Author Topic: Generator Question.  (Read 12041 times)

Offline RonH2K

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Generator Question.
« on: December 11, 2008, 06:00:04 PM »
I had come up with some generator questions and had planned to post asking them all.  I was thrilled to find, via a quick search, that a lot of those questions are answered in other posts.  (+1 for effective forum search tools!)

One thing I couldn't find was how I would power a 220v appliance (fridge/freezer) while powering my other regular, 110v appliances (lights, fans, heat, etc.) on the same generator?  Is there some way to power both the 220v stuff and the 110v stuff?  How?

Thanks, gang!


Offline CTF250

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 09:01:24 PM »
Depending upon the size of the generator it will depend how you take the power from the generator and connect it to the appaliance. Say you have a 5000 wat genset, if you feed your electical panel directly you can usually operate 110 v aand some 220v appliances at the same time.  If you connect the appaliance directly to the genset via an extension cord you can power only the number of appliances plugged in at the time.

There some good info on generators here in the forum.  Continue to search the site and see what you come up with.

Your first step should be determining how big a genset you need. By calculating your electical need or "load" you can determine what size you want.  After you know that , you can determine how your going to connect the genset to the house.

 Heres a decent guide on generator selection and safety

Happy reading

http://www.nyseg.com/MediaLibrary/2/5/Content%20Management/NYSEG/Usage%20and%20Safety/PDFs%20and%20Docs/nyseg%20EmergGennyseg.pdf

Offline Zombie Axe

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2008, 09:34:14 PM »
A transfer switch (expensive but a SAFE option) with a genrator twist lock extension cord is the way to go IMHO. I built my house with this option, but I knew that is what I wanted.

If you are handy with electical wiring you can install a SUB PANEL beside your main panel to feed EMERGENCY CIRCUITS. To do this RIGHT (at least in my AO) you will need an interlock that once you cut off the breaker that feeds from the main panel to the sub panel, it can not be turned back on to backfeed the main panel and possibly injuring the linemen out working on the lines that are down and SUPPOSEDLY dead!!!

There are other ways to do this without all this, but Lord help you if you fry a Utility guy! So don't take an easy route, do it right!

IF your genny has a 220V receptacle, you can make a custom extension cord that will power it directly from the generator. Mine has a 220V/30 amp twist lock, 2/110V and one 20 amp 220V one for something like a window AC unit. So it really depends on what kind of plugs the genny has on it as to waht you can power at the same time!


Offline ejsandstrom

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 07:41:34 AM »
For the most part, generators have 1 or 2 120vac recepticals and one 240vac twist lock. Both can be used at the same time as long as the total load does not exceed the size of the generator.

FYI, it says 120 and 240 not 110 and 220. If you stick a meter in your socket it should read around 120vac L-N.

110vac came from a time when to save on wire you had one wire comming in to your house, just a hot no nutral. You grounded the nutural and that gave 110vac. Now we have a hot, a nutural, and a ground.

Offline Dirt Rider 3006

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 07:53:52 AM »
A Transfer Switch will fix that...



The above pic shows what you need to do to hook up each indivivual circuit. Although you only need to hook up a single neutral wire to the neutral bar.
On my particuliar transfer switch the two middle breakers can be bridged in order to run a 220 volt well pump, or other such 220 volt circuit.


You need to pick the circuits you want tp power with the generator, remove the hot wire from the breaker, wire nut it to the transfer switch and then stick the corresponding wire from the transfer switch into the breaker.

I am set up to run my furnace, refrigerator, gas stove, 2 lighting circuits and chest freezer. I balanced the loads out between each circuit from the generator. I do not have any 2nd floor lighting on the generator. The only time we'll be on the second floor is night time, while sleeping, so no need for the generator running while we are not awake.


30 amp Transfer switch $240.00 @ home depot

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100045357

20 amp Transfer switch $229.00 @ home depot

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100030284

Offline Stein

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 03:31:20 PM »
240 V is nothing more than two 120 V circuits that are opposite.  Quick and dirty, think of it as a 120 and a -120 put together, you have a 240 V difference.

Your house works the same way.  The power company gives you two 120 V circuits.  You then one of these for your 120 V stuff and both for the 240 V stuff.

I would imagine any generator with 240 V output also has 120 V output.  Most of the smaller ones have separate connectors as the plugs are different for obvious reasons.

Offline RonH2K

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 03:46:12 PM »
Terrific info!  Thanks, all.  Keep it coming if you have something to add.

Based on what I'm seeing here, I probably need a mid-sized, portable.  I hope to use it more when camping than during power outages.  At least that's what I hope!  So, that would make the house hookup stuff overkill.

Who knows though, I'll keep watchin' the news and might get prompted to add a larger, house hookup generator later.  Baby steps, right?!

 8)

Offline CTF250

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Re: Generator Question.
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 04:05:28 PM »
Was wondering through Home Depot this past weekend before christmas and found they had a Homlite gen set, 11 hp, 5700 continous/7900 surge gas units on sale for $699.00

Not a bad unit for the price.  Powered by a subaru pull start gas engine

Just an FYI for all