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I just purchased a 3000 watt with 3500 peak generator. I know its not much, but its a start. I'm wanting to plug this into my home system when the lights go dim I'll be able to power up the generator and have no issues with my food spoiling etc. Has anyone done this or what big task am I looking at?
 

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Well just know that anybody with lights on will become a target! So make sure you have a way of keeping the gennie quiet and the light from showing through windows. Also you have to think about gas storage and rotating it out with your vehicles so that it doesn't go bad :)

It's a GREAT start though! I tried convincing my parents to get a gennie. Last year we had severe flooding and the water plant had to shut down due to contamination in our water supply, I saw a glimpse of what people will do for resources when threatened....so just make sure you think about what the effects are of running a generator.

Oh and CONGRATS!
 

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They make a double through breaker. One way for generator power, the other for on grid. You put it in a separate panel with the circuits you want to power. Electrician did mine though.
 

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Call your electrician and ask about having the generator be able to plug directly into your circuit breaker. I haven't done it yet, but there is a newer device that I plan on getting that allows the generator to plug right into the circuit breaker and then you simply control what gets the power from there. It has a switch that won't allow the circuit breaker to accept the power unless the main breaker is in the off position (to protect potential linemen). You then turn everything on the panel to the off position (before you connect the generator) and turn on only what circuits you want to use. You could know, for example, that one switch controls the lights and receptacles in your living you. You then unplug everything except what wattage you calculate, etc. Just an option.
 

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This is what I have

Shop Generac 30-Amp Pre-Wired 6-Circuit Manual Transfer Switch at Lowes.com

Super easy to install and if you hook your generator directly to your breaker box without one you can actually kill a utility worker!

Put it in about 3 years ago and have used it in half a dozen power outages...some 2 hours...some 8 hours. I wouldn't recommend using this thing as a prepper tool as they say because even in minor outages the neighbors are glued to your house like crazy..I turn on my garage and outside lights....landscape lighting and open the front blinds and turn on TV and fire up the sat reciever just to tell em all FU! but what they hey!...People drive by and break their necks looking! This thing is not for prepping here....we dont keep a lot in the freezer so no problem! We get a lot of summer storms....ice storms and what not and its nice to just not be one of the idiots that hasnt figured it out yet! It gets REALLY funny if the outage is during a UK game....Pro Football Game or what have you...Idiots will try to invite themselves for the game!!!! I dont do football or basketball...sorry!

You wouldnt BELIEVE the attention you get if your the ONLY person in a couple of square miles with lights!....If SHTF dont do it!

BTW I run a 6500 watt peak 5500 watt continuous Generator and run fridge...freezer....microwave.....gas furnace....2 tv's.....sat recievers for both tvs...lights in two of 3 bedrooms...lights in hall and two bathrooms....Lights in living room and kitchen and can use a george Foreman grill as well! I cant use electric range....dryer.....or heat pump because of the wattage but can run all ceiling fans in the house too! Just gotta be careful and figure out whats most important to you before you install it!
 

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I have a similar setup as SSGT described above. I have a 5000/6500w Portable Gen with 120 & 240 outlets.
I installed a 10-circuit Transfer Switch (originally bought the 6 circuit model, but I needed double pole breakers for both my hot water heater AND my well pump).

The install cost me about $380 for the TransferSwitch off of Amazon with free shipping, and I gave my Electrician buddy $250 to help me with the job.
I did about 60% of it and he went over everything and did the final hookups.

We just went thru Hurrican Sandy without power for 7 days, it was the perfect test and the setup worked out great.
I'm powering - Furnace, WaterHeater, WellPump, SumpPump, EjectionPit (for downstairs bathroom), Refrig, DeerFreezer, Kitchen Lights, 2 sets Bathroom lights, and select wall outlets in the Kitchen/LivingRoom.

I highly recommed this setup.

 

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I have a 2500 watt Honda generator, man portable. I just power the refrigerator and lights, fan, TV, pumps, or backup window unit A/C -- heater, by simply running extension cords.

Runs off gasoline, quiet, and can run through the night without refueling. You need a secure location for it (thieves look for these in emergencies that last) that has access for intake air and exhaust fumes. I built a wooden platform with a roofed enclosure that locks, and put hardware cloth (chicken wire) on the openings for the exhaust, intake and cooling air. Ran mine for a solid week after a hurricane. Only one with power on my block. Use lanterns at night, and let the generator keep your food and people/pets cool. Guard it well.

Cannot power the whole house but no isolation or transfer switch setup needed. And if I need to bug out, I can put it in the pickup and take it with us. YMMV.
 

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They make a double through breaker. One way for generator power, the other for on grid. You put it in a separate panel with the circuits you want to power. Electrician did mine though.
It is called a transfer switch. It is too keep power from coming in from two seperate directions at once and also to protect the linemen that may be working on the lines. Must have, and it is the law.
 

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