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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
Surge protectors only work when properly applied. The IEEE discusses 3 zones of protection. For the surge devices to work you must protect 2 of the 3 zones. One at the service and one at the point of use. Even if sized appropriately they are still just better than nothing. Sorry no guarantees here. Yes I have them on my service and on my point of use devices that I want to protect. Do not forget the garage door opener. The mother board on mine was more than the cost of a new one.
Something to consider about your generator. What was it designed to do? Was it intended for house backup or was it intended as a portable unit. Units less than 15 hp USUALLY use rpm's to manage production of the cycles, current and voltage. Meaning if it is idling the production of power may not be the best for electronics. Motors will not care.

Running a generator under a load does two things, one they get noisy, second they consume a lot of fuel. More than you might realize. I have a 6500 old dog Onan that can and does power my stuff. Under a load I can go through 10 gallons of gas a day. One of the reasons the Onan's are usually attached to the motor coaches gas tank. If your power goes out as much as I interpretation then you need a bigger machine and you need propane or diesel for fuel. The other thing is with air cooled machines the engine noise is more than the exhaust noise. Little can be done about that. If you build a box for the genny then you may be starving it of air which it needs to keep cool.

Please check with local experts before you go out and spend money on electrical equipment that can kill. Generators when impropertly installed can and have killed linemen working to repair the lines. Electricity does not care which direction it travels.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks Mike. I'm wondering if the powerback alarm is available with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi if you don't hear the alarm or are away at a family member's house who has electric, heat, ac.

The name number of the box is helpful. I was thinking going with 40 or 50 amp wiring in case I decide to upgrade the generator to higher watts then I'll have the higher amp wiring in place.

It's even good to know that it plugs in to the 240v outlet on the generator! This is all new to me. Electricity is not, generators are.
 

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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.
Did the same thing with a 3500 gas generator in the ice storm on 2009. Power was out 6 days. I got a little grief regarding the "suicide" cord, but hey, we were warm. Of course I flipped the main breaker off so I didn't cook a lineman. My little generator only ran non stop for 4 hours before running out of gas. I would turn the thermostat up to 80 for an hour before going to bed and then back down to 68. Got up about 2 hours after it was out and refilled it.
 

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Did the same thing with a 3500 gas generator in the ice storm on 2009. Power was out 6 days. I got a little grief regarding the "suicide" cord, but hey, we were warm. Of course I flipped the main breaker off so I didn't cook a lineman.
Not sure what you mean by "suicide cord", but as far as endangering a lineman, my setup is separated from the lines. I just spliced a pair of plugs into line going to the furnace, so when the power is out, I unplug it from the line, and plug it into an extension cord from the generator. The only part that's likely not to code is that I have an extension cord plug on a NM (Romex) cable.
 

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I had a cord with a male plug on both ends and the switch on the furnace had an outlet incorporated in it. Plugged the cord in the outlet and the other end in the generator. That fed the furnace.
 

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I had a cord with a male plug on both ends and the switch on the furnace had an outlet incorporated in it. Plugged the cord in the outlet and the other end in the generator. That fed the furnace.
Those are called suicide cords by some. I call them jail-time cords when someone gets killed if it's not you.
 

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JLawrence08648,
The PowerBack Alarm I have runs off of a 9v battery so Bluetooth or Wi-Fi would probably be hard for the company to implement. But maybe some other company makes a similar device that would communicate wirelessly.

Yeah, it'd be better to future proof the installation as much as possible. Higher gauge wire wouldn't add much cost at all and then you wouldn't hafta worry if you got a bigger generator. The generator inlet boxes have different rated watt limits too so that's something else to keep in mind. My generator is 6k running watts, 7.5k surge, and everything works great.

Let us know what you end up going with.

-Mike
 

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Thanks Mike. I'm wondering if the powerback alarm is available with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi if you don't hear the alarm or are away at a family member's house who has electric, heat, ac.

The name number of the box is helpful. I was thinking going with 40 or 50 amp wiring in case I decide to upgrade the generator to higher watts then I'll have the higher amp wiring in place.

It's even good to know that it plugs in to the 240v outlet on the generator! This is all new to me. Electricity is not, generators are.
Yes there is, it is called an automatic transfer switch. Blue tooth has a max range of of 5000 feet if you have the latest version. WiFi unless protected by a uninterruptible power source is a mistake as it will shut down for each change of power. The rebooting takes time.
There are lots of these available from various manufactures none are inexpensive. I am not sure if any of the auto switches can be married to small generators. I know that all of the autoequipment I have worked on have a cool down cycle for the gen rather than off.
 

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I have central AC but I keep a window air conditioner stored in my shop. Then plan is that if the power goes off for a long period of time in the summer I will use my portable generator and toss the window unit in a bedroom window. I have waited 40 years for that to happen and it hasn’t happened yet.
 

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I had a cord with a male plug on both ends and the switch on the furnace had an outlet incorporated in it. Plugged the cord in the outlet and the other end in the generator. That fed the furnace.
Yeah, I can see why that would be dangerous. I don't understand why anyone would do that.
 

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Yeah, I can see why that would be dangerous. I don't understand why anyone would do that.
Survival. Six days in single digits and no power.
 

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Survival. Six days in single digits and no power.
You did what you had to. But now you've cut that cord into tiny little pieces and made provisions for you and your family to safely power your furnace and you're all ready for the next event, right?

Right?
 

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You did what you had to. But now you've cut that cord into tiny little pieces and made provisions for you and your family to safely power your furnace and you're all ready for the next event, right?

Right?
Yes sir, except I put the correct end back on the cord and the "incorrect" end back on my drop light.
 
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Survival. Six days in single digits and no power.
I understand why you'd wire up the furnace to connect with the generator (been there; done that). I'm just not clear on why, even in that situation, there would be a necessity to wire the plug backwards.
 

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I understand why you'd wire up the furnace to connect with the generator (been there; done that). I'm just not clear on why, even in that situation, there would be a necessity to wire the plug backwards.
The furnace was in the garage under the house so I set the generator out side the garage door and ran that cord from the generator to the furnace where there was a receptacle/switch combo (on the furnace) and plugged it in. It fed power to the furnace (gas). I also ran a 100 foot extension cord from the generator to the kitchen and plugged in the fridge. In the mornings I would unplug the fridge long enough to make a pot of coffee, put the coffee in a thermos and then plugged the fridge back in.
 

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The furnace was in the garage under the house so I set the generator out side the garage door and ran that cord from the generator to the furnace where there was a receptacle/switch combo (on the furnace) and plugged it in.
Ah, so the outlet at the furnace was already there...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Easier and Safer and Faster to put an interlock in the panel and flip the breakers rather than plugging unplugging running cords, open windows, twisting untwisting wires. You can pick and choose anytime during the day which circuits you want or need to run.
 
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