AR15.Com Archives
 About what strength generator do I need to run my Heatpump to warm my house?
kingfish  [Member]
12/26/2010 7:59:45 PM
Its the standard type, I guess. Anybody know?
6530  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 8:14:28 PM

Originally Posted By kingfish:
Its the standard type, I guess. Anybody know?

Huge. That's about all I can tell you.
HubMcCaan  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 8:22:34 PM
Standard type doesn't really mean anything... the best way to find out is buy (or find a friend that has) an Amp meter and go find out what the load is on start-up and while it is running (they won't be the same).
terral  [Member]
12/26/2010 8:39:54 PM
dont forget that your auxillary heat will pull about 20-22 amps for each 5kw
kingfish  [Member]
12/26/2010 8:42:40 PM
Thanks. Has anyone tried this? I find it surprising since heat pumps are pretty common. I have access to a 5000w generator but dont know if that'll work.
Skibane  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 8:56:12 PM
Using a generator to run a heat pump isn't exactly most efficient scheme in the world. Basically, you're burning fuel to produce heat, which is converted to mechanical energy, which is then converted to electricity, which is then converted back to heat - with plenty of conversion losses at each step. Ideally, you want an arrangement that just converts fuel directly to heat instead.

Also, your prospects for being able to run your heat pump with a 5KW generator are not good. A residential heat pump draws power comparable to a central A/C unit - Typically a lot more than 5,000 watts, even when it's not using the heat strips.
6530  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 9:04:13 PM

Originally Posted By kingfish:
I have access to a 5000w generator but dont know if that'll work.

While I'm not an electrician I don't think this will even come close. When I lived in South FL there were people who had their HVAC systems hooked up to generators, but they were typically the 15-20kW whole-house type. Heat pumps use a LOT of power.
Dave_A  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 9:08:31 PM
Your best solution to this, is to have a few of the 'Electric Radiator' style space-heaters on hand, and run THOSE off the Genny.

Typically, you should be able to run 1 of those and keep at least part of your house comfortable with pants/sweater type clothing.


ar-jedi  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 10:14:53 PM
Originally Posted By kingfish:
Its the standard type, I guess. Anybody know?

no. no one can answer your question. there is no such thing as a "standard type". your house, your heatpump, and your outside ambient temperature during the winter all differ from "standard". you can not expect folks to guess at this –– either we'll guess short and your too-small generator will be as useless as a paperweight, or we'll guess long and you'll be terrified of spending that much money.

find out how much current (amps) at what voltage (Vac) your heatpump system uses. you can get this information from your manual, or from the company that installed it. either way, this is the information you need and you can not size a generator without it. you can not proceed to step 2 (sizing the generator) prior to completing step 1 (determining your power need).

ar-jedi
countrygunner  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 10:28:38 PM
It can be done but if I was going that route I would have a 16kw - 18kw generac that was set up with a transfer switch and ran into my main panel in my house. To safely run a heat pump without either doing damage to the generator or the heat pump it will not only need to cover the amerage of start up and normal running but also be able to cover about 20% more at least. You don't want to run a generator at it's peak or even nominal voltage as it will put a lot of stress on it. Also most generals will say they put out 5000 watts nominal and 6000 peak but in truth they don't stay at a steady 5000 watts. It's up and down within a few hundred volts of that.

The only reason you would ever want to run a heat pump on a genny is because your power is out anyway so your not going to be worried about efficiancy in the first place. However I think generators serve other purposes better and the heating is done better by propane, kerosene, or old fashion wood. If you did decide to go this route and just run you heat pump on a gen in case of an emergency I would at least use a 10,000 watt genny and that will cost you a chunk. That's why I said to go the permanent route with a transfer switch.

I have my power go out a lot and while I don't live in Alaska it does get cold. I use wood fireplaces and kerosene heaters for heat. Lanterns for light along with flashlights and my generator runs my fridge, tv satelite computer, and any other thing I need. I use gas stove to cook. My generator is a champion 3500/4000 and it has more than paid for itself. For $279 you can beat it. However I would like to do without some of the other forms of lighting and cooking and get a 16kw genny with a transfer switch.

I hope this helps.
chadweasel  [Member]
12/26/2010 10:38:10 PM
5000watts will handle alot more than you think. You don't have to mess with any crazy set up just as long as you REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR MAIN BREAKER SO YOU DON'T BACKFEED THE LINE. Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket and do not run everything at one time. I'm would think you could run pump, tv, and some lights but can't say for sure without doing an amp reading.
coldair  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 10:43:36 PM
it will run a standard 2 ton 13 seer heat pump, or it can run a 18 seer trane 5 ton heat pump on stage one with r410 a
ar-jedi  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 10:54:33 PM
Originally Posted By chadweasel:
5000watts will handle alot more than you think. You don't have to mess with any crazy set up just as long as you REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR MAIN BREAKER SO YOU DON'T BACKFEED THE LINE. Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket and do not run everything at one time. I'm would think you could run pump, tv, and some lights but can't say for sure without doing an amp reading.

this post is giant fail.

1) you don't know what the load is yet you are saying the generator will power it? the OP asked about a heatpump.
2) "Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket" –– unsafe, and a fire hazard all the way around. first, not everyone has an electric dryer with a high current outlet next to it. a gas dryer has a 120Vac 15A or 20A duplex receptacle next to it. how are you going to feed 240Vac into that? next, old dryer setups used 3 wire (L1,L2,N) connections. these are no longer allowed by code –– must be a 4 wire (L1/L2/N/Gnd). there is a reason for that. next, the connecting cordage must be able to carry the full generator output –– you can't just hook up a piece of 12/2NMB and call it a day, unless you want a fire. then, turning off the main breaker does not isolate the neutral from the utility company equipment. finally, a double male cord is an accident waiting to happen for someone unfamiliar with the setup –– perhaps like your wife or kids –– or you after being up for 20hrs and forgetting what you are doing.

i'm no safety nanny but suggesting a double end male plug approach to someone who is plainly unfamiliar with generator power is stupid.

ar-jedi
shadawick  [Team Member]
12/26/2010 11:49:05 PM
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By chadweasel:
5000watts will handle alot more than you think. You don't have to mess with any crazy set up just as long as you REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR MAIN BREAKER SO YOU DON'T BACKFEED THE LINE. Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket and do not run everything at one time. I'm would think you could run pump, tv, and some lights but can't say for sure without doing an amp reading.

this post is giant fail.

1) you don't know what the load is yet you are saying the generator will power it? the OP asked about a heatpump.
2) "Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket" –– unsafe, and a fire hazard all the way around. first, not everyone has an electric dryer with a high current outlet next to it. a gas dryer has a 120Vac 15A or 20A duplex receptacle next to it. how are you going to feed 240Vac into that? next, old dryer setups used 3 wire (L1,L2,N) connections. these are no longer allowed by code –– must be a 4 wire (L1/L2/N/Gnd). there is a reason for that. next, the connecting cordage must be able to carry the full generator output –– you can't just hook up a piece of 12/2NMB and call it a day, unless you want a fire. then, turning off the main breaker does not isolate the neutral from the utility company equipment. finally, a double male cord is an accident waiting to happen for someone unfamiliar with the setup –– perhaps like your wife or kids –– or you after being up for 20hrs and forgetting what you are doing.

i'm no safety nanny but suggesting a double end male plug approach to someone who is plainly unfamiliar with generator power is stupid.

ar-jedi


Very sound advice! Please take it.
Oldford  [Team Member]
12/27/2010 12:10:57 PM
Originally Posted By chadweasel:
5000watts will handle alot more than you think. You don't have to mess with any crazy set up just as long as you REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR MAIN BREAKER SO YOU DON'T BACKFEED THE LINE. Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket and do not run everything at one time. I'm would think you could run pump, tv, and some lights but can't say for sure without doing an amp reading.


Please don't do this. It does'nt meet code (makes you liable for almost anything that goes wrong anywhere) and it is dangerous.

At a minimum, look in to the interlock system, it's an inexpensive (compared to a transfer switch) way to hook up safely.

Here - http://www.interlockkit.com/

GL, Eric

ETA-it claims to meet code, although I have not verified that.

countrygunner  [Team Member]
12/27/2010 7:53:37 PM
A transfer switch isn't just to be able to run power through your existing panel. It also will automatically fire up your generator and transfer your power from the grid to your house over to your generator to your house. That is the major difference between a transfer switch and running it backfed back through your panel. That interlock kit is nothing more than a piece of metal that slides over to prevent turning the main on while the generator breaker is on and vice versa. Transfer swiches are for automatic start generators anyway. I wouldn't pay a lot of money for a transfer switch if I only had a 5000 watt gen. It's not worth it. It's not even worth it to backfeed that much through our panel. First of all you would need to rewire your panel to add the breaker with wiring fed to your hookup for your generator. This would need to be big gauge wire like 8 or 10 gauge to really take advantage of every drop of power your 5000 watt gen or pumping out. Than you would need to buy a cord of same size or maybe one size less to go form the generator to the outside hookup. Not to mention the hook ups themselves which will cost a lot. You will have as much or more in the wiring, outside panel / plug in, and breaker in panel as your gen. actually cost. It's best to use the small generators for what they were intended for. Small things and not all at once. Most don' t put out the wattage they say and will not last long at peak performance. it's best to go ahead with a larger set up that has a transfer switch and will automatically start and transfer power. Or just use a smaller generator with 10 ga ext. cords and power the small stuff and use alternative heating sorces like Kerosend or propane and wood / coal burning fire places.

My power goes out all the time. I have generators. I would not attemp to back feed my panel to run my heat pump because that is all you will be able to run. You will constantly have to turn breakers on and off to be able to use if for anything else. You won't be able to use a heat pump , lighting, tv, and stove at the same time. It will be one or the other. You can run lights, tv, etc, or heatpump, or stove and dryer/washer but not all at the same time with a small gen. And yes a 5000 watt gen. is a small one.
ilbob  [Member]
12/27/2010 8:17:47 PM
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
i'm no safety nanny but suggesting a double end male plug approach to someone who is plainly unfamiliar with generator power is stupid.


Suggesting such a setup to anyone is just plain stupid.

But at least someone competent would know enough to ignore such awful advice.

The problem seems to be that doing something inherently unsafe and not immediately dieing from doing so seems to make some people think that it has suddenly become safe.

Every couple of years someone manages to kill a utility company lineman by following this kind of really bad advice.
JoeRedman  [Team Member]
12/27/2010 9:07:45 PM
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By chadweasel:
5000watts will handle alot more than you think. You don't have to mess with any crazy set up just as long as you REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR MAIN BREAKER SO YOU DON'T BACKFEED THE LINE. Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket and do not run everything at one time. I'm would think you could run pump, tv, and some lights but can't say for sure without doing an amp reading.

this post is giant fail.

1) you don't know what the load is yet you are saying the generator will power it? the OP asked about a heatpump.
2) "Make up a double male end 240v cord and plug the other end into a dryer socket" –– unsafe, and a fire hazard all the way around. first, not everyone has an electric dryer with a high current outlet next to it. a gas dryer has a 120Vac 15A or 20A duplex receptacle next to it. how are you going to feed 240Vac into that? next, old dryer setups used 3 wire (L1,L2,N) connections. these are no longer allowed by code –– must be a 4 wire (L1/L2/N/Gnd). there is a reason for that. next, the connecting cordage must be able to carry the full generator output –– you can't just hook up a piece of 12/2NMB and call it a day, unless you want a fire. then, turning off the main breaker does not isolate the neutral from the utility company equipment. finally, a double male cord is an accident waiting to happen for someone unfamiliar with the setup –– perhaps like your wife or kids –– or you after being up for 20hrs and forgetting what you are doing.

i'm no safety nanny but suggesting a double end male plug approach to someone who is plainly unfamiliar with generator power is stupid.
ar-jedi



I am very familiar with electric power, and I did this dumb shit. Before the flames, let me state it was on an old POS trailer with NO connection to the outside mains, i.e.-no meter base at all. I used a 10/2 extension cord with two male ends from my shop to the trailer and backfed to test all the lights/outlets on that and other circuits and ran a few small appliances/tools while fixing it up. If you also do this dumb shit and plug on male into the hot(generator) and make contact with the other naked male end you will be doing the 60hz shuffle and it fucking hurts. Please, please, please-like so many of these wise-men are telling you-get and electrician or a competent friend with an ammeter to find your total load +overhead. The money will be well spent

Sorry had to edit-fucked up AR's quote...

ar-jedi  [Team Member]
12/27/2010 9:18:58 PM
Originally Posted By countrygunner:
A transfer switch isn't just to be able to run power through your existing panel. It also will automatically fire up your generator and transfer your power from the grid to your house over to your generator to your house.

this is not the case with manual transfer switches. and manual transfer switches are quite common.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
That is the major difference between a transfer switch and running it backfed back through your panel. That interlock kit is nothing more than a piece of metal that slides over to prevent turning the main on while the generator breaker is on and vice versa.

that "nothing more than a piece of metal" prevents both the POCO utility power and the generator power from simultaneously connecting.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
Transfer swiches are for automatic start generators anyway.

this is 100% incorrect.

read this post before you reply:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=18&t=642273#10945678

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
I wouldn't pay a lot of money for a transfer switch if I only had a 5000 watt gen. It's not worth it. It's not even worth it to backfeed that much through our panel.

this is 100% incorrect.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
First of all you would need to rewire your panel to add the breaker with wiring fed to your hookup for your generator.

you are adding a breaker, not "rewiring your panel".

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
This would need to be big gauge wire like 8 or 10 gauge to really take advantage of every drop of power your 5000 watt gen or pumping out.

"like 8 or 10 gauge". really sounds like you know what you are doing. this is a technical forum. a 5000W split phase 120Vac/240Vac generator produces 5000W/240Vac = ~22A per 120Vac leg. the NEC stipulates for a circuit of this ampacity, 10AWG wire should be used, less any derating necessary for conduit and other application specifics.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
Than you would need to buy a cord of same size or maybe one size less to go form the generator to the outside hookup.

the connecting cordage MUST be the same wire gauge.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
Not to mention the hook ups themselves which will cost a lot.

define "a lot". there is a really high convenience factor here. utility power goes off? plug generator cordage into receptacle, start generator, flip breakers on the transfer switch, critical circuits are again powered.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
You will have as much or more in the wiring, outside panel / plug in, and breaker in panel as your gen. actually cost.

see convenience factor above.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
it's best to go ahead with a larger set up that has a transfer switch and will automatically start and transfer power.

the ONLY way to employ this type of auto-start system is if you have city supplied natural gas. i'll let you think about why that is. hint: if you are away for a week and the power goes off...

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
Or just use a smaller generator with 10 ga ext. cords and power the small stuff

see convenience factor above.

ar-jedi
Bubbles  [Team Member]
12/28/2010 11:46:12 AM
OP - I live not far from MD. You're better off getting a keroscene heater or two (depending on the size of your home) for temporary heat, and running the generator for a few hours each day to keep the food in the refrigerator from spoiling, and for the microwave for cooking. For light I'd pick up some battery-powered LED lamps.
Grove  [Team Member]
1/13/2011 12:49:43 AM
AR-Jedi I agree with everything you said 100% except the part about the natural gas part and being out of town. I have a Generac on auto start and I would much rather come home to my propane tanks being low than busted pipes from freezing or all the contents of my fridges and freezer spoiled. It is worth the big propane bill to not deal with those potential problems, hell that is why I added a second tank when the generator was installed.

However if I'm home during the outage we will most likely be burning wood and using the EU2000 for lights and a few other things. I'm cheap.....if I'm home.

Grove
countrygunner  [Team Member]
1/13/2011 2:31:38 AM
Look man you can act like you know what your talking about but actually doing this stuff and reading it on a board are two different things. I didn't go into detail about what I exactly meant on some of the stuff because most people don't know what I'm talking about to begin with so I just gave a general discription. It sounds to me like you are one of those type people that think they know everything and that anyone else that offers info is just there for you to dispute.

I'm not going to get into all that pasting. Personally I think it's kind of funny to see someone spend so much time trying to dispute what someone else says since most of the time they only got there info from the internet to begin with. How can you act like you know what your doing when you've never done it. Now I don't know whether your an electrician or not but I can tell you that your wrong about some of the things you disputed and the others were my fault for no going more in depth.

The comment about the POCO. Well if you look that's exactly what I said wasn't. What does the main control? It's controls the power into your panel from the POCO right. So you wouldn't want it on when backfeeding a panel, correct? Same thing I said.

Look depending on how far you need to run your conduit from the generator to the panel also factors in to what gauge wire you need. 10 ga may do it most of the time in this case but if you are so far away you would need to step up the wire size to account for voltage loss. Correct

It's not cost effective to add a transfer switch and try to run the power through your panel with a 5,000 watt gen. Period. A 10 ga extension cord will work just fine with a heavy duty splitter on the end and plug in what you need at the time. If your wanting to run a lot of things off the generator including heaters than a 5,000 watt gen isn't going to cut it and isn't cost effective to wire it like you would a gen. that you would run your house off of.

You don't need natural gas to employ auto start. You can use an autostart system on a gas gen. just as well. The advatage to having natural gas would be to have cheaper electricity if you have natural gas wells dug on your property and are recieving natural gas for free. However in the end if you tried to save money that way running your generator all the time it would eventually wear out. Generators are to give you power for temporary periods not for long term.

Yes it would cost almost as much to buy a 5,000 watt generator as it would to add a new breaker( which includes adding wires to the panel) adding conduit from there to the transfer switch, which you will also need a breaker for at the generator if you do it right, and wire from there to your generator in conduit also (sealtight becasuse it's going to most likely be outside so it needs to be waterproof / more expensive.) All and all your going to pay roughly $200-300 for the stuff you will need or more considering the type transfer switch you may get. You can get a good champion 5,000 watt for $279 at TSC on sale. So for the amount of power you will add to your house will not be too cost effective for what you will actually be able to run or at least run at one time. Therefore you might as well do it right by going big or just do it small.

The convenience factor which you keep referring too also has to do with codes. Now granted we aren't going to care about that during an end of the world situation but your insurance company isn't going to like it if you burn down the house and don't go by code. Codes are different all over so you'd have to check local codes to see what all you might have to do to keep it legal.


Personally for me it is just as easy and cost effective when running a small gen to just use heavy duty ext cords. More bang for your buck. If I wanted to run power through my panel to operate more things in my house at one time I would use a lot larger generator. At least, double the size preferably 16-18kw.
Ops  [Team Member]
1/14/2011 9:36:58 PM
And another thread turns into a pissing contest....

To the OP - to take a SWAG at it, you are looking at somewhere between a 15 to 25kW generator if you want to be able to run the strip heat as well, and you likely will. You are far better off buying a 7.5kW rig and a couple of kerosene heaters. I have oil backup, and run a 15kW PTO rig that will run a pair of 18000 BTU heat pumps on either heat or cool mode.

I've been in HVAC, electric and plumbing for 20 odd years. The above is an educated guess.

As to transfer switches, the interlock type breaker is fine, and code in most areas. I'd prefer to run a separate manual transfer switch, some folks prefer auto start generators with auto transfer switches. To each his own.

I run the oil backup and woodstove during outages for better fuel economy on the generator. The good part about 15kW is it will run my entire house AC in summer,, and we seem to get a number of violent T-storms and ocassional small tornadoes that tear up power lines. I'm on a well so I lose my water when the power goes out.

Ops
batmanacw  [Team Member]
1/14/2011 10:02:01 PM
Lots of folks make the huge and expensive mistake of wanting to run their entire house, or something big like a heat pump on a generator. While its nice to have the big comforts, why spend that kind of fuel when you may need if the power stays out?

I would much rather have a couple Buddy or Kerosene heaters to keep the temperature up in my home. That way you are spending 100% of the fuel for heat. There is no waste. Efficiency is superb.

When you burn fuel to create electric to create heat, you loose tons of heat in wasted energy from the generator outside where its worthless. I am not an expert on the other forms of waste that go into the process, but its not even close to worth it.


This is why I bought a much, much smaller generator. 1600 watts continuous will run anything we need to run in the house, including the microwave, and nothing we don't need to run. We can be quite comfortable without much of what we run on a daily basis. Just one or two things at a time.


The only thing that changes this is if you cannot be home to fire up the heat and generator if necessary. The automatic units are nice. For me they are not necessary.

Its important for the OP to think about this before making a decision.
ar-jedi  [Team Member]
1/14/2011 11:56:36 PM
Originally Posted By countrygunner:
Look man you can act like you know what your talking about but actually doing this stuff and reading it on a board are two different things.

ok, so from what you are saying, actually doing it and reading it are two different things. i agree.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
I'm not going to get into all that pasting. Personally I think it's kind of funny to see someone spend so much time trying to dispute what someone else says since most of the time they only got there info from the internet to begin with.

completely agree. i also received a little more background information via a masters degree in electrical engineering.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
How can you act like you know what your doing when you've never done it.

well, i have.

now post pics of a code-compliant generator and transfer switch installation that you have done completely by yourself, because clearly –– using your words above –– if you haven't done it before yourself then you don't know what you are talking about.

ar-jedi
























Gixxersixxer  [Team Member]
1/15/2011 1:49:34 AM
Don't bother trying to heat the house from a heat pump. Buy a 23k BTU kerosene heater or two. If you have access to a 55 gal drum you can fill it with kerosene, add some protectant to prevent growth, then forget about it for years until it's needed.

If you want a generator, a 5k watt will run quite a bit of stuff in a home. If you install a manual transfer switch you can power a number of circuits in a home. Then you have the option of running electric space heaters. As long as you put some consideration into the rooms to be heated when you wire the transfer switch so that you balance the load across both legs when using multiple space heaters you'll be comfortable when the power goes out.

You can buy a Reliance manual transfer switch with 8 circuits and have it installed or do it yourself. With a 5k watt generator you won't get more than 8 circuits unless you upgrade to a 10 circuit switch and swap the inlet plug style. A 10 circuit switch is going to have a L14-30 plug while the 8 circuit has a L14-20. A 5k watt generator is going to have a L14-20 plug or an RV plug.

It's possible to buy a 10 circuit switch and replace the standard L14-30 inlet that comes on them with a L14-20 inlet to match the generator outlet style. That way you can use a regular 10 ga power cord with L14-20 ends to power the home. The other option is to modify the plug on the power cord to have a female L14-30 end to mate with the 10 circuit switch L14-30 inlet. I'd opt for the standard cord instead of a custom cord but YMMV. You will run the risk of overloading the generator easier if you're not cognizant about your power usage but the wiring gauge in the 10 circuit switch can handle everything the 5k watt generator puts out.

I installed my own transfer switch in 1.5 to 2 hours. Mine was easy since my main panel is on the home exterior and it's a surface mount. I spent much more time figuring out my circuits and considering what circuits I wanted to run and how to balance the load. My total cost for a 10 circuit switch plus a 30 ft cord was right around $560.

Over the holidays I helped my Dad install a switch at his house since he wanted one after seeing mine. His was a bit more involved since his main panel is in the basement. We had to fish wires for an external power inlet and we had to cut and refinish drywall since his main panel is flush mounted and he wanted his switch to be flush mounted too. His planning and install took 3 days but actual install was done in 3-4 hours. We spent more time deciphering circuits that weren't labeled then my Dad had some time to figure out what circuits he wanted to be available. After that we looked at his lifestyle and how he estimated he'd use power so that we could figure out how to balance the load through the switch. After the switch was installed it was a half day of doing drywall, texture, and paint to make things look nice. My Dad's total cost for an 8 circuit switch was around $700 he also bought a flush mount kit, external power inlet, 10 ga colored wires for the power inlet, 10 ft 10 ga power cord, conduit for the power inlet, drywall, and texture.
ar-jedi  [Team Member]
1/15/2011 7:43:54 PM
Originally Posted By Gixxersixxer:
You can buy a Reliance manual transfer switch

FYI –– i've found that the least expensive place to get Reliance transfer switches is noted here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=18&t=642273#10945931

ar-jedi

trkarl  [Team Member]
1/15/2011 7:49:12 PM
Originally Posted By Gixxersixxer:

If you want a generator, a 5k watt will run quite a bit of stuff in a home. If you install a manual transfer switch you can power a number of circuits in a home. Then you have the option of running electric space heaters. As long as you put some consideration into the rooms to be heated when you wire the transfer switch so that you balance the load across both legs when using multiple space heaters you'll be comfortable when the power goes out.

You can buy a Reliance manual transfer switch with 8 circuits and have it installed or do it yourself. With a 5k watt generator you won't get more than 8 circuits unless you upgrade to a 10 circuit switch and swap the inlet plug style. A 10 circuit switch is going to have a L14-30 plug while the 8 circuit has a L14-20. A 5k watt generator is going to have a L14-20 plug or an RV plug.




Pay special attention to this. Even though you may have a 5kw genny you can easily burn up the head without pulling anywhere near 5kw if you are mainly pulling off only one leg. Each leg is only 2.5kw so you can't turn on the 1200w microwave and the 1000w coffee maker and the 800w toaster at the same time if they are all on the circuits on one side of the transfer switch which is one leg.
Grove  [Team Member]
1/20/2011 1:12:48 AM
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By countrygunner:
Look man you can act like you know what your talking about but actually doing this stuff and reading it on a board are two different things.

ok, so from what you are saying, actually doing it and reading it are two different things. i agree.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
I'm not going to get into all that pasting. Personally I think it's kind of funny to see someone spend so much time trying to dispute what someone else says since most of the time they only got there info from the internet to begin with.

completely agree. i also received a little more background information via a masters degree in electrical engineering.

Originally Posted By countrygunner:
How can you act like you know what your doing when you've never done it.

well, i have.

now post pics of a code-compliant generator and transfer switch installation that you have done completely by yourself, because clearly –– using your words above –– if you haven't done it before yourself then you don't know what you are talking about.

ar-jedi


http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/22265-3/generator.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/22278-3/IMG_4581.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/15640-1/DSCN5461.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/16859-1/DSCN5690.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/24092-1/DSCN6237.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/17768-2/DSCN5831.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/24112-1/DSCN6249.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/24387-1/DSCN6273.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/24392-1/DSCN6275.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/24420-1/DSCN6281.JPG

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/24426-1/DSCN6289.JPG



Not to hi-jack the thread but will you advise me on the proper way to handle a portable generators ground with regard to the frame bond. I'm not quite sure I grasp the whole neutral bonding thing and I know that most portable generators allow it to go either way. If you have a transfer switch like the one in your pictures that shares a ground with the home do you want the ground attached to the frame of the generator or the actual earth?

ETA Clarity

Grove
Gixxersixxer  [Team Member]
1/20/2011 10:23:37 AM

Originally Posted By Grove:
Not to hi-jack the thread but will you advise me on the proper way to handle a portable generators ground with regard to the frame bond. I'm not quite sure I grasp the whole neutral bonding thing and I know that most portable generators allow it to go either way. If you have a transfer switch like the one in your pictures that shares a ground with the home do you want the ground attached to the frame of the generator or the actual earth?

ETA Clarity

Grove

If you have a transfer switch that does not switch neutral you want a floating neutral generator. If your transfer switch does switch the neutral you want a bonded neutral and a properly grounded generator. The majority of manual transfer switches don't switch the neutral. Reliance Controls manual transfer switches don't switch the neutral.

A bonded neutral generator will work with a transfer switch that doesn't switch neutral. You'll end with two paths to ground though (one at the home, one at the generator). For many people it's not even known about because no problems pop up. If you have GFCI breakers and you have two paths to ground you will be tripping the breaker because the electricity has two paths it can travel and a lower than normal current will be detected which trips the breaker. The solution is to simply un-bond the neutral and create a floating neutral. After creating the floating neutral the path to ground at the generator is removed and you have a single path to ground through the home.

If you have a transfer switch that switches the neutral and you're using a floating neutral generator that should not be done. Where is the path to ground in that design?

dab2  [Team Member]
1/20/2011 6:27:47 PM
For back up heat in case of an ice storm or long power outages we use a ventless propane heater in our basement. Since heat rises it heats our whole (small) house nicely. We have our tank tucked away behind a little shed in the back so it is not obvious to a passerby. And propane doesn't go bad so it is a reliable source. Just another avenue for you.
ColtRifle  [Member]
1/21/2011 6:59:34 PM
Lots of bullshit in this thread and some good info.

I have a 5500 watt diesel generator. I can run the below items.
4500 watt electric water heater
200 watt pellet stove
Couple CFL lights
Refrigerator/deep freeze (both Energy Star rated)


Once the water heater shuts off, I can run the above items as well as:
TV
Whatever lights I want
2 electric stove burners at a time
Oven (with 1 stove burner)
Microwave


I CAN'T run:
Heat pump
Electric dryer


As mentioned, you'll need an estimated 15-20 kw unit to run the heat pump. It won't need that much to run it but it'll need that much to START it and to run the electric strips if they kick on.

Running electric heaters CAN be done but is wasteful of the generator's power. Better to downsize your generator and then buy a kerosene or propane heater.