Generator for home without a transfer switch

snowballs

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Just an fyi. These were recalled a few months ago. Also made in china so probably has the virus.


MWE Investments Recalls Westinghouse Portable Generators Due to Fire Hazard​

 

Atlantis

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Yes. But isn’t that what you were calling an SDS?.... because it’s not.

Nope, I would not call that an SDS, as you know, it is not.

I was under the false impression that somewhere/somehow NEC specified that all generator hookups had to be installed as an SDS. And so I was under the impression that a proper install would have to switch the neutral and ground conductors as well as the hots. I think I've got it straight now though, its not mandated to be SDS or non SDS, and how you install depends on which you chose, along with other factors.
 
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Nope, I would not call that an SDS, as you know, it is not.

I was under the false impression that somewhere/somehow NEC specified that all generator hookups had to be installed as an SDS. And so I was under the impression that a proper install would have to switch the neutral and ground conductors as well as the hots. I think I've got it straight now though, its not mandated to be SDS or non SDS, and how you install depends on which you chose, along with other factors.
Ohhh. Gotcha👍🏻
 

one-eyed Jack

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I have an older panel with 100A main fuses. Before I start the Generator I stand on my wooden platform which has a thick rubber pad on it, put on my rubber gloves and pull the main fuse block. Then I close the panel door and hit the fused disconnect switch which feeds the juice from the generator. Then I start the gen. and hit the fused switch which is at the gen. in the garage. Complicated enough? Jack.
 

Enzo

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I have an older panel with 100A main fuses. Before I start the Generator I stand on my wooden platform which has a thick rubber pad on it, put on my rubber gloves and pull the main fuse block. Then I close the panel door and hit the fused disconnect switch which feeds the juice from the generator. Then I start the gen. and hit the fused switch which is at the gen. in the garage. Complicated enough? Jack.
Sounds like a scene from the Green Mile.
 

Executive

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I promised some detail information regarding this thread. Here are some definitions/explanations that might (or might not) help:

Separately Derived System: An electrical source, other than a service, having no direct connection(s) to circuit conductors of any other electrical source other than those established by grounding and bonding connections. Examples include PV systems, generators, battery rooms/inverters, and most commonly dry-type transformers.

Grounded Conductor: A system or circuit conductor that is intentionally grounded. Easier recognized as a "neutral" conductor for discussion here. Typically identified by white or gray insulation depending on the voltage system.

Grounding Conductor, Equipment: A conductive path(s) that is a part of an effective ground-fault current path and connects normally non-current carrying metal parts of equipment and to the system grounded conductor or to the grounding electrode conductor or both. Typically identified by green insulation.

Grounding Electrode: A conducting object through which a direct connection to earth is established. Typically the underground copper water pipe supplying a building. Far less effective are ground rods driven into the earth.

Grounding Electrode Conductor: A conductor used to connect the system grounded conductor or the equipment to a grounding electrode or to a point on the grounding electrode system.

A few facts:
Almost all residential generators, including larger (15kW and up) sizes are installed without a separate grounding electrode (ground rod) at the generator. They connect single phase, four wire to the premises wiring system through a permanently installed automatic transfer system or a cord and plug connected temporary connection to an interlocked auxiliary breaker or transfer panel. Bypassing any of these safety systems puts personnel on and off of your property, including linemen on the secondary and (contrary to comments made here in this thread) primary sides of their systems at risk, and guess who's responsible?

Your most important considerations when choosing/installing a generator are:
1. Electrical Safety
2. Carbon Monoxide Safety
3. Ability to power the important load(s).
4. Fuel Efficiency.

My recommendation to the OP here is to purchase a Honda eu2200 inverter generator. Locate it an appropriate distance from your home and lock it to a large immovable object. Run good quality cords to the required loads. Have an electrician install safe and appropriate connections to equipment like your boiler or furnace. (Palladin is highly recommended on this site.) If you need more power, a second "companion" Honda eu2200 can be installed with a parallel kit to double your power. Your main limitation with this setup is that you will only have 120v available so a well pump, electric range or dryer, or large AC unit will not work. These small Honda inverter generators run for many hours on little fuel, are portable, and adjust their speed and noise based on your load.

Good luck.

Chris
 
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one-eyed Jack

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I have small 120v only generator in add'n to the big (whole house) one. I have a separate fused switching network off that one which allows me to run the heating system and sump pump only. I can survive with heat, dry basement and vodka for a long time on my available fuel supply if the grid is down for a long period. Jack.
 

andrew1220

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So I'm going to assume letting the generator run out of propane/gas isn't ideal as the voltage will be jumping all over the place which could really F up the sensitive electronics/appliances?
Better off keeping an eye on the gas/propane level and just shut down the generator and add gas/propane then restart?
 

Atlantis

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So I'm going to assume letting the generator run out of propane/gas isn't ideal as the voltage will be jumping all over the place which could really F up the sensitive electronics/appliances?
Better off keeping an eye on the gas/propane level and just shut down the generator and add gas/propane then restart?

YES. Voltage and frequency output of a synchronous generator are dependent on RPM. This is another reason to run an oversized generator for your anticipated load. The higher horsepower will be able to handle startup loads without bogging down.

Also, ideally disconnect the load before stopping and don’t connect until started and at full throttle.
 

Kevin_NH

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Most UPS are "standby(offline)" or sometimes "line-interactive" where the electronics are out-of-line until power goes out, only then does the inverter and battery kick in. Some will see dirty power from the generator and switch to batteries despite the presence of 120VAC at the input.

Most modern appliances have mother boards and most portable generators make dirty power and they can take them out. My samsung refrigerator motherboard died in 3 times in 10 years and I am thinking the generator might have been guilty.
A few companies (like Rinnai) offer a battery backup option for their smaller heaters and tankless water heaters which they warrant will keep the system running, but these too may not detect generator power as "good" power.

If you have a big budget and the most sensitive electronics, you want a "online (double-conversion) true sinewave" UPS where the UPS is always taking in utility power, converting to DC, and then using the inverter to convert back again to clean power.
 
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andrew1220

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YES. Voltage and frequency output of a synchronous generator are dependent on RPM. This is another reason to run an oversized generator for your anticipated load. The higher horsepower will be able to handle startup loads without bogging down.

Also, ideally disconnect the load before stopping and don’t connect until started and at full throttle.
Thanks. My plan would be to shutoff the generator switch/breaker on my interlock panel THEN shutdown the generator. Then refuel let it stabilize for a few minutes then reconnect and switch back to generator power on the interlock panel.
 
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Your most important considerations when choosing/installing a generator are:
1. Electrical Safety
2. Carbon Monoxide Safety
3. Ability to power the important load(s).
4. Fuel Efficiency.
5. Noise
6. Something easy on badly designed furnaces and appliances that are too sensitive.


This is another reason to run an oversized generator for your anticipated load. The higher horsepower will be able to handle startup loads without bogging down.

How about something with a huge flywheel?

Flywheels​


Flywheels are protecting mission-critical applications around the globe. They have a small footprint, require very little maintenance over a 20-year operational life, can operate at elevated temperatures, are environmentally friendly and an economic alternative compared to other battery storage solutions. Up to 450KW of regulated DC power per flywheel is instantly delivered to the UPS providing backup power needed to start up and transition to the emergency generators during a utility outage. While the runtime is shorter than batteries, flywheels provide ample runtime for a seamless transfer to a facility’s generators during a power outage.
Flywheel backup power systems are frequently chosen as the energy storage device of choice for mission-critical applications including hospitals which are required to transfer to their engine-gensets within 10-seconds of a power outage.
 

teamRR

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Man you guys make this really complicated.

I wouldn't recommend a Honda unless you care about noise as your #1 consideration. I am very familiar with those "2000" models, they are great, we use them on boats that lack a generator for overnights (have destroyed at least 2 from use/abuse and a similar Yamaha or Polaris model, all great)..

The problem is you are buying a 2000 watt for more $$ than a good quality Generac or similar putting out 6000 watts or so.

The whole running extension cords to different appliances is also lame. You want the whole house powered up, even if you shut certain things off. Good options are shut main and back feed or get a transfer switch that moves the ENTIRE breaker box onto the generator (ie not another special generator breaker box). Then you have a good usable system, anything less is a waste of $$ & effort.

As far as running out of fuel, I never broke anything when it happened but I was also aware I had to put 12 gallons a day in the generator. So before I went to bed I filled up, in the morning I filled up, then maybe once in the late afternoon. Nothing special is required, shutdown, fill, start, but if you wanted sure you can shutdown and soft start you circuits individually after.
 

mikelawtown

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So I'm going to assume letting the generator run out of propane/gas isn't ideal as the voltage will be jumping all over the place which could really F up the sensitive electronics/appliances?
Better off keeping an eye on the gas/propane level and just shut down the generator and add gas/propane then restart?
My old furnace is luckily GTG.
My buds dad had his newer combi unit main board Go out using a regular portable generator.
so it could happen
 

mikelawtown

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Man you guys make this really complicated.

I wouldn't recommend a Honda unless you care about noise as your #1 consideration. I am very familiar with those "2000" models, they are great, we use them on boats that lack a generator for overnights (have destroyed at least 2 from use/abuse and a similar Yamaha or Polaris model, all great)..

The problem is you are buying a 2000 watt for more $$ than a good quality Generac or similar putting out 6000 watts or so.

The whole running extension cords to different appliances is also lame. You want the whole house powered up, even if you shut certain things off. Good options are shut main and back feed or get a transfer switch that moves the ENTIRE breaker box onto the generator (ie not another special generator breaker box). Then you have a good usable system, anything less is a waste of $$ & effort.

As far as running out of fuel, I never broke anything when it happened but I was also aware I had to put 12 gallons a day in the generator. So before I went to bed I filled up, in the morning I filled up, then maybe once in the late afternoon. Nothing special is required, shutdown, fill, start, but if you wanted sure you can shutdown and soft start you circuits individually after.
You said 2 things that don’t go together
Generac & Quality
 
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I have a line lock and back feed from an outlet in my garage... I think it cost me 350 installed by a pro.... Took only a couple of hours - runs the entire house. 5500 continuous watts will run the fridge, chest freezer, furnace and sump pump, lights, etc... Good to go! I wouldn't try to run the electric dryer or central AC, but it will get us by...

The generator is nothing special... A Champion... It is not quiet... But it does the job...
 

Atlantis

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How about something with a huge flywheel?

Yep, very cool tech out there with flywheels. Magnetic bearings, etc. I know of a few datacenters in the new england area that utilize a flywheel or 3 to carry the load in the second or two it takes the standby generators to fire up and get up to speed.

You can also use them on your generator itself if you are so inclined and wanted to jerry rig something, but at that point you're better doing something like marrying a small diesel engine to a nice genset via a shaft and flywheel.

OR....

Buy a good 7-10kw generator, have Palladin or someone else set you up with a nice transfer switch powering the critical loads, and never look back. As others have mentioned, if you REALLY care about clean power, you want an online/double conversion UPS that outputs datacenter grade true sinewave power for those loads, being a UPS is also a benefit as the batteries are your flywheel.
 

DPR

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Man you guys make this really complicated.

I wouldn't recommend a Honda unless you care about noise as your #1 consideration. I am very familiar with those "2000" models, they are great, we use them on boats that lack a generator for overnights (have destroyed at least 2 from use/abuse and a similar Yamaha or Polaris model, all great)..

The problem is you are buying a 2000 watt for more $$ than a good quality Generac or similar putting out 6000 watts or so.

The whole running extension cords to different appliances is also lame. You want the whole house powered up, even if you shut certain things off. Good options are shut main and back feed or get a transfer switch that moves the ENTIRE breaker box onto the generator (ie not another special generator breaker box). Then you have a good usable system, anything less is a waste of $$ & effort.

As far as running out of fuel, I never broke anything when it happened but I was also aware I had to put 12 gallons a day in the generator. So before I went to bed I filled up, in the morning I filled up, then maybe once in the late afternoon. Nothing special is required, shutdown, fill, start, but if you wanted sure you can shutdown and soft start you circuits individually after.
You make a valid point on the cost and watt difference. But I’ve used the Honda 2000 inverters for years in heavy civil construction. Beat the tar out of them and don’t take good care of them. Start every time. F that cheap 6000 watt unit sounding like someone is banging a coffee can full of nuts and bolts outside your door, I fart louder than the Honda . And 12 gallons?? Honda would run for a week on that. I did consider cheap/higher watt generators but the reliability and “no” noise level of the EU3000 made it an easy choice.
 
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You make a valid point on the cost and watt difference. But I’ve used the Honda 2000 inverters for years in heavy civil construction. Beat the tar out of them and don’t take good care of them. Start every time. F that cheap 6000 watt unit sounding like someone is banging a coffee can full of nuts and bolts outside your door, I fart louder than the Honda . And 12 gallons?? Honda would run for a week on that. I did consider cheap/higher watt generators but the reliability and “no” noise level of the EU3000 made it an easy choice.
I've seen Honda generators and they are very impressive. Unfortunately one that would carry the load of my entire house cost about as much as my truck. So there's that... they're not practical for the average person who wants to use the thing once every couple of years to keep the house warm while they wait for Eversource to restore power.
We can agree that there is no better generator on the market. They're just not practically priced for the average homeowner.
 

teamRR

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You make a valid point on the cost and watt difference. But I’ve used the Honda 2000 inverters for years in heavy civil construction. Beat the tar out of them and don’t take good care of them. Start every time. F that cheap 6000 watt unit sounding like someone is banging a coffee can full of nuts and bolts outside your door, I fart louder than the Honda . And 12 gallons?? Honda would run for a week on that. I did consider cheap/higher watt generators but the reliability and “no” noise level of the EU3000 made it an easy choice.

Hondas burn about the same fuel for what they output. It's mostly just a math equation, HP = Fuel = Output in watts, sure fuel injection helps, diesels use less fuel, but no Hondas are not magical. 12 gallons a day is running that 5500 at a good > 50% all day, 24 hours a day.

We use the Honda's on the water and constantly have to fill them up.

They are quiet but I would rather be sitting comfortably with my lights, AC or heat, living normally, maybe even my TV if the outage didn't impact cable, with a humm of the generator outside, versus running 3 lights and a fridge with no hot water and it being perfectly quiet.
 

teamRR

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I've seen Honda generators and they are very impressive. Unfortunately one that would carry the load of my entire house cost about as much as my truck. So there's that... they're not practical for the average person who wants to use the thing once every couple of years to keep the house warm while they wait for Eversource to restore power.
We can agree that there is no better generator on the market. They're just not practically priced for the average homeowner.

If you change the oil, stabilize the fuel, keep the generator generally out of direct weather so its not soaked every time it rains, you can get a good 1000+ hours of use out of any Husky, Generac, etc etc. After so many years carburetors get wonky even in perfect maintenance, $60 or so buys you a new one, install as an assembly and they run new again.

Yep Hondas are so damn expensive you can buy multiple of a decent equivalent model for the $$. If reliability was your main concern you could add a spare for less than one Honda. They are quiet but if you run them outside who cares :)
 

oldguy68

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If you want your whole house on a generator just buy a hard wired natural gas or propane one.
All the issues with clean power are already sorted out with them and they are the only reliable and easy way to deal with an extended outage.
Buy once, cry once.

You guys are funny trying to light up a whole house with a $600.00 generator and then even mention clean power and all that goes out the window.

Put a real whole house automatic standby generator in and be done with it.
 

teamRR

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If you want your whole house on a generator just buy a hard wired natural gas or propane one.
All the issues with clean power are already sorted out with them and they are the only reliable and easy way to deal with an extended outage.
Buy once, cry once.

You guys are funny trying to light up a whole house with a $600.00 generator and then even mention clean power and all that goes out the window.

Put a real whole house automatic standby generator in and be done with it.

Well for $600 it works. Never had a problem with it and I did it for years at my old place where the power literally went down monthly, 2 weeks straight during that ice storm.

No doubt a permanent setup is better but a portable gets the job done.
 

DPR

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Hondas burn about the same fuel for what they output. It's mostly just a math equation, HP = Fuel = Output in watts, sure fuel injection helps, diesels use less fuel, but no Hondas are not magical. 12 gallons a day is running that 5500 at a good > 50% all day, 24 hours a day.

We use the Honda's on the water and constantly have to fill them up.

They are quiet but I would rather be sitting comfortably with my lights, AC or heat, living normally, maybe even my TV if the outage didn't impact cable, with a humm of the generator outside, versus running 3 lights and a fridge with no hot water and it being perfectly quiet.
Mine powers the whole house, admittedly not a huge load (giggity). Fuel burn is less with the Honda eco mode than if I had an equivalent generac or similar. Fuel savings probably doesn’t offset the higher cost of the Honda but it is nice having a long run time vs equivalent generic or similar. Mine runs great, always starts, powers my house and is super quiet.....all at a cost.
 

teamRR

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Mine powers the whole house, admittedly not a huge load (giggity). Fuel burn is less with the Honda eco mode than if I had an equivalent generac or similar. Fuel savings probably doesn’t offset the higher cost of the Honda but it is nice having a long run time vs equivalent generic or similar. Mine runs great, always starts, powers my house and is super quiet.....all at a cost.

What matters is how much load - 300 watts takes a certain amount of gasoline, 1000 watts a certain amount of gasoline. Maybe a Honda is a little more efficient but it would be like +/-10% ballpark.

On the boats we sometimes rig the Hondas up with a portable fuel tank kit so we can put 5 gallons in them, because otherwise it is a chore to constantly fill them, the little tanks don't last the night at the 1300 watts or so we need to run floodlights and a 50 amp on board charger.

We also turn off that economy mode because it causes a problem, forget what, but it messes with certain appliances or makes the generators stall or something.

Basically though, sure a tiny engine burns less at idle but when you are at a constant load of 50% or more its all about how many gallons per hour makes the wattage you need basically.
 

dhuze

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I just hooked up my house for this very thing today. I used a lockout kit and ran my wiring out to an outside plug-in box like this.

 

Varmint

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My recommendation to the OP here is to purchase a Honda eu2200 inverter generator. Locate it an appropriate distance from your home and lock it to a large immovable object. Run good quality cords to the required loads. Have an electrician install safe and appropriate connections to equipment like your boiler or furnace. (Palladin is highly recommended on this site.) If you need more power, a second "companion" Honda eu2200 can be installed with a parallel kit to double your power. Your main limitation with this setup is that you will only have 120v available so a well pump, electric range or dryer, or large AC unit will not work. These small Honda inverter generators run for many hours on little fuel, are portable, and adjust their speed and noise based on your load.

Good luck.

Chris

I got a Honda EG2800i for about the same price, just cause I don't expect to need to move it. It's the same as far as I can tell as an eu2200i with a little more power (2500W vs 1800W) and heavier (60 lbs?).

Can it be just outside the door or you think they should be further from the house?
 
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DPR

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What matters is how much load - 300 watts takes a certain amount of gasoline, 1000 watts a certain amount of gasoline. Maybe a Honda is a little more efficient but it would be like +/-10% ballpark.

On the boats we sometimes rig the Hondas up with a portable fuel tank kit so we can put 5 gallons in them, because otherwise it is a chore to constantly fill them, the little tanks don't last the night at the 1300 watts or so we need to run floodlights and a 50 amp on board charger.

We also turn off that economy mode because it causes a problem, forget what, but it messes with certain appliances or makes the generators stall or something.

Basically though, sure a tiny engine burns less at idle but when you are at a constant load of 50% or more its all about how many gallons per hour makes the wattage you need basically.
I understand your point but no house runs at a constant load. Appliances turn on and appliances turn off. The Honda can adjust and barely sip fuel for 12+ hours easily. I’ve not had a problem with eco mode
 
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