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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. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    I can't even commit to the price of a generator for a winter emergency, those willing to fork out for one powerful enough to run A/C should be thanked for their generous contribution to the economy. Discretionary consumer spending is what the economists call it, i.e. people buying sh** they don't need.
    A/C is comfort, not life threatening, I can't imagine any summer emergency that keeps me trapped at home for more than a few hours. Winter is another deal, with a bad snowstorm, its possible to be stuck for a few days (probably many many days for some folks here), you need heat. Fridge is not an issue, put everything outside. I have a 50 gallon tank of water for flushing toilets and washing dishes, and several gallons of drinking water. Minimal outlay, nothing to go wrong.

    TE

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  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Heh - I'm not even "there" yet. I imagine having a portable generator that I only hook up if/when needed. Secondary value of the portable unit is that it could be loaned if I have power and someone else nearby doesn't for some extended period of time - can't do that with a permanent install eh? Anyway - I have wondered about the question of a shelter for the generator as I imagine the conditions that may make running one desirable is likely to be at the same time that the weather is foul, thus some sort of shelter is in order. I did consider perhaps a simple plastic rubermaid type mini-shed (those boxes that look like kids toys they sell that can only hold a bit more than a snowblower and a few other outdoor tools). Perhaps one could be modified to have sufficient airflow to run the generator inside (leave doors open or something?)... I don't know, I may never even get around to actually doing this.
  3. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I built some portable shelters for my Honda's.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
  4. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Now that is nice! I like the design, simple to the point.
  5. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I modeled it after this.

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't gonna pay $250 though. It cost me about $75 to build.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's shelter's pretty sweet. I have a couple of sawhorses with a 4x4 piece of plywood I had laying around on top; there was a little snow.
    It does get me to thinking about arranging a cover for the larger generator. We managed so far to not have to drag out the big genny for the well pump, having scored showers at a friend's place.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's ironic because in India and China cheap diesel generators are ubiquitous. They just don't market them here, or so I thought. But in searching I see that KMart of all places is selling some.

    http://www.kmart.com/search=small diesel portable generator
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Those are the scariest of chinese gensets. Super expensive and no established reputation. It's like buying a laptop from a guy in the parking lot. Even at Kmart the price of a diesel genset is more than double the price of a similar gasoline model from the same place.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    To bad you weren't around here the first week of July after the derecho. Temps from 96 -100 with humidity 75 percent and over. Keeping the fridge running beat throwing the food out on the sidewalk. ;lol And those window units running on the genny made the place downright bearable.

    As to life threatening, seven died in the heat that week in Maryland. I don't have a count on Virginia and DC.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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  11. suprz

    suprz Member

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    My feelings on gensets are this.... I would get one for the fridge and the freezer only. If i lose power in the summer months, everyone in the house can survive without the A/C (no medical necessity here ) i like to think that i can be pretty self sufficient without electricity. Dont have a well pump, no sump pump, no sewer pump, have natural gas for cooking, propane for the barbecue (5 tanks of propane on hand all full), have plenty of coleman camping lanterns with 5 gallons of coleman fuel on hand , and regular kerosene hurricane lamps for light. if i lose power in the winter, really no need for the gens at all.... Just stick the food outside preferably in the snow. Got the wood stove for heat, fill the chest freezer with snow and lock the lid...
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I actually don't disagree... was just stirring the pot. ::-)
  13. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Probably, but I wasn't here most of June or July this year either, I understand it was bad...Ireland and New Hampshire were both much more pleasant. :cool:
    Apart from the fact that those 30 heat related deaths are almost always elderly, my point was that summer power outages won't stop me from leaving home and staying somewhere with A/C. The price of a generator to power A/C pays for a lot of hotel nights.
    In fact my point should have been that almost nobody needs a generator, winter or summer, they just want one.

    TE
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yep. Totally agreed. Most of the things we consider necessities these days really aren't necessary for survival, in most cases. They're just necessary to continue the comfortable lifestyle to which we've become accustomed. Heck... I could survive without my beer fridge, for a day or two. !!!
  15. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    While I agree with your core point about "need" vs "want" - keep in mind that any situation that would require YOU to leave your home likely is going to push a lot of other folks out of theirs too and as such even if you have a good budget for hotel nights there may simply not be any rooms available.

    I want to be able to stay in my home as much as possible even in the face of a disaster - this of course leads me to the same sort of calculation though, if there is a disaster such that I 'Need' a generator will there be other conditions that will require us to leave and thus make the generator moot? I'm not really all that interested in going down the "Doomsday Prepper" path - there must be a reasonable line to draw somewhere here.
  16. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    +1

    I do agree with TradEddie in the general sense - that we seem to have lost our ability to differentiate between need vs want - God knows we have enough crap laying around that we don't need. And Eddie did say "almost nobody". However, we should be careful not to paint with a wide brush. It's really about managing risks. Where I live, in a bad rain storm, with crews spending hours clearing trees off of downed power lines, and my battery backup sump pump failing, a generator in those circumstances is the only option I have to prevent flooding. I can alleviate a major risk (e.g. flooded basement) for under $200. So I think it's reasonable to opt for the generator. Yeah, I'd also plug in my beer fridge, when nobody's looking, if I had a beer fridge. I can use the sump pump thing as my excuse ;) .

    A/C has no value for me, but to someone with serious medical complications, with limited mobility, etc. - it might be even more critical to have the backup power at home.
  17. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Sorry if I have nothing to add, the tread was too long to study.

    I have a Quadrafire Insert and always use the fan to get the heat out into the room. My emergency strategy phase 1, was to use my 50 AH deep cycle battery and and inverter to run the fan. This is fine for electric outages of 24 hours or less. I have two batteries and with a little charging form my car I got through something like 5 days without power in 2011 (NJ October Snow).we of course lost all the food in our refrigerator that we couldn't eat in the first two days. This convinced me to buy a gasoline generator. I purchased a small 2,000 watt (don't try to start any motors, even the refrigerator motor almost stopped the generator - but didn't). Then October 2012, Sandy hit NJ, we were without power for 10 days (temps too cold to just wear a sweater, but not freezing most of the time). I ran the generator on a 50% duty cycle (with the only long off period being about 7 hours to sleep) and used it to run the refrigerator (enough to keep ice cream frozen, not hard, but frozen) and a few CFL light bulbs and to run the fan on my insert and charge the deep cycle batteries. We were reasonably warm, food did not spoil, and we cold read at night - the cable was also down.

    This strategy worked for me and didn't cost a lot of $$$... but being on a well, we had no water, that's a problem people on "city water" shouldn't have to worry about. Even if we had water pressure we'd not have hot water as use electricity to heat water. So, our setup required a bit of "camp mentality" to survive, but we did, we did not have to move in with someone or into a motel.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  18. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Jerry - nice tribute to your "pup" Montana in your signature. I lost my old friend "Bear" almost a year ago to cancer - shown in my pic trying hard to ignore his new "little" sister, a few years back.

    Apologies to the OP and all for going off topic. Just 100% dog person here....
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  19. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    All this reminds me of a job I was working on many years ago, documenting critical electrical circuits in a Pharmaceutical plant. I couldn't find any paperwork for one emergency circuit that was heading totally away from the manufacturing area. When I asked the facilities manager what it was, he explained that when he's driven through hurricanes, floods or snowstorms to try save the millions of dollars of material stored in freezers and incubators, he's damn well going to have a coffee when he gets there...

    TE
    bag of hammers and OldLumberKid like this.

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