Exceeding standby generator rating??

brn3a(VA Z7)March 24, 2010


We are considering purchasing a home standby generator. When the house was built, we had them rough in a generator transfer switch so we could install the actual generator in the future. At the time, we did not know there were different options for transfer switches. Ours is a whole house transfer switch, meaning it is wired into the main circuit breaker box with a single switch. All circuits that are on in the main circuit breaker box will be carried by the generator.

Well now we want to buy a generator, but do not want or need one that will power the entire house. My thoughts are to get one that will power only the circuits we absolutely need and to control that by flipping off circuits on the main circuit breaker box after the generator comes on.

Here's the potential problem. Since most of the standby genrators are auto-on, when there is a power failure the generator will come on automatically. I then have to run downstairs and flip the circuits I do not want. I'm thinking it might take me 5-10 minutes to get down there to shut everything off, or longer (ie. never) if for instance no one is home.

What if there is a lot running at the time and these circuits are more than the generator can handle (for instance the central AC)? What will happen to the generator? Will it shut off to protect itself? Will it be harmed? Will it hurt the AC or other circuits in the house?



PS. We are looking at the Eaton generators. Has anyone had experience with these? Thoughts?

Here is a link that might be useful: Eaton

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canguy(British Columbia)

Do you leave everything on when not home? The circuits will only draw power if the load is applied. Ask the dealer about a load shedding device in the transfer panel. For instance, if the a/c (a heavy load) kicks in while everything else is on and the generator is loaded to over 85% of it's capacity, pre selected circuits will drop off until the load is reduced.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brn3a(VA Z7)

Thanks. That sounds exactly like what will help. I was specifically thinking about the heat pump running and that causing an issue.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 3:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
1983 troy-bilt cultivator plus wheels
Read with great interest all the posts so far for the...
Have Chipper/Shredder for trade
I have a very nice gas powered wood chipper/leaf shredder...
Who Makes This 'New' Craftsman 50cc Chain Saw?
Doing a little research on possible replacement saws......
Garage Door Opener Repair tips PT1 long
Hi all, it seems to me that in general GDO posters...
Are you finding Insert Pic Attachments to work as printed on this Site
Are you finding Insert Pic Attachments to work as printed...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™