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Thread: power generator

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bronzemaxell's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Default power generator

    during hurricane Irene, lost power, seem like all the neighbors has an emergency power generator,
    any one with advice for power generator
    i live in a place where water is from a well power by 1/2 hp 240v submersible pump, though i have a 120 gallon pressure tank
    but during extended power outtage, not looking to power the whole house, but at least able to do basic thing like flush toilet

    will a power generator + UPS 240v a good idea?

  2. #2


    The first step is to add a sub-panel to your existing electrical box. There are sub-panels that are specific to generator use that isolate the sub-panel from the main panel. Move your "essential loads" from the main panel to the sub-panel. You will also need to install a generator hook-up outside your home as close as possible to the sub/main panel.

    Generators are marketed by their wattage. In order to properly size the generator you need to determine the consumption of all of the loads that will be powered by the generator and make sure that generator has the ability to provide the continuous power requirements as well as a 50% allowance for in-rush.

    For example:

    Refrigerator 10a (10a x 110v = 1100w)
    Microwave 5a (5a x 110v = 550w)
    Boiler 10a (10a x 110v = 1100w)
    Well Pump 15a (15a x 220v = 3300w)
    Livingroom Circuit 10a (10a x 110v = 1100w)

    Total power required is 7,150w continuous with the ability to deliver a demand of 10,725w.

    Ten years ago I purchased such a generator as I grew tired of the frequent power outages in my area. In the ten years that I have had this very capable system I've yet to use it. It would appear that the local power company made improvements to the power delivery at the same time I purchased a generator, outside hook-up and sub-panel. But I'm ready.
    Last edited by Gary in NJ; 08-30-2011 at 04:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    Many places, such as Home Depot, sell "big" automatic transfere generators. They SHOULD be installed by a certified electrician, because there are serious safety issues if they are not installed properly. I hope you test your generator periiodically.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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