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

Re: Generator Time!!!

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



alkizmo

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

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.


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

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



alkizmo

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

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.


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

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.


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

said by ptrowski:

Mind me asking what an interlock is?

It's a device that prevents having both the main and the generator breakers on at the same time. Look at the last picture of the OP, it's the metallic piece between the main breaker and the top-right breaker. I have exactly the same panel and interlock.


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

said by alkizmo:

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.

What part don't you understand? I only needed a few more spaces so I gave up two in my main panel and gained 6 in the genny panel.
--
The more people I meet, the better I like my dogs.


alkizmo

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

said by dosdoxies:

What part don't you understand? I only needed a few more spaces so I gave up two in my main panel and gained 6 in the genny panel.

Just saying...
Depending of the cost of a bigger panel, the extra space might become useful a few years down the line.

So what's the button for?


dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA

said by alkizmo:

said by dosdoxies:

What part don't you understand? I only needed a few more spaces so I gave up two in my main panel and gained 6 in the genny panel.

Just saying...
Depending of the cost of a bigger panel, the extra space might become useful a few years down the line.

So what's the button for?

That's not a button. It's just a piece of red tape to denote that the breaker is utility fed. As far as the cost of the panel, I picked it up off ebay for like $30 new with the two main breakers in it.


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

Thanks, was reading up on them in the meantime. I went to The Depot and was able to get the generator I linked to, transfe switches etc were all sold out.



alkizmo

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

said by dosdoxies:

That's not a button. It's just a piece of red tape to denote that the breaker is utility fed. As far as the cost of the panel, I picked it up off ebay for like $30 new with the two main breakers in it.

No no, not the tape, that red lighted circle at the bottom of the imagine... well, maybe it's just a red status light.

As for the transfer switch, okay for 30$ you can't go wrong.

said by ptrowski:

Thanks, was reading up on them in the meantime. I went to The Depot and was able to get the generator I linked to, transfe switches etc were all sold out.

Go to other hardware stores, you'll find one. I doubt those fly off the shelf as fast as generators. People buy generators before a storm, not knowing that a transfer switch would help.

zippoboy7

join:2006-06-18
USA
reply to dosdoxies

said by dosdoxies:

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.

I did basically the same thing only I just bought that little metal bracket that sits between the 2 breakers and put it in my sub-panel. I had to move a few circuits around but in the event of a prolonged outage I can always back-feed the main panel by removing the bracket and turning off the main if I need to do something like use the washer\dryer or run the AC. I have most of the kitchen (Lights, Microwave, Fridge and a few receptacles), Garage (Door Opener, a few receptacles and Freezer), Gas Furnace, Sumppump, all my network gear (FiOS ONT, Router, WiFi), my office (3 PCs, 1 Server and lights), the TV w/ STB in the family room and the whole house fan. All told more then enough to stay comfortable during an outage.

All that said, the last outage that we had was for about 1 hour during the last tropical storm that came through, the power company restored the fuse that was knocked out during the storm and when all was said and done we were the only block of houses as far as you could see in any direction with lights for a week. It just pays to have a generator ready to go, you will never loose power for a long period again. Sadly I have noticed more and more houses adding generators so with that trend I suspect the next one will be bad.


alkizmo

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

said by zippoboy7:

Sadly I have noticed more and more houses adding generators so with that trend I suspect the next one will be bad.

Actually, people's personal trend when they buy a generator, is that they never get to need it

So ..... clear skies!


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

said by alkizmo:

said by dosdoxies:

That's not a button. It's just a piece of red tape to denote that the breaker is utility fed. As far as the cost of the panel, I picked it up off ebay for like $30 new with the two main breakers in it.

No no, not the tape, that red lighted circle at the bottom of the imagine... well, maybe it's just a red status light.

As for the transfer switch, okay for 30$ you can't go wrong.

That's a little neon light plugged into the receptacle for the sump pump. I can just glance over and make sure that the breaker for the pump is still on and hasn't tripped. I have one on my freezer receptacle as well.
--
The more people I meet, the better I like my dogs.


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

said by ptrowski:

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

PM'd you.

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

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.

A combined convection oven/microwave can run on 120v 15A - this gives you all the oven/reheat capacity you need for most things (excluding the 22lb turkey).

A single induction burner device can be purchased for $80 or so. You can boil a full pot of water in 2 minutes if you have the correct type of pots (iron/steel core).

If you have natural gas/oil/propane heating in the house, most people could get by with 6000W generator running just about whatever they wanted that uses 120v circuits. That's a nominal 50A. De-rate that to 40A, and aside from central air and electric fryers and full-sized ranges, you're pretty well covered for an average home.


alkizmo

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

said by MaynardKrebs:

A combined convection oven/microwave can run on 120v 15A - this gives you all the oven/reheat capacity you need for most things (excluding the 22lb turkey).

A single induction burner device can be purchased for $80 or so. You can boil a full pot of water in 2 minutes if you have the correct type of pots (iron/steel core).

That's what I meant. You can live off 120v and/or a smaller generator and still cook. Buying a generator capable of running a full range + lights/furnace/fridge is a bit extreme especially with the cheaper solutions (As mentionned, smaller oven and single burner).

Of course, my generator at 3000W (4000W surge/starting) would necessitate a careful control of what's running if I'd use a cooking appliance @ 15A (1800W) since the furnace blower + fridge already would take nearly 1000W. Add the lights, TV, computer and you have around 3000W, so anything else kick starting would bring it over the 4000W starting wattage.

Considering where I live, I can just go for delivery or take out
A lot of restaurants would still have power as we're near several sub stations. My house however is second to last on a power line, inside a neighborhood where all power lines are surrounded by trees. So I'm at high risk to lose power, restaurants aren't


tmh

@myvzw.com
reply to MaynardKrebs

said by MaynardKrebs:

If you have natural gas/oil/propane heating in the house, most people could get by with 6000W generator running just about whatever they wanted that uses 120v circuits. That's a nominal 50A. De-rate that to 40A, and aside from central air and electric fryers and full-sized ranges, you're pretty well covered for an average home.

I get by with a 3.2 KW inverter genny. Wired in 2/3 of the lights in the house, HVAC, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, HWH (gas, but has a blower), garage doors, internet, laptops and 55" led TV. The microwave, dishwasher, and garage doors are the only ones I have to do some load management. Lights are either LED or CFL.

Why such a small unit? I get 4 hours/gal. With a full tank + 2 x 5 gal gas cans, I get better than 50 hours runtime, or more than 3 days without having to hunt for an open gas station.