only use my “big box” generator during emergencies! Is it riskly to send “dirty power” into my home for only these short periods?
YES! Most modern households have so many sensitive electronics, insurance claims for power surges now average approximately $12,000 per claim! When I first saw this amount, this seemed excessive to me. However, when you consider that many homes have a handful of large flat-screen TV’s, “smart” refrigerators and freezers, “Ring” Doorbells, “Nest” Thermostats, routers, wi-fi extenders, computers, printers, monitors, etc., you can quickly see how costly and devastating power surges can become. One guy who came over to my home to see the generator in action said that when his house took a direct hit by lightning, and it destroyed BOTH (2) Central A/C’s AND virtually all electronic appliances in his home! Total Insurance Claim – $22,000! So with that as a backdrop, an average claim of $12,000 may be reasonable after all.
Admittedly, this is lighting, but it gives you a sense of the damage that can be caused by sudden changes in your electrical throughput into your nome.
What makes “dirty power’ even more insidious is that it degrades the life and quality of circuits in electronics and appliances over time. This means that you may not notice any damage to electronics while the generator is running. Rather, the more likely scenario, you will notice that expensive electronics that have been exposed to “dirty power” begin failing months after being connected to a generator. One generator technician said, “After a power outage where you had to run your house on generator power, everything runs just fine. Then, 6 months later, the control board on your freezer goes out, or your big screen’s outputs start failing.” Many people fail to recognize the connection, but in many cases, the generator power used months prior, accelerated the failures. Those who know generators well have told me, “A portable generator is great to drag into the woods to run power tools, but is really tough on all electronics and circuits in the home.” Then to make things work, normally lightning strikes are a single “moment in time” event, these are typically covered by homeowners insurance. However, when appliances go out randomly in the future after being exposed to generator power, the homeowner typically has no recourse with his insurance company.
Can you give me an example of challenges you feel came about by distributing “dirty power” into your home?
For instance, my older Big Box Generator that I converted to natural gas, ran my house fine during Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. I am very grateful to have had it ready to run when the power outage struck at 2:20 AM. However, in the weeks following, after running my generator only for a few days during the storm, I had some interesting electrical problems show up in my home. For instance, the digital control board on my freezer went out. The appliance repair tech said that was something that very rarely if ever goes out. Then, a few weeks later, my AT&T Wi-Fi Router and my expensive (and extensive) whole-house Google Wi-Fi mesh system started acting erratically, and not long after, completely failed and needed to be replaced. This was quite a mess as my family lives and dies based on having Wi-Fi! Between the freezer repair and having to change out virtually my entire Wi-Fi system, this ended up costing me more than $1200 in repairs. This has me thinking, “what is going to go next?” My expensive flat-screen TV? My Ring Doorbell? Security Cameras? Other appliances? Could be a coincidence, but thinking this is pretty unlikely.
You said you had problems with your electrical, circuit boards in your fridge, google Wi-Fi going out, but doesn’t a whole house surge protector protect against the dirty power which causes all of that?"
NO! It is very easy to assume so. I think it is a very sound investment, but it is very limiting in protecting you from ‘dirty power.’ Let me explain:
A whole-house surge protector does exactly what it is aptly named for – it is to protect against POWER SURGES, or sudden increases or spikes in power entering your home – like a lightning strike). And that is all it protects you against. It is a VERY valuable investment against this type of power surge.
However, a whole house surge protector does nothing to ‘condition” the power to your home. It does not protect against power dips or “brown power” when lower Voltage/Amps/Hz come through your house. For instance, if you overload your generator and your generator struggles to keep up with the demand on it, your lights can flicker and damage can be caused to sensitive electronics because the power swings downward (power loss – no surge in power). Nor does a surge protector protect you from a consistent flow of and incorrect voltage/amperage/Hz steadily streaming into your home. So for instance, like with my original generator, and your generator is running perfectly steady, and you hook it up to your inlet plug at your electrical panel, then the generator simply continues to feed dirty power (incorrect voltage, amperage, frequency) to your house. This steady but ‘dirty’ power goes right through the surge protector and throughout your house until there is a spike (a sudden increase of Voltage/Amperage going through the whole house).
This is why when I specified an alternator for this unit, it had to give <4% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and deliver precise voltage (has an AVR or "Automatic Voltage Regulator" on board) to minimize the risk of damage. Inverter generators target anything <5% THD. This low THD will give you as clean of power that you will ever get from any generator.
Why is it so difficult to find a portable generator that runs on natural gas to be powerful enough to run a Central A/C unit?
Simple question with a lot of angles to it. The answer to this question is largely driven by the BTU values of fuel most used in portable generators. The greatest majority of portable generators run on gasoline, propane, or natural gas. Of the 3, gasoline has the highest BTU, Propane has the 2nd highest BTU capacity and Natural gas is 3rd. Generator companies tout the highest possible Surge Watts/Running Watts based on the generator’s ability to run on the highest BTU fuel it can burn. For instance, if you see a Tri Fuel Generator, the top line advertisement will show it’s output wattage when it burns gasoline (highest BTU’s). You must drill down into the specification to determine what the actual output of this same generator would be on LPG (propane) and natural gas. For instance, this Tri-Fuel generator may be rated for 10,000 Surge/ 7500 Running Watts. That large number assumes you are burning gasoline. For the same generator the ratings are likely to be 8500 Surge/6400 Running watts on LPG (propane), and 7000 Surge/5,000 Running watts when burning Natural Gas (NG). Based on the fuel type, you must “de-rate” the output wattage of your generator accordingly depending on the fuel, with Natural gas running at ~30% lower output power vs. gasoline.
So, to get a generator that runs on LPG/NG that is powerful enough to fire up a large Central A/C (up to 5 tons), you must have a very efficient large engine that must be theoretically 30% larger to accomplish this. This is why Honda engines have been chosen for the PWHG models! These engines have not been modified to burn natural gas! Rather, these engines were designed to burn LPG and NG and have been optimally tuned for performance on these fuels.
What is the most impressive display of power when running the PWHG 6901 generator series?
When burning Natural Gas with 1” Hose and Quick Connects, I watched a homeowner run a 5 Ton Central A/C, a 3 Ton Central A/C, 3 pool pumps on a 50A circuit AND everything else in a 3300 Sq. Ft. House in the middle of a Houston Summer! NOTE: Actual results may vary, but our promise is that the 6901 will power everything in MOST homes including 1 Central A/C up to 5 tons! I have to be careful to say “most” homes only because, if this is ordered to power Trump’s home in Mar Lago, it probably won’t be able to power everything!
How to choose a perfect Generator Running Location (GRL)
When you receive a new Portable Whole House Generator (PWHG), you need to determine your Generator Running Location (GRL) which is where you’re going to run the generator in case of emergency. There are some specifics to consider when choosing a GRL.
The best location? is one where the generator can run safely and efficiently without endangering the lives of your family or your neighbors.
1. Safety Comes First
Never install a generator indoors. Your portable generator should be installed outside on a flat, level surface that doesn’t flood.
Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide, so installation should be at least five feet from any windows, doorways, or soffit vents.
Never install a generator beneath an overhang, in a breezeway, or in an area that collects snow drifts.
2. Stay Close to the Gas Meter
Installation should ideally be done in close proximity to the electric meter and the gas meter. This way your connection hose doesn’t have to run as far, reducing friction in the hose and providing a more consistent fuel supply to the generator. Installing closer to the utilities can also help to cut down the cost of quick connects, hoses, and installation, as well as generator power cords.
Beware of Carbon Monoxide
DO NOT run generators inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, basements, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of CO can quickly build up and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off. Install and maintain battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, garage, patio, etc.
Leave Space Around the Generator
To reduce the risk of fire, keep at least 5 feet of clearance on all sides of the generator, including overhead. DO NOT operate the generator near combustible materials.
Don’t Operate in the Rain
Generators pose a risk of shock and electrocution, especially if they are operated in wet conditions. Wait for the rain to pass before using a generator. If you must use a generator when it is wet outside, protect the generator from moisture to help reduce the risk of shock or electrocution, but do so without operating the generator indoors or near openings.
Operate the generator under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface where water cannot reach it or puddle or drain under it. Dry your hands, if wet, before touching the generator.
What are other considerations when determining your Generator Running Location" (GRL) when used for standby power?
The generator’s running location when used for standby power is unique for every home and must take into account a number of things largely driven by cost, convenience, and security. Some of the key GRL Considerations are: 1. Carbon Monoxide (CO) 2. Distance from gas meter 3. Distance from the breaker box 4. Distance from the closet location 5. The owner’s ability and willingness to move their generator to their GRL is largely based on weight and terrain between stored location and the GRL.
Ultimately, the best balance of cost, security, and convenience will be determined.
In the video, I see a fence just behind your gas meter. Why wasn’t your GRL behind the fence?
I considered that! However, in my case, the gate to my backyard is on the opposite side of my home. This would mean I would have to roll my generator from my garage all the way around the other side of my house through the gate and then side and backyards. The larger portable generator weigh approx. 370 lbs. So both are heavy and easiest to move these generators shorter distances when staying on cement. However, moving a generator can be damned difficult on uneven grass and terrain, especially when wet! I strongly believe your GRL should be as close as practical to your stored location (like your garage). For that reason, I believe it is preferable to have longer hoses and electrical cords which are typically easier to handle. Also, my GRL is a location that my wife could move the generator to if need be.
Can I put the generator in the garage and run it safely for long periods of time?
NO. Under no circumstances should you do this due to the potential for carbon monoxide buildup from the exhaust.
In the video, the generator was in your garage. During the recent winter storm, was your GRL for standby power inside the garage?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! My generator was parked outside the center of the garage at a safe distance from the garage front to minimize CO entering into the garage. For security’s sake, the generator was securely locked by a heavy-duty lock and chain to the center pillar of my garage. When the generator was running, I kept my garage doors fully closed as an added protection to make sure that carbon monoxide (CO) wouldn’t be a problem.
Where do you store your generator?
I store my generator in my garage covered under a workbench to keep it clean and free from dust. I also keep it close to a 110 outlet as I keep a “Trickle Battery Charger 12V/Smart Battery Charger” hooked up to it so the battery can always be at it’s peak of performance to start the generator when needed.
What are your thoughts on preventing vandals or curious people from easily accessing a natural gas outlet via the quick-connect on the gas line? Any way to cap and secure it with a lock until needed?
I am sure you can find a gate valve that will allow you to add a padlock to lock it in the closed position when not in use. But practically speaking, if vandals want to wreak havoc, not only to your gas meter, but to anyone’s gas meter, all they need is a pipe wrench and they can loosen any of the connections, and even take the gas meter. I have never heard “Natural Gas theft” being a problem. In addition, I am very confident they won’t be trying to pirate or steal your natural gas. Thinking one step further, assuming they have the correctly sized connection and hose, where are they going to take the natural gas to? There are virtually no natural gas cars. A generator or other motor? Nope – because they can only operate something as far as the length of their hose and are tethered to that distance.