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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Richmond, VA

    Default Portable Generator

    Am considering purchasing a residential, portable generator.

    We live in a four-season part of the country where, from time to time, we lose electric utility service. Usual cause is spring/fall high wind or ice in winter. The utility company is pretty good about restoring service. Longest we have been without service was two days.

    Our two-story house (w/ full basement) is a modest 1,600 square feet. We run three window air conditioners in the summer. In the winter, radiator heat is provided by a high-efficiency, gas-fired boiler. Kitchen has a large refrigerator/freezer and gas stove. Clothes dryer is electrically heated. Hot water heater runs on gas. Service panel is 220.

    I spotted a 7,500-watt electric start Honeywell portable generator on sale for $750 (Costco Internet price includes battery and shipping). Features include eight-hour run time at 50% draw and low-oil shutdown. Lowe’s offers a 7,500-watt transfer switch kit for $285.

    My vision is to plug the generator into the transfer switch and keep the house functioning near to normal in the event of a power outage. Might have to refill the gas tank if the outage is extended and cut back on power usage to keep demand within the delivery capabilities of the generator.

    It happens that an electrical contractor is at our house this week and next upgrading wiring, switches, lighting, and outlets. I could add the installation of a transfer switch to the work order.

    What have been your experiences with portable generators? Good? Bad? What should I consider before making a decision with respect to the generator? What should I know about the transfer switch project? Is this a straightforward installation for a contractor? Does it make sense to install a transfer switch?

    Thanks, guys!
    Last edited by deerfield; 09-14-2012 at 12:30 AM.
    2007 Outback - SOLD June 2016
    2012 RAM Crew Cab
    2015 Subaru Forester

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