1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Possible Generator Score, got ??

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mayhem, Nov 6, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,938
    Loc:
    Peru, MA
    Below is a photo of a generator located at one of the new bank branches we just bought and will be absorbing in December. Facilities manager says he doesn't want it and would consider it a favor if it disappeared. I have no idea of the size or even the fuel, but I sure wouldn't mind having a nice generator for those times when the power actualyl does go out at home. The one issue (apart from the weight) I have is that it hasn't been exercised since it was put in...as a Y2K contingency plan. So I'm wondering if its worth investigating or not when I go out there. Branch is about 90 minutes away from me and I'll be heading there in the next week or so and then continuously for a month. If its worth checking it out, what should I be looking for? How can I tell if its seized, what fuel it runs on (I think it has to be either deisel, gasoline or propane since there are no public utilities like natural gas at this location), whats its output capacity, etc.

    Would this be to big to hook up to a house or is there even such a thing? My home is a typical modern home in that its fed by a 200a service off the grid, we use somewhere between 400-600kwh a month depending on the season.

    Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,003
    Loc:
    Orient Point, NY
    Way too large for home use, probably at least 20K watts, which, unless you want to spin up all your AC compressors at once, is pure overkill. Odds are it runs on natural gas, if not that, look for a propane tank.

    I'd score it, sell it, buy what you really need, and take the wife to Antigua with the rest.

    -- Mike
  3. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    If its free its for me

    Get it and worry about what to do with it later. You can see the Nat Gas/ Propane line on the left along with the regualtor.
    That yellow line is the stuff they use when burying gas lines.
  4. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,525
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    Snag it up ! FAST !!!!!!! The price of generators has gone up 10-30% just in the last year ,especially diesels with the new emissions BS. An oversized generator will run much more economically than a smaller generator running at peak. If you dont want it give me the address I'll leave NOW !!!! LOL
  5. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Can't go wrong with Kohler. I agree with Mr. Wilson. Pick it up, sell it, and buy what you really need. Take the extra money and invest in soybeans, I hear they are going to be big with the increased demand for soy nog.

    -Kevin
  6. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    That would be a great score, but as others have said - a little overkill for home backup). Is the facilities manager able to make the call to give it away? If so... I'd say grab it, especially if you have a place you can store it and maybe tinker with it and sell at some point.
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Yep, grab it up right quick. As Mike pointed out, it is probably very oversized for the average home. That being said, if you are looking at using this for emergency backup, there really is not a down side. Even being oversized, that is an effecient genset and will be running at a fraction of full load (which in turn uses less fuel). Just as a guess, that genset at 25% load will probably use about the same fuel (rate) as a 6000 watt single cylinder at full load.

    That generator will also be much happier running 24/7 if need be, than a smaller home owner version. Also, that genset will have a pure a/c output wave, meaning that you can run tv, pc, and other sensitive appliances off of it. Many home owner version do not recommend this.

    It appears to be gas (LP) operated. If you run LP for home heating, it would be a no-brainer to tap into that fuel source. Also, being LP has its advantages over other fuel types because of fuel storage (no old gas, or diesel), and gunking up the fuel system of the genset during non-use.

    Man, I would love to have that thing. I'll trade my 4 cylinder, 10,000 watt setup for it!!!!!!

    EDIT:
    If it is LP and you run natural gas at home, they can usually be easily converted to natural or vise versa.
  8. nshif

    nshif New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    954
    Loc:
    Pioneer, Ca (near Lake Tahoe)
    Id grab it in a second if you can do so without risking your job. Its worth at least 5K even if it needs some repair from sitting idle. ( assuming it ran when shut down ) . It may be a little noisy for home use but youd have enough power to let neighbors run extension cords over which may keep them happy. Id say its at least 20kw maybe more. Usually Gens of this size have mutiple circuits so you dont have to tap into all its power, only what you need. I agree with all above, Grab it! your gonna need a fork lift and at least a 3/4 ton truck or heavy duty trailer to move it, Id guess at least a ton.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,825
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    That's a serious generator. Mike is probably correct, it looks like a 20kw NG generator. This unit is commercial and overkill for residential use unless you have a full time shop with electric heat that you need to keep going. It'll need to be professionally disconnected from the bank's service. If the bank will agree to have their electrician disconnect then great. See if you can get the automatic transfer controls with it. Nice score.

    If you do decide to do home test, be extremely careful and use correctly rated wiring and disconnect panel.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,983
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Connecting it is probably not trivial because of the gas flow rate required.
  11. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,938
    Loc:
    Peru, MA
    Thanks for the info guys. My facilities guy said we'll have a closer look at it when we're out there (its about 90 minutes away). I have a 3/4 ton pick and one of the guys in teh facilities dept. has a low profile car trailer so this might be a doable pickup for me. Both my brother in law and next door neighbor have tractors and other heavy equipment (excavators, etc.) so I should have a way to get it off when i get it back home too.

    Its quite a bit more than I need of course...we've lost power for a total of maybe 2-3 hours at our house since I built it on 02/03 so I really don't "need" it. Worst case scenario I've got a nice valuable asset that I can make a few bucks on.

    Is it more or less like a piston engine underneath that nice clean shroud? I'm wondering if I can safely put a big wrench on a crackshaft bolt and see if its seized up or not. Obviously I'll grab model and serial numbers when I go out there so I can have a better idea of what I've got on my hands...maybe we could just try to start it for a test cycle if its got LP in the tank...maybe I could get the tank too.

    The facilities guy is a very good friend of mine, so odds are we'll be able to work out an arrangement to get the thing properly diconnected and loaded on a trailer or in my truck. Once it leaves the bank's propertry its 100% my problem.

    Won't know for sure until December...may not have the chance to bring it home until Spring.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,272
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    That genset will more than likely have a small 4 cylinder under the hood. It is possible to have a large 2 cylinder but those are usually reserved for the smaller (10kw-12kw) gensets. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I doubt if you will have to do anything but hook it up for it to run. As far as the engine being seized, highly unlikely. Your worst enemy will probably be that little field mouse that needed a warm place for the winter.

    Keep in mind, these things were DESIGNED to sit, and sit and sit, until called into duty. Most of them have virtually no hours of run time on them, and they are pretty much built like tanks.
  13. Hbbyloggr

    Hbbyloggr New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    Loc:
    NH
    I picked one up- Onan 30kw 6 cyl propane fired- and installed it. I had to rewire the generator for 240V to balance use for the home. It requires at least a 325 gal " Torpedo" propane tank to make enough vapor to run below 32 degrees. I froze up smaller tanks last winter from so much draw. If it's free -get it. They are quite heavy so have enough rig to handle it. Get the transfer switch with it. It will probably cost you a couple of grand to get everything hooked up at your house but that's cheap compared to having the house freeze and bursting all the pipes.

    If you don't want to mess with it, Ill come and get it out of your yard for you. My old man lives down county outside GB and I go through Windsor on Rt9 when I go down to visit. Peru is just around the corner. Good luck

    Hbbyloggr
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page