Home Generator

  • After running from hurricanes all the years we lived on the Gulf Coast now we're a couple of hundred miles inland I decided to get a generator just in case of an extended power outage. We had a close call last winter and luckily never lost power the ones that did ended up with lots of plumbing problems and expense from repairs. The installers showed up Tuesday and set the propane tank and got their material list and did a rough sketch of the placement of the transfer switch and how everything was going to be placed. Initially we were just going to set the unit on the existing slab but I told them it had a generous slope being it was at the rear door. That kind of put them in a bind so they had to pour a secondary slab on top of the existing one to level it before going any further. Pretty much routine for most of the projects I hire people to do something always goes just a little bit wrong. The electrician showed up an hour late Wednesday and got the transfer switch hung then got the parts he ordered to complete running the conduit and was missing two major parts. They put a 2" pvc sweep instead of a metal one in the part box and left out a 2" male hub connector so basically he was shut down. He makes a phone call and they sent a truck from another job sixty miles away to bring the parts. Took about two hours to go get the pieces and then drive out here in the middle of nowhere. At least the concrete guy showed up and was messing with the little slab by then it was 100 degrees and no shade and no breeze. I thought that dude was gonna pass out he finally got it done then was about one bag short on ready mix to finish so off he went to Pearsall to get a couple of bags and ended up getting lost. Wouldn't you know the lumber yard was sold out and the Ace Hardware had one bag left when he finally found the store. Yesterday it was smooth sailing pretty much. The guy that does the concrete and gas line installation showed up early to dig the ditch and bury the gas line. I had to stay with him because we had a water line to cross and sure didn't want to dig it up. That all went good until I looked at the propane tank itself. My contract was for a 250 gallon and the one they sent was a 500 and we have it in place. I sure thought it looked big they had a 1000 gallon one on the same trailer so I didn't say anything just said dang that's a big tank. I told them to just leave it I will work something out with the owner of the company. The 500 will give me more run time anyway a 250 doesn't last too long. Once the electrician showed up he did the final wiring in no time and helped the other guy. They got smart and brought a tent to work under but it was still insanely hot. Just waiting on the tank to be filled and the test run and it will be a done deal.


  • Awesome!

  • @orkan How much run time do you get with your 20kw?

  • @bigfoot just filling that tank is going to be mucho dineros! Hope everything goes well on startup.

  • @shakeyhand The contract price included filling the tank but only 200 gallons or so. You can't fill lpg tanks to capacity and I'm not sure I will fill the 500 to its maximum I still haven't heard back from the company I bought this from I'm hoping they just eat the difference of the cost of the larger tank. It wasn't my mistake and I saved them a bunch by keeping it otherwise they would have had to send another truck and trailer to remove the tank and replace it. For all I know the supplier told them to keep it. I know the plumber or whatever he was got a phone call and was getting reamed for hooking up the wrong tank.

  • @bigfoot I have 2,000 gallons... so weeks upon weeks. ;)

  • @bigfoot Yep, our supplier only fills ours to 85%. Still 425 gallons of propane delivered is still kind of ouch! I can't imagine the 2000 gallon tank that @orkan has - that takes it from ouch to boingggg! The driver just has to hit a couple of those and he will be heading back to get another load. My uncle had an oil and gas distributorship down in the Rio Grande valley and he also had a small twin butane and propane delivery truck and the farmers were always bringing by 100 lb tanks to fill when they ran out usually on a Sunday evening. I read that the folks who bought his business just sold to Pico who are getting pretty big in South Texas.

  • @orkan 2000 gallons, yikes! I am currently averaging about 4kw/hr I think so I hope I only use .6 gallon per hour when the generator runs. I will ask Fernando that sells these units what he thinks. He did tell me I would get more run time with the bigger tank especially at lower temps.

  • @shakeyhand Yes, Pico is one of the major propane suppliers for South Texas. I got a bid for a tank from them but Ferezco Power Systems uses Ferrell Gas so I will set up an account with them and they supplied the tank. I own it outright and I can buy it from whoever I want but I will stick with them if I can. Shoot, Pico wanted $1800.00 for a 250 gallon tank delivered with no fuel. Fernando really wanted me to do a 1000 buried tank but I got sticker shock.

  • @bigfoot You’ll never regret the larger tank. I ran a 500 at the ranch for decades until my delivery guy/cousin managed to create a leak. There wasn’t a replacement 500 available so a 250 got set instead. The small tank is OK but I found it less problematic to get on a “keep filled” basis. The 250 in town only runs the kitchen so lasts about 2 years on a fill. Above ground tanks are usually only filled 80% in Texas.

  • Really it's only about 1600 gallons... as there is 2 tanks, and they only catch about 800 when I have them fill. I'm a long way from help if we get snowed in though... so it's pretty important to have a few weeks worth of power if needed.

  • @orkan you'll never regret it