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Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:34:39 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By EasTexan:
I went a week without power after hurricane Rita.

I just started waking around naked and bathing in the swimming pool.
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The hurricane is over, you can get dressed now.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:38:47 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...

Still haven't lost power.



TRG
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The horror.   Glad you have not lost power.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:43:13 AM EDT
OLH area here, we never lost power in our little pocket but everybody around us did....little forest hills, Lakewood, casa Linda etc. many went 3-4 days without, some are still even now.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:50:16 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TxLewis:



The horror.   Glad you have not lost power.

TXL
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Originally Posted By TxLewis:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...

Still haven't lost power.



TRG



The horror.   Glad you have not lost power.

TXL


It's admittedly pretty cool when you get to finally use all this shit, but only for a little while.  
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:50:31 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By hondaciv:


I ran it 24/7 to keep the house warm and the fridge cold.  
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Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By slanted:
I just bought that same generator recently.  Glad to hear you had a good experience with it.

So Question:  Why did you run it 24/7?  In my plans I'm thinking I'd shut it off when sleeping or not needing to cool the fridge, etc...  yeah, the house might get a bit cool.



I ran it 24/7 to keep the house warm and the fridge cold.  

Couldn't you shut the genny off for 2 hours at a time to save fuel ? Seems a real waste to leave it run 24hrs.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:55:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 10:58:40 AM EDT
OP, how loud was that HF generator?
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:01:36 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By PKT1106:


They had NG during and after Katrina. I haven't heard of NG going down during power outages. They can manually open the valves and keep the gas flowing.
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Originally Posted By PKT1106:
Originally Posted By ceverett:
Relying on Natural Gas to keep flowing in the event of a major power outage seems like a bad idea to me...

At least you can keep some amount of gasoline stocked.


They had NG during and after Katrina. I haven't heard of NG going down during power outages. They can manually open the valves and keep the gas flowing.


Natural gas compressor stations are powered by..... natural gas

It's a very nice setup, kinda hard for the pipeline to go down when it's powered by parasitic loss of what is flowing through it.

Only time the gas goes down is if they shut it off (earthquake or too many fires).
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:04:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2013 11:07:59 AM EDT by xmission]
We have lost power for about a month before.

Fuel storage was something that I addressed seriously after this.

ETA: When we have to use a generator for more than a quick outage, we generally run a few hours here and there. If you keep the house semi warm, the refrigerator cold, and can pull off showers, life goes on pretty well. Think cold beer and hot shower, and that will just about define power needs in a real outage.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:05:32 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sdailey5:
OP, how loud was that HF generator?
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That's a good point.  I'd imagine in a real SHTF, long term situation, the sound of any motor running would bring the FSA hordes.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:10:43 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Chairborne:


That's a good point.  I'd imagine in a real SHTF, long term situation, the sound of any motor running would bring the FSA hordes.
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Originally Posted By Chairborne:
Originally Posted By sdailey5:
OP, how loud was that HF generator?


That's a good point.  I'd imagine in a real SHTF, long term situation, the sound of any motor running would bring the FSA hordes.


That's kind of my thought.  In a power outage situation, people will know you have a genny if they see lights/tvs on at night.  But to have that motor running all day and all night will draw attention too.  If you take already cranky powerless neighbors and then annoy them will a loud ass generator all night, that could be a negative thing as well.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:13:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:16:51 AM EDT
Ice storm 1998 Upstate NY 13 days no power 6 days on generator no problem. At first the only real problem was keeping up with the sub pump, nothing like filling up 2 5-gallon bucket 1000x's
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:17:40 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By coolstuff:
I finally ordered a new carb and a tri fuel kit for my gen/welder.  My power has been out 5 times in the last 30 days.  The longest stretch was 6 hours.  The issue is that lows around here regularly get to -30.  It is already going down to -12 here with highs in the single digits.

It has not been a priority for the wife, so I bought the parts to fix my spare jeep but will not get it running till spring.

Mine is a 5500 surge 4300 cont.  It should be enough to keep the refers cold and the house warm.


I am going to install a welding 240v 50amp outlet into the garage.  I will backfeed my electrical through that without the cost of the transfer switch.  If you do this BE SURE TO DISCONNECT YOUR MAIN BREAKER!!!!
View Quote


This is what I came to say. It is STUPID easy. No cords everywhere.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:19:28 AM EDT
My uncle has this model and it's ridiculous how quiet it is.  You pay for it though, I think he spent about $2k on it.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:22:13 AM EDT
I've had my generator since 1999 (yeah, do the math). It's a Generac 5500w model.

From 2000-2007 I had a transfer switch installed in the house(s) where I lived. Since 2007 I have not had a transfer switch, but expect to be moving next year and will install the transfer switch at the new place.

During an ice storm in NC in 2005ish, we lost power for a couple of days. I ran it intermittently, never all night. We had a heat pump furnace and there's no way it would have powered that, but we also had propane-powered fireplaces and they did fine. Other than that one event, it's never been out for a serious emergency. I run it 3-4 times a year to keep it in good condition. It's served well for 14 years and hopefully has a lot of life left as it's been run for <100 hours.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:23:27 AM EDT
During the big storms, I've been without power for a week to 10 days at a time. My gas gennie (8000watt) has run my entire house.

I don't run it 24/7 however. You can last for a long time with economical usage of your fuel, and still keep the house warm and the fridges cold.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:29:53 AM EDT
One thing is the constant noise of the motor you can dig a hole put the generator in it snd the cover with a piece of plywood it will silwnce the generator pretty good.

also you don't need to power the whole house.  Hurricanes in SC taught me that a smaller generator that can run a mini fridge, and a window air unit is more than adequate when you add a hot plate and a lamp you can easily be comfortable in just one room with  3 or 4 people, do all the cooking in the kitchen or garage.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:30:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2013 11:33:32 AM EDT by sirensong]
this is tangent to the topic, but related to how you go about using a generator.  we're getting ready finally to move our folks into their country house in MT, and winter power outages are a definite concern.  dad has an 8.5Kw unit, but one of the things we focus on is reducing the base load to maximize fuel efficiency.  i've seen a lot of people who try to use electricity in the same way, only substituting generator power for grid.  but as the OP found, generators are really thirsty, and if you lock yourself into an electric mindset, you'll run into fuel problems fairly quickly.









a good way to conserve is to build non-electrics and reduced-current electrics into the plan.  some of this stuff is simple, like having a wood option for heat, and blocking off hallways and such to reduce heating needs.  but other stuff is often ignored, even though it's just as simple.  for example, oil lamps and lanterns are functional, but they're also pretty.  so we have them scattered around the house as 'decorations'.  same with candleabra.  our well is 240V, but we have a 4gal dipping bucket set up with a winch so that we can get water manually if necessary.  hot water comes from a couple of cauldrons that live near the wood stoves.  and we also have LED bulb 'storm lamps' in the important rooms, so that we can have reliable electric light at a much lower draw.  this summer, we're installing a battery bank.










by building a plan (and an energy budget), we wind up getting much better value out of our fuel.  honestly, the last couple of times the power has gone out we haven't even used the generator.  some of this stuff is pretty country, but a lot of it is relevant to urban living.  










it's worth considering.







[ETA:  most people probably know this, but keep your freezers full.  if you have extra space, freeze water bottles--they'll help keep temp down in the event of an outage.]


 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:30:49 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:


It's admittedly pretty cool when you get to finally use all this shit, but only for a little while.  
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Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Originally Posted By TxLewis:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...

Still haven't lost power.



TRG



The horror.   Glad you have not lost power.

TXL


It's admittedly pretty cool when you get to finally use all this shit, but only for a little while.  



I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.

My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.

TRG
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:33:19 AM EDT
I bought a big generator years ago and quickly found out that a small inverter works better in my situation. My Yamaha 2400 is quiet and I have a tri fuel kit to run it off our 1000 gallon buried propane tank by using a QD fitting. Electric cord goes to a gen panel and we have power for basically as long as we need with a setup time of under 5 minutes.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:34:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:



I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.

My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.

TRG
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Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Originally Posted By TxLewis:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...

Still haven't lost power.



TRG



The horror.   Glad you have not lost power.

TXL


It's admittedly pretty cool when you get to finally use all this shit, but only for a little while.  



I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.

My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.

TRG


Power the main panel.  Turn off the breakers on everything except what you need to run.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:38:06 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:


Power the main panel.  Turn off the breakers on everything except what you need to run.
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Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Originally Posted By TxLewis:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...

Still haven't lost power.



TRG



The horror.   Glad you have not lost power.

TXL


It's admittedly pretty cool when you get to finally use all this shit, but only for a little while.  



I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.

My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.

TRG


Power the main panel.  Turn off the breakers on everything except what you need to run.


Two panels.  One in garage controls garage.  One in the house runs the house.  Pump is in the garage.

I need to get an electrician out and see which one is in charge of the whole shebang.

I'll add it to my list of To-Dos for the holidays.

TRG
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:39:33 AM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.



My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.



TRG
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Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:



Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:


...






I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.



My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.



TRG




 
this is probably not what you have in mind, and would be less than ideal for a short-term power outage.  but IMO it's important to have:








this is similar to ours.  we're also looking into the solar pump option, but since our well is 230', it'll take some doing.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:44:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
I live in Dallas, and my power went out around 5 am Friday morning and came back on around 8 PM Sunday night.  I had finally bought a generator earlier in the year anticipating an event like this.  Our power goes out often, but rarely for days at a time.  My generator was one I bought at Harbor Freight for $279.00  It is the 3200w 4000w peak generator.  Link So heres some random thoughts and stuff I learned.

1)  3200 watts is about enough to stay comfortable, but not enough for everything.  The dishes piled up (Yeah i know i could have washed them by hand) and so did the laundry.  It wouldn't come close to running the central AC in the summer.  I ran central heat (gas), fridge, 60" plasma tv, receiver, a few lamps, ipad, laptop, and iphone chargers.  Even with all that, had enough left over to run an extension cord to the neighbors so they could plug in a small space heater.  I had kill-a-watts on every extension end so I knew exactly how much power I was using, and how much I had in reserve.

2)  3 gas cans isn't enough.  I was about 50 - 90% capacity on my generator, and burned a total of 25 gallons of gas in those 60 hours.  Which means I had to leave the house once to get more gas.  And those stupid post-ban gas filler/spouts are infuriating.  I will fix both these issues.

3)  Keeping the generator fed with gas was kind of like feeding a baby.  Setting my alarm every 8 hours to go outside in the frigid cold to refill it made me lose sleep.

4)  A transfer panel would be really really nice to have instead of stringing 500 extension cables and power strips everywhere

5)  A natural gas conversion is also something I will heavily consider.
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When we bought a new unit, we went from gasoline to propane, best move ever. Propane doesn't go bad. Before that, we went from a five gallon drum to a 30 gallon. Much better. Lasted all weekend. Five gallons tended to last only one night at a time.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 11:59:51 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sdailey5:
My uncle has this model and it's ridiculous how quiet it is.  You pay for it though, I think he spent about $2k on it.
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That is what I use and it rocks. Fuel load is low and sound signature is low. Needs a tri fuel kit though.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:05:17 PM EDT
don't forget to run the generator dry before putting away for a while - prevents gumming up the carb -



start generator, close fuel shutoff, let it run till it stops.



drain the tank afterwards - old gas can get stale, or you can try to put some fuel stabilizer in there.



fuel can oracle - everything you want to know about fuel cans -

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/643480_FUEL_CAN_ORACLE.html



old grouch - site sponser - has jerry cans

http://store.oldgrouch.biz/mijeca.html



and you might find anythng you need to know about generators under the tech forum at rv.net

http://www.rv.net/forum/



including information on the a lot of the chinese gensets


Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:05:29 PM EDT
I am looking to purchase a little Honda is2000 Generator for our small Camp Trailer...

How much stuff could I expect to run with this little guy in my home, through a transfer switch??

I would think heat would be number one, but we do have a gas fireplace.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:26:57 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By ceverett:


Relying on Natural Gas to keep flowing in the event of a major power outage seems like a bad idea to me...


View Quote

At least you can keep some amount of gasoline stocked.
NG systems are independent of the electrical grid. I have never seen the gas turned off, that would be a huge disaster in itself.

 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:33:26 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By coolstuff:


I finally ordered a new carb and a tri fuel kit for my gen/welder.  My power has been out 5 times in the last 30 days.  The longest stretch was 6 hours.  The issue is that lows around here regularly get to -30.  It is already going down to -12 here with highs in the single digits.



It has not been a priority for the wife, so I bought the parts to fix my spare jeep but will not get it running till spring.



Mine is a 5500 surge 4300 cont.  It should be enough to keep the refers cold and the house warm.





I am going to install a welding 240v 50amp outlet into the garage.  I will backfeed my electrical through that without the cost of the transfer switch.  If you do this BE SURE TO DISCONNECT YOUR MAIN BREAKER!!!!
View Quote




 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:39:51 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cm:


don't forget to run the generator dry before putting away for a while - prevents gumming up the carb -



start generator, close fuel shutoff, let it run till it stops.



drain the tank afterwards - old gas can get stale, or you can try to put some fuel stabilizer in there.



fuel can oracle - everything you want to know about fuel cans -

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/643480_FUEL_CAN_ORACLE.html



old grouch - site sponser - has jerry cans

http://store.oldgrouch.biz/mijeca.html



and you might find anythng you need to know about generators under the tech forum at rv.net

http://www.rv.net/forum/



including information on the a lot of the chinese gensets

View Quote
Don't forget ethanol-free gasoline! Things with carbs hate ethanol.



Also, for noise, if you have a crawl-space you should look into mounting a duct to your exhaust. I have a small genset that I have in my crawlspace with some flexible 4" metal exhaust tubing tacked to the muffler that then goes to one of my crawlspace vents. The noise is drastically reduced since a lot of the noise of these small gens is the actual clatter and racket of the engine and not just purely the exhaust note.



 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:43:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:45:15 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By godzillamax:


I always enjoy these threads. They help me think of some prep stuff I may not have thought of for my house. I need a generator badly, but keep having other expenses arise that consume my discretionary $$ (dishwasher recently needed replacing, ceiling fan died, etc.). The biggest problem with my current home is that if we lose power we also lose running water (we are on a well). That translates to no showers, no drinking water (other than the 20 gallons I have stored), and worse of all, no flushing toilets. And if the power were to go out in the summer no electricity means no refrigerator to keep food stuff cold. We have a natural gas furnace, but also a wood burning stove. So in the cold months a power outage wouldn't greatly affect our ability to heat the home. And in the cold months we can just put food from the refrigerator in the garage (insulated, but not heated), or in the snow to keep it from spoiling.



I've contemplated installing a manual pump for our well, but unfortunately our well access port is located right in our front yard. So a standing manual pump there would look horrible. I'm hoping to get a good tax return this year to buy a new stove/range for the wife, and maybe a generator for me. I think the OPs idea of a transfer station is a sound one. I too wouldn't want extension cords running everywhere.
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Do you have any neighbors? Nearest city water? have a few 5gal buckets? Get a couple of old carwash barrels and fill them with water, fill your toilet tanks from buckets.

 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 12:57:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2013 12:58:10 PM EDT by Kanati]


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Originally Posted By Eric802:



I think having that thing running in my crawlspace, putting out CO, would make me pretty nervous, vented or not.
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For a smaller crawl space I'm with you, but my crawlspace is about 6-7 feet high, has nearly as much internal volume as my home (live on a hill), and has lots of ventilation. The way I have it set up is with an exhaust duct to carry all combustion products outside, and then I run a small box-fan that is redneck mounted to one of my crawlspace vents for forced air ventilation and cooling.





I've got CO detectors both in the crawlspace and in the living space of the home and have never had either go off.



I've been considering building a genset box to fully enclose the genset so that forced air cooling and combustion gas removal becomes easy.





 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:10:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By wwace:
Do you have any neighbors?
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Originally Posted By wwace:
Do you have any neighbors?

No many. We are in a rural farming area that is mostly corn fields and forests.

Originally Posted By wwace:Nearest city water?  

Probably 15 miles as the crow flies.

Originally Posted By wwace:have a few 5gal buckets? Get a couple of old carwash barrels and fill them with water, fill your toilet tanks from buckets.  

We just purchased ten plastic 50 gallon containers/barrels (the blue ones used for food stuff). Three were turned into practice barrels for my wife/daughter to ride their horses around. Two more turned into water buckets for horse pastures. The other five are mine to use for rain water starting next spring.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:11:48 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:


This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...



Still haven't lost power.







TRG
View Quote




 
It's like putting a winch on your 4x4 guarantees a 3 year drought.




Oh I know you are a first class scrounger (does that sound right?) if you are looking for more propane you can often find old 20lb propane tanks discarded when people get a new grill, or off old RVs.

You can take them to the exchange places and swap for a new tank cheaper than you can buy and fill one. Additionally the larger size tanks usually cost a premium.












Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:14:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:15:43 PM EDT
A week without power here  during hurricane Rita  made some decisions for me, I ran a bobcat welder the entire time
Constantly having to refill with gas was a pain, so I went ahead afterwards and got a whole home generator that runs off of propane, connected it to my homes  250 gallon tank.
I've been without power before for several days at a time during the winter , but August in the MS Delta is hell with no  power (bugs/humidity)
I'll take winter anytime here
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:20:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:29:05 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

  It's like putting a winch on your 4x4 guarantees a 3 year drought.

Oh I know you are a first class scrounger (does that sound right?) if you are looking for more propane you can often find old 20lb propane tanks discarded when people get a new grill, or off old RVs.
You can take them to the exchange places and swap for a new tank cheaper than you can buy and fill one. Additionally the larger size tanks usually cost a premium.




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Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
This year I finally bought a generator, stored extra fuel, installed a 12v backup power system for emergency LED lights, purchased a 40 gallon propane tank w heater, stored extra propane for a 'buddy heater', stacked firewood close to the back door...

Still haven't lost power.



TRG

  It's like putting a winch on your 4x4 guarantees a 3 year drought.

Oh I know you are a first class scrounger (does that sound right?) if you are looking for more propane you can often find old 20lb propane tanks discarded when people get a new grill, or off old RVs.
You can take them to the exchange places and swap for a new tank cheaper than you can buy and fill one. Additionally the larger size tanks usually cost a premium.






I've been known to be rather niggardly with my finances, if that's what you mean.

TRG


Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:32:34 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By sirensong:

  this is probably not what you have in mind, and would be less than ideal for a short-term power outage.  but IMO it's important to have:

http://www.wisementrading.com/water/well_bucket.htm


this is similar to ours.  we're also looking into the solar pump option, but since our well is 230', it'll take some doing.
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Originally Posted By sirensong:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
...



I need to figure out how to pump water from my well in an outage.  The fridge and freezer are on the opposite end of my house from my well.

My two areas of concern are the furthest apart from each other.

TRG

  this is probably not what you have in mind, and would be less than ideal for a short-term power outage.  but IMO it's important to have:

http://www.wisementrading.com/water/well_bucket.htm


this is similar to ours.  we're also looking into the solar pump option, but since our well is 230', it'll take some doing.


Mine is a 40' deep, 36" case well.  I could lower a bucket pretty easily.

I also have a live creek, 5hp Honda pump and an 1100 gallon storage tank positioned to be above the level of the toilets.  I could use that as a back-up, and will use it in any long term event.

I am looking more at the convenience of flushing a toilet and not running around with 5 gallon buckets in a short term event.

TRG
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:33:05 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By ceverett:
Relying on Natural Gas to keep flowing in the event of a major power outage seems like a bad idea to me...

At least you can keep some amount of gasoline stocked.
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NG delivery is incredibly reliable. Unless you have a dig in, the gas is going to flow.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:33:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:50:22 PM EDT
I have a Kohler 30 KW natty gas genset with automatic transfer set up. In three years it has run appx. 131 hours. Many times we come home and find our clock on the oven "blinking" meaning that the genset was on while we were gone. I believe the longest single stretch was just over 80 hours. All I do is change the oil every 25 hours ( when I am home) so that IF we have an extended run-time the oil will be good to go. The best feature is the "auto test" feature which means that once a week it auto-starts-runs offline for twenty minutes. This keeps the unit in good condition and lets me know that it is at the ready. This particular unit has a separate "extra" oil tank for extended runtime protection. Even if the extra oil is being consumed I can easily add oil to the unit while it is running. I`ve been pretty happy with the whole deal.

I also have a 10KW electric start portable gasoline generator as further back up. It sits empty of fuel and about once a month I`ll put a pint of fuel in it and let it run `till dry. Over and beyond I have a large portable combination welder/genset that works in the same fashion.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:51:31 PM EDT
For the guys looking at propane, ESPECIALLY those talking about 20 pound grill tanks, check this site out.

20 pound grill cylinders are all but useless for generating power.

You need serious goddamn tanks to run a propane generator of any reasonable size, especially at winter temps.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:52:23 PM EDT
I can't believe you ran all of that off a 3200 watt HF generator, impressive. What did the kill-a-watt say the central heat used? I assume this was hardwired somehow to run the air handler fan and the exhaust fan for the unit as well as power for the control board?? We got lucky in Houston with that storm but I was in Richmond, Virginia, also lucky there with minimal ice and on time flight departures.

I have a 2900 watt Honda powered Ingersoll Rand generator, it is just for a small a/c window unit and the fridge, but glad to know it might run more. It's never had gas in it but the other day I pulled the spark plug and put oil in the cylinder as well as in the crankcase and hand cycled it several times to lubricate and prevent any rust. I also want a natural gas conversion for it.
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:53:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Thurman_Murman_74:
An emergency generator is like trying to replace a 3 inch water main with a garden hose, it's not the same as getting your power from the main line.

I always think of it like Scottie on the Enterprise, we can make hot coffee in the coffee maker but we have to divert power from the TV set for 10 mins so we don't overload the genny.

Gas generators will make you appreciate your utility company, it costs a lot of money to make your own electric for any extended period of time.

A transfer switch is key, most of the time except for the hum of the genny you wouldn't know you were on emergency power at my place, all overhead lights run, you can watch TV and take a hot shower. To me this makes it worth the effort and cost.

Emergency generators are great to have but they do require some effort to use, however that effort beats the hell out of sitting in the dark being cold...

There's my 2 cents

Thurman
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This right here^
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 1:55:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2013 1:56:06 PM EDT by FudgieGhost1]
This generator already has the NG/Gasoline carb installed, has Honda engine. . .:





http://www.wisesales.com/winco-tri-fuel-generator-hps6000he.html
 
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 3:30:37 PM EDT
I have a 12k standby gen with a double pole/double throw manual switch. It runs on a 330 gallon propane tank buried in the ground.
Also have a gasoline 6.2 kw as a back up. I need to get a tri fuel kit for the 6.2 kw,
Link Posted: 12/9/2013 3:34:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Pauperis:

Couldn't you shut the genny off for 2 hours at a time to save fuel ? Seems a real waste to leave it run 24hrs.
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Originally Posted By Pauperis:
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By slanted:
I just bought that same generator recently.  Glad to hear you had a good experience with it.

So Question:  Why did you run it 24/7?  In my plans I'm thinking I'd shut it off when sleeping or not needing to cool the fridge, etc...  yeah, the house might get a bit cool.



I ran it 24/7 to keep the house warm and the fridge cold.  

Couldn't you shut the genny off for 2 hours at a time to save fuel ? Seems a real waste to leave it run 24hrs.


I probably could have.  I'm kind of new to running on generator power, and I honestly hadn't even thought of an on/off method.  I learned that in this thread.  
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