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New guy with some new guy questions

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by CurtisStetka, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. CurtisStetka

    CurtisStetka New Member

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    Barto, PA 129504
    Well, I've already got a 275 gallon fuel oil tank to supply my existing boiler. Aren't there backup generators that run on that?

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  2. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Central Maine
    Yup.. Generacs make kind of dirty power though. You get what you pay for. My buddy has thousands of machines under service contract. Any big outage, and 98% of his calls are people with generacs. They are pretty tough to get to pay for warranty work. So much so he doesn't sell em, even though he's a dealer. People are awful mad when he explains to them they will have to pay for quite a bit of repair work.

    If you've got cold weather..and the tanks are outdoors in the real cold... not a lot of surface area in those tanks to outgas fast enough. Now, bury it.. and the temps are a bit warmer. Lay the tank on it's side.... a WHOLE lot more surface area of the liquid LP to gas. Of course.. this is talking about 10 to 50kw home units. You probably would get by with a 8kw or so. Especially if you temps don't get down into the negative numbers... AND, you don't run the tank down to nothin.

    JP
  3. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Yes and no. Diesel generators are quite a bit more expensive, require more mtx as well.

    A propane engine stays REALLY clean. Like, never change the plugs, oil is honey colored for months and months clean.
  4. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    AND.. depending on where the genset is relative to your fuel supply, you might have pumping issues. Not a lot of small-ish diesels are setup to be able to run inside a home. I have a buddy who insisted on putting his in a garage. He ended up going with an industrial machine to get a pipe thread exhaust. Then he spent all kinds of money putting in servo controlled louver vents and fans and... Well, he does own part of my buddies generator company.. so... he gets what he wants.

    JP
  5. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Upstate NY
    I would say that you dont want to have a bigger flue than you need, since thats just more cold air that you have to move out of the way when you first start up. I was quoted about $1500 for a liner, but if you can get to the top of your chimney, you can order them from a few site sponsors here for about $800 or so.

    If you arent sure of what you want yet, I would say dont go for it this year. Plan away, think about what you want to do, and get all the ducks in a row. You can pull it off if you really want to, but just make sure you are getting everything you want.

    I definitely would have loved to have had a Garn if I could have fit it somewhere. But it was not to be.

    I didnt realize that WoodGun was near you also. Its good that you can see them and Smokeless Heat if you want to, just to get a feel for all the different gasification boilers.

    Also, Taylor brings up a really good point on if you have propane already on site.... (Then again, we can all spend your money pretty easily if you let us :) )
  6. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Yeah Generacs are cheap, and the company I worked for had lots of work doing repairs. If you don't mind starting it yourself and it will not be used much, I'd get a Honda inverter generator, they are quiet and make nice pure sine wave AC, but........ long term they need to be refuled often with countless red gas cans. Look into small Deutz or Hatz air-cooled generators for diesel setups. A good LP setup is the cheapest auto-start bang for your buck, but as JP and I both say, Generac stuff is you get what you pay for and it's cheap. Thats why so many people are installing them...... China made, need I say more.

    TS
  7. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Yup.. I tell people. There's A REASON why they are cheap!

    Also.. I always laugh. Home Depot will sell the generacs. BUT.. go drive around the back of the building. You will find a big mother Kohler powering the store. :)

    As for a gas unit... I think everyone now is seeing the flaw in the plan. Not many stations with gennys, so NO GASOLINE! My buddy was down delivering a 500KW to a grocery store. He said he saw MILES LONG lines at fuel stations that had power. My underground will go about a month if I shut it down a few hours each night, and let er rip all day.

    My buddy just took on Onan. Nice units. Even cleaner power than a Kohler.. which is very pure. Super quiet enclosure (my pad is 170 feet from the house, and that end is just my wife's business) so I can't hear mine running from inside at all. They have a stainless exhaust. But boy, do you PAY for the bells and whistles.

    JP
  8. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    The company I worked for sold both Onan and Generac. Almost all residential units were cheap Generacs, with all the service calls, the things would break down just doing their weekly 20 min test run (waste of fuel IMO)!!! The smaller Onan units are powered by Fuji Heavy Ind. engines (parent of Subaru).

    The diesel units are louder even a small single cyl. Hatz unit (German) make quite a clatter, but are fuel mizerly. I'd get one and run it off fuel oil from big tank if thats what you want.

    TS
  9. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Fuel isn't really a big cost though. We seem to have two "big" outages per year. From a few hours to a couple days at most.

    I've never bought more than about 150 dollars in propane for the year. I have the tank filled once per year. My last fill was 90 bucks.

    Propane wall hung, use the same big propane tank for standby gen. Get that 275 out of the basement.. right there that's half the floor space you need for storage for wood boiler!

    JP
    Taylor Sutherland likes this.

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