TomF
Hello,
Awesome forum! Short story is, I've been taking baby steps with my 17kw Generac since I bought it a few months ago. Poured the pad, anchored the unit to it, installed the battery, bought and filled a 100# tank and bought a 15' propane hose from a reputable hose company in the area. Here's where the fun starts. I used the pink pipe tape and screwed the one end into the generator nice and tight. Then I screwed the reverse-threaded end into the propane tank (no regulator in between, just the hose). I opened the valve on the propane. The hose got stiff and I could not smell any propane at either of the connections.

I tried a number times to manual start the generator. Cranks just fine but never starts. I was sitting next to the unit pouring over the manual's troubleshooting section when I heard a "pop" and then the propane streaming out. I immediately shut off the tank. The pop came from the inside the generator enclosure and that's where the propane leaks out from when I open the tank a bit. I'm sure many of you probably already know exactly where I screwed up :o I've already got a call in to a local dealer. Did I break anything? Can whatever popped be easily reset? Do I need to add a regulator coming out of the propane tank? Thanks in advance guys!
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Skip Douglas SkipD
What is the whole model number of your generator?

It sounds like you piped tank pressure gas into the generator. That's typically well over 100 pounds per square inch pressure. The probability is that the maximum pressure to the generator should be only 10 to 12 inches of water pressure (0.36 to 0.43 pounds per square inch). In other words, you've probably supplied more than 100 times the required pressure to the generator. If so, you've probably destroyed the regulator in the generator. I'm sure that it (and maybe more stuff down the line) will require replacement.
Skip Douglas
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TomF
Model#: 0055040. Hmm, tragic. So if you inherited a generator in this state how would you proceed? I've got a call into a local Generac dealer. What should I expect them to be able to do about this? Is this generator going to have to be shipped back to Generac to fix & re-certify or can this be fixed on-site? Major repair job? Any advice is welcome. I'm not opposed to attempting the repair myself. This thing may be way out of warranty by this point anyway. All advice/consolation is appreciated. :)
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Skip Douglas SkipD
Here's an excerpt from the owner's manual, found on the left side of page 8. This has some very necessary information for the hookup. I highlighted the most important part in red.

[FONT=Times New Roman][I][COLOR=black][FONT=Swiss721BT-RomanCondensed]Required fuel pressure for [/FONT][/COLOR][B][COLOR=black][FONT=Swiss721BT-BoldCondensed]natural gas is five (5) inches to seven[/FONT][/COLOR][/B][/I][/FONT]
[B][COLOR=black][FONT=Swiss721BT-BoldCondensed][FONT=Times New Roman][I](7) inches water column (0.18 to 0.25 psi); and for liquid propane,[/I][/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/B]
[B][COLOR=black][FONT=Swiss721BT-BoldCondensed][FONT=Times New Roman][I]10 inches to 12 inches of water column (0.36 to 0.43 psi).[/I][/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/B]
[B][FONT=Swiss721BT-BoldCondensed][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=red][I]The primary regulator for the propane supply is NOT INCLUDED[/I][/COLOR][/FONT][/FONT][/B]
[B][COLOR=black][FONT=Swiss721BT-BoldCondensed][FONT=Times New Roman][I][COLOR=red]with the generator.[/COLOR][/I][/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/B]

You'll probably have to replace the internal regulator and maybe a hose. The dealer should be able to handle getting you the parts and doing the installation of them.

You will also need to get an appropriate regulator for your propane system. Professional advice is recommended for both the regulator and the required pipe size (and type) to connect the pressure-regulated gas supply to the generator. One thing (from your manual) that the person doing the system design will need to know is that the generator, running at full capacity, can consume 2.57 gallons of liquid propane in an hour.

Depending on where you live (I think it's near Greenville SC according to a search I did), the 100 pound propane cylinder may or may not be able to supply enough vaporized gas to keep the generator's engine running in the winter. Up here in Wisconsin, I'm sure it would not. You need a minimum surface area of liquid propane to allow enough of the liquid at a given temperature to vaporize at a given rate and lower temperatures dictate larger surface areas.

In addition, a 100 pound propane cylinder only holds about 24 gallons of liquid propane. That would be used up in ten hours of full-load running. You might be able to test the generator with the 100 pound cylinder, but it isn't enough to get any useful run-time if there's a utility power outage.

My sincere recommendations:
[LIST=1]
[*]Stop doing the installation work yourself.
[*]Hire professionals (such as the Generac dealer) to repair and test the generator.
[*]Hire professionals (such as the propane dealer and/or contractors they recommend) to recommend the proper sized propane supply tank and install it, the regulator, and required piping according to all applicable codes.
[*]Hire professionals (licensed electricians experienced with generator installation) to do the electrical installation according to all applicable codes.
[*]Make sure you take out permits for the electrical and fuel installations and have the local inspector go over the final installation thoroughly[/LIST]I'm sorry if this all sounds a bit brusque, but doing this sort of work really requires a [U]total[/U] understanding of all the things that need to be done. Otherwise, the results could be catastrophic.
Skip Douglas
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Canada_Guy
In my area, the requirement from the gas inspection branch is a 250 US Gallon AMSE tank for generators 16 Kw and up. 10 to 14 kw they require a 125 US Gallon AMSE tank.

I run a 14 kW with 4 of the 100 lb tanks in parallel. If I only run 2 tanks and have a heavy load, the unit starts starving for fuel and runs really rough.

Each 100 lb tank will give off about 50,000 BTU/hr. The 14 kw requires up to 220,000 BTU/hr.

I found this booklet handy:
[url]www.regoproducts.com/PDFs/LP-Gas_Servicemans_Manual.pdf[/url]


To be frank, if you are connecting a 100 lb tank directly to the generator, you don't have the knowledge to do the job safely. I would stop and make some calls to hire people with the required skills. After all, we are talking liquid gas here, and enough cause massive destruction and injury/death.
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Gman1
You sir are lucky. I there are items in that machine that make sparks. Propane is VERY explosive. My guess is that Darwin is upset that he was unable to deliver your award. Please be careful with propane.
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TomF
Thanks guys. Lots of helpful facts. I appreciate the input. I am in touch with a Generac Dealer. This forum was just what I needed to realize what I am dealing with. Thank you.
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