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Hammered with snow (need a generator)

Post in 'The Gear' started by jumpink, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Yo Jags . . . that got one of them Saab V4's in it??

    Hard to find someone to work on them, but RARELY need to.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Awesome...That makes you the place to be in black outs!
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope. Its a Hercules power plant. Had stuck valves when I got it. Pulled the inspection panel. Lubed them up, exercised the valves and has run without incident since.

    Yeah Jay, during a power outage, the Jags homestead doesn't go without. ;-P Enough food to feed a small army, a full stocked beer fridge and 150 bottles of wine, with a cigar humidor at my fingertips. BRING IT ON BIOTCH.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like me other than the wine......Oh and two 4500 watt portable gen-sets. One is really enough for me and if it doesn't get loaned out I run one for 12hrs and switch. Hot water is made with the furnace.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    One can never have too much equipment.

    Oh, and for further clarification, the engine is an L head straight four.
  6. smoke eater

    smoke eater Member

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    v4?
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Straight 4 "L" head. This is a 1942 engine. They didn't know how to build a V yet. :)

    I apologize to the OP. I did not intend on derailing this thread. Please, if you have more questions or concerns about "current" generators, post away. We can try to help.
  8. jumpink

    jumpink Member

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    I have enjoyed reading all the posts, thanks for taking the time to share.
    Is an inverter generator necessary to run the pellet stove or other sensitive equipment? Inverter generators have small wattage and gas tanks. They seem to be engineered for camping. Do you guys with the bigger gennies use it to power electronics or pellet Stoves? I need a generator with a tank big enough to last through the night on one tankful. If I buy a big gennie does it mean I have to keep my pellet stove and other electronics in the dugout or is there another solution? Thanks again.
  9. DMZX

    DMZX Member

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    I have used my Honda EU2000i inverter generator about 4 times in the last 2 years to power my pellet stove, lights. computer and frig' during power outages. A tank of gas last around 8 hours. It is quiet and starts very easily after sitting in the cold for months. It did cost more than any other 2000W unit I looked at, but it has been stone reliable and simple to maintain.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The bigger inverter generators are also big $$. You can power electronics and definitely your pellet stove with a conventional generator. You will spend a little extra for a good unit over an off-brand or china special but IMO it's def. worth it. The spec you should keep an eye on for electronics is Total Harmonic Distortion. It's a % and lower is better. You can always run a "power conditioner" (different from a surge protector) or an UPS to protect the super sensitive stuff if need be.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    MM hit it, but just to explain another way. Not all genny's are created equal. NO and inverter genny is not the only option for sensitive equipment. It is the output wave form and total harmonic distortion (as MM said) that you are interested in. Many of the cheap gennys don't produce a very clean A/C wave form. Instead of nice peaks and valleys with rounded tops and bottoms, it will produce a wave form that looks like somebody chopped the top off of a mountain. Between that, and the amount of "static" or distortion the genny produces - that is the deciding factor of useful for sensitive stuff or not.

    Don't worry - you don't have to drag an O-scope to the genny store. Most will say in the literature whether or not it is safe. Educate yourself on the machine of interest. Buyer-Be-Ware.
  12. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I have a couple EU2000i's and connect marine fuel tanks to them giving them an extra 6 gallons of gas. I can get close to 60 hours continuous runtime.

    http://midwesthuntandfish.com/

    [​IMG]

    Edit: At 1/4 load one could probably get closer to 72 hours.
  13. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    So during this last outage I broke down out of boredom around day two and plugged my DSL modem, laptop, and TV/Satellite receiver in. What is the real risk there-a power spike that would fry the electronics or just the possibility of them not working correctly? I had no problems with the function of anything this past time but don't really want to tempt fate next time. I'm looking to install an inlet plug to power my entire house, so getting an inverter genny that size is cost prohibitive. I don't really want to be running two gennys (whole house for the non-sensitive stuff and inverter for the electronics) either. It sounds like I should plan to get a power conditioner and have it set up so the TV/satellite receiver, laptop, and modem can all plug into it. That will be easy since we tend to congregate in the basement family room during outages. Can someone recommend a good power conditioner with multiple outlets? A Google search turns out units ranging from $50-200 and I'm not really sure what I'm looking at. Once the family room is finished I'm planning on hitting the Black Friday sales for a 60" flat screen so I need a quality unit that will protect it from bad genny or utility power.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The real risk is "dirty" power. Your stuff may work on it - for a while. It can actually cook sensitive equipment, even while in operation. My BEST suggestion is to look at the specs of the genny. Compare a few, it usually doesn't take long before you start to see a pattern. Your interested in the distortion numbers. The lower the better. And most that can run sensitive stuff will say it right on the specs. "Safe for Sensitive Equipment". Its the electronic stuff that doesn't like dirty power. Motors, fridges, lights - they don't care as long as it is not too bad.
  15. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    It depends on the wattage of that element in the HWH. My big element is 4500W so I shut the rest of the house off and run it and everything is fine. I can hear the generator kick down once the big element heats the top of the tank and the lower element kicks on. Not sure where you would max out on yours without doing a calculation...or some trial and error.
  16. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I want more info on connecting the marine fuel tank. Mine is sitting in the garage doing nothing. I wonder if mine will pull from the tank or if I need to elevate it?? I could run for almost 24 hours on those 2 tanks. thinking I could just install a tee in the fuel intake line along with an additional fuel shut off valve. What a revelation...
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I bought a Honda generator because I want it to start when I need it- I trust the heck out of Honda. My TV has a power filter strip on it to eliminate hard spikes.
  18. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    You know, the more I think about it the more I wonder if dirty power really is that much of a problem for most modern electronics. For audio equipment, especially analog audio equipment I can see there being issues with the voltage fluctuations coming through as hum&noise;. However pretty much every modern piece of digital electroncs, computers included, runs on regulated DC. The first thing that happens in the unit is that the AC get converted to DC, filtered and precisely regulated. I suspect the typical PC power supply should be more than enough to filter out most of the generator noise.


    Having said all that I do still plug most of my stuff into sine wave UPSs. If for no other reason ... if a big load starts up and the generator sags deeply the UPS undervolt protection will kick in and avoid the PC rebooting.
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, computers I don't worry about too much. As you said, the first thing that happens is that the incoming power hits the PC's own power supply, and they are quite good at regulating the incoming stuff. I would be more concerned about things like TV's and maybe even the boards on stuff like pellet burners. And believe it or not, PC monitors are somewhat sensitive, but that is more towards voltage spikes than low or dirty power. I think it comes down to the fact that ya really can't make a blanket statement that covers all equipment. I simply take caution when I know something is "electronic" vs. "electric".
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Does a power strip help any at all? ( I put a lose not in it as well) The first thing I plug in is the tv.
  21. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    This topic goes round every now and then.
    Another alternative is a battery and inverter. I picked up a 600 watt pure sine wave inverter for $139. Of course they're sold out right now.
    http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=213404756&listingid=65126408
    Look at how many amps or watts your stove draws. This site will help you figure out how long you can run.

    http://www.donrowe.com/inverters/inverter_faq.html#how_long

    I found with an average of 250 -300 watts I could run my Tarm and circulating pumps for only about 3.5 hrs before I hit low voltage. That was with a Everstart deep discharge battery 125 amp hr.
    Hopefully your stove draws less and it won't do the fridge.
    The nice thing on the inverter is you can plug in your stove and go back to bed without having to drag out the genny, gas it up, run extension cords and venture outside. The down side is once you've run the battery down it takes 8 hours to recharge it unless you have a big charger.
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Jay, the term "power strip" can cover alot of different things. The type you get from wally world for 4 bucks ain't gonna do you any good. Matter of fact, most of them won't do much good for use on a generator. This thread can basically be broken down into a couple of key points. ONE - not all generators create a sine wave that is acceptable to sensitive equipment. A power strip won't fix that. TWO - it takes a pretty fancy piece of equipment to condition a poor sine wave into being acceptable to sensitive equipment.

    This could turn into seriously deep discussion, but to break it down, my opinion is this:
    If your concern is running a motor, fridge, freezer, lights, etc. Basically, if you have a genny that produces the required power, your good to go.

    If your concern is to run electronics - make sure that you are buying a genny that STATES it is designed to run "Sensitive Equipment".
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    The power strip I have is from senco fire management systems. It has a regulator in it. (Brother freebee value) The loose knot is what he said to do. I am a lost soul when in comes to this stuff.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Most power strips (even the better ones) are designed to guard against power spikes, such as lightning. They are rated in Joules of energy that they can dissipate. They really don't have the ability to "condition" the incoming wave form, and that is the important part to sensitive stuff.

    There are things that CAN condition incoming power, but you are better off (and most likely dollars ahead) by just getting a genny that can do the job right out of the crate if your gonna run that stuff (electronics).
  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Your right it is for lightening strikes. He said the lose knot is better at stopping it than the proctor. (Guess its a fulse sence)
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