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Old 02-01-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
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Temporary generator hookup for furnace?


Anticipating the upcoming snow storm, I'm trying to think through what I have on hand and what I could do to maintain heat if we get what they're saying could happen - power outages. With 2 kids and it being winter, this is actually not a power outage situation we've faced before.

I have a generator and NM cable available, I have extension cords.. I know the basics of the generator has to stay outside, and I'm thinking if the power goes out that I'd shut off the furnace circuit breaker, disconnect the wires at the furnace and make a temporary connection to something that plugs into the generator until power came back... Anything else I need to know or that I should pick up to make the connection or anything I'm thinking that's wrong or otherwise should know?

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #2
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Temporary generator hookup for furnace?


The cord and plug arrangement you are describing will work perfectly fine given the circumstances.

Refinement. Add a 3 way switch next to the furnace emergency switch with the red cover (perhaps using a double gang box). Connect the common terminal on one pole to the furnace lead (going to the existing emergency switch first). Connect one traveler terminal to the incoming power. Wire the other traveler terminal to a cord and plug assembly (the hot wire). This becomes your generator connection and transfer switch.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-01-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
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Temporary generator hookup for furnace?


The furnace in the house I'm buying is wired with a plug. The outlet is screwed to the furnace, so it's a really short plug wire.

If I wanted to run it on a generator all I'd need to do is unplug it and plug it into an extension cord. It's a gas furnace, so it doesn't draw much current.

I think my furnace probably powers the thermostat in this house, but in our current house the thermostat has it's own breaker, so I'd need to power it, too.

Good luck with the storm.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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Temporary generator hookup for furnace?


My last house had a receptacle on the furnace next to the switch. I took a heavy extension cord (14-3) and put a male plug on the end that was female and plugged it in. Threw the breaker off and had heat for 6 days while power was off. My generator was a small one so that was all it wanted to run. Problem I had was getting up during the night to fill the gas tank. Usually only once though.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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Temporary generator hookup for furnace?


Do not create a cord with male plugs at both ends.

Do not wire up or plug in a generator in a fashion that you could possibly have both the generator and the utility power connected into the system at the same time depending on what order you flipped the switches and breakers or plugged things in.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-01-2011 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:59 PM   #6
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Temporary generator hookup for furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeKy55 View Post
My last house had a receptacle on the furnace next to the switch. I took a heavy extension cord (14-3) and put a male plug on the end that was female and plugged it in. Threw the breaker off and had heat for 6 days while power was off. My generator was a small one so that was all it wanted to run. Problem I had was getting up during the night to fill the gas tank. Usually only once though.
A male male extension cord is called a suicide cord for reason. DO NOT DO THIS.

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