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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Running 95% furnace on a Generator

    Our area just went through a wind storm that left us without power for 4 days. I have a 2003 Troy-Bilt 5500 generator (model 01919), but didn't dare plug my furnace into it for fear of blowing the control board with "dirty power". The electronics on most appliances are very sensitive. Isn't there any way to clean up the output of my generator so it will run my furnace? I would hate to have to buy a second inverter generator so I have to maintain and run two. A 2400 watt inverter generator is around $1,000, just for that one circuit. If I go to the heating and cooling contractor, they want to sell me a mega buck whole house generator. I accept that, in an outage, I do not have to power my entire house. I am only concerned with that one circuit. When the furnace was installed, I told them I wanted it capable of running off of a generator, so, they installed a switch to isolate it from the panel box (no feedback to the grid) and left me a pigtail so I could plug in my generator. When asked about the vulnerability of the board, the installer said to just make sure the generator was up to speed before switching over. I have asked many people who are "in the know" and I get a different answer from each one. What about a power conditioner? Another suggestion is an uninterrupted power supply. I can't imagine what one that is big enough for 2400watts would be!
    I cannot find a useful sticker anywhere on the outside of my furnace. It is a 2010 Rheem 95% at about 80,000 BTU's.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    6,115

    Default Re: Running 95% furnace on a Generator

    1- if you use a generator you must make sure it is grounded to your grounding system, the furnace requires a ground for the flame sensor to work properly.
    2-A generator should not be a problem because the 120 volt in feeds a transformer that steps it down to 24 volts which is the voltage required bu the control board. While the blower, fan and ignitor use 120 volts they will run on dirty power.

    Jack
    P.S. I've run my furnace several times with my 5500 watt generator.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Running 95% furnace on a Generator

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    1- if you use a generator you must make sure it is grounded to your grounding system, the furnace requires a ground for the flame sensor to work properly.
    2-A generator should not be a problem because the 120 volt in feeds a transformer that steps it down to 24 volts which is the voltage required bu the control board. While the blower, fan and ignitor use 120 volts they will run on dirty power.

    Jack
    P.S. I've run my furnace several times with my 5500 watt generator.
    From a twist lock connector on the generator, I go to a twist lock receptacle on my house. From there, I have it go into my basement where another twist lock receptacle allows me to plug in a cable that came with the generator that gives me four 120VAC outlets. I've essentially eliminated having to have a door open with extension chords running inside. One of the outlets I would use to power the furnace. The furnace installer gave me a switch to isolate the furnace from the panel box and a pigtail for the generator to plug into. If I need a ground, where and how would I hook that up considering what I have? The generator has a ground lug, but I think it's to prevent a shock to me from the generator while being around it, right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    6,115

    Default Re: Running 95% furnace on a Generator

    The twist lock plug should have 4 prongs, L1, L2, Common, and ground. The cable should be 4 conductors. When you go to 120 outlets you just have to make sure that the hot, neutral and ground are included.

    You can pick up a circuit tester like below to test the outlets.


    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 03-24-2017 at 06:59 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Running 95% furnace on a Generator

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    The twist lock plug should have 4 prongs, L1, L2, Common, and ground. The cable should be 4 conductors. When you go to 120 outlets you just have to make sure that the hot, neutral and ground are included.

    You can pick up a circuit tester like below to test the outlets.


    Jack
    Yes, there are 4 wires. I'll have to pick one of those up.

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