portable generator installations help

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  #1  
Old 11-08-11, 12:21 PM
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portable generator installations help

After this past weeks power outage here in the northeast, i am thinking of getting a portable power generator.

However, i have no idea what i need. I'm planning to have this installed by a electrician.

I would like a portable unit to run a 16 ft. refrigerator,maybe a couple lights. Ideally,I'd like to run my gas 2 zone hot water heating system also.

I have no idea what size generator i would need,or components needed for a basic ,no frills system.

I came here because, on reading up on generators and installations,sizes,etc. has me baffled,

Thanks for any help and suggetions
 
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Old 11-08-11, 02:41 PM
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Note that new appliances, furnaces, etc. have electronic controls which may not work on the electricity generated by an old style generator. They are now selling "electronics friendly" generators. I would suggest getting one of those.

They also make generators for construction sites which have "GFCI" protection. And those for home back-up which do not. Or instructions with the GFCI models so that you can modify them for home back-use and use the appropriate "transfer switch".

As for how much power you will need at a minimum, you will need to make a list of the watts (or amps) of each thing you want powered. This should be on the labels.

For different brands, search google.com for the following words including quotes...
"electronics friendly" generator
 
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Old 11-09-11, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for your reply I'll check out some more.
 
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Old 11-11-11, 08:34 AM
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O.K. I have some more questions.

If i want to run my 18 cu.ft refrigerator (watts unknown), and two 60w lights,can i reasonably expect a 4500-5500 gen. would handle the load?

Is it acceptable to run a AC line from the generator to a pwr.strip in the house to supply these devices?
 
  #5  
Old 11-11-11, 10:24 AM
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Yes that should handle a regular home refrigerator and a few lights.

You can run a long extension cord outside. For the cord, go to a home improvement store and get a "construction" 12 or 10 gauge extension cord. Don't go by the size of the insulation on the outside of the cord, only buy it if it says 12 or 10 gauge wire!

These are expensive for a 50 foot cord. Then connect a "3 outlets to 1 plug" adapter to the end of that.

Power strips have circuit breakers on them which might trip at 15 amps. But the extension cords above are good for 20 amps (2400 watts).

3 outlets to 1 plug adapter, no circuit breaker...

 
  #6  
Old 11-11-11, 08:44 PM
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I've had a 5000 W portable generator for over 10 years. I used it to power two refrigerators and one upright freezer, several lights and my forced air gas furnace. I was careful to hook up the refrig/freezers individually, so they would not all three be trying to start at the same time. The generator was adequate for my load. I have worded all of this in the past tense, as I have since replaced the old manual start unit with a 8000/12000 KW electric start generator.
 
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Old 11-12-11, 07:43 AM
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Thanks Bill190 and thiggy for the info.

I have gas for stove,and hot water tank,so all i need is some AC for the fridge,radio,and a couple of lamps.
 
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Old 11-12-11, 07:53 AM
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If i want to run my 18 cu.ft refrigerator (watts unknown), and two 60w lights,can i reasonably expect a 4500-5500 gen. would handle the load?
You have to understand if you are hooking the gen up through the 120/240 line it splits the gens windings. A 5000 watt gen is actually two 2500 watt gens. And you really need to balnce the load and not overload. So you need to add your stuff up. If you put a refridge that needs like 1400 watts to start and say anoth 1000 watts on that same leg IMO you will have starting issues on the appliances.

I dont know the code but a gen that uses bot windings and has a 30 amp all 120v outlet is a better option as long as you dont have any 240v appliances to power.

But the other trick is getting 120v to feed the whole panal. I dont know the code on that.


Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-15-11, 12:03 PM
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Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I guess I'll have to research this some more
 
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