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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a propane generator, All-Power APG3560CN 6,000 watt, 13hp, 5,000 running watt, 6,000 surge.

I want to hook this to my main panel so I can pick and choose which circuits to run. I realize this is not super powerful so I will have to carefully choose what to run at the same time. I believe I will be able to run the refrigerator, 1 tv, cable box, and our gas hot air furnace.

During the summer I'd like to run our air conditioning. If we can't, what would happen, the generators circuit breaker would kick out?

I was going to use an Interlock but someone else suggested using Generlink as it's quicker and easier to hook up. It doesn't seem moving the circuit breakers down one and installing the Interlock is complicated. I'm comfortable in the panel as I've installed panel boxes before.
 

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Window AC or central?
I used an interlock. There is some question on code compliance with those. I’m not going to argue one way or the other.
Gen-Trans are good, I’ve installed a few of them.
 

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I wouldn't count on getting the full 5KW continuous output on that thing.

But I also wouldn't worry about powering more than two circuits at a time. Sure, they may be rated 15 or 20A. That doesn't mean you'll be drawing that much on each circuit. Look at your electric bill. You probably use a tiny fraction of that 5KW, on average.

Obviously averages are deceiving. Most loads cycle on and off, and you have starting currents on motors. Still, I run my whole house on a 7KW generator and never really tax the thing. I know which loads I can run, and which I can't. The whole-house connection allows me to decide what I need at the moment. I'd hate to be limited to just a few circuits.

Finally, there's probably a circuit breaker on the generator. That will trip if you ever misjudge what you can run.
 

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I would say the biggest thing might have problems with is electric stove and hot water heater if running at same time. Other then that could run most everything in the house . Like said your generator is on a breaker so it will let you know if overloaded.
 

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An interlock is perfectly legit in a lot of jurisdictions but not all. I have one. I like the fact I didn't have to choose which circuits were powered or not. I have a 7000 watt runtime generator. The back feed breaker is 30 AMPs. That would not likely run central AC but it can certainly do a window unit. I have a oil-fired boiler with two circulators (not ECM) and the burner which provides heat and hot water, a 1/2 sump pump, fridge, freezer and a plasma TV. During a storm, all of those may run at the same time. So far I haven't tested the AC because we haven't a power failure during AC season in a very long time. I might run my bedroom AC but I don't like to run the genny at night (potential theft issue and it uses 8 gallons of gas in 10 hours (at our gas prices that is 60 bucks/day if I ran 24 hrs)). Lighting is all CFL or LED so that load is almost nonexistent. I use the grill and my camp stove (outside yes!) and the microwave for cooking. The laundry can wait till the power comes back (the washing machine won't work on the generator power anyway).
 

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If AC is a requirement for an emergency situation, get a bigger generator. If Ac is even on the radar I would be more concerned with the fridge and freezer,
 

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I just got a propane generator, All-Power APG3560CN 6,000 watt, 13hp, 5,000 running watt, 6,000 surge.

I want to hook this to my main panel so I can pick and choose which circuits to run. I realize this is not super powerful so I will have to carefully choose what to run at the same time. I believe I will be able to run the refrigerator, 1 tv, cable box, and our gas hot air furnace.

During the summer I'd like to run our air conditioning. If we can't, what would happen, the generators circuit breaker would kick out?

I was going to use an Interlock but someone else suggested using Generlink as it's quicker and easier to hook up. It doesn't seem moving the circuit breakers down one and installing the Interlock is complicated. I'm comfortable in the panel as I've installed panel boxes before.
Go with an interlock. They're cheaper and easier to install, and unless you don't have the space for an extra double breaker there's really little reason to not go that route.

Window AC, you should have no issue with that size generator. I have a 3000/3500 watt and ran a standard 5000 BTU window AC all night after a storm in July to keep one room reasonably comfortable for sleeping. Central air is a different story, depending on the size. The startup watts can be pretty high even on a small one: 2 ton = 24,000 BTU = 3800 watts running, 11,400 watts startup/surge.

Just a suggestion if you have the space, throw a surge protector in there while the panel is open. That'll take up spots 1/3, and the interlock will take up 2/4.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Go with an interlock. They're cheaper and easier to install, and unless you don't have the space for an extra double breaker there's really little reason to not go that route.

Window AC, you should have no issue with that size generator. I have a 3000/3500 watt and ran a standard 5000 BTU window AC all night after a storm in July to keep one room reasonably comfortable for sleeping. Central air is a different story, depending on the size. The startup watts can be pretty high even on a small one: 2 ton = 24,000 BTU = 3800 watts running, 11,400 watts startup/surge.

Just a suggestion if you have the space, throw a surge protector in there while the panel is open. That'll take up spots 1/3, and the interlock will take up 2/4.
Thanks. 11,400! What! That's outrageous. I believe you but it's hard to believe but you can just hear the ac when it goes on pulling electricity, and that's why it has a separate canister capacitor.

I have the space to install the interlock and a surge protector. I've done a lot of electrical, very comfortable. I've never installed an interlock but I've read and understand. I have a pushamatic with a Siemens in a box in my garage, waiting. I want to install a surge protector. I know nothing other than it's necessary for power surges adding to the longevity of the house electronics. I'll have to read up on those before I install the box this spring, after the heating season, and before the air conditioning season.

Thanksl
 

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Thanks. 11,400! What! That's outrageous. I believe you but it's hard to believe but you can just hear the ac when it goes on pulling electricity, and that's why it has a separate canister capacitor.

I have the space to install the interlock and a surge protector. I've done a lot of electrical, very comfortable. I've never installed an interlock but I've read and understand. I have a pushamatic with a Siemens in a box in my garage, waiting. I want to install a surge protector. I know nothing other than it's necessary for power surges adding to the longevity of the house electronics. I'll have to read up on those before I install the box this spring, after the heating season, and before the air conditioning season.

Thanksl
That was from a quick google search; check your AC's faceplate if you want the exact specs. Just keep in mind the AC will be running with other stuff that has higher startup pulls- fridges, freezers, sump pumps, etc.

I have a Square D and my interlock install was as simple as drilling 3 holes and putting in a few screws. ~$60 for 50 cents worth of sheet metal and screws.

Great call on getting a propane generator- most people don't realize how much gasoline they would need to run a generator for a week straight, and any large-scale power outage will also mean gas station pumps won't work. It might be worth the investment to get an extra 100lb propane tank for that thing, since propane won't spoil. Your generator is listed for 8 hours at 1/2 load on 20lbs of propane, so a 100 pound tank would get you slightly less than 4 straight days.
 

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Well, gas stations do have generators these days. The main thing I see is that people aren't prepared for just how much they'll be fetching and pouring for that generator.

'Course they have to, because their furnace is dependent on AC mains electricity.
Whereas I have this along with gas range and gas water heater.

It boggles my mind how, not only does every house in the snowbelt not have an entirely electricity-free furnace... those aren't even stocked in those parts of the country. Sigh... but then, I don't have an HVAC degree so what do I know.
 

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It boggles my mind how, not only does every house in the snowbelt not have an entirely electricity-free furnace... those aren't even stocked in those parts of the country. Sigh... but then, I don't have an HVAC degree so what do I know.
I have a HVAC degree and I live in the "snowbelt". I've also lived in my house for close to 20 years, and I think the longest our power has been out has been for about 4 hours. This was in the summer during a storm. I can't remember the power EVER going out in the winter. Not even a blip for a few seconds. We have buried power lines in my area, which seem to be very reliable.

If our power ever did go out, I have a small portable "Big Buddy" propane heater that could probably keep us alive for quite a while if we all huddled in one room with the window cracked open for ventilation. Then I'd figure out a way to drain my pipes and "winterize the house" to prevent damage.

This would probably be "B". Plan "A" would be to rig my furnace up to an extension cord going to a small power inverter in my car parked in the driveway, or a small generator if I can obtain one. Shouldn't need much, the furnace by itself doesn't use much electricity.

Many people have gas decorative fireplaces, which aren't really made for heating, but they can be a good option for backup heat if needed. Of course real wood burning fireplace are out there too, and are an even better option for back up heat.
 

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Plan "A" would be to rig my furnace up to an extension cord going to a small power inverter in my car parked in the driveway, or a small generator if I can obtain one. Shouldn't need much, the furnace by itself doesn't use much electricity.
I already did that with mine. I just spliced in a pair of extension cord plugs, so when I needed to run it during a power outage, I just plugged it into an extension cord off my 4000 Watt portable generator; worked fine.
 

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The longest anyone around here has been without power in the past 40 years was almost a week. And that was on a back road with only 2-3 houses. The power lines have been reconfigured since then and it's much more reliable now. We still get brief outages, and in theory we could get a sustained outage from a rare storm.

I have enough fuel for a few days on generator. Yeah, it's a pain to go out and refill it. But I wouldn't want to leave it unattended for more than 12 hours anyway. Plus I have my old generator which I still maintain as a backup. I also have an extension cord wired to my boiler, through a DPDT switch. So in theory I could plug my boiler into a little 1KW, 2-stroke portable generator I have, too.

That gives me time to make some decisions. Probably more fuel would be available. If we're talking about an end-times breakdown of society, than there are bigger concerns than gasoline supply chains. Anything short of that, I could blow out all the water lines to winterize the house. Or, in a pinch, I could disconnect my boiler from the chimney and patch in an old wood/coal stove I have in the basement.
 

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As the OP, we don't lose electricity often, a few times a year if that, even zero some years, then for 1-4 hours. Every 3-5 years we will lose it for 8-12 hours. 4 years ago I bought a small 3,000 watt or less used Honda generator for $25. This spring I bought an old American built very very heavy 3,000 watt generator for $20. I was going to use the Honda to run the furnace and the other to run the refrig and such. Then a few weeks ago I got a 5,000/6,000 watt propane generator for Free! with 5 full 20 lb tanks. That's when I started to think about a panel Interlock so I can flip breakers and not use extension cords and leaving doors or windows ajar. I like propane because no stale gas to keep, no varnish buildup in the carb, no starting it often, no smells.
 

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The longest anyone around here has been without power in the past 40 years was almost a week. And that was on a back road with only 2-3 houses. The power lines have been reconfigured since then and it's much more reliable now. We still get brief outages, and in theory we could get a sustained outage from a rare storm.

I have enough fuel for a few days on generator. Yeah, it's a pain to go out and refill it. But I wouldn't want to leave it unattended for more than 12 hours anyway. Plus I have my old generator which I still maintain as a backup. I also have an extension cord wired to my boiler, through a DPDT switch. So in theory I could plug my boiler into a little 1KW, 2-stroke portable generator I have, too.

That gives me time to make some decisions. Probably more fuel would be available. If we're talking about an end-times breakdown of society, than there are bigger concerns than gasoline supply chains. Anything short of that, I could blow out all the water lines to winterize the house. Or, in a pinch, I could disconnect my boiler from the chimney and patch in an old wood/coal stove I have in the basement.
Look at something like Hurricane Sandy- there was massive gas shortages, people waiting hours and were only allowed a certain amount of gas. Price gouging was rampant and uncontrolled. There was very little infrastructure damage (the roads and bridges were usable), so think of a situation like that compounded with gas deliveries not being able to get in. I remember speaking to several people who dealt with the ice storm in northern NY and Quebec in the late 90s; many didn't have power for over 3 weeks. The power companies had to rebuild the entire grid.
 

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Look at something like Hurricane Sandy- there was massive gas shortages, people waiting hours and were only allowed a certain amount of gas. Price gouging was rampant and uncontrolled. There was very little infrastructure damage (the roads and bridges were usable), so think of a situation like that compounded with gas deliveries not being able to get in. I remember speaking to several people who dealt with the ice storm in northern NY and Quebec in the late 90s; many didn't have power for over 3 weeks. The power companies had to rebuild the entire grid.
170105_s17pu_rci-m-pylons_sn635.jpg
 

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A generator is cheap insurance for physical, mental, and family comfort. One day you will use it. You can used for even less. Costs nothing to sit. If new, let sit; if used, use a fuel stabilizer, run, then drain the gas, then blow out the lines and carb on low pressure. Gasoline can be bought prior to the storm and if not used, put in your vehicle.
 

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A generator is cheap insurance for physical, mental, and family comfort. One day you will use it. You can used for even less. Costs nothing to sit. If new, let sit; if used, use a fuel stabilizer, run, then drain the gas, then blow out the lines and carb on low pressure. Gasoline can be bought prior to the storm and if not used, put in your vehicle.
Emergency preparedness can mean a different things to different people. I live in a fairly benign area, but if I lived in areas that saw regular major storms or was remote enough that assistance was a long time coming, or if I had some medical device was critical I would likely think differently. I have an old 3500W generator and other than use around the farm when we lived there, I haven't had to use it since the N/E blackout of 2003(?) when we were out for 2 days. Admittedly, it won't run much but at the time I wanted portability over capacity. We've had outages but nothing more than a few hours when they are doing planned line work or some numpty whacks a pole. I do as you suggest. Twice a year I change the fuel, run it under load, run the carb dry, then put it back in its cubby.

A standby generator isn't in the budget right now. Push come to shove, we have two gas fireplaces and we could eat the fridge empty (like I need that right after Christmas). Many in our neigbourhood have standby generators - I'd probably just make friends with them.
 

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Hi JLawrence08648,
I have a very similar propane generator and here's how I set it up:

I bought an Interlock, a L13-30P inlet box, a 10 AWG extension cord with one 4 prong male end (plugs into the 240V outlet on generator) and one female end (plugs into the inlet box), and a PowerBack Alarm so I would know when the main power was back on.

I had an electrician install the L13-30P inlet box, just inside the door of my garage, to provide generator power to my panel. They also installed the Interlock and the PowerBack Alarm. The PowerBack Alarm has 2 leads that just wrap around your main power lines to sense when there's power.

So, here's what I do when the power goes out:

1.) Turn off all breakers in the panel.
2.) Start the generator.
3.) Connect extension cable from generator to inlet box.
4.) Turn on the generator breaker (30 amp, wired to the inlet box & can't be turned on at the same time as the Main thanks to the Interlock).
5.) Turn on needed breakers in the panel.
6.) Turn on the PowerBack Alarm.

This runs everything we need while the power is out. When the main power is restored, the PowerBack Alarm lets us know (super loud).

-Mike
 
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