Question about Propane Generators : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

We are about to buy a propane generator for our new home in the country, to run our well as well as some house uses for a few hours a day if power is out. We decided on propane because it is cleaner, easier to store, can store a lot more fuel, etc. However, we don't know zip about propane generators.

The one we are looking at is a Dyna Standby Generator with Auto Start (8KW) - it has an electric-start 16 HP Briggs OHV engine. It produces 33 Amps at 120/240 Volts. It is housed in a permanent casing, not portable. It comes with a transfer switch. We expect to get either a 500 or 1000 gallon propane tank.

Any comments, feedback, help for total newbies in the generator game? Our well is over 200 feet deep, so we have to have some sort of generator to have water. Thanks in advance.

-- (, June 10, 1999


Dyna makes good stuff. Please remember that between the genset, the enclosure, and the automatic transfer switch you are probably spending as much money as you would for two gensets and one manual transfer switch, or for one 1800 RPM genset and a manual transfer switch. You need to consider what set of trade-offs you feel comfortable with, price, durability, ease of use, noise, etc. Suggest you carefully look at the fuel consumption rates and remember that a 1,000 gallon propane tank can not hold 1,000 gallons of propane.

If you read the Home Power Generation forum and archieves at Gary North's site you will probably be struck as I was by all of the stories of people that were unhappy with the short operating life of inexpensive gensets and how that expensive diesel sets ended up costing less money in the long run.

-- Ken Seger (, June 10, 1999. is a good thread to read.

-- Ken Seger (, June 10, 1999.

For propane, I'd suggest Onan. They have the best reputation, and a 40 year track record with propane to back it up.

I have a 15 year old propane Onan and it still works fine.


-- Jollyprez (, June 10, 1999.

Propane is a great way to go for your new generator, If you can find a tri-power (LP Gas, Propane, Unleaded) all the better. If anybody is having a problem finding a generator at this time, go to you local RV dealer, you can buy a propane unit there.

-- BiGG (, June 10, 1999.

I have a 20kW Elliott/MagneTek "permanent installed" genset in my backyard. Runs on natural gas/propane, + 500 gallon au propane tank. What is the cost of the unit you are considering?

If you email me privately (the addy below is correct), perhaps I can assist you further.

-- Dennis (, June 10, 1999.

I have installed a number of Gen sets at this point. Kohler makes a very good system with auto start and transfer. You will need an electrician to do this for you unless you are electrically knowledgable.

If I can be of help you can contact to at the e-mail address

Bob P lic #11234 NJ

-- Bob P (, June 10, 1999.

Jolly is right. Onan is about as good as it gets. Even the OHC B&S engines aren't as reliable or long-lasting as the Onan. We have an 8,500 Onan welding rig hooked to a 1,000-gallon propane tank. Our well is 320 feet deep, so the generator is a necessity. We also have two 250-gallon tanks.

Dad also bought a tri-fuel and a couple of other Onans that may become more valuable as time goes by.

I've mentioned this before, but you should look into buying a welding rig rather than a generator. Serves exactly the same purpose, but is considerably less expensive.

-- Vic (, June 10, 1999.

"I've mentioned this before, but you should look into buying a welding rig rather than a generator. Serves exactly the same purpose, but is considerably less expensive." - Vic

I've not checked prices on welder/gensets for over a decade but back then they were more expensive not less. There are some really cheapo gensets out there. I would think that if you stick to good brands like Onan, Lincoln, etc. that any welder/genset you find would be of good quality. More to the point, while gensets might be sold out in your area, welder/gensets might not be!

-- Ken Seger (, June 10, 1999.

Ken has some good advice. I would only add/underscore, do not shop for a "cheap" generator. It could potentially become one of costliest purchases you make.

A welder has the virtue of quality as well as potential availability.

With respect,

-- Dave Walden (, June 10, 1999.

Thank you everyone for your responses. I will follow up, and if need be, will email those who so kindly offered.

-- (, June 11, 1999.

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