PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ?

   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #31  
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #32  
And thinking about it, a lot of it is folks that just want to get some power in a rare emergency. Its about people capable of turning off switch A before applying power to circuit B. And its about people not wanting to pay over-priced electricians who try to sell them something they don't want or need. Not everyone needs a disconnect switch. And plenty of folks are capable of thinking for themselves.

:thumbsup:
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #33  
The issue with back feeding is that if you forget to have the main breaker off when the generator is on, you can kill or injure linemen working on the problem. I know everyone who does it understands what they need to do to do it safely, but forgetting is always unintentional.

Lowes had the Homeline interlock kit on clearance for $14, it only took me about 20 minutes to install it. Simple and easy. 10-3 and a plug is not expensive, and it's not prohibitively hard enough to run. Now if I forget something (leaving the AC breaker on or running the dryer!) the worst that can happen is a blown breaker, not the deaths of people out in a storm in the middle of the night working to restore my power.

I agree that back-feeding is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. However, life's full of dangerous stuff.... Every year about every one of us trusts hundreds of thousands of people heading directly at us from multiple directions with 3500# projectiles and think nothing of it. People killed by back-fed generators are few and far between. Electricians and line men are way more likely to die in an industrial setting than they are in a back-fed home generator setting. The major concern with generators is to the occupants of a dwelling by death from carbon monoxide poisoning, which happens hundreds of times each year.

If you do a google search for "lineman killed generator backfeed" you'll find predominantly one instance, from 10 years ago, referenced to many times. That's how un-often it happens. A "Dr. House" had a generator that back-fed a line, and the unfortunate lineman cut it and got electrocuted, and died. Who got fined? The company that the electrician was working for. They had incorrect policies regarding working on possibly live lines. No mention of what happened to the "Dr.", but I'll guess it went to a lawsuit hopefully in favor of the lineman's survivors.

I'd feel horrible electrocuting a lineman or a neighbor, just as I'd feel horrible hitting someone with my car while driving distracted, killing someone with a stray bullet, or a projectile flung from my brush-hog. Life's full of personal responsibilities. Don't take them lightly.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #34  
:thumbsup:


Given the number of burned out generators and energized lines due to back feeds. There is no choice but to mandate a fool proof interlocked connection that is break before make. No matter who does what in any order, while they are fumbling around with unfamiliar equipment in the cold and dark. Plenty of folks can not think for themselves, hospital ER's and morgues are proof enough of that.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #35  
Given the number of burned out generators and energized lines due to back feeds. There is no choice but to mandate a fool proof interlocked connection that is break before make. No matter who does what in any order, while they are fumbling around with unfamiliar equipment in the cold and dark. Plenty of folks can not think for themselves, hospital ER's and morgues are proof enough of that.

That's why you shouldn't be allowed to drive a car.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #36  
With all the drift going on here, I've lost track of where 6Dogs is at......

6 - I meant to ask earlier - was there anything wrong with your present generator, or do you just want to upgrade ? Are you now trying to support extra loads (AC ?).

What is your situation wrt. PTO ? Can you leave a tractor dedicated to PTO duty, or do you plan on always being around to set it up yourself when needed ?

I'm not anti-PTO, just interested in how you view the trade-offs....

Rgds, D.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #37  
Are you guys saying, ALL of you have wives that "aren't" capable of learning how to set up a PTO genet??

I'm sooo glad I was smart enough to find a gal who was interested in learning those kinds of things!!

SR
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ?
  • Thread Starter
#38  
With all the drift going on here, I've lost track of where 6Dogs is at......

6 - I meant to ask earlier - was there anything wrong with your present generator, or do you just want to upgrade ? Are you now trying to support extra loads (AC ?).

What is your situation wrt. PTO ? Can you leave a tractor dedicated to PTO duty, or do you plan on always being around to set it up yourself when needed ?

I'm not anti-PTO, just interested in how you view the trade-offs....

Rgds, D.


The generator is hardly used but is 14 years old and weighs around 250 lbs. I'm not getting any younger. If I need it I have to roll it out,plug it in and you know the drill.

I can leave a PTO generator on the back of a tractor for the winter and call it good. In the summer I wouldn't mind hooking it up. I usually have a couple hundred gallons of diesel so it will run for a while. Considering the odds of a power outage, the PTO thing seems easier. It also would allow me to run the whole house and not worry about the a/c kicking it or whatever.

My old generator is 10k with 12k surge and no problems.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ? #39  
I'm in Colorado & picked up an old 25kw PTO generator as an emergency generator. No major power outages in the 2 years I've been here, but power outages in the winter below 15f would be catastrophic. Rather than worry about another engine to maintain, a PTO generator made more sense for emergency use.

Probably getting a solar power system installed within 6 months, going to have a generator outlet & interlock installed then. Until then it will be extension cords if its needed due to an extended outage.
 
   / PTO or portable generator for whole house generator backup ?
  • Thread Starter
#40  
My passion for a generator started in the 1970's in rural Maine after an ice storm left the power out for two weeks. I had to wear a nice suit and tie every day so that meant a shower with water at maybe 40 degrees. That was such an incredible experience I will always have a generator. For those who think they are immune or think they don't need backup power it's only because your number has not yet come up. When you least think you will need it is when you are least likely to do something about it and yet likely at your lowest point of risk. Things can only get worse. It's a part of Murphy's Law. You can look it up.
 
 
 
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