Generator power to gas furnace???

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I'd like to be able to have temporary power hooked into my gas furnace in case of a prolonged power outage. Been digging through the electrical code. Not at all clear what's likely to pass muster. Don't want to talk to local inspectors until I have something likely to work.
Power outages are rare. I just don't want the plumbing to freeze in the unlikely event of a prolonged winter storm.
I can run a few lights off an extension cord. But the furnace is permanently connected. What are the ramifications of that? I have a mostly empty box on the wall. Wire comes in the bottom and goes out the front through conduit to the furnace. Wire nuts inside the furnace box connect it up.
It's interesting that the box is insulating with a metal cover plate and no ground connection except from the furnace ground back thru the conduit. Sounds like it's already in violation of code??? House was built in 1972.
Is there any code passing way to get a connector in that wire? Either inside the wall box or inside the furnace box? A connector would let me get it completely disconnected from the main power and wired up to the temporary generator. What UL markings would I need on the connector assembly? I'm in Oregon, USA.
I'd like to avoid having to pull the wire nuts out of the metal cage inside the furnace to disconnect it. Connector would remove the error terms.
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Mike I can understand what you trying to do, but my friend you are playing with your self, if you want emergency switch over to Generator hire you self license Electrician and install switchover on main line coming into your house and then use your circuit breakers to put on what you want and off what you don't want to go on, wouldn't that be simpler.

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Grumpy wrote:

You betcha. Would also be simpler to get rid of the wife... oh wait...already did that.
With all the "advice" given here, I'd expect that at least one of you guys IS a licensed electrician. So, I AM, in effect, asking a licensed electrician or three right here and now.
I've been in this house almost 40 years. I can count significant power outages on two fingers. I don't need a permanent generator installation. I have the generator. Be a shame to forgo the means to use it if the need ever arises.
I asked a simple question: How do I put a connector in a line to a permanently attached appliance, a furnace, that meets the national electrical code when the connector is hooked up normally to utility power. I'll deal with local issues after I get some ideas.

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    You don't. And yes, I'm a licensed Master Electrician.

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On 11/05/2010 04:05 PM, mike wrote:

Who the hell cares about NEC for a one-time situation. Make sure you have a REALLY good flashlight. I have one with a 5 Lb gel-cell battery that was made out of a building emergency lighting unit. The lamp is essentially a lawn tractor headlight. It took me no more than 10 minutes to collect the tools and rewire the house wiring to a standard wall plug right on the side of the furnace junction box. So, the wires out of the furnace went to a dangling plug. I dragged outdoor-style extension cords through the house to the furnace room and plugged the furnace into the cord.
Having a HUGE flashlight made this job much easier as I didn't have to hold it.
As for some way to have the furnace permanently wired with a plug that normally plugs into a socket seems like it should be possible, but the NEC has all sorts of insane restrictions against things that seem logical at first. Probably you can do this with the correct wiring appliances, though.
Jon
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replying to Jon Elson, AndrewG wrote:

Hi jmelson I did what you said and the furnace started when I hooked the generator but it stopped after less than a minute. It did not fire because the ignitor did not heat to inginite the gas. Do you know what I did wrong?
AndrewG
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Does your furnace use a spark ignitor or a glow plate? I don't have first hand experience with them, but on a comparable gas stove/oven, the burners on top are sparkers and light up ok with backup power [a]. However, the oven uses a glow plate which usese....
sit down...
which uses... 400 watts.
That's a big enough number that small generators might hiccup.
[a] and if you don't have backup electricity, you can light the stove burners with a match. But the oven needs that glow plate heating up - and drawing 400 watts - _all_ the time the oven is working.
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replying to danny burstein , AndrewG wrote:

It has the glow plate-This may be the problem if it takes 400 watts to work. Is this overloading a Coleman 2500 (watts)?
Thanks AndrewG
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AndrewG wrote:

Hi, Does the generator give pretty clean sine wave of 60Hz AC output?
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replying to Tony Hwang , Andrewg wrote:

I never tested it and do not have a tester
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On Tuesday, January 14, 2014 9:20:46 AM UTC-5, Tony Hwang wrote:

Furnace doesn't need particularly "clean" power. I ran mine off a generator plenty of times.
They make a nice mechanical cutout plate for most breaker panels that will let you legally back feed your main panel. Then you can run what ever you want.
Most of my neighbors used a length of 10/2 with two male plugs on it and plugged into the dryer outlet and generator. Turn off the main and fire it up. Not legal but sure is easy.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi, It better be. It will run but not very well in regard to efficiency. Any thing with motor needs clean AC power to run well. That is why El Cheapo gen sets cause troubles even damaging equipment it is powering. Often poorly made, over rated.
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On Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:20:46 PM UTC-5, Tony Hwang wrote:

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rator plenty of times.

So what do you think it's going to do, use an extra few watts? I ran two c arrier central gas heats off a no name el cheapo generator for 10 days stra ight. Both units went on to run another 10 years after that. And both wer e replaced because the heat exchangers rusted out, fans were still going st rong.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_switch
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Call your local electrician

Call your local electrician

Call your local electrician

Connectors will not pass muster, call your local electrician

Call your local electrician. He will be familier with all of your local code requirements and can make sure its done correctly and to code.
One foot of good wire beats a mile of firehose every time.
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Who you gonna call ?
wrote:

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I called my electrician to double check my work and sign off on it before I called the inspector.
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Steve wrote:

AS will I. But I want to learn my options before I start spending money.
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*YOU* need to call an electrician *FIRST* to see what you need to do, and how to do it.
This tells me that you don't have a clue.....
[quote]Is there any code passing way to get a connector in that wire? Either inside the wall box or inside the furnace box? A connector would let me get it completely disconnected from the main power and wired up to the temporary generator. What UL markings would I need on the connector assembly? I'm in Oregon, USA.[end quote]
Call an electrician before you cause damage to life, limb, and/or property.
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On 11/05/2010 07:34 AM, mike wrote:

Sure, I did this a couple years ago when we knew a major ice storm was coming. When the lights went out, I wend down and unwired the furnace from the permanent wiring and put a plug on the wires. When it got cold enough to need it, I fired up the generator and ran extension cords to the furnace and refrigerator. 90 minutes on the generator every 6 hours or so was all it took to stay reasonably comfortable.
This was all a temporary hack, as this sort of storm is quite rare here, too. If you want totally installed wiring for emergency loads, an electrician can wire up an emergency panel, but it will be somewhat expensive to separate those loads from all the rest in the house.
Jon
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