dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
18052
share rss forum feed


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

1 edit

1 recommendation

Generator Time!!!

Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Well, looks like it's time to give the generator a solid workout and test run this weekend in preparation of Hurricane Sandy. While it still isn't guaranteed to hit Connecticut... seems prudent to get everything up and running.

If it does pan out to be the worst storm since the Hurricane of '38, it might be my sole source of power for some time... but hey... that's why I set this thing up in the first place. And wouldn't you know I'm close to full at 400 gallons of propane.. perfect timing!

All you east coasters out there... might be time to get those generators up and running...


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

A good idea to check it out for problems before crap hits the fan!

Keep you and yours safe. Good luck.
--
I'm not anti-social, I just don't like stupid people.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to SwedishRider

I just ran mine last weekend for a good half hour, powering my air compressor that I ran to blow out my sprinkler lines.

BTW, I'd so much change that black-iron coupler!



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by garys_2k:

BTW, I'd so much change that black-iron coupler!

When the cover is closed, you really don't even see it. I plan to give my generator a good hour workout this weekend... and I may even shut off the main breakers and power the house for a while with it just to experiment with the loads I can comfortably place on it.

Virtually all models are now indicating an east coast hit by Sandy early next week, but exactly where and how strong is yet to be determined..


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to SwedishRider

Click for full size
I topped off the gas cans today. 15 gal in the cans, 6 gal in the Generator.

For those with a short memory, this is the anniversary of the 2011 Halloween fiasco. We were out of power here in NJ for 6 days.

Here is a neighbor's take on last years mess:

--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Just like you, JimCT, I would get all "excited" and polish my generator hub caps when I'd see the weather forecast with 30+ mph winds or tons and tons of snow. We had 50+ mph winds, but no dice. Snow simply phoned it in last winter.

Now I'm just "meh" because NOTHING HAPPENED SINCE I GOT MY GENERATOR!!! I had 3 outages totalling 48 hours within a month when I moved in my house, bought a generator, and now our electric poles survived everything.

Now that this winter is announcing itself to be quite a big one, all I'm doing is it taking my time to make sure that all I need to do is press the start button.

Oh well, maybe this winter she'll get a work out.


H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to SwedishRider

I just got mine put away from the last storm that knocked power out for 20 hours or so. It was soooo nice to have power. The boys were playing PS3, the wife was watching Netflix and I was able to get some long overdue beer ratings done. Then the power came back on and I had to get back to work. It was fun while it lasted.

I'm a little to inland to really worry about Sandy, but you never know.


H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

Just like you, JimCT, I would get all "excited" and polish my generator hub caps when I'd see the weather forecast with 30+ mph winds or tons and tons of snow. We had 50+ mph winds, but no dice. Snow simply phoned it in last winter.

Now I'm just "meh" because NOTHING HAPPENED SINCE I GOT MY GENERATOR!!! I had 3 outages totalling 48 hours within a month when I moved in my house, bought a generator, and now our electric poles survived everything.

Now that this winter is announcing itself to be quite a big one, all I'm doing is it taking my time to make sure that all I need to do is press the start button.

Oh well, maybe this winter she'll get a work out.

We did the same thing here. Every summer since we moved in the power would go out at least once a month for 8 or so hours. I finally got fed up and got one. Nothing except tests for the next couple years. I figure it was still worth it. The piece of mind knowing that if it did go out you were covered, was almost as good as not having to use it.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by H_T_R_N:

The piece of mind knowing that if it did go out you were covered, was almost as good as not having to use it.

You know what? It's too true.
I'd rather have the generator and never have to use it, than having to use it frequently, or not having a generator and needing it that one time.

I mean, aside from man testosterone chest pounding pride that comes from showing off having a generator that runs the house furnace, tv, computer, fridge, etc, it's actually a freaking hassle to have to run outside in a snow storm to start it up, worry about gas and worry about whether or not to let it run over night.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by alkizmo:

...it's actually a freaking hassle to have to...worry about gas...

Depends what fuel the generator runs on.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to SwedishRider

Thanks for ensuring with your preparations that Sandy turns out to sea

We had enough fun here in June.

That said, I do have 250 gallons of fuel ready to go.



ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
reply to SwedishRider

I was actually thinking abotu picking this up. Thoughts?

»www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Alt···_reviews



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

Looks good.
You can use its full capacity through the 30A 240V twist lock.
Its fuel consumption is average.
Enough reviews with consistent high scores to know people are satisfied with it.

However you should calculate the load of what you'd run with that generator, because maybe you could down size. 1000W out of a 3000W generator uses less fuel than 1000W out of a 6800W generator. Correct me if I am wrong.

Since I heat with natural gas (and water too), I found that 3000W was plenty, as long as I didn't plan on using the dryer and range.

6800W might allow you to cook OR use the dryer, but not both, and I don't think it would be able to kick start a whole house AC. Correct me if I am wrong.



ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

For me I would be looking for lights, TV, fridge, and oil heat. Stove would be nice as well.


KirkyInCT

join:2008-11-04
Higganum, CT
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to SwedishRider

Yesterday I starting thinking about, "Great! A Hurricane. This time I'm going to make sure I put water in the tub, etc." Then I remembered, I busted my bawls installing the standby generator last winter, I can just carry on as usual. I guess I should check the tanks and make sure we have some propane.

How quickly we forget... Two switches, one for the generator, then right next to it s the transfer switch. Tested it last month under load. Had central air going and a few other circuits humming for good measure.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to ptrowski

said by ptrowski:

Stove would be nice as well.

It would be a luxury of short term.
If I wanted to cook a pizza or something for the stove (not range), I'd use my toaster oven. Heck I already use my toaster oven for everything as long as it fits. I hate the pre-heat delay on full sized stoves.

As for the range, you can always buy a cheap little 1800W single element range for the emergency times.

The toaster oven and "hot plate" can run on 120V. My generator doesn't even have 240V but nothing of 240V could run on it anyway.

Consider that on prolongued outages, you'll be using maybe 1000-1500W. So maybe for a 48 hours outage, you'd only use 1000-1500W for 46 of those hours. Fuel efficiency comes in handy, especially for gasoline generators.

Again, guys, correct me if I am wrong about larger generators being less fuel economic than smaller generators for small loads.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to SwedishRider

I have gas appliances, so it would be business as usual here.

We got a generator after Irene and we needed to use it after last October's snow storm. Good thing I got it too as there was a ham radio contest that weekend and I would have been off the air had I not gotten my generator.

Guess what? There's one this weekend too, but it looks like Sandy will miss it completely.

If your generator runs on gasoline, make sure you have a few cans full. I have 30 gallons stored in the barn, away from the house. Fresh gas from a few weeks ago with Sta-Bil marine formula. Should be enough for a few days continuous running, or more than a week with part time use.

I doubt power will be out that long.

Don't forget to keep some oil on hand for oil changes too because if you're running your genny for a long time you need to change its oil.



ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
reply to alkizmo

I would eventually have the transfer switch wired in as well.



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to SwedishRider

Which reminds me.. I have 2 empty gas cans... but at least the generator has a full tank...



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to ptrowski

said by ptrowski:

I would eventually have the transfer switch wired in as well.

Yes, doesn't mean you cant use a smaller generator with a transfer switch.

If you are buying a generator, get the switch at the same time, if not before. It takes time to install a transfer switch and the wiring for the generator.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to ptrowski

said by ptrowski:

I would eventually have the transfer switch wired in as well.

Get an interlock if possible. Much easier to use, much cheaper to install. You just backfeed the existing panel and can use any of the circuits you have instead of choosing 6-10 you need most.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by cowboyro:

instead of choosing 6-10 you need most.

Yeah, that's a double edge sword.
Wait until your distracted wife tries to start the AC or the dryer

I have a fuse panel so I had no choice but to get a transfer switch (Which added a lot of room for extra circuits as a bonus). I made sure that no heavy load circuits were going to get fed by the generator. I just KNOW my wife would try to cook or use the dryer just because the lights are on.

As for "cheaper", well I saw some interlock kit prices. Some were as cheap as 50$, but some were as much as 150$. My transfer switch cost me 150$. Sure I needed breakers for it, but as I said, to me it was adding room for new circuits. My fuse panel only has 18 slots for 120V. My transfer switch added 24 more spaces.


Zorack

join:2001-12-14
Fayetteville, WV
reply to SwedishRider

Just curious what size generator would I need to run my ac/heat pump in addition to all the other stuff I would need(refrig,tvs,computers,and lights?)
--
Matt Barlow Rules! Bring him back to Iced Earth! \m/



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

1 edit

said by Zorack:

Just curious what size generator would I need to run my ac/heat pump in addition to all the other stuff I would need(refrig,tvs,computers,and lights?)

I'll let the pros give details on that one.
You'll probably need to give info on the ratings of the pump.
The "wild card" in this is the starting wattage needed when the pump kicks in. It can be pretty massive compared to what it needs once it is running.

With my little 3000W generator (4000W starting) is strained to start my furnace blower (1/3hp) while the refrigerator is running.
I can imagine a 2T AC needing 8700W to start up.
»www.briggsandstratton.com/~/medi···%202.pdf


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to SwedishRider

I've got a 5500 watt gas generator on "temporarily permanent" loan in my garage. Long-term goal is to get a natural gas fired generator installed, but for now, the 5500 watt unit will do.

I just ordered an L14-20p-to-(4x)NEMA5-20 cable. Two of the NEMA5-20's are off one hot leg of the L14-20p, and the other two are from the other leg.

This will let me run at least the furnace, sump pump and fridge. Anything else is just gravy. If I can keep the FiOS ONT running, that's even better.

I hesitate to install an interlock kit or transfer panel now, since ideally, I'd install something more permanent with the natgas setup. The extension cord setup will at least let me keep the house functional, above freezing (not that it's a concern this particular week) and not flooded. Anything else is a nice-to-have.

Here's to hoping Hurricane Sandy changes her mind and leaves us alone!



Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to SwedishRider

Lucky for me the power companies repair depot is about 1 mile away so when we lose power it's #1 to restore. The longest power has been down in 3 hours so far. I want a generator I just can't justify it given the fast power repairs.
--
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKES IN MY WORK...Please consider that they are there for a purpose. I try to please everyone and there is always someone looking for mistakes!



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by cowboyro:

instead of choosing 6-10 you need most.

Yeah, that's a double edge sword.
Wait until your distracted wife tries to start the AC or the dryer

No problem. My generator starts a 2.5ton compressor. Dryer only takes 4500W or so on high heat.
said by alkizmo:

As for "cheaper", well I saw some interlock kit prices. Some were as cheap as 50$, but some were as much as 150$. My transfer switch cost me 150$.

I'd venture to guess that for most people there would be an electrician involved. Labor is expen$ive. Installing an interlock takes 30min total. Moving circuits from the panel to the transfer panel can be a surprise if the wires are too short.


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Mind me asking what an interlock is?



dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA
reply to cowboyro

Click for full size
said by cowboyro:

said by ptrowski:

I would eventually have the transfer switch wired in as well.

Get an interlock if possible. Much easier to use, much cheaper to install. You just backfeed the existing panel and can use any of the circuits you have instead of choosing 6-10 you need most.

In my case, I went with a Square D generator panel as I was out of spaces in my main panel and I was able to gain 6 spaces by giving up 2 in the main panel. This was cheaper and easier than changing the main panel. The circuits in my genny panel are heater (oil furnace), sump pump, freezer and refrigerator, kitchen (for microwave and coffer maker), and general lighting.
--
The more people I meet, the better I like my dogs.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to cowboyro

said by cowboyro:

I'd venture to guess that for most people there would be an electrician involved. Labor is expen$ive. Installing an interlock takes 30min total. Moving circuits from the panel to the transfer panel can be a surprise if the wires are too short.

I admit that you're right.

I required a LOT of hand holding from Whizkid when I installed my transfer switch. I did also have issues with wires being too short to move certain circuits (Situation easily remedied by Whizkid's solutions as well).

I feel it would be a piece of cake to do it again, but it isn't simple to do it the first time.

said by dosdoxies:

In my case, I went with a Square D generator panel as I was out of spaces in my main panel and I was able to gain 6 spaces by giving up 2 in the main panel. This was cheaper and easier than changing the main panel. The circuits in my genny panel are heater (oil furnace), sump pump, freezer and refrigerator, kitchen (for microwave and coffer maker), and general lighting.

You should have went for a bigger transfer switch if you wanted more circuit space

What does the big red button do? I wanna touch it.