Generator question....portable

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I'm in the market for a portable generator and just need it to run the fridge the furnace and just small things after that. I went on a few web sites and they seem to be geared to running your whole house instead of just a few things to get past the storm or what ever. I live SW of Chicago and the longest I've been without power was 3 days when a tornado came through. I would like to buy one that would get me by for a day or two at the most and only run the basics. What I'm having trouble with is sizing the unit to my needs. Sump pump, furnace, fridge and some lighting but I have all compact fluorescents.
Thanks for any advice, especially from someone that has this basic setup, Rich
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There are online sizing calculators to determine this, but you need to know the total wattage of the things you want to power. Most of these devices will have their amperage written on the nameplate. The single largest item you've listed is the furnace, which has a pretty large motor. My guess, assuming some of these motors could start and run simultaneously, is that you'd need around 5KW. I use a portable 6KW unit to power: 2 refrigerators, sewage ejection pump, 240 volt 1/2 HP well pump, hydronic oil fired boiler, and a handfull of lights, TV's and PC's

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Rich wrote:

The easiest way is to plug into your dryer outlet and back feed to your electrical box (with the mains off of course). That way everything will run normally as always. A 5000 watt generator should do you. None of them will run for 2 or 3 days without refueling. You'll have to gas it up every day if you don't run it all night. Now you can get a small diesel generator and hook it up to your oil tank and it would run until the tank is empty. That will cost you much more. 5kw will give you about 30 amps, the rating of your dryer cable and breaker. In the US anyway.
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Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 17:36:25 -0400, Blattus Slafaly 0/00 ? ? ?

I have a basic setup in my home. I put in a 6 circuit switch box that isolates the 6 circuits from the power grid. This is the safest way to do it. You can pick and choose the circuits you want to power, sump, well pump, furnace, freezer, fridge, bathroom, and maybe the TV with various outlets. To size the generator, you must take into account the start-up draw of what you will be powering. There are charts that can give you the startup draw of various appliances, just add them up and then add whatever else you will be powering and that will tell you what size generator you need.
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What you suggest, is not only illegal in every jurisdiction, but a potential electrocution hazard to both the operator and any lineman working to restore power. Simple, safe, and legal generator transfer panels can be bought for a few hundred dollars
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Thanks I didn't mean to run 2-3 days without refueling I meant the longest outage I've seen is that and prepare for that. The online guides I saw seemed to be geared toward bigger switch over units. I planned on making an extension cord with male on both ends and back feeding the system but as you pointed out doing this at 220 would make more sense as I don't have to make sure or put everything I want to power on one leg of the 110, 220 would do this for me.
5K or more it is then and I think I'll run that 220 line to the garage after all and back feed with the main off to the whole house. I have all my expensive electronic devices on UPS's already so they should be OK with the transition I just have to see how it all works when needed.
Thanks for the help, Rich
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"Eric" wrote

Was planning on it. Before you get upset, look at the critical pats of the construction this time.
Open window, open door, roof vents and an open air fan plus garage door open at least 6 inches (more if rain allows.)

Read the conditions first please. This isnt an enclosed airtight garage. In fact, it is designed that way because of the gas furnace unit.
Once the rain passes, it can go on the back screened porch.
If it helps, we had a free estimate done for an installed unit and asked about this. The installed unit was more than we wanted to pay (about 1,500$). With the back door to the porch open (shielded from the rain) and the side window, major draft. Opening the garage door 6 inches up, windstorm in there.
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Yup that's the way people do it ... and still die
Do you have CO detectors around the house?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

the open-air atrium of our building. Atrium is open on four sides, with roof over it. Our AC is at the opposite end of the building from where they worked. We had an old CO detector, no longer used because we have no gas appliances, in a box in the laundry room. There was enough CO given off outside to set off our alarm inside.
I recall reading about one death in Florida because the setting described resembled a friend's home. Had a generator going in their screened-in outdoor room. They woke up dead. :o)
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Norminn wrote:

CO is a bit heavier than air. If the atrium was only open at the top the result was to be expected.
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Boden wrote:

CO is 28 g/mol. Air is (roughly) an 80/20 mixute of N2 (28 g/mol) and O2 (32 g/mol).
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Yes. And rote answers without listening to the construction involved are not as useful as you might think.
Consider this a 2 wall garage with roof and 2 walls missing and you are a bit closer to the construction.
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1 open window and a cracked garage door do not constitute "missing walls."
What you fail to understand is how nasty and dangerous CO really is, and what little it really takes to adversely affect your health for a LONG time, if it doesn't kill you.
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On Mar 31, 2:06pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

I ran my generator 10ft from my back door since that is how long my connect cable was and registered CO in the house, if the garage is attached its a bad idea to run one in a garage.
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cshenk wrote:

that is how hundreds of people die every year of carbon monoxide poisoning and hundreds more are made seriously ill!!!!!!!!!
ARE YOU SOME KIND OF IDIOT???????
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"Husky" wrote

No, but you seem to be.
You obviously havent listened to the construction involved. You've got a mind set on the idea that this is an enclosed attached garage to the house with open airflow into the house. It's not. I never said it was either. You *assumed* too much and didnt listen.
If it had airflow to the house, I wouldnt have the heating problem in winter.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'd not be too concerned. Doing this after being warned of the risk serves to improve the gene pool.
Boden
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 17:36:25 -0400, Blattus Slafaly 0/00 ? ? ?

Dumb idea for a number of reasons
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What are the reasons? He has the main off. I am just curious because I thought it sounded pretty good and you said for a number of reasons but didn't give any.
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wrote:

power shouldn't be dependent on someone remembering the proper order of when to turn on and off a main disconnect, or some kid or other family member flipping it on accidentally

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