How to Choose the Right Generator for Your Home: Home Generators and the Total Connected Electric Load.

How to Choose the Right Generator for Your Home

Electrical Question: Will a 5000watt generator be large enough for my home?

• I want to have a manual transfer switch installed, just went five days with no water after Irene on a well.
• My well is on a double breaker so I assume it is 220 and they are both 20 amp breakers, will my Centurion 5000 watt generator with A/C Rated Output Watts: 5000 and A/C Maximum Output Watts: 6250 power it?
• So doing the math, 5000 watts divided by 110 volts gives me 45 amps per circuit? So a 220 circuit for the water heater with two 30 amp breakers is possible also?
• Obviously, I understand that with some of the larger appliances I can only have one item powered at a time.

Thanks for the help!

This electrical question came from: Greg, from Hollywood, Maryland.

Thanks for your electrical question Greg.

How to Choose the Right Generator for Your Home

Yes, when you do the basic math it does appear that the 5000 watt generator will work, however there is one factor that you must consider, and it is this one item that is often overlooked when choosing a home generator that is to be used for well pumps, motor loads and other larger electrical devices.

Home Generators and the Total Connected Electric Load

• The Total Connected Load is one factor when selecting a generator, but the size of the motor is another very important factor.
• Motors require many times more than the FLA or Full Load Amps when the motor first starts.
• LRA or Locked Rotor Amps is the amount of energy that is required to start an electric motor and this amount of power must be at least 80% of the Rated Capacity of the generator that will be selected.
• Keep in mind that this is ONLY for the motor load, and not other loads that may be connected at the same time the well pump is started.
• If the generator is rated too small then you risk overloading the generator and much worse than that, you risk burning out your well pump because when the correct amount of power is not available then the voltage drops down and this will cause the motor to overheat and possibly become damaged.
• As with any electrical circuit, the voltage drop must be considered as well which is determined using many factors that are based on the specific circuit and the length of the wire to provide power for the device.

IMPORTANT
Make sure the manufacturer of the generator specifically states that the generator will work with your electrical load specifications including Well Pumps and other Motor Loads.

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