Summary: When it comes to home generators size does matter. This article all about home-generators will help you understand the basics of a whole house generator. Lets look at the features of a whole house generator system.
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Home-generators smaller then 4,000 watts are in most instances not capable of powering a home during a power outage because they can not provide the needed power for electrical loads such as motors, well pumps and ventilation blowers on a central heating system.
A typical home supplied with 200-amp electric service can actually support a load of approximately 45,000 watts (45kW) of electric demand.
Portable generators are produced in sizes ranging from a few hundred watts to 15,000 watts (15kW).
A standby generator is a permanently installed generator that is attached to your electrical service panel. Most of the standby generators start automatically and are connected to a large fuel source such as propane or diesel fuel.
Even if you were to purchase a 10,000 to 15,000 watt portable generator you would find it more expensive, difficult to move, noisy, and the fuel consumption will be large. Typically you will not be able to run you home's central air conditioning system or electric heat pump even with a 15,000 watt portable generator.
Comments and Questions about Home Generators
Installing Home Generators
Anthony, from La Grange, Illinois asks: I have a Generac Model 5837 Core Power generator with 50 amp automatic transfer switch. My house has a 100 amp service. The generator is a natural gas model with automatic start and transfer. I am only going to support certain loads such as the sump pump, refrigerator, furnace (no air conditioner) and a few lights. The village where I live has adopted NEC 1999 as electrical code. How far from the house must generator be?
The generator must not be installed indoor.
The installation of the generator must be 5' from the building structure.
A typical gas and electric install 5' from structure. This has now become the standard installations as per NFPA 37.
Installation Clearance Considerations:
5' from the gas meter and main electrical panel.
5' from windows, doors, ventilation, wall mounted air conditioners, or other openings to prevent exhaust gas from entering the building structure.
Do not install under a wooden deck or other structure.
Must not obstruct or affect access to services.
Must not be installed on top of service conduits such as electrical, water, gas, fuel, phone, air conditioning, irrigation.
Must not be installed where strong prevailing winds blow from one direction, face the generator air inlet openings.
Install the generator as close as possible to:
The fuel supply to reduce the length of pipe used, however maintain required clearances.
The transfer switch, with regard to local codes which may regulate distance and location.
All exposed gas pipe is painted.
The minimum distance from a building for Generator:
NFPA 37, Section 4.1.4, Engines Located Outdoors. Engines, and
their weatherproof housings if provided, that are installed outdoors
shall be located at least 5 ft. from openings in walls and at least 5
ft. from structures having combustible walls. A minimum separation
shall not be required where the following conditions exist:
1. The adjacent wall of the structure has a fire resistance rating
of at least 1 hour.
2. The weatherproof enclosure is constructed of noncombustible
materials and it has been demonstrated that a fire within
the enclosure will not ignite combustible materials outside the
Electrical Wiring Video #2
Electrical Wiring Tips for Home Electrical Wiring Projects
Tripping Circuit Breaker, Outlet at a Wall Switch, Light Fixture without a Ground Wire, Help with Home Electrical Wiring Projects.
See more House Wiring Videos from Ask The Electrician:
Perfect for Homeowners, the Handyman, and Electricians Includes: Complete with Practical Hands On Wiring Instructions Installing Electrical Wiring for Generator Panels and Transfer Switches Loaded with On the Job Electrical Pictures and Wiring Diagrams Great Help for Wiring a Generator and Transfer Switch ....and much more. » Click here to learn more about Home Electric Wiring
Connecting A Generator To A Home Video How should I install the wiring to connect a generator to my home? Planning and Installing a Generator with a Transfer Switch: How to Connect a Generator to a Home.
Connecting a Generator to a Home Videos How to Connect a Generator to a Home: Safe Methods for Connecting a Home Generator, Approved Transfer Switch, Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit, Well Pumps and other 220 Volt Circuits, Sensitive Electronic Devices and Equipment, Connecting the Generator.
Sizing a Generator Transfer Switch Here are the Steps for Sizing a Generator Transfer Switch: The rating and size of all the electrical components of the system should be sized properly.
Installing a Manual Transfer Switch How to Select the Right Generator Transfer Switch: How to Save Money on a Generator Transfer Switch - These two items actually work hand in hand, and the end result will actually be how large the generator will be and there are a few more options that may be much easier to install and much less costly that a large transfer switch.
How to Wire a 3 Phase Air Compressor How is an air compressor wired and where do the wires go? Wiring a 3 Phase Motor for an Air Compressor, The Basic Requirements for Wiring Electric Motors, 3 Phase Motor Circuits.
Electrical Project Skill Level:
Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Electrical Tools Required:
Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for installing the generator and transfer switch. Estimated Time:
Depends on the type and size of the generator and transfer switch and the available access to the project area. Electrical Safety:
Any existing electrical wiring within the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of the transfer switch may need to be relocated if necessary.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials:
Electrical parts and materials for generator wiring projects should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections:
Installing a generator and transfer switch must be well thought out and performed with a permit with all work being inspected.
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A wire stripping tool used to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets.
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