Portable generator powering most of house in power outages.

  
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#21  
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J.Wal

J.Wal

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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.

You bring up a good point. The main could fail and backfeed. Luckily the power back alarm I have will inform me similar to how the light lets you know!
 
   #22  

rbstern

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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

Nice implementation.

Curious: Seems like you might have been within reasonable range, price-wise, of a Champion standby unit. Did you consider one as an alternative?
 
  
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#23  
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J.Wal

J.Wal

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Nice implementation.

Curious: Seems like you might have been within reasonable range, price-wise, of a Champion standby unit. Did you consider one as an alternative?

I got a quote on a natural gas standby with auto switch, installed was quoted $11,750.... not worth all that. I can run all but my 5 ton AC and oven/ stove. Does all I need.
 
   #24  

rbstern

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I proved a natural gas standby with auto switch, installed was quoted $11,750.... not worth all that

That's outrageous gouging!

Similar setup, except propane instead of NG, was quoted locally for me by a Generac/Champion dealer at $5.5K, just a couple of months ago. I thought it was a bit high. That was for a 11KW genny and 200A auto transfer. Pretty sure I could have gotten it done with an 8.5KW unit for less, particularly if I had hired an electrician to do the install.
 
  
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J.Wal

J.Wal

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That's outrageous gouging!

Similar setup, except propane instead of NG, was quoted locally for me by a Generac/Champion dealer at $5.5K, just a couple of months ago. I thought it was a bit high. That was for a 11KW genny and 200A auto transfer. Pretty sure I could have gotten it done with an 8.5KW unit for less, particularly if I had hired an electrician to do the install.

This company quoted a 14KW Cummins standby generators. That was if I had it on the side of the house near bedrooms and if the natural gas meter I had would be big enough to run it all.

I can make due around the AC and oven/ stove not working with the portable.
 

DieselBound

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Nice writeup!

I managed to finally get a gen setup recently. The KEY was the interlock! I have a manufactured home, which means I have a main panel that's outside the house. I needed to be able to power more than just the house. Key is the pump house. Now I've got a garage (have had a shed too), and this is served by the main panel. Everything from this panel can be run from the generator now.

It was a couple years back that I'd picked up my generator, a 1993 Onan/Cummins 7.5kW (DKD), with a Kubota diesel. I have on-site storage of diesel fuel, so generally I have ample fuel. And I'm a diesel guy :D Wasn't until I got my garage built that I was able to tie everything together: generator sits on a concrete slab next to the garage and plugs into a box off the side of the garage- the box goes into conduit that runs away from the garage and over to the service panel.

Be sure that if you are going to run your generator back-feeding your panel that you un-bond the neutral (referred to as "floating neutral"). The neutral needs to go from the generator head to your panel and NOT tie into any ground on the generator. This is important as there should only be ONE neutral path (and that will be at the panel): a proper neutral path is what can save your life. When set up this way the generator should NOT be used as a standalone generator: I removed the outlet boxes off my generator so that there's no way someone could use it standalone (still need to label it such). Check with your equipment manufacturer (info, or call): could be a simple jumper or rewire; could be that it can't be done- ground and neutral are tied in the generator head?

For figuring when power is restored, I'll know by seeing lights come on at the neighbors.:D
 
   #27  

Katahdin

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Converting to a gas water heater will help you a lot to keep the generator load manageable. I can get by pretty comfortably with a 5.5KW generator, including powering a well pump. The key factor is my hot water and main heat comes from an oil burning boiler. Fossil fuel appliances help keep generator requirements small.

I would think you could run your electric oven, and/or AC, if you keep your other loads to a minimum and switch to the most efficient lighting possible. Its amazing what a 9 watt LED bulb can illuminate these days.
 
   #28  

TheMan419

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Converting to a gas water heater will help you a lot to keep the generator load manageable. I can get by pretty comfortably with a 5.5KW generator, including powering a well pump. The key factor is my hot water and main heat comes from an oil burning boiler. Fossil fuel appliances help keep generator requirements small.

I would think you could run your electric oven, and/or AC, if you keep your other loads to a minimum and switch to the most efficient lighting possible. Its amazing what a 9 watt LED bulb can illuminate these days.

Yeah I can run pretty much everything I need/want because the hot water and boiler are natural gas fired.

Stove is electric. When this one craps out will run a gas line to run a gas stove and cook top.
 
  
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#29  
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J.Wal

J.Wal

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Converting to a gas water heater will help you a lot to keep the generator load manageable. I can get by pretty comfortably with a 5.5KW generator, including powering a well pump. The key factor is my hot water and main heat comes from an oil burning boiler. Fossil fuel appliances help keep generator requirements small.

I would think you could run your electric oven, and/or AC, if you keep your other loads to a minimum and switch to the most efficient lighting possible. Its amazing what a 9 watt LED bulb can illuminate these days.

I had to convert my water heater to natural gas to free up room for a dedicated generator breaker. This puts my main heat and hot water on natural gas.

I have all LEDs. Only way to go for sure!

The 5 ton generator won’t run off my generator, but I can run multiple window units and have no issues.
 

Reload5

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I had to convert my water heater to natural gas to free up room for a dedicated generator breaker. This puts my main heat and hot water on natural gas.

I have all LEDs. Only way to go for sure!

The 5 ton generator won’t run off my generator, but I can run multiple window units and have no issues.

That's one HEAVY generator!!! :laughing:
 
 
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