Emergency Home Generator

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by wrenrj1, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    I'm remodeling the basement (walkout) and have the opportunity to wire in an auxillary box for an external emergency generator. I picked up a 7500 watt box with 6-8 circuits to be wired in to the house's fuse box with an external plug outside. It's a fail safe system to avoid putting power into the grid.

    The circuits I plan on running are the furnace (gas, for a 1500 sq. ft. home.) basement (with beer fridge, bedroom, microwave, computer, bedroom, bathroom) and kitchen upstairs. My thought is that the basement would be the place to stay if major SHTF, meaning here, tornado, or ice/snow storm, or zombies, if something happens in the summer (Nebraska), the basement would be the logical place to be for temperature Flooding would not be an issue unless Noah started hanging flyers on my door.

    I realize that not all of these circuits will be running at full capacity, and I'll have to be mindful of running certain things at certain times. My current generator, a 5K will need to be replaced due to no 220v connection, just four 120 outlets. I found a Rigid (home depot) generator for just under $1K with output of 6800 watts with a Yamaha engine that may be the replacement generator. I don't want a perminent generator and realize that fuel may be an issue, but I'll overcome that with planning.

    Ok, what am I missing?
     
  2. Carolina Drifter

    Carolina Drifter CLM

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    I have the same size generator and I wonder what all it will run.
     

  3. uhlawpup

    uhlawpup l'Italia s'è desta

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    I finally got a home generator, and went with a Generac portable 18KW continuous. Why?
    Well, I live in a townhouse, so mine had to be portable. I wanted the possibility of running on more than one fuel, so I had the Generac fitted with tri-fuel capacity; that is, it runs on gasoline, natural gas, or propane.

    I then had a gazinta (technical term) wired into my main breaker box. Code requires that you must not be able to feed from the generator unless the main circuit breaker to the outside lines are thrown. The guy that did it got the proper kit for my breaker box. I also had him plumb a fitting near my natural gas meter to feed the generator.

    So, this is how it works. If the power fails, I wheel the generator out, hook its hose up to the natural gas gasoutta, hook the super-sized extension cord to the generator and the gasinta, and then fire up the generator. When the motor settles down, I throw the main breaker off, and the generator breaker on. House sees 220 from the generator. It really works well.

    Bottom line is, make sure you wire your breaker box so that you can't possibly feed power to the outside circuits. You won't hurt anyone if you don't, but the guy tells me it takes only a few seconds to fry a generator if you're trying to power the entire neighborhood with it by not turning off connection to the outside grid.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  4. fireguy129

    fireguy129

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    The transfer switch prevents linemen who are working on a "dead" line from being zapped by your generator.
     
  5. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    ulawpup,

    Gazinta = transfer switch.

    Using a tri fuel system = less than optimal power from the genny.


    'Drew
     
  6. j-glock22

    j-glock22

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    How much $$$ are you putting into the switch? I'd match that with a quality generator rather than a cheaper one. I've heard stories of such...
     
  7. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    The box I bought was about $350.00. I came with 6-8 breakers, wiring, and an outside 220 plug. Its set-up is such that it turns off the house's breaker box when it is turned on, thus avoiding power going into the grid.
     
  8. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    That is the theory but I seriously doubt that has ever happened. Unless they are working on your drop you are going to run power back into all your neighbors, blow the breaker and be done. Besides, a main breaker that does not open is unlikely and a problem in itself.

    $1k seems pretty high for a 7.5kW. Keep shopping around and watch Craigslist.
     
  9. Front Sight

    Front Sight Front Sight

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    You want a Honda EU6500iSA around $5000. It is an inverter so you won't damage your electronic motors or your computer. It will put out 6500 watts and is extremely quiet with an electric start. 120/240 volts.
    You don't want a generator to run your appliances.
     
  10. Tru7h

    Tru7h

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    You're missing a battery array. No generator system is complete if it has to run constantly when the power is down.
     
  11. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    I'm looking at a Rigid brand Yamaha motor generator that puts out 6800w continuous power. I'd like an inverter generator but the cost is prohibitive. While I agree with you about inverter generators, I haven't heard about issues with basic generators powering homes during an event.