PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ?

   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #21  
I used a portable generator with a 6 circuit transfer switch wired to "critical" appliances for several years, and made it through several outages just fine,then the ice storm of '09 handed us a 10 day power outage and we needed more than the 6 circuits that were wired to the transfer switch. I got tired of dragging extension cords from room to room.
We installed a 20K generator and automatic whole house transfer switch in the spring of '10 and have been very happy with it. The power goes off, it comes on, no dragging out the generator, no hoping there is plenty of fresh gas in the can, just have to sit in the dark for 30 seconds and everything is back to normal.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #22  
In the past I used a GenTran transfer sub panel and an outside receptacle with a 30A 4 prong twistlock. That worked fine.

A while back, my electrician suggested a way that replaces a section of breakers on the panel and is technically a whole house 50A full power unit. I now have a 50A outside receptacle, a cord that connects into the basement panel. When the power goes out I have to flip a lever in the panel (to prevent backfeed) and start the generator. I then flip the breakers according to what I want to operate.
Power hasn't gone out since but I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. You know the drill.

Same here - my main panel is a Schneider QO and I installed a generator sub panel that takes the same breakers. The sub is connected to the main via a 60A breaker in the main and a generator/mains interlocking switch in the sub. I just moved the circuits (breakers and all) I wanted to have protected over to the sub. The generator connection goes out on a 6/3 to a Generac 6341 power box and then a monstrous Generac 6330 cord.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #23  
ctgoldwing and darkhorse. I don't know how plain english confuses you but sixdogs is and should be complimented for properly wiring the generator connections .
Darkhorse, how you feel makes no difference about electricity, the laws of physics, real danger and the law of the land. Do you suppose that National Electrical Code mandates a proper break before transfer switch and a inherently safe power cord without exposed live components without valid reasons?
Should myself and other electrical professions standby and say nothing while you endanger life and property?

No, but if you had some "bedside manner" it would be a heck of a lot easier to convince people to do things the correct way VS screaming at them. You catch more flies with courtesy. :rolleyes:
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #24  
In the past I used a GenTran transfer sub panel and an outside receptacle with a 30A 4 prong twistlock. That worked fine.

A while back, my electrician suggested a way that replaces a section of breakers on the panel and is technically a whole house 50A full power unit. I now have a 50A outside receptacle, a cord that connects into the basement panel. When the power goes out I have to flip a lever in the panel (to prevent backfeed) and start the generator. I then flip the breakers according to what I want to operate.
Power hasn't gone out since but I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. You know the drill.

I've got the same thing except mine is a 30A receptacle. We had a power outage about a month after I installed that setup. It happened in the morning while SWMBO was getting ready for work. I went out to the garage, drug the generator around to the side of the house, plugged it in, fired it up and all was well with the world again .... She was able to dry her hair!! LOL!

I was also able to keep my internet connection up which is critical for my job.

About 2 hours later I went out, unplugged the generator and then flipped the switch back in the house. Power was back on. That's the only downside to this sort of setup - you can't tell easily when the power is back on. But the $1500 I have invested in this vs. the $7-10k for a whole house, automatic generator is a good trade off!!
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #25  
I picked up a diesel powered light tower , its 6 kw , Ever since I got it , the electric hasnt gone off.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #26  
Moss. There are people who take a great deal of pride in working around and violating the rules. They seem to think it makes them some sort of "Robin Hood Hero" to be be above and outsmart the law. The more you tell them why not to, the more determined they become to be "right" and do it "wrong". These people see using a double male ended suicide cord as something that an ordinary person can not.
If a person is doing something foolish, dangerous or illegal, they are doing something foolish, dangerous or illegal. How do you sugar coat that ?

You tell them once and move on. ;)
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #27  
I picked up a diesel powered light tower , its 6 kw , Ever since I got it , the electric hasnt gone off.

Aint that always the case? :laughing: Its like washing a car to make it rain.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #28  
Moss. There are people who take a great deal of pride in working around and violating the rules. They seem to think it makes them some sort of "Robin Hood Hero" to be be above and outsmart the law. The more you tell them why not to, the more determined they become to be "right" and do it "wrong". These people see using a double male ended suicide cord as something that an ordinary person can not.
If a person is doing something foolish, dangerous or illegal, they are doing something foolish, dangerous or illegal. How do you sugar coat that ?

And thinking about it, a lot of it is folks that just want to get some power in a rare emergency. Its about people capable of turning off switch A before applying power to circuit B. And its about people not wanting to pay over-priced electricians who try to sell them something they don't want or need. Not everyone needs a disconnect switch. And plenty of folks are capable of thinking for themselves.

Simplest way to do it is put twist-lock plugs on your majors, like furnace and well pump, then run them off extension cords on a portable generator if you lose main power. All you really need is heat and water in an emergency, and that doesn't require a transfer switch, its not half-arsed, and its not illegal nor against the code.

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   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #29  

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   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #30  
And thinking about it, a lot of it is folks that just want to get some power in a rare emergency. Its about people capable of turning off switch A before applying power to circuit B. And its about people not wanting to pay over-priced electricians who try to sell them something they don't want or need. Not everyone needs a disconnect switch. And plenty of folks are capable of thinking for themselves.

The issue with back feeding is that if you forget to have the main breaker off when the generator is on, you can kill or injure linemen working on the problem. I know everyone who does it understands what they need to do to do it safely, but forgetting is always unintentional.

Lowes had the Homeline interlock kit on clearance for $14, it only took me about 20 minutes to install it. Simple and easy. 10-3 and a plug is not expensive, and it's not prohibitively hard enough to run. Now if I forget something (leaving the AC breaker on or running the dryer!) the worst that can happen is a blown breaker, not the deaths of people out in a storm in the middle of the night working to restore my power.
 
 
 
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