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Thread: Portable generators not for a pool.

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    Portable generators not for a pool.

    Last week we got hit with an ice storm. We lost power for about 2 and half days and my parents were out for over 4 days. I have a 750w old generator. It has never worked until in a fit of desperation I figured out the problem and fixed it. In the process of fixing it I noticed it was very rusty in the tank. It survived. It was enough to run a space heater and keep us at 50 degrees inside, but not enough to run the fridge. But we used buckets of snow to keep the food cold. I was fortunate enough to that my brother in law got power and we borrowed his 6500w generator. That baby did everything we needed and more. So I decided to go and get new generator. But I noticed they have inverter generators too. But not sure what the difference is other then twice the price and they burn way less gas. Can anyone enlighten me on the difference?
    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Inverter generators make DC power which feeds a solid state inverter to generate an AC output. Good ones make better AC Than the power company provides, so sensitive equipment works properly.

    Cheaper generators can use clipped square-waves instead of sine waves. Some equipment doesn't like that.

    Standard generators make the AC directly so frequency or amplitude can vary with short-term load changes and that can produce noise in things like TVs.

    Honda generators are just flat good. We use them a lot at work and they are sweet.

    There are a lot of choices. Natural gas is nice if you have it, because you don't have to keep fuel on hand and you don't have to worry about carburetor problems from fuel sitting.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    The inverter generators make DC power natively and convert that to AC power via the inverter. The advantage to this approach is that the engine only needs to run at speeds to match the required load and is therefore quieter and more fuel-efficient. Inverter generators also produce "pure sine wave" electricity while most other types of generators produce "modified sine wave" electricity. Pure sine wave is the same type of electricity available in your home. It is a "cleaner" form of electricity that results in less distortion.

    While most power devices will run fine on modified sine wave, many sensitive electronics (computers, some digital clocks, motors with extensive electronic controls) will require pure sine wave. Other advantages of inverter generators is they are usually smaller and lighter than a non-inverter generator of similar output, they can vary the engine speed in proportion to the electrical load, and are quieter and more fuel efficient.

    So the choice comes down to how you plan on using the generator. If your primary purpose is to run a refrigerator, freezer, power tools, or an induction motor (assuming it does not have extensive electronic controls), a modified sine wave generator will work fine. OTOH, if you plan on running sensitive electronics, motors with extensive electronic controls on a regular basis, and place a high value in the quietness of your generator, than a good pure sine wave inverter-type generator would be the best choice.

    Interesting side note...Many years ago, I went in to a power supply store to have my mower blades sharpened. While I was waiting, a store employee was helping a customer with a 3,000 watt inverter generator. He fired it up right on the showroom floor. I didn't think a generator could be that quiet. So, I walked out of the store that day with my newly sharpened mower blades and an inverter generator. Stands to this day as the largest impulse purchase I have ever made.
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    With all that being said... I am going to get a traditional generator. I have no sensitive equipment. Just a fridge, cell charger, fan, propane oven with electronic controls and a drop light. I don't care about the sound. I am pretty good when it comes to maintenance on the gas power tools and would use it during the summer instead of extension cords, just to make sure it worked.
    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Couple people I know bought the Champion generator being sold at Costco. So far so good for both of them. Personally, I plan on buying one to store in the shed, for that just in case scenario.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    So what is required as far as extra equipment to hook these up to your house? I can not see hooking something up to mine in its current configuration.
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    That Champion 3500 watt will do just fine for a pool and small loads. USE fuel stabilizer--it's a rule! Run it at least once a month for half to one hour on a 50% load. Kill the genny by turning off the gas flow to the carbs. Do not expect just to set one out in the shed and have it work when you actually need it. Buy two extra plugs and keep enough oil on hand to change it two or three times as well.
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Depends on your electrical code in the states, but you need a changeover switch at your power board (so you don't back-feed the mains) - also note that the three phase units don't like running unbalanced between the phases.

    Three phase is pretty common in Aus, it complicates things when your lighting is on one phase and power is on the other two.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    So what is required as far as extra equipment to hook these up to your house? I can not see hooking something up to mine in its current configuration.
    By code ( and probably for any justifiable insurance claims), you have to have an electrician wire in a transfer switch to your breaker panel. My small Champion on wheels will roll around to the pump pad--------remove plug from wall receptacle---plug it into the jenny if that's all I need. There are other (redneck engineering) solutions to hooking one to your house, but I can't legally/morally recommend them to you!
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    I learn something every day on this forum and this is a really good example of why. Great posts y'all.
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup View Post
    I learn something every day on this forum and this is a really good example of why. Great posts y'all.
    It's easy for you----------------you wake up in a a new world every day!
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    It's easy for you----------------you wake up in a a new world every day!
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Thanks again. Now to find one. Wednesday night/ Thursday morning another foot of snow then rain and wind!

    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Fortunately, for many of us, there is a code-legal, inexpensive alternative to the transfer switch so beloved of electricians. If you have a relatively modern main panel, there is a good chance you can get a code-legal generator interlock kit made by the manufacturer of your panel. I linked the one for my Square-D panel below--only $46 at the Orange Box and MUCH easier to install than a transfer switch. The interlock is just as effective at preventing back-feeds and allows you full flexibility to power any combination of branch circuits. The disadvantage is that they are entirely manual. You have to open your main breaker and then close the breakers connected to the genny circuit. No way to do an automatic kickover. But if your plan is to use a portable, that's really not a problem.

    Confirm with your local code authority that this will be approved. I had no trouble.

    This kit below only works for a (very common) series of Square-D panels. But there are kits for a wide variety of panels. Get your panel's Model number and Google "Model# generator interlock kit".

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D-...5yc1vZbm0yZ684
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Durk View Post
    Fortunately, for many of us, there is a code-legal, inexpensive alternative to the transfer switch so beloved of electricians. If you have a relatively modern main panel, there is a good chance you can get a code-legal generator interlock kit made by the manufacturer of your panel. I linked the one for my Square-D panel below--only $46 at the Orange Box and MUCH easier to install than a transfer switch. The interlock is just as effective at preventing back-feeds and allows you full flexibility to power any combination of branch circuits. The disadvantage is that they are entirely manual. You have to open your main breaker and then close the breakers connected to the genny circuit. No way to do an automatic kickover. But if your plan is to use a portable, that's really not a problem.

    Confirm with your local code authority that this will be approved. I had no trouble.

    This kit below only works for a (very common) series of Square-D panels. But there are kits for a wide variety of panels. Get your panel's Model number and Google "Model# generator interlock kit".

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D-...5yc1vZbm0yZ684
    This is what I kind of had in the back of my head as a possible simple solution (need to check codes). I knew there were transfer switches (manual and automatic), but they kind of seemed like overkill for the frequency of use. I would not be wanting to try to power the entire panel anyway with my little portable gen.

    I kind of pictured turning off the main breaker, turning off all the circuits I did not need, turning on a breaker to a generator to feed the few closed circuits. I have seen many smaller panels that are fed through a regular breaker like this and do not have a separate "main" breaker.
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    This is what I kind of had in the back of my head as a possible simple solution (need to check codes). I knew there were transfer switches (manual and automatic), but they kind of seemed like overkill for the frequency of use. I would not be wanting to try to power the entire panel anyway with my little portable gen.

    I kind of pictured turning off the main breaker, turning off all the circuits I did not need, turning on a breaker to a generator to feed the few closed circuits. I have seen many smaller panels that are fed through a regular breaker like this and do not have a separate "main" breaker.

    We loose power so infrequently that I never thought of doing something permanent. I have a plan that should work. I connect the genny to the propane stove, and survive. Sadly generators are at a premium now and the ones available are bigger then my needs(and expensive). We have a beach house but it is 3 hours away. The logistics of getting there exceed my desire to be warm. The electric company did a great job even though it took some time. In our area some people recommend to turn off the main in the panel and then hook a genny up to your dryer plug and turn on the breakers you want. Sounds dangerous.
    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Portable generators not for a pool.

    Hooking the generator up to the dryer outlet is not the way to go. That is back feeding and not a good idea. Ask a lineman working on the power lines while somebody is back feeding electricity what he thinks about it.
    Jeff
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk View Post
    Hooking the generator up to the dryer outlet is not the way to go. That is back feeding and not a good idea. Ask a lineman working on the power lines while somebody is back feeding electricity what he thinks about it.
    I agree. Even if it works just seems too complicated. I couldn't sleep that way. Just seems dangerous.
    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Since raidencmc ,mentioned it!..........................Yes you can back feed your house through a dryer plug (220). You can also back feed through a normal 110 outlet anywhere outside the home. Unless you go output of jenny from 220 to a 220 plug, you'll only power half the legs of the house with power. Think two circuits A and B. Same thing with using 110 from jenny to a 110 outside outlet--------you'll only feed what is on that leg. Unless you turn off the main breaker before powering up, yes---------you could kill someone working on the lines. Yes, they WILL find you! There's a reason utility companies always throw a "deadman" across any possible hot lines they will be working on. Still, do people do this every day, especially in an emergency/weather situation? Yes they do.
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Portable generators not for a pool.

    Sure you can do it but I'd rather not.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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