Generator and well pump question

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Old 11-18-11, 10:15 PM
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Generator and well pump question

I recently just got a

briggs and stratton 6000 watt generator 7500 surge
http://www.briggsandstratton.com/generators-pressure-washers/portable-generators/detail/?name=6000+Watt&id={1DA487B8-F445-43C3-B392-203A210FB292}

and was going to get an electrician to install a reliance controls 8 circuit panel so I could run my pump and some other things in my house without having to run extension cords every ware
Amazon.com: Reliance Controls 30508B Pro/Tran 8-Circuit 30 Amp Generator Transfer Switch For Up To 7,500 Watt Generators: Patio, Lawn & Garden

my pump
which is a Franklin electric 1/2 horse 230v wired with 2 20 amp breakers

control box
Franklin 2801054915 Control Box, 1/2HP, 230V, 1Phase

I'm not exactly sure but I think it's the right pump because it's the only 1/2 horse pump supported by the pump control box
Franklin Submersible 4" Motor 1/2 HP 230 Volts 1 # 2145059004S

The problem is I have been doing some reading about well pumps and am afraid I have made a miscalculation about surge wattage I assumed it would only have a 3,000-4000 watt surge but it looks like most well pumps need a lot more then that to start. I looked around for the pumps manual but it doesn't say anything about a surge wattage only says it uses about 9 amps while running.

I don't know how to check the surge watts for something that runs on 230v.

So my question is do you think the generator I got will be able to run the pump?
 
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Old 11-18-11, 10:26 PM
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I found this manual on the Franklin website. It looks like you will be find with your generator.

http://www.franklin-electric.com/med...IM_Catalog.pdf
 
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Old 11-19-11, 12:07 AM
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You have the 214505 page 13 of belgarids link.

Looks like your locked rotor amps are 23 amps. Thats what it will take to start it.

23A x 230v = 5290 watts.

Since your gen is a 120/240v it has two windings and uses them both on 240v.

But what does the amps rating plate state on the gen at 240v? Should say 25 amps.

It will start it but I probably would not run any other loads off the gen when running the pump. Turn all other transfer switch breakers off when using the pump.

The 120V lines run off each winding of the gen. The gen is essentially two 3000 watt gens really. The two are hooked in series to get 6000 watts.

Is your gen a floating neutral or bonded neutral? This is important to know. If bonded it needs to be unbonded when hooking to the transfer switch, The electrician should know this, but some electricians dont know diddly IMO.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-19-11, 05:17 AM
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Years ago I had a similar situation. The generator did a better job starting my well pump that what the generators specs indicated. It could even could run some other items as the pump cycled on/off. The killer was when the fridge or chest freezer were starting at the same time the pump cycled on. Soon we learned which circuits could be left on and which had to be turned off.

On a quiet Saturday while the wife was out I did some experimenting I came up with a cheat sheet that I posted next to the breaker panel. It listed which circuits could be on and what appliances used at the same tiem. For example:
A: well pump, clothes washer
B: well pump, some lights & TV
C: water heater, some lights
D: furnace, lights, TV, one stove burner or toaster

Then when the lights go out for real you are prepared and know what you can do.

Since your generator is gas make sure you are religious about it's maintenance and care of fuel. There are many schemes that might work for you or you can come up with your own system.

1. You can keep the generators fuel tank empty and run it out of gas so there is no fuel in the carb. Keep the gas in separate fuel cans making sure to empty one into your car each week or two and refilled to insure that no can of fuel ever gets older than about 3 months.

2. You can put a fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil in the gas which allows you to store your fuel for up to a year. I would start the generator once a month, put some load on it and let it get up to full operating temp and then let it run for another 15-20 minutes to remove any accumulated moisture from the engine's case & oil.

3. Your engine can relatively easily be converted to run on propane, a viable option especially if your house is heated by propane. Propane does not have the long term storage problem as gasoline.
 
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Old 11-19-11, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for the adv everyone never expected to get it so quickly

Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
You have the 214505 page 13 of belgarids link.

Looks like your locked rotor amps are 23 amps. Thats what it will take to start it.

23A x 230v = 5290 watts.

Since your gen is a 120/240v it has two windings and uses them both on 240v.

But what does the amps rating plate state on the gen at 240v? Should say 25 amps.

It will start it but I probably would not run any other loads off the gen when running the pump. Turn all other transfer switch breakers off when using the pump.

The 120V lines run off each winding of the gen. The gen is essentially two 3000 watt gens really. The two are hooked in series to get 6000 watts.

Is your gen a floating neutral or bonded neutral? This is important to know. If bonded it needs to be unbonded when hooking to the transfer switch, The electrician should know this, but some electricians dont know diddly IMO.

Mike NJ
I'm not sure how I would check if its floating neutral or bonded neutral I have a picture of the wiring schematic that came in the manual below



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

my goal of doing this was to run my pump and the oil house/hot water heater combination furnace at the same time so I could have hot water for a shower I wouldn't mind turning everything else off to run the pump and the furnace while using it because it would only run for maybe 10-20 minutes and then I could switch off the pump and use the gens power to run the rest of the circuits on the reliance control breaker

I also have another question the generator manual says the generator can produce up to 50 amps

based on the volts x amps = watts

the 4 120v 20 amp plugs can have a total load of

120 x 20 = 2400 watts

and the 240v plug can have a total load of

240 x 30 = 7200 watts

which doesn't add up to 7500 watts

Years ago I had a similar situation. The generator did a better job starting my well pump that what the generators specs indicated. It could even could run some other items as the pump cycled on/off. The killer was when the fridge or chest freezer were starting at the same time the pump cycled on. Soon we learned which circuits could be left on and which had to be turned off.

On a quiet Saturday while the wife was out I did some experimenting I came up with a cheat sheet that I posted next to the breaker panel. It listed which circuits could be on and what appliances used at the same tiem. For example:
A: well pump, clothes washer
B: well pump, some lights & TV
C: water heater, some lights
D: furnace, lights, TV, one stove burner or toaster

Then when the lights go out for real you are prepared and know what you can do.

Since your generator is gas make sure you are religious about it's maintenance and care of fuel. There are many schemes that might work for you or you can come up with your own system.

1. You can keep the generators fuel tank empty and run it out of gas so there is no fuel in the carb. Keep the gas in separate fuel cans making sure to empty one into your car each week or two and refilled to insure that no can of fuel ever gets older than about 3 months.

2. You can put a fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil in the gas which allows you to store your fuel for up to a year. I would start the generator once a month, put some load on it and let it get up to full operating temp and then let it run for another 15-20 minutes to remove any accumulated moisture from the engine's case & oil.

3. Your engine can relatively easily be converted to run on propane, a viable option especially if your house is heated by propane. Propane does not have the long term storage problem as gasoline.
Thanks for the adv I already put fuel stabilizer in my generators and start them about once a month so the engine doesn't get gummy I choose not to get propane due to the weight and difficultly of finding the fuel. During the last power outage which was the Northeast Halloween snow storm which was a week without power propane was hard to find not available at all times of the day like gas.
 
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Old 11-19-11, 08:35 AM
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based on the volts x amps = watts

the 4 120v 20 amp plugs can have a total load of

120 x 20 = 2400 watts

and the 240v plug can have a total load of

240 x 30 = 7200 watts

which doesn't add up to 7500 watts
On the 120v duplex outlets each one is seperate and runs off a different part of the winding. You can run up to what the breakers are for each of them.

20a x 120= 2400watts out of each outlet. Not sure but you can probably run over the amp rating of the breaker somewhat. So really thats 40 amps total if you add them together but thats.

Gens are overated IMO. If you ran at the 6000 watts constantly I would think the windings would burn out from the heat. but that would be 3000 watts perside and I assume the breaker would trip before that.

When you run 120 loads at your transfer switch half the switches use one half the gen (5 breakers) and the other (5 breakers) use the other half. Its important to balance to loads between both. Dont run 3000 watts on one leg and 0 watts on the other. The gen may vibrate itself apart and break the shaft or something like that. I have never seen it happen though.

As far as the 240 goes you cant exceed the nameplate rating, and of corst the breakers of 20 amp.

240v x 20 amp = 4800 watts.

Your 5290 watts needed to start the pump is a surge so the breaker should not trip because its momentary.

Hope you understand my rambings.


If you search my post for load balance you will see what I did and may understand alittle better.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-windings.html

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-19-11, 10:42 AM
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Ok I see what your talking about know

Although I think it has more then 4800 watts on the 240v plug because it says on the generator specs and right above the plug that its 240v 30 amps which should be

just checked the specs its says 25 amps at 240v continuous so

240 x 25 = 6000 watts

which makes sense and the surge is probably

240 x 30 = 7200 watts
 
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Old 11-20-11, 05:07 PM
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I bought a generac propane generator. 3,250, surge 3,750.

Figured from all my research that there was no way it would start my 1 HP Franklin Submersible Well Pump.

It did start it. I just tested this once, but it seemed fine.

Wired in with an Interlock Kit.
 
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Old 11-20-11, 05:39 PM
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I bought a generac propane generator. 3,250, surge 3,750.

Figured from all my research that there was no way it would start my 1 HP Franklin Submersible Well Pump.

It did start it. I just tested this once, but it seemed fine.

Wired in with an Interlock Kit.
Could you eleborate on your pump?

I find the above statement hard to believe and possibly you found some secret we dont know about.

The smallest starting amp 1hp franklin submersible pump has 41 locked rotor amps. That equates to 41A x 240V = 9840 watts to start it.

How could this be with a 3750 watt gen?

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-20-11, 05:47 PM
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The pump is on a 20amp 240 circuit. I don't know anything about it, but it does say 1 HP on the control box.

You can see why the sudden silt would make me wonder if maybe it shook so hard starting up that it broke the casing or something.

Generator is 20amps, but I have it on a 30amp circuit. Maybe propane generators act differently? Maybe the pump can ramp up slowly and not really need the full starting amerapge. Remember I only did this one test, but it did bring the pressure up.

I'm still not confident in using it again if there's a power outage.
 
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Old 11-20-11, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by so27ma View Post
The pump is on a 20amp 240 circuit. I don't know anything about it, but it does say 1 HP on the control box.

You can see why the sudden silt would make me wonder if maybe it shook so hard starting up that it broke the casing or something.

Generator is 20amps, but I have it on a 30amp circuit. Maybe propane generators act differently? Maybe the pump can ramp up slowly and not really need the full starting amerapge. Remember I only did this one test, but it did bring the pressure up.

I'm still not confident in using it again if there's a power outage.
Maybe the pump wasn't 1 HP maybe they just installed a 1 HP control box and then put in a smaller pump.

Or maybe the pump never started at all what could have happened is a lot of houses have pressure tanks that can provide water pressure to the house for several minutes before the pump has to kick in.

How long did you run the water for?
 
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Old 11-20-11, 06:35 PM
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I ran the tank empty and turned it off. Pressure was below 20psi.

Started up the generator, then turned on the well pump - pressure started to rise and we could hear water flowing. Only ran it for maybe a minute.
 
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Old 11-20-11, 06:46 PM
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The smallest starting amp 1hp franklin submersible pump has 41 locked rotor amps. That equates to 41A x 240V = 9840 watts to start it.
Nope. Locked rotor amperage is the maximum amperage the motor will draw when the rotor cannot turn. Unless the motor is prevented from turning it draws less than maximum and the current drops rapidly as the motor increases in speed.

Sometimes the rotating mass of a small generator is not enough to keep the frequency up (the generator slows down) when trying to start a large load and when the generator slows down it produces less voltage which cascades into a no-start for the motor and a stall for the generator but that is an extremely large load for any given size of generator. A freely turning motor will start with far less than the locked rotor amperage.


Maybe propane generators act differently?
Also a nope. The generator hasn't a clue and doesn't care what fuel is used in the engine turning the generator.
 
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Old 11-20-11, 06:58 PM
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So Furd are you saying that you're not surpassed that my well pump could get going with a 3,750 surge rated generator?
 
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Old 11-20-11, 07:38 PM
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Yes furd you are correct.

After further reading page 5 below from franklin actually states watt requirments powering from a generator.

@ 1HP 2500 watt min. for internally regulated gens and 4000 watts min. for externally rated gens.



http://www.franklin-electric.com/media/documents/M1311_60_Hz_AIM_Catalog.pdf



So locked rotor amps is the draw on a non turning motor? I guess the internal thermal switch trips soon after?


Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-21-11, 05:51 AM
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Generator is 20amps, but I have it on a 30amp circuit. Maybe propane generators act differently? Maybe the pump can ramp up slowly and not really need the full starting amerapge. Remember I only did this one test, but it did bring the pressure up.
I don't think propane would make a difference based on what I've heard propane doesn't produce as much energy when ignited when compared to gasoline.

Nope. Locked rotor amperage is the maximum amperage the motor will draw when the rotor cannot turn. Unless the motor is prevented from turning it draws less than maximum and the current drops rapidly as the motor increases in speed.

Sometimes the rotating mass of a small generator is not enough to keep the frequency up (the generator slows down) when trying to start a large load and when the generator slows down it produces less voltage which cascades into a no-start for the motor and a stall for the generator but that is an extremely large load for any given size of generator. A freely turning motor will start with far less than the locked rotor amperage.


Maybe propane generators act differently?
Also a nope. The generator hasn't a clue and doesn't care what fuel is used in the engine turning the generator.
Thanks for the explanation it explains why some people can start there pumps on smaller generators while others can't.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 07:33 AM
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It could also be that this is a pretty good generator.

My research on the web found a few farm forum discussions. Farmers use a lot of pumping. One thing they said is that it comes down to the specific generator, as much as the rated output of the generator.

Advice I came across is to rent a generator first to try it.

BTW I also have a 110 Hot Tub which heats only via the internal pump/motor. I was concerned about the generator starting it as well. It put a lot more drain on the generator when I started it, it has a very severe startup draw. However it did start as well.

Not sure if that kind of usage is bad for the generator, but I don't plan on running my hot tub in power outages anyway. If however there's an extended outage in the middle of Winter I may need to run it enough just to keep it from freezing.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 07:37 AM
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Old 11-21-11, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by so27ma View Post
So Furd are you saying that you're not surpassed that my well pump could get going with a 3,750 surge rated generator?
I don't know about not being surpassed but I'm not surprised.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 11:06 AM
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Damn spelling autocorrection lol

Thanks everyone. I think I can sleep soundly now knowing that if we lose power for a few days (which happens often to us) we will have water.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 11:11 AM
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I don't think propane would make a difference based on what I've heard propane doesn't produce as much energy when ignited when compared to gasoline.
Propane has less BTUs per gallon than does gasoline but when an engine is optimized for propane as fuel there is NO difference in the power output. You WILL burn more gallons of propane than gasoline for a specific power output

Where the myth about propane having less power than gasoline comes from is from less-than-optimal multi-fuel conversions. Most common is to simply add another venturi (with propane connection) between the gasoline carburetor and air cleaner. The additional restriction from having two venturis in series limits the air/fuel flow to the engine and THAT causes the power reduction. I once converted a Chevrolet Caprice from gasoline to propane and that beast had MORE power on propane than it did on gasoline.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by so27ma View Post
It could also be that this is a pretty good generator.

My research on the web found a few farm forum discussions. Farmers use a lot of pumping. One thing they said is that it comes down to the specific generator, as much as the rated output of the generator.

Advice I came across is to rent a generator first to try it.

BTW I also have a 110 Hot Tub which heats only via the internal pump/motor. I was concerned about the generator starting it as well. It put a lot more drain on the generator when I started it, it has a very severe startup draw. However it did start as well.

Not sure if that kind of usage is bad for the generator, but I don't plan on running my hot tub in power outages anyway. If however there's an extended outage in the middle of Winter I may need to run it enough just to keep it from freezing.
Based on your generators specs
http://www.generac.com/uploadedFiles...SBY_LP3250.pdf

it supports a continuous load of
27A @ 120V 3240 watts
13.5A @ 240v 240 watts

and a Max or surge load of
31A @ 120V 3720 watts
15.6A @ 240v 3744 watts

It probably can run almost anything you can plug into a regular house 120v plug since typically they are on 15 or 20 amp breakers

If the hot tub plugs into a regular 120v outlet it should be able to run it without any problems

It also probably runs your pump because of the explanation given earlier about locked rotor amps.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 12:22 PM
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That hot tub has a huge startup surge. When it comes on all the lights in the house dim.

When we tried it on the generator the generator sounded like it was going to hemorrhage, but it did start.

Is that bad for the generator?
 
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Old 11-21-11, 12:43 PM
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it supports a continuous load of
27A @ 120V 3240 watts
I dont know how true this is running 120v appliances.

The gen has two windings and when powering 120v through the transfer switch you are only using one winding. That would give you 1620 watts per side. If you tried to start a 120v device I dont think you can exceed the gen rating in regards to the 15amp circuit breaker. 15a x 120 = 1800 watts. Thats why there are two 15amp breakers. Each one protects each winding.

running 240v draws off both windings.


Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-21-11, 12:49 PM
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Mike, I'm connected via an interlock kit to a 30amp 240 breaker.

When using 120 appliances should I determine which ones are on which winding by testing outlets, or does a 240 connection to the breaker panel send the power equally to all 120v breakers?
 
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Old 11-21-11, 01:11 PM
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or does a 240 connection to the breaker panel send the power equally to all 120v breakers?
Your 30a 240 breaker supplys 120v to each side of the panal. Normally the breakers in the panal are set up that every other one in the panal gets power from a different side of the panal breaker bar.

I dont know the exact terminology.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-21-11, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
I dont know how true this is running 120v appliances.

The gen has two windings and when powering 120v through the transfer switch you are only using one winding. That would give you 1620 watts per side. If you tried to start a 120v device I dont think you can exceed the gen rating in regards to the 15amp circuit breaker. 15a x 120 = 1800 watts. Thats why there are two 15amp breakers. Each one protects each winding.

running 240v draws off both windings.


Mike NJ
Ya I thought that was unusual I just posted whats on the spec sheet I'm not sure how it's wired although your logic makes sense since it has 2 sets of 120v outlets and each set probably can output a total of 1620 per side.

That hot tub has a huge startup surge. When it comes on all the lights in the house dim.

When we tried it on the generator the generator sounded like it was going to hemorrhage, but it did start.

Is that bad for the generator?
How is the hot tub wired?

How many amps is the breaker for it?

I don't know the specifics of your hot tub but maybe if possible try just turning on the pump first then the heat if possible so the start up surge isn't so high.
 
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Old 11-22-11, 06:23 AM
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I'm in the market for a generator. I've been trying to decide on gasoline or propane. Originally, I was concerned about gasoline shelf life but after doing a little research I've decided to go with gasoline because of it's availability,better efficiency than propane and long term storage is not as big an issue as I originally thought.
 
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Old 11-22-11, 06:31 AM
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Wayne get one that has a switch so you can use 120 only. It puts the windings in parallel. This way you dont have to rewire like I did.

At least you will have it.

I dont have any 240v loads so this worked out well for me.


Although if you get a large gen it may not matter but you still need to balance the loads.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-windings.html

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-22-11, 06:46 AM
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It is a bit of a pain to keep gasoline on hand but it can be done. I keep a number of 5 gallon cans full at all times. When my car needs gas I pour one can into the car and fill it the rest of the way at the station and refill the fuel can. This insures that my fuel at home is no older than about two months.
 
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