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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just joined forum and have a lot of questions setting up a generator. I know very little about these things. I bought a Champion 9375/7500W (model 41410) generator at BJ's the other day. I know that it's not the best out there, but I rarely lose power and just wanted something for a catastrophic type event. I paid $599. I plan to install a tri fuel conversion kit on the generator and run it on NG. Also I want to connect to my house using a inter lock on my fuse box.
1. The generator came with 30amp 25' cord which I planned to modify and use to connect to the house. How much better would it be to use the 50amp outlet on the generator? This would require a new 50amp cord which looks like an additional $125 for a 15' cord. Is it worth it?
2. Should I use a 1/2" or 3/4" rubber NG line to connect to the house? Length of run would be about 15'.
3. I still need to buy interlock, rubber gas hose, quick disconnects, elec inlet box, maybe 50amp cord. Anything else? Best place to buy?
4. I need suggestions on how to prevent it from being stolen when operating.
5. Also need suggestions on how to weather proof it, so it can be operated in the rain.
Thanks in advance! Pls. don't dump on me for asking newbie questions!
 

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Hi Mark,

Welcome to the forum.

1. There is little advantage to getting the heavier cord. The generator can only put out 7500 watts continuous and the 30 amp cord can easily handle 7200 watts. You DO NOT want to run it at 7500 watts or even close to that continuously. The 9375 watt surge rating is just that and you don't need the larger cord for temporary startup loads.

2. I'd step up to the 3/4" hose. It can't hurt. Remember though, it's not just the hose that matters but also the rest of your gas piping.

3. For the interlock, check to see if your panel manufacturer (Siemens, Murray, Square D, etc) make one. They are usually much cheaper, easier to install and UL listed. The aftermarket ones usually aren't UL approved. Make sure your AHJ, wiring inspector, allows interlocks. Some don't. You may need to move some breakers around for the interlock and it would also be a good idea to make sure that any major 120 volt loads are balanced (microwave, furnace, refrigerator). 240 volt loads are balanced by default. Reliance makes inlets.

4. I run propane, no natural gas available here, but US Carburetion has been very helpful. I've converted 3 engines over to propane using their kits and fittings and all run very well - much more so than on gasoline. Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas.

5. I built a box for my generator with hinged doors all around that open wide. It's elevated off the ground as well so that air can flow under and around it. I can open the roof at an angle without rain getting in too. The generator is bolted to the box and the box is on concrete footings. I can lock the box but obviously not when it's running. A heavy chain might work connected to a pier in the ground. Mine is also in the back yard and not visible from the street.

Before you convert to natural gas be sure to break the generator in on gasoline. Load it up, make sure everything works.

Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mark,

Welcome to the forum.

1. There is little advantage to getting the heavier cord. The generator can only put out 7500 watts continuous and the 30 amp cord can easily handle 7200 watts. You DO NOT want to run it at 7500 watts or even close to that continuously. The 9375 watt surge rating is just that and you don't need the larger cord for temporary startup loads.

2. I'd step up to the 3/4" hose. It can't hurt. Remember though, it's not just the hose that matters but also the rest of your gas piping.

3. For the interlock, check to see if your panel manufacturer (Siemens, Murray, Square D, etc) make one. They are usually much cheaper, easier to install and UL listed. The aftermarket ones usually aren't UL approved. Make sure your AHJ, wiring inspector, allows interlocks. Some don't. You may need to move some breakers around for the interlock and it would also be a good idea to make sure that any major 120 volt loads are balanced (microwave, furnace, refrigerator). 240 volt loads are balanced by default. Reliance makes inlets.

4. I run propane, no natural gas available here, but US Carburetion has been very helpful. I've converted 3 engines over to propane using their kits and fittings and all run very well - much more so than on gasoline. Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas.

5. I built a box for my generator with hinged doors all around that open wide. It's elevated off the ground as well so that air can flow under and around it. I can open the roof at an angle without rain getting in too. The generator is bolted to the box and the box is on concrete footings. I can lock the box but obviously not when it's running. A heavy chain might work connected to a pier in the ground. Mine is also in the back yard and not visible from the street.

Before you convert to natural gas be sure to break the generator in on gasoline. Load it up, make sure everything works.

Hope it helps.

Thanks for the reply!

1. I guess I don't understand amps, volts and watts. If I use the 30 amp outlet and cord, would I be getting less electricity (power) into the house then the 50 amp outlet and cord?
2. The generator will be very close to the gas meter, in fact, I was just looking at the meter and it looks like I can tap in to the pipe as it enters my house. There is a "T" and one end just has a plug in it. I would think I can just put in a 3/4" adapter, a shut off valve and a quick connect. What do you think?
3. Great suggestion....to balance loads in the box! Been looking at Geninterlock.com.
4. I am planning on using US Carb's snorkel kit
5. Can you post pics of your generator box?
 

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1. 50 amps at 240 volts is 12000 watts. Your generator isn't even close to putting that out. 7500 watts is 31.25 amps. The 9375 rating is for "starting" loads only. Don't base your wire size on it.

You can certainly install the heavier wire and inlet for the 50 amps but there is almost no benefit to it.

2. It looks like someone was planning ahead when installed your gas service. That should make for a convenient connection point.

3. Do check the panel maker. My interlock (Murray panel) was $39. Install was a breeze.

4. The snorkel kit should make for an easy install. I've been very pleased with all my kits from US Carbs.

5. I've attached an older picture. It's not fancy but it serves the purpose. I've run it for 3+ hours at a time with no problems. The box is big enough so that you can fully access the generator with the doors open and it does get plenty of ventilation. Most of my run time is in the winter. I don't ever run it for 24/7 as I don't see the need to use that much fuel. The house stays warm overnight and the food cold. I've gone through a 5 day outage in the past with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, I think I get the 30 v 50 amp issue. I'll have to check the cost for a new connector to put on the 30 amp cord, (not sure which one yet). The gas hook up should be a breeze. Only downside is the valve will be outside and could be played with ie: kids etc. I have been checking out the interlocks. My box is a Siemens G2040MB1200. Not sure Siemens makes an interlock for it.
Really like the idea of elevating the gen box! I would think there are numerous advantages to doing it that way. Thanks again!! Mark
 

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It looks like you need the Siemens ECSBPK03. Amazon has it for about $53.

Yeah, raising the generator was a no brainer. It allows air to flow underneath it all the time and even when it's very wet or there is a lot of snow I'm "high and dry."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I decided that I want to set up the input to my house at 50 amp. I'm also going to spring for the 50 amp cord, although I understand, thanks to AANDPDAN, that I could get by with the 30 amp. My thinking is that I may need the 50 amp in the future, if I get a larger generator. I also will have the 30 amp cord with the four "regular" receptacles if for some reason I don't want to hook directly into the house (for neighbors etc.). I was thinking about getting this cord: Conntek 1450SS2-15 15-Foot Temporary Power Cord, 50-Amp 125/250-Volt, NEMA 14-50P Generator Plug to CS6364 Locking Connector. It is a STW 6/3+8/1 600-volt insulation, what do you think??

I came to the same conclusion, that I need the Siemens ECSBPK03 interlock. However after looking at it, I can't see how it could work on my box. I have four vertical throw mains (centered at the top) in my box and this interlock appears to be set up for horizontal throw mains. Am I missing something? I thought I read somewhere that Siemens doesn't have an interlock setup for a box with four mains.

I'm going to order the tri fuel kit and 3/4" ng hose and what ever fittings I need tomorrow. If the hoses come with two male ends, how are they screwed on? Do the ends rotate? (I know, this is really a newbie question, but I never saw one, so I don't know how they go on).
 

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Mark try this link for some ideas. Generator InterLock Kit: Choose the Right Kit for Your Electrical Panel
I went with an interlock too when I put my system together. The week of Sandy it paid off big time. My generator is a Honda 6500 which puts out 5500 continuous, and 6500 max. I'm lucky, My home is city water, and city gas for heat, cooking and hot water. All lights are CF's and LED. 5500 watts is much more than I will ever need. aandpdan is right not to run at max. Its nice to read your going with a interlock. Many people who first start out don't and just back feed. If you check YouTube I've seen some strange interlock setups that work.
 

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I'm not sure on the Siemens interlock. You can always try an electrical supply store, not HD, and they should be able to look it up exactly.

The hoses from US Carbs, all of them that I have ever received, are male threaded ends. They do not rotate. If the quick disconnect size is different you can get adapters, the disconnects have a female thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just ordered almost everything I need. Still checking out the interlock from Siemens. May just go with the one from GenInterlock, not sure. Also need a couple fittings for gas hook up, but I'll wait till I get the stuff from US carb so I can see how it works. Thanks for all the help.
 

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Mark what did to secure my generator was I ordered a 1/2 thick security chain. I dig a hole 4 to 5 ft. I put a large bolt with two large washers in the last link. I than mixed up two 80 lbs bags of ready mix and filled the hole. I also use two security cables. My generator is behind a gate on the side of my house. I park my F-150 in front of the gate so it can't be open or removed. Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't thought too much about securing the generator, although I know it is something that has to be done. My hook up will be on the side of my house and toward the front. (not great) I'm on a dead-end street with about 9 houses, so not too much traffic. No large trees to chain to. Guess I'll be digging too. Will have to research chains, cables, locks etc.

Looking forward to receiving all the stuff I ordered! The wife will be pissed when Master Card bill comes................
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So my order from US Carb arrived. I installed tri-fuel conversion last night. I haven't tried it because I don't have outlet from house ready (too cold here to work outside!). Anyway, along with the tri-fuel, I got a hose and quick disconnects for house side and gen side. Instructions say to put socket (female side) on supply side. No problem on house side, but how about generator side? What do I attach to regulator, socket or plug? My thinking is to put the socket on to the regulator. This leaves me with plugs on both sides of rubber hose so it can go either way. More importantly, the directions from US Carb say that if you are using gasoline (not using NG/LP), the inlet on the regulator needs to be capped (something about vacuum loss) . The socket when disconnected would serve as a cap, as it seals when disconnected. What do you think?
 

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I like the socket idea on the generator. Not only will it seal to prevent the vacuum leak it will keep junk from getting into the regulator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks! I'm going to set it up with the socket on the generator. By the way, the quick disconnects are not only massive, but also expensive. I think their worth it in the long run. Still haven't received some of the electrical stuff (inlet box, cord etc.) from Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
This is a quick update and I have more questions. I have my system up and running! The generator now has the tri-fuel conversion. I am running a 3/4" NG hose which attaches with quick disconnects on both sides. I was able to run a NG "tap" right off the gas meter (the pipe was 1" so I reduced to 3/4", put in a "drip", a shut off and then the quick disconnect which also has a shut off when disconnected. On the elec side of things I am running a 50 amp cord into the inlet and on the inside I have meters to monitor the wattage balance and am using an interlock. I did not do the electric stuff myself. You have to know your limitations! I did the conversion and NG hookup though. The generator starts right up on the NG and runs great. I did knock down the gap on the spark plug as suggested by US Carb and I think the 3/4" hose helps. I also got a gen-tent. It's a very high quality well thought out product that I think will protect the generator from rain and snow. If you aren't familiar with this product you should check it out. My apologies if I have repeated things previously stated in prior posts.

Now to my question. I have yet to decide the best way to secure the generator when I bring it out of the garage to run. Unfortunately, the gas and electric are on the side of my house toward the front, so the generator will be very visible. At the suggestion of members of this site, I plan to secure some sort of "eye bolt" and ring in concrete. Any suggestions on the eye bolt? Should I use chain or cables to secure the generator? How should the generator be chained or cabled? Can I chain it where the generator itself is bolted to the engine? Probably gets pretty hot. Seems to me that the frame can easily be cut. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Other things I did, which I'm glad to share, is I built a cradle (basically just a rectangle) out of 4 by 4s. I plan to back the generator on the "cradle". This will lift the wheels slightly off the ground. I'm going to take the wheels off once the generator is in place along with the handle. I know this won't stop a determined thief, but at least I'll know that he had to carry away the hot generator and not just roll it away. I'm also going to place a light with a motion detector on a stake by the generator (plugged into the generator), so if someone approaches the light will hit them (at least until they turn off the generator). That's about it for my ideas. I would like to hear any suggestions etc Thanks! Mark
 

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I wouldn't attach a chain directly to the engine as most generators use rubber isolation mounts between the engine and frame. Let the engine move freely.

Just go through the frame. You could also have someone fabricate a connection for the chain that would be welded to the frame and difficult to cut.

Whatever you use, chain or cable, it does come in different qualities. Don't just get chain from the hardware store. Keep it short and look for one with trapezoidal links as they distribute the cutting forces and make it more difficult to cut. Remember too, get a good lock, preferably a shrouded lock.

If someone wants your genset though they'll get it no matter what. Ask yourself, do you really need it running all night? Probably not. The house will stay warm and the food cold.
 
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