Does anybody know of a standby generator (turns on automatically with power outage) that can run a freezer and sump pump?

Not a whole home generator, just a small one

9 Answers

  • 17 hours ago

    You need look at start up amps on both.  Then have a generator slightly larger than that. Start the one that pulls the most amps first.

  • 5 days ago

    Yes, you can buy an automatic transfer switch (ATS) with an automatic generator start relay and attach it to just about any electric-start generator.  Turning it off may be more difficult, if the generator controls are not specifically designed for that.  For instance, a diesel generator may require pulling out a knob several inches to kill the engine.  Most backup generators are designed to be located outdoors, away from building openings.

    Because you're working with exposed high voltages, you should employ a qualified electrician to make sure things are done properly and then have it inspected.  Doing it "wrong" could end up in a house fire or perhaps killing someone several miles away if you backfeed your generator's power into the grid and there are downed wires.

    I have two transfer switches: one for my critical loads (heat, sump, computer and network UPS, well, microwave and a few lights) and one for "other" circuits (additional kitchen and living area circuits that may not be needed on the automatic backup, but may be easily switched over when necessary).

    Regarding the switch over and starting, you generally do NOT want to switch circuits to the backup generator until it is up to speed!

    Source(s): certified fire inspector
  • Rita
    Lv 6
    6 days ago

    Standby generators supply power when the utility distribution system is unable ... a standby generator turns on automatically when the power goes out. ... for sump pumps to keep basements dry, refrigerators and freezers to ... Since power use often varies continuously, the amount of fuel used will also vary.

  • Joe
    Lv 4
    1 week ago

    Call in a licensed electrician and have him design it, buy all the equipment, get the permits and install it.  Do NOT try to do this yourself.  The backup generators are the easy part.  The rest is both difficult and dangerous.

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  • y
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    I do not know know of any small ones, just for that size. That can turn on and off atomically like that. That does not mean they don't exist. I have only installed automatic transfer switches with control circuits that automatically turn on and off NG and propane generators that were 100 and 200 amp units. They were also whole unit power supplies and such.  Meter to transfer switch to box.

  • 2 weeks ago

    Backup generators are available in ANY size. Without knowing what size, the ONLY answer is MAYBE.

    That said, a backup generator is INTENDED to power several home circuits. For a sump pump, you would be better off buying one with a battery backup than bothering with a generator.

    The freezer should stay frozen for several days without power as long as you don't open it.

    In short. those would be the LAST things I would worry about powering with a backup generator.

    Spock (rhp) said: after power has been off for selected period of time [half hour?]

    That is PATENTLY ABSURD. A backup generator that automatically activates is intended to come on BEFORE you know utility power is down.

    Update to Spock: We actually disagree QUITE OFTEN. Your response to my answer is even MORE WRONG than your original BS and 100% unsupported by the question.

  • 2 weeks ago

    I do                  .

  • 2 weeks ago

    [sigh] .. the electronics required for 'automatic' aren't that simple.  in essence, the electronics have to be powered by a battery [presumably the start battery for the generator] and, after power has been off for selected period of time [half hour?] should kick in a relay to disconnect the regular power, connect to the generator, and then start the generator -- also has to do the reverse after power is restored.  Frankly, since the required relay is expensive [minimum 110 volts and 15 amps -- how much current does the sump pump draw?] and a large enough generator may also be expensive -- i think you're talking 1000 or more.  PS:  the generator has to be located outside and as the recent Texas freeze showed, even a generator directly connected to the natural gas line may not work [no gas because the electricity powered pumps required to keep gas pressure high were cut off by the electric utility]. That makes me think you're talking a propane powered generator so you can have a LARGE propane tank that'll run the generator for days before needing a refill.  -- whoops -- cost just went up again.  -- grampa

    @Steven F -- we rarely disagree and ... the half hour off time won't harm the freezer contents [as you pointed out] and will prevent momentary or brief power outages from cycling the relay system for the pump excessively.  Adjust the time so the pump isn't overwhelmed by water accumulation.  [this system isn't intended to keep communications or an oxygen concentrator going 24/7 -- see the asker's question]

    I suspect the asker wants something that can operate entirely unattended while he or she isn't even around [was away when the power outage happened and couldn't get back for three days?] -- which fits the recent event in Texas and the Great Plains states.

  • Anonymous
    2 weeks ago

    Nope.  You can't turn on a generator and put electricity back into the grid. If you have an automatic generator you have to have automatic switch gear that goes between the generator and the utility supplied power.  That is complicated and has to be done by qualified people, and the power company has a say about it, because it affects them.   For example, the power company loses power, and they come out to fix the problem.  They shut their power off.  But you have illegally tied into the electrical grid and your generator is providing current.  They are going to get shocked from your generator.  Likewise, reliable standby generators are installed in pairs.  For essential service, you have one running while the other is serviced and maintained.  Also, a reliable power source, of which natural gas is good, if available.  If you use gasoline, you have storage problems and getting a supply in a crises.  Gasoline is not reliable.  So, if you are going for long term reliable with automatic startup and switchgear, you are looking at 2 natural gas powered generators.   That is commercial/industrial grade and bigger than a freezer/sump pump.

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