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Emergency Generator

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

  1. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    And I just checked, we got a new upgraded DVR box from vz, new one only uses 40w

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  2. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    I'd be looking into improving the heat distribution from the family room. Money spent there will save you plenty, aside from reducing the size of the generator.
    woodgeek likes this.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My generator load just got a lot lighter. My new refrigerator has now run 48 hours. On just 2 KWH, defrost cycles and all. ==c The thing is using one third of the juice of the old one and one cubic foot larger capacity. 117 watts running and 700 defrost.
  4. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I broke out a propane camp stove and made tea (and hot cocoa for the littles) and did w/o the coffeepot and microwave. Didn't miss the TV at all, games on the phones and iPad got a workout, though. :p
  5. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys, I could have overstated the watts on the lights and the box could be the total maximum, are you seeing that I should be ok with the 3200?
    How much more gas does a 13 Horsepower engine eat over compared to a 6.5 and please don't say 6.5....
  6. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    3200 should be plenty, without the electric heaters. Burning gasoline to make electricity to then convert to heat is EXTREMELY inefficient, a gas motor is (IIRC) only 10% efficient, and that's not counting the losses converting to electricity. You'd be MUCH better off with a couple of kerosene heaters like this:
    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/to..._sku=173410&gclid=CNDsxrbwkboCFQnhQgodQxsACQx
  7. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Inefficient? If I have no power, but i do have a proper size generator and 2 portable electric heaters that will heat the area that I want, how is that inefficient? That's the whole purpose of having a generator....I have the heaters, I use them as necessary, ie.basement both units heat my entire basement nicely in 30-50 minutes in the middle of winter, or kids room when I'm not turning on oil till the house really needs it...
    I'm just trying to figure out if I should buy the 3200 or the 5500.....
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My nine horse genny eats almost exactly twice as much gas as my 6.5 horse one. Powering the same loads.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Its inneficient because a gas engine turns less than 20% of the energy in the fuel ( maybe as little as 10% for you small engine in a gen) into power to drive the crank, and then there are losses in the generator and wires as well. Vs. Just burning that fuel in a heater inside the space which will turn all the energy to heat.

    Put another way: It could take you 4 or 5 gallons of generator gas to put as many BTU into your living room as a wick style kerosene heater will make burning one gallon of K1 directly.
  10. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    What your saying I'm sure is absolutely true, but that does not pertain to my situation is. Kerosene heaters are banned in my state, I want to use what I have, I just want to purchase the right size unit..... Thanks for answering the question BB.
  11. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    In that case, you will have to buy the big generator and suffer the fuel expense. You're talking 3000 watts of heaters alone.

    Unless your particular municipality has banned kerosene heaters, they are not banned for use in single-family dwellings in N.J.

    "In New Jersey, kerosene heaters are banned by law from
    use in commercial establishments and multiple-family
    dwellings. In addition, some municipalities have
    ordinances that further restrict your use of kerosene
    heaters and some types of electric heaters. You should check
    with your local fire inspector to find out if your
    municipality has any ordinances about space heaters."

    http://www.state.nj.us/oag/ca/brief/heaters.pdf
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    If they are oil filled radiator heaters you could run them on low or medium using around six hundred or nine hundreds watts each.
  13. Redbarn

    Redbarn Burning Hunk

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    Fuel use will depend on your loads.
    In my case when powering the same loads, my 5500 watt old B&S genny uses 2 galls of gas every 3 hours and my 2000 watt Yamaha uses 0.5 gall every 3 hours.
    As the small Honda/Yamahas are very fuel efficient, I agree with BB that a 9 hp genny would use double that of a 6.5. So a 13.5 genny will use at least 3x a 6.5.
  14. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Great thanks... So now I need to see if I can get away with the 3200 because I want to save on the gas....
  15. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Yes you are right, thanks again....
  16. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Thank you for taking the time and effort to search about the kerosene, I had a heater in the house when I was young but I would just prefer to stay away from that route.... Those electric heaters wouldn't need to be running full blast all the time simultaneously, so I may be able to get away with the 3200. But they are on the list of something I may want to use if need be...
  17. shawn6596

    shawn6596 New Member

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    with all the electronics you want to invest in something that makes clean power like a honda. I doubt HF has anything that will not be harmful to all the components listed. The Irony of a cable box is that a power outage is most likely caused by a downed line, probably from a tree. most of the time when the power goes out the cable and phone are out also.
  18. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Can you further explain clean power? So if I go cheap, I could be hurting my tv?
  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I wrote this on another generator thread recently re: clean power...

    Electronics like computers and TV's all convert the as power from you wall to DC internally to power the circuit, this conversion filters much of the noise and they are actually a lot less sensitive to the shape of the ac wave then we think. Problem is that cheap contractor generators use an rpm governor to maintain 3600 rpm to make 60 hz and 120v and as the load changes the lag in the governor reaction causes spikes and sags in both voltage and frequency. That does cause electronic damage.

    The solution if you are willing to spend is to buy an inverter generator from Honda, Yamaha, Champion, etc. Inverters have other benefits as well - better fuel economy and typically much quieter.

    Alternately a cheaper option is to hook up sensitive electronics to your generator via a good quality UPS or line conditioner. This is what I do. The UPS has to be a 'true sine wave' model ( I use APC SmarUPS). You will probably have to turn down the UPS voltage sensitivity or it may just go on battery even connected to the gen.
    woodgeek likes this.
  20. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    What brand and model? I'm lookin' for one.
  21. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    Just a point of interest. My 7550 watt Troy-Bilt ran everything just fine except the washing machine. It would cycle but when it came to spin it would just click. It is a newer one with electronic controls. Which is funny because the TV, computers, and all other electronics had no problem. I haven't tried it on the inverter generator but I assume that would work.

    As for the heat, how about a propane heater like the "Big Buddy"? It will run on 16 oz. bottles or has an adaptor for a 20 lb bottle. It has 4,9, & 18K btu settings, and a battery powered fan. Even has a low O2 sensor so you can run it inside. They claim you can run it on low for 220 hours with two 20lb bottles, but if you run it at medium and only get half that run time you are still looking at 2-3 days worth. Get an extra bottle and you're good for a week. I always have an extra bottle for the grill anyway. It goes for about $120 which is less than the difference between a small and a large generator, you can use it for camping and you would save a lot of gasoline.

    I picked one up after Irene for $75, it had only been run 8 hours before his power came back on. I got it to use at my mothers if it came to it. I would bring her back to my place and leave the heater on low to keep pipes from freezing. She has a small, one level home in an over 55 community.

    That's my worst case scenario, an ice storm followed by a cold snap. Power out for days in below freezing weather. All of these hurricanes have been during mild weather, uncomfortable but not life threatening.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    MrWhoopee likes this.
  22. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I was just going to mention the Big Buddy as well. I have a couple of them. They also have a built in fan that you can run off AC or (4) D batteries.

    http://www.mrheater.com/product.aspx?catid=41&id=116

    [​IMG]

    Note: Different models required for California and Canada due to local regulations.
    Designed and approved for emergency indoor & outdoor use
    Automatic low oxygen shutoff system
    Accidental tip-over safety shutoff
    Heats up to 400 sq. ft.
    Connects directly to two 1 lb. disposable cylinders or to a 20 lb. cylinder w/optional hose
    CSA certified
  23. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Since a lot of clocks are tied to the 60hz you will see the time on clocks off as well. I've never played with a computer on anything but an Inverter generator so not sure what other affects there would be.

    Robin Subaru made some decent models as well. Costco has 2000 watt inverter model for about 599. It is red and kinda looks like an EU2000i. I thought they had it branded as Snap On but could be wrong.

    I can run refrig, freezer, plasma tv, lights etc off of one of my Eu2000i's. I've only plugged the two gens together as a test.
  24. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Sounds to me that the 500W might refer to te switched load that the box and control.
  25. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Ok, I pulled the trigger... I went with the 4000/3200 unit for $280
    I figure why spend the extra money for something I may not have to use.
    All I really need is the fridge, lights and insert fan to live comfortable, those things we missed during sandy....
    When I get it, I will break it in and test it out and let you know what I think. I am capable of sending it back for free of need be....
    ThAnk you all for your help and comments....

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