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
(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
opposing points of view, but I am willing to pay a little more for a
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
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
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.