I installed the DuroMax XP10000EH generator at my mom’s place. I got everything in and found a place out of the way to put it, so that people couldn’t see it (I had to move some plants for that). Then I bought one of these great storage sheds to get it out of the weather. It was a jigsaw puzzle, of course. If I were to do it again, I would probably just put together a 2×4 frame and a metal building. The generators do get pretty hot, even though we put a couple of vents in and cut some holes for the exhaust. We have it vented with a little round exhaust pipe. I also cut some holes for the propane and electric lines.
To get the generator over the ramp and into the box, we had to rig something up. We ended up just grabbing one of the 4×4 posts and wedging it in there and strapping it down a little bit, using it to give us about an eight-foot reach, and that lifted it right up in there and over. Once we had it all installed, we thought we were home-free, but we encountered a few more problems. Our Generac cord did not fit in the box, so we took it back to the store, but they couldn’t help us, so I managed to find a proper one online.
We finally had that hooked up into the generator, and then we were just trying to get it to run, as we stumbled upon some issues with the propane – I wish I had researched this a little more beforehand. Now I know it’s mainly because of our half inch pipe. We have a pretty good run – it goes all the way down to the corner of the trailer, and then down to the propane tank, so it’s around 80 feet. Anyway, when we put it in, we figured that the propane adapter is the problem, so we decided to go to one of the propane shops around and just got an elbow and a 3/8 line. We needed a longer one anyway, so that part we needed would have some space, and so that we could move the generator to the center, in order to give it more air.
We got that hooked up, and afterward, it would start, but then immediately shut off. If we would let it sit for a few minutes to build up some pressure, it’d start again and then shut off. So, I did some research, and since we had a low-pressure regulator on the tank, I figured it was not getting enough pressure, of course.
Hindsight, most generator installers already know this, but since we’re learning… Well, we couldn’t get the proper amount of propane at first, so what we did was change the regulator on the tank to a high-pressure one. We do have a propane heater in the shop, so we kind of stole off it, so before winter we have to get a regulator for that.
We thought we might end up having to change the line even with the 10 psi regulator, but we were not sure, so we were going to try this out first. We were told that this would work for the moment until the winter cold will make the pressure drop, but before then, we just ran the poly tube all the way around. Since we didn’t really need the heater anymore, we just moved the tank down to the corner of the garden, so that it would be 30 or 40 feet away from the generator.
Afterward, I proceeded to change out the regulator on the propane tank to a high-pressure regulator. It started right up with the new regulator in there and did a great job when testing it with the AC, several ceiling fans, and all of the refrigerators. I can hear the generator bog down when the AC kicks on, but that is to be expected. Other than that, everything is fine.
This generator will be great for my parents because at this time of the year it gets hot and muggy, and right after a storm it’s going to be very humid, so the AC is life-saver. We also managed to run the coffee maker and the microwave when everything else was running, and it worked (even though the generator became pretty noisy). This DuroMax XP10000EH should work just fine for the main things somebody would use during a power outage.
Anyway, once you’re done with it, you turn everything off, and the lockout plate does its function. There are, however, little things you can hook up in your breaker box, like a little light or alarm that will let you know you when the electricity comes back. I have one on a pole in the front yard coming straight in, so my mom will be able to notice right away when that light kicks on. Unless it’s in the daytime – then, they’ll just have to wait.
This story was about learning as we go, so I hope you learned something about propane, distances, pressures, and everything. You’d think that if you hooked the generator up to propane, then it would run – well, no. The guys at the propane shop were really helpful, talking about the pressures, and even they weren’t sure whether the problem was the volume. After all, it proved to be pressure. Because this is a portable generator, and it’s designed to run off of a tank, they said there might not be enough pressure to open the pressure regulator in the generator.
So, that’s why, when we hooked up a BBQ to the tank, it worked just fine – because there’s 150 psi coming off of that, which caused the regulator in the generator to kick on and allow propane. So, it could have just been not enough pressure in our case.
If you start reading about this subject, you will find out that some people put a 4-inch pipe for about two feet right before they hook up to whatever they’re hooking up – that’s in case there’s a surge, and they need an instant power boost of propane. In conclusion, this experience was worthwhile for me – I definitely learned something new, and, hopefully, so did you.