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Thread: Please help in sizing generator for basic use

  1. #1
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    Cool Please help in sizing generator for basic use

    During these unprecentdeted times a generator is a a great idea anyway I have.someone close to me that asked.for help, but I honestly do not know the proper size that would be appropriate for him... all he really want to keep.going would be the gas furnace ,.refrigerator and one room. It is a 2500 square.foot house. Anyone got some advice, I. Open ears. Thank.you all.

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    Furnace, fridge and a couple lights, 5KW.

    Of course, no A/C.
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    FYI, become knowledgeable with the terms "floating and bonded" when it comes to the Neutral of a prospective generator and or how it is connected to the home electrical system. People do not realize that not all generators are the same and many WILL NOT work with the electronics of the furnace, especially the flame rectification or flame proving aspect of todays furnaces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slctech View Post
    FYI, become knowledgeable with the terms "floating and bonded" when it comes to the Neutral of a prospective generator and or how it is connected to the home electrical system. People do not realize that not all generators are the same and many WILL NOT work with the electronics of the furnace, especially the flame rectification or flame proving aspect of todays furnaces.
    Too expand you need a “Clean” sine wave that only better gems produce. This clean sine wave is needed anytime a computer is on the circuit. 2 of your 3 items on the list use computers.

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    I have a manual standby generator 9 KW propane ( outside unit ) and transfer switch. I have to manually exercise it, it’s around 9 years old. Had to use it a few months ago ( for the 1st time ever in real worlds Scenario ) as we lost power. It would not run my invertor drive refrigerator. My regular chest freezer was not a problem. As mentioned need a clean sine wave to run those fancy invertor refrigerators.

    What I know now I would have bought a portable generator, and just wheeled it outside to exercise it, mine I had mice chew up my electrical one time, another time something built a mud nest inside the GFI breaker in the generator and when I accidentally tripped the breaker and tried to reset it, it would not reset. Found out the mud nest was near the contacts ( after opening it up ) and got into the contact point mechanism to where it would not reset. It was not like that breaker is sold at Home Depot stores. It’s a very expensive specified breaker ( GFCI ) even went to couple electrical supply house and they did not carry that type breaker. Had to order online. Between worrying about the AGM battery going dead, would have been more easy and troublefree getting a portable hooked to the transfer switch. I’m like your friend I just need to run bare bone essentials.

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  8. #6
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    Cut the bs, get a good whole house generator with a proper automatic transfer switch. A Kohler 25kw does my 3000 sq ft. house, boiler, 2 AC systems, electric dryer, electric oven, (3 load shed). Runs everything without a hitch-all electronics, Tekmar controls, etc.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    Cut the bs, get a good whole house generator with a proper automatic transfer switch. A Kohler 25kw does my 3000 sq ft. house, boiler, 2 AC systems, electric dryer, electric oven, (3 load shed). Runs everything without a hitch-all electronics, Tekmar controls, etc.
    I was looking at going with a Generac back in 2007 (working for a company that was a Lennox/Generac dealer) when I built my home. Had a NG line ran out to a pad and was just about ready to pull that trigger. But changed my mind. I instead decided on not marrying myself to a whole home system that I would have to service and exercise monthly or annually.

    Because I, personally, know enough, I, just ran a suicide wire and UL rated manual transfer switch and set-up a system that I can run ANY ordinary generator to take care of the bare necessities (fridge, freezer, furnace, and kitchen lights). So I keep a jennie in the garage, that is NG/LP/or gasoline and if I need to wheel that SOB out and plug her in I can. And if it takes a sh!t, hell can grab any other one and plug her on in.

    So I do not think just because some of use prefer a separate generator and bare bone system over a whole home system should be ridiculed or our preferences judged as Bull Sh!T as you would put it. I take that kind of personally, just so you know.

    I am very happy that you have a whole house system that can do everything under the sun. But do not ridicule those of us who just wish to keep the food in our fridge and freezers from going bad and pipes freezing in our homes. I honestly could care less about the creature comforts of AC, washing or drying cloths, and cooking on a range...I do not love my wife that much...LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by slctech View Post
    I was looking at going with a Generac back in 2007 (working for a company that was a Lennox/Generac dealer) when I built my home. Had a NG line ran out to a pad and was just about ready to pull that trigger. But changed my mind. I instead decided on not marrying myself to a whole home system that I would have to service and exercise monthly or annually.

    Because I, personally, know enough, I, just ran a suicide wire and UL rated manual transfer switch and set-up a system that I can run ANY ordinary generator to take care of the bare necessities (fridge, freezer, furnace, and kitchen lights). So I keep a jennie in the garage, that is NG/LP/or gasoline and if I need to wheel that SOB out and plug her in I can. And if it takes a sh!t, hell can grab any other one and plug her on in.

    So I do not think just because some of use prefer a separate generator and bare bone system over a whole home system should be ridiculed or our preferences judged as Bull Sh!T as you would put it. I take that kind of personally, just so you know.

    I am very happy that you have a whole house system that can do everything under the sun. But do not ridicule those of us who just wish to keep the food in our fridge and freezers from going bad and pipes freezing in our homes. I honestly could care less about the creature comforts of AC, washing or drying cloths, and cooking on a range.
    I wouldn't use the term suicide cord in an open forum. People might get inquisitive.
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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    I wouldn't use the term suicide cord in an open forum. People might get inquisitive.
    Hahaha yeah I can see that now!
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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ServicefitterNY View Post
    During these unprecentdeted times a generator is a a great idea anyway I have.someone close to me that asked.for help, but I honestly do not know the proper size that would be appropriate for him... all he really want to keep.going would be the gas furnace ,.refrigerator and one room. It is a 2500 square.foot house. Anyone got some advice, I. Open ears. Thank.you all.
    Do you want advice for a portable generator or a standby generator.

    Also keep in mind that inductive loads have large inrush currents so you want the generator oversized. For standby I would highly recommend a 22kw generac. If you absolutely have to cut cost you could do a 16kw, but I wouldn’t go any lower than that since with the 16 you are still getting 1L twin cylinder engine. BTW I think the latest model of the 16 is advertised as 17 but whatever it’s basically the same thing.
    "I think Quantum tunneling would work great... "

    "Call a technician for God's sake. Or we'll see you on the news or the Dark Side of the Moon."

  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    I wouldn't use the term suicide cord in an open forum. People might get inquisitive.
    But he said "wire" not cord 😉

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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    But he said "wire" not cord ��
    So...I'm the bad guy
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Why is it that those who complain the most contribute the least?
    MONEY CAN'T BUY HAPPINESS. POVERTY CAN'T BUY ANYTHING

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    So...I'm the bad guy
    Only if you have intensions for said "cord" 😜

  20. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slctech View Post
    I was looking at going with a Generac back in 2007 (working for a company that was a Lennox/Generac dealer) when I built my home. Had a NG line ran out to a pad and was just about ready to pull that trigger. But changed my mind. I instead decided on not marrying myself to a whole home system that I would have to service and exercise monthly or annually.

    Because I, personally, know enough, I, just ran a suicide wire and UL rated manual transfer switch and set-up a system that I can run ANY ordinary generator to take care of the bare necessities (fridge, freezer, furnace, and kitchen lights). So I keep a jennie in the garage, that is NG/LP/or gasoline and if I need to wheel that SOB out and plug her in I can. And if it takes a sh!t, hell can grab any other one and plug her on in.

    So I do not think just because some of use prefer a separate generator and bare bone system over a whole home system should be ridiculed or our preferences judged as Bull Sh!T as you would put it. I take that kind of personally, just so you know.

    I am very happy that you have a whole house system that can do everything under the sun. But do not ridicule those of us who just wish to keep the food in our fridge and freezers from going bad and pipes freezing in our homes. I honestly could care less about the creature comforts of AC, washing or drying cloths, and cooking on a range...I do not love my wife that much...LOL
    First of all I wasn’t talking to you or ridiculing you. If you thought so please work on your reading comprehension. Nor were my comments toward anyone with knowledge or the desire to jerry rig their own system.

    Sounds like the OP was looking to help a friend decide what to do. And based on what apppears to be his and his friends' limited knowledge is how I based my comments. He also basically said he was 'all ears', so comment on his post and don’t worry about what I posted unless the information was incorrect or dangerous.

    To clarify, and again, not towards you so you don’t feel 'ridiculed', or 'triggered', the best and safest solution is to automate the process.
    You’ll need a gen, a transfer switch, run gas lines, run power lines, permits, etc. All the labor required is basically the same to do that, regardless of size. Actually it’s easier to do whole house rather than break out of the panel just certain circuits to use with the gen. I added load shedding just to be safe, but when I ran the gen to test it under load, I turned on everything I mentioned above, including about 40 high hats with old school bulbs and it worked fine.
    The cost of the 25kw, and a 200 amp transfer switch, vs. 10kw, and a 60 amp transfer switch isn’t that much more money and you get full coverage, piece of mind, and with the Kohler, a free app to remotely monitor your gen. The gen also monitors for clean power from the pole, and if it’s not clean, it will keep running off the gen. You’re not doing that with a manual set up.
    Who wants to go outside after a foot of snow or during an extended storm (hurricane, nor’easter) and fart around with hooking up a gen.
    When the power is out area wide, I have work to do and don’t want to be home babysitting my gen.
    Better?...
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

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  22. #15
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    Well that escalated quickly. Here’s how I’ve had my house set up for last ten or so years. House is total gas minus dryer I’ve got a portable older generac with I believe 8hp runs only on dinosaur juice and I have a cord made up that goes through the wall in laundry room with a dryer plug on that end and the gen plug rolled up on outside. When power goes out I pull the main, roll the genny over,plug er up and run the stuff I need to run for the time I need it. Just fridge deep freeze tv and if it cold out the furnace. If it’s cold out I unplug deep freeze since it’ll stay froze for several days. A couple neighbors have porch lights that stay on all the time so I just keep an eye on that and when they’ve been on for a steady 30-40 mins I put it back like it was. Think I have 150$ in the genny, cord was left over from an enderground service job and the 2 plugs. So for less than 200 bucks and only had to use it a handful of times and never over 48hrs yet, I think it’s pretty hard to beat. Plus with a portable genny, you can use it for plenty other things, It’s not the nicest or biggest setup but it’s sure another direction for ya to consider.

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    So your back feeding through existing hard wired drier emt. to panel ?

  24. #17
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    Yea I’d seen lots of folks in my area have the same kinda set up so I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s not the most ideal situation but like I said I haven’t had to run it for a extended time or running lots of stuff, just the things we need to get by. The biggest thing if somebody does it is to make damn sure you’ve turned the main off,that way ya don’t accidentally kill somebody back down the line that’s working to fix the problem for neeeding the genny in the first place. I have a tag on my genny that is next to the plug so i don’t forget.

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    What i've heard on the street com. ed. repair crews hook up some kind of industrial direct short device that eliminates any generator that is feeding into dead lines before any repair starts. Same situation Chicago fire department on derailments with injuries on electric trains throw a large diameter chain over 3RD RAIL and train tracks to blow fuses feeding that line!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nantucket View Post
    What i've heard on the street com. ed. repair crews hook up some kind of industrial direct short device that eliminates any generator that is feeding into dead lines before any repair starts. Same situation Chicago fire department on derailments with injuries on electric trains throw a large diameter chain over 3RD RAIL and train tracks to blow fuses feeding that line!
    The line is still live when the make the connection to the device though. So they can still be killed.
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