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Old 08-09-2013, 09:25 PM   #1
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Does anyone know the size or if its even possible to wire up a generator to your regular utility house hold power pole?? Basically what I want is to be able to switch to generator power if my electric goes out!! Not just plug in a few lights and my fridge but my whole house!! Thanks

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Old 08-09-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
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Yes it is possible to power your whole house from an appropriately sized generator. It has nothing to do with the wires on the power company pole however. You will need a transfer switch, either automatic or manual, to disconnect from the POCO and connect to the generator at the main panel. To size the generator you will have to add up the loads that you plan to operate. The self help electrical books usually have a page to help estimate the wattage for a house. This is a big job, not really for a beginner.

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Old 08-09-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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Wasn't planning on doing it myself I probably should have explained that but my fault! My power went out for about a week and I'm not about to go through that again with 3 small kids!! Does anyone know a price of a big enough generator and a price for a pro for this?? I live in the country so it's well water and an electric water heater!!


Thanks
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:10 AM   #4
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I will make multi reply in one shot so the OP's follow their oringal quoute and my reply in bottom.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner50 View Post
Does anyone know the size or if its even possible to wire up a generator to your regular utility house hold power pole?? Basically what I want is to be able to switch to generator power if my electric goes out!! Not just plug in a few lights and my fridge but my whole house!! Thanks
You can buy a transfer switch for on the uility pole but I am pretty sure the POCO may not want anything on POCO's owned poles so you may have to set up a second post to support the transfer switch.

The size of transfer switch will depending on few items it will support.,

What size the existing main switch it is on the pole now ?

How much load are you plan to run this on the generateur power?

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Originally Posted by dmclean701 View Post
Yes it is possible to power your whole house from an appropriately sized generator. It has nothing to do with the wires on the power company pole however. You will need a transfer switch, either automatic or manual, to disconnect from the POCO and connect to the generator at the main panel. To size the generator you will have to add up the loads that you plan to operate. The self help electrical books usually have a page to help estimate the wattage for a house. This is a big job, not really for a beginner.

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Gernally most case the DIY can not able do this part due some area have very strict code which they will prevent the Homeowner to install the transfer switch which it have to be installed by licensed electrician.

I will not able tell what size until one of the OP give us more infomation.

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Originally Posted by beginner50 View Post
Wasn't planning on doing it myself I probably should have explained that but my fault! My power went out for about a week and I'm not about to go through that again with 3 small kids!! Does anyone know a price of a big enough generator and a price for a pro for this?? I live in the country so it's well water and an electric water heater!!


Thanks
One thing I do not have magic ball to see what you have there so very hard to say what the cost will be and size of generateur you will be using.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner50 View Post
Wasn't planning on doing it myself I probably should have explained that but my fault! My power went out for about a week and I'm not about to go through that again with 3 small kids!! Does anyone know a price of a big enough generator and a price for a pro for this?? I live in the country so it's well water and an electric water heater!!


Thanks
A price for the genset, and the licensed electrician that can install the Generac or Kohler genset, you are sitting down right now I hope. Lets just say that it can cost anywhere from $10k to almost $20k, depending on the work that needs to be done, cost for equipment, labor, permits, etc..
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:51 AM   #6
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A typical 6500 watt portable generator could plug into a properly wired inlet, with a double-throw transfer switch or interlock kit could power your fridge, water pump, sump pump, some lights, TV, maybe even a small window A/C unit.

It won't be able to handle a central A/C unit, clothes dryer, etc.

As for your water heater, it could possibly do that, provided you shut off everything else while it's heating.

You would have to be diligent in handling the connected loads to avoid overloading the generator. In other words, you would become the generator's babysitter during the outage(s). You would also have to deal with things like buying, handling, and storing fuel.

Do you remember seeing hundreds of folks with gas cans waiting in long lines trying to buy gas for their generators last fall in New Jersey? Not a pretty sight.

Depending on where you live (you did not specify this in your profile), this type of setup could cost a couple of thousand bucks or so.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:04 AM   #7
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Well a coworker of mine rents a property and his landlord had this done before he had moved in. 6500 generator runs his entire house with a few appliances he can't run at the same time, I believe he said the water and dryer cannot run simultaneously. I only have a window a/c unit not central heat and air, the house is not big by any means so basically it would need to run water, tv, a few lights, a/c unit and or heaters I have and at times washer and dryer. If I remember correctly he said it cost him around $400 to have it done minus the generator ($800) and maybe the pole. Obviously gas would be an issue as far as enough on hand to keep it running!!
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:06 AM   #8
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If you have natural gas or a decently large propane tank then go that route. Portable gasoline units are a hassle, storing enough gas, moving it around, not having it stolen, dangers of refilling it, etc.

A 20kw whole house Generac ran us around $10k installed. This will vary based on location and install complexity. You don't necessarily need whole house, so get a quote for a smaller unit and the necessary changes to your wiring panel to accommodate it. For us it was a better deal to go with the larger unit rather than get into a lot of changes to the paneling on the interior wall where the panel was located.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner50 View Post
Well a coworker of mine rents a property and his landlord had this done before he had moved in. 6500 generator runs his entire house with a few appliances he can't run at the same time, I believe he said the water and dryer cannot run simultaneously. I only have a window a/c unit not central heat and air, the house is not big by any means so basically it would need to run water, tv, a few lights, a/c unit and or heaters I have and at times washer and dryer. If I remember correctly he said it cost him around $400 to have it done minus the generator ($800) and maybe the pole. Obviously gas would be an issue as far as enough on hand to keep it running!!
A generator will be about $1,000 and having a transfer switch installed might be $500; so your friend's figures are about right. You don't need a pole; the transfer switch goes next to your panel box.
Obviously I can't say without doing a load calculation, but 6500w ought to be plenty.

Two problems though.
1) A $1,000 generator is going to put out something only vaguely resembling electricity. Lots of people use them and most get away with it, but I would spend more for a decent generator.
2) Buying gas during a week long outage to keep a 6500w generator going could be impossible if the whole area is affected. You can't store gasoline for very long.

My recommendation would be to live without washer/dryer and buy the smallest decent generator you can start your water pump with. Turn the pump off when you want to run something else.
Consider propane; it is a much friendlier fuel than gasoline. It is much more difficult to find a propane generator than a gasoline generator, but worth the trouble.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #10
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Toller, actually Propane generators are not that hard to find http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...33138&ajr=sabc

Generac & Kohler make units that can be swapped from LPG to NG, just like you would with a furnace. BTW a decent unit is going to set you back around $1900 min..

Personally if I was doing a generator, I would also look at using a whole house UPS for fallback, until the genset kicks on. Worth the price, especially if you have someone with medical issues in the home. http://www.nooutage.com/houseups.htm Then you can add to it if you wish, Off grid type Solar panels if you want to step it up, and not have to run the genset 24/7, but have solar power keeping stuff like the fridge, freezer online.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Toller, actually Propane generators are not that hard to find http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...33138&ajr=sabc

Generac & Kohler make units that can be swapped from LPG to NG, just like you would with a furnace. BTW a decent unit is going to set you back around $1900 min..

Personally if I was doing a generator, I would also look at using a whole house UPS for fallback, until the genset kicks on. Worth the price, especially if you have someone with medical issues in the home. http://www.nooutage.com/houseups.htm Then you can add to it if you wish, Off grid type Solar panels if you want to step it up, and not have to run the genset 24/7, but have solar power keeping stuff like the fridge, freezer online.
He didn't say but my sense is that OP isn't looking to spend much and doesn't have NG or propane available.
If I am wrong about that then a NG standby is the way to go. Mine was $4,500 for 8kw. Got to use it for the first time Thursday; sweet!

Yes, if you have medicle equipment that can't be of for 30 seconds a suitible UPS would be desirable, but most people don't have that problem.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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Home generator


I do have a propane tank in back 500 gallon I believe. Where did you find the 8kw??
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:31 PM   #13
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I do have a propane tank in back 500 gallon I believe. Where did you find the 8kw??
You can find them on Amazon.com. They ship them to your home LTL (Less than Truck Load). You have to be there to unload it off the truck, but sometimes you can get them cheaper than purchasing through a local company. Same goes for the transfer switch.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:38 PM   #14
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And these guys can supply a conversion kit to make just about any portable generator run on propane and natural gas. I put one of these on my Yamaha and it works great.

http://www.propane-generators.com/
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #15
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I do have a propane tank in back 500 gallon I believe. Where did you find the 8kw??
Its jusr a Generac. They are sold all over. The 8kw uses less then a gallon an hour so a full tank should last you a while. You can save $1,500 installing it yourself. If its in your budget it is the best solution.

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