Wondering what the pros and cons to diesel vs gas powered gen sets are? I sold my little gas powered generator this fall, with the intention of buying larger unit to power my home. Outages seem common in the house we purchased a year ago, and my father is the electrician of the familiy and has acquired the parts he says he needs to properly hardwire in a terminal and box for plugging in a gen set to the house. (not worried about install or safety...between him and my neighbor, who is an electrician, I'm covered).
So now, I'm shopping, and opportunities are everywhere for a used unit. We had a huge ice storm a week ago, and with the lights now coming back on in my area, CL is flooded with generators with little or no hours. It's the time to jump.
The little I know about diesel is that they tend to be more fuel efficient, but more $ per gallon, can really wrack up some serious hours, and are temperature sensetive (I'm in MI, and temps below 20 are a daily occurnace for 3 months or more...probably a dozen mornings below zero). They also seem to be much more costly...about double what a comparable gas unit would be, used. I have about a year under my belt with a diesel GT now, and have become comfrotable goofing with that diesel fuel system and troubleshooting. I also picked up a second, non-runner, and had great results getting that going again. The diesel sets I have seen, however, appear to have complex electronics systems, probably because they are designed to be more of a long-term, or longer running unit?
My gas unit was loud, drank gasoline like there was no tomorrow (I suspect a larger unit will be even more thirsty), but most are simple, Briggs or Honda powered units with littele complexity. I wouldn't expect to get world record hours from a gas unit, but also don't run a generator that many hours per year.
I plan to keep the unit in an outdoor enclosure, with a trickle charger so that it's electric start-ready if I'm away. Our home has a well, sump, septic with lift pump, plenty of 'stuff' that my wife needs to be comfortable each day, and I'm planning to still power the shop (60A) so that I can still cut, weld, etc when outages occur.
So, considering cost & resale, normal maintanance and efficiency, common care, etc, which would make the most sense to purchase? I feel I've found a pretty good trade/deal on a diesel set for my 3016PS, but did not want to overlook any obvious issues with diesel. My intention is to plug in, fire up, flip the switches and run the home as easily as possible...easy enough for my wife to do this comfortably if I am out of town.