Honda 2000 Generator Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-15-2007, 08:04 AM   #1
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Now living in an area that has frequent power failures and would love to have a honda 2000 for camping but just wondered if anyone has ever used it to run their house refrigerator and/or theire oil fired furnace during a power failure?_______ Both are brand new and very efficient...... my house refrigerator says (full load 3.5 amps....which i thought would be much higher..... and my Beckett oil fired furnace gun says 1.5 amps) that's a total of 5 amps.......only knowing moderate electrical stuff am i missing anything in this scenario?_______ I would rather have the honda 2000 but would the yamaha 2400 be better?_____..........I don't need to run the lights in the house as candles would be fine
Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated
Joe
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Now living in an area that has frequent power failures and would love to have a honda 2000 for camping but just wondered if anyone has ever used it to run their house refrigerator and/or theire oil fired furnace during a power failure?_______ Both are brand new and very efficient...... my house refrigerator says (full load 3.5 amps....which i thought would be much higher..... and my Beckett oil fired furnace gun says 1.5 amps) that's a total of 5 amps.......only knowing moderate electrical stuff am i missing anything in this scenario?_______ I would rather have the honda 2000 but would the yamaha 2400 be better?_____..........I don't need to run the lights in the house as candles would be fine
Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated
Joe
A simple calculation of 5 Amps X 120 Volts = 600 Watts suggests that 2000 W should be sufficient. I would suggest to find out what are the starting currents for the frig and the furnace. They will likely be much higher then the full running current, than repeat the calculation.
George.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:28 AM   #3
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I am a veteran of power outages here in "If it isn't covered in ice, then it's on fire" land..

Is your trailer stored at home? Mine is. If the outage appears to be one that goes on forever, I take my food to the trailer fridge and run it on propane.

I have a 1k watt gen set and it won't run my apartment sized fridge. The compressor kicking in kills it.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:36 AM   #4
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HI Gina....
Yep like you mine is stored at the house and ready just in case of an emergency with battery fully charged with full hookups right there.....sure would be nice to have that catalytic heater like you so there was no power draw..... gives me another reason to get one.
Joe


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Old 12-15-2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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.. just wondered if anyone has ever used it to run their house refrigerator and/or theire oil fired furnace during a power failure?
I have not, but it seems like a reasonable idea. My biggest concern would be how the furnace is to be connected to the generator: I wouldn't expect it to have a plug-in cord, and that means a [b]transfer switch on the house wiring. If the whole house is transferred onto the furnace then it would be important to make sure other things are turned off; if only selected circuits (furnace and refrigerator) were switched it would be an unusual wiring configuration.

Quote:
Both are brand new and very efficient...... my house refrigerator says (full load 3.5 amps....which i thought would be much higher..... and my Beckett oil fired furnace gun says 1.5 amps) that's a total of 5 amps.......only knowing moderate electrical stuff am i missing anything in this scenario?
I'm not surprised by the refrigerator rating. That's four times the load of the typical small "bar" refrigerators which people discuss putting in their trailers, so it seems at least approximately reasonable for a home-sized unit.

In addition to the startup surge issue already mentioned, the other thing might be the [b]furnace fan. From the low power consumption and the description ("gun"), it seems like that might be only the burner, which has a pump for the fuel oil and fan for combustion air. The furnace also needs to run the fan that moves air through the furnace and around the house; if it is really a "boiler" for a circulating water system it would need a water pump instead. There are natural-convection (or "gravity") furnaces that don't need this fan, but I haven't seen one in a building for a couple of decades.

I just looked at my home furnace, and the maximum power draw is 10.2 amps; that's without a fuel pump because it is fueled by natural gas, but still includes a combustion air fan ("draft inducer").

Quote:
I would rather have the honda 2000 but would the yamaha 2400 be better?
I don't know enough about these specific models to help here, but I have noticed that the numbers given in the models names are related to the power output, but not reliably comparable. The number may be the continuous power output rating in watts, but it may be only the peak output. I would have a close look at the [b]detailed specs for each candidate to see which really fits the need better.
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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altho I have never done so in the winter, as I have a wall furnace in the cabin that requires no electric and it's warmer in the house...

in summer when the power is out, I can go to the trailer and run the fantastic fan and stay cool. The solar panels keep the battery up then.

All my neighbors have electric fans in their furnaces, and during winter outages, I often have slumber parties in here so they don't freeze to death...I use the generator to run the TV and computer.

I am the popular neighbor here LOL! There is something to be said for "Old" technology.

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Old 12-15-2007, 11:29 AM   #7
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There is running watts and additional starting watts. Running watts or rated watts are the continuous watts needed to keep items running. Starting watts are extra watts needed for 2 or 3 seconds to start the refridge. Most generators will list these two specs. I have a hand out here from home depot and it says a typical (Home not RV) refridge running watts is 700 and starting watts is 2200. Double check the amps you need two
Watts=voltsxAmps
Amps=watts divided by Volts
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:43 AM   #8
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I have often thought about having a gen set at home for emergencys. I have noticed at Costco and other out lets that you can buy a 5500watt unit for very cheap---$500 or so. This is the route i would go. I do have a 1000watt Honda which i got last camping season and it will run my 400/800 watt electric heater which i also purchased last year at CTC. My electric heater does not have a fan but works extremly well.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:56 PM   #9
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IMHO your Honda 2000 should have the capacity to power both circuits maginally, or each separate handily. For a standard houshold, 2000 watts leaves a minimum ceiling for heavy current draws, particularly with household appliances and their larger power demands. This is a real conservative opinion, I'm of the school of thought where you can never have too much power & often never have enough. The ideal home emergency power generator begins at the 5000 watt level and goes up from there.

Use it in a pinch if you need it.

Do get a electrician to install a circuit cutout switch from your breaker panel for the fridge, the furnace, and maybe a spare. (You might like some lights too.) Please keep in mind that home heating & cooling systems often need two circuits, a 220v for a blower. and a 110v control circuit. If you need 220v to power your furnace blower, you'd may be out of luck, unless your Honda can output 220.

Of course its smart not to BACKFEED your house circuit. Smarter still is to pull your house main circuit breaker when there's a power outage, a practice that can protect valuable things and save lives.

In a earlier thread I suggested getting a appliance load tester. This handy tool can remove most doubt of your power needs.
..I'll do it here as well.

Good Luck,
ConwayBob
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:12 PM   #10
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what a wealth of information and I understand what everyone is saying............ thank you for the great input
Joe
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:13 PM   #11
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by the electrical code, (either NEC or CEC) you must have a manual or automatic transfer switch that prevents the backfeed to a household panel. the main reason for this is it is possible for you not only to power your house, but if the generator is big enough, it could backfeed a power transformer at the hydro pole, causing a fatality if a utility worker is on the lines working
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:37 PM   #12
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OK, here is my 2 cents worth.

The biggest problem is the starting current for the refrigerator compressor which can be several times the running current. You can get away with running the refrigerator for say, an hour, then run the furnace for a few hours. The refrigerator will stay cold for a long time if you keep it closed.

The furnace can have several motors depending on what type of system you have. Forced hot air heat systems have a big blower to move all that air but it is usually not a current hog. Hot water heaters, especially those that use fuel oil as opposed to natural gas, have one motor for the gun and one or more motors to circulate the hot water depending on how many heating zones you have in your home. Again it is the starting current that gets you.

As to connecting the generator to your equipment I would recommend totally ignoring the power distribution system installed in your house and run an extension cord. A heavy duty cord of course, rated for at least 15 amps if not 20, especially if the run is long. An easy way to get the cord into your house from the outside is through a power entry port sold for campers at Camping World and others. I'm talking about the same plastic flip up port you shove your shore power line into on the side of most RVs. They cost less than $5 and can be easily installed in an inconspicuous location on your home. If you want to get fancy about it, put one on the outside and one on the inside. When you aren't using it you can put a styrofoam plug in to keep the heat in and the critters out. This won't work for big critters but the bigger ones will just kick down the back door anyway.

Connecting to the appliances is also easy. Of course the refrigerator has a regular AWP (American wall plug) on the cord so you can plug it right in to the extension cord. You can easily modify your furnace to have the same capability. Just find where the power connects to the furnace and install an AWP and cord, then put an outlet on the cover of the junction box where the power enters the furnace. There is usually an unused knockout on the junction box that you can use to install the power cord.

If you spend the time to do this before you have a power outage you will have no problem setting things up by the light of a flashlight. It also eliminates the possibility of backfeeding power to the grid which can be fatal to a lineman trying to repair a downed line.

Now, the final note. I grabbed the Honda from the garage and hooked it up to our refrigerator, furnace and small chest freezer using the aforementioned cords. Everything worked fine and all at the same time. I also connected a current probe to an oscilloscope to measure instantaneous currrent. The highest peak was about 12A so the Honda was happy.

If you don't have the tools to measure the current the best bet is to error on the conservative side and just run one appliance at a time.

If you have further questions send me an e-mail.

73
Orlen
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:38 PM   #13
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I have a hotwater baseboard furnace fuel fired by a beckett gun 1.5 amp for the gun and .75 amp for the circulating pump and then another 3.5 amp for the refrig. not counting the startup surge for a total of 5.75 amps (without the startup surge)........... i have no problem shutting down the refrig. if need be to run the furnace but from what i am reading i don't think i will have a problem as everything including the furnace is brand new this year.... the extension cord is the simplest way i just have to be sure (like you and all the others say) that it is isolated from going back outside and hurting someone(which is my main priority)..... I have the capability in this house to isolate it at three different locations (which i will do) and as Joe M says (and others) a manual or auto.transfer switch sure would be nice and legally necessary.....
Orlen...thanks so much for that honda test and if i have any further questions i will be sure to ask
I wanted that lighter (easy to carry) Honda 2000 generator so bad for the camper and this is the perfect excuse
Now i just have to figure out how to call this a christmas present to myself???
Joe

What a wealth of information on this site
thanks everyone and have a Great Holiday,
Joe

Orlen!......Down by your name you have 73 Is that 73's as in see ya' (cb lingo)
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:48 AM   #14
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Three years ago we bought one of the Chinese portable gensets at a local auto parts store and it has served us well. While not perfect, quality and noise levels are acceptable (around 67 dba). It is rated 3500W peak/3000W continuous and easily runs our central heat blower, refrigerator, lights, coffee maker and TV. Others claim it will run a 15,000 BTU AC in an RV. Ours is one of the brands produced by Jaing Dong, a company that has been around since the late 1940s. Their current brand is JD-Tek, but you can find similar ones under all sorts of brand names. The key feature for us is you can draw the entire 120v output from one outlet if you need to (for the RV air conditioner). However, I usually plug our Trane central heat unit into one outlet and an extension cord for inside the house into the other. Great unit for power outages and sensible use in a campground. The downside is weight is about 100#. You can see the specs at this website:

JD-Tek gnerator

BTW, our Powerwise brand (American Power Products) is no longer made, but the JD-Tek and other brands look almost identical. They are usually around $300, but some have been as low as $230. Shop carefully for the features you want: wheel kits, 240v capability, etc. Be sure to buy one where you can get warranty coverage or return the unit if it's not satisfactory!
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