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Old 01-17-2009, 07:47 AM   #1
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weekend ski house needs generator to run well pump, oil furnace, tv, fridge, a few lights.

what size generator in watts?

is it a big deal for an electrician or novice to tie house into generator?

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Old 01-17-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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Are you talking portable or automatic stand-by?
No big deal to install for an experienced electrician. For a novice, yes. You must use some type of transfer switch and there's several options for this.

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Old 01-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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a portable gasoline type. What watts? Horsepower?
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TStan View Post
a portable gasoline type. What watts? Horsepower?
Add up the total watts of the equipment you want to use and use this figure to purchase the generator. This is really not the best way.
You can also Google (generators + size) and you can get a idea what each appliance pulls. Also you can use the calculator to get a recommended size.
All this is available on the web.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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http://www.gillettegenerators.com/sizing/sizing02.html
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:16 PM   #6
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When sizing generators, several factors come in to play.

1) Total continuous load. Add the lights, TV, fridge, etc. all together. If you don't know the wattage of appliances, figure 800 watts for the fridge, 1000 for the furnace, 200 for a TV, and lights as the bulb wattage. Figure 1000 watts per HP for the well pump. Use 1.5 times this total.

2) Starting surge: Generally speaking, figure the motor HP X 3 = the KW rating needed to start it. For example, a 2 HP motor will need a 6000 watt (6KW) generator to start it, but only 2000 watts to run it. This starting surge must be added to any continuous load expected to be in use when the pump starts. A fridge takes about 2000 watts to start.

Use the larger of these two figures. Since several things will be on at the same time, oversize the generator a bit.

When the well pump or furnace starts, expect the lights to get VERY dim for a second or so.

If you are willing to manually control larger loads (like the well pump, fridge, and furnace), you can get by with a much smaller generator.

If this is a generator-only system, simply wire the generator to the panel. If there is utility power present, a transfer switch is needed. Be very careful to install the transfer switch properly, and if possible, get it inspected by the local building department. If the generator back-feeds into the power line, and a lineman is injured or killed by a non-code installation, you'll be held completely liable. A singed-off inspection by the local building department pretty much absolves you of any responsibility if anything bad happens.

Rob

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