Generator question....portable

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gore wrote:

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Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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On Mar 29, 9:47 pm, Blattus Slafaly 0/00 ? ? ?

Sounds OK technically. Is bad idea from safety angle; and illegal in many places. Could result in legal and civil liability if someone gets killed. Should be no need to explain why!
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gore wrote:

I too considered it, it is cheaper than hiring an electrician to install a transfer switch. Just Google around a bit, and you'll see why it is a very bad idea.
The problem is that if you forget to turn off the mains, or if someone else turns them on, or if your box is incorrectly wired, you could kill a utility worker. The transformers will work in reverse to step up your generator current to thousands of volts.
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/elecgenerators.asp
Back feeding is a serious and willful code violation. That means if you burn down your house doing it, your insurance won't pay.
http://www.flatheadelectric.com/custserv/safety/generator/SafetyGenerator.htm
"In accordance with the National Electrical Code, paragraph 700-6; Transfer equipment shall be designed and installed to prevent the inadvertent interconnection of normal and emergency sources of supply in any operation of the transfer equipment. Automatic transfer switches shall be electrically operated and mechanically held."
It is against code. You might kill somebody. It is my understanding that you could be held not just civilly liable, but also criminally.
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Tony Sivori
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On Mar 29, 5:51�pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

has killed linemen who werent following the rules.
main breaker must must must be off!!!! not recommended!!
some breaker cabinets have safe backfeed alternatives.
the larger the generator the hungrier on gasoline, can you store 60 gallons or more at your home safely? it does spoil too, espically the newer reformulated low volatile gasoline...........
if neighborhood power is out most gas stations cant pump gas...........
your better off with a smaller generator, run a couple lights or fridge, or furnace, or whatever....... one at a time
the idle use of gasoline is less with smaller units.
generators can be noisey, a big issue in a dead quiet no power neighborhood.extra points if you run a line to a neighbor
harbor freight sells nice cheap generators for occasional use. if a generator sits too long it might not start when you need it the most.
I have a 1000 watt generator its gotten a good bit of use, a 1000 watt 12 volt inverter, nice for quick emergencies, returned home from trip after bad storm but still saw survivor. quick quiet just my car idiling. have a 4500 watt unit only used it once
the price on permanent natural gas auto connect have dropped a lot in the last few years. check home depot.
the power companies arent maintaining things like they used too, have cut trucks and crews slowing restoration of power during emergencies
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-snip-

Or legally? The neighboring city has a 5 gallon limit- unless it is "contained in the metal tank fastened and attached to and used in connection with any automobile for power purposes."
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

So there's you answer. Hook into the auto's tank. :-)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Works for me.
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Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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Blattus Slafaly 0/00 ? ? ? wrote:

liability. EVEN if its not you, how are you going to prove that it wasnt you who sent a backfed charge out onto the powerline that killed the lineworker? I can hear it now... "Oh i wont forget to shut off the main" Sure, sure. Dont be so stinking cheap, go buy a transfer switch. Eric
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wrote:

The real hazard is to the user and his neighbors.
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Rich wrote:

transfer box. It can run my furnace, well, refrigerator and freezers with spare power for some lights and TV. Clothes dryer, electric range, water heater and air conditioner were too much to add and are not needed for few days outage as are the aforementioned items. Whole set up including cost of generator and transfer box installed by electrician cost about $1,000 two years ago.
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on 3/29/2008 6:44 PM Frank said the following:

I have a similar setup with a Generac 5500. It runs the whole house without a problem, but there is a momentary 'brown out' when the 220 v well pump starts up, but then returns to normal when the pump is fully running. On our section of the electrical grid, there are several power failures a year, but most are just short enough to reset all our electric clocks and timers to a blinking 12:00. I believe that our section is connected to the main grid by an extension cord that runs across some farmland, and a cow occasionally trips over it and pulls it out of the outlet. :-) Some failures do last an hour or so, and one time more than 72 hours, but that was due to a hurricane. There's no problem with the generator noise, as most of my neighbors have generators. One neighbor across the street does not have a generator and he has a driveway light that's on all night, so when that light goes on, I know the power failure is over.
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Bill
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willshak wrote:

My generator is a noisy one from HD, Powerboss with B&S engine and generac generating unit. The guys at a Honda dealer actually told me what to look for and told me to avoid Coleman as if it broke down parts would be scarce. We're on acre lots and all neighbors have equally noisy generators. Besides having surge protectors for practically everything, I have battery backup for computers and even put an old deteriorating one on a VCR so I don't have to keep resetting from scratch.
See the same momentary brown out when well kicks on. Similar to lights in kitchen dimming when disposal is used. Watt requirement is highest when engines first come under load. Even so, I've had furnace, well, refrigerator and 2 freezers all running at the same time. I suspect if all came on at once they would pop a circuit breaker.
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Rich wrote:

Rich, I also live in the Midwest and went through the same thing about 1 year ago -- after a significant ice storm in the area.
I wanted to run an "average" refrig-freezer, a small chest freezer, the furnace (natural gas with 1/3 hp blower), a small radio and/or light and POSSIBLY a 1/3 hp sump pump.
Here's what I got and I'm VERY happy with it:
1. Honda EU2000i portable generator (2000 watt max, 1600 watt rated) Here's a link to the specs:
http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/ModelDetail.asp?ModelName=EU2000i
2. Had a simple, manual transfer switch (15 amp) installed for the furnace circuit so that I could use a regular (12 gauge) extension cord from the generator to plug into the switch and run the furnace. Here's a link to the transfer switch I got, a "Reliance Controls 15-amp Furnace Transfer Switch" - they also have a 20-amp version:
http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id '1
Believe it or not, that little generator has run most of the above appliances, at the same time, without overload AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT START UP AT THE SAME TIME -- which has never happened in the approx. 45+ hrs of testing I've done in the last year.
The power required at start-up for resistive electrical motors (e.g., refrig, freezer, furnace blower, sump pump) is MUCH greater than that needed to run them. I'd guess (it hasn't happened yet, though) that if any two of those appliances tried to start at exactly the same time, the generator would cut off; it has an overload cutoff.
This winter, I routinely tested with furnace, refrig-freezer, chest freezer and radio all plugged in and with the generator in EcoThrottle mode without problems. Just last week I tested with furnace, sump pump and radio plugged in (again, using EcoThrottle) without problems.
In a real, extended power outage, I plan to "juggle" extension cords to avoid overload and plug in the refrig-freezer and chest freezer only when needed. I have a couple of cheap but very handy little thermometers with probes that I'll put in the freezers and be able to determine when they need to run without having to open them. I'll do that especially if I need to run the sump pump with the furnace. The EU2000i is VERY energy-efficient. This winter when I ran 4-hr tests with furnace, refrig-freezer, chest freezer and radio plugged in, I used approx. 1/2 gal (maybe less) of gasoline.
As for the break-in and maintenance of the EU2000i: I used Castrol 10w-30 to break it in and now use Amsoil 10w-30 Synthetic High Performance Oil exclusively.
One other thing, plan to get yourself some high quality, 12 gauge extension cords but only as long as you really need. I've also found the short 3-outlet extensions handy. The EU2000i has two 120 volt outlets so I run two 50ft 12gauge extension cords from the generator -- one to the basement where the furnace, chest freezer and sump pump are located; and one upstairs where the refrig-freezer, radio and lights are located. I then put a short (2 ft) 12 gauge 3-outlet extension on each and plug in the appliances needed either directly or, if necessary, using a 25ft 12gauge extension cord so that the max. length of 12gauge cord between the generator and any appliance is 75 ft.
So, Rich, that's what I found seems to meet my backup needs -- hope you found it useful. As you can tell, I'm very pleased with that little Honda generator. It's approx 50 lbs fully gassed and can be stored easily in a small space in the garage.
Best wishes -- with luck, we'll never have to use any generators "for real" but I'm not counting on that ;-)
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I use this generator and highly recommend it. It's very fuel efficient and amazingly quiet.
Set on a high-quality scale with a full fuel tank, it weighs 54-lbs. Anything larger probably shouldn't be considered truly "portable" by one person.
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JR

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You know that running all those at the same time is not going to happen with a portable generator.
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Joseph Meehan

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Your problem is in your approach. You are looking for the minimal machine to perform marginally. You are allowing for no extras. It is wise to have more power than you need in these circumstances, rather than not enough to meet your needs. It is not necessary to overkill, but getting a unit that is surely adequate is better than one that is borderline marginal. The oversized one will not work as hard. It will last longer. You won't be standing there with no power AND a DOA generator. This is the last thing before darkness and spoiled food. Do you want to take that big a chance?
And buy a quiet quality unit, not an obnoxiously loud cheapo that will wear out fast.
Steve
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You can get a 6 circuit transfer box for about 400 prewired from Generac, Lowes gave me one free when I bought a 5500 watt Generac. Best is a transfer box with meters as you can balance the load and its alot safer. Backfeeding has alot of risks for an accident to the generator and you. You can get a trifuel unit, or convert yours.
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Something else to consider, is how you balance the load so you dont burn our the unit, its two legs make 220, using only one is not correct, thats where a transfer panel makes it work safely.
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wrote:

Something else to consider, is how you balance the load so you dont burn our the unit, its two legs make 220, using only one is not correct, thats where a transfer panel makes it work safely.
OK I've been looking at more units and switches and I think I'm going to use my 16HP Briggs engine and get a 5500 watt PTO unit and make the generator from that. Then use the money I didn't spend on an engine to get a transfer switch and set this up properly.
Thanks for all who helped, Rich
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Rich wrote:

Please explain. Do transfer panels do dynamic load balancing?
Boden

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