The discussion on emergency generators has made me wonder: what would it
take to supply power to just a well pump? I can deal with no heat, TV,
lights, or internet during power outages, but no toilets is pretty
IF its like my pump there is a pretty good surge every time it starts,
the lights blink pretty good. This happened even after the pump was
replaced after being taken out by lightning. I would measure the start/
run current and size my generator accordingly.
I have had a 9500 watt generator for a year now. Had an electrician
wire a separate switch-over panel to use for any outage. I have a
220V submersible well pump and it is included in my generator-backup.
Always has worked just fine. Being able to flush and bathe is always
A higher storage tank in a nearby closet or a few 5 gallon buckets of
water kept in the basement would do. So you let food melt, rot and go
bad, freeze and walk into a walls. Id crap in a bucket, piss outside
and worry about heat, frige and no pipes bursting, but thats me. Get a
5000w gen and transfer panel and quit stubbing your toes in the dark
I also suffered for years with outages but finally went the
generator/transfer panel route. Neighbor with a small generator and DYI
barely gets by and wishes he had done it right. You don't need to power
everything in the house but well, furnace, and refrigerators and
freezers are a must.
We've been looking at small units, portable types, for a back porch that
would run a freezer and say 2-3 lights. Porch BTW is huge so we could get
the unit 10 feet from the house with ease. Probably put a fan on it blowing
outwards to be sure. Consider it the same as outdoors but raised up out of
4-5 KW will run an average home nicely. Refrigerator, well pump, gas/oil
furnace, lights, TV, microwave, etc. without issues.
If you have electric heat, heat pump, A/C, electric water heater or
similar large loads you want to run you'll of course need a bigger unit.
As others noted, a bucket and a garbage can and/or bathtub full of water
will flush a lot of toilets if you have gravity flush toilets. This may
not work well for the pressure assist toilets.
You'd have to check your well pump. See if it's 110 volts or 220 volts.
Check the current draw, and see how many watts you'd need. It's doable. Much
easier to have a couple buckets of water on hand at all times. Oh, the green
"RV holding tank fluid" in the RV section of walmart. A teaspoon or so in
the toilet bowl holds down the stink, until you can get a real flush.
The rule of thumb is 3x to x10 times the running amps of a motor.
A well pump is on the high side of that range.
It is one of the reasons why you want a 220 volt pump..lower amps.
Check your well pump and buy accordingly.
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