New England, prepare for rolling blackouts this winter...

Mesatchornug

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I was told that mine on propane would supply about 80% of power compared to when it was running on gas. So, have gas as primary and a couple of propane tanks as backup.
But, in neither case would I be trying to run the house in 'normal' mode....
That makes sense - propane is about 80% as energy dense as gasoline.
 
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I was specifically told by my well guy that a 5000W generator should power the pump OK.
Indeed …. ish. “Assuming” a 220 VAC well pump, that would be 22-23 amps out of the genny. A 1 hp submersible is usually on a 25 amp breaker. It draws about 9 amps running, but startup can be as high as 20 or so.

So, yeah, your genny will power the pump, but you won’t have a lot of excess capacity.

(I have this issue at family place in vt; no town water, so well. No generator either - yet - but it’s a weekend/vacation kind of place and worst come to worst, can shlep a bucket from the lake to flush a toilet. Longer than a day w/o power, screw it, go home)
 

APFSDS

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I have the 240V/120V 5kw for during working hours when we want to have the PCs running, well pump, electric kettle, toaster oven, lights in most of the rooms, our portable AC unit in the summer etc., but it won't run hot water. At night we can run the 2kw inverter generator that will run the single-phase oil heat blower plus a few small items and it sips gas. The transfer switch setup I bought will let you run selected circuits in the house, so I will turn off the 240V well pump etc. when I don't need it at night. The plan is to use gas to run these and keep the propane for running my small stove and little buddy propane heater, but I can run propane for the generators in a pinch. The generators are basically rated for about 75% of their max power output when running on propane.

I'm going to make one of these that runs off of oil or kerosene with a carbon felt wick that I can put in a window. We could seal off the living room/downstairs bathroom/kitchen with shower curtain rods + shower curtains and this would heat it fairly well. I am going to use high-temp stove sealant instead of JB weld, and forego the glass:

 

snax

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Is your well pump 110v or 230v?

110v well pumps tend to be in shallow wells, because they can only pump from a certain depth- most are 1/2 hp.

Most small generators don't produce 230v power.
I have an 8500w w/230v... when the well pump runs, the lites dim.
Washing machine and dishwasher must have some circuitry in them that won't let them run on dirty power, I get error messages.
I don't run the toaster or microwave either.
Stove, hot water is gas.
Furnace runs, but I mainly heat with wood.
I have used a 5000w honda w/ 230v and it runs the pump ok
 

Asaltweapon

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Just be aware generators burn through propane quick if you have a high load.

Folks here in Florida had the big 500 gallon tanks to run their 20kw whole house gensets and they emptied the tanks in just over a week of running after Ian. Of course they were running AC at full bore, pool pumps, all appliances just like they were hooked up to the grid, not using their heads to conserve. The guy who owns the house next to me (where his elderly folks live) came by after a few days to grab the gas generator he had here, because he ran emptied the propane tank at his house.
There is no need to run all that shit off a genny.
There’s an amazing amount of stupid doing it and inhaling all that gas needlessly.

I much prefer a generator panel.
 

DW357

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Also getting genny transfer switch installed. I have TWO, both dual fuel, a ~5kw and 2kw, plus about 20 gallons of gas and two 25lb propane bottles to run my cook stove and heater as well. Going to expand that in the next few days. Sh*% got real, real quick.
I got a 6250W on gas (I think 5700W on propane?) generator which will power everything in my house. Oil heat, gas dryer and gas stove, fridge and that's about it. Except for the water heater which is ~5000W I believe. I'll just kill the breaker for my water heater when running the generator. Of course if we're out for days on end I'll have to turn the water heater breaker on to get some warm water.

I got a 30 pound tank and two 20 pounders plus 5 gallons of 94 octane ethanol free VP fuel in the garage. That should last a little bit as the generator won't even be running at 50% load with everything running (minus the water heater)
 

Rockrivr1

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I have a Champion Duel Fuel generator that I primarily use Propane with. I have 4 thirty gallon propane tanks and each tank will run me about 8 hours. If I go with Gas I can extend the run time and power output, but for me propane is easier. The generator I have has 10,000 kw starting power with Gas that will run at 8000 kw. Propane has a 9025 kw starting power with 7250 kw run power. I can run everything in my house with it except the Central Air. If I were to run Gas I bet the Central Air would be covered.
 

PeterC

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I have a Champion Duel Fuel generator that I primarily use Propane with. I have 4 thirty gallon propane tanks and each tank will run me about 8 hours. If I go with Gas I can extend the run time and power output, but for me propane is easier. The generator I have has 10,000 kw starting power with Gas that will run at 8000 kw. Propane has a 9025 kw starting power with 7250 kw run power. I can run everything in my house with it except the Central Air. If I were to run Gas I bet the Central Air would be covered.
Ok, maybe I'm missing something. My portable generator has similar specs but isn't the limiting factor the cable and the breakers it's connected to ? Mine is 30 amps, so I can probably run most everything in my house (not the clothes dryer according to @Palladin), in a limited fashion, but certainly not in any way that mimics normal daily operation.
 
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Ok, maybe I'm missing something. My portable generator has similar specs but isn't the limiting factor the cable and the breakers it's connected to ? Mine is 30 amps, so I can probably run most everything in my house (not the clothes dryer according to @Palladin), in a limited fashion, but certainly not in any way that mimics normal daily operation.

If you have a 8kW generator with 10kW peak load why do you have it hooked up to a 30A 220V breaker and not a 50A 220V with corresponding wire?
 
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If you want to see what power you actually use, buy an Eyedro power monitor for your house from Amazon. Here is the last 48hrs of my 2000sqft house and 400sqft detached garage. We have an electric dryer, electric stove, well pump, large fridge, 2 chest freezers and oil furnace. All were on in the last day normal use.

Most houses are not using more than 5kW unless it's summer and you have AC on, which is a comfort issue not a practical use issue.

Screenshot_20221109_143120.jpg
 

DW357

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My sister bought a small A frame house in Maine and it’s a small. Propane and wood stove etc.
She sent me a video of the 18kW generac she had installed with 2 100 pound tanks. I’m like, that’s overkill for what you need and you’re just going to burn more propane compared to having a smaller unit. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Rockrivr1

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Ok, maybe I'm missing something. My portable generator has similar specs but isn't the limiting factor the cable and the breakers it's connected to ? Mine is 30 amps, so I can probably run most everything in my house (not the clothes dryer according to @Palladin), in a limited fashion, but certainly not in any way that mimics normal daily operation.

Interesting as @Palladin installed my hook up as well and I can run just about everything in the house (Except the electric dryer as well) I can tell you what the generator doesn't like. It doesn't like my wife's hair dryer. Konks out when she turns that bad boy on. Now I know why our electric bill is so high......
 
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My sister bought a small A frame house in Maine and it’s a small. Propane and wood stove etc.
She sent me a video of the 18kW generac she had installed with 2 100 pound tanks. I’m like, that’s overkill for what you need and you’re just going to burn more propane compared to having a smaller unit. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Yeah she should have a smaller unit for automatic on, supporting only critical loads. Keep the 18kW for manual turn on use when needed. Seems insane to run that beast all the time as the only backup.
 

DW357

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Yeah she should have a smaller unit for automatic on, supporting only critical loads. Keep the 18kW for manual turn on use when needed. Seems insane to run that beast all the time as the only backup.
Agreed. I asked her who did the load calculation and decided on that big generator. She’s like I did. I told them I want the best generator and not to skimp on anything. 🤦🏻‍♂️

She does plan to use baseboard electric heat in a couple rooms but still. I told her that the generator is 3X the size of my champion dual fuel generator
 

Palladin

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Agreed. I asked her who did the load calculation and decided on that big generator. She’s like I did. I told them I want the best generator and not to skimp on anything. 🤦🏻‍♂️

She does plan to use baseboard electric heat in a couple rooms but still. I told her that the generator is 3X the size of my champion dual fuel generator
she's going to have problems if she has to use it for a duration and it's only on 1/4 load.
 

DW357

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she's going to have problems if she has to use it for a duration and it's only on 1/4 load.
Uh oh. She’s about to find out come winter. They moved in over the summer. And she’s kinda in the boonies. She does have a well pump and the well is a couple hundred feet away and has electric water heater. But still
 

DW357

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In extreme cold I’ve been told that the lack of surface area in the bottle can have an issue on a large draw down.
IANAGF
Gotcha. I believe she said 100 pounds. This was the photo she sent before she had her bf fix the smushy ground. Tanks almost tipped over in the heavy rain several weeks ago24DF046B-8E4F-4687-87F4-A4611AC1F8B8.jpeg
 

PeterC

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If you have a 8kW generator with 10kW peak load why do you have it hooked up to a 30A 220V breaker and not a 50A 220V with corresponding wire?
I have a Westinghouse 7500DF (9500 peak/7500 normal) and it appears to only support a 30amp output.

Also, my house was already wired for a portable generator and when @Palladin swapped out the existing 6 circuit 'switch' and installed the transfer switch he only 'reserved' two breakers (for a max 30amps I presume). Whether that was because of the limitations of the generator or the existing wire from outside I have no idea.

Regardless, even if it were setup for 50amp that still means that you can only simutaneously run devices that total up to 50 amps, right ?
 

Dadstoys

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Interesting as @Palladin installed my hook up as well and I can run just about everything in the house (Except the electric dryer as well) I can tell you what the generator doesn't like. It doesn't like my wife's hair dryer. Konks out when she turns that bad boy on. Now I know why our electric bill is so high......
I was shocked when looking at the list of what draws how much in an average house and the damn coffee maker was right at the top of the list.
 
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I have a Westinghouse 7500DF (9500 peak/7500 normal) and it appears to only support a 30amp output.

Also, my house was already wired for a portable generator and when @Palladin swapped out the existing 6 circuit 'switch' and installed the transfer switch he only 'reserved' two breakers (for a max 30amps I presume). Whether that was because of the limitations of the generator or the existing wire from outside I have no idea.

Regardless, even if it were setup for 50amp that still means that you can only simutaneously run devices that total up to 50 amps, right ?

Yeah, but 50A of 220V is 100A of 120V (50A per leg). I'm not saying I've never hit 10kW demand for short stints because I have, but only if I'm welding or running full house AC on high.

We've used a 6500W gen for the last 6 years s a whole house backup. We lose power a number of times each year due to our rural location.
 
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