I have lived in my first home for 4 years now. We have lost power 3 times and 2 of those times it was for a long enough time that a generator would have been very helpful. Most recently we went without power for only 18 hours, but after a few hours I decided to ask my friend to barrow his gen since his power was fine. Short story, it worked great. Even though I had to run extension cords through a window, shove towels and tape around gaps to keep cold air out it was much better than moving family to parents or hotel. Was able to hook up fridge so no food had to be moved to rents or go bad. Ran two space heaters, one for babies room and the rest of family slept in one other room. In retrospect I could have hooked up 3rd space heater but was not sure how well my friends ~20 year old Coleman gen would keep up. My friends was a 3250 running watts gen.
So now I am thinking about buying my own and if I do I think I would like to make it so my house still runs well. ie I can run most of my house. This means running an interlock switch to my panel in basement. I have installed breakers and ran 220v power to my welder in garage just fine. I have done a plethora of simple electrical work around the home. ie installed ceiling fans, extra outlets down walls, wired in exhaust fans to bathrooms. I am in no means and electrician nor would I call myself one.
lets say I want to power the fallowing (peak starting watts listed, worst case)
AC (3ton) - 3500 Watts
HVAC Fan - 700 Watts
Refrigerator- 1100 watts
lights, computer, tv and stuff, 200-500 watts
Maybe electric stove (only single range at a time) with AC off (800-1200 Watts)
Microwave (1500 Watts)
Winter would be less watts with natural gas furnace. But then I would like to run basically whole home
My budget says I can't afford a powerful enough gen to run all the above at once and that is fine. Turn off AC to cook something in microwave or on stove. Run washer or dryer one at a time and so on.
AC, HVAC fan, Refrigerator, miscellaneous electronics add up to 5,500 watts. So I am looking at 7000 and 7500 running watt generators, links below. keep in mind I plan to do this through an interlock switch
Is the below a correct line of thinking.
A lot of the gens I am looking at have a max of 30amp output on the twist lock L5-30r or L14-30r. For the L15 4 prong 120/240 volt options it still says 30 amps. But wait...... 30x120 and 30x240 are quite a bit different in wattage. And even 30x240 is only 7200 watts on a gen that is rated for 8750 peak and 7000 running.
The Costco Firman also lists a "14-50R Dual Voltage 120V/240V - 50A" This makes more sense for running to panel through interlock switch. 50x120=6,000 (cutting it close) 50x240 = 12,000! OK we finally have head room for gens I am looking at that peak at 8750 or 9400. I like head room. I don't want to go near the peak of my gen.
build in 1967
upgraded panel in 1991 to 80amps
current panel has 30 slots. There is room for a 40 slot panel
Only 3 slots are open and I plan to add more breakers in bathroom remodel. So 40 slot panel might come with gen or bathroom remodel.
So finally my question. I am pretty sure I have a 120v panel with two poles to power my 240v appliances. Any reason why I can't set up a 50amp 240v interlock breaker via the Firman's "14-50R Dual Voltage 120V/240V - 50A"
Also how would I even hook up most other gens that only have 30amp 120/240 lines yet say they can power 7000 watts running and 8250 peak.
Can I assume that gens that list there 120/240v lines at 30 amps can run 240v at 30 amps or is it 15 amp at 240 and 30 amp only at 120v.
Thank you for reading my long winded questions and answering my questions.
Also please be feel free to add any other helpful info.