Backup generator remote monitoring
#10
  
I know some of you have backup power generators.  Do you use remote monitoring software/apps/services?  If so, what do you use and is there an associated cost?

I am upgrading my old 7KW manually-switched unit to a new 22KW Generac with the 200A auto transfer switch.

The new unit was put in place last Friday; I still need to get the propane plumbing extended/hooked up, and then final setup.

The Generac literature indicates an arrangement using Mobile Link for status monitoring.  The Generac site says it's a free service included with Generac Guardian series units.  But when I read reviews, there are a significant percentage of negative reviews on the service through Mobile Link; a number of reviews really dumped on the pay-for-service app.  Mobile Link does not appear to be exclusive to Generac; a number of other brands are supported.  I suppose it's possible that Generac owners are extended the Mobile Link use under an agreement between Generac and Mobile Link.  It's also possible that the Generac offer is free for an initial period then the charges pick up.

The negative reviews seem to dump primarily on the application's interface; some users report compatibility issues.

The download on Google Play is free, but it doesn't indicate whether one has to buy a subscription to actually use the app. 

I will ask the generator installer about these when he returns to do final setup, but in the meantime, I'd like to go to the brain trust to see if any of you have experience.

Thanks...
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#11
  Re: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan (I know some of you h...)
That's the generator I have, and I connected at start up, then haven't went back to it since. One reason I haven't used it is the start up tech told me it was $20+/mo which struck me as ridiculous. But the other reason is that I haven't needed it in  the 2 years we've had ours; maybe if we vacationed or left for a while, but we don't do such things.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#12
  Re: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan (I know some of you h...)
(12-24-2018, 09:47 AM)WxMan Wrote: I know some of you have backup power generators.  Do you use remote monitoring software/apps/services?  If so, what do you use and is there an associated cost?

I am upgrading my old 7KW manually-switched unit to a new 22KW Generac with the 200A auto transfer switch.

The new unit was put in place last Friday; I still need to get the propane plumbing extended/hooked up, and then final setup.

The Generac literature indicates an arrangement using Mobile Link for status monitoring.  The Generac site says it's a free service included with Generac Guardian series units.  But when I read reviews, there are a significant percentage of negative reviews on the service through Mobile Link; a number of reviews really dumped on the pay-for-service app.  Mobile Link does not appear to be exclusive to Generac; a number of other brands are supported.  I suppose it's possible that Generac owners are extended the Mobile Link use under an agreement between Generac and Mobile Link.  It's also possible that the Generac offer is free for an initial period then the charges pick up.

The negative reviews seem to dump primarily on the application's interface; some users report compatibility issues.

The download on Google Play is free, but it doesn't indicate whether one has to buy a subscription to actually use the app. 

I will ask the generator installer about these when he returns to do final setup, but in the meantime, I'd like to go to the brain trust to see if any of you have experience.

Thanks...

On Generac's remote link web site it states it is free the first year and plans starting at $99 year after that.   Roly
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#13
  Re: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan (I know some of you h...)
As far as I know you pay after an initial free period, as mentioned above.  I had this option when we installed our 17KW unit 4 or 5 years ago.  I could see no compelling reason to have it.  You buy the generator to have power when grid power is lost.  As long as you do your routine maintenance it will work, so why do you need verification?  And if you can access your generator, or garage door opener, etc., via a smartphone app, so can someone else.  

John
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#14
  Re: RE: Backup generator remote monitoring by jteneyck (As far as I know you...)
(12-24-2018, 02:24 PM)jteneyck Wrote: I could see no compelling reason to have it.

I don't, either, but I accept that there may be a reason or two that hasn't occurred to me.  Maybe if I was away for the winter and wanted to know if the power is out and the generator isn't running, but then, how does it communicate if the router is down?  And what am I going to do about it from Florida anyway?  If it doesn't start and I'm there, well, I'll know it.
Tom

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.

-George Hegel











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#15
  Re: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan (I know some of you h...)
Generac's web site is not a beacon of clarity on the subject; hence the question.  I thought others might be able to highlight to me why the app is a good thing or not.

I tend to think it's not a good thing; numerous poor reviews, lack of clear explanation on eventual cost of the service, and the opinions of some of the regulars here are leading me to that opinion.

I noted Roly's response about the $99/year cost.  However, one of the poor reviews I read was a complaint that the advertised $99/year was actually $120/year in his case.

I typically will not buy a subscription for these kinds of services; a clear advantage needs to be provided.  I do buy a subscription for Amazon Prime, but that does provide me some benefit.  The weather station on my acreage is available online to me; but there's no "fee-for-service" arrangement.  I just hit the website or use the app on my phone and it gives me observational data at the house.  So far, I'm not seeing the advantage for this remote monitoring of the new generator.
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#16
  Re: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan (I know some of you h...)
(12-24-2018, 02:29 PM)TDKPE Wrote: I don't, either, but I accept that there may be a reason or two that hasn't occurred to me.  Maybe if I was away for the winter and wanted to know if the power is out and the generator isn't running, but then, how does it communicate if the router is down?  And what am I going to do about it from Florida anyway?  If it doesn't start and I'm there, well, I'll know it.

Apparently, there is an additional cellular device available for the nominal cost of $279 which is not dependent on a local router.  According to the site, one can set up the monitoring so that if the power goes out, and the generator is inop, then it will alert a monitoring center.  They will send a tech out to check on it.

Their website is not organized to communicate the options clearly, at least not to me.  It almost appears that they decluttered the site with pleasing graphics, but at the expense of providing full and complete information about the options.
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#17
  Re: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan (I know some of you h...)
I'd bet that for them to send that tech out you would have to be enrolled in a service plan as well, but that's only a guess.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#18
  Re: RE: Backup generator remote monitoring by WxMan ([quote='TDKPE' pid='...)
(12-24-2018, 03:33 PM)WxMan Wrote: Apparently, there is an additional cellular device available for the nominal cost of $279 which is not dependent on a local router.  According to the site, one can set up the monitoring so that if the power goes out, and the generator is inop, then it will alert a monitoring center.  They will send a tech out to check on it.

Their website is not organized to communicate the options clearly, at least not to me.  It almost appears that they decluttered the site with pleasing graphics, but at the expense of providing full and complete information about the options.


If you have a security system you should be able to have it monitor the Generac which would alert the monitoring service if something is amiss with it.  And if you have a UPS on your router, or satellite based communication to the monitoring service this all works even for the brief period of time the power is out before the generator comes on.  


John
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