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I have a generator running 3000 watts / Peak 3500 watts and I would like help on knowing what steps I need to do in order to hook this up to to my main circuits of my home. I know that I can run extension cords to the fridge and a few lights, but I'm considering HVAC on top of things. I do realize the issues with feedback to the electric lines and of course danger to linemen, so what am I looking at in regards to the cost, ease of use, safety, and getting it done by a professional?
 

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I have a friend that has a large gas generator hooked up to the house. He has a large circuit box between the house main box and the generator. It detects power outages and automaticly starts the generator.
 

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After Hurricane IKE in Houston, we looked at having a generator added to the house. The house had natural gas and it was all plumbed in at the same place so all of the facilities were together for convenient installation. We priced out the automatic ones that kick on and found that they were unreliable, produced much less power on Natural Gas as opposed to propane and added ZERO to your resale value. I had a hard time investing $10k to $15k in that type of scenario.

What I was told and some neighbors did was have a licensed, qualified, bonded, insured electrician install a separate panel that would be only for the circuits that would run on your generator and add a cut off switch so you didn't feed power back into the grid. I priced it out and it was around $300 to $400 at the time. This gave me the ability to take my generator with me if I bugged out, mount it behind the fence to keep it from being stolen when it is running, store it in the garage out of the weather, and upgrade it later with out any additional charges for installation.

Even though I'm in the desert now and not facing a hurricane, I still think about having this done.

I'd put the refrigerator on it and some lights and a TV. Keeping the power demand low keeps the generator size small and that means it makes less noise. Less noise makes it harder to hear and come see when you have enough problems already with out prying eyes and sticky fingers.

Getting energy efficient appliances and LED light bulbs is a huge help too. Where a 100 watt bulb could be replaced with a CFL that only used 25 watts, an LED can do that for 16 watts.

So for the cost of the generator and panel install you are only into this for $3000 to $6000, and if you want to go whole hog and spend $15,000 you can but use the additional funds to upgrade the INTERIOR of the house (less energy demand) instead of buying a bigger generator. That is a savings that pays off even when there isn't a storm.
 

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solar2.jpg By law, to hook up solar/wind or a generater to your panel box it MUST be hooked up with a power transfer switch. It also must be hooked up by a licensed electricion, no exceptions The picture you see is real, not a fake. If you backfeed it into your box this can be the result to you, someone you love or the poor lineman down the road trying to fix your power. And a little 3k generator is not going to run much of anything
 

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We have ours hooked right up to the box, but my husband is a licensed electrician and could do this stuff with his eyes closed. Personally I wouldn't mess with the wiring to my house without a licensed person who knows what they're doing. Also if there's even the slightest chance that you or someone else might forget to shut your main breaker off when the generator is running, you could backfeed into the wires and fry a lineman.
Not worth it.
 

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I bought the switchbox at Lowes ($299 a couple years ago) and did it myself...had an electrician buddy inspect and tag it as safe. I run a 5500 watt generator but we dont have the amperage to run our hvac but we can use auxillary heat (Natural Gas furnace and Blower for heat) I guess its ceiling fans for the AC LOL! We cant run our clothes dryer and kitchen range but we mostly cook on a George Foreman ...Microwave and Larger toaster oven. Its a cheaper route to go than a whole house generator but we save gas and we can run all the lights and other stuff in the house. One of my fireplaces has a ventless log set in it so if need be I can pull it out in ten minutes and open the flu...burn wood.
 

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I have a generator running 3000 watts / Peak 3500 watts and I would like help on knowing what steps I need to do in order to hook this up to to my main circuits of my home. I know that I can run extension cords to the fridge and a few lights, but I'm considering HVAC on top of things. I do realize the issues with feedback to the electric lines and of course danger to linemen, so what am I looking at in regards to the cost, ease of use, safety, and getting it done by a professional?
To small to run hvac. You can run the fridge and a few other items on it. You should get a 5kw 220v unit if you want to tie it in with the house. A transfer switch would be in order for you.
 

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View attachment 547 By law, to hook up solar/wind or a generater to your panel box it MUST be hooked up with a power transfer switch. It also must be hooked up by a licensed electricion, no exceptions The picture you see is real, not a fake. If you backfeed it into your box this can be the result to you, someone you love or the poor lineman down the road trying to fix your power. And a little 3k generator is not going to run much of anything
That pic is two kids trying to steal copper. New neighborhood going up and they thought the grid was dead. They were wrong. I have the rest of those pics.
 

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Well the quickest way but most dangerous is to pull the main fusses from your electrical panel and make a cord with two male ends plug one into the generator and the other end into a wall outlet. I would do this in an emergency only then hook the wires directly in to the box when able.
 

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That may be two kids trying to steal copper, however the result is the same. People with little or no knowledge messing with high voltage ac elect. The result is not going to be good.
 

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To small to run hvac. You can run the fridge and a few other items on it. You should get a 5kw 220v unit if you want to tie it in with the house. A transfer switch would be in order for you.
Very good advice here, across the board, SOCOM42!
 

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Hire an electrician to install a box for a 30 amp plug on the side of the house and install a generator switch circuit panel for the circuits you want powered.
 

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Instead of a generator if the shtf you might want to think about a welder generator. A Miller Bobcat will supply 10,500 watts and being able to weld would be very valuable.
 

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You can put a two way switch in between the box and what you want to power, like a gas furnace and fridge. I haad a 50amp one hooked up, thrown one way it supplies power from the line and thrown the other way the line is disconnected and power comes through a generator line. It looks like an industrial power switch, grey box 12x18x6 deep. Might have been called a three way switch can't recall
 

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To small to run hvac. You can run the fridge and a few other items on it. You should get a 5kw 220v unit if you want to tie it in with the house. A transfer switch would be in order for you.
+1 for this idea,
I live on a dead end road we ( better half and I) we tend to loose power at the oddest times. So after one summer of this( 4 days was the longest) we decided to get a portable gene to slove the problem. We ended up with a 8k ( gas powered) running ( 13,500 start up) generator and also added a transfer panel too. I'm using a 8k rated generator to run EVERYTHING in the house but our central air( we have a small window unit we can run if need be) & electric stove. The biggest driving force in determining the size was what we wanted to run in a " worst case senerio " so at the min. we wanted to run the following items, submersilbe well pump ( 100ft of head), oil fired boiler for BOTH heat & hot water,fridge, fish tank ( could end up being dinner ;O) ) lights in every room if need be, tv, radio etc. It takes about 5 gallons of fuel to run everything for 10/11hrs ( the unit is rated @ 7 gallons per 8hrs at %50 load, the comforts of home are nice:O) . Then when its all over I unplug it from the house, let if cool off, top off the fuel and roll it back in the basement until next time.

Now on the other end of things, even though you have a smaller generator the transfer switch will still give you good control and abilites to run things from the stand point that you can turn the fridge off at its breaker & anything else your running, in order for you to dedicate the full power of the generator to run just one thing whether its your hvac or something else, before going this route ( if I remember correctly it was around $ 1700 for everything, the generator transfer switch, cable & plug for between the house outlet & generator 30A outlet) you should covert the wattage to amperage to see if this truely is a viable option for the generator you have, you still may want to get a bigger one but either way the transfer switch will offer you more versatility no matter how you look at it
That's the two cents from the "newbie" and hi from PA!
G
 

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Our main heat supply is electrical with fuel oil backup(hot water boiler). The fuel oil furnace is powered by 110v. I had a plan to install a male & female plug midway between the cb box and the furnace so when our power fails I could just unplug the line and plug in an extension cord attached to my generator. That way when the power came back on I wouldn't have to worry about a power surge in the system. Any electricians in here see a problem with this?
 

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When we bought here ~30 years ago, power would go out frequently for no apparent reason. We installed a propane floor furnace in the kitchen. Heats the whole house. Doesn't require any electricity. The set-back thermostat runs on 2 AA batteries. 400 gallon tank out back lasts all winter.
The only reason for a genset is the fridge and the well pump. And yes, use a transfer switch.
FWIW: For lights out, drop by Walmart or... and pick up a few of those solar yard lights. Charge during the day. Run for several hours at night.
 

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When we bought here ~30 years ago, power would go out frequently for no apparent reason. We installed a propane floor furnace in the kitchen. Heats the whole house. Doesn't require any electricity. The set-back thermostat runs on 2 AA batteries. 400 gallon tank out back lasts all winter.
The only reason for a genset is the fridge and the well pump. And yes, use a transfer switch.
FWIW: For lights out, drop by Walmart or... and pick up a few of those solar yard lights. Charge during the day. Run for several hours at night.
you can get propane operated refrigerators.
they have been on the market for over 70 years.
 
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