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Propane Generator Exhaust System  RSS feed

 
Tom Linson
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Hello,

We live in an area that if hit by an ice storm we would be the very last on the list of priority for fixing the power. I understand this, it makes perfect sense, we are the only one on our road.

We bought a propane/gas generator and would like to run it inside if possible. Our house is very old and has a small opening midway up the basement wall where a coal chute used to enter the basement. It's about 10 inches off the floor. This is right next to the breaker box so it would be an ideal location for the generator if it can safely be run indoors.

Here are my questions:

Is there a universal type exhaust system you can purchase for generators?

If not, what piping is best used and what material do you use to seal seams?

How far above the ground should the exhaust exit be?

If we can install this would a diesel pipe flapper valve be best to use to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe?

How far away from the house should the exhaust be?


Thanks, sorry for so many questions, just don't want to die of carbon monoxide.

BigPaul
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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This is a tricky, albeit, dangerous situation. I know that no professional will give advice on how to do this for liability reasons. I can think of a way to "rig" it, but if something went wrong, and say for example, your dog died and you went to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning, you'd be pretty mad at me, and rightfully so.

There's good reason internal combustion engine generators are always run outdoors. I see the last line in your post even states a concern, and a very valid one at that, for not wanting to die from carbon monoxide.

My advice is don't do it. It's just not worth the risk. Run the machine outside and just run the necessary wires into your home.

Sorry I didn't help you exhaust it from interior to exterior.

Edit: I remember hearing about some folks running a generator in their garage, thinking they'd be safe. Three people died inside the house. Article here.
 
Travis Johnson
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I honestly cannot think of one good reason too run it inside the house.

If the propane generator does not have an outdoor enclosure of some kind, building one would be easy to do, whether it be protecting it with a cheap plastic dog house, or building one out of wood and shingles, or out of steel roofing. And situating next to the main box is not required because they can just be wired in.

My generator is situated next to my barn, some 150 feet away from my main box, I just back feed it through my welder outlet in my barn. I have to switch the main breaker off so I don't back feed the grid, but it is easy to do. If you you bought the propane generator in kit form, it should have an automatic transfer switch.

If you did not already have the propane generator bought I would have tried to told you you could have had in indoor one by using a pto generator which is much less expensive and you could have had it inside because there is no engine to it. A longer pto shaft that goes through the wall, but no engine. We have that set up on our dairy farm and has worked well.

Maybe you could take that propane generator back? Here is a 16 KW for $1200 from Harbor Freight with good reviews. If you lack a tractor for the pto, just go to a junkyard and buy a engine off a Ford Focus or something small and power it that way.

16 KW Generator for $1200
 
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