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59 minutes ago, ChrisJM981 said:

The ground was already soaked before Irene. That caused a lot of flooding up by me. Having JCP&L isn't very reassuring if the power goes out. I might have to scramble and pick some stuff up. I really wish I had the coin for a natural gas standby generator. 

Get yourself a 5000 to 7000 watt generator with at least a 20% surge capacity, slap a tri-fuel kit on it.  Use gas if you want, run out of that, use propane, run out of that, use natural gas.  If you are handy, you can install a  4 or 6 circuit transfer switch and power up the essentials.  Of course, extension cords all over the house is fun too.  If you have a natural gas grill, you already have a hook up, otherwise, you will have to spend a couple more dollars having the line installed.

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12 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

Get yourself a 5000 to 7000 watt generator with at least a 20% surge capacity, slap a tri-fuel kit on it.  Use gas if you want, run out of that, use propane, run out of that, use natural gas.  If you are handy, you can install a  4 or 6 circuit transfer switch and power up the essentials.  Of course, extension cords all over the house is fun too. 

Great advice, I prefer propane as my first choice, since it's safer to store and doesn't go bad like gas does. My generator runs off of standard 20 lb tanks just like the ones from a grill. So multiple tanks are safe to store or in a real pinch, almost every house in the neighborhood has at least one in their backyard.

Also, the transfer switch is definitely preferred. No running of extension cords all over the place, just flip the the switch on the panel.

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2 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

Get yourself a 5000 to 7000 watt generator with at least a 20% surge capacity, slap a tri-fuel kit on it.  Use gas if you want, run out of that, use propane, run out of that, use natural gas.  If you are handy, you can install a  4 or 6 circuit transfer switch and power up the essentials.  Of course, extension cords all over the house is fun too.  If you have a natural gas grill, you already have a hook up, otherwise, you will have to spend a couple more dollars having the line installed.

Harbor Freight Predator 8750 is gas but 7000 watt.  Dual and Tri Fuel Kits are available.

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2 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

Get yourself a 5000 to 7000 watt generator with at least a 20% surge capacity,

Before just picking a generator, it's important to know what you're needing to power up with it. Is the house all electric (hot water, cooking, heat, clothes drying) or is it gas? How many fridges? city water or well? One furnace or two? What else?

Knowing the load you need to power is the first step in deciding what generator is necessary. No need to get a large generator, and burn through tons of fuel, to keep a few lights on. Plus, if you're going to run a generator all day during a power outage, you can split and stagger your loads during the day (cycle one fridge at a time)(run the furnace), etc. This way you can get by with a smaller, more fuel efficient generator. Most major power using appliances in your house don't run 24/7, but cycle on and off based on demand.

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11 hours ago, Sniper22 said:

Before just picking a generator, it's important to know what you're needing to power up with it. Is the house all electric (hot water, cooking, heat, clothes drying) or is it gas? How many fridges? city water or well? One furnace or two? What else?

Knowing the load you need to power is the first step in deciding what generator is necessary. No need to get a large generator, and burn through tons of fuel, to keep a few lights on. Plus, if you're going to run a generator all day during a power outage, you can split and stagger your loads during the day (cycle one fridge at a time)(run the furnace), etc. This way you can get by with a smaller, more fuel efficient generator. Most major power using appliances in your house don't run 24/7, but cycle on and off based on demand.

Gas dryer, stove, water heater and furnace. City water, city sewer, and one fridge. Two young kids, so extension cords everywhere isn't an option. 

I have a line for the Jotul gas heating stove in my 3 season room. I don't know if the line is big enough for a generator though. If I go with a standby there is a spot right next to the gas meter. I plan on going with a standby, but I'll probably get a tri-fuel generator as a backup. Two is one and one is none. Do I have to look for a transfer switch with some sort of toggle?

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14 minutes ago, ChrisJM981 said:

Do I have to look for a transfer switch with some sort of toggle?

Yes.  If you are going to wire it into the breaker panel, code dictates you have to have an interlock, so only utility or generator is connected to the panel at any given time.  Apparently some linemen got zapped by generators feeding back to the grid while they were restoring power.

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1 minute ago, Scorpio64 said:

Yes.  If you are going to wire it into the breaker panel, code dictates you have to have an interlock, so only utility or generator is connected to the panel at any given time.  Apparently some linemen got zapped by generators feeding back to the grid while they were restoring power.

Ouch. I will call an electrician for that. 

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44 minutes ago, ChrisJM981 said:

Two is one and one is none.

Ahhh, a guy after my own heart... I go one step further, three is ideal. :)

44 minutes ago, ChrisJM981 said:

Do I have to look for a transfer switch with some sort of toggle?

Like Scorpio said, yes, it's the safest way to tie the generator into your house. To install, you have to go into your panel box and move some existing wires around off of existing circuit breakers. If you're not comfortable doing that, it will require an electrician.

Take a quick search on Home Depot or Lowes for "transfer switches" and you'll see what they look like. A 6 circuit transfer switch is around $300. I'm actually picking one up today to help my son install it for his generator.

44 minutes ago, ChrisJM981 said:

Gas dryer, stove, water heater and furnace. City water, city sewer, and one fridge. Two young kids, so extension cords everywhere isn't an option. 

Based on having gas, you really don't need a large generator to power everything else, unless running your A/C compressor is a must-have. Everything else can be run off of a 3000 watt easily.

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1 minute ago, Sniper22 said:

Ahhh, a guy after my own heart... I go one step further, three is ideal.

Like Scorpio said, yes, it's the safest way to tie the generator into your house. To install, you have to go into your panel box and move some existing wires around off of existing circuit breakers. If you're not comfortable doing that, it will require an electrician.

Take a quick search on Home Depot or Lowes for "transfer switches" and you'll see what they look like. A 6 circuit transfer switch is around $300. I'm actually picking one up today to help my son install it for his generator.

Based on having gas, you really don't need a large generator to power everything else, unless running your A/C compressor is a must-have. Everything else can be run off of a 3000 watt easily.

A/C will probably be a must have along with a security system to warn me of uninvited guests. 

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1 hour ago, ChrisJM981 said:

A/C will probably be a must have along with a security system to warn me of uninvited guests. 

Central air can demand as much as 3KW when the compressor motor and duct fan turn on.  But, let's say it's a medium sized window or wall unit, that can demand 1500 to 2KW on start up.

All the lights in your house probably only take 500W all together if they are ALL turned on.  Assuming you have CFL or LED bulbs.  A flat screen TV does not eat up much power either.  Multiple computers can gobble up electrons fast too.

What ya really need to do is grab a notebook and visit all of your appliances, even the coffee maker.  On every appliance is the max rating either in Watts, like a light bulb or hairdryer, or in amps, like a big motor.  (A*V=W) You need to collect that from ALL your appliances and come up with a total surge demand and a normal operations demand.  If you under estimate, you could trip a breaker when you make that pot of java in the morning.

Six circuits on 10A or 15A breakers add up (in Watts) to 7,200W for six 10A breakers and 10,800W on a 15A circuit.  If you go with a genset that will pump out the max rating for all six circuits simultaneously, you don't need to worry so much about load balancing.

Keep in mind, six 10A breakers does not  give you 60A of power unless you have a 7200W generator.

You can get by with a 2KW genny, a 4KW is more gooder, and a 7KW would set you up comfortably.

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If you are planning on a genny for your house, please keep in mind most portable generators produce dirty power. Very hard for them to keep constant 120v 60hz power. If your genny has an inverter, then your covered, but you will pay a premium for it.

I do not run anything with sensitive electronics on mine.

Most standby home generators have the clean power to run everything.

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2 minutes ago, JackDaWack said:

please keep in mind most portable generators produce dirty power.

I'd say some gennys put out dirty power, not most.  They are much better these days than they used to be. Keep in mind that  many generators are for construction sights and whatnot and a saw couldn't care less if the power is clean, so avoid basic job site generators.

Dirty power or not, I use surge protectors (power strips) with line conditioners built in to clean up and mellow out the signal for my TVs and computers.  So, even if you have a crappy generator, you can still correct any signal quality issues with the right power strip/surge protector.  They ain't cheap, a good one will run about $60 to $80.

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1 hour ago, Scorpio64 said:

Central air can demand as much as 3KW when the compressor motor and duct fan turn on.  But, let's say it's a medium sized window or wall unit, that can demand 1500 to 2KW on start up.

That's the 800 lb gorilla in the room. To be able to run central air, you need to double the size of the genny compared to not running it. But, if it's the time of the year when you can get by without central air, and just need to power basic appliances or lights, you're running the monster genny, but not using it's full potential, while it sucks down fuel.

That's why I made the trade off and got a smaller genny. We really only need central air maybe two solid months during the Summer. The rest of the time, we can tough it out. Having to stock up or get lots of fuel during an outage to run a big genny versus a small one is a decision that has to be made. In a pinch, you can get a portable A/C to cool a room or two.

1 hour ago, Scorpio64 said:

What ya really need to do is grab a notebook and visit all of your appliances, even the coffee maker.  On every appliance is the max rating either in Watts, like a light bulb or hairdryer, or in amps, like a big motor.  (A*V=W) You need to collect that from ALL your appliances and come up with a total surge demand and a normal operations demand.  If you under estimate, you could trip a breaker when you make that pot of java in the morning.

This is a really important exercise to do BEFORE buying a genny. Truly knowing what you want to power and what load it pulls is step one. If unsure, buy a Kill-A-Watt meter from Home Depot to measure loads on each item when it's running.

1 hour ago, Scorpio64 said:

All the lights in your house probably only take 500W all together if they are ALL turned on.  Assuming you have CFL or LED bulbs.  A flat screen TV does not eat up much power either.  Multiple computers can gobble up electrons fast too.

Yep, which is why I said running a 8KW genny to power those items is big time overkill, Even adding a newer fridge into the equation, it will pull like 1200 watts on start, but then only maybe pull approx 400 watts when running.

 

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1 hour ago, Scorpio64 said:

I'd say some gennys put out dirty power, not most.  They are much better these days than they used to be. Keep in mind that  many generators are for construction sights and whatnot and a saw couldn't care less if the power is clean, so avoid basic job site generators.

Dirty power or not, I use surge protectors (power strips) with line conditioners built in to clean up and mellow out the signal for my TVs and computers.  So, even if you have a crappy generator, you can still correct any signal quality issues with the right power strip/surge protector.  They ain't cheap, a good one will run about $60 to $80.

surge protectors do absolutly nothing to "clean" the power. You would need a power conditioner for that. Some people use computer battery packs for this. 

If your generator doesn't have an inverter, its putting out dirty power. that means most portables.. unfortunatly.

While todays generators are much better, unless they say specifically how clean they keep the power... then i wouldnt put any trust in it.  You typically will only see this rating listed on the ones that manage power output to acceptable levels... otherwise the dont list it..

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The latest forecast seems that we are going to be spared.

http://www.tristatestormwatch.com/forecast

SEPTEMBER 10TH

Hurricane Florence will impact North Carolina and the northern half of South Carolina as a major hurricane later this week.  The storm will then move very slowly inland over North Carolina bringing record rainfall to a large portion of that state as well as northern South Carolina and southern Virginia.

With the exception of continued rough surf conditions and some minor coastal flooding, the impact of Florence on New Jersey will be minimal.  The hurricane will be blocked from moving northward into our area and will slowly dissipate over land well to our south.

There are two additional hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, Helene and Issac.  Issac will threaten the several islands in the eastern Caribbean but will not pose a threat to either the U.S. or Puerto Rico.  Helene will recurve out to sea well east of the U.S.  A new tropical storm will threat Texas later in the week.

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1 hour ago, voyager9 said:

I’m surprised “smart breaker panels” aren’t a thing. Show total load and per-circuit.   In these days of SmartHomes you would think that would be a big market.  

Probably because most people don't care or wouldn't understand what they were looking at. They just want to flip a switch or push a button on their remote control to make the item work. Hell, most people don't even know where electric comes from.

It's easy to determine what each of your circuits are drawing, just clip a Amprobe on the line to the breaker.

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1 hour ago, NJGF said:

The latest forecast seems that we are going to be spared.

http://www.tristatestormwatch.com/forecast

SEPTEMBER 10TH

Hurricane Florence will impact North Carolina and the northern half of South Carolina as a major hurricane later this week.  The storm will then move very slowly inland over North Carolina bringing record rainfall to a large portion of that state as well as northern South Carolina and southern Virginia.

With the exception of continued rough surf conditions and some minor coastal flooding, the impact of Florence on New Jersey will be minimal.  The hurricane will be blocked from moving northward into our area and will slowly dissipate over land well to our south.

There are two additional hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, Helene and Issac.  Issac will threaten the several islands in the eastern Caribbean but will not pose a threat to either the U.S. or Puerto Rico.  Helene will recurve out to sea well east of the U.S.  A new tropical storm will threat Texas later in the week.

Didn’t this same poll/ forecast happen for Sandy? Meteorologists suck lately, they suck hardcore!

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2 hours ago, JackDaWack said:

surge protectors do absolutly nothing to "clean" the power. You would need a power conditioner for that

Yes, that's pretty much what I said.

3 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

I use surge protectors (power strips) with line conditioners built in to clean up and mellow out the signal

A surge protector with a line conditioner built in IS a power strip too.

All collies are dogs, not all dogs are collies.

Simple power strips cost about $8 to $10,  a good power strip, with surge protection and line conditioning goes for $60 to $80.  You don't need a UPS to  get good line conditioning, but I do recommend them for desktop computers.  While we are on the topic of UPSs, just because it's a UPS does not mean it's putting out a quality signal.  Consumers tend to buy the cheapest crap made in china and an off brand UPS can put out a bad signal.

3 hours ago, Sniper22 said:

If unsure, buy a Kill-A-Watt meter from Home Depot to measure loads on each item when it's running.

I'm a big fan of Kill-A-Watt.  Bought one six years ago.  Besides fulfilling my nerdly tendencies, it is a useful tool.  Not just for determining the load, but also basic analysis of the signal on the grid as well as the generator.  Don't assume that the power utility is providing you a full 110 Volts or that the power coming from the pole is always clean.  A failing transformer on the utility pole can screw up your electronics just as good as a jobsite generator.

 

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I went with a 3k inverter, Champion duel-fuel from Costco. It can get about 20 hours from a grill propane tank. Running a window a/c at night, fridge, and computer/tv/internet. The central a/c uses too much power, I can rough it for a few days in a single room. For me, I wanted to optimize run time with clean quiet power. 

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2 minutes ago, SW9racer said:

I went with a 3k inverter, Champion duel-fuel from Costco. It can get about 20 hours from a grill propane tank. Running a window a/c at night, fridge, and computer/tv/internet. The central a/c uses too much power, I can rough it for a few days in a single room. For me, I wanted to optimize run time with clean quiet power. 

3k Honda.. if I need ac I’ll go in the camper. It powers that.

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2 hours ago, NJGF said:

Hurricane Florence will impact North Carolina and the northern half of South Carolina as a major hurricane later this week.  The storm will then move very slowly inland over North Carolina bringing record rainfall to a large portion of that state as well as northern South Carolina and southern Virginia.

The Lord is still smiting them for the Civil War.

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2 hours ago, SW9racer said:

The central a/c uses too much power, I can rough it for a few days in a single room. For me, I wanted to optimize run time

Exactly the way I feel. Run time without refilling is an important point. I remember people during Sandy who ran out of gas after two days. Problem was, the gas stations in the area didn't get their power back on for a week...

Oops...

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If you are planning on a genny for your house, please keep in mind most portable generators produce dirty power. Very hard for them to keep constant 120v 60hz power. If your genny has an inverter, then your covered, but you will pay a premium for it.

I do not run anything with sensitive electronics on mine.

Most standby home generators have the clean power to run everything.

 

Regular power is dirty for higher end electronics. They run through a $400 power cleaner regularly. So it was good during Sandy when I hooked up a portable Honda generator directly to a 220 breaker. I do not recommend anyone do such a thing. Did it a little safer at my parents house and backfed the system through the 220 plug for the dryer. Much better to wire things the proper way but at the time I was not prepared. However we had power while everyone else around us was without power for 8-12 days.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

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2 minutes ago, capt14k said:

So it was good during Sandy when I booked by portable Honda generator directly to a 220 breaker. I do not recommend anyone do such a thing.

Wow, talk about dangerous...

2 minutes ago, capt14k said:

Did it a little safer at my parents house and backfed the system through the 220 plug for the dryer.

That's a little safer??? Really?? Trying to kill your parents?

3 minutes ago, capt14k said:

Much better to wire things the proper way but at the time I was not prepared.

What, having like 3- 4 days of warning and notice wasn't long enough to prepare?

4 minutes ago, capt14k said:

However we had power while everyone else around us was without power for 8-12 days.

Right up to the point that the house burns down.

 

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Right up to the point that the house burns down.  

 

As I said I wouldn't recommend it. However houses are both standing and everyone is alive. Doesn't mean anyone else should attempt it.  

 

 

As for 4 days how often are the weathermen correct. I had about 4 hrs.

 

 

If anyone ever gets the bright idea to do the same thing don't, but if you do it is of the utmost importance to turn the main off otherwise you can kill a lineman.

 

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

 

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