867-5309 . . . Talking about (G)Jenny

firefighterjake Posted By firefighterjake, Nov 2, 2017 at 2:33 PM

  1. jebatty

    jebatty
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 1, 2008
    5,475
    763
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    This advice is exactly what I did in getting a generator 12 years ago -- a 5500W, 240V Craftsman. I did install a 10 circuit transfer switch so that I could have various circuits to energize as needed. 1) Primary consideration was refrigerator and freezer, 2) next the 240V well pump, 3) then key lighting circuits, 4) then the microwave circuit to enable a little cooking, and last the circuit that powers the TV, internet router, computer, and sound system. Long after we got the generator we switched nearly all lighting to LED, so current draw of lighting is barely a consideration, other than convenience. We also heat with a wood stove, so heat is not an issue. In a pinch the well pump also is not an issue, we live on a lake and can use our camping water purifier to get drinking water, if needed, cooking, washing and non-drinking water can come right from the lake. The septic system is gravity, so no pump issue here. A gallon or two of lake water in the toilet bowl does the flushing. And even for cooking, we can easily use our camping rocket stove and skip the microwave.

    I would think that with your long experience with a generator, you know well what is critical, what also would be very helpful, and lastly what really is just a convenience. With all the electricity we use from the grid, it is eye-opening to see how little electricity is actually needed to cover power outages, even those that may extend over many days, which are rare in our area of rural northern MN.
     
  2. jebatty

    jebatty
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 1, 2008
    5,475
    763
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Need to add that the well pump only needs to be operated very minimally. One or two 5 gallon water jugs filled from the well easily would cover several days of need for drinking water. In the end, other than convenience, there is little need to oversize a generator.
     
    maple1 likes this.
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,267
    782
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    I have a shallow well on my lot that I havent used for years, if I lose power a bucket and a rope will cover me. I hike and camp so I have various water treatment systems to treat the water just in case. One of these years I will hook up the shallow well and run the outdoor hoses and toilet off it it instead of using my deep well pump.
     
  4. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    7,616
    1,329
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Our house draws from a generations old dug well for all its water. About 25' deep. We use a 120v shallow well pump. It does good even though it's at the outer range of its specs. I can run it off our 3kw inverter if I have to but rarely do - we have 3 toilets, the water in the tanks can get us a couple of days. I have a 25 gallon plastic drum under the condensate drain on our HRV that usually has some water in it, I can flush with that if I have to. If there is severe bad weather coming we fill a couple extra buckets, couple of gallons for drinking in the fridge. Worse comes to worse I can drop a bucket down the well on a rope. Worse comes to worser I can take a 5 minute walk to a brook.

    Our power bills show average 20kwh/day of use, +/-. Closer to 16 in the winter when heating DHW with wood. If you take out say 10 hours for overnight when hardly using any, that works out to around 1.4KW per hour. A 1400 kw generator is pretty small - having one twice that more than covers our bases. Not sure many factor in their daily normal consumption when sizing a gennie - they are more apt to add up all their appliance draws & use that even though those would never all be running at the same time in an outage.

    If we had a 240v well pump that we absolutely needed during outages, I think I would go the 2 gennie approach. A cheaper 240v one only used to run that pump and maybe any other big loads I wanted to plug in when it is running for that, and a 2kw inverter for the rest of the house & time. There is a huge difference in fuel consumption between the two. But as already said, we don't have LP, NG, or fuel oil here to take advantage of. And we also haven't had much in the way of outages here the past few years (knock loudly on wood).
     
    Highbeam likes this.
  5. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2012
    516
    158
    Loc:
    Michigan
    One thing I wish I had on my generator is idle control that allows the unit to idle when high draw isn't occurring. Mine runs wide open whether I'm running a light bulb or my well pump.
     
    Ashful likes this.
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 22, 2008
    17,990
    4,170
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Lost power again . . . only for 3 or 4 hours though. Not exactly sure how long since I was outside splitting up some wood.
     
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 28, 2006
    13,643
    2,590
    Loc:
    Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
    US grid power is at a frequency of 60hz. 60 cycles per second is the same as 3600 rpm which is th engine speed of the regular non inverter gensets. You can’t idle them lower or your power output won’t meet specs.

    Th inverter sets can idle down because voltage and frequency are created by the computer.
     
  8. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2012
    516
    158
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Thanks, that makes sense.
     
  9. Agent

    Agent
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 5, 2011
    169
    5
    Loc:
    Waupaca, Wi
    Just to throw in a few cents of opinion - over the course of the summer, I kept an eye on Craigslist for a nice used genset. I ended up snagging an 8KW LP/Natural Gas Winco with an automatic transfer switch for $500. I wouldn't have minded lugging a portable one around, but the price was right. In hindsight, the ATS is awesome, since I can set it to auto if I'm out of town and we lose power (like earlier this summer).
     
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 5, 2005
    9,701
    770
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I have several portable generators that are stored without gas. I started them the other day. The hardest one to start was the Honda 2k inverter and the easiest was the oldest one with a Briggs engine: one pull.

    Our electric utility came through and trimmed the trees and it made a big difference in outages. Been a few years now though... What's interesting to me is that another nearby electric utility is preemptively cutting down as h trees.
     
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 22, 2008
    17,990
    4,170
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Following the ice storm in 1998 when we were without power for 14 days the utility company came through in the Summer and cleared back the tree branches. It was several years before we had even a single power outage.
     
    Lanningjw likes this.
  12. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 15, 2008
    514
    20
    Loc:
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    Hey firefighter Jake had the same results with the Honda 2K and my Briggs & Stratton Wheel Horse wheel horse started up right away Honda took several several poles to get that thing fired up but all is good

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     

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