When the power goes out

Live in a rural area in south central TX. Only code requirements regarding building are of sanitation waste nature/septic tank and effluent field.
Am looking for a minimal electrical support if I lose electrical power. Manual/user intervention is okay. My home is all electric, 1280 sq ft, 3 bedroom, central AC/heat (not heat pump). Anticipate primary winter use based on power losses so far. Need electric heat, stove, water heater, and water well pump (240VAC). How much and where do I get it?
BTW Have a standard phone available if the power loss is localized. Phone service may work, but your phone won't if it relies on AC power. A cell phone depends on the local microwave transmitter, this can be affected by a power loss. Think ahead.
--
Jonny



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In a previous post Jonny wrote...

Jonny:
The items you want to power are the heaviest draws on electricity in a home. You are going to need a pretty big generator which means it probably will not be something you install yourself. For something this size the fuel will be either diesel or propane.
A couple of things can reduce the size needed: do you really need hot water if the power is only out for a day or two? Do you really need to use an electric stove? My wife and I use a single burner butane cooktop like they use to demonstrate food in grocery stores. Is there a possible alternate heat source you could use like adding a wood or pellet stove?
If you can get your power demand down to just the well and some lights then a relatively inexpensive gasoline powered model will do just fine. If you go this route make sure you install a transfer switch between the generator and the house. This is a safety device!
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob told you right.
We lost power for 5 days. A 5000 watt generator was enough to keep the FAG heat going, refrigerator, a few lights, etc. It was primitive, but livable. Gas hot water and gas heat with minimal electrical usage wasn't bad. We did not force the issue to see how much we could run..
You're into major generating capacity to run 220 stove, pump, stove, electric furnace, and electric hot water. Get the name plate amp draw from each item, total them up, multiply by 110 to get the approximate wattage that will be required.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DanG
A live Singing Valentine quartet,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan wrote:

I use a 10000 watt miller welder with a CAT diesel and I can run everything. $8000.00plus transfer switch I traded 6 hours labor to get
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
good advice so far by the group. transfer panel is a necessity.
When adding up the volts x amps from each device, keep in mind that motors(such as are on well pumps) are a special case. the starting current can peak to 3 times the running current since when the starting windings cut in the motor is not developing a lot of back emf to limit the current. My water pump motor at the bottom of the well takes 9 amps running and thus 27 amps starting. Same for the pressure pump. Thus 54 amps x 220v would be the worst case if both could start simultaneously. To save a bit here, one could fill the storage tank, cut out the breaker, and use the pressure pump only till the tank is low, but make darn sure your pressure switch has a low pressure cutoff which disables the pressure pump motor below a minimum amount(most are 20psi). That is necessary to avoid running the pump dry which will kill the seals very very quickly. This is cheap insurance as it costs about 5 bucks more for that pressure switch vice the ones which just turn off at an upper limit and will start even at 0psi.
the 220v non motor items require the current to be multiplied by 220 when sizing them
if the generator is in a remote shed away from the main house I needed a way to find out when the utility power has been restored. I put a small floodlight on the utility side of the transfer switch and switched it on when I pulled the transfer switch after starting the generator. If you can see the shed from the house, and the light is on, you know you can switch back to the grid.
I think diesel is the way to go for larger setups of 10kw or higher. You can get fuel stabilizers for the diesel too. The backup generator should be run for a short while every week or so.
--
don paolino
"DAvid Norris" <dave snipped-for-privacy@insightbbTHESTICKFROMYOURASS.com> wrote in
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Read over this site, http://www.onan.com/onan/homestandbygenerators/generatorHome.jsp
Just guessing as I really don't know your exact loads, but you probably could get by with a 30kVA unit (deleivers around 125 amperes at 240 v.) They also have a link you can check to find a dealer in your area.
Be prepeared for a little sticker shock......<g> It ain't gonna be cheap.
One problem is the gasoline used to power it has to be kept on hand and often ends up going stale over a period of a year ot two. (One thing in favor of using natural gas as the fuel.)
As one commenter stated, you could get by with a small 5kVA unit (20 amps) and use a switch to switch from the water pump load to the lighting load as needed. (Using a coleman stove to cook and a keosene heater to stay warm.)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In a previous post Dennis wrote...

This is a problem only if you don't have other uses for the gasoline. I use a fuel stabilizer and then after the winter storms are over I run the gas through the lawn mower. The gas is hardly ever more than 4 months old.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.