Hints for choosing generator for new home Gen Interlock setup

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The longest outage we have had around here recently is 12 days. You can't store a 12 day supply of gas, even for the Honda EU2000. Diesel? Natural gas? Please!
I keep three 2 gallon cans of gas, and rotate them through my lawnmower/snowblower. That is enough to keep me up for 2 or 3 days. It might not be easy, but there is always someplace to buy gas in 3 days.
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Toller wrote:

BS.
Here now I currently have what would be a 12 day supply of gas for an EU2000i, about 30 gallons. I cycle through the cans pretty frequently with the riding mower, towable leaf vac, line trimmer, chain saw and whatnot, very easy to store. Here I have an EU2000i and a 5 KW Generac.
At my other facility which has oil heat, there is a 275 gallon oil tank and a 25 KW diesel generator. The generator consumes around .75 gallons per hour under typical loading so there is about 12 days there as well when you account for the furnace fuel needs as well.

I keep six 5 gal cans of gas and a 1 gal can of 2 cycle mix. I use Stabil and have never had an issue with any going bad. It gets rotated with plenty of frequency.
Pete C.
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Sorry.
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Jack wrote:

What about the refrigerator?
This page has some information on generator sizing:
http://nooutage.com/generato2.htm
Chris
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Jack wrote:

If you have natural gas service, get a gas-powered generator. You NEVER lose gas during (most) emergencies [maybe during an earthquake?]. With gas, you won't run out of fuel and the fuel won't go all gamey on you.
Water heater? What for? Heat some water on the stove for a sponge bath if things get rank. Electric water heaters really suck (the power).
The circular plugs are for 240 connection (or two 120s). If you're clever and cautious, you can rig an adaptor.
Better, for a few lights and a TV, would be... wait for it now, don't get ahead of me ... AN EXTENSION CORD.
Connect this EXTENSION CORD to an inverter plugged into your car's cigarette lighter. 2-300 watts ought to do it.
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HeyBub wrote:

An earthquake or a flood are both likely to take out your NG service. You may be on a hill out of the flood, but if your feed runs through an area that's under water there is a good chance it will be turned off. There are other causes of NG outages, but they usually don't align with electrical outages.
As for fuel getting "gamey", that is simply not a concern if you are capable of a small amount of maintenance.
Gasoline will readily store just fine for over a year with an additive like Stabil. Store in 5 gal cans and rotate them out into your car annually and refill and they'll be just fine.
Diesel will keep even longer if you use diesel Stabil and you can rotate into your diesel car or truck the same way. If you heat with oil, you already have a 275 gal + on site fuel supply that a diesel generator will be 100% happy with and you'll have no fuel rotation issues at all. Remember that "home heating oil" is also called "off road diesel" and is what most construction equipment is run on since it's cheaper due to the lack of transportation fuel taxes.
If you heat with propane and have a big "hot dog" tank, and LP generator will do nicely and again no fuel rotation or outage issues.
NG is really the only fuel you can't readily store in a useable quantity. If you have NG service and get gasseous fueled generator, you can get a big "hot dog" type LP tank as backup since the generator can readily run on either fuel.
Pete C.
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Propane and NG run at widely different pressures. And have different energy contents. I don't doubt that many generators have multi fuel ability, but you may need to change an orifice or make other adjustments to switch fuels.
A local propane tank for the generator sounds like an excellent idea.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Nearly all the packaged home standby gensets are NG/LP. Northern tool has several portably tri-fuel units as well so I'm thinking the fuel changeover issue has been pretty well resolved. I think the orifice thing only applies to regular burners.
Pete C.
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Jack wrote:

I have a Power Boss - Briggs and Stratton - 5500 running watts and 7500 peak. It will handle my refrigerator, two freezers, furnace, well and a few lights and TV or two. Don't know what your electrician did but my transfer box was just set up for the essentials I mentioned. Generator is noisy but has good motor and good generator unit. Cost half that of a Honda. My neighborhood gets noisy when power is out and everyone powers up their generator. Honda apparently has a lot of sound insulation and I read an amusing story in this group where mice nested in someones Honda generator and harmed the wiring.
Can use 10 gal. gas a day. I keep tank full and have two 5 gal cans. Stabil added to all gas an purchase date put on cans so I know when I should use up in lawnmower. Also found water in water heater is hot enough for shower after more than a day.
Frank
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Jack wrote:

generator to power for 15 minutes, turn off everything else, and look at your electric meter before and after the test. Multiply by 4 and you'll get the watt hours; then, assuming everything is 120 volts, your generator's amperage needs watt hours divided by 120. E.g., if you need to provide 3600 watt hours, 3600/120 = 30 amperes. Or more simply, 120 volts x 30 Amps = 3600VA.
Note that this ignores motor startup current which could stall a generator if it is running nearly full load. It also ignores Power Factor. But this is better than guessing the size of the generator you need.
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Had a major electrical re-do of my house, and had the electrician install a generator connection. I believe they are called "generator interlock" systems. It is a standard setup, I can throw a switch in the basement, then plug a generator in outside the house to power the house in event of a power failure. CY: I'd be tempted to get at least 5,000 watts. Coleman makes em for about $500, but noisy as heck. A generator that size should put out 220 volts, which could be wired to your interlock. that would give you several conveniences. First, having the house powered. Second, having a five galon fuel tank on the generator is really nice. Such a device in quiet Honda would be really nice. Please also invest in at least one or two big huge chains and padlocks. Generators are very often stolen.
(save safety warnings.. I know to put generator outside not near door or window, and I can't hook Gen up while still connected to municipal power supply due to lockout system on inside panel, and I know enough to not overload gen) CY: The interlock would prevent back feeding. Most generators have a circuit breaker. the factor to consider is also fuel. Every time you turn something on, you use more fuel. Will you have enough to make it through the power cut?
What should I look for in considering a generator. I am pretty much settled on Honda, as in my experience they are just head an shoulders above all others in reliability and noise. I am prepared to entertain opposing points of view, but I am willing to pay a little more for a good unit. CY: The couple experiences I've had with Honda convince me they are first rate equipment.
I don't need super-megawatts.. I will be happy to see that my home has heater, hot water heater (powered venilation unit) and a few lights and maybe a TV. I don't need to run the AC or electric stove. CY: If you figure probably 800 watts for a gas furnace, and maybe 100 for a power vented WH, then a couple more watts for lights and TV, you'd be well under 5000.
Could I get away with one of those tiny suitcase type units.. my concern is that they seem to only have standard AC plugs on them, not that special generator circular locking plug that goes into the outside outlet. CY: probably so. However, with the interlock you'd only power half the circuits in your house. It would be a guess and miss to power the correct side.
Personal experiences or tips? CY: I've got a Coleman 2200 watt. it has run my natural gas furnace a couple times during power cuts, and a couple friends furnaces. If you'e going out to help a friend, you'll need to know some electrical wiring. You'll also need an electric cord off a junk appliance to wire to the furnace wires. And a couple wire nuts. And extension cords.
Good online sources for info? CY: May wish to check and see what Honda has to read. Maybe also some PDF format owners manuals you can read.
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