Re: Anyone here have a whole house standby generator?
I've been watching the responses. None of them are particularly bad ones - all good actually. But, here's the thing -
You've got a perfectly good generator there, and how often do you really lose your power to this latest extent? I felt from your 1st post that maybe you lose it all the time and are fed up. If that is the case, maybe a full-time stand by is what you want, but only you could answer that. If it is not the case, and you just got a good dose of pain in the backside from this last extended power loss, I think your last post is the smartest.
Again, you already have a good geni there, and could power your house for a long period if need be with it. $200-$250 will buy you a transfer switch and they really are not complicated to install.
By the way, I have no transfer switch and I run my heavy geni cord to my dryer outlet to backfeed to the service when I lose power here. (I had to lop the twist-lock end off and replace it with a standard dryer 230 L plug) How I prevent from backfeeding from my service to the main line that comes from the street is to simply shut the main breaker off. After all, I would now be "feeding" my service through the 35 amp dryer breaker, and don't need power from the street. Shutting the main off cuts off the street line, and therefor prevents my geni from back feeding out to the street. Safe for us, safe for anyone working on the lines. However, you do need to be conservative in running the house this way. Remember, I'm running all the juice through the 35 amp dryer breaker, so I don't want to over load that and be tripping all the time. I can run my fridge, freezer, well pump, some lights, the pellets stove, and even the boiler for hot water as long as everything doesn't happen to be running all at once. We have yet to have any issues this way and have never tripped the breaker - like I said, we're conservative, but keep the house going and are comfortable enough to not have to leave regardless of weather.
You could even install a separate 35, 40, or even 50 amp breaker in your service with it's own twist-lock weather tight outlet wired outside for about $125 or so, and do exactly as I said above, just turn the main off before powering up the geni.
One other thing, when you do it this way you really don't know when the power actually comes back on until you see that your neighbors have power, (because you turn the main off - remember) then you need to remember to shut the geni down and unplug it from the outlet before switching the main back on.
All this being said, the transfer switch is still the best way to go. You don't have to worry about much of what I cautioned about above. The transfer switch takes care of it all. My way is just the "poor man's" way, and it is practical and safe if you are methodical and attentive. The transfer switch is really the best way.
(Incidentally, my 6500 watt surge geni has a Robin - made by Subaru, gasoline engine, and is very dependable. I bought it at Home Depot two years ago)
'08 CC GT 2542 With;
(75# Wheel wts, 4 Suitcases, Chains, 42" Blower)
'01 Snapper RER 10hp (Still Cuts - She just won't quit!)
'98 Yardman 10hp 30" Walk Behind Snowblower (Gettin' Tired But Still Blows!)
Last edited by Renster of N.H.; 02-11-2010 at 10:40 PM.