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House generator?


rbl2
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How big of a generator would I need to power a few things in the house after a hurricane comes through? I don't need anything big enough to power the entire house. I'm thinking freezer, frig, tv (assuming the tv stations are working), a few lamps, what not like that.

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We had a hurricane blow through Cincinnati in September (Global Warming anyone? smirk.gif ), killing the whole region's power for 3-10 days depending on how lucky you were. My father bought a 600 Watt generator that ran his freezer and TV, plus a few cfl light bulbs. Alternatively (since it was a 110/220 Volt unit) he could use it to run his hot water tank (only) for about an hour or so and take a shower as well.

Here's a list of typical wattage for various appliances. Pick what you want to run and buy accordingly.

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I quit counting the hurricanes we got hit by in the 90's. I bought what was then sort of a standard in this area of 5000 watts. It looks like a 5500 to 6000 watt version is available at Lowes or Sam's Club now. That will do what you are wanting to do.

One word of caution based on my experience...

I assume that they are not much different from what they were in the 90's. The inexpensive ones are loud. If you want a quiet one, they are more expensive. The low price is appealing and they will do what you want to do, but when people's tempers are flaring after a few hot days without A/C, they sometimes like to complain about the noise of their neighbor's generators.

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I have a 20KW natural gas fired Kohler unit with automatic switchover. Units like this are expensive but you have the assurance of instant back-up, uninterrupted, power. It's probably one of the best features of our house.

You'll be surprised how big a PITA a portable unit is when you have to refuel in the middle of a storm.

A packaged 5-10K unit should be sufficient for most people's needs.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We had a hurricane blow through Cincinnati in September (Global Warming anyone? smirk.gif ), killing the whole region's power for 3-10 days depending on how lucky you were. My father bought a 600 Watt generator that ran his freezer and TV, plus a few cfl light bulbs. Alternatively (since it was a 110/220 Volt unit) he could use it to run his hot water tank (only) for about an hour or so and take a shower as well.

Here's a list of typical wattage for various appliances. Pick what you want to run and buy accordingly. </div></div>

A water heater is 4500-6000 watts. How'd he do that with a 600-watt generator?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We had a hurricane blow through Cincinnati in September (Global Warming anyone? smirk.gif ), </div></div>

In 1969 when Hurricane Camille ripped through following somewhat the same path as Ike, was that global warming too? How often do we go through this cycle of global warming? Every 30 years?

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My son is getting set to transfer to that area with the Coast Guard. I won't ask what the weather is like - we'll wait for him to let us know later. We are very sympathetic to Willimington's situation as they usually get all the hurricanes that were headed our way here in Norfolk Va. When we bought our generator we just added up the power we needed to run the water pump (we've got a well and a pump draws lots of power), the fridge and some lamps and a couple of portable fans. Whe are conservative with running the water and when the pump isn't pumping there is plenty of power to watch the TV. As long as you can get a cold beer and take a good shower life is good. By the way, a generator is like an umbrealla-if you've got one handy you may not need to use it.

Terry

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Vertigo</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dave@Moon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We had a hurricane blow through Cincinnati in September (Global Warming anyone? smirk.gif ), </div></div>

In 1969 when Hurricane Camille ripped through following somewhat the same path as Ike, was that global warming too? How often do we go through this cycle of global warming? Every 30 years? </div></div>

Where's the roll-eyes smiley when you need it?

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I have a Honda EU2000i. It use inverter technology so it puts out very clean sine wave power and only runs as fast as it needs for the power being used. I can have it running under the carport and not hear it running in the house unless there is nothing else on. I can hear my neighbors 6KW that is 2000 feet away through the woods if it on.

I can run pretty much everything but the electric heat and electric hot water heater, including the frig and a deep freeze. I have a rather large sump pump for the rainy season and I can't run the generator in the economy mode with the sump pump or else the lights dim when it kicks in while it ramps up power and that isn't good for all the electronics I use right through the power outage. I solved this problem by just unplugging the sump pump in the dry season and just run it once in awhile as needed. In the Winter and most of the Spring I store my camper battery in the basement connected to a cheap 2000 Watt inverter from Harbor Freight and use that to power the sump pump with a trickle charger plugged into the generator. This is also handy for middle of the night outages, I can plug the sump pump into it in the middle of the night and let everything else wait till morning.

Running in the economy mode the Honda will run 10-14 hours on less than a gallon of gas. There is a fairly simple mod to add a 6 gal boat tank. I have the tank but haven't picked up the parts to add it in. Then you can run multiple days and even fill while running if you use a long feed line for the boat tank.

The 1000 watt and the 2000 watt Hondas can also be used in pairs to double the power, the inverter is setup to sync with another Honda, so if one turns out to be a little lacking you can get more power and each piece can easily be carried where a 3 or 4 kw generator needs two people or wheels.

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The standard 5000 to 6000 watt unit will do you fine. Mine will power 2 frigies and a freezer, the furnace, water pump and necessary lites. Understand that most of the above cycles on and off so the draw is spread out. Mr.Hinson has a valid noise point. The most important thing to realize is that it's vital to make sure your system is isolated from the grid. If it's not you will be stepping your 220 volts up to many thousands of volts endangering linemen working on the lines........Bob

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

A water heater is 4500-6000 watts. How'd he do that with a 600-watt generator? </div></div>

In our case, our Water heater is natural gas fed, but it has an induction fan for the short chimney. Unless this fan is operable the heater won't ignite. So 600 watts could easily fire our water heater.

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