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 > Using RV generator as backup for house?

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coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pfidahospud wrote:

Rover_Bill wrote:

time2roll wrote:

3000 watts should run that house fine. Electrician will probably put the critical items on a 120v sub panel in addition to installing a switch and a power inlet to connect power.


This is the switch that I had installed in my house for use with my 3K inverter generator. Works great and allows you to watch the wattage being drawn on each leg.


Wow. $300 would buy a lot of heavy duty extension cords.



I need to run the furnace blower. No way to plug it into an extension cord.


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coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dutch_12078 wrote:

Be aware many RV generators do not provide 240 volts, so you won't be able to run any appliances that call for it, such as most deep well water pumps, etc.


Nope. No 240 needed, I have city water. The only 240 things in the house are the electric dryer and AC. I can manage without the dryer for a while, or go to the laundromat.

enblethen

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I cause those thinking of an interlock system without knowing loads on the circuits involved. Not knowing exact loads are a good way of blowing up an expensive genset.
StevenH27 idea is similar to what I have installed. I installed a switch (double pole/double throw on the furnace housing where the house wiring goes into the furnace wiring connections. Then a short male 15/20 cord hanging out to plug cord into.


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coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

2oldman wrote:

I don't know how you hook a furnace up to an extension cord.


My natural gas forced air furnace is in a hallway closet and uses a standard 120v outlet. So if I wanted to I could just run an extension cord to it.


Mine is outside in a "GasPack" unit. No way to plug it in.

coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enblethen wrote:

I cause those thinking of an interlock system without knowing loads on the circuits involved. Not knowing exact loads are a good way of blowing up an expensive genset.
StevenH27 idea is similar to what I have installed. I installed a switch (double pole/double throw on the furnace housing where the house wiring goes into the furnace wiring connections. Then a short male 15/20 cord hanging out to plug cord into.


I do have a good idea of the loads.

time2roll

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

coolmom42 wrote:

I need to run the furnace blower. No way to plug it into an extension cord.
Is it hardwired? What are the electrical requirements?

I have a dozen home furnaces and they all plug into a standard wall outlet up in the attic, garage or heater closet.

Yes I see a packaged unit wants 208-230v and you would need an a generator and extension to match. I would think you would not need to full wattage if just using the furnace. But this looks like a heat pump when I look at an install manual. You may need a large generator for a heat pump. Heat pump is very different from a furnace.

* This post was edited 02/17/21 12:31pm by time2roll *


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coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

theoldwizard1 wrote:

When discussing the connection to your house with your electrician, as about a "generator interlock". A safe solution, that gives you the maximum amount of flexibility of items to power in your house and is lower cost than most "transfer switches".

X2. This may be the best choice.



I will bring this up with the electrician. Thanks for pointing it out. My local guy should know about codes.

coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

coolmom42 wrote:

I need to run the furnace blower. No way to plug it into an extension cord.
Is it hardwired? What are the electrical requirements?

I have a dozen home furnaces and they all plug into a standard wall outlet up in the attic, garage or heater closet.



My furnace & blower are outside in what is called a "GasPack" unit. It's the only configuration of central heat/ac that will work in my 1960s ranch style house with crawl space and low attic space. They are pretty common around here.

coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

3000 watts should run that house fine. Electrician will probably put the critical items on a 120v sub panel in addition to installing a switch and a power inlet to connect power.


My generator is 4000 watts. It would be nice to be able to run the whole house, including TV & internet. Not essential, but nice.

coolmom42

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

Rover_Bill wrote:

time2roll wrote:

3000 watts should run that house fine. Electrician will probably put the critical items on a 120v sub panel in addition to installing a switch and a power inlet to connect power.


This is the switch that I had installed in my house for use with my 3K inverter generator. Works great and allows you to watch the wattage being drawn on each leg.


I think the link you provided is for a 240V input, there is also a 6 circuit 120V 30A available from the same mfg. That's what I have.

If all you want to do is power one or two circuits this is another option.

https://ezgeneratorswitch.com/

If you go the transfer switch route make sure it is compatible with your generator. unbonded neutral generators (ground neutral not bonded) transfer switch wiring is different than a bonded neutral generator.

EZgenerator switch can be configured for both, IIRC the other 6 circuit transfer switch is only configured for use with an unbonded neutral generator. Many if not most portable generators are unbonded neutral.



My generator is the 4KW Onan built into a motorhome. How do I determine whether the neutral is bonded or unbonded?

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