Scary Power Outage

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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,785
Woolwich nj
we louse power less now than 5 years ago.. I still don't regret hooking this all up. It's well worth having because... you never know... I have to generators one is on a concrete pad and sits in an enclosure. that's the bigger one. it's 11k running watts and I have a smaller one that's like 5k running watts.. I use the bigger one when I have alot going on and the small one for overnight I have about 20 gallons of gas in the shed with another 25 to 30 at the shop.. You'll never see me on the news complaining that we have no power.. or heat.. and somebody need to do something about it..
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Yea when I go my generac 8kw about 10 years ago and it runs on natural gas lots of people told me that I did not need it because the lights never stay off that long and it was a complete waste of money...One person told me that when I need it that his family will bring a portable generator out to me and I just could not imagine myself walking in a major snow store getting a can of gasoline because I do not drive in snow..also this person with good intentions would have to pay attention to his family first and I do not want to be cold--I hate being cold in my own home..That's one reason I got my wood heater just for a back up back up because I am not as flexible anymore..bones chill easy..Now after that Texas happening and now the pipeline hack as well as Michigan putting suits on oil pipe lines going under the lakes to Canada it makes one wonder what in the world is coming next?...so it warms my heart to see good people getting prepared and not just laugh at me telling me it is a waste of money.. God Bless every one of you...amen...clancey
 
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velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,053
Sand Lake, NY
Got a call from the propane company. They said the generator company called them to schedule the job. They figure a June installation of the 1000 gal tank and 22kw Generac. That'd be just about exactly 6 months. I'm psyched.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
You most likely have a underground storage tank--just guessing here...That's a pretty good size for a whole large house and they are beautiful I think---when you open it --looks like a car with its different equipment and computer screen telling you what its up too and when the next exercise is or if it is low on oil or needs a battery check...I find that usually when the light is red and you look and see the computer read check battery this usually has been set for a year in order for you to have your annual check up with it where they come out and clean it and check the oil and stuff just like a car and your battery usually is just fine...The first time I used mine was only a short tour I forget but maybe 7 hours (in the wintertime) and I keep my lights on real low so not to call attention to the fact that my house has full electricity and I was looking out the window and I heard people in the middle of the street with flashlights asking other neighbors--Do you have any electricity yet? As it was getting colder than they would ask assorted neighbors "Did they say when the electricity will be back as they shouted to one another".. In one of the black outs of my pole because the neighbors tree found in my yard and messed up everything including my loft roof and telephone wire my generator ran and the neighbors next door came over and asked me if I could hook up an extension cord to my house so that they could use it for their refrigerator and freezer... and of course I said yes and they used it for about two days until we could get our wires fixed and it just purred and purred...But in your case as well as my own the hook up with the electricity and gas is going to be almost just as expensive as the generator but in my case I took out payments like a car and paid it off as quick I as could...I never regretted getting it...You should be psyched--lol Good for you..clancey
 
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velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,053
Sand Lake, NY
I got a call from the Propane company this morning asking me "how about June 1st"? Sure! They're coordinating with the generator company, and it looks like they're coming out the same day. It's an above ground tank. It's on the far side of the garage, down an embankment, so it won't be too visible, but I don't mind anyway. They're charging a thousand bucks more because of the farther location of the generator. It'll be quieter and less obtrusive over there, including the tank, so I figure it's worth it. I'm trying not to think of the cost too much, lol.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,217
central pa
There is just no way I could justify the cost of a whole house generator. I only need power for the well pump and refrigerator if it is summer. I can live without the rest of it just fine for quite a while. But like I said I have never even used my portable generator hookup. It has only been hooked up once to test it.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,428
Eastern Ontario
We put a whole-house unit in the year was 1999
At this point, we have had the unit running for just over 1900 hours
That means that in the last 20 sum years my power has been out for
11.3 weeks. The longest outage was 9 days. For me, the unit has paid for itself
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
465
Erin, WI
You can get water from your water heater with a hose hooked up. I do have an inverter and car batteries to run the stove blower for a few hours. It got down to 37F last night, did not burn, and my furnace kicked on for the first time at 7:15am. I turned it off right away as it got to 68F today. House maintained 67F all night. Good insulation.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
737
SE North Carolina
Rural versus urban areas will probably have different experiences with power outages and experiences will scale with the size of the event) . After hurricane Florence (we evacuated for I think 15 days) there were neighborhoods that still did not have power for another 10 days after we got back. But here is the point after 3 days gas was very hard to come by and all the roads but one into the area, home to 150,000 people had washed out. The flood waters were still rising. The water treatment plant was down to less than 24 hours of fuel for its generators before they could resupply. (That one road was impassable for several days and nearly compromised). By accounts if you had a natural gas generator you were fine, but who keeps a weeks supply of gasoline on hand. Not gonna run your ac off a gasoline generator very long on 5 gallon cans you can’t refill. My math when we left town was I had 15 gallons of gas that would last me roughly 4-5 days of radio, fridges, charging phones and iPad, lights at night and internet if it still worked.

My wife was living in Maine during the 1998 ice storm when they were out of school for four weeks. She lived on the only street in town that got power back after 10 days. It was weeks for many other areas. There are different levels of preparedness and different degrees of disasters. What Texas experienced was a 50 year event. Maine maybe 75 year. The hurricane that hit here that happens 20-30 year, but the rain fall total was 100+ year event. I think you have to choose what level you are willing /wanting to prepare for. Hurricanes for us, staring down the barrel of normal cat 1 we are prepared for, beyond that we are evacuating. Size and scale frequency of these large events will (already has) increase in the coming decades. There are many ways to be prepared. Generators and stoves are just some of the many pieces.
Evan
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Everybody has a different story and Velvetfoot I went through all the difference thought processes as with this forum..It depends on your circumstances and if I had a support system where other people would help me or let me move in with them then I would not worry. But the point is I do not and I depend on myself alone and I am not going to be walking to get a can of gas in the dead of winter just to fill a portable generator when it runs out after so many days plus unscrewing it and putting it all together in the cold--no thank you..Yea it"s cheaper but not convenient in my circumstances and I think you made a wise decision and even if you never use it --the time will come when you have to use it and you will enjoy it so so much and thank God that you were able to buy it.. I say get prepared now even if we do not have to and that's why I bought my beautiful wood stove just in case and then I will have another back up...one never has too many back ups especially if they have family because they depend on you "rightfully so" ...I could get the hours on my generator to see how many hours that I have clocked in and over a ten year period maybe I really needed it about three times--not many times--but I was sitting in my old chair sipping on Hot Chocolate with a splash of bourbon in it e-mailing friends like you all while everybody else was in the middle of the yard calling to one another to see if they knew when the lights would be back on...One more thing sometimes its depends on the storm they cannot hook up electricity for weeks and people have to move out of their homes in the winter and stay with relatives..or rent a hotel room or something. Good for us...clancey
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,217
central pa
I really don't understand why those of you who are worried about long term shutdowns etc are relying on generators as the main part of your strategy. Why not learn how to simply deal without electricity? The biggest issue for me would be water but I can get it from a spring a 1/2 mile away. Which is an easy walk. I can smoke or dehydrate food if need be to live without refrigeration. I really am not worried about any long term problem but I know I will be fine regardless
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Glad you feel that way but not me...The first thing that goes for me in the winter is my lights then its gradually get colder--I have my stove now...I have a water supply stored away...and my can goods so I can survive now without electricity because of my new stove..I can even have my coffee in a emergency but I am getting old and need things more simple like a lesson on wood products and bricks and brick type cubes to start fires with easy just in case and whatever else I might need..I can live without electricity as well and have done it but its nice to have the convenience of a generator that turns on and hums and everything stays the same "my its nice" that's good living in a emergency especially when you take a hot shower in the dead of winter knowing how very fortunate you are because you were able to buy something like a generator that enabled that hot shower. You don't understand well you old fool you need to get more into other peoples thinking with different problems in life and different living conditions as well. Try chopping a big tree down with just a ax and yourself with no other tools--you might be able to do it--but why when you have the convenience of all these wonderful things like splitters and carts and things to make your life easier to get the job done quicker...I can buy dehydrated food and I can buy smoke foods and my time is precious to where I do not have to spend it on getting prepared with smoking and dehydrating because i have other things to do with my time . By the way at times I am a old fool too so do not take this personal.. clancey
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,239
Northern NH
My generator has been in the garage ready to go since a few months after January 1st 2000. I got great deal on it after the non event. It has been run twice voluntarily. I live in rural area but have underground power to the house as well as most of the neighborhood. There are above ground lines in the street but the utility keeps the trees trimmed. I am ready for long outage but have not needed it. With my new Toyota I can buy an inverter for it and get 5KW to run the house off the car. I am not planning to buy it.

A quick comment is sure power lines can fail in the street but what really takes a lot of time is to restore individual house services. That is not an issue if you have the power run to the house underground.
 
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WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
2,006
Winter WI
I have a backup generator here but my sister and my niece in Oregon lost their power for 7 days and 12 days respectively from a ice storm in February if you can imagine that! OMG. Neither one had a generator and they said there were none in the stores when they went looking for one.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,384
Unity/Bangor, Maine
The Ice Storm of 1998 was partial motivation for me getting a woodstove . . . and it was then that I bought my first generator. It wasn't until a number of years later however when oil prices were going through the roof and I had the funds to get the woodstove. A few years back I then replaced the generator with a larger Yamaha unit that is more capable of running most all of our wants and needs in the event of an electrical outage.

Since 1998 we have had a few multi-day outages . . . most of the times it is just a few hours and not worth the time or effort to hook up the generator.

I guess it's not surprising though . . . Maine tops the list with the most power outages and our provider CMP (which has or had a tie in with Florida Light and Power) is #2 for the utility with the most power outages.

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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,563
Northern Maine
I got a call from the Propane company this morning asking me "how about June 1st"? Sure! They're coordinating with the generator company, and it looks like they're coming out the same day. It's an above ground tank. It's on the far side of the garage, down an embankment, so it won't be too visible, but I don't mind anyway. They're charging a thousand bucks more because of the farther location of the generator. It'll be quieter and less obtrusive over there, including the tank, so I figure it's worth it. I'm trying not to think of the cost too much, lol.
The more wastefull thing I did was locating the gen set behind the garage at about 100 feet away. It really was only a case of PVC conduit and EMT but the fact is it's so quiet it would barely bother you in the house.
Conduits were going to the garage anyway and a feed line from the LP tank was needed also but all that #6 wire and labor does add up.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
You people got up before I did and are right on top of this thing..One thing I do notice is -10 years ago it was a whole bunch cheaper than it is right now to hook one up and I am glad that's over with and my mind feels okay in a storm because I am one of those worry worts..lol. I feel good for every one of you too because you seem to have it handled and a lot of people don't seem to think about these things-maybe they are better off--lol clancey
 

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
2,006
Winter WI
I really don't understand why those of you who are worried about long term shutdowns etc are relying on generators as the main part of your strategy. Why not learn how to simply deal without electricity? The biggest issue for me would be water but I can get it from a spring a 1/2 mile away. Which is an easy walk. I can smoke or dehydrate food if need be to live without refrigeration. I really am not worried about any long term problem but I know I will be fine regardless
WHAT!?! Go without my internet and iPad and hot coffee and my CPAP machine for even a a few hours is out of the question for me. Plus the refrigerator and freezer and this and that. I think the $350 for the generator plus $30 for the wire and breaker and plug for it were well spent and at times priceless.
 

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
2,006
Winter WI
I’m in a rural area like many here are so I can keep my little Generac genny on the side of the house on a treated wood pad year-around ready to go with little worry of it being stolen and I exercise it every couple of months. I keep 15 gallons of non-oxygenaged gas on hand for up to one year and when it gets close to a year old I use it in my lawn equipment or splitter. (I mow cabin lawns in the summer so I use nonoxy has in my trimmers and blower. Chainsaws too) The nice thing about my little 2000/2200 watt gen is is sips gas and with on/off usage I’m sure I could go a good week with the gas I have on hand and more if I can get gas at a station.

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,217
central pa
WHAT!?! Go without my internet and iPad and hot coffee and my CPAP machine for even a a few hours is out of the question for me. Plus the refrigerator and freezer and this and that. I think the $350 for the generator plus $30 for the wire and breaker and plug for it were well spent and at times priceless.
I have a similar setup. I already had the generator so it made sense. I just don't understand the people preparing for a major disaster relying on something that needs gas propane or nay gas
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
You really have a point there about the gas and that's why I have the back up wood stove that does not have to depend on electricity that's why I did not get one with a cat with a thermostat and I know they are so very nice as well as those pellets stoves that are automatic and much cleaner and easier than a real wood stove but I just wanted a back up without depending on gas...To me this pipeline business is scary and the east coast has suffered the most it seems..clancey
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,217
central pa
You really have a point there about the gas and that's why I have the back up wood stove that does not have to depend on electricity that's why I did not get one with a cat with a thermostat and I know they are so very nice as well as those pellets stoves that are automatic and much cleaner and easier than a real wood stove but I just wanted a back up without depending on gas...To me this pipeline business is scary and the east coast has suffered the most it seems..clancey
Ones with a cat and thermostat don't require any power either.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Wow I did not know that...that might have made a difference in my stove buying--ignorance is bad...But I love my stove and the dimensions for me are just so even and nice as well as the two cooking burners with the cast iron beautiful plate--I am thrilled to have it ready and on June 1 it will be lite for the first time--hope all goes wells...My second choice would have been those beautiful classic morso"s but it was just too small in appearance for me and that's why I switch to the wood stove I have now..But in reality they really do a beautiful job of heating and they are so pretty as well--just darn cute. If I were younger and wanted ambiance and had some extra money I would get that Bari stove that sells for a lot of money...Did you know that on some of those type stoves they stick the wood long ways into the top of them if what I read was right?
clancey









wow
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,751
South Puget Sound, WA
I have a similar setup. I already had the generator so it made sense. I just don't understand the people preparing for a major disaster relying on something that needs gas propane or nay gas
It depends on the nature of the disaster. One would have a different strategy for a major disaster like a huge earthquake than for a 3-5 day power outage due to a wind or snowstorm. I've been in some serious hurricanes, and ice storm blizzards, but a major disaster has never happened to me in my lifetime thank goodness. The odds are very low for a catastrophe to happen for most people unless your town is in a tornado zone or a direct hit area like New Orleans. The longest I can recall being out of power was hurricane Dianne in 1955 and an ice storm out here in the early 2000s. Both outages lasted about 6 days.

We have a generator primarily to keep garden produce frozen. There are many months of food prep in our freezer. In the event of a more serious, true disaster, we would have to start cooking and canning whatever we could save. Our car can provide backup power for the freezer for a fairly long time if push came to shove.
 
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