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OT - Ice Storm Coming - Generator Question For The Pro's

johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 1,204
edited February 12 in EggHead Forum
Hello everyone. I am in Georgia (not Atlanta), but a small town south of Augusta. We don't get much winter weather here at all, but an ice storm is barreling down on us. We are expecting anywhere from 1" to 2 1/2" inches of freezing rain in a couple of hours. 

I have never had a need for a generator before, but I borrowed a 3,500 watt from a friend today. My question for those of you that have been in this situation before is what all can I power with this size generator?

I have already been told NOT to power the fridges etc. so I am not going to. I would like to power at least one Directv receiver and at least one 42 inch tv. I don't know the wattage of the receiver or the tv, but on the small 20 inch flat screen in the kitchen I found a tag stating 45 watts. If that is accurate I should be fine I think. I have gas logs in one room so I can heat a small portion of the house.  I would also like to use a small electric heater that is 1,500 watts. My microwave is 1,200 watts, 

I think I will be fine as long as I stay under 3,000 to 3,200 watts, but I want to hear it from those of you that have been there! 
image
Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
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Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    I have a 17 Kw built in and I could do my whole house with it. 3.5 KW will do a lot of stuff. You should be able to do your fridge, freezer, some lights, your TV and electronic equipment as well as an outlet or two for kettle or toaster. If it overloads it will let you know. The more you load it the more fuel you will have to give it.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • bo_mullbo_mull Posts: 242
    edited February 12
    I would turn off the heater while using the microwave.

    Cleveland, TN.

    LG BGE, PSWOO2, Stoker WIFI.

  • laserdoc85laserdoc85 Posts: 540
    My egg runs on lump. What more do you need
    Jefferson .GA.  
    Been egging since 1985 on a medium egg
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,897
    Remember, you won't be running everything at once. If you need to nuke something, turn off the heater. You could even plug in the fridge from time to time.
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • loveTheEggloveTheEgg Posts: 234
    I have a Honda 2000 and Yes you can run the fridge with that 3500 just put the fridge on it first and get it going before plugging in anything else. you should be fine with the fridge TV and heater. if you can plug your router and motum into it so you can have internet by WIFI. be sure to use a a surge protector on the TV and Box so that it will not send a bolt of power to them! like Little Steven said if you get to much on it it will shut down them you can start unplugging stuff as needed! Good luck and Hope it does not get to bad there! I'm over here is Jackson MS so hopefully we don't get it!
    Brandon, MS
  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 436
    3500 watts = 120volts x ~ less than 30 amps.

    That is max = generator running maximum. Just guessing. a 1 gallon gas tank around 1-2 hours of fuel at max amperage.

    1500 watt heater will be 1/2 your capacity.

    1-100 watt light bulb = 100 watts :)

    Refrig = maybe 10-12 amps  =  1000/1200 watts.

    Maybe these calcs will help you make decisions.

    I'll be on for a little longer if you have questions,

    Donnie




    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,772
    If you are trying to feed it through your breaker panel just make sure you turn the main breaker off. You don't want to back feed any electricity back into the downed lines that the crews could get lit up by.

    -----------------------------------------


    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky. Waitin to find a Sasquatch to Egg.
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 1,204
    Thanks guys!
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 436
    Also,

    TV/modem/router/cable box are low wattage devices. Should have nameplates.

    I am just guessing approx 0.5 to 1.5 amps each (50 - 150 watts each).

    Donnie


    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    dldawes1 said:
    3500 watts = 120volts x ~ less than 30 amps.

    That is max = generator running maximum. Just guessing. a 1 gallon gas tank around 1-2 hours of fuel at max amperage.

    1500 watt heater will be 1/2 your capacity.

    1-100 watt light bulb = 100 watts :)

    Refrig = maybe 10-12 amps  =  1000/1200 watts.

    Maybe these calcs will help you make decisions.

    I'll be on for a little longer if you have questions,

    Donnie




    True nuff but fridges and freezers are very intermittent loads. When we had our house fire I kept a freezer and two fridges, some lights and power tools etc on a 3500 w genny. A load of fuel lasted about 8 to 12 hours. The gas tank was way bigger than a gallon.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 436
    @ LS...You are correct.

    Trial and error will probably be the final decision-maker.

    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • RomainRomain Posts: 27
    I would be very hesitant about powering any electronics with a generator. Especially expensive electronics. These types of generators put out what is considered "dirty" electricity. This generally means that there are spikes in the voltage supplied. Sensitive electronics may be affected by these spike. At the very least, a surge protector should be used.
    Romain Nowakowski Ashburn, VA
  • JeremiahJeremiah Posts: 1,002
    Where are you at john? We're in aiken, this might be fun! I've got my 3500 watt ready too. I went out earlier (while the egg was getting warmed up) and got the gen ready and ran it a while. Damn ethenol gas. Took half my arm to get it running again.
    Aiken, SC
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    Romain said:
    I would be very hesitant about powering any electronics with a generator. Especially expensive electronics. These types of generators put out what is considered "dirty" electricity. This generally means that there are spikes in the voltage supplied. Sensitive electronics may be affected by these spike. At the very least, a surge protector should be used.
    Dude, gennys produce a pure sinusoidal wave. The trash you get fom your provider has everyone's backtrash.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,981
    If you are trying to feed it through your breaker panel just make sure you turn the main breaker off. You don't want to back feed any electricity back into the downed lines that the crews could get lit up by.
    If you are going to back feed, you have to turn the main breaker off but this will not prevent juice from going out to the poles. If you don't turn off the main and the power comes back on, you'll overload your panel and fry it. Electricity can flow back to the lines over the neutral wires. 
    Mark Annville, PA
  • jmcnutt5jmcnutt5 Posts: 70
    If you are trying to feed it through your breaker panel just make sure you turn the main breaker off. You don't want to back feed any electricity back into the downed lines that the crews could get lit up by.
    If you are going to back feed, you have to turn the main breaker off but this will not prevent juice from going out to the poles. If you don't turn off the main and the power comes back on, you'll overload your panel and fry it. Electricity can flow back to the lines over the neutral wires. 

    If your electric panel is not already configured for a generator, I would not recommend feeding the panel. There are too many variables you have to consider. Just use it to feed a few necessary components. TV and directv draws low amps so those will be fine.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    If you are trying to feed it through your breaker panel just make sure you turn the main breaker off. You don't want to back feed any electricity back into the downed lines that the crews could get lit up by.
    If you are going to back feed, you have to turn the main breaker off but this will not prevent juice from going out to the poles. If you don't turn off the main and the power comes back on, you'll overload your panel and fry it. Electricity can flow back to the lines over the neutral wires. 
    Huh? The neutral is bonded in your panel. No current can flow at equal potential. Shut the main off and all will be good.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,772





    If you are trying to feed it through your breaker panel just make sure you turn the main breaker off. You don't want to back feed any electricity back into the downed lines that the crews could get lit up by.

    If you are going to back feed, you have to turn the main breaker off but this will not prevent juice from going out to the poles. If you don't turn off the main and the power comes back on, you'll overload your panel and fry it. Electricity can flow back to the lines over the neutral wires. 

    Huh? The neutral is bonded in your panel. No current can flow at equal potential. Shut the main off and all will be good.


    That is exactly what my electrician was telling me when he wired my generator into my panel when we were without power for 2 1/2 weeks after an ice storm.


    -----------------------------------------


    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky. Waitin to find a Sasquatch to Egg.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    Not trying to be contradictory or anything but the bottom line is that your panel is connected to ground at your panel neutral. There is no potential difference to allow current flow. The breaker will disconnect anything that might get up the lines.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,665
    This is me reading this thread:

    image

    Shoulda paid more attention in physics. At least I knew about the sinusoidal wave stuff. I run all my junks through power filters or UPS.
  • bo31210bo31210 Posts: 229
    Hate to say this but this is the paramedic coming out in me and the only reason I say it because it happens every time we get an ice storm in Georgia.  The generator goes outside the house.  Believe me, I have seen it inside more than once   Just saying........     
    In the middle of Georgia!    Geaux Tigers!!!!!
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,665
    bo31210 said:

    Hate to say this but this is the paramedic coming out in me and the only reason I say it because it happens every time we get an ice storm in Georgia.  The generator goes outside the house.  Believe me, I have seen it inside more than once   Just saying........     

    Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a gas!

    I bet those same people have similar problems with Turkey fryers in the fall.
  • bo31210bo31210 Posts: 229
    @eggcelsior Now that you mention the turkey fryer, some of the addresses do ring a bell.    EMS is a true example of the 80/20 rule   80% of the calls are for 20% of the people.    
    In the middle of Georgia!    Geaux Tigers!!!!!
  • RomainRomain Posts: 27
    Romain said:
    I would be very hesitant about powering any electronics with a generator. Especially expensive electronics. These types of generators put out what is considered "dirty" electricity. This generally means that there are spikes in the voltage supplied. Sensitive electronics may be affected by these spike. At the very least, a surge protector should be used.
    Dude, gennys produce a pure sinusoidal wave. The trash you get fom your provider has everyone's backtrash.

    IMHO and based on owning and using dozens of generators.... A lot of the older and cheaper generators produce a modified sine wave AC. This may cause transformers and motors to run hot. Sensitive electronics may not run at all. Newer inverter generators produce a pure sine wave AC. Newer inverter generators are much more expensive that non-inverter generators.
    Romain Nowakowski Ashburn, VA
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 1,204
    Thanks for the replies guys. If I need the generator, and I hope I don't, I will just use drop cords direct from the generator to power strips. I am not hooking it up to my electrical panel. 

    I am putting this outside on an open air porch off of my garage. 

    @Jeremiah I am Louisville, GA. We are about 45 miles south of Augusta. I hope this stuff does not hit. I love my trees and the last time we got this we got hammered and lost a lot of them. 
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 1,204
    I am betting that this generator is 15 to 20 years old. It is a Honda model em3500sx. It had some tags on it, but they were worn so I couldn't find a date of manufacture. It runs great, but I don't know if the fact that is old is good or bad or indifferent. My buddy is letting my use at no charge so I felt like I had nothing to lose by getting it.

    I am still just hoping we don't get hit, but it looks like we will. 

    My county, and town, is the one in dark gray. 2.5 inches of freezing rain will destroy every tree we have in town! This is east central Georgia, and we aren't supposed to have this to deal with!
    icestorm.jpg
    1023 x 776 - 302K
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • grege345grege345 Posts: 1,558
    Heater will be your biggest draw. What kind of heat do you have?
    LBGE& SBGE———————————————•———————– Pennsylvania / poconos
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 989
    bo31210 said:
    @eggcelsior Now that you mention the turkey fryer, some of the addresses do ring a bell.    EMS is a true example of the 80/20 rule   80% of the calls are for 20% of the people.    

    Darwin at his finest
    Greensboro, NC
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,366
    I just learned a lot on this thread. Thanks.
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