1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Emergency Generator

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

  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,752
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Just a simple 18 cubic foot GE from Home Depot. All we need or can fit in the space.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,093
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    so how many years more can I get out of my lawn mowers, snowblower, chainsaws, and generator? I have two so far on the lawnmowers, and more than that on the chainsaws. I clean and check the spark plugs on every airplane I work on every 100 hrs or 1 year. I know what a normal spark plug looks like, my lawnmowers and chainsaws get seasonal checks, the plugs look like a normal lead burner.
    engines designed before unleaded gas have spark plugs made to operate at the correct temp to burn off lead at a normal mixture setting.
    B&S and the rest haven't done much to change their engines, except to run them leaner (good for lead burn off) and Champion hasn't changed enough on their plugs to make a difference.
    the only problem you could run into is running a full synthetic oil in 4 stroke motors with leaded gas. Synthetic oil doesn't keep the lead suspended and will cause sludge deposits. Any mineral oil naturaly will keep the oil suspended, multi-weight oils have a blend of mineral and synthetic and work just fine.
    if you were born before unleaded gas was all gas statons sold, you remember how good gas smelled. Avgas stll smells that way, the exhaust smells great ! In 20+ years as an airplane mechanic I haven't met anyone the exhaust hurt.
  3. 2biker

    2biker New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Why is everyone in this forum trying to save 10 cents more then the other guy. You don' t realize the luxury of electricity until you have none. I use a 7k Briggs & Stratton to run a 4000 sq ft house. Spending $35-40 a day on gas is a lot better then $200 a night for a hotel. So, my advice is " more is better". Don't be cheap and get a generator 1 watt more then your load, get something that won' t flicker your lights when you flush your toilet.
    nayslayer likes this.
  4. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    There is a reason I have 3 generators. The Mil surp Diesel runs the whole place if needed. It also runs any 3 phase stuff that I need to run. The middle genset (2850 w, I think) is great when I need to run the compressor for the nail gun, or the house in a pinch. The 900 watt gets the most use in my work truck for charging batteries and running tools while working in parking lots.

    Get more than what you need.

    As to 100LL, it won't hurt the motor to run higher octane, and some of us still have stuff that needs leaded fuel (why pull the heads until it actually has to be done?)
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,478
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Because you might not be able to get the gas when the gas stations don't have power, or aren't getting deliveries, like in Sandy.
    For my well pump, I had to get a 7.5 kw (constant) generator to run it, cause the 5 kw generator already had wouldn't . I also have a smaller one.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,752
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Yep. After several five to seven day outages with 900 feet of snow packed driveway between me and the road the quantity of gas needed became a huge issue. If around 2,500 watts will run this place, and it does nicely, for 22 hours of the day at half the consumption of my big genny then it is the one that runs. The big one only fired when the kick is needed.
  7. 2biker

    2biker New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Sandy was, "a hundred year storm", we may not have another one like Sandy in my lifetime. Using common sense, if we get another 36" blizzard, I' m going to have at least 60 gal of gas ready. That will give me 6 days to dig out before I need more.
  8. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    I understand your point completely, I had no power or 8 days last year, my family missed heat, lights at night and tv of course.... But having those things will make things much easier..... My family wouldn't mind going camping a week, or two or three if We had them all...
  9. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    How exactly do you store 60 gal of gas? Thanks...
  10. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    500
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I have 11 jerry cans: 8 NATO and 3 regular red ones. Stop and Shop has a deal where you build up points and I can get up to $2.20 a gallon off up to 35 gallons. Since the car only takes 15, I put the other 20 in cans and fill the cars as needed using the oldest gas first, so I fluctuate between 25 and 50 gallons on hand. I usually get enough points to max it out once a month. I figure the extra 20 gallons x $2.20 off is $44.00 per month. I guess I'm just cheap.
    Anyway with this program the gas in never month than 2 months old so I don't have to add a stabilizer. If I see a storm coming I make sure everything is topped off.
  11. 2biker

    2biker New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    How do I store 60 gallons? Easy, one pickup truck holds 24 galls, the other holds 18, (2) 5 gallon cans, and 8 gallons in the generator. I' ll siphon the trucks' gas tanks if needed.
    Bocephous likes this.
  12. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,577
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Different strokes guys.

    Some folks will spend a **bundle** on a whole house backup that switches in automatically, with self testing, etc. Others will roll out a big genny, and hook it into a manual transfer switch, and run most/all their 120V circuits. Other (like me) will have a rather small genny, and snake a bunch of heavy duty extension cords around the house to run lights, fridge, insert, sump, and small electronics/wifi.

    In the end my family was comfortable for 5 days using 6 gallons of gas and ~$250 worth of HF genny + associated gear. Kids got a hot breakfast, and went to school on time, we cooked about half of our dinners at home, and got the rest takeout. For me, the small genny is about ease of setup/replacement/testing (I have a bad back), and avoiding either storing/rotating a ton of gas on site or siphoning from vehicles. Not saving money in a rare event. I figure 3-5-day outages will happen about every 10 years in my area.

    Which genny you chose depends on a lot of factors....wood heat vs none, well pump vs city water, need for AC during outage. In the end, I have a well shaded house that needs little AC, city water, a wood stove, a big tank water heater and a family that likes to read books and play handheld electronic games.
  13. shawn6596

    shawn6596 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    I will say its nice to reconnect with the family when there is an outage, and everything is down.
  14. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Loc:
    Wolcott, CT
    Just adding this as a side note:

    I checked my electric bill a few months back and it had a $20 energy audit inspection offer. I took them up on it.
    It was great, they changed all the lightbulbs to HE, left some tap filters, new shower heads, new barriers on the exterior doors, etc... Best of all, they gave me two Kil-A-Watt devices included. A good deal for $20.

    I used those things to see how much energy stuff draws. You will be surprised. In the end though I had to go large (8000W) because my water pump is insane. Guess I have a really deep well.
  15. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    470
    Loc:
    Ottawa, Canada
    For those of you using a large generator thru a xfr switch and a second smaller one, do you also run the smaller one thru the xfr switch and just not use the heavier demand circuits?

    I have an 8000W B&S that runs into an L14-30 inlet on the side of the house. Got bigger, mainly for the 30A and ability to run the well pump.

    If you go to a smaller, do you simply make up a L14-20 to L14-30 cable or what do you do to run the smaller genny thru the xfr switch so you don't have to run extension cords?
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,478
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    yes, i made up a cord
  17. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    527
    Loc:
    Maine
    Do you have a tractor? If you do check out the PTO driven generators.

    That's what I'm looking at. Northern has a 7200 watt unit that would get most folks through a tough spot for a grand. One less engine to maintain and quite a bit out output not to mention the engine that you are using is meant to run under load for a long time...

    K

Share This Page