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  1. #11
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    151
    Location
    Pensacola Fl
    Tractor
    Kubota bx2200, L3940

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    Add up your requirements and you'll see you need a lot more than 4000 watts. A water heater alone uses 4000w. Well pumps use a lot of watts and motors like in fridges required a high start amp draw. You probably need something in the 8-10 kw area.

    I have a 7.5 kw for my place and it ran the water heater, fridge, lights, fans, computers, everything but the range and a/c. I recently moved and now have a gas water heater so my 7.5 kw is overkill and a waste of resources. However, if you err, err on having too much power.

    mark

  2. #12

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    i have had numerous generators over the years, when i first moved here i had very frequent power outages, now that i have obtained all the necessary equipment and transfer panel, etc we dont seem to have them as often. to answer your question, you need to think about the things that need to run at the same time, you dont need to run the water heater all the time, you dont need to run the well pump all the time, so try to group the uses so that you can run a few things at a time (use less power need smaller generator), that is where the transfer switch allows you to turn off different items and turn on others. the other option is to buy enough generator to run everything at once (you will also need to store fuel).

    the next thing to think about is how often do you experience power outages, once a month, once a year, and how long do they last, a few hours, days, and third who is going to run the equipment, you , your wife, your kids.

    with these questions answered you can start to make your choices. if you need reliable power for prolonged periods then you may invest more in the setup. if it will need to run when you are not home, and your wife/kids would be challenged to turn off and on the different circuits then you need to go whole house (larger generator), would your wife/kids be able to hook up the pto generator, maybe not, so a independant unit would be best for them. on wheels in the garage, so they can easily move it outside and plug it in and start it (you may need electric start).

    a friend of mine just put in a self contained unit, auto transfer switch, nat. gas powered. so his family will not have to touch it, it will just run, and even if no one is at home it will work.

    so you see you have a lot of deciding to do depending on the use, and the intended operator. i have taught my daughters and wife how to hook up the generator, they can wheel it outside, plug it in, start it, switch the load over to the gen circuits, and i practice with them 3-4 times a year so they remember if i am not here to do it. my generator will run the house pretty much except the airconditioning( and i could hook that up if i needed to).

    as far as hot water you wont need to heat it as it will stay hot for some hours, unless you use it a lot or the power is out for an extended period. the coleman will be relegated to the reserve status soon as i have found a winco dyna trifuel for a song. so i will be moving up to the 9kw range as the fellow needs to move and cant take the generator with him and needs to unload it quickly, hardly used, electric start so the girls can handle it easily.

    i would allow you and your pocketbook to make the decision about what to buy, i have been fortunate to find things that were a good deals and so i havent invested a lot in the generator sets. get a good installation on the transfer panel and you are set.

    i dont know if i have helped you with my ramblings, good luck.
    alex

  3. #13
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,207
    Location
    Montana (Near Bozeman)
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    Alco and Skipperbrown
    You guys have been great with your advise, it is much appreciated.
    Re-thinking my needs, only a few items need to be working at one time and with the transfer switch the lower watt generator may work just fine. Will also look at price range of the upper units. The power outage times per year are not many. You only need one big one and you will have some big repair bills. In Montana the outage occures in winter which compounds the problems.
    PJ

  4. #14

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    dont forget to include the transfer panel in the cost, also unless you are handy you will need someone to hook it all up. the gentran panel i have is an easy hookup, i did not have the time so i had an electrician do it, he had it done ifn about 4 hours. check out the web site to see if this would be something that you would tackle, they have instructions posted.

    and good luck, the generator has been good for my family and home. also remember that you will need to store fuel for the generator unless you go with a propane or nat. gas unit. and this adds to the cost also.
    if you have any other questions this board has been very helpfull.
    alex

  5. #15
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    151
    Location
    Pensacola Fl
    Tractor
    Kubota bx2200, L3940

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    What a lot of guys here along the coast do is back feed their generators through a 240v plug. Usually the clothes dryer plug. However, you MUST MUST MUST break the line to your power company or your generator will try to light up the neighborhood grid and you will electrocute an unfortunate lineman who is repairing the fault. Generally, this is done by flipping the main circuit breaker at the entrance service or the failsafe method is to remove the meter. It ain't code and it ain't OSHA, but it is very effective and a lot cheaper than a transfer switch.

    Of course, I personally have never done such a thing.
    mark

  6. #16
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,207
    Location
    Montana (Near Bozeman)
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    Great advise, thanks
    PJ

  7. #17

    Default ABSOLUTELY DONT BACKFEED A GENERATOR!!!

    backfeeding a generator is a very bad idea, is directly prohibited by the national electric code, is extremely dangerous to you , your loved ones, a well intentioned neighbor, you utility workers, you could kill someone, in which case you would be held criminally responsable and could go to prison. you could burn down your house, which your home owners insurance may not cover it due to your recklessness, you could set your generator on fire, a costly proposition. i would definately suggest that you put in an approved transfer switch, dont turn an inconveniece into a major tragedy, always do it the proper way, the life you save may be your own, or your local utility worker.

    i have seen this talked about on various forums, every electrician who has responded has said the same things i have. IT IS ALWAYS SAFER AND CHEAPER TO DO THINGS THE PROPER WAY IN THE LONG RUN.

    ALEX

  8. #18
    Super Member Inspector507's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    5,817
    Location
    Central Ohio

    Default Re: PTO generator what i run?

    Whatever you do.........DON'T skimp on a tranfer setup of some kind. Go to a smaller generator and power up one less piece of equipment if you have to. With electricity, going the cheaper or easier route could be deadly. The one time you forget to manually disconnect the back feed will be the time some unsuspecting lineman trying to restore your power will get it.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,207
    Location
    Montana (Near Bozeman)
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: ABSOLUTELY DONT BACKFEED A GENERATOR!!!

    I couldn't agree with you more. Good commentary, thanks.
    PJ

  10. #20
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    24,061
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: ABSOLUTELY DONT BACKFEED A GENERATOR!!!

    Yes, that is very good advice.

    There was a major tornado outbreak here last October. Many many people had generators running and I doubt that 1% of them had them hooked up legally OR correctly. Several fires and cases of several houses mysteriously getting power. Turned out it came from a neighbor's generator back feeding the main lines.

    There was also a case of someone running the generator in a garage. The dad went to work and the wife started the generator and closed the garage door because so many generators were getting stolen. The dad called home and got no answer. He called someone else to go to the house and check on them. Twin girls passed out on the couch and the mom sprawled out on the kitchen floor. Fortunately, they were able to revive them and they all recovered.

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