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North, VA
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: generator cord for electric stove

said by IowaCowboy:

I just bought a new Kenmore electric stove earlier this year and it has a cooktop with electronic controls for the oven. The burners are electronically controlled as well even though it uses knobs for the burners. I also installed a transfer switch a few months ago and I did not hook the stove circuit into the transfer switch. I would not run a stove (particularly a newer unit) on a generator as there may be fluctuations in voltage and it could cook the electronics in the stove.

Just go to the local Walmart and buy a hot plate and a cheap toaster oven. You don't want to fry a $700 appliance.

Anything with a glass cooktop is going to have electronic controls to regulate the temperature even if it is controlled by knobs.

I've run 2 tv's, 2 Directv Receivers, 2 computers, 2 modems, 2 printers and my electronically controlled cooktop on my generator since 1997 (cooktop since 2003) with no problems with the electronics.

Iowa native
Springfield, MA
·Verizon Broadban..
The reason I say this is the OP is using a 5500 watt generator, which has a 30 amp receptacle. An electric stove (depending on the kW rating) can be anywhere from a 40 amp circuit to a 50 amp circuit (50 amps particularly if it has a double oven).

A 30 amp receptacle can go up to 7200 watts for the receptacle itself. The wattage of the generator itself is a whole different ballgame. Most generators up to 5000 watts have a 20 amp receptacle and generators between 5000 and 7500 watts have a 30 amp receptacle. When I installed my transfer switch »www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···n-rT81SU , I used the 240 volt 20 amp circuit for my electric baseboards in the ground level of my unit. The circuit that they are on is a 240 volt 20 amp circuit. When I run the heat on the generator, I am going to have to turn off everything else on the generator or I'll risk overloading/damaging the generator or a fire. Any 240 volt heating appliance is going to use a good portion of a portable generator's capacity. If you wanted to run a stove during a power outage, your best bet would be to have an electrician install a properly sized permanent standby generator since those come in all shapes and sizes. The best time to install these is during the summer in good weather. Portable generators are typically limited in size until you go towards the ones that are mounted on trailers. Some are large enough (particularly ones used to power carnival rides at state fairs) that they occupy a semi trailer. Anything larger than that would have to be permanently installed.

The nice thing about permanent standby generators is a properly sized unit can power a house at the level of normal utility power. The reason I don't have one is finances right now.

I bought my portable generator during the October snowstorm so I was limited to the units that were shipped in (Briggs & Stratton Storm Responder series 5500 watts capacity). Otherwise I would have bought one with a metal fuel tank instead of that cheap plastic one that I have. I would have probably bought a Generac as well since they specialize in building generators or a nicer Briggs & Stratton with a metal fuel tank.

The propane Generator from Generac would have been nice as propane is easier to store and obtain during outages (blue rhino exchange sites in a desperate situation) but it only goes up to 3250 watts (barely enough to power one baseboard heater).


Carlisle, PA
said by IowaCowboy:

The propane Generator from Generac would have been nice as propane is easier to store and obtain during outages (blue rhino exchange sites in a desperate situation) but it only goes up to 3250 watts (barely enough to power one baseboard heater).

I wouldn't bet on that. From talking with friends in North Jersey propane was as hard to come by as gasoline. The Blue Rhino racks were out (and not replenished) and those that would fill them also had long lines and limited supply. People were using them for their grills, portable heaters, and maybe even camping stoves.

Best solution I could think of is to store and rotate out 20-25 gallons of gas. Not as bad as it sounds as you can just put it in your car every other or 3rd month, 5 gallons at a time.

In fact, in light of Sandy (even though we didn't get hit), I'm planning on picking up another 2 5 gallon cans to bring us up to 27 gallons on hand. We've got the space and it will give us roughly 60 hours of generator run time or a week at 12 hours a day.

Caldwell, NJ
I bought that Generac propane generator a few days after the storm hit. Living in North Jersey, gasoline was tough to get, but propane was easy for us. The local Home Depot and Sears Hardware had the tank exchanges available every time we went. Plus the local garden center was able to refill the tanks with no issue. I guess it depends on where you,live.

As for the generator, I had it wired in through a transfer switch. We have oil heat, a gas hot water heater and stove, and a gas dryer. So the generator was able to keep us reasonably powered up. We just didn't turn everything on at once, and my wife and daughter had to do without their hair dryers.

The big plus side for me with the propane generator is that there is no refills with a gas can. It is as easy as replacing the gas tank on the grill.