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Old 12-01-2009, 08:13 PM   #1
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furnace emergency generator


I'd like to use a backup generator with my furnace but am not ready to install a transfer switch in my home wiring. There is a red box labeled "Gas Burner Emergency Switch" located right next to my unit. Can I remove this switch and install a receptable then a male plug on the wire that goes back to the furnace? Then I would be using the plug and still have the ability to kill the furnace any time necessary. I would unplug the furnace from the home and plug in the generator when necessary.

Is this possible?

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Old 12-01-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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furnace emergency generator


You would be back feeding the electric system if it was hard wired
With a cord & plug on the furnace you may be able to do it
Not sure if that would meet code

You still need an emergency shut off switch
Usually these are located at the top of the basement stairs

What power does the furnace use ?

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Old 12-01-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
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furnace emergency generator


Try one of these:

http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....51W/p1094.html

They work really well. It will positively disconnect the furnace from the mains then positively connect it to the generator. A friend of mine ran his furnace through a switch like this on a 1000 watt generator he bought at Big Lots for $100 last winter when an ice storm knocked out his power for a week. (His furnace blower only drew 6 amps.)
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:53 PM   #4
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furnace emergency generator


I do have to look closer at the wiring. I'm not going to backfeed into the house though the cord and wire will be hardwired into the terminals that run the furnace.

It's on a 30 amp breaker not sure what power it uses but it can't be more than 30 amps right?
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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furnace emergency generator


30a 240v = 6000 watts
Is it just a pump - hot water, or is it a steam system, heat pump...other ?
Fuel type ?
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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furnace emergency generator


it's forced air gas furnace. So the blower motor is the only thing being powered. I can't believe it uses that much juice but it must.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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furnace emergency generator


The best thing would be to install the proper plug and outlet for the furnace. They make all sorts of different plugs/outlets for the voltage and amperage needed (links below).

Then simply unplug it and plug it into an extension cord for the generator.

And I would recommend you have an electrician do this. It may seem like a simple thing, but I have seen thousands of dollars of damage done to equipment when someone installs a new plug/outlet and wires it wrong. (Specifically large computer room computers - person wired a ground to a hot on a plug, fried all sorts of computer equipment with grounds tied together!)

Plug/outlets...
http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...nfiguratio.htm

Twist lock...
http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...receptacle.htm
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:58 PM   #8
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furnace emergency generator


Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
The best thing would be to install the proper plug and outlet for the furnace. They make all sorts of different plugs/outlets for the voltage and amperage needed (links below).

Then simply unplug it and plug it into an extension cord for the generator.
I think this was exactly what he had planned. At least that is how I understood the original post. The furnace is likely only on a 15 amp circuit and a normal plug will be fine.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:16 AM   #9
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furnace emergency generator


Sounds like the furance was fed frpm the 30 amp air handler circuit.
If it is a 30 amp circuit, you can not put a recepticle to feed the furance.
Since it is a gas furnace, run a new 15 amp dedicated circuit and then add a recepticle.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:45 PM   #10
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I'm not even sure what an "air handler circuit is". I have always found it a bit baffling that it was on a 30 amp circuit though...I'm not an electrician. I'm confident I can wire a recepticle though.

Why can't I put in a 30 amp recepticle and use the properly rated cable though?
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
I think this was exactly what he had planned. At least that is how I understood the original post. The furnace is likely only on a 15 amp circuit and a normal plug will be fine.

it is on a 30 amp circuit. I plan on tracing all this and checking the ratings on the furnace tomorrow or sunday.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:03 AM   #12
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furnace emergency generator


General use receptacles are prohibited from being on circuits greater than 20 amps.

Furnaces also do not qualify as an appliance than can be cord and plug connected.
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:16 AM   #13
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Furnaces also do not qualify as an appliance than can be cord and plug connected.
Yes they do. Some areas won't pass it. But many will..

Be carefull with your furnace. Many newer ones have trouble running on a generator. They are ground sensitive(the furnace that is).
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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furnace emergency generator


You are correct beenthere , the power board will fry on the new furnaces that have solid state in them also will damage any appalince that is newer and has solid state componce in it ( fridges,washer ,dryer gararge door openers & ect. ) it has to do with non regulated voltage from the generator also know as dirty power .Don't run your new flat screen tv on them also .There is more to than just plugging in your genie when you lose power and powering up your stuff . The only generator that I know that has true clean power ,and I am not connected in any way ,shape or form is a Honda model. Believe me I witnessed and have seen this happen and the damage that this will do when there furnce board fried and took 3 days to get part in the middle of winter.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Yes they do. Some areas won't pass it. But many will..

Be carefull with your furnace. Many newer ones have trouble running on a generator. They are ground sensitive(the furnace that is).
Could you please whether the areas that do approve this are ignoring 422.16 or is there a local exemption? I do not think most would consider a furnace as equipment needing frequent interchange, nor have I seen instructions that list a cord and plug as an acceptable wiring means.

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