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Old 10-15-2008, 01:59 AM   #11
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Here's the secondary panel with the built in ATS:
generator-004.jpg   generator-007.jpg  
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:07 AM   #12
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So, basically the Kohler's all come with a pre-fabricated pad that the generator sits on. I had a 4 foot by 6 foot slab of concrete poured when I expanded the driveway, so I could drive and anchor the generator down and not worry about it walking off, since I didn't have a fenced yard at the time.

The generator from Lowe's came with the whole ATS panel, which I swapped out with my friend the electrician, and we mounted it between a couple of studs in the garage wall. It also came with a 12 foot "pigtail" to tie in from the generator to the panel itself. It was a piece of cake to install, a couple of concrete bolts drilled into the foundation, routed the insulated "conduit" and we were ready to go. The initial pigtail came with romex, which is fine, but since I had access to some heavier gauge wire, we pulled the romex out and pulled new copper in. It wasn't necessary, but this was my first house purchase and I wanted everything to be nails.

The one thing they don't tell you is that you have to buy additional breakers if you want seperate circuits for the whole house. You can hard wire the thing with just the couple they give you, but that is not the way I wanted to go. Luckily my buddy had an open account for a very large commercial job going at the time, so a few breakers fell off the truck and were a perfect fit. I saved them 4 weeks and some cash on the power installation to their new strip mall, so I figured it was a wash at the end of the day.

So, there you have it. That's my set up. When the power dumps, this baby fires off, it runs on Natural Gas, so I never need to do anything except monitor the temp and the oil level on the unit. It's warrantied for like 5 years parts and labor, so I am pretty happy and the missus is even happier since she never has to worry about be home in the dark alone while I am out saving the countryside from the ravages of Mother Nature.

JD
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:03 AM   #13
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Not having deep pockets like Mr D I have a 5ooo watt gasoline powered generator that I manually hook up to a 220 outlet which feeds the main breaker in my attached garage. I had a electrician friend do the wiring into the main breaker for me, set up a separate 220 goesinto-comesoutta outlet. We loose power at least 3-4 times each winter and spring from wind or ice and snow. It will run all night on a tank of gas, and in the winter I always keep 25 gallons on site. This provides enough juice to run;
well pump -110v
2 refrigerator/freezers
several lights
furnace (natural gas with 110 blower 3 speed fan)
Garage door openers

Of course we try to minimize all power use when the system is being used. It does not have the wattage to handle the start-up draw of the central air in the summer, but we can run several ceiling fans.

I have $500-$600 in the generator and some beer in the install. Had it for about ten years and it's never let me down. I also used to use the generator around the back timber for power before I became disabled. I do like Mr. D's setup much better, but you get by.....
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw View Post
Not having deep pockets like Mr D I have a 5ooo watt gasoline powered generator that I manually hook up to a 220 outlet which feeds the main breaker in my attached garage. I had a electrician friend do the wiring into the main breaker for me, set up a separate 220 goesinto-comesoutta outlet. We loose power at least 3-4 times each winter and spring from wind or ice and snow. It will run all night on a tank of gas, and in the winter I always keep 25 gallons on site. This provides enough juice to run;
well pump -110v
2 refrigerator/freezers
several lights
furnace (natural gas with 110 blower 3 speed fan)
Garage door openers

Of course we try to minimize all power use when the system is being used. It does not have the wattage to handle the start-up draw of the central air in the summer, but we can run several ceiling fans.

I have $500-$600 in the generator and some beer in the install. Had it for about ten years and it's never let me down. I also used to use the generator around the back timber for power before I became disabled. I do like Mr. D's setup much better, but you get by.....
There is NOTHING wrong with that set up at all cbw. The most important thing is to have a safe, warm and well lit place for the family to be if/when the bad times hit.

I lucked out in the fact that, after years of traveling for work, living in hotels, I met a gal who also had a great job, very few bills, and a desire to have a small but well equipped domicile. We don't live beyond our means and we don't have anywhere NEAR the biggest house or the biggest yard on the block, but we have a nice, safe and comfortable place that will always have the lights on.

JD
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:59 AM   #15
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Thats a good feeling to have, knowing that you have the means to be comfortable if the power goes. As much as we move I can tell you from experience that things you take for granted or dont give a second thought to will prove to be painful in the event of an interruption of services. We rented a house once by pictures only and the description was "fireplace". Well it had one of those 70s inserts that the dude had put an electric light that turned on to replicate a "fire". Electric stove, electric furnace. So in the kansas ice storm what did we have? Nothing. Need a good split between gas, electric and backup to be a viable shelter in bad weather. At least the portable backup genny at a minimum, the hard wire like you gents have is the best solution if you arent all over the world every year or two. i really dig the gas backup, have seen those before but I hadnt known anyone that had one. Good comfort factor when the lights go out!
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:32 PM   #16
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My whole house runs on electric including base board heaters.
I'm in New Mexico and I get buku sun and wind so I guess I'll be looking into solar and wind
My real main concern is if the power is gone for good, I want my pump for the water well to work since the pump is down 160ft
There has been a break-thru in solar panels by some South Africans. Just do a search: solar breakthrough south africa and some articles will come up!
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:29 AM   #17
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Have similar battery set up- mine are 155 Amp hr deep cycle. Limiting factor is size of charging panel, and it's output. I use a 2500 watt inverter, runs fridge/ freezer, can charge from vehicle if needed ( have truck w/ BIG alternator)
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:08 AM   #18
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Dillinger thanx for your input and I glad you have what you have! Were all just doing the best we can.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:33 AM   #19
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After Ike, we were without power for a few days before turning on our generators. We have 3 of them, but only 1 is needed to run everything in house...(hooked into main breaker) but they are of no use if you get hit by a hard hurricane, such as Ike or Katrina, and the gas prices sky rocket and everywhere is sold out.

My grandfather and uncle both used their welding machines to get electricity into their houses for the fridge and television, though I am not sure how they did it, it used less gas.

(End of pointless ramble.)
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:15 AM   #20
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i want the set up like Big D has. but right now I have flash lights and candles. If I could I would rig my kids bikes up to a generator and make them peddle their butts off. I should have at least a small genny to run the fridge and freezer. The last time we lost power it was for about a week and I got to sit outside at night and look across the street at the Wawa that had power the next day after it went out. Turns out that they are on the same circuit as important stuff like schools and medical facilities.
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