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)

Woodburners and generators

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by My Oslo heats my home, Sep 4, 2012.

?

Just out of curiosity, how many woodburners also have generators?

Poll closed Sep 18, 2012.
  1. Yes

    78.7%
  2. No

    21.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,438
    Loc:
    NWI office - 2 Heritages; Chicago home - Woodstock
    I have been slapped upside the head by reality enough times that I don't scoff at people who warn of potential disasters. A deep freeze and dry food goods are a great idea as is extra water storage.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    6,880
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    I picked up a 5,500 watt generator after being w/out for 3 days last year. Bought it by waiting at Home Depot as a tractor trailer loaded with 27 pulled into the lot. The scene was a feeding frenzy at the customer service desk, which nearly turned into me being devoured when I threw the money down and said "I'll take 2 of those" Mother in law who is too far away to share one, but close enough that she gets the same storms, was without too and the second one was for her.

    Since then, I've yet to need to use it. But, it's getting use being loaned out to local family members. It's just another tool waiting in the shop for it's day to be the one needed. I look at it similarly to being several years ahead on wood; being prepared matters.

    Not sure what the original thread intent/direction was here, but where things are going it isn't fitting in the hearth room. Moving this over to the Inglenook.

    pen
  3. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    I have made the decision to roll the dice and not have a generator. We have been in this house for close to 20 years and the power has never been out for more than 24 hours. We have the wood stove, a freeze-proof faucet on the pond (to flush the toilet) and we keep some bottled water on hand for drinking. I figure we have about $300 worth of food in the freezer and if we have an extended power outage it wouldn't be a big lose. If the power goes out more than a day, we will put the frozen food in the refrigerator and start eating!

    Edit....my neighbor has several generators and I can always borrow 1, so that is also a factor!
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,765
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    If and when you're on Day 4 or 5 without heat, running water, etc. she may change her mind about a generator. I purchased my generator back in 1998 . . . and I was lucky to find a generator. It's only a small one, but it can run a few simple appliances to make cooking and living a bit easier. Turned out to be a good investment . . . we didn't get our power restored until 14 or so days after the storm . . . and to make matters worse I was right in middle of playing Tombraider at the time . . . very inconvenient (I also didn't have any alternative heat source other than a small, smelly kerosene space heater that I borrowed.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_ice_storm_of_1998
  5. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Central PA
    It's important to understand normalcy bias and how it tends to keep us from preparing for likely hardships. Just because something hasn't happened in your short experience doesn't mean it's not a high risk in the future. E.g. my house hasn't burned down in all my life, but that doesn't keep me from buying home insurance.
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,765
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    And that's why I'm preparing for the zombie apocalypse. ;) :)

    All kidding aside . . . this makes sense . . . preparing for things that have a high probability or risk of happening -- i.e. fire, CO issue, loss of power, etc.

    It is my personal belief that some folks go a little overboard by preparing for the end times, zombies, etc. . . . but if they're not hurting anyone . . . it's their money and their time, right?
  7. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,438
    Loc:
    NWI office - 2 Heritages; Chicago home - Woodstock
    I am well aware of normalcy bias. It explains the sheep mentality of many people.

    It's always a good idea to have thought through all sorts of contingencies whether or not they come to pass. A whole house gerator is better in my opinion as you don't have to deal with electrical cords....especially dangerous when water is involved.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,046
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    One little one:>>
    100_1549sm.jpg
  9. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,750
    Loc:
    mid-ohio
    Jags, not sure if weve had this conversation before. I have one of those in my garage, rescued it from the scrap yard, 100 bucks. it is only 5kw 3 phase or 3kw single phase if I remember correctly.
    actually tired of looking at it, might wind up in the scrap yard anyway.
    we have 4 20 kw diesels at the shop for temp power on jobsites and many 5-10 kw also, keep a 5kw at the house.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,046
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    It was a 3000 watt 3 phase military genny. It is now a 10000 watt single phase. 1942 - runs like a top.
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,141
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    We have a 3200 watt gasoline unit i bought to be able to keep the sump going if we loose power during a rain event like 2 years ago. For good measure i wired it to a transfer switch so i can run the fridge, freezer, septic pump, one light/power circuit in the kitchen/bath, and boiler for DHW. I have the internet stack on a small ups so we can keep internet and phone online +rechanrge portables protected from dirty genny power.

    I treat it as a temporary backup only, and the few times ive needed it we ran it just a couple hours a day to take showers, make cofee, and keep the fridge cool. Wood for heat, Camp stove to cook,candles/rechargeable flashlights for light, books and games for entertainment. If its a snow outage you can put frozen food outside as well to stretch the usage.

    I keep 5 gal of gas on hand treated and rotated since we know if the whole town is out the gas station pumps will be also. i run the gen every 3 months and change oil/filters/plug yearly.A lot of folks who buy these things after a hurricane then forget them for years get a nastysuprise when the day comes they need it.
  12. Vincent

    Vincent Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Loc:
    Clarksburg, WV
    We got a 5500 watt Porter Cable generator. My wife also, didn't think we needed one. I sure felt pretty smart when our electric was off for a week this summer. She sure didn't complain much when she was sitting in front of that fan staying cool. ;)
    My Oslo heats my home likes this.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,975
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I have 5, and each one has its own story.
    The larger Generac 10 kW I use for the well pump.
    I've told myself I'm standardizing on the 2 kW Honda inverter for small loads.
    Although...I really have a soft spot for the 1000 watt Harbor Freight little 2 stroke generator.
  14. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    786
    Loc:
    Central Arkansas
    Yep...I have 4 of them. Its always nice to have a backup for the freezers and lights. Too many storms not to have at least one.
  15. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    We have one, and after the Ice Storm of 2008 I installed a hook up switch right to my panel. The power goes out, I plug in the Gen, flip the safety switch, and just select the breakers I want to be powered.
    After 8 days of no power and well water in 2008, no way I am going to go through that again.
  16. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,825
    Yes we do, we bought it before the big Ice Storm of 98. New carb on it so it's set to roll.

    zap
  17. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Central PA
    This is why I like propane. No worries about letting it sit between uses. Starts right up again.
  18. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,120
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I just got a 3500W Mikita unit from a friend this summer. It was making low voltage for him and he replaced it and gave it to me. I spent about 10 minutes messing with the governor and now its fine. I don't have a transfer switch yet, but I made a couple long 12/3 cords with quad boxes on them that I can drag into the house.
  19. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,557
    Loc:
    South Shore, MA
    What's the comparison of gas to propane on fuel consumption. Say 5 gallons of gas to how much propane?
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Not sure on the exact fuel consumption but most have comparable run times to 5 gal gas units using a 20lb BBQ tank and that's roughly 4 - 4.5 gallons of juice.

    I do know that a generator converted to run on propane may not run at 100% capacity since LP doesn't make as much power in a converted gasoline engine.
  21. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I don't know of a direct comparison, but my little propane genny sips less than 1lb per hour under load. Also, propane (and NG) is much less expensive in a BTU-equivalence measure. It's comparable to like $1.50/gallon of gas.
  22. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,120
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Not where I live. I regularly pay over $5/gallon in the winter here.
  23. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Central PA
    Let's look at the numbers....

    91,500 BTUs / gallon of propane
    115,000 BTUs / gallon of gasoline

    $2.50 / gallon of propane on my last fill-up in April
    $3.82 / gallon of gasoline national average

    2.7 cents / MBTU propane
    3.3 cents / MBTU gasoline

    So gasoline is 22% more expensive for the same amount of energy. I've never seen propane at $5/gal, though I have seen it for under $2/gal. My best advice is to get a large tank and fill up in the off season. No stabilizers needed.
  24. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,120
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Here's an April 2012 bill. Just under $5.00/gal. 0908121453.jpg
  25. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Central PA
    Yikes! How were you paying $4.82 when I was paying $2.50 just a state apart? Have you compared other companies? Maybe you're just getting ripped off.

Share This Page