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Author Topic: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?  (Read 1497 times)

Bob Faulkner

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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2021, 03:49:27 PM »

I don't have any experience with Duromax generators.

But do have close to 10 years with whole house backup generators.  The first hurdle was getting something clean enough so the two large APC UPS's I run would tolerate being on backup power without cycling on and off line.

The next plateau was getting something large enough to start the 4 ton AC on the house without torturing the compressor during the startup cycle.

10,500 continuous with 13,000 peak was just enough to run the AC, but startups were sluggish.  So, I went up in capacity one more iteration to 18,000 continuous 27,000 peak and it starts up just like it's on the power grid.

One other thing to mention is any generator power quality for a conventional rig is dependent on the load.  The higher up the load curve it's pushed, the more harmonic distortion in the power output.  I have an APC 3000W UPS on the entertainment system and an APC 2200 on computer and home office equipment to include security systems - cameras and monitored motion detectors.

If your wiring is setup, try renting different sizes to make sure you end up with enough capacity.

My setup backfeeds the whole house so all rooms have light, outdoor floods work, etc.  And plenty of headroom for AC startup in the summer.
Thanks.
Yes, I've been managing our generator (5K) for the past 15 years.  It worked great out my previous house (natural gas and electric).  However, since moving, my current house is 99% electric (with 2 x HVAC - w/heat-pumps).  The remaining 1% is LP which is only used for the gas-insert fireplace.

I have a 50amp back-feed service on my load-center (with a breaker lock-out), but only able to run 20amp due to generator size.  What amperage service are you using for your 18K? 

Never had any issues with my APC units while on generator.

Question:  Regarding the 18K power you referenced... What power connector are you using to get the power out of your generator into your house?  Is this a portable generator?  I'm only familiar with (and have only seen) 50amp receptacles on generators... for a portable generator, I haven't seen anything larger than a 50amp.



We have a 14kw General that I had installed after Hurricane Sandy.  Got it from Generators Direct on the web.  It has been flawless.
Thanks.  I'll check them out.


No experience with the Duromax.

Do you have natural gas available in your neighborhood? In my city, NG is piped throughout most residential areas but not to every home. I believe the city will run a meter "close" to the home at no charge, then the homeowner have to take it from there. 

I have a Winco, primarily because it's already setup for tri-fuel. Since I have NG at my house, I can run it for as long as needed without worrying about fuel. Electricity was out at my house for 6 days after hurricane Harvey. Some of the hard hit areas were out for a month or more. Many folks were having a hard time finding gasoline as a result.

There are NG conversion kits, but will probably void the warranty. I've heard from other folks who have had issues with the kits.

The output is a bit lower when running on NG but it runs all the important stuff.  AC, fridge and the house lights no problem. I installed a soft start kit on the AC to help prevent lugging down the generator whenever the AC kicks on. It definitely helped.  Having a working AC is important to have in my part of the country when the power is out for several days after a hurricane. Hurricanes only hit in the summer around here  ::)
No natural gas where I am.  I'm on well water as well with septic.  We do have a 120ga LP tank that is only used (by design) for the gas fireplace.  This fireplace puts out a lot of heat (fan circulating type).  It provides great emergency heat, but we need electricity to run the fan!  I'm not opposed to LP for a generator, however, our LP tank would be on the opposite side of the house.

We have constant brown-outs throughout the year, with the few complete black-outs (lasting about 2 hours).  Most of our power-outages occur during the winter.


My thoughts are, do you need that much power? If so, how mission critical is generating power? For example, is someone with heath issues depending on electrical power and needs more than a lower rated output generator? Do you have the place to store safely the amount of fuel a large generator will use in the event of fuel resupply is not possible during an emergency for a week or more? Have you factored in the costs and hassle of storing large amounts of fuel?

There is very little information out there on DuroMax, except manufacturer supplied claims. If I needed a mission critical generator, I would look at a proven brand. I also would consider diesel unless I had a natural gas line at the location. Even then, I would weigh the costs of being dependent on a natural gas supplier as I hear some of them are no longer using localized natural gas pumps to keep gas flowing during outages, with on-site diesel, I am in control of fuel supply.

     


I have a situation where I do need to keep certain medical things refrigerated, however, it's not life threatening.  I looked at (and would greatly prefer) a diesel generator , however, they are very expensive even for the lower-wattage systems. 


It depends on the *real* needs (medical, critical HVAC and food/drug storage, communications and maybe vehicle charging) versus "it would be nice to have...."

If power is out for a week IMHO there are far bigger problems.  Riding out a power outage longer than a couple of days means one probably should have evacuated.

Everyone's situation is different.  I don't think most homeowners (or their HOAs) will be willing to undertake the environmental permitting and remediation to put 500 gallons of diesel on their property but some folks may have a critical need.  As for NG or diesel or propane or gasoline... use what's available most consistently in your locale and what is legal and ethical to handle & store at your home.

Edit PS - if one has critical needs for backup power, I'd not purchase anything I can carry out of the store.  Seriously, if life, health or basic existence depends on having electricity, I think a *dedicated* generator, transfer switch, and professional installation is answer.  The portables are for minor emergencies, portable power, and recreational activities away from the home.
I''m at a point where it is a few notches above "nice to have", but certainly not a critical need.  My biggest threat is no power... where I am located, it doesn't flood (if it did, the Atlantic ocean would be at our back door).  All our power is underground, however the "branch" power is above-ground and is about 3 miles away.  It's the above-ground power that gets knocked out (a lot) that impacts us.  We had almost a 10hr. outage during the winter about 2 years ago.  Since then, it's been 1 to 2 hours here/there, which we can get by without a generator.  It's the longer outages during the winter that is concerning.

Where I am, no HOA and everyone is on at least an acre.  Our area is outside the city limits.  All the houses are electric.



Thanks for all the replies!  More to consider!

« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 03:51:34 PM by Bob Faulkner »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2021, 04:38:38 PM »

Bob, my suggestion is to up-size your propane tank and get an LP powered generator.  You only need to do the the gas plumbing once...

Being in Tornado Alley... I have a cheap gasoline inverter generator.  Using 2 extension cords I can run my furnace blower (gas fired), refrigerator, and computer stuff/TV.  I have gas for cooking and hot water.  I have 3 gallons of no-ethanol gas stored in my outdoor shed with Sta-Bil.  Every year I'll put that in my car and get fresh fuel for storage.

Since putting this together a couple years ago I've not used it except to test.  Oops, now I've jinxed myself... doh!
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Steve-White

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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2021, 05:12:13 PM »

Bob, my suggestion is to up-size your propane tank and get an LP powered generator.  You only need to do the the gas plumbing once...

Being in Tornado Alley... I have a cheap gasoline inverter generator.  Using 2 extension cords I can run my furnace blower (gas fired), refrigerator, and computer stuff/TV.  I have gas for cooking and hot water.  I have 3 gallons of no-ethanol gas stored in my outdoor shed with Sta-Bil.  Every year I'll put that in my car and get fresh fuel for storage.

Since putting this together a couple years ago I've not used it except to test.  Oops, now I've jinxed myself... doh!

+1 on up-sizing the propane tank and going that direction.  If you want the Cadillac get a dual-fuel propane and gas/diesel.  During the ice storm we had last winter I had to drive around a little to find gasoline for my generator - power outages were widespread and many gas pumps had no electricity.  Hurricane would likely present similar widespread outages.  I went with gas because I use them as portables for shows and don't want to haul a propane tank around - if going a fixed install backup system propane is the way to do it.  Big enough tank for a week or two of run time.  Worst case you can schedule a truck to deliver from beyond the outage region.

My setup is a dual-feed - main house on a 50A feed and AC on a 30A feed.  Manual switch over, no automatic stuff.  I was an electrician in a prior life.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2021, 10:15:50 PM »

Thanks.  This has been more involved than what I was hoping for.  My current 5K generator worked perfect on my previous house, but not on my current house.  The 5K is just undersized for our water heater, and it cannot run either of the HVAC units. 



My setup is a dual-feed - main house on a 50A feed and AC on a 30A feed.  Manual switch over, no automatic stuff.  I was an electrician in a prior life.
Ah, makes sense!  Great idea to run the HVAC on one of the separate receptacles!
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Steve-White

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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2021, 11:24:22 PM »

^^^ It works pretty well now.  Took a 10 year evolution to get to this point.  I even tried using two generators, a Generac GP7500 for the house and 2000W inverters for the electronics.  Because the power was too dirty from the Generac for the UPS's to tolerate.  That arrangement was a PITA.

So now in cooler months where no AC is needed I can use the 9000W as water heater, HVAC heat & clothes dryer are all natural gas.  In the warmer months I run the behemoth so I can run the AC.

When the power is out for more than a few hours, I want to be able to run the entertainment system and computers.  The trade-off for that capability is it's a bit more noisy and fuel consumption.  Fuel consumption is largely a function of load.
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Mike Monte

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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2022, 10:20:49 PM »

^^^ It works pretty well now.  Took a 10 year evolution to get to this point.  I even tried using two generators, a Generac GP7500 for the house and 2000W inverters for the electronics.  Because the power was too dirty from the Generac for the UPS's to tolerate.  That arrangement was a PITA.

So now in cooler months where no AC is needed I can use the 9000W as water heater, HVAC heat & clothes dryer are all natural gas.  In the warmer months I run the behemoth so I can run the AC.

When the power is out for more than a few hours, I want to be able to run the entertainment system and computers.  The trade-off for that capability is it's a bit more noisy and fuel consumption.  Fuel consumption is largely a function of load.

12 years ago I bought a Honda eu3000is for home backup (and remote sound gigs) and had a inlet/transfer panel installed on/in the house.
The gen runs the furnace, 'fridge, office area (router, etc), and living room.
It doesn't run the central AC / oven, elec stove, but it will provide what's needed in an emergency.

I've used it for the home 3 or 4 times in the past 12 years during winter (nor'easter) power outages.  The longest of which was 7 or 8 hours.
I've used it on remote sound-gigs a bunch of times..

It's in the shed, gas'd up with Stabil added, and I exercise it once a month for about 30 mins.



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Re: DuroMax generators - home backup usage?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2022, 10:20:49 PM »


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