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Emergency Generator

Post in 'The Gear' started by jensent, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    my gas is free, I kept 5 5 gallon jugs of 100 low lead from work on standby. If I had to buy it the price would hurt today...

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Hope it isn't too far over a year old. When I worked for an oil company I asked the lab guys about shelf life of gasoline in containers. They said a little over a year for 100 octane and then it heads down the degrading curve.

    The octane lab guys said that winter blend 100 , jacked up with butane, will have a shorter life because the butane evaporates. Three months with Ethanol blends. And that after two years any of it is gonna give ya trouble.
  3. shawn6596

    shawn6596 New Member

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    I found this one on CL if any is looking for something small just to run a few things
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Those show up on CL here too and sometimes I am tempted. >>
  5. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    For what it is worth I have a Generac Ultrasource 8000W generator and it has gotten me through both freak October Storms and a blown transformer (10 days there).

    Runs about 12-15 hours on 8 gallons of gas. It has some type of load regulator that drops it into idle unless there is a direct load on it.

    It has unfortunately become necessary in my area over the last few years as CL+P cannot do much right.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Those idle regulators are interesting. Most don't drop down until the load is under 12 watts. No house is using less than 12 watts. Might be good at a construction site where the tools are turned off but I don't see any value in it for powering a house.

    Neighbor just bought the 8,000 watt Generac that has it so we shall see.
  7. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    100ll has no ethanol, I keep it rotated by burning it in the lawn mowers and snowblower. since it comes for free, I will dump any that sits a whole season and refill it with fresh. the suppliers say it is very stable and can sit in barrels for a few years before it is unusable. guys still have stockpiles of it in 55 gallon drums that get bought and sold up in Alaska. the question comes up often, and the experts say out of the sun and filtered through a shamie it is fine.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Look at the pump. A lot of it has since 2007.

    I will stick with the opinion of the guys in the Exxon refinery octane lab where I was told about this stuff. >>
  9. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Pull start?
  10. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    100LL is airplane gas, ethanol is garbage being foisted on the tax payers to get algore to win the Iowa caucuses (he admited it recently) ethanol in an airplane engine will detonate (pre ignite) and destroy the engine rapidly. I worked at a flight school that had aircraft that could run the autogas STC (an FAA aproved modification to the operation of the airplane) the STC is VERY clear that no ethanol is allowed. The flight school being cheap didn't listen. Until the second engine failed after detonation burned away the top of the aluminum piston and the piston ring came loose. the first piston had a hole burned right through it!!!
    The FAA took away their STC aproval after that, today thanks to the corn growers subsidy, (ethanol) no aircraft can run the autogas STC. It was only an issue during the winter back then ('95)
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah I didn't pick up on the LL in your other post.
  12. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    that would run the whole neigborhood... and drain the wallet...
  13. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    I'm a little late to party, work keeps interrupting my forum time ;)

    Anyway, after the freak October winter storm in 2011, that knocked out our power for 9 days a friend of my dad sold us a 7500 watt gas gene he used a few times, wife hated it so he installed a big ol automatic generac propane back up system. Best $250 I ever spent (We also bought our wood stove after this storm too)

    We were out electric 19 days with Sandy. We ran it a few hours a day for the chest freezer, fridge and using a REALLY long cord to the neighbors pump to keep his basement from flooding. When we finally found out the house was safe to go back into, we also ran it at night for a few lights and my hubby's breathing machine. We eventually had to siphon our cars for gas as even if you could get out to a station, they were out or didn't have power either.

    It saved us, not even an ice cube melted in our freezer, others lost all their food.

    I just had an electrician out last week to get a price to have it hooked to the breaker box and plan on doing that, especially so we have water, that was the only struggle during Sandy, well water, no electric, no water.

    Worth every penny if you ask me :)
    MrWhoopee likes this.
  14. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    I got a 7550/13500 watt Troy-Bilt about 7yrs ago, wired it up as a whole house with an interlock on the panel. Never needed it until Irene in 2011 (6 days) then Sandy in 2012 (5 days) Would run everything in the house including the well pump (3/4 hp). I'd run it for a few hours in the morning for showers and breakfast then for another 4-5 hours in the evening for dinner, showers, watching TV and annoying the neighbors. Consumed about 3 quarts/hr. For the rest of the time I have a 2000 watt Champion inverter. That ran the fridge, freezer, TV and the computers. Would have also run the furnace (Tarm) but didn't need it in September/October. The Champion would run for 9-10 hours on a gallon. Took a little bit of work to switch things around but I think I got the best of both worlds. I had power 24/7 for 7 gallons a day. I keep 40-50 gallons on hand and rotate through it. Still beat the hell out of losing all my food and going to a motel.

    I put up a sign at my desk at work that said: "No I don't have power, Yes I have a generator, No you can't come over."

    As a back up to my back up I have a 1800 amp/hr battery bank and an automatic transfer switch for the furnace and pumps, with a solar panel to keep it charged and recharge during the day it should be good for 4-5 days all by itself.

    After all that I'll probably never lose power again. What you have to remember is you're not planning for the end of the world, just a few days with out power. While a whole house gen set with auto transfer and an infinite gas supply is nice, you can get by with a smaller manual system for a fraction of the cost.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
    Hearth Mistress and MrWhoopee like this.
  15. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    my current house is all set for no power, city water, natural gas, the only stupid part.. an electric stove/oven :mad: who puts that in in a house with natural gas!? so any cooking will be on the woodstove/ gas grill. I've got enough gas for a few days on the generator.
    In a pinch for gas? check with your local airport, they keep a couple thousand gallons of leaded gas in tanks/trucks, while it will ruin your car's emisions controls, it will burn just fine in generators, pumps, chainsaws, etc. Most even have JetA which is super clean kerosene, it will run in your oil furnace just fine, and will run ok in a diesel engine. the JetA will be in a truck and can be pumped or drained with no power.
  16. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    Me.

    Seen what gas can do.

    BTW, be sure to check your diesel engine specs before running JetA. While my Genset can run on it, It is limited to 400 hrs of continuous use (non WEP... If under fire, you have bigger problems... use whatever the hell you can dump in it) due to the lack of lubricity. Last I checked, Onan "J" series IPs are around $800.
  17. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I love this thread, I am learning a lot but now I need to make a decision, on what size I should buy...3200 vs. 5500
    These are the items that I want to run....
    Tv.240w, Cable box 500w, insert fan. Not sure how many watts, can't be more than 300 right? It is a 150cfm, Refrigerator 900w, portable heater 1500w each, I have 2 of them, lights 400-600w? Possible computer for Internet.....I am near 2500 without the portable heaters. As well as make coffee etc when need be, I'd prefer one that sips gas....harbor freight has these two models for $300 vs $470.....6.5 horsepower vs. 13 horsepower...I appreciate any and all feedback...thanks....
  18. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    500W cable box? (2) 1500W heaters? 600W of lights? on a genny? My 150 cfm insert fan is <100W

    so, are you planning on doing load mgmt, or do you want to run all this stuff at the same time?

    Seems to me like a little load mgmt is a lot less hassle than stocking/handling enough gas to run all that stuff.

    Of course, I'm a weirdo and was content with 900W for 5 days.
    Ehouse and MrWhoopee like this.
  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    That cable box is prob 50w not 500. And better put it on a power conditioner or ups to protect from load spikes if you don't buy an inverter gen.

    Why do you want to use elec. space heaters if you have a wood stove?? Worse possible use of a Genny.

    And to the 100LL users. We have been through this sooooooooo many times. Small engines are not meant to run on airplane gas! Better be checking your spark plugs for lead fouling and try not to breath the nasty exhaust.
  20. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Cable box said 500 watts on back.....
    My insert is in the family room, I have a whole other section and upstairs that it will not heat....
    I have 3 kids and a wife, during sandy last year we suffered without all of this, suffered is not the right word but if I have that list covered then we are good to go, that is why I am asking for your opinions to help me choose.... I'd really not want a gas hog
  21. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    It's 6 things that I want to run...
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Check the box on a killawatt, can't be 500. My HD DVR box draws about 70.

    For the other loads, you can rotate. Fridge can be run a couple hours a day only and stay cold. 600 watts of lighting is just insane. Get some CFLs or light a few candles. Coffee pot uses 800 but it only takes 10min to brew, turn the heater off while using it.

    Tell the kids its a camping trip. Read books, play board games. They will adapt to less.
    woodgeek likes this.
  23. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I just googled cable boxes, there is a report that says they consume more energy in a year then refrigerators, I took the number off the back of my box and put it on my list. To try and make the right decision for my current needs....thanks
  24. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Totally understand, trying to help so you don't overspend on a gen.

    I highly reccomend spending $30 on a kill-a-watt and measuring everything. Nameplates are sometimes max ratings and waaaaay off. The cable box may use more over a year than fridge because the fridge is intermittent.
  25. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    sorry to sound scornful....not at all.

    Just that a too big generator is at least as bad as a too small one....doesn't get broken out and tested, large standby loss running through you gas, etc. A little too small....you just manage some loads.

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