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Generator placement?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kast, Dec 13, 2008.

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  1. kast

    kast New Member

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    Does anyone run there generator from there basement? Or do you have it outside and running cables back into the house? I know they say not to because of CO but was just wondering how people rig it.

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  2. greasesleddin

    greasesleddin New Member

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    Do not run it in your basement.Run it outside
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Kast, DO NOT RUN YOUR GENERATOR IN THE BASEMENT!!!!!!!

    Yes, i was yelling.
  4. kast

    kast New Member

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    haha yeah wasnt really planning on it, do you have one? how is your setup?
  5. lass442

    lass442 New Member

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    kast,

    Please don't ever run a generator directly from cables into the house. Have it installed properly into your breaker box so that it won't back-feed to the lines outside your home. My husband is a lineman for one of the utility companies here in Massachusetts. His life depends on every generator being installed correctly.
    During outages of the scale that New England is experiencing at this moment, this is among the greatest risks he faces. He's careful; he knows that people do it. But do please take the extra precaution and have the generator properly installed.
  6. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    Generators should ALWAYS be run OUTSIDE...no exceptions.
    with that being said.. ;-P

    I have a manual transfer switch hooked into the electric panel and
    the power inlet is attached to the outside of the house.
    Portable gas generator stored in a shed.

    I cannot run the whole house at once but I can pick and choose which
    circuits I want to keep running.
  7. kast

    kast New Member

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    So let say your power goes out, you pull this thing from say your shed where then do you place it to run (has to be out of the elements right?) then how do you run the cable into the house with out running it threw say an open window.
  8. kast

    kast New Member

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    Perfect, that's exactly the answer i was looking for thank you everyone!
  9. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I bought a Generac 12kw whole house unit back in '03, so it's set-up outside permanently with auto transfer switch.

    This is what i have:

    Attached Files:

  10. kast

    kast New Member

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    Well why this thread is here can someone explain how the wiring works to the breaker, not the technical install, but how it then works into the house. Sorry for silly questions.


    Looked at a few of these, out of the price range for now :-(
  11. Rainman855

    Rainman855 Member

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    I think you get the picture - run it outside. You WILL die if you run it inside! There are a couple of ways to do the hookup from the outside but the simplest is to plug a heavy duty extension cord with a (quad or duplex) box/receptacle at the other end into the generator and bring the box/receptacle inside. Plug into it as you will. Another, better, way to do it is to plug a generator cord (a.k.a. transfer switch cord) into the 240V outlet on the generator and feed to a manual transfer switch in the house. The transfer switch is essentially a special distribution panel that allows select circuits to be powered from the generator without running the risk of backfeeding the utility lines. The switch ran me about $200 & a 40' cord ran about $50. Well worth the cost. If you want to go for the gusto have an electrician hook up a permanent generator with an automatic transfer switch. You will never be without power. That gets costly...into the thousands of dollars. Enough said...
  12. lass442

    lass442 New Member

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    Wow, macman! I like that! You run your whole house off of that during an outage? Or just certain circuits? How frequently and what is the average duration of your outages?
  13. kast

    kast New Member

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    I agree, and said perfectly, thanks!
  14. imacman

    imacman Guest

    My neighbor has a portable unit, and he sits his outside his garage, runs the cord under the garage door. He had an electrician install a small manual transfer box. Power goes out, plugs the cord in, starts the generator, and flips the transfer switch.

    If it's raining, he has a couple of pallets he nailed into an upside down "U" that he places over the generator with a piece of plywood nailed to the top.
  15. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    A little spoiled aren't we?....JK ;-)
    I have to wait till I win the lottery to upgrade to an auto generac
  16. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    If you install a manual switch, get the inlet box installed to the side of the house.
    Then you just need to run a cord from a portable generator to the outlet.
    No cords thru the house.

    OR if you make the big bucks like macman, you can get an auto switch with standby installed. ;-)
  17. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I wouldn't put the transfer switch outside...I don't think their weatherproof....I'd put it just inside the garage door, etc.

    And why is everyone dumping on me???? :mad: Just because I bought a generator? It was my Tax refund present to my self and the kids that year. I actually got a good deal on it at HD. Got it on sale, plus 10% off for opening a HD charge. I think the whole thing, plus getting an electrician to install/wire the transfer switch came to about $2700-2800 total.

    I know people on here who've spend a LOT more than that on pellet stoves and pellets.........

    BTW, anyone on this forum (except slickplant) is welcome to come over and stay if the power is going out for a long time. I have a 100 Gal propane tank for the generator, so I'm good for about 3 days. The beer and wine is on me!!!
  18. lass442

    lass442 New Member

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    All taunting aside... I admire macman for installing his Generac safely. During the ice storm of January 1998 there were 9 linemen killed. One story sticks in my mind: the lineman took a step backward to look up at a pole that had been snapped at the top from the heavy ice-caked lines. The entire neighborhood was without electricity and was dark, for the most part. None of those lines should have been live. But the line that man stepped on as he backed up was live from back-feeding generators run from nearby homes. My youngest baby was 2 years old at the time... I couldn't help but wonder how old his kids were.
  19. kast

    kast New Member

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    Can you explain back feeding? Sorry clueless about Generators
  20. Rainman855

    Rainman855 Member

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    The major thing that I think people don't realize is that the transformers for your house that step down the voltage from 5KV or so to 240V act in reverse when fed by a generator on site. The transformer actually steps the voltage up to 5KV. That's what gets the linemen...not 240V.
  21. imacman

    imacman Guest

    If you hook the generator up wrong, you can send the power backward to the power companies wires...if the linesmen who are working on them don't know that, they assume the line is dead, and can get electrocuted.
  22. lass442

    lass442 New Member

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    Sure... be happy to. When you plug in the generator without a switch, the appliances on the specific circuit will use the energy they need. Without a switch, the extra juice has to go somewhere, so it usually goes back through the primary conduit, following the widest path (otherwise known as the path of least resistance) which inevitably leads to outside, out to the pole. The switch contains the back-flow of electricity, sending it back through the generator. In essence, the switch closes the path to the lines outside your home, containing the energy to the specific breakers back through to the generator.
  23. kast

    kast New Member

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    Ok I was confused about that since my first posts mentioned just plugging into the generator directly, then I got a few replies about back feeding.
  24. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    What's wrong with running an extension cord straight
    from a small generator to the pellet stove? This way
    the house is not in the mix at all. I almost never lose power
    here so I don't need to have anything wired into my home.

    My portable generator would be out in the back yard and if needed I will
    run an extension cord from it to my stove.
  25. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Thank you Lass...at least SOMEONE appreciates me....sniff....sniff. :down:

    In all seriousness, anyone that installs a generator....PLEASE have it done correctly by a licensed electrician. It isn't that expensive, and you may be saving someones life (maybe your own).
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