Portable Generator Questions

Old 10-31-12, 06:52 AM
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Portable Generator Questions

I recently purchased a portable generator that I eventually will have an electrician tie into my house by transfer switch. My question relates to how much I can run on it. Purchased this generator during emergency northeast weather a couple days ago so I did not have any options on sizes as this was absolutely the only one I could get quickly.

Briggs and Stratton Storm Responder 5500 Watt Running, 8250 Watt Surge.

Question #1 - Total Watts of items I want to tie into generator is 5200. The item with highest usage by far is 2250 watts running and 4500 watts surge. Can I run all of these items at the same time on the 5500 watt generator since the total is 5200 or is that cutting it too close? Does the large surge from the large item come into play here?

Question #2 - Am I able to tie all of these items to my generator but choose which I want to run? Maybe by simply turning the breaker switch off and on as needed while power is out?

Thanks for any help.
Old 10-31-12, 08:18 AM
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Starting with your second question, what you can do is use a transfer switch box that has multiple circuit switches. The one I have has 6 switches and those go to specific circuits in the main panel, so it limits what I can run without having to pick and choose in the main panel. One of the electrical pros should be along with more guidance and the answers on the loads you can service.

This is the equipment I have:

Generator Transfer Switch Kit (6 circuits) - 4 pc. - Sam's Club
Old 10-31-12, 09:20 AM
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You don't say what your big-demand item is but if it's a well pump you might be disappointed. I was. I bought a portable with a capacity well over the calculated demand but when I tested it with ONLY the well it stalled the generator like I had rammed a crowbar in it. Seems these "affordable" generators have low rotating mass that can't get over the hump of a high-inrush-current device like a water pump or a welder. If your biggest demand is a range or other resistive load you should be fine.

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