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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by JimInMO, May 26, 2019.
This. Buy the red one.
That’s interesting. How long have you been without power in a single event?
I’ve been using portable gensets for 26 years. My first one was a Coleman 2K. Extension cords everywhere and a total PITA.
My next two were slightly larger. When we bought our house (2001) we bought a Porter Cable 6500/5250 that is still running strong. I bought an ETQ in the same wattage range that still is running strong.
After Maria many of the diesel/propane standalone generators had problems with starter issues. I don’t know why but it was an issue. Also diesel & propane was hard to get. Trucks couldn’t get to many places even if the companies had fuel.
Every other day I went to a gas station and bought 12.5 gallons of gas. We ran a generator for 6-8 hours then would run the other one until bedtime.
Lights, fans, refrigerator, pool, tv, computers, laundry, & cistern pump were the creature comforts we enjoyed. Luckily we have solar hot water so an electric WH wasn’t in the equation
There is nothing wrong with a “portable” genset. I figure it is a disposal item but mine are 18 & 16 years old and putting out like Nately’s whore.
In my area, we lose power for a 3-4 days every single winter. I have come to rely on coleman lanterns and kerosene heaters more than portable generators because my experiences have all been bad. I have gone through 5 gen sets from Generac to military surplus units which I rebuilt (used to be one of MOS fields) and they still can't keep up to continuous usage for several days...they just over-heat and fail.
Sounds like your experiences have been different, but I can only comment on my own experiences. I don't really miss the electricity during the outage much anymore, the kerosene heater keeps the 2 story home at 68 degrees when the outside temps are in single digits anyway. I just turn in early during outages.
Milspec, I understand your points. Loss of power in the winter is a bit different from losing power in the summer (Atlantic Hurricane Season)
Our power generating service as a massively failed attempt of excessive ignorance & incompetence. We loose power almost weekly. Sometimes a few minutes to several hours sometimes multiple times a day/night
If I could afford it I would go fully off the grid. Clean power 24 hours a day. All of the electronic devices would be happy and need to be replaced on a much longer time frame than today
Lots of choices to make besides which unit to by.
Where will you store it?
Since you can't run it indoors, you will need to move it to the run location when the power goes out.
Where will you run it?
How will you connect it from the outdoor location to the indoor panel?
You can't use a long cord from a portable to the panel, it just won't supply the amperage.
If winter, will you shovel a path during the outage to get the generator near the house panel?
Will the generator run outdoors in the storm that caused the outage?
Or will you build a shed to run it in?
Outages never seem to happen in nice weather.
Then how about the gas?
Change out the gas every six months or so?
Empty the carb after running since it might be a year or three before it's needed again?
There's a lot to like about the permanent propane units that live on a slab.
Propane stores far longer than gasoline, and in larger quantities.
How long did you lose power after that devastating hurricane two winters back?
Some of you neighbors were out for many months, and maybe also didn't even have gasoline for generators never mind clean water and shelter.
Do you have a built in k1 heater like a monitor?
I'm not actually sure if those need electricity, but don't know of a kero heater that can keep a house that warm in single digit cold.
I'm OK with above 50, and blankets...
I bought a good size round camp heater in '08 after a long outage, but have not used it even once since.
Just your basic Kero-Sun shop heater. Being a 2 story home, the heat just rises leaving upstairs about 5-6 degrees warmer than on the first floor. I set my heater onto a wood platform in the middle of the first floor and it really does keep the place at 68 for an average. It was actually 70 upstairs and 65 on the first floor burning a single tank of fuel every 12 hours or so. It also provides enough light to read by and can even heat up food. Not a bad deal for about $100 USD. The only negative is that there is a slight smell to kerosene, but as long as you light and extinguish outside every time (and set a pot of water on top of it when running) it is hardly noticeable.
I have 3 generators, all 4 stroke gas powered. One generic AEG branded 2.8kva that has worked fine for 6 years living outside/unprotected in all conditions but is heavy and noisy, a Honda 2kva that's quieter and a newer honda clone that's 6 kva, works well and is quiet and was the cheapest of the lot. They are great when the power goes out and the street is silent in darkness yet you carry on like normal. Just be sure to keep plenty of spare gas handy because when the power is out so are electronic money transfers and gas stations.
Hondas are great but for the money you could get 3 honda clones with money left over.
Having a spare or more than one generator can also be a lifesaver in times of emergency.
I can power a air conditioner with one and the rest of the house with the other.
Things like air conditioners, electric heaters. electric kettles and larger microwaves draw a lot of power and will easily overload a smaller generator. Get a pure sinewave if you plan to run tv's, laptops and air conditioners, amps, battery chargers etc.
September 19 - December 1
I live in an all electric house. We had an ice storm in 1991 IIRC, and lost power for a week or so. That meant no running water, light, or heat, flushing, or cooking. It wasn't much fun. We ended up leaving for a relative and a motel who had power. After we regained power at a point during the year, I had a propane gas fireplace installed, figuring that we'd at least have heat if it happened again. I purchased a 1750 watt coleman generator for a backup, which wasn't much, but it would get a microwave going and a light at the same time. Fast Forward a decade, we had an addition put on with a basement. It turned out to be on top of a spring. The sump pump goes constantly. The basement has flooded at least 3 times in 15 years destroying a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff....tools and lumber mostly. Now I replace the sump pump every couple years and have a 5kw portable generator. When they predict high wind or thunderstorms I get everything ready.
It's a pain in the neck to get the generator going during a massive rainstorm. At some point I will opt for a built in generac generator hooked up to the wiring. I think I can have it done for under 8-10K dollars. It'll add to the home value. As I age more, I will appreciate it. That is assuming that the thing will work as it is supposed to. They don't build stuff like they used to. The power went out 2 days ago.
My next one will be made by Honda.
Thanks everyone. Lots to chew on. The ideal solution would be a fixed natural gas gen. but really out of the question. We are living on SS and some investments. Comfortable but not wealthy by any means. A band mate builds houses for a real job and says this kind of install is almost standard now. Our house is almost 100 years old, I'm 76 so the question is who/what is going to give out first. Only have a few more years here before I get tired of the maintenance anyway. Portable and temporary is probably the best solution now. No problem with storage and placement for use with short extension cords and plug in strips. Used a borrowed unit a few years ago in that configuration and it worked fine. Dual gas/propane is looking better. I have a 100lb and four 30lb lp tanks, regulators and multiple hook up devices salvaged from an old camper. We are on city water so no well pump or sump pumps to consider. just what I outlined in the original post. I have a large UPS for desktop PC or laptop, switch and router backup already. Thanks again, I'll keep checking back for anymore input.
I’d get a 5-6kw portable gas generator AND by all means a transfer switch. You can drive most of the house with out the PITA and hazard of extension cords. Use Stabil or some other gas conditioner. Your fuel can last up to two years.
When I turn mine off I flip the transfer switch back to utility, let the unit run for 3-4 minutes with no load, turn off the gas and walk away. It runs dry, carb is happy, and ready to go the next time it’s needed.
I always change the oil at least once a year unless it’s getting serious use then every 50 hours of operating time. Spark plus gets replaced yearly. Simple maintenance & care will give you years of carefree service
A Honda 2000 is great and MAY run the fan motor on your gas heater. But I would check the amperage to be sure. I bought a cheapish 3500 watt battery start unit for like $350 a few years ago and it runs like a top and powers the house fine. The biggest issue with Gens is they sit and sit forever. I use ONLY non ethanol gas in it. If you have electric cook stove that may be an issue.
I have powered the whole band and PA for outdoor events with the Honda.
You really need a "lockout" even if it's manual one for a gen so you dont run electricity back into the lines killing a lineman. They sell aluminum plates for specific electric panels that dis allow the main breaker when you turn the gen breaker on.
I made my own as I wasnt sure about fit and $70 for a simple notched plate.