Portable generator powering most of house in power outages.

   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #11  

LouNY

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Jul 4, 2015
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Greenwich, NY
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Branson 8050, IH 574, Oliver 1550 Diesel Utility (traded in on Branson)
Really excited to finally get everything set up. Figured I would share my setup with everyone. Using a portable generator to back feed panel. Safety panel interlocks in place!

Total cost right at $2,570

I often loose power due to living so far out in the country. Until now I have had to run extension cords through the house and used a 3,050 watt generator to power an AC window unit, WiFi, fridge/ freezer, deep freezer, phone chargers. Real pain to run all the cords and all that.

So to solve all this I purchased a Champion 9,200 watt ( model 100110) generator, 2 Geninterlock.com interlocks ( specific to needs), 2 extension cords,One for 50 amp house feed, one for 30 amp for shop/ apartment over shop.

Generator $1000 Lowe’s
Electrical work $1000
Generator interlocks $69 and $64 plus shipping
50 amp 10’ cord and inlet box $160
Inlet box for shop $43
30 amp 100’ cord for generator to shop/ apartment $180
Power back alarm $45

The generator interlocks are the most important part of the setup IMO. This setup requires a 2 pole 50 amp breaker to be placed in the breaker box. The interlock kit makes it impossible to have both the main breaker and generator breaker on at the same time. It will only allow one or the other at a time. This prevents the generator for back feeding the main power lines or the generator and main line both attempting to power the house at the same time.

I did have to replace my electric water heater with natural gas so that I could free up 2 poles in my breaker box. That was extra cost but not required by most folks.

So, power goes out, I turn on the power back alarm ( notices me when main line is reenergized) and turn off the main breaker and all other breakers off.... go to garage and plug up house side of extension cord and thread the collar onto the inlet box so it can’t be pulled out. Plug the other bed into generator. Next I start generator and go back to breaker box. I double check the main is off, slide the interlock over and turn the generator breaker on. I then turn on all 110 breakers one at a time with a pause between them to allow the generator to recover for items coming on line.

I walked my wife through setup and break down of this tonight. I also printed off instructions.

I will have to add instructions for running the 100’ cord across to the inlet box on shop. It will allow me to power the apartment over the shop for my renter.

The champion 9,200 watt is a beast for less than $1000! I turned on every light in the house, 4 ceiling fans, 1 deep freezer, 1 fridge/ freezer, 1 110 window unit, one large eye on cook top, and 1,000 watt microwave and was only pulling 3 to 5 power bars of the 7 available. I consider this to be a overall great investment. Will make life much easer!

I do plan to get a 30 gallon drum to store fuel in. Every 6 months I will fill my truck up from the drum and refill it with fresh fuel.
Parts list
Generator
9200-Running-Watt Portable Generator with Engine Shop Champion Power Equipment 92-Running-Watt Portable Generator with Engine at Lowes.com

Power back alarm
Reliance Controls Corporation THP108... Amazon.com: Reliance Controls Corporation THP18 PowerBACK! Mains Return Alarm: Home Improvement

50 amp 10’ power cord and inlet
Conntek GIB1450-015 50 Amp... Amazon.com: Conntek GIB145-15 5 Amp DUO-RainSeal Kit NEMA 14-5P 4 Prong Temporary Power Cord with Inlet Box, 15': Garden & Outdoor

Shop 30 amp inlet box ( bought on amazon)
30 Amp Generator Inlet Box, AI-PB30 Power Cord Twist Lock Receptacle | eBay

30amp 100’ cord for shop to generator at house
L14-3 Generator Extension Cords

Generator interlock site
https://www.geninterlock.com

View attachment 565429

View attachment 565430

Nice setup, just having it will act as insurance as has been said.

Looks like you have Millington TN as your home area, I spent most of year down there back in 1971 at Millington Navel Air Station going to Avionic school, enjoyed the area.
At that time if I headed east and northerly the county got rural rapidly.
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #12  

s219

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Virginia USA
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Our power back on alarm what a great idea! I checked out the website, however, and the reviews for that particular one we羆*e a bit iffy. Will have to pursue this, because we have a portable generator for our rental cottage, and I am wondering how the renters can tell when the power is back on?

I've never had the chance to test this, but I believe my power meter on the outside of the house will tell me when the power comes back on. It has a digital LCD display and a little blinking arrow that is supposed to indicate how fast power is being used (sort of like how you could watch the speed of the wheel on an older mechanical meter). Like I said, we haven't had an outage long enough to bother with the generator, but next time I am home during an outage and can watch the meter, I want to verify that the display goes off and/or the arrow disappears when the grid power is off, and then comes back on when power is restored. Of course I'd have to monitor that during a real outage to know when the power comes back on but no big deal. As a low-tech indicator, it would be fine.
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #13  

thepumpguysc

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South Carolina
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Injection Pump Rebuilder
I think its funny that the alarm runs on a battery.. with all that juice around..lol
I understand "how" it works, I just think its funny..
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages.
  • Thread Starter
#14  
OP
J.Wal

J.Wal

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Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
174
Location
Millington TN
Tractor
Kubota Grand L3130
Happy to do the write up. I would have done it years ago if I knew it was able to be done safely at this price.... thankfully a neighbor told me he back feeds his home through his stove outlet and I went from there. He didn’t do it as safe with interlocks and such, but I wanted it to be as fail resistant as possible for the safety of linemen, family and property.

It’s nice insurance for sure. In the last couple months with the summer time storms I have been without power 4 times... 2 of them for 20 hours, one for 6 and the 4th time was the day before the electrician finished everything up of course.... that was a 10 hour outage.

Our power back on alarm – what a great idea! I checked out the website, however, and the reviews for that particular one we’re a bit iffy. Will have to pursue this, because we have a portable generator for our rental cottage, and I am wondering how the renters can tell when the power is back on?

By the way, those safety switches ate just great, and so very, very simple. On ours, it is a circle rotates back-and-forth between the main power and the generator power. It has only one slot in it, so it will not allow both switches to be on at the same time.

I love clever technology, especially when it is simple, mechanical, and totally reliable!

Now, let us see what I can find out about a reliable power back on alarm…

I read the reviews and it seemed that most were from improper install. Even my electricians helper didn’t install it correctly in the beginning. I had to go in behind him and wrap the “antenna” much tighter. But, I think once installed correctly as mine is, it should be good to go. Easy install and removal if I do have a problem.

Nicely done JW.

As guys have commented, you may well now see the flip-side of Murphy's Law :thumbsup:. Either way, you win.

2 minor points..... s219 was heading to run his for exercise - esp. if you don't have regular outages, make sure to run your gen at least every 3 months - I think of it as "going to the gym" - good for keeping things limbered up.

On it's own, pump gas tends to deteriorate after about 30 days. Rotating fuel is always a good idea, but I'd strongly recommend using a fuel stabilizer in your gasoline all the time. Any stabilizer should be good for at least a year, and if your gen has a metal tank, read up on Stabil 360 if you haven't come across it before. If available, IMO it's worth buying ethanol free fuel.

^ May be preaching to the choir :), but those 2 points have caused plenty of people grief.

You sound to be pretty well set up already, but if you like to read up on what other people have done, drop by this thread:

https://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/oil-fuel-lubricants/271843-your-last-generator-maintenance-run.html

I started it a few years ago, primarily to remind myself to exercise my gens. Along the way, it has accumulated a lot of interesting installation info from all sorts of people.

Rgds, D.

I plan to get a sheet of paper like you often see in a bathroom that the janitorial service uses to document when they have cleaned the restroom. I will have one for the generator and one for my fuel storage. I will write the date and my initials every time I cycle the fuel and run the generator for 10 min or so.

My generator has a metal tank. It and my stored fuel are hit with 360 already. I do plan to 100% cycle fuel every 6 months by filling my truck then refilling the fuel storage container so I keep fresh treated fuel on hand!

Nice setup, just having it will act as insurance as has been said.

Looks like you have Millington TN as your home area, I spent most of year down there back in 1971 at Millington Navel Air Station going to Avionic school, enjoyed the area.
At that time if I headed east and northerly the county got rural rapidly.

I have spoke with several people through the years that went to the base here back in the day. If you have a little memory of the area, I am as far north west in Shelby county as you can get. Out near the state park boat ramp.

I've never had the chance to test this, but I believe my power meter on the outside of the house will tell me when the power comes back on. It has a digital LCD display and a little blinking arrow that is supposed to indicate how fast power is being used (sort of like how you could watch the speed of the wheel on an older mechanical meter). Like I said, we haven't had an outage long enough to bother with the generator, but next time I am home during an outage and can watch the meter, I want to verify that the display goes off and/or the arrow disappears when the grid power is off, and then comes back on when power is restored. Of course I'd have to monitor that during a real outage to know when the power comes back on but no big deal. As a low-tech indicator, it would be fine.

I believe you are correct. The reason I wanted the power back alarm is because I don’t want to have to go outside to check if power is back. I will get a super loud alarm and wherever I am in the home I will know main line is back!
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #15  

nbking

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Location
Sonora, CA
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Happy to do the write up. I would have done it years ago if I knew it was able to be done safely at this price.... thankfully a neighbor told me he back feeds his home through his stove outlet and I went from there. He didn’t do it as safe with interlocks and such, but I wanted it to be as fail resistant as possible for the safety of linemen, family and property.

It’s nice insurance for sure. In the last couple months with the summer time storms I have been without power 4 times... 2 of them for 20 hours, one for 6 and the 4th time was the day before the electrician finished everything up of course.... that was a 10 hour outage.



I read the reviews and it seemed that most were from improper install. Even my electricians helper didn’t install it correctly in the beginning. I had to go in behind him and wrap the “antenna” much tighter. But, I think once installed correctly as mine is, it should be good to go. Easy install and removal if I do have a problem.



I plan to get a sheet of paper like you often see in a bathroom that the janitorial service uses to document when they have cleaned the restroom. I will have one for the generator and one for my fuel storage. I will write the date and my initials every time I cycle the fuel and run the generator for 10 min or so.

My generator has a metal tank. It and my stored fuel are hit with 360 already. I do plan to 100% cycle fuel every 6 months by filling my truck then refilling the fuel storage container so I keep fresh treated fuel on hand!



I have spoke with several people through the years that went to the base here back in the day. If you have a little memory of the area, I am as far north west in Shelby county as you can get. Out near the state park boat ramp.



I believe you are correct. The reason I wanted the power back alarm is because I don’t want to have to go outside to check if power is back. I will get a super loud alarm and wherever I am in the home I will know main line is back!

I too went to Millington for my aviation electrician AE training for the Navy in 1989. Small world
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #16  

3930dave

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8,449
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Canada
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Ford 3930
I plan to get a sheet of paper like you often see in a bathroom that the janitorial service uses to document when they have cleaned the restroom. I will have one for the generator and one for my fuel storage. I will write the date and my initials every time I cycle the fuel and run the generator for 10 min or so.

My generator has a metal tank. It and my stored fuel are hit with 360 already. I do plan to 100% cycle fuel every 6 months by filling my truck then refilling the fuel storage container so I keep fresh treated fuel on hand!

Visible Checklists :thumbsup:

I don't have good luck with Paper outdoors (buildings) here, and some things are more "visible" to me electronically, but that's just me. Plenty of options work - a board nailed to a wall and a Sharpie would do fine.... and there are various nagmail sites where you can program reminders.

You are generator aware, so likely are planning to exercise with the household load engaged. Sadly, even a lot of the late-model auto-run systems don't seem to do that.

Keep us posted...... Odds in Vegas are high that you will now have no outages for a long time :).

Nicely done,

Rgds, D.
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #17  

PILOON

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While my essentials are on the generator,(freezer, fridge pump and septic) I only have a couple of household circuits gen powered.

My method to be know that hydro is back is to turn on a light on a non generator powered circuit. A radio plugged in will loudly advise me that hydro has returned and to switched gen circuits back to hydro service.

LOL, I once did not use generator and instead simply went to bed only to be waken in wee hours when the blaring TV announced hydro was back in servce.
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #18  

shooterdon

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I use a feed to he panel box as well. But I have two generators. 11kw Honda with electric start and 5kw pull start. I also have a little 900 watt model that is handy for using the electric pole saw for trimming
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages.
  • Thread Starter
#19  
OP
J.Wal

J.Wal

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Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
174
Location
Millington TN
Tractor
Kubota Grand L3130
I use a feed to he panel box as well. But I have two generators. 11kw Honda with electric start and 5kw pull start. I also have a little 900 watt model that is handy for using the electric pole saw for trimming

I have a 3,050 watt Chicago equipment ( off brand) generator I am gonna sell to a buddy now that u have my big one.
 
   / Portable generator powering most of house in power outages. #20  

Clint S

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Feb 1, 2011
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Location
Parish NY
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555DTC Farmall 200
I've never had the chance to test this, but I believe my power meter on the outside of the house will tell me when the power comes back on. It has a digital LCD display and a little blinking arrow that is supposed to indicate how fast power is being used (sort of like how you could watch the speed of the wheel on an older mechanical meter). Like I said, we haven't had an outage long enough to bother with the generator, but next time I am home during an outage and can watch the meter, I want to verify that the display goes off and/or the arrow disappears when the grid power is off, and then comes back on when power is restored. Of course I'd have to monitor that during a real outage to know when the power comes back on but no big deal. As a low-tech indicator, it would be fine.
This is correct, no display on the meter no power, UNLESS you were back feeding. I have had two breakers in my life still let power through even when off. The first one bit me. There will never be a second, I always test now. Both were electric dryer breakers, not that I think that matters. If it's night the power pole up the road has a light on it that's all the alarm I need. LOL . It is a pin to keep ling out to look.
 
 
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