Time for a new portable generator

Root Cause

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For anyone interested in what a new generator does and what limits are acceptable, I did some digging tonight. Do your own research but this is what I found from a couple of sources that looked reputable. Here is one.


My takeaways were:
-60 Hertz +/-3 Hertz and 120v +/- 10% are limits for sensitive devices.
- Generators are set at the factory to run at 60-62 at no load so it will drop to about 60 under 50% load.

I got my Westinghouse 12500 today and started it up using propane and then plugged in my meter under no load. Hope this helps.
 

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TheMan419

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This is a good thread to go back and learn about everything you need to know about genny's because there is more than one answer and there are more questions to be asked.

At the least, I think you would want a 240v 30amp plug on the genny. Then add up the other things (watts) you deem critical to see how much more you tack on to the pump. Whether you want a standard genny or an inverter to better protect your sensitive equipment will affect the price as much as the brand you choose.

Good luck searching.
I have a 6900 running watt generator. I have an interlock and sub panel installed by the electrician.

well runs just fine off of it. However I would not want to run the well, coffee pot, fridge and pumps for the boiler all at the same time.

for those of us who are on well water we need a generator quite a bit larger than those not on well water.

fortunately the heat portion of the boiler and the water heater are natural gas fired.
 

fried1765

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One local well company said he loves people that run wells on 3,000 watt and or cheap generators. After the last storm he made the most money he ever has…from pulling well pumps and replacing them.

their recommendation is never use less than 7,500 watt gen if running a standard well system. Some of the newer ones with computerized soft starters are alot more tolerant of smaller generators, but can be harmed by cheap generators.

pick your poison. He said one customer just paid over 6 grand to pull well pump and replace pump on deep water well. I guess the harbor freight generator didnt quite pay for itself this time.
I have a Porter Cable Honda powered 3500W generator (non inverter).
Though I have never used it for such, I fully expect that it will start and run my 1HP Goulds shallow well pump.
All other electric items will be off when the pump starts/runs.
I suppose I should test it.
I also have a 6500W Honda.......just in case!
 

rontaki

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I bought a Champion 100520 last year to deal with the PSPS in California, and other outages as well. I am totally happy with it! Always starts with the push of the switch, even if left to sit for 6 months. The starter battery holds it's charge well. I wanted inverter so as not to fry any of the numerous electronics it powers while on. Why take chances? If a device is operated on dirty power, excess heat can be made in the device, potentially damaging it.

At the time, I wanted a dual-fuel inverter generator, Westinghouse was at the top of the list. However, none that were CARB legal could be found anywhere I searched. No one would ship a non-CARB legal model to me in the Goldilocks State. It was a time of a dearth of generators that fit my needs for output and clean power.

When I saw the 100520 for sale, I jumped on it. It's gasoline only, to be honest I have not missed the ability to power it on propane. I am fortunate to have a source of ethanol-free gas nearby, and that is all I have ever used in it. Just recently we had an outage due to equipment failure. The tank was half-full of 6-month-old gas. I hit the start switch, it fired up instantly.

It's noisy, but not that bad. I run it near the house and can hardly hear it with the windows closed, which I do to keep exhaust out.

As far as hooking it into the house, I contacted two electricians to update my power panel to accommodate a whole house switch. They both flaked. So I made a suicide cord to plug the 240V into an unused dryer outlet, keeps the well and anything else (within reason) running just fine. I am beyond religious in disconnecting the house from the mains, and in never exposing live metal on the suicide cord. It requires mindfulness, but I've never had a problem. I will say that my main panel connects to the utility power via an ancient setup with cartridge fuses, so when I pull those I have very clear visual confirmation that the utility is disconnected.
Also needed using this method of connecting is turning the dryer circuit off when not actually transferring power from the generator into the house wiring.
Please, please do not use a suicide cord unless you fully understand what you are doing and why, and will always abide by the proper procedure to connect and switch things. It's just not worth killing yourself or others.

A good source of information on portable generators is GeneratorBible.com - Leader In Portable Generators Stats & Comparison
 

John_Mc

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If all you are concerned about is our router and computer, don’t waste your money on an inverter generator. Buy a robust UPS instead. The generator only charge the batteries, and they don’t care about dirty electric and then the batteries run an inverter which puts out clean wave form electric.
Not all UPS units work this way. Some feed the grid AC power directly to whatever you've got plugged in to it, and only switch the the battery & inverter setup when the power goes out. The type you described is a better solution for protecting sensitive electronic devices. You just have to make sure that's the type of UPS you are buying.
 

orezok

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Not all UPS units work this way. Some feed the grid AC power directly to whatever you've got plugged in to it, and only switch the the battery & inverter setup when the power goes out. The type you described is a better solution for protecting sensitive electronic devices. You just have to make sure that's the type of UPS you are buying.
“Robust” was the key.
 
  
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TheMan419

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I bought a Champion 100520 last year to deal with the PSPS in California, and other outages as well. I am totally happy with it! Always starts with the push of the switch, even if left to sit for 6 months. The starter battery holds it's charge well. I wanted inverter so as not to fry any of the numerous electronics it powers while on. Why take chances? If a device is operated on dirty power, excess heat can be made in the device, potentially damaging it.

At the time, I wanted a dual-fuel inverter generator, Westinghouse was at the top of the list. However, none that were CARB legal could be found anywhere I searched. No one would ship a non-CARB legal model to me in the Goldilocks State. It was a time of a dearth of generators that fit my needs for output and clean power.

When I saw the 100520 for sale, I jumped on it. It's gasoline only, to be honest I have not missed the ability to power it on propane. I am fortunate to have a source of ethanol-free gas nearby, and that is all I have ever used in it. Just recently we had an outage due to equipment failure. The tank was half-full of 6-month-old gas. I hit the start switch, it fired up instantly.

It's noisy, but not that bad. I run it near the house and can hardly hear it with the windows closed, which I do to keep exhaust out.

As far as hooking it into the house, I contacted two electricians to update my power panel to accommodate a whole house switch. They both flaked. So I made a suicide cord to plug the 240V into an unused dryer outlet, keeps the well and anything else (within reason) running just fine. I am beyond religious in disconnecting the house from the mains, and in never exposing live metal on the suicide cord. It requires mindfulness, but I've never had a problem. I will say that my main panel connects to the utility power via an ancient setup with cartridge fuses, so when I pull those I have very clear visual confirmation that the utility is disconnected.
Also needed using this method of connecting is turning the dryer circuit off when not actually transferring power from the generator into the house wiring.
Please, please do not use a suicide cord unless you fully understand what you are doing and why, and will always abide by the proper procedure to connect and switch things. It's just not worth killing yourself or others.

A good source of information on portable generators is GeneratorBible.com - Leader In Portable Generators Stats & Comparison

Yeah I would never use the suicide cord. I would mostly trust myself to do it right everytime, but not Mrs. TheMan. She would back feed and blow something up the first time she did it on her own.

The house currently has an interlock and the barn will have either that or a transfer switch. Electrician to decide which one is appropriate.

Thankfully we do not have the power company voluntarily cutting our power here to avoid fires. We just have wind, snow and tornados to take down trees and/or poles and/or substation equipment to cause outages.

The last storm that came through here knocked about 25K homes off line. For some reason it took them the better part of 2.5 days to get everyone back on line. Thankfully we were not impacted by that particular storm.
 

grsthegreat

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i had one customer , a few years back, that used his portable gen with a suicide cord WITHOUT A MANUAL INTERLOCK... did it for years without any issues.

i got involved as i sold him and installed a new auto start backup generator. reason he bought it was because he forgot to unplug generator, and forgot to shut off main breaker, when power came back up. blew the generator to pieces.
 

LittleBill21

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i had one customer , a few years back, that used his portable gen with a suicide cord WITHOUT A MANUAL INTERLOCK... did it for years without any issues.

i got involved as i sold him and installed a new auto start backup generator. reason he bought it was because he forgot to unplug generator, and forgot to shut off main breaker, when power came back up. blew the generator to pieces.
So he was on his own transformer? i have almost never seen that around here.
 
 
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