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O/T Let's talk generators for home use

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by new loader, Sep 16, 2008.

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  1. new loader

    new loader Member

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    Lots of flooding in my area, but I am high & dry this time. But only because the electricity did not fail. Sump pump ran every 90 seconds for 3 days straight. If power was out for any length of time, it would have been total disaster. Next time might not be so lucky. So I have decided to check out emergency generators and need some input from you guys. What to look for? I want one big enough, I estimate 10,000W and I want it with transfer switch. No messing with extension cords. What are the do's and don'ts?
     
  2. GordonWood421

    GordonWood421 TS Member

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    The only "no other way" criteria would be that if you have (natural) gas available in your area , don't use any other energy source . Co-ordinate the installation so that you don't have nuisance starts of the "system" during transient upsets .

    Bravo ! ! for your thinking ahead .

    Charlie
    Northern Gulf Coast
     
  3. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    I have a battery back up on my sump, just in case. My gen has to be manualy fired up and the well and pump plugged in but if I'm not home, it's bad.
     
  4. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Instead of 1 big 10 kw generators, think about 2 generators, during a prolonged emergency piped in natural gas may not be available, go totally independent propane or diesel--- when I designed emergency backup power sysyems---this was the ultimate---in a power outage---both gensets would start up--the first one to come up to speed would take the load--the other would run for 15 mins.---when power was restored to normal the genset would run for 15 mins and stay on line until the utility was stabilized----2 gensets , give you the ability to do oil changes without losing power---I would go diesel, an 8kw diesel with a 80% load you'll use aprox 1/2 gal hr.

    Lou
     
  5. THALL

    THALL Member

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    Good comments above. I live out in the county, usually the last to get power restored. I have a PTO generator that runs off one of my tractors. 40KW with 80KW surge. All electric house, so this will more than run what I need. I had an electrician put in the transfer switches & boxes. The price of the generator delivered to my house was about $3,500 a couple of years ago. Just be careful. I had the electrian watch me go process from start to finish. Good luck. Tim Hall
     
  6. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    You can get as elaborate as you want and spend thousands, but I look at it as survival mode and what power is actually needed. I simply built an outlet box next to my central air unit and backfed the wiring through there to power up my panel. When the power goes out, I make sure that the air is off and I can run everything that is needed with a 5550 10hp generator. The only things that I can not run is the oven and the AC, but everything else is good to go.

    I always have 4 5 gallon gas cans that are full on hand and even when I was out early this summer for 6 days, I didn't run out.

    Total cost: $700
     
  7. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    It just so happens one of my best buddies in the world who is an All-American trapshooting champion is in this business and would surely give you the straight scoop...here is his info..ask for Earl

    Bangs Generator Systems – Automatic Backup Generator Systems – Maryland
     
  8. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Tron, that is what I do---I installed a 250v-30amp recepticle next to my panel & backfeed the panel--most important-PUT THE MAIN TO THE 'OFF' POSITION-SO NO ONE WORKING ON THE UTILITY CAN GET WACKED

    lou
     
  9. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    When I inquired about this, my power company said they have to approve the switch between the two systems for safety's sake. A neighbor had one (10KW) that operated on either propane or gasoline. Hap
     
  10. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Guys

    What Lou said is VERY important.

    If the power goes out and you start your generator without isolating your house from the rest of the distribution system, and some splicer out working on a downed wire is harmed, you could be liable.

    That's why the automatic transfer switches are so nice, it does it for you.

    Also, make damn sure the location where you put this thing is well away from the house. Don't want exhaust fumes getting in the house.

    Tim
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    I also see it as a "survival mode" issue. IE no air/oven needed - freezer, fridge, sump pump, microwave, hot plate, and a couple of house 15 amp circuits does me fine. I have used it twice (once for 3 days) and it has been great.

    I bought a transfer box and installed it - switch over is a snap. I got a 10HP 5.5kw gas unit cheap ~ $500 about 8 years ago getting ready for Y2K when the world was going to end. I use 2 - 5 gal fuel containers and keep them filled. If something happens, I fill another 6 containers and that will last a long time as you can "cycle" the power every couple of hours to conserve fuel.

    Do not get a cheap unit. They are noisy. I would get a Honda next time.

    The thing is useless unless you protect it. A Mossberg 500 is a smart accessory.

    Don
     
  12. 22hornet

    22hornet Well-Known Member

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    My brother had a setup similar to NSXER. His was a 10k Generac that ran on propane. It started once a week in the test mode, and started automatically when his utility power failed. It would power his entire house.
     
  13. Hivoltfl

    Hivoltfl Member

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    as my name implies I work in power distribution, linemen take a very dim view of backfed lines, OPEN THAT MAIN!!!! several good posts on this subject, the transfer switch is not an easy install on an existing system but well worth it,
    to save costs you may want to consider a manual one as posted above.

    Rick
     
  14. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    I just went through a 48 hour power outage. (Compared to many, I know that is not a long time). However I purchased a generator with the intent of allowing me to "get by" for a limited time. I have a 2900 watt Dewalt portable gas generator with a Honda engine. I ran this generator during this outage and my wife and I were comfortable. (I will admit we did not have a sump pump to worry about). This unit powered my combination refrigerator/freezer, a lamp, a 32" LCD TV and my Apple desktop computer. No problems. I guess what I'm saying, you need to verify your needs. Large generators cost big $$. I feel that most homeowners can "get by" with a 4000 watt generator. No you will not be able to utilize a water heater or air conditioning. But you can get by until power is restored. If money is no object, by all means get a large propane powered unit, which will power the entire house. If their are budget concerns, get a Honda 4000 watt unit and use the extra $$ to buy a quality trap gun. :) JMHO. Ed
     
  15. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Have a 30Kw Generac generator powered by natural gas with an auto-transfer switch. When power goes out, it'll start automatically and when power returns, it'll shut down in a few minutes. It "exercises" once a week for 20 minutes. Opted for natural gas because I didn't want to have to refill during prolonged outages nor store fuel in anticipation of such. The unit, including casing, is approximately 30"x30"x48", and sits on a concrete slab next to the pool cabana, some 50 ft. from the house, where even when running it's not annoying (noise wise). Had it professionally installed two months before Y2K; cost $15K. No problems with it.
     
  16. Tdog

    Tdog TS Member

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    Check with your local utility company if you are planning on installing a substantial generator. My local electric utility will pay you $3/kw per month for May through October, whether or not they have you bring it on line. The catch is that it must be able to produce at least 100kw.
     
  17. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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  18. twopipe

    twopipe Member

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    YOU NEED TO USE A PROPER TRANSFER SWITCH, NOT TRY TO REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE MAIN !
     
  19. Little Dog

    Little Dog TS Member

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    Bob, you sound like a very knowledgable individual, but you do have a problem with multiplication. 200 times 240 equals 48,000, not the 4,800 you said. That's 48kw, not 4.8. What a difference a decimal point makes! While nobody needs a 48kw generator for backup power, 4.8kw is way to light to run a whole house, even in an emergency. Heck, a 4.8kw generator wouldn't run even one central ac unit along with much of anything else.

    Most whole hole backup generators I've seen run about 15-20kw, which seems about right to me.
     
  20. Doug Brown

    Doug Brown Well-Known Member

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    I've been struggling with this one myself. We have a 1500sq ft, all elctric home. My biggest fear in a power outage (ice storm) is heat. I have a Honda 2500watt generator. The most I could run is a 2000watt electric heater. Is this enough to keep us from freezing? Your thoughts?
     
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