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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all!

Here's a bit of background on my home / setup:

I live in the Laurentians just north of Montreal, Canada, and with the latest power outages (and having lived through a few days with no power last year) I've finally bought myself a generator. We have a 3 floor house (the upstairs is half open to the main living room), have a propane fireplace in the basement, and a wood burning fireplace in the living room, so heat-wise we're ok. The house came pre-wired for a generator with a line going to a fuse box with a manual switch from main to generator. The box's manual switch has 3 x 30 amp fuses for the line in from the generator. We've used the 120/240 22.9A plug for this line.

There are currently 3 active circuits/fuses in the box;
1. The water pump (artesian well), which uses 2 x 20 amps (220V)
2. The main floor living room, which uses a 15 amp and is currently powering the TV, satellite dish, and (via a 50 foot extension cable) 2 Eheim filters on a 90 gallon fish tank (I'll probably run another line to the room with the tank to avoid extension cables in the future).
3. The basement main room, which uses a 15 amp and is currently powering a fan to circulate air, two Eheim filters on another fish tank, and two more Eheim filters on a third fish tank.

I intend to add another 15 amp circuit to power the alarm system, cable modem, and wireless router, but for now ran a 50 foot extension cable from one of the other outlets on the generator (normal 3 pronged plug labeled 20A). It's passing in the corner around the edge of the garage door, and has a 350VA UPS with the above mentioned devices plugged into it.

A second extension cable (in the same type of outlet) is going to our freezer (normal fridge sized stand-up model) in the garage. We've emptied all the perishables from the fridge and put them outside in a cooler (it's about -5 outside at the moment).

The generator's console shows that we're using about 1200 VA with all the fish tank filters, the fan, the TV (46" Sony LCD), and the satellite receiver active, and the kitchen tap open. The freezer is plugged in, but I'm guessing that the compressor isn't active at the moment otherwise I believe that the utilization number should be higher. I'll eventually open all the water taps (house and outside) sometime in the summer and measure the draw from the water pump - I'll amend this post eventually with that info.

The generator came with a full tank of gas that lasted about 15 hours. The first refill lasted about 16 hours (I refilled it an hour ago), so it should last until mid morning. Hydro-Quebec is estimating Monday (Christmas eve) at 11pm for normal power to be restored, so it'll be a few more tanks of gas before we're back to normal.

Overall, I'm very happy to have running water, fish still alive, a few hundred dollars of food non-spoiled, and some entertainment (TV/satellite). The generator we bought is likely a bit more powerful than we *need*, though the price difference between the 5000 and 6500 wasn't much (those were the only models in stock - apparently EVERYONE was buying generators this week), and I'd like to hook up a bit more in the future.

I have a 3000 VA UPS on a 30 amp fuse/line going to my office that powers the computers, monitors, etc that my wife and I use for work/play, so I might add another fuse box (with another manual switch-over) for the 30 amp 3-prong plug on the generator. I know the draw on that line with everything (computer-related) on is about 1200 VA (the UPS is a "smart" model and shows lots of stats), so we'd still be well under the running limit on the generator with both computers and 4 monitors (2 on each computer) in use.

If anyone has any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to respond!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have a few questions if someone wouldn't mind answering :

1. The oil in my generator is.. whatever they delivered it with. Being as it's possible that my generator will need to run in -20 C conditions, should I consider a specific grade / type of oil?

2. Is there a maximum amount of time (hours) that the generator should be running before turning it off and letting it rest / cool off? We will likely have another.. 60 hours before the normal power comes back on. Is it alright to keep it running continuously (except for the minute or two being off while I refill the gas tank)?

3. The manual suggests that the oil be changed after the first 20 hours of operation. I'm not prepared to do this (no extra oil, etc) at the moment. Do I *need* to do this ASAP, or can it wait until the 70-80 hour point? The store (authorized Honda dealer) rep told me I don't need to change the oil for the first two years, though that sounds.. wrong..

Thanks!
 

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Congratulations Nait on your new Generator. You picked out a good one. I live here in NJ and I have mine setup to backup my whole house. I also use it to help out with my Dairy Queen if the power goes out. My EU6500 came with 10W/30W Honda oil. I ran 29 hours and changed it. I would change it around the 20 hour mark. I was very surprised how black it was. Change it as soon as you can. I put 5W/30W in mine for the winter, and 10W30 for the summer. In that cold where you live I would run 5W/30W in the winter. With my house on city water, gas heat, gas hot water, and gas stove, my EU6500 can run my whole house with no problem. I run my house with an Interlock system. I went with this guys idea.
 

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There are currently 3 active circuits/fuses in the box;
1. The water pump (artesian well), which uses 2 x 20 amps (220V)
I am a bit puzzled here 40amps at 220volts equals 8800 watts, well over your generators capacity.
That is a good choice of generator, a premium unit. Change the oil per instructions and use a fuel treatment compatible with ethanol. The only downside I see with your system is the need to refuel and manually switch over, not much good if nobody is home. The natural gas fired automatic units are the cat's meow but pricey.
 
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