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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Finished up some backup power after we went through a 20 hour outage...It wasn't about survival as the weather was mild. It was about boredom. My wife is disabled and we depend on a lot of streaming services which in turn requires internet. Plus lights and well water and fridge.

So I was lent both a Gas and a Propane Gen but discovered as we do, the Generator is the simple part. Getting the power into the house is the hard part. The propane gen started right up after not running for 2 years. The Gas gen I spent a month getting it running (Gas tank and Petcock rusted out, Carb replaced)...and the thing only had 5 hours on it but had been sitting for years. Returned it to the neighbor.

Bought a $1000 Westinghouse dual fuel. It does 8500/11200 W on propane. Added a sub panel as I had my 200 amp service filled. A 50' 50A cord, Inlet and wire given to me by neighbor who was switching to a 20KW Generac (Free as his son is upgrading to a 22KW) His son installs these as his business.

I tested it for an hour with the Heat Pump off (It was mild weather again) the hot water off, and the ovens and cooktop off. I have a Propane fireplace for heat backup.

I do not think I was close to the limit but I am looking for a way to meter the watts being used. Breakin asked for half load as well.

With the garage door down it is very quiet. I have a new 40 Lb tank and a 20 LB Gas grill tank..I think that is enough. I also could change the valve on my 100 LB tank if needed. That is not really portable and I might need it for heat. So I guess worst case scenario I can switch to gasoline and use the gas in spare Jeep 15 gallons would add another day or 2.

Spent less than $2K on the project.

Links for some of the items used.

1) Generator: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q1DLKBG?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

2) 50' 50a cord: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085HPJPF6?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

3) GE Interlock: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0917JZPVF?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

4) Meter to track load: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JB9B2QL?psc=1&smid=A2QNX0AMH7X2U&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp



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I bought a similar generator for my daughter and tested it before I gave it to her. I ran it with a 5400 watt load with gas and propane. On a grill tank it consumed just under 6 lbs per hour. With 3 lbs left in the tank it didn't have enough pressure to maintain the load. It used just under one gallon per hour on gas.

What you have looks just like the 10-8 K Duromax I bought. For a couple of years they would clear the smaller size out on ebay for $500 - $600. I got hers for $500. It has served them pretty good.
 
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1026R. Grand Cherokee, Sante Fe Sport
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I bought a similar generator for my daughter and tested it before I gave it to her. I ran it with a 5400 watt load with gas and propane. On a grill tank it consumed just under 6 lbs per hour. With 3 lbs left in the tank it didn't have enough pressure to maintain the load. It used just under one gallon per hour on gas.

What you have looks just like the 10-8 K Duromax I bought. For a couple of years they would clear the smaller size out on ebay for $500 - $600. I got hers for $500. It has served them pretty good.
Yeah they all look like they have the same china motor and gen...The Duramax was a few hundred more. Almost went with it till I saw this one. The Generator is the easiest thing to replace now.
I went back and forth on what was needed and what would be overkill. This I think is overkill...but I had more than enough running on it to be comfortable. Ran the microwave, a 1500w radiator and my air compressor along with 30 LED lights. So it should handle the sump pump when it would kick on. I'll be careful not to run everything at the same time. I do like being able to do the math and pick and choose what I want turned on. Spent around $1800 or so.

This came with a cover a battery charger and a remote key fob.

Did you do the math to figure your load or do you have a meter of some kind. I would like to have an exact # either at my panel or at the gen.
 
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Looks good (y)
 
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Last year HD had them on special for about a grand so I picked one up. Same GenInterlock kit as you though I had to buy a 20' 50 amp cord and the 50 amp outlet which were a bear to find in stock and reasonable.

I think I spent around $300-$350 for the new 50 amp breaker, interlock plate, 20 foot cord and 50 amp 4 prong outdoor generator receptacle.

About 3 months ago we had a storm that caused a 16 hour outage. The genny started fine and performed admirably and I filled it up once and it even ran all night without babysitting. It lugged down when the "hot water heater" (quoted to annoy the grammar police) kicked in but it ran the whole house including well and septic pumps and the water heater.

The only problem I had is that I have a battery backup UPS for the UV sterilizer and the generator seems to make "dirty" enough power to wig out the UPS voltage sensor. The UPS kept going on and off and eventually the battery went dead even though the generator was running.
 
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Last year HD had them on special for about a grand so I picked one up. Same GenInterlock kit as you though I had to buy a 20' 50 amp cord and the 50 amp outlet which were a bear to find in stock and reasonable.

I think I spent around $300-$350 for the new 50 amp breaker, interlock plate, 20 foot cord and 50 amp 4 prong outdoor generator receptacle.

About 3 months ago we had a storm that caused a 16 hour outage. The genny started fine and performed admirably and I filled it up once and it even ran all night without babysitting. It lugged down when the "hot water heater" (quoted to annoy the grammar police) kicked in but it ran the whole house including well and septic pumps and the water heater.

The only problem I had is that I have a battery backup UPS for the UV sterilizer and the generator seems to make "dirty" enough power to wig out the UPS voltage sensor. The UPS kept going on and off and eventually the battery went dead even though the generator was running.
I've had that happen with my generator, too, confusing the UPS. I found that if I loaded the generator up a bit, it often cleans up the power. Just another 500-1000W was enough to get the UPS to chill out.
 

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Yeah they all look like they have the same china motor and gen...The Duramax was a few hundred more. Almost went with it till I saw this one. The Generator is the easiest thing to replace now.


Did you do the math to figure your load or do you have a meter of some kind. I would like to have an exact # either at my panel or at the gen.
I built a resistive load bank to exercise and test my diesel generator. I used four 5400W dryer elements. I made three circuits and have two of the elements connected in series to half the watts on one circuit. The three circuits are switched through three breakers in a six position 100w panel. The fan to cool the elements is a straight wired 120V.

I can apply a 2700W, 5400W, 10800W, or 13500W load.
 

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1026R. Grand Cherokee, Sante Fe Sport
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Any effect on LED bulbs or Flat screens? I can leave my PC's off and use a laptop but the reported Htz on the generator is high at 64 and the only way to adjust that I guess is an idle adjustment. It is not rated well for sensitive electronics. In fact it is quite terrible say's 5% THD on the website but is listed at <23% everywhere else I checked. For the hour I ran it. Nothing...like the TV seemed flaky. It is on a surge protector but that doesn't seem enough.

Is this what one would look for to measure what the wattage draw is? Scratching my head as to where I wire this in.

 
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I built a resistive load bank to exercise and test my diesel generator. I used four 5400W dryer elements. I made three circuits and have two of the elements connected in series to half the watts on one circuit. The three circuits are switched through three breakers in a six position 100w panel. The fan to cool the elements is a straight wired 120V.

I can apply a 2700W, 5400W, 10800W, or 13500W load.
Any photos or schematics?
 

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Chex, you must have an amp clamp dont you? Or buy one, they're pretty cheap and handy. put it on one of your wires to the generator breaker and measure the amps. Since you know your voltage (240) you can figure the wattage. One thing I am not sure of is if you have to measure current on both legs and add them then multiply by voltage or just measure one?? BTW I have a generac continuous 5500 watt surge 7500 genny and it will run my whole house less the electric dryer and oven . Wife has had microwave and stove top on at same time along with whatever else in the house and while it sure did load it, it seemed to keep up.....I heard it barking away from inside the house and asked her what she had on???:rolleyes::D
 

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I'd stay away from gasoline. It just makes the maintenance on it all more complicated.

Watch Craigslist. People give away Propane tanks all the time. Take them, swap them out for a new (full ) tank at Lowe's or any tank exchange place so that you have new tanks. Then you can refill them as needed for the next 10+ years. Propane will last forever so find someplace to store a half dozen (or more) tanks and you'll be ready for a long term outage and you won't have to worry about your carb getting gummed up and the thing not starting when you need it.
 

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Not trying to highjack the thread, but this is what I used for years before I upgraded to a whole house generator system. They are not that expensive and easy to install. You judiciously choose what circuits you want to permanently wire in (more importantly......what you need) and size your generator to fit those needs. Fire up the generator, plug it in, turn on the circuits that you need one at a time, and the integrated meters kept me aware of the current draw. Ten circuits should be more than enough to get you by during a temporary outage. I would simply alternate between circuits if and when necessary to stay below my generators limit. I'm a firm believer that if you need more than this, you should be looking at a whole house system.

Audio equipment Gadget Technology Cable Electronic device
 

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1026R. Grand Cherokee, Sante Fe Sport
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Not trying to highjack the thread, but this is what I used for years before I upgraded to a whole house generator system. They are not that expensive and easy to install. You judiciously choose what circuits you want to permanently wire in (more importantly......what you need) and size your generator to fit those needs. Fire up the generator, plug it in, turn on the circuits that you need one at a time, and the integrated meters kept me aware of the current draw. Ten circuits should be more than enough to get you by during a temporary outage. I would simply alternate between circuits if and when necessary to stay below my generators limit. I'm a firm believer that if you need more than this, you should be looking at a whole house system.

View attachment 811582
I chose the cheaper alternate route. If I want to take a shower I can turn the fridge and the heat or AC or whatever else I need to. Take a shower, and then swap back to everything else...I think your way is good for anyone who doesn't want to have hands on. A whole house Gen wasn't going to work for me...There is a waiting list almost a year long where I am at...It is too much money for the infrequent outages. (Do not tell my wife but I just did this 'cause it was a fun project) . I did study this option but decided against it.

Chex, you must have an amp clamp dont you? Or buy one, they're pretty cheap and handy. put it on one of your wires to the generator breaker and measure the amps. Since you know your voltage (240) you can figure the wattage. One thing I am not sure of is if you have to measure current on both legs and add them then multiply by voltage or just measure one?? BTW I have a generac continuous 5500 watt surge 7500 genny and it will run my whole house less the electric dryer and oven . Wife has had microwave and stove top on at same time along with whatever else in the house and while it sure did load it, it seemed to keep up.....I heard it barking away from inside the house and asked her what she had on???:rolleyes::D
LOl My old friend described this situation at his house where he wanted to eat popcorn watch TV and weather the outage and his wife starts cooking a big dinner with the oven and cooktop until everything shuts down. She gets mad at him because she can't finish dinner...and he argues these extension cords running through the windows can't handle it...LOL 😄

I do know Ohm's law but haven't owned an Amp Probe since the 70's when my Dad was a retired electrician. I was looking for something with an instant readout (and no math;))

Like this... https://www.amazon.com/Current-Ampe...locphy=9007396&hvtargid=pla-593618260022&th=1
 
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Any effect on LED bulbs or Flat screens? I can leave my PC's off and use a laptop but the reported Htz on the generator is high at 64 and the only way to adjust that I guess is an idle adjustment. It is not rated well for sensitive electronics. In fact it is quite terrible say's 5% THD on the website but is listed at <23% everywhere else I checked. For the hour I ran it. Nothing...like the TV seemed flaky. It is on a surge protector but that doesn't seem enough.

Is this what one would look for to measure what the wattage draw is? Scratching my head as to where I wire this in.


TVs, computers seemed to have worked fine and no electronics seemed to be damaged.

Only one other thing I noticed - I have LED floodlights at the house entrance and on the garage. When I flipped on both the garage (3 in that receptacle) and the house with one light the garage lights would flicker on and off like an old TV!

Those LED floods and the UPS hating the dirty power seemed to be the only issues I had.

Not sure to blame the genny for the LED lights since both of those circuits have lighted decora switches which are about a year old and have neon backlit which also does not play well with LEDs.
 

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TVs, computers seemed to have worked fine and no electronics seemed to be damaged
Most of your elecs have a transformer that cleans up the power while converting to DC. Led lights can be fussy. I would guess if you run something with a sizeable electric motor on the same circuit it will clean up/balance out the power.
 

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Most of your elecs have a transformer that cleans up the power while converting to DC. Led lights can be fussy. I would guess if you run something with a sizeable electric motor on the same circuit it will clean up/balance out the power.
I wasn't too worried about the electronics but the fact that the UPS for the UV sterilizer was wigging out and varying on and off rapidly gave me a bit of pause.

This I didn't notice until I got up in the morning and heard the UV alarm go off. Neither of us ran the water until I investigated since we both heard the beeping and she's up on what it means.

This problem is kinda irritating since I spent almost 400 bucks for a decent battery backup for the UV sterilizer. Makes me glad to have spent the bigger bucks for a monitored system.
 

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So I guess worst case scenario I can switch to gasoline and use the gas in spare Jeep 15 gallons would add another day or 2.
You have the solution to your problems hanging on the back of your tractor!

One of the intentions of me getting the TLB for me was to dig a hole for and install a buried 500 or 1000 gal propane tank for cooking and emergency backup.

That's next year's project.
 
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