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Old 11-02-2011, 09:56 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,150,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscalzo View Post



The load you described is at a minimum at a 3000 watt level. Unless you spend all day transferring loads, you are running the genset at 100 percent the entire time putting a large load on it. It doesn't take into account a surge if two units kink on at the same time. It also doesn't take into account the unfiltered current which will be all over the place when the loads start and stop constantly. The chance of damaging the sensitive electronics in todays heating systems and consumer electronics is greater that the norm. If you are locked into the 3.5kw unit, I'd shed the well and just use bottled water. You can refill toilet tanks and use it for drinking, brushing teeth, etc.
Again you are confusing my emergency back up system with a whole house system.

Since I was a licensed contractor doing generator systems I think I know what's best for me.

For one thing the well pump only runs sporadically, the same for the sump pump. The electronics in the furnace never failed because of my generator. I stlll have the generator though I no longer have need for the back up system.

Please stop trying to tell folks they need a Cadillac system when in just emergency's they can get by with a Ford.

BTW most of today's consumer electronics have built in surge protection. Not true in the 80's but today everything is self protected
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,335,161 times
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For me a $500 2000 watt generator would power the gas furnace and lighting no problem, all night (not the lights obviously heh) on 1 gallon. So I could be spending maybe 10 dollars a day on fuel for it.

Start throwing in a pump, fridge, freezer, AC, etc. Anything like that and you start using a lot of power. It all depends on your needs and wants. If you want to be entirely unaffected by things like this then you want an automatic transfer that runs on NG so you don't need to worry about filling a tank or anything like that.

Last edited by joe moving; 11-02-2011 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Ontario, NY
2,590 posts, read 5,888,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebbe View Post
You can't find a generator anywhere right now
Well you don't wait till your boat is taking on water before thinking maybe it's a good time to buy a lifeboat or life jackets, by then it's too late. Just like people who think about buying a snow blower or snow plow the day before a big snowstorm. That stuff is long sold out, you need to prepare for these emergencies long before they happen.

Personally I have a cheap $90 800 Watt generator I picked up from Harbor Freight, it's good enough to run the TV, Cable box and a light in the house. I used it twice so far since last Xmas for about 6 hours total.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:18 PM
 
387 posts, read 1,235,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe moving View Post
10kw would handle furnace and fridge no problem if it's gas. Furnace is probably < 1000 watts. Fridge could be high on the compressor start up. But 10kw is a lot.

I was actually talking about portable generators to back feed into our furnace to get the heat working and I tracked one down and my wife said I was crazy so I didn't buy it.

my knowledge of electrical systems is next to nothing, but everything i've heard about backfeeding is that it's very dangerous. you even acknowledge this in a later post. i'm curious as to why you would do this?
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:12 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,150,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Jalikeakick View Post
my knowledge of electrical systems is next to nothing, but everything i've heard about backfeeding is that it's very dangerous. you even acknowledge this in a later post. i'm curious as to why you would do this?
Unless your using plug in appliances, then transfer switches should be used with any portable generator.

You can get them in 2-10 circuit models but they should be installed by a qualified electrician.

I will not explain how back feeding is done.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,405 posts, read 7,367,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscalzo View Post
I wish that were the case. But multi day events are becoming more common. A six day power failure will cost approx. $900 in propane. I cut that way back during mild weather by shutting it down during the daytime hours.

If I had natural gas service I would care as much. I do submit the propane costs during the tax season as a reimbursed loss when the state declares a state of emergency.

But the one most important area to consider is getting a professional in that area to survey the home and recommend the best suited system and to hook it up safely and correctly. My powered circuits are the most important and some I would have never thought of if done myself. I alway have yearly service by my generator service to insure proper operation during these events. I like the fact that it self tests every week. In one case it highlighted a problem I didn't know existed and could have caused a problem during a emergency.

I have a Generac system and in no way can it be installed by the homeowner. Just moving the system requires a winch and a few employees of the company. So buying a cheaper genset from Costco or wherever is a false sense of security.



The load you described is at a minimum at a 3000 watt level. Unless you spend all day transferring loads, you are running the genset at 100 percent the entire time putting a large load on it. It doesn't take into account a surge if two units kink on at the same time. It also doesn't take into account the unfiltered current which will be all over the place when the loads start and stop constantly. The chance of damaging the sensitive electronics in todays heating systems and consumer electronics is greater that the norm. If you are locked into the 3.5kw unit, I'd shed the well and just use bottled water. You can refill toilet tanks and use it for drinking, brushing teeth, etc.

I would not have anything smaller than a 5kw unit for those loads and wired through a suitable transfer box. some try to back feed. When a improperly feed system is located by the utility company when they are doing repairs be assured they will isolate your home and you won't see power so quite some time.



Very smart move.
Does that Generac output a true sine wave? I am going to upgrade, but I do not want a modified (aka clipped) sine wave.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,312 posts, read 4,817,306 times
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We just ordered this

Buffalo Tools 4000 Watt LP Generator | Wayfair
We would love a big, automatic generator that could power the house. But we NEED to keep the sump pump going. This will do that plus some lights, the fridge, maybe a heater and tv. Our goal though is to keep the basement dry.

This one sold out after Irene too but they just e-mailed us to let us know it's in stock. We didn't lose power with Irene. Then the snow storm missed us. But how many times will we keep getting lucky like that? If you need a sump pump, you need a generator. It runs on propane which my husband prefers over gas. Same tanks used for the grill so we can always use them and keep them refilled.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:12 AM
 
1,988 posts, read 2,305,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rscalzo View Post
Trying to buy a generator right after these events is a waste of time. The ones in the big box store are not the best and wiring it into a home is not easy.

Find a reputable company and get a transfer box wired up and get a top quality generator. The cheap ones may look good in the store but running them for days on end they probably won't stand up to the abuse.



Those big box store gensets are cheaper because while fine for outdoor work, when used with electronic equipment they can cause damage. The current is not filtered and varies greatly depending on the load. You can and will burn out the controllers in furnaces and damage entertainment and computer4 equipment. By the use of filtering the current through a standby battery supply you can get away with using them on electronics. But you refrig and furnace can be damaged.
Regarding electronics damage, I was told if you have one thng running continuously (lamp), you can avoid damage to circuitry.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:24 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,150,267 times
Reputation: 11850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Eyes View Post
We just ordered this

Buffalo Tools 4000 Watt LP Generator | Wayfair
We would love a big, automatic generator that could power the house. But we NEED to keep the sump pump going. This will do that plus some lights, the fridge, maybe a heater and tv. Our goal though is to keep the basement dry.

This one sold out after Irene too but they just e-mailed us to let us know it's in stock. We didn't lose power with Irene. Then the snow storm missed us. But how many times will we keep getting lucky like that? If you need a sump pump, you need a generator. It runs on propane which my husband prefers over gas. Same tanks used for the grill so we can always use them and keep them refilled.
This is just what you need for emergency purposes, leave the the big expensive systems for those who prefer not be inconvenienced during any power outage.

If I was still selling back up systems I would be telling you that you need more than this. You don't.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,312 posts, read 4,817,306 times
Reputation: 2967
Thank you! Our basement is unfinished but we have a lot of stuff down there. Honestly, we use it like it is finished! But if we ever do go all the way with walls and everything I would prefer one that switches automatically. But we need to be realistic about our needs and finances.
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