Generator question

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  #1  
Old 12-26-13, 07:36 PM
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Generator question

We just survived a 3 day blackout here in Toronto. I got lucky and got my hands on a return that was waiting in front of the store I guess nobody saw it. It's a Champion 3000 Watt Generator
Model Number: 46554 46554 - Champion Power Equipment

Now that the calm is back I have a few questions. I would of rather get something more powerful but all the stores were sold out shelves usually with 10 to 15 generators all cleaned up.

It says in the specs that it can power up a furnace. How is that possible I think that my furnace needs more then 3.5Kw and also what is the best way to wire a generator for a house? I have wires and a central vacuum that runs from the garage to the basement so I removed the insulation foam drilled a hole and ran 2 14 gauge cables that I terminated inside my basement I have 2 separate circuits but I doubt it's up to code since I used "extension" cables that I bought by the foot a few years ago.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 07:57 PM
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What kind of furnace do you have.... electric, propane, natural gas ?

If it uses electric heating coils you won't be able to run it as most of those type furnaces require 7.5KW and up depending on size.
 
  #3  
Old 12-26-13, 08:07 PM
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We cannot guarantee the generator won't have difficulty with a gas or oil furnace also because we don't know how much current a blower (hot air) or multiple circulators (forced hot water) in that model of furnace need.

Check the furnace label or name plate or instructions for the exact running watts and starting watts needed.

A good way to connect a furnace to a generator is to install a box (or two boxes) somewhere along the branch circuit for the furnace. In the box(es) you install one double pole 3 way switch and a male receptacle (inlet).

Connect the common terminals of the 3 way switch to the furnace lead hot and neutral. Connect one traveler terminal on each pole to the panel feed hot and neutral. Connect the other traveler terminals, one on each pole to the inlet hot and neutral.

Use an extension cord to connect the inlet to a receptacle on the generator when you are ready to use the generator.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:19 PM
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You can search this board for the terms interlock or transfer switch to get some ideas about generator wiring requirements.

Post back with more furnace information and additional questions.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:26 PM
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The furnace is a Trane XL90
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:28 PM
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But what is the heat source.....fossil fuel or electric.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:33 PM
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Condensing Gas Furnace Fan Assisted Combustion System
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:43 PM
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I run my furnace, refrigerator, television (with DVD), computer with Internet and a few lights all from a 2800 watt, 120 volt inverter generator with no problem. I can also use either my counter top convection oven OR my microwave oven (but not both) at the same time. Furnace is a two-stage, variable speed Lennox gas model with hot surface ignition.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:44 PM
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You are probably just powering the igniter and a small fan motor. There should be a dataplate on the unit to tell you the amp draw.

I have heard some circuit boards do not like the dirty power some generators produce.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:47 PM
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Ok....so that Trane unit is gas fired. There will be a plate on it with it's requirements but it should fall in the 8-9 amp range which is roughly 1000-1200 watts.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:50 PM
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Here are the specs for the furnace
 
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Old 12-26-13, 09:41 PM
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2 amperes at 120v is 240W, even smaller than I expected. You would clearly have no problem running it.
 
  #13  
Old 12-27-13, 07:55 AM
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The 2 amp number is the igniter. The blower is 14.5 amps (1740 watts) full load and 25 amps (3060 watts) locked rotor, worst case starting.

You may also run into difficulty with that high efficiency furnace not liking the "dirty" power from a portable generator.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 08:55 AM
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OK I think that will be a bigger project that I thought. I had in mind to get the 65000W now I'm wondering if the store that I bought it from would take mine and exchange it for a bigger one. Also I can get that 3300W generator 3,300W Gasoline Generator | Princess Auto for $175 a friend of a friend bought this generator last summer when we had the floods and used it twice and like most people he realized that you can't do what you are hoping to do with a low wattage generator. So I was thinking if I can get it for $150 to have 2 generators one assigned to different loads around the house or one good 6.5kW generator would be better?
 
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Old 12-27-13, 09:10 AM
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Would feeding the furnace controller straight from the generator work? I had issues a few months ago with the controller not working and to troubleshoot it I undid the wires that feed the controller and used a 120v outlet and in that case the AC started right away that was in the summer. That was my post http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-marettes.html
 
  #16  
Old 12-27-13, 09:40 AM
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Here is a switch for extension cord power to a furnace. Watch the first video and you will see how to connect to a furnace with a separate control circuit.

EZ Generator Switch | Manual Transfer Switch
 
  #17  
Old 12-27-13, 12:07 PM
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I had a thread going somewhere in the forum about power quality and being able to run my boiler. The newer appliances have a lot of electronics that will need some decent quality power. You will get the best with an inverter generator.
 
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