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run steam boiler from generator

Due to recent ice storm we lost power for three days and our natural gas steam boiler did not operate. Although this has not happened before in 17 years living in our house, my wife thinks we should get a gasoline generator. My question is whom do I contact to change our wiring on the boiler so you can power it with a cord attached to a generator? A heating contractor or an electrical contractor?


  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    An electrical contractor

    would be the correct choice here.  Make sure you get one who is familiar with generators and transfer switches.  There are relatively inexpensive ways to do this if you intend to run only the boiler on the genset.  The next step is to install a small subpanel to handle multiple critical loads (boiler, freezer, a few lights, perhaps a sewage or sump pump, etc.)

    If you do not already own the genset, I'd suggest having the genset dealer handle the install of the entire system.  If they sub out the electrical work, they own the results.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426

    This sort of work must be done correctly, according to code.  This is to protect you, your equipment -- and the men working to restore your power.

    So it would be an electrical contractor.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234

    if you dont want to be bothered with noise and filling the gas tank, consider a nateral gas generator. But then again, if it only happened once in 17 years, it may not be worth the expense.