New Generator for New House

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whtoak

New Member
May 5, 2020
17
Virginia
Hello all,

My house is getting closer to being finished and I am looking hard at generators. I am currently looking at a Yamaha 7200. Does anyone have any experience with Yamaha generators. It is in a good price range for me compared to the Honda.

The only items I am concerned about running are the lights, refrigerator, freezer, TV and well pump. I am not really concerned with hot water or running the ac unit.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Is this going to be enough generator? Do I need step up to a 10,000 watt generator to make sure I definitely have enough power? I am a novice when it comes to generators and want to make the right decision.

Thanks
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,870
Eastern Ontario
If you are on gas or propane get a whole-house automatic
unit (Gen teck is one) Comes on when the power goes out
turns off when it comes back on. I have a 22 Kwatt unit that
runs everything including hot water and well pump. Put it in after
being without power for 29 days in 1997 (ice Storm) Been out 4
times for more than a week 4 times in the last 10 years one of the
best investments in my home I have made
This is what I have it came with everything
The Price is in Canadian dollars
 
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hockeypuck

Feeling the Heat
Sep 6, 2009
376
south central NH
Do you have a deep well pump or is it a shallow pump. I ran my house on a 4500 watt genny with a shallow, oil boiler. Kept the fridge and a few other circuits going. I now have an 8 kw that runs everything, with simple precautions, like dont run the dryer and stove together. Do you have an electric range or gas? I would get the quietest generator you can afford. It gets old listening to cheap oversized generators.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,815
Northern NH
If you are building a new house, have the deep well pump set up with a variable speed drive. It draws a lot less current on start up and in general is superior to standard on/off well pump. One brand is Franklin Mono Drive but expect the competitors have competing units.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,778
NE Ohio
My well pump seems to run fine on my 6500w genny...~110' deep IIRC.
I used to work at a Honda/Yamaha dealership...we sold a ton of Honda's...hard to beat! But the few Yamaha gennys I serviced seemed like good units too.
Agree with the variable speed pumps...
 

whtoak

New Member
May 5, 2020
17
Virginia
Do you have a deep well pump or is it a shallow pump. I ran my house on a 4500 watt genny with a shallow, oil boiler. Kept the fridge and a few other circuits going. I now have an 8 kw that runs everything, with simple precautions, like dont run the dryer and stove together. Do you have an electric range or gas? I would get the quietest generator you can afford. It gets old listening to cheap oversized generators.
I have a deep well.
My well pump seems to run fine on my 6500w genny...~110' deep IIRC.
I used to work at a Honda/Yamaha dealership...we sold a ton of Honda's...hard to beat! But the few Yamaha gennys I serviced seemed like good units too.
Agree with the variable speed pumps...
I will have to ask my builder about the variable speed pumps. My well is 185 ft deep. I really like the Honda's as well but the Yamaha is right much cheaper. The dealer has both Honda's and Yamaha's.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,778
NE Ohio
I have a deep well.
I don't think depth will matter a ton...starting will be the big amp draw (on a standard pump) but depth will affect the running amp draw more so, which will always be the lesser of the two.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,871
Nova Scotia
I run all that stuff, with a 3200w inverter gennie. We only have a shallow well pump tho.

How often and for how long are power outages there? Typically? We can also get through a day without running the pump at all. With what water our 3 toilets hold plus what the water tank holds. For me, here, low fuel use trumps everything else gennie related. Big gennies can burn a lot of fuel.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,390
South Puget Sound, WA
I have a friend that uses a Honda 6500 on their deep well pump, no sweat at all. The Yamaha should be able to handle it. The other stuff could be handled by a generator 1/3 that size. I have a propane fired (dual fuel) Yamaha 2400 that we run 2 refrigs, and a freezer on with power to spare for a few lights and tv. It's an inverter generator that is more friendly to electronics and UPSs for charging. Our UPSs wouldn't run on the previous 4.8kW generator.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,180
Massachusetts
your 7200 watt should be more than you need/ with that you could run most thing at the same time. well pump is no problem. you can run a electric stove on it just becareful of how much of it you run at the same time. small burners are 1500 watts big burner is 2000 to 2500 watts each and the oven should be 3500 watts give or take 500 watts for the name of the stove. dryer is 5000 watts washer is 1200 to 1400 watts
have your electrician install a portable generator interlock it will power your whole panel so you will have lights everywhere without a issue. after all what good is a generator if you have to take a candle to go to the john.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,871
Nova Scotia
If we did have a deep well pump and needed a bigger gennie because of it, I would have 2 gennies.

A bigger 240v one just for running the pump (6000w+/-, Champions are good and they are cheap). And a smaller 120v inverter for everything else - and then some, they are really easy to take places & use for other things. Should only need to run the pump a minute or so a couple times a day. If you also have a water tank. And a couple or 3 toilets. Even a big jug or bucket to hold extra for drinking or toilet flushing. Which is a huge waste of gas, to have a big gennie running all the time for.

If we were lucky enough to have NG here, then an autostart whole house jobbie would be a consideration.

All comes down to your situation. And fuel supply. Ours is gas in jugs. closest gas is 15 minutes away. Close to an hour away, with huge lineups, in Dorian with all the wide spread outages that caused.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,390
South Puget Sound, WA
I will have to ask my builder about the variable speed pumps. My well is 185 ft deep. I really like the Honda's as well but the Yamaha is right much cheaper. The dealer has both Honda's and Yamaha's.
My buddy's is around 265', no problem.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,815
Northern NH
The depth of the well is rarely the issue, its the standing level of the water in the well. I have 330 foot well but the standing water level is around 40 feet.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,538
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
If we did have a deep well pump and needed a bigger gennie because of it, I would have 2 gennies.

A bigger 240v one just for running the pump (6000w+/-, Champions are good and they are cheap). And a smaller 120v inverter for everything else - and then some, they are really easy to take places & use for other things. Should only need to run the pump a minute or so a couple times a day. If you also have a water tank. And a couple or 3 toilets. Even a big jug or bucket to hold extra for drinking or toilet flushing. Which is a huge waste of gas, to have a big gennie running all the time for.

If we were lucky enough to have NG here, then an autostart whole house jobbie would be a consideration.

All comes down to your situation. And fuel supply. Ours is gas in jugs. closest gas is 15 minutes away. Close to an hour away, with huge lineups, in Dorian with all the wide spread outages that caused.

Great post and points. There is no reason to have a 7200 watt genset droning away all day sucking up vast quantities of gasoline when you only need to cycle the well pump a few times per day. Get a reasonable quality big 6000-10000 watt genset like a champion and run it only when needing to run the well or for any other 240 volt loads. That big guy will suck down about 1/2 gallon per hour.

Then swap over to your much more efficient inverter generator of 2000-3000 watts 120 volt for powering the rest of the home. Lights, refrigeration, entertainment, etc. The little guy will idle along making exceptionally clean power, super quiet, and with high efficiency of about 12 hours per gallon of gasoline.

Another thing this gives you is redundancy. If either genset fails, you can at least keep everything but the well pump running. I like the ability to run propane or gasoline for extra flexibility too but gasoline is more important.

Finally, it will be cheaper to buy a small inverter for $500-1000 and then a big 6000-10000 watt champion for another 750$ than it is to buy the ridiculously expensive 7200 watt yamaha.

The depth of the well is rarely the issue, its the standing level of the water in the well. I have 330 foot well but the standing water level is around 40 feet.

Right, and the only time it really matters is when the "shallow" well is shallow enough to use a little jet pump instead of a 240 volt submersible.

Hello all,

My house is getting closer to being finished and I am looking hard at generators. I am currently looking at a Yamaha 7200. Does anyone have any experience with Yamaha generators. It is in a good price range for me compared to the Honda.

The only items I am concerned about running are the lights, refrigerator, freezer, TV and well pump. I am not really concerned with hot water or running the ac unit.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Is this going to be enough generator? Do I need step up to a 10,000 watt generator to make sure I definitely have enough power? I am a novice when it comes to generators and want to make the right decision.

Thanks

Good luck. I would be asking the well driller about the variable flow rate pumps instead of old school on/off systems with big bladder tanks. The power demand is lower which will pay you back forever. I hear they actually last a long time since they don't bang on and off so violently.
 

whtoak

New Member
May 5, 2020
17
Virginia
The yamaha was priced ay $ 1700 after tax. I believe the Honda 6500 was priced at $ 2200. I only plan on running the water when needed. Where I live in Virginia, sometimes the power can be out for a week or more if a bad storm comes through. My parents were out one time for two weeks. We don't loose it all the time but where I am building, if it goes out it might be days before I get it back. I don't want to be stuck without power anymore.

Thanks for all the posts so far. I appreciate all the insight. I know some of you have suggested 2 generators but I really wanted to just have one generator to handle all of my needs. I am a big Honda fan and based on the responses it sounds like the Honda 6500 will handle what I am looking for to run when the power is out. I also believe the Yamaha would do good as well. I still have a couple of months to decide on this.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,538
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I thought you were choosing a big inverter Yamaha or Honda. Those puppies are up near 5000$! 1700$ tells me you’re looking at contractor sets and spending a premium for a brand name.

If you’re going big open frame portable then just get a champion and plan on lots of gasoline on hand. Like lots. Like so much that you’ll think it’s crazy! 7 days at 1/2 gallon per hour (actually conservative) if you only run it 12 hours per day is over 40 gallons of gasoline. I keep 20 gallons on hand and have to be very careful to rotate it through the mower so it doesn’t get too old.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,778
NE Ohio
I keep 20 gallons on hand and have to be very careful to rotate it through the mower so it doesn’t get too old.
Yup, that gets old, quick!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,390
South Puget Sound, WA

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,321
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
I think if it were me I'd go a little different route. I'd get 2 3100 watt or 3400 watt inverter champion generators and the parallel kit for them. At light load you can run just 1 on eco mode saving a bunch of fuel, and if load demands you can fire up the second to get over 6500 watts. They can even be bought with remote start and dual propane/gasoline fuel options. The bonus is you still have 2 fairly light portable generators that could be sold to someone with an RV should you want to get rid of them. And total cost for 2 generators and the parallel kit would be under $1500.

The only problem with this is they only output 120 volt power, if you need 240 this doesn't work.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,538
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Every deep well submersible pump I’ve seen has been 240 or more volts. If 120 is an option that would be a big help.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,180
Massachusetts
keep in mind also that long extension cords on a heavy load is bad. more than 100 run should be it for lighter loads. the more it takes and the longer runs equal voltage drop.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,508
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Hello all,

My house is getting closer to being finished and I am looking hard at generators. I am currently looking at a Yamaha 7200. Does anyone have any experience with Yamaha generators. It is in a good price range for me compared to the Honda.

The only items I am concerned about running are the lights, refrigerator, freezer, TV and well pump. I am not really concerned with hot water or running the ac unit.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Is this going to be enough generator? Do I need step up to a 10,000 watt generator to make sure I definitely have enough power? I am a novice when it comes to generators and want to make the right decision.

Thanks

After much research this is the exact make and model I ended up purchasing for my house as it not an unusual occurrence to have power knocked out for a few days every 1-3 years where I live.

Ended up with the battery start model so my wife could easily get it fired up and had an electrician friend wire up an outside connection.

About a month after purchasing the generator and having the electrical connection installed we lost power for three or four days . . .

Since then I've run it one other time due to a late season snow storm.

I run lights, TV, well pump, freezer, propane water heater, refrigerator, oil boiler and a few other odds and ends -- truthfully the only two things we do differently is not use the electric dryer and not use the microwave. As my wife said to me originally "All I want to do is be able to watch TV, check the internet and take a hot shower without sitting in the dark."

I am an unabashed Honda lover and was sorely tempted to go with a red generator, but for the price the Yamaha generator seemed to be the better deal and many folks say Yamaha is well known for their reliability.

A bonus . . . the generator is also relatively quiet compared to some generators I have heard.

P.S. Our mechanic at work was in the market for a generator and after he thoroughly researched the various makes and models he ended up getting the same model as me . . . and then three weeks later lost power (unfortunately he had to drive 15 minutes into the City to purchase gas as he forgot to do so.)
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,508
Unity/Bangor, Maine
More thoughts . . .

I've never really worried too much about the fuel supply as I have plenty of gas stations in the area (or at work) and generally lay in a supply of fuel when I hear of a potential storm which could cause a power loss . . . but the mechanic at work tells me this model does very well in terms of fuel consumption.

Final thought . . .

I suspect I may have been like you . . . went back and forth on price, features, size, etc. As I told my co-worker when he asked what I had purchased . . . You may not need a generator or use a generator every month or even every year, but when you need one the one thing you want most of all is to know it will work and work reliably. That said, again, it's not something you will be using frequently so you don't necessarily need or want to go crazy with a huge, top of the line generator with all the bells and whistles.