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I'm looking for advice on what kind of generator I should get for my mobile home. We have had 3 pretty bad storms (2 hurricanes, 1 blizzard) and am looking to give my home backup power.

Now I have done some research and I am looking for a generator to run my heat, refrigerator, entertainment system, and maybe hot water heater.

My biggest concern is my heat and hot water; my heat is oil burner and hot air and my hot water heater is a 30 gallon tank. My entertainment is all relatively new (purchased within the last 2 years so I know my TV doesn't draw more than 300 watts). Now what I have noticed is it looks like both water heater and my heat are running on 110V. I do not see 240V anywhere but my dryer. My service coming in is only rated for 60A by the way. I've heard that the are start-up loads and nominal loads. I'm not sure what size I would need and most likely wouldn't have both the heat and hot water on at same time but in the event that does happen I want to know I'm OK.

Also I install entertainment for a living and have a general knowledge of electrical. I would prefer to keep this within a budget.

I wouldn't need a transfer switch either; I would probably install a sub-panel.

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What exactly is your question? "How to calculate the required generator size based on load?" –  Steven Feb 11 '13 at 3:32
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Is the hot water electric or oil? You will need some kind of disconnect regardless, a sub panel is not enough to prevent back feed. 60amp service doesn't tell us much other than the total service capacity. A 60amp gen set would be huge and expensive. Need the amp draw of all the appliances totaled to figure a gen set. –  shirlock homes Feb 11 '13 at 10:15
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1 Answer

List up any device you'd like to run from the generator, every machine and every lightbulb, too. Look into the manuals or on labels of these devices and sum up their power consumption (Volts and Ampere). Add 10% and look for the next bigger generator.

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