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Thanks for your thoughtful replies to date, and I had supposed that more info would be requested. Good.

The "knowns" are:

we will have a sizeable (200+ gallons) propane tank/supply for fuel

currently do not have the spec data on the well pump (still searching), but dependable local well electric guy who has worked on system says plan for 25 - 30 amps draw for needed lift

we have planned to use a 100 amp rated transfer switch with 16 circuits

have been considering a dedicated 10k rated generator with battery/starter to respond when transfer switch says "go"

central filter/pressure system serves all 4 users - draw should be quite moderate compared to the pump

pressure system and generator with transfer switch will be set up in the well house - sufficient space

heat not normally needed in the pump house but moderate heating easily installed; lighting and receptacle circuits already in

This setup will serve nothing else - will sit idle unless we have a power failure to our location, which is rare. The thinking about this action has to do with some protection should we experience more major grid problems. Each of us plans to install our own 1500/2000 gallon above ground tank for good measure.

We simply want to do this correctly the first time, and I consider folks on this forum an excellent source of insight on such matters. We are starting from zero, so practical advice is valuable and cost estimates for various components and install labor would be helpful.


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Does your well have it's own meter? If so look at generlink transfer switches that plug into the meter base. Have a 11kwa propane unit here

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Most likely the submersible pump is 240V, somewhere around 3hp. I can’t imagine it pulling 25-30 amps even at start up.

My thought is a 6500 watt generator should be more than enough. Maybe even smaller. Larger generator than required just means more fuel burn.

Also since the pump won’t be running full time, a generator with an auto idle feature would be a nice feature. Not many 240 Inverter styles available that run off propane without a conversion, but that would be my first choice. Otherwise you’re just going to be burning fuel for no reason.

Another option is a battery system, decent size 240V inverter/charger, and small inverter generator to recharge if necessary. That will likely cost a lot less, and burn a ton less fuel. Somewhere around $3000 all in, even with pass through with an auto transfer inverter /charger.

Here’s a cheap one on Amazon that will give you some ideas.

https://www.amazon.com/SUNGOLDPOWER-4000W-12000W-Input-240VAC/dp/B088R4WLJQ

Last edited by Stammster; 11/08/22.
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Propane has the short term advantage of not being affected by anY kind of natural gas grid issues, but I'd want a very big tank with a solid month's supply tied in to an auto standby generator that starts upon loss of power.

Whatever brand you like best.........most popular models are from Generac or Kohler; whatever your size needs calcs show, double it. The cost of upsizing the generator is not linear.

I have a gasoline powered 10 KW unit & if I were to do it again, I'd definitely do what I said above. Definitely more protection than having to be on-site to start the generator manually & having to store gasoline..........I use ethanol free gas, add stabilizer & rotate it out every 6-9 months but it's a real PIA. And I can realistically only keep about a week's supply of fuel on hand.

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Originally Posted by MontanaMan
Propane has the short term advantage of not being affected by anY kind of natural gas grid issues, but I'd want a very big tank with a solid month's supply tied in to an auto standby generator that starts upon loss of power.

Whatever brand you like best.........most popular models are from Generac or Kohler; whatever your size needs calcs show, double it. The cost of upsizing the generator is not linear.

I have a gasoline powered 10 KW unit & if I were to do it again, I'd definitely do what I said above. Definitely more protection than having to be on-site to start the generator manually & having to store gasoline..........I use ethanol free gas, add stabilizer & rotate it out every 6-9 months but it's a real PIA. And I can realistically only keep about a week's supply of fuel on hand.

MM
What short term storage issues with lp?

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Originally Posted by blanket
Originally Posted by MontanaMan
Propane has the short term advantage of not being affected by anY kind of natural gas grid issues, but I'd want a very big tank with a solid month's supply tied in to an auto standby generator that starts upon loss of power.

Whatever brand you like best.........most popular models are from Generac or Kohler; whatever your size needs calcs show, double it. The cost of upsizing the generator is not linear.

I have a gasoline powered 10 KW unit & if I were to do it again, I'd definitely do what I said above. Definitely more protection than having to be on-site to start the generator manually & having to store gasoline..........I use ethanol free gas, add stabilizer & rotate it out every 6-9 months but it's a real PIA. And I can realistically only keep about a week's supply of fuel on hand.

MM
What short term storage issues with lp?


There are no short term storage issues with LP, I don't think MM said that.


Go with Hank Hill and propane.


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I have two 1000 gallon tanks at 80%, think I'm Goodreads

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I didn't say they're any short term issues with propane, & I don't think there are...................as long as you have enough as in a true emergency of some duration, you might need more if you run out & that might be a problem at that point.

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Originally Posted by STRSWilson
we haven't had a good generator thread in at least five weeks. So go Kohler and don't look back.
Missed the point - I like Kohlers, but this is not really a "generator" thread. We are looking for the best overall setup for our places.

Some of the posts have been VERY helpful - thanks to those who asked for further data, raised questions and suggested alternatives.

Pump is rated at 5hp - going to take a meter over there to measure amps at startup. Guessing somewhere around 40, but need to know.

Propane tank outside within 25 ft. of Gen and Gen housed inside well house

Solar power very doable if feasible for any aspect of system

No heat in well house - only other draw is pressure tank setup, light fixture and 120v outlet.

Interesting and maybe excellent suggestions have been:

Idle capacity for generator (thoughts?)

4000W 12V Inverter Charger,Peak 12000W ,240Vac Input, 120V/240Vac Output Split Phase,Low Frequency,Pure Sine Wave Inverter, LCD Remote Controller (Please see post by Stammster - thoughts?)

Manual Generator Interlock kit as simple, effective, less expensive than auto transfer switch (thoughts?)


All thoughtful and helpful replies are appreciated


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I decided to do it right, so I bought a dedicated, free standing generator that would supply the needed power in case of a power outage that would allow me to continue on as if no outage occurred.

I found this 10,000 watt Generac on Craigslist, and it had never been out of the crate. The guy I got it from had 2 breaker boxes along with the generator at the same cost. I bought it for $1,100.00, a significant savings.

Watts are one thing, amps are another. This generator is capable of around 10,000 watts at peak and 50 amps. It will generate at a continuous rate of about 9,000 watts on natural gas. I would suggest you don't get anything under 50 amps of service.

Everyone you will talk to you will try to convince you to go cheap and simple. That will work for a camper, but your house is much different. Ask anyone that has been without power for more that 24 hours.

I went natural gas because your fuel source will outlast a propane tank. There are those that say natural gas won't work without power, but I checked with the gas company and they said their gas pumps run on natural gas and will continue to deliver natural gas for a long time.

Next, you want tp have a professional electrician hook everything to your breaker box. I got a commercial electrical contractor to hook everything up with the second breaker box in the garage and it is wired from that box to the breaker box in the house. When the power goes out, the generator will sense that and throw a switch that shuts of the power from the power company and protects the lineman from getting electrocuted if they are working on the line to get power restored.

Whenever there is a power outage, I get the pleasure of turning all my lights on in the house and while the neighborhood is dark, they can see I still have power. It doesn't happen often, but if it does, I keep on doing everything as normal. Anything less is just that, less. Don't fall for the cheaper, get by attitude. Do it once and do it right...


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Assuming your well pump is a 5 hp pump, running amperage should be around 28 amps which means starting amperage could be as high as 60-80 amps momentarily. Generators don't handle motor starting well, so size your generator accordingly- at least 50 amps on the output which would make it about 10-12 KW. Nothing wrong with a manual transfer kit on a panel since you will hardly ever use this machine. Get an electrician who knows what he is doing to install the panel in the pump house and the manual transfer kit on the panel and you'll be as safe as you need to be. If needed, heat in the pump house can be as simple as a keyless porcelain base fixture with a heat lamp in it, or a small baseboard 120V heater. You definitely don't want to take a chance on freezing your well head if you live in an area where this could happen.

A few things to keep in mind- if you won't be using this generator often make sure to exercise it . Once a month for at least 20 minutes would be best, but at least several times a year they need to start up, run until warm, put a load on them for a while by flipping the transfer switch, and then let them idle down and cool down. A generator that is treated like this will last a very long time and be ready to be used at any time in an emergency. Let them sit without attention and there is a good chance you won't have a generator when you need one.

Nothing wrong with your fuel source plan as long as you can be sure to keep enough to be able to handle your needs as long as needed- a day, a week, a month... who knows? Try to get a generator with a good muffler and pipe it out of the pumphouse through a fireproof thimble. No matter how quiet it seems your generator runs, without a decent muffler you will quickly tire of listening to the drone of the engine.

Be sure to get a few extras with the generator- a battery charger that keeps the battery ready for use at all times and plugged into a receptacle in the pumphouse, a block heater if you live in a cold climate, and an automatic shutoff on the generator in case of low oil, over heat, or other dangerous/damaging situation like smoke/fire or CO in the pump house. An alarm to the house the case of any of these emergencies would be a good idea and fairly simple to set up.

The rest I'm not sure I can follow this thread to see what has already been done or considered so I'll leave it here for the moment.

Last edited by Sheister; 11/22/22.

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Amen. Get a Generlink and the power company attaches it to your meter. Generator plugs into it and any circuits on your panel can be switched on (or off). Heckuva deal.


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Electricity is way over-rated...

Buy HOPE candles...

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Shrapnel hit it on the nut...mb


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OP we are at 57 feet static, 225’ deep. Serves two cabins. 230 volts, 1.5 HP. submersible.

I have a 3500/4000 Champion to support the pump if there is a loss of power.

I also have a well bucket…..I recommend you find another source of water if you are at 1100’ static.

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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
Shrapnel hit it on the nut...mb

Been looking into that also for our place Paul... people locally who I know, "who are in the know", pretty much are saying exactly what Shrapnel is saying. I'll try and get a friend, whose home and (property that has 7 Cabins on it, rented full time), to take a look at the thread. I know power outages doesn't affect his place at all., and its rural.

He has 2 or 3 Generac Units on his property. Paul is also a qualified electrician, so he installed them all...

If I can get this in front of my friend Paul, will report back via PM.

This is on my list also... but for just my our property.


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Well is about 1,100 ft. deep. Pump hangs at about 250 ft. Static level usually about 100 ft.
Thanks for the ongoing info. It is shaping up here.


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