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Hows everyone caught in the storm doing?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by weatherguy, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I just got power back after being out since sat night. Fortunately my Princess did a bang up job of keeping us warm all week, some nights were in the upper 20's. Without the fan running I got super long burns, 14 hours on a full load.
    I filled up 5 gallon buckets with snow, let it melt and used it to flush toilets.
    On the bright side I easily have over a cord of wood from downed trees and limbs in my yard. I have maple, oak, birch, pine and a couple Im not so sure of, Ill post pics for ideas on what it may be.
    My next purchase is going to be a generator, Im not sure what I need since I have well water I may have to go to a 7kw or better.
    How did everyone else in the northeast make out this week?

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  2. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I was at the cabin Sat-Wed. Had 8-10 inches of snow when I arrived. Power went out for 24 hours, but woodstove kept me snug. Thanks for the suggestion on toilet-flushing water (my cistern pump is electric, of course, so no water pressure).
  3. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    I was without power for four days so I spent a lot of time running a generator to keep the food cold, the basement dry, and the Englander blower moving warm air. I picked up a nice score which was really just the remnants of trees that others had already picked over, but its a nice mix of locust, oak, and maple. I can't wait to get my hands on an apple tree that came down at my in-laws, plus my FIL has been picking up wood he finds at different jobsites (he's in construction). My dad has some mulberry and ash over at his place that needs to be picked up too. It's a regular family affair...
  4. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    Got power yesterday
    The summit did well without a fan, I believe part of that is it was going up to 40s-50s during the day
    We put our food in coolers and packed them with snow and outside they stayed.. we had hot water ... I got a generator Sunday night but didn't use it to much ... Those things will kill you on gas if you run them to much
  5. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I hear you on the generator, I may get a diesel or a propane, I lost all my frozen meats and refigerated food. They kept saying we'd get power tomorrow, tomorrow didnt come until today.
    My princess kept my family room in the 70's, thats where me and the dogs slept, I have sleep apnea so need to use a cpap, since I couldnt I slept in my recliner.I closed off the unused rooms upstairs and my wife slept in the warm bedroom, it was high 60's near 70 so good for sleeping for her.
    We would have killed for a hot shower,so I need a generator that services my well pump, water heater, fridge and a couple lights.
    Since I work from home and need power I spent the week cutting wood and cleaning my yard, total disaster, all you could hear Sat night was trees and limbs cracking, there was thunder, lightning and the occasional transformer blowing. We ended up with 11 inches of heavy, wet snow.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Power just came on at my daughters house! That's in southampton also. Tough week.....

    We were in California visiting family....so missed all the fun.
  7. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    I think if you run a gas gen conservatively, it can be a good choice.
    In the same area as you, and have a BRiggs & Stratton 5500 watt and 8250 starting.
    I have a deep well, and it will run most of my house with the exception of the clothes drier and oven.
    So, basically when we were out for 8 days....I would run the gen for a few hours in the morning so we could take showers, use furnace, get the house up to temps, get the fridge cold....then shut it down for most of the day.....would repeat the same for a few hours at night and get all back up and running, then shut her down around 8:30 or 9:00.....with the insert on, the house would stay nice and toasty even without the blower on.
    Actually, I am in the process of getting quotes to install a subpanel to my main, and install an interlock kit to run the gen.
    NOt sure of the loads in your house, but I would think that something in the 5000-6000 range would be fine for you.
    Good luck

    Edit, just saw that you have sleep apnea, so if you have folsk with a sort of medical condition, a good choice might be the propane set up.
  8. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    What does bolded mean?
  9. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Lookin at my original post and I don't see that I bolded anything....not sure Weatherguy.
  10. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I bolded from your post, this Actually, I am in the process of getting quotes to install a subpanel to my main, and install an interlock kit to run the gen Mainly Im wondering what an interlock kit is.
    Im trying to learn all I can before I spend the cash for a generator.
  11. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    I am also thinking of either a permanent hookup for the gen or getting one of those Nat gas ones... But hardly lose power more than a couple of hrs... Really can't justify 3-5000 bucks...
    But gas was a pain first couple of days
    I too ran my generator in cycles.
    My freezer gets cold quick and is much better at holding temp than my refrigerator
    We moved everything to coolers and freezer and in total ran the genny about 6-8 hrs a day
    If you lose power a lot , or for extended times then look into Nat gas genny or propane.. especially if you want to run bigger loads for long periods of time... Nat gas for sure is cheapest .. I know people spending $75+ a day trying to keep most of their stuff up with a genny..
    Wind up lights and camping stuff is very useful along with a genny to save money .. what if the gas stations didn't get power back?
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Dave, he quoted you and bolded it, and is asking what you're talking about...time to explain about generator hookups and feeding the house through the panel, and the dangers involved to folks on the grid...what is this thing of which you speak, what does it do, and why do you want one?
  13. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    Around here the light co was hanging danger signs on the lines that had gennys... To many people take short cuts and jeopardizing the line crew... Thank god they were paying attention
  14. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Sorry about that guys....Mrs's is out and I am juggling three kids at bathtime lol.

    Basically, a generator interlock kit is a safe way to hook up your gen to your panel. I think if you just google "interlock kit" you will get some decent hits.

    Here is a link:

    http://www.interlockkit.com/

    Basically, from what I have read about them, if you have a few open breakers on your panel, you can hook the kit up to your panel so that if the power goes out, you can use the kit to feed the power from your generator to the panel. It also provides protection in that you cannot use it if your main panel is turned on.....so, there would be no danger of frying the person working on the utility line should the power come back on.

    They also have some kits that you can use to "piggy back" your breakers in the event that you don't have any open/free spots on your panel.

    In a nutshell, its a way that you can use your existing panel to add a switch to use your generator in the event of a poweroutage.

    Seems like it was a new trend t=starting in 2008-2009 or so....once I get some quotes and get it installed, I will do a post on the specifics of it.

    Again, sorry for not getting the original question....kids are running a little wild tonight, lol
  15. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    In any case, the bottom line is that if you hook up a generator to your home panel without the proper protective/isolating device installed, you can put power company folks' lives at risk...the folks who are out there trying to restore your service...because of the danger of you backfeeding power into the supply grid. I highly recommend that anyone considering hooking up a generator to feed through their house electrical panel (as opposed to just using it as a stand-alone unit with the available sockets) talk with their electrical service provider before spending any money on anything or installing what they think is the right thing. Your electric company will be more than happy to work with you to make sure that whatever you do is safe for all involved. Rick
  16. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Also, it was my electrician that suggested the use of the interlock kit. I am thinking that Rick is right that one should make a call to the utility company before proceeding. Have spoke to a couple different electricians, and they all agree that this is a good choice for homeowners. (Not tooting the brand or product, just passing on what I have heard from a few electricians)
    Maybe someone on the board that is an electrician can chime in.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Most of the major panel makers now have interlocks available too. I have seen a few at HD.
  18. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Just an FYI I found out that many panel manufacturers make interlock kits to fit their panels (like Square D, etc...) that are a lot cheaper than the interlock kit units. Apparently if you get the part number from the manufacturer you can order them directly from Lowes or Home Depot. To address Fossil's concern, these are an inexpensive, simple, and NEC approved way to ensure that when the generator is supplying power, the main is switched off, and when the main is switched on, the generator cannot supply power. I will be installing one soon.

    *EDIT*

    Duh...that's what I get for starting a post, shutting the computer, and finishing it an hour later-Dave and BB beat me to the punch ;)
  19. hotdawg

    hotdawg Member

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    We lost power for 4 days and had to reschedule Halloween. Kids missed 3 days of school. The house got so cold ended up backfeeding from my generator to run our furnace for heat. Yes, I know I'm not suppose to do that but with three little ones and no heat or power, I would call that an "emergency". It was quite enlightening to know how unprepared we were for power outages. We are planning on getting a transfer switch and having it PROFESSIONALLY installed and upgrading our generator to a 10K watt continuous with 12.5K watt surge. That should power our house and the neighbor's house at the same time! Suggested to the wife that new generator would be a great xmas gift! We'll see if she took the hint....
  20. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I think thats what Im going to do too, get a 10k gen, have an electrician install a transfer switch and let the snow fall.
    How much did you get in your town Dawg? we had about 11 inches of wet snow that stuck to every leaf, we were right smack dab in the middle of the destruction. Next town over is still about 50% down, I saw one of my friends at the bank and asked how she was doing, she almost broke into tears, they told her maybe next week they'll get connected. I told her Id see if I can find someone with a generator to lend. Next time Ill be prepared.
  21. hotdawg

    hotdawg Member

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    We got about 10 inches. Actually lost my phone service that morning before the storm hit and then power early afternoon before the snow really started falling. Was kind of a fluke that it happened early afternoon when it was still light out. Gave us more time to get the generator ready and all the plugs/outlets out. We lost a couple of nice young trees from the heavy snow but the kids got to sled in October. Just glad power is back on. Of course all the price gouging on CL for generators makes me go ballistic. Lesson learned. Always be prepared and that's what we plan to do for next time. Worse comes to worse, I can always use the new generator to power my workshop. The workshop that I don't have. A person can never have too many generators.
  22. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    OK, lots of good info here. Bottom line is, if you don't understand connecting your generator to your house electrical panel, DO NOT. The danger, as others have eluded, is back feeding the utility grid. That means your 120/240 volt generator feeds the transformer on the pole outside your house and it transforms that into high voltage.....7,000 volts or more, and sends it down the utility line to the unsuspecting lineman, who thinks the line he is repairing is dead. The transfer switch/interlock, allows your house electrical panel, to be connected to ONLY one source, the utility, or your generator. That eliminates the danger stated. So, if you don't understand this, hire an electrician that does, contact your utility, your municipality, get a permit and do it right. OR, if you can't do that, disconnect things you want to operate during the power outage and connect them directly to your generator with a cord large enough to handle the load. All of this is just for your safety and that of others.
    Edit: Sorry, fossil has already stated this. Can't be emphasized to much though!

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