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Question about stoves with cats and electrical controls, and power outages

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by OldLumberKid, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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  2. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    LOL, no prob, I think the original question was answered, this is all gravy, and relatively related gravy at that.

    Now I'm just wondering how I would reroute that home heating oil to a diesel gen.
    Sounds like a messy job not for an amateur like myself, but it does seem preferable to waiting on a gas line for hours every couple of days for another 20 gals of gas.
  3. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    thanks Highbeam - some good info at those sites. I love the idea of not having to mess with a gas can in an emergency situation - this is another item to add to the project list.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    My question is why anyone would buy a new gasoline powered generator with the intent of changing it to propane, as suggested in one of the above mentioned sites, when you can just buy a propane genset. I mean, maybe if you already have an old one you want to convert... but that has to be a limited market.
  5. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Are there new propane generators in the smaller sizes available?
  6. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking a hand pump (transfer pump) of some sort. I don't imagine that a direct/permanent line from the oil tank would fly with the building inspectors, but I have not actually researched this.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That's the answer. The market and product availability of gasoline gensets is far larger than propane and especially tri-fuel units. This leaves the consumer with the last option of finding a gas genset and converting it.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My power has been out since 9:00 AM because of the winds. I'll leave work a little early and start a generator. I have several generators, but the one I will use is:

    image_11382.jpg

    Join the cult. Muhaaa haaa!
  9. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    That was my impression. I've never seen a small propane generator. Not like I've been digging for them, or know much about them. I just happened across a good deal on a 3500 W gas unit and scooped one up.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I guess I figured anything smaller than 7kW was only useful as a jobsite generator, and not for powering things around the house. Most propane genny's are 10 - 20 kW, which seems an appropriate size for powering refrigerators, furnaces, well pumps, lights, etc.
  11. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    My peak power consumption in the house (while running the electric dryer and cooking) has only hit 9Kw. If I take the electric clothes dryer out I can very easily and confidently stay below 5Kw without even really paying attention to what I'm using - most months my peak monthly draw is around 5Kw. My normal 'floating' use is generally 300-550w with high levels in the 2kw when cooking etc. (Measured via a TED5000 unit) I am thinking that a 5Kw with peak of 6.5Kw (they seem to be advertised as 6500w) would for a practical sense be able to power my whole house. Now, I doubt I could hook it up that way per code as they like to go with the maximum rated draw on every circuit rather than what is actually used and there isn't a transfer switch made that I am aware of that could switch the whole house to a small portable generator like that...

    Anyway, my point is that I really don't think everyone needs 10-20kW to power a house, especially in an emergency/standby basis. The numbers I posted are our normal day to day use, if we were to go to an emergency use scenario we'd cut it down more I'm sure (clearly would not use the electric oven or clothes dryer as they are the peak consumers). Even our AC isn't all that bad - one zone peaks at 2.5Kw the other at 2Kw (run them both for just under 5Kw but I wouldn't expect do to that on a generator)
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    No, it is not wise to use a genset any larger than necessary for backup home power. Everything you need except an a/c unit can usually be powered by the typical 5000 watt genset. Smaller the better for fuel consumption and my home with two fridges is powered by a 3500 watt continuous rated genset. If not for the double fridge situation it would be a single 2000 watt honda.

    Most propane gensets are permanent mount since the portables aren't set up with a propane tank. Most permanent mount hogs are high wattage. It is not the case that propane is only good for such huge gensets but that the logistics of a propane tank reduce the market for portable propane sets.
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You can use any genset you want. There is no code that requires a certain size. My interlock kit or even the less desirable transfer panel can feed any circuit or all circuits with a small genset. I backfeed the entire house using an interlock (permitted) with my small genset and it has never been overloaded.
  15. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Agree 100%

    Some of you must have money to burn and are rediculously oversizing. Unless you live in an all electric mcmansion or just dont want to give up any convenience there isnt much need for sizes like 10 Or 20kw.... I have a whole house power meter and the most ive ever seen is 6kw driving the dryer and oven when we are ON the grid.

    I have a 3200 watt and can get by running it a couple hours a day to keep the fridge cold and power the septic and sump pumps. I'd don't think I've even loaded it 100%.
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Our well pump alone draws 1.5 kW continuous, with inrush over 4 kW... not going to run that on an 800 W Chicago Electric genny. Our AC draws about 13 kW, and if power goes out in July, that's the most important appliance in the house. Heck... my outdoor Christmas lights draw over 2.0 kW... not that I need to run them during a power outtage.

    I guess you could get by, running extension cords around the house or playing games with only turning on one breaker at a time, with a smaller generator. However, if I was going invest in an install, I think I'd be sizing for more convenience.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    OK I probably worded that harsh... But even with your well pump a 5 to 7k unit could probably handle anything you need in a long emergency... Just saying...
  18. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Time to upgrade to LEDs :)
  19. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I rarely have power outages and have two Honda EU2000i's. I can run both my refrigerator and freezer at the same time from one unit. I lose my power more at my house in suburbia than at my cabin.
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Ah, another misconception. You hook the portable generator up to the house with a whole house inlet, no extension cords just the single whip from the genset to the plug. The only breakers you need to mess with are those associated with large and automatic loads like a hot tub, electric water heater, and your A/C unit. You just shut them off and leave them off. The rest of your home you use as usual when being powered by a tiny portable genset. Walk into the bathroom and flip on the light.

    I've never live in a place that requires A/C so I just can't understand why folks don't put on their big boy pants and tough it out in the shade. If that is a luxury that you demand then your genset will have to be bigger.
    jharkin likes this.
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Still out. Insert providing heat. Little genny powering lights and fridge (annoying that fridge temp was at 43F this morning after less than 8 hours, but that's another thread). Ran it for 3.5 hours yesterday and filled up this AM and still have gas left in the one gallon can.

    Thankfully my wife filled up two bathtubs with water before the power went. Still, if this goes into tomorrow, I'll drag out the bigger generator to crank up the well pump. I'll have to think about how to heat the hot water since I piped in an electric water heater in parallel with the oil fired direct.
  22. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I love mine. I only have one and in runs absolutely everything I need in a few-day emergency - two fridges, many lights, two computers, TV's, etc. I run it in a mode that is practically at idle that handles about 150 watts without throttling up (it's automatic) and you can hardly hear it. Even at full throttle, it's very quiet (for a generator). It's an inverter type, so safe for electronic devices.

    Be aware that the inexpensive gen's do not provide conditioned power like the inverter types do. They're probably fine for fans and liights and such, but very risky for anything sensitive like electronic devices. I'm not sure about refrigerator/freezers.
  23. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

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    How big of gen would a guy need to run a 1.5 ton A/C ?
  24. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    The figure you need to worry about is starting current. For a 1.5 ton AC, a table supplied with my Honda gen says about 3500 watts should do it. You probably should get the specs of the model AC you're concerned about, since they vary. It probably would require 230 volts also.

    Starting current is the most important factor with any motor-driven device.
  25. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Would you be running that in a nearby garage or outdoors somewhere?

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