Author Topic: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power  (Read 19092 times)

Offline mxitman

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Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« on: September 12, 2009, 07:45:18 PM »

Hey everyone, I was inspired from Mr. Blank's posts so I thought I would add my own. This is my very first attempt at making and posting videos so i hope they turn out ok.

I picked up this small 1100 watt generator last summer for $40 off of craigslist. It didn't run when I got it, the guy had probably used the wrong oil/gas ratio or just had old gas in it. I cleaned it up and made it a workable generator.

The video is a small review of the generator and how I hooked it up to my natural gas furnace to power it up during power outages. Many people say they are not powerful enough for this but I show you how to check that out. I have also used it for keeping our chest freezer cold as well, It's small and only draws about 4 amps @ 120V and the inrush amperage is only 8 amps so the mini generator works just fine powering it up.

Hope you enjoy;

(Part 1)
1000 Watt Mini Generator Review And Use Part 1

(Part 2)
1000 Watt Mini Generator Review And Use Part 2

(Part 3)

1000 Watt Mini Generator Review And Use Part 3





« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 03:31:05 PM by Sister Wolf »

Offline shawn

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 08:37:03 PM »
Thanks for the videos, I am going to give that a try.

Shawn


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Offline Cacinok

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 05:30:04 PM »
sweet vid series.  makes me wish i had a gas furnace. 

mxitman, you wouldn't have a well pump you want to do a vid series on connecting to a generator to would ya?  ;)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 06:34:28 PM »
My little Honda 1000 watt can run the furnace and my freezer as well.

How:

In the circuit to the furnace, there was already a manual throw switch a few feet up stream from the blower. 
From there I added a junction box (between the furnace and switch) and pulled a line to my back porch.  Here I put an all weather outlet. 
If the power goes out in the winter and I need to run the furnace, I go into the basement and throw the switch that takes the furnace offline from the main board.  This takes the outlet on the back porch offline as well.
I plug the generator into the outlet using a homemade drop cord that is a double male end, ie each end is 3 prong/grounded.

Crank the generator, turn on the furnace. 

The good fortune is that We bought a chest freezer a few weeks ago and have it on our back porch plugged into the same outlet that runs from the furnace circuit.  I didn't stop to think until I saw your post that I could power the freezer at the same time.  Duh.

Offline mxitman

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 08:53:22 PM »
yup, you can power quite a few things with it. I tried my microwave even though it said only 1200 watts I thought I would give it a try, the generator didn't sound too good and it tripped the circuit breaker on it a few seconds later... :-[ but I just need to find a smaller wattage microwave for back up is all, just not high on the list right now.

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 10:29:58 PM »
Hey everyone, I was inspired by Mr. Blank so I thought I would add my own.

Man, this is what keeps me going. Thanks for the kind words my friend.
Now it is you who will inspire others.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 04:02:17 PM by Mr. Blank »
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That's one pretty eggroll you have there, mr. blank! :D

Offline 13F10

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2009, 10:03:48 PM »
Nice vids, thanks for posting.

Correction tho .... too much oil means it was running LEAN....  

Lean  = too much air, not enough fuel (more oil, less fuel)
Rich = too much fuel, not enough air. (less oil)

Lean will burn it up, rich won't.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2009, 12:40:30 PM »
My question is similar to Cohutts.

I've got the same furnace setup, just a natural gas furnace, not much draw. 

Would it have been possible Lowes and picked up some male and female plugs and just put a female and male plug connection on the power in?  That way, if the grid went down you could just use your genny and your unmodified extension cord and just plug and play?

I only ask because I had planned to do that but I'm thinking it may be dangerous.  Your thoughts?

J

Offline mxitman

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2009, 08:39:12 PM »
yes that would work fine, just be sure to wire it up so the female plug sticks out from your furnace, so no one gets hurt, then you just need to make a male/male extension cord for your generator, I was going to do that but already had a bad extension cord end where i ran over it at the female end.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2009, 09:02:55 PM »
yes that would work fine, just be sure to wire it up so the female plug sticks out from your furnace, so no one gets hurt, then you just need to make a male/male extension cord for your generator, I was going to do that but already had a bad extension cord end where i ran over it at the female end.

Thanks.  You said the exact same thing my dad said when I spoke to him earlier.  Great videos by the way, you certainly helped get me thinking.

J

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2009, 12:13:05 AM »
NOOOOOO!!!!!

There are generator hook up boxes specifically designed for this purpose!!!

Even small ones!

I'll post some links, but don't use a male/male plug at all!!!

If you put an extension cord setup INTO the furnace, that's ok - either as is done in the video where everything's powered off and the furnace gets its own plug, or wire in a little 120V outlet inside the furnace box and plug it in with the pigtail, then plug that pigtail into a normal extension cord when you run it from the generator.

There are specific laws that are violated when using a homemade double ended extension cord - very specific regulations regarding safety and fire hazards due to the exposed connectors. Special plugs are available that avoid this hazard and those should be used - very simple screw-type connector housings. I worked with some of them when I was a stage hand and we had to run things from generators and the like, and they're big and bulky and waterproof, and a tad expensive, but they'll last forever if you don't run them over with a truck.

Please use rated hardware. Everything shown in the video appears OK, but that double ended extension cord is just asking for trouble, no matter the safety precautions you take with it.

Here's an example of the type of connector box you should look for on the appliance side of things:

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Controls-PB30-Generator-Generators/dp/B000BQT47S/ref=pd_cp_hi_2

With that, you have to flip open the receptacle cover to expose potentially hot leads (and they won't be if you hook this up to the furnace or freezer/etc, then plug your power into the box from your generator OR the house mains - either way you can use a generator cable plug on one end and a regular 3 prong plug on the other to plug into the wall or generator, depending on the connector style on the generator) so no matter what you can't touch hot contacts without some significant effort, and even then they're recessed into a cup.

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-L1430C-Generator-Connector-Generators/dp/B000HS0HPI/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_text_b

that's the "receptacle" plug - what would normally be your "second" male end on an extension cord.

The combo deal on those two particular items is about 75 bucks, but you can find them cheaper if you poke around.

Kick ass videos, and to everyone else, just be safe when you play with electricity!

Orion
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You're only comin' back to where you'll be found.

Based on thorough experiments involving kissing in the rain, exposing shoulders to direct sunlight, and dancing by the light of a silvery moon,  I have found that, within the bounds of frostbite and decency, hapiness is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn.

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2009, 11:56:29 AM »
My little Honda 1000 watt can run the furnace and my freezer as well.

How:

In the circuit to the furnace, there was already a manual throw switch a few feet up stream from the blower. 
From there I added a junction box (between the furnace and switch) and pulled a line to my back porch.  Here I put an all weather outlet. 
If the power goes out in the winter and I need to run the furnace, I go into the basement and throw the switch that takes the furnace offline from the main board.  This takes the outlet on the back porch offline as well.
I plug the generator into the outlet using a homemade drop cord that is a double male end, ie each end is 3 prong/grounded.

Crank the generator, turn on the furnace. 

The good fortune is that We bought a chest freezer a few weeks ago and have it on our back porch plugged into the same outlet that runs from the furnace circuit.  I didn't stop to think until I saw your post that I could power the freezer at the same time.  Duh.

So one male end is hot if the genset is running? That is a major no-no.

Better to have a dedicated furnace-generator "outlet" that is a male tied into a switch protected deadline to the furnace (i.e., the line is always dead unless the switch is thrown and the generator is running current into it), and plus a standard heavy duty (12AWG) cord from the genset to the male in the all-weather "outlet".
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Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2009, 03:13:53 PM »
Just make the generator plug a male and the power output side a female end.  That way the male end is never hot when the power is on.

J

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2009, 07:16:55 PM »
Has anyone tried to hook up a duel fuel conversion kit to a generator.  You can get an after market kit that allows you to hook up to propane or natural gas.  Wondering if anyone has and info, experience or insight.


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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2009, 06:24:39 AM »
Has anyone tried to hook up a duel fuel conversion kit to a generator.  You can get an after market kit that allows you to hook up to propane or natural gas.  Wondering if anyone has and info, experience or insight.


I've never connected one, so I can't speak to their quality or whether dual-fuel is even a good idea.  I have serviced several propane-powered generator engines, though, and I can tell you of something you should definitely do if you're going that route.

Propane isn't formulated as an engine fuel, and though it serves that purpose fairly well it lacks certain additives, such as valve lubricants.  If you're going to fuel a small OHV engine with propane, you should get a new head gasket, then pull the valves out of the head and lubricate them with valve lube.  It will add hundreds of hours before the valves seize up in their guides - which they will anyway, down the road.  On the B&S and Tecumseh engines I've serviced, seized valves are common and rarely do any permanent damage to the engine, but you never know and of course it'll always happen at the worst possible time - the middle of a nice, frigid January evening, for example, when the batteries are empty because the solar panels haven't seen the sun in a week.  Times like that.  So some preventative maintenance is a very good idea.  Also pay attention to the oil change interval in the generator's manual, cut it in half, and change the oil at that revised schedule.  Of course I'm referring to the small, air-cooled OHV engines common on 1-10 KW generators.

Offline mxitman

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2009, 10:21:44 AM »
I've been looking into the Tri-Fuel generators offered from Northern Tool and companies like that. But I think the cost is pretty high by comparison. I personally think it would be wiser to spend the money on building a battery bank with inverter and put up solar and wind to provide power.

Offline 96Charlie

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2009, 02:45:15 PM »
Hope this isn't a hijack but I'm wondering about upstream availability of the gas.  The compressor used to move the gas through the system are (except for the old diesel compressors) modified jet aircraft engines running on natural gas themselves.  However, as I remember (I've seen several compressor stations in operation), they can't run without electricity.  Although the stations may have backup generators, they'd have a limited fuel supply.  Does anyone know how long the natural gas would flow in if the compressor stations lose power?

Offline NCprepper

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2009, 03:17:03 PM »
FYI - There is a $50.00 off coupon in the Dec. 2009 issue of the NRA's "America's 1st Freedom" magazine, page 39, for a similar generator (800 watts).
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=66619
Price with coupon is $79.99.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2009, 11:56:57 AM »
I bet this would work great with a gasifier...


*ponders*

I'll have to steal my buddy's copy of AFF. Or just page 39... :-p
You can't run away on a world that's round.
You're only comin' back to where you'll be found.

Based on thorough experiments involving kissing in the rain, exposing shoulders to direct sunlight, and dancing by the light of a silvery moon,  I have found that, within the bounds of frostbite and decency, hapiness is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn.

.30-30

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2009, 01:58:39 PM »
NOOOOOO!!!!!

There are generator hook up boxes specifically designed for this purpose!!!

Even small ones!

oh thank goodness someone posted this.  i was reading this thread, eyes getting bigger every post.

i installed the reliance 15amp furnace xfer switch you linked to.  took me about 10 mins to install.  i pulled my generator out and hooked it up to test, and it worked great.  you could probably get away with hooking up a 1500watt inverter to your car in order to power a furnace for a few minutes.

please do it the right way, or don't do it at all.  furnaces have to be 'hard-wired' to the control box.  you must have a transfer switch.  if you back-feed the grid in an outage and you injure a utility worker, there are major fines that go along with that, as well.

as far as a backup goes, i don't think and fuel powered generator is a viable long-term solution.  solar and wood are what i'd want for a long term outage.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2009, 06:49:27 PM »
I've been thinking about that alot lately.

The Colony episode with the big diesel truck running on the gasifier got me thinking... hmm... what ELSe can I run on that?

Turns out there's this stuff called BioChar - everything from corn husks and stalks to post-diesel-production algae by products. I'm thinking it wouldn't be too hard to take about half my grass clippings from each mowing and instead of mulching it in, dry it and pack it into pellets to run a gasifier on a small generator like this.

Luckily I met a fellow who has all the welding equipment i'd ever need in order to put a stainless steel gasifier together, so I'm looking at some modular designs that let me snap the whole thing apart and clean it, or potentially a retort system that would start out with two fires, but then switch over to splitting off some of the biogas to fuel more gasification, as well as to power whatever internal combustion engine I need to run.

Only question with that is this: with a gasifier, you've got no oil coming into the intake stream - how might I get oil in without fancy pumps and mist sprayers? (thinking of the 2 stroke nature of the beast)

Toodles,
Orion
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You're only comin' back to where you'll be found.

Based on thorough experiments involving kissing in the rain, exposing shoulders to direct sunlight, and dancing by the light of a silvery moon,  I have found that, within the bounds of frostbite and decency, hapiness is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn.

Offline bartsdad

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2009, 11:35:39 PM »
In reading through some of the archives (way too much cool stuff on this young forum) , I ran across this thread about a DIY transfer switch and thought it would be worth mentioning here.
Making the best of the DASH.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2009, 05:17:54 AM »
Thanks for the warnings since i posted; I'm rethinking the setup for now obvious reasons.  As it stands I feel it would be "fine" when i am there to take the furnace circuit offline via the manual "dr frankenstein" switch @ the furnace in my basement. I left the double male cord @ the switch with my instructions, so it doesn't come out to the generator until the circuit has been manually taken offline.
However, as pointed out there are a lot of dangers (and code violations) for running it this way, especially if I'm not there to do it or turn it back.
As of now the scheme is officially off the table and a proper design will be installed one day. 

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2009, 03:53:06 PM »
You know, you could always just wire in a female cord end to your furnace and leave it hanging there in the access panel, and tuck the double-ended male cord in there. I figure if you go to the effort of popping the access panel, you'll be more likely to remember to kill the power anyhow, what with all the warning labels typical of appliance access panels and all that. Might be a decent stop-gap, and not set you back when you go to a "real" transfer switch.

Admittedly, the Xfer equipment is NOT cheap, especially since this is a SHTF only workaround, and not something that really helps you out day-to-day.

I'm working up my solar junk now to take my oil fired furnace totally off grid by next winter, looking seriously at getting a couple of those 80 watt eBay panels next month. I just discovered 200 bucks I didn't know I had coming, so that's ALL going to prep-projects.

Wewt!
You can't run away on a world that's round.
You're only comin' back to where you'll be found.

Based on thorough experiments involving kissing in the rain, exposing shoulders to direct sunlight, and dancing by the light of a silvery moon,  I have found that, within the bounds of frostbite and decency, hapiness is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn.

.30-30

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2009, 02:06:25 PM »
here is the proper solution to a furnace or single 15amp only install.  this is what i referred to above.  but, i just realized that orion hadn't linked to it

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-TF151W-Single-Circuit-Generator-Generators/dp/B000HRWG8U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1259442291&sr=1-1

it's a perfectly code legal solution for ~$80


Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2011, 12:03:52 PM »
Hope this isn't a hijack but I'm wondering about upstream availability of the gas.  The compressor used to move the gas through the system are (except for the old diesel compressors) modified jet aircraft engines running on natural gas themselves.  However, as I remember (I've seen several compressor stations in operation), they can't run without electricity.  Although the stations may have backup generators, they'd have a limited fuel supply.  Does anyone know how long the natural gas would flow in if the compressor stations lose power?

I don't know that there is one exact answer, since every compressor station is different. But, we'd only have to worry about the upstream gas once the reserves were depleted.

Since most people wouldn't be running their gas furnaces in a black out, I'd think it'd take a good few days or weeks to deplete the reserves.

The upstream compressors, as you probably know, are usually in the middle of nowhere. So it'd take something close to a nationwide-wide outage to cause a real problem.

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Offline mxitman

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2012, 08:23:48 PM »
I have since updated with a newer video showing another alternative wiring method, The video is on my new site; http://ricksdiy.com

I also have a video on making one of these switch over panels as well, should be posted soon.

Offline slingblade

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2012, 08:23:42 AM »
oh thank goodness someone posted this.  i was reading this thread, eyes getting bigger every post.

i installed the reliance 15amp furnace xfer switch you linked to.  took me about 10 mins to install.  i pulled my generator out and hooked it up to test, and it worked great.  you could probably get away with hooking up a 1500watt inverter to your car in order to power a furnace for a few minutes.

please do it the right way, or don't do it at all.  furnaces have to be 'hard-wired' to the control box.  you must have a transfer switch.  if you back-feed the grid in an outage and you injure a utility worker, there are major fines that go along with that, as well.

as far as a backup goes, i don't think and fuel powered generator is a viable long-term solution.  solar and wood are what i'd want for a long term outage.


These double ended plugs are called "suicide cords" for a reason.  Come on guys.  Don't kill your wife or kids when they hook it up wrong. 

Offline mxitman

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Re: Videos How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2012, 02:30:49 PM »
I don't know anyone who has ever used a suicide cord, thats just plain stupid...but I'm sure they are out there..