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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've brought this up before at The Other Place. I can't seem to buy a generator. I look at them, research them, have big plans, then I don't do it. I think I don't because I overshoot. I have decided I don't want to deal with a transfer panel and a large generator - I don't have any place to put it. But I do want something small and reliable and portable. Something I can get back and forth from the shed, or bring to a friend's house who needs it or to one of my volunteer events or something.

But in a pinch, it could be used to run a fridge or a couple space heaters or a sump pump.

So, throwing the big Plug Right Into The Electrical Box options out, I feel like I am much, much closer to going ahead and getting one. But I think it's an important tool to own for emergency or survival readiness planning.
 

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Before I got my 15kw whole house, I had (and still do) a Craftsman 8kw unit. It ran a refrigerator, chest type freezer, a few lights when necessary, and my well pump. If I were you and was not going the whole house route, I would get at least an 8kw. Down here in FL, we have lots of experience with power outages..... :eek:
 

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My work buddy has one that he can run his fridges and freezer off...and we take it to work and run miter saws/skilsaws/lights off it....remember fuel stabilizer so it doesn't become gummed up......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
speaking of well pumps (I forgot about that one), if that's hard wired, would you need some kind of transfer panel just for that to be able to run off a generator? Or might there be an easier solution?
 

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No. All you do is get you some Romex 10-2 with a ground. Wire one end male to fit the generator, and strip the other end, so you can separate the wires, and leave about 3/4 inch stripped on the end of the white and black wires. Then, when you lose power, throw the breaker to the pump, and hook up the Romex in the power box at the pump....then crank up the generator, and it will start pumping. Of course, figure out where you're going to put the generator and don't make it too far from the pump....or the house, for that matter. A good 8kw unit should give you 110 outlets and 220 outlets....I am NOT an electrician, nor do I play one on TV....but that's how I used to do it....now, with the whole house unit, the pump, air conditioner, and everything in the house except the stove and washer & dryer are on generator. The only downfall is the 15kw runs on LP gas....expensive.....so I have to use it judiciously..... :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You're making me nervous now!
 

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You can backfeed a 220V generator back thru a 220 plug in your house. If you do that kill the main breaker in your house so you don't backfeed out beyond your house and zap one of the lineman trying to repair the lines. You can easily accomplish by adding a 220 plug next to your electrical panel and using a double male 220 extension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Terry_P said:
You can backfeed a 220V generator back thru a 220 plug in your house. If you do that kill the main breaker in your house so you don't backfeed out beyond your house and zap one of the lineman trying to repair the lines. You can easily accomplish by adding a 220 plug next to your electrical panel and using a double male 220 extension.
So how is this different than a transfer panel? Probably cheaper to have done. But that's my understanding of the transfer panel, really. Although I've never seen one. I pictured it being a box off to the side of the main box, with a switch inbetween. Power goes off, you flip the switch, plug in the generator and a number of pre-selected breakers can run off the generator. Is that basically it? And Terry's solution is just simpler: add a 220 plug, power goes out, turn the power off and plug the male/male in from the generator, then I guess turn off most of the breakers and turn on just the ones you need to run or can run with the generator? Can it really be that simple?
 

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Eddie, with a transfer panel, when the power goes off, there is a 15-30 delay, then the switch is automatically kicked over to the generator. When the power comes back on, it automatically switches off the generator and switches back to incomming power. Do yourself a big favor...have it done on a whole house. I saw a gaurdian 15kw unit in Home Depot for $2000...another $1000 to have someone install it. Better still, find an elect. company that sells generators and get a quote from them. Home Depots installers are outrageously high....Should not cost more than $3000 - $4000 tops.....

The problem with what you just described, is that when the power comes back on, some poor lineman that is working on getting you electricity restored a block away, is going to get ZAPPED, or worse, when the feedback comes from your portable.....Not good!!!!!
 

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:? Of course You guys realize that what You are discussing, is not completely "legal" ?!?? You may run any thing You wish, off Your own generator, but when You start doing "reverse feeds", or breaker box connections, You better check local codes !! Just pulling the main breaker, doesn't quite meet requirements. I helped a friend install a surplus military 45,000 watt unit for his chicken houses, ( farm ) & the safety switch it "Legally" required, cost more than the whole rest of the job ! Be careful !! :shock:
 

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Wizard said:
Eddie, with a transfer panel, when the power goes off, there is a 15-30 delay, then the switch is automatically kicked over to the generator. When the power comes back on, it automatically switches off the generator and switches back to incomming power. Do yourself a big favor...have it done on a whole house. I saw a gaurdian 15kw unit in Home Depot for $2000...another $1000 to have someone install it. Better still, find an elect. company that sells generators and get a quote from them. Home Depots installers are outrageously high....Should not cost more than $3000 - $4000 tops.....

The problem with what you just described, is that when the power comes back on, some poor lineman that is working on getting you electricity restored a block away, is going to get ZAPPED, or worse, when the feedback comes from your portable.....Not good!!!!!
I don't understand how that will happen if you kill the main breaker before you turn on the generator and turn the generator off before you flip the main back on.
 
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