Generator maintenance

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Old 06-05-06, 07:37 PM
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Generator maintenance

I've had several people tell me I need to run my new generator at least 20 minutes a month to avoid having problems with it when/if I need it. If I keep it covered, no oil/gas in it, why would I need to? The generator is a 5550 Watt Troy-Bilt. Can anyone tell me if this is true?

Also, (for anyone in the Tampa Bay, FL area) Does anyone have any idea what it would cost to install a transfer switch for this? just looking for a general idea to decide whether or not its worth considering.

Thanks.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 07:46 PM
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I would run it a half hour or so every few months a least just to keep it functional and lube it and dry moisture out.

you either need a tansfer switch or use extension dords directly to what you are powering . dont try to tie it into you electrical panel without a switch or you could wind up zapping a utlity worker by bakcfeeding power where it really shouldnt be .
 
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Old 06-05-06, 07:50 PM
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thanks for the quick reply....any idea of what the cost to install would be? I can get a transfer switch where i bought the generator at for about $235.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 07:57 PM
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Keeping the generator dry may not do it much good. I'd hate to know a hurricane came through and I had to scramble to get my generator oiled, gassed, battery charged, etc. while more important things were going on.
I can't emphasize too much what mango man said about a transfer switch. Install one. Here, again, too simple to have and not need it than to need it and have to scramble.
We had one of our guys killed during Ivan because some dipstick hooked a generator directly to the hot legs of his breaker panel. The voltage coming in stepped down 100 to 1, but when 120 volts went backwards, it became 12000 volts.
I have a dual fuel which allows me to use propane. Rather than refueling every 2 hours, it ran straight for several days during Ivan, without having to worry about it.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 07:58 PM
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My post crossed yours. $235 is cheap.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler
My post crossed yours. $235 is cheap.
Yea, it is but its the install price that'll kill you.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 02:26 PM
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Yep, you're right. But in any event, have it done professionally. It will look neat, it will be installed correctly, and at the end of the day, every one goes home safe.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 06:23 PM
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You should run the generator _under load_ about once a month for 15-20 minutes, or long enough for it to reach full temp.

Running it keeps the moisture collected 'burned' out, which it will collect whether it has gas/oil in it or not.
It also keeps the generator head magnetically 'charged' (this according to my generator manual).

Once you've had gas/oil in it, you should really keep gas/oil in it, and keep the gas tank full, this will reduce the amount of moisture in the tank.

The _parts_ for a whole house transfer switch are pretty cheap, but since the meter must be pulled to install it, you should get a pro to do it, and it shouldn't take him more than an hour to do so.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 07:30 PM
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Am I kidding myself about the ease in installing a transfer switch?

I found this link to Reliance Controls. If you watch the installation video, it appears extremely easy to install. I've replaced circuit breakers, added new circuits with no problems. Any thoughts?

http://reliancecontrols.com/ProductDetail.aspx?30216A
 
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Old 06-06-06, 08:12 PM
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If you use this type manual transfer switch (which I have, also), you can install it without pulling the meter, as each circuit is looped from the transfer switch to the breaker and back. Follow all instructions, and be safe. If any doubt call a pro.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 08:19 PM
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Chandler,

I do feel comfortable installing this but don't know if a permit is required for a transfer switch? I do want it to be legal. Did you install your switch yourself?
 
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Old 06-06-06, 08:22 PM
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you need to contact your building dept , whats legal in Clearwater may not be legal in tampa .
 
 

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