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  #51  
Old 03-27-2019, 10:10 AM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Can I ask, if its a real long term outage of utilities, and you have limited stored fuel of any kind, and getting more fuel could be problematic, why would you run the whole house?

Even if you didn't turn anything on, there's still some leakage current between wires. And, with a big gen, say 20kW+, if you don't turn anything on the gen is still running wasting fuel.

For DP, wouldn't smaller gas (propane and the like) gen's be the way to go? Maybe a few of them, and then you run them as needed. So maybe one big propane tank + a few BBQ tanks, and then a few smaller gens? Smaller and portable also makes it easier to say take it out in the field to run some electric tools to fix or build something that is needed?

I think of "D" in "DP" as a major thing, like the utilities have been wiped clean from a tornado(s) and you'll be off grid for many months and having to drive for more fuel is close to a full tank of gas in your truck and you not sure gasoline will be at the far end to make it back, or if there will even be gasoline there. Or is this view just too extreme for "DP"?
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  #52  
Old 03-27-2019, 12:02 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
Can I ask, if its a real long term outage of utilities, and you have limited stored fuel of any kind, and getting more fuel could be problematic, why would you run the whole house?

Even if you didn't turn anything on, there's still some leakage current between wires. And, with a big gen, say 20kW+, if you don't turn anything on the gen is still running wasting fuel.

For DP, wouldn't smaller gas (propane and the like) gen's be the way to go? Maybe a few of them, and then you run them as needed. So maybe one big propane tank + a few BBQ tanks, and then a few smaller gens? Smaller and portable also makes it easier to say take it out in the field to run some electric tools to fix or build something that is needed?

I think of "D" in "DP" as a major thing, like the utilities have been wiped clean from a tornado(s) and you'll be off grid for many months and having to drive for more fuel is close to a full tank of gas in your truck and you not sure gasoline will be at the far end to make it back, or if there will even be gasoline there. Or is this view just too extreme for "DP"?
During outages, I have a fairly efficient 3.5k to run freezers and refrigerators, and an older 5k to run everything else. Both are gas. I run them on an "as needed" basis. I got the 3.5k specifically for its purpose, because I need more time to keep those appliances cold enough- and its vastly more efficient than underutilizing the 5k.
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  #53  
Old 03-27-2019, 12:22 PM
Taxvictim Taxvictim is offline
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Generac 22 fueled by natural gas. Our main concern is ice and snow, which strands us and causes trees to fall on power lines. The county and the linemen get to us last. It has worked perfectly every time it was needed.

I tried to save money buying it from Lowes with a coupon ($500) and paying a buddy's electrician to handle the installation. Then I had to go get the permits myself, order the pad, pay the gas company to come hook it up, etc. Better if I had just bought it directly from Generac and let their installation team handle the total process. I also recommend an annual maintenance plan.
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  #54  
Old 03-27-2019, 12:26 PM
Taxed2death Taxed2death is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
Can I ask, if its a real long term outage of utilities, and you have limited stored fuel of any kind, and getting more fuel could be problematic, why would you run the whole house?

Even if you didn't turn anything on, there's still some leakage current between wires. And, with a big gen, say 20kW+, if you don't turn anything on the gen is still running wasting fuel.

For DP, wouldn't smaller gas (propane and the like) gen's be the way to go? Maybe a few of them, and then you run them as needed. So maybe one big propane tank + a few BBQ tanks, and then a few smaller gens? Smaller and portable also makes it easier to say take it out in the field to run some electric tools to fix or build something that is needed?

I think of "D" in "DP" as a major thing, like the utilities have been wiped clean from a tornado(s) and you'll be off grid for many months and having to drive for more fuel is close to a full tank of gas in your truck and you not sure gasoline will be at the far end to make it back, or if there will even be gasoline there. Or is this view just too extreme for "DP"?

Preparedness really requires a layered approach in everything you do, which is what I have done with my generators. As I stated earlier, I am fortunate enough to have a very reliable source of natural gas which has not, to date at least, suffered any interruption during significant weather events. This takes care of the more likely scenarios that WILL happen, like hurricanes, floods, and blown transformers or transfer stations as we have experienced more than once in the past few years. For more extreme events I have portables using diesel in one, and gas in the others along with quite a bit of stabilized fuel for all. With the exception of my little Honda generator, the others will power pretty much anything I need (lights, charging rechargeable batteries, fans, etc.) with the exception of AC, and for that I have small portable AC units which have a significantly lower need for power (again, layers). The portables also work when I need power in an area where plugging into the house is not convenient or even possible. If those all fail then I have some solar panels (both fixed and portable) I can use to keep a further reduced list of "essentials" running. I do plan to expand the fixed solar panels in the near future just to add a more capable layer of backup, but what I have at the moment has gotten me through some pretty good trials so far. If the excrement hits the oscillator in a truly catastrophic way, then running the refrigerator and AC will be pretty low on my priority list anyway. But again, I think a layered approach is best, and a well-defined list of priorities on what you want to prepare for goes hand in hand with that.
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  #55  
Old 03-27-2019, 12:46 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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The need for power (energy), so why not invest in some solar panels? No fuel needed.

But if you are heavy into say propane, why bother with pushing propane into a engine that drives a generator? Wasting lots of energy there. Why not just get propane appliances? These days they make small units that are sub $1k and can run on propane/120vac/12vdc, so its truly flexible.

Note: I am not 100% on the efficiency diff between prop-->gen-->fridge vs prop-->fridge. That would need to be looked at.
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Last edited by 1911_Kid; 03-27-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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  #56  
Old 03-27-2019, 01:42 PM
diedeldr diedeldr is offline
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Our 21kw Diesel generator is very economical at partial load.
Fuel storage is not an issue for us, because all the family vehicles are Diesel.
We keep about 4-55 gal drums full of “road tax paid” Diesel for the generator.
That runs the house for about 3 weeks.
All the vehicles are topped off as a Hurricane approaches, so there are another 80-100 gallons of Diesel fuel available, if I had to move the vehicle fuel to the generator fuel tank.
After November, the stored generator fuel is used in the vehicles.
Refill drums every Summer, repeat.

The RV is a Diesel too, but has 330 watts of solar and big house batteries, so we can move in there if the house becomes unlivable, and as long as there is Sun, we are good.
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  #57  
Old 03-27-2019, 04:28 PM
HankB HankB is offline
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We started with a generac portable 3.5kw propane unit for necessities; pellet stove, water heater etc. For a portable unit that is not used all the time propane is a better choice than gasoline that is susceptible to stale fuel, or clogging of the fuel plumbing from evaporation.

Propaneís usefulness can be location dependent. Cold temperatures negatively affect its usefulness because it needs heat to change from liquid to gas. A tank exposed to the air in in a cold climate like winter in New England is not going allow enough vaporization to support a large generator. The only solution is to bury the tank below the frost line so that it is exposed to a constant temperature greater than freezing.

So we installed a 20ish kw Koehler powered by natural gas. And of course since then have not had a single power outage.


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  #58  
Old 03-27-2019, 04:35 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diedeldr View Post
Our 21kw Diesel generator is very economical at partial load.
Fuel storage is not an issue for us, because all the family vehicles are Diesel.
We keep about 4-55 gal drums full of ďroad tax paidĒ Diesel for the generator.
That runs the house for about 3 weeks.
All the vehicles are topped off as a Hurricane approaches, so there are another 80-100 gallons of Diesel fuel available, if I had to move the vehicle fuel to the generator fuel tank.
After November, the stored generator fuel is used in the vehicles.
Refill drums every Summer, repeat.

The RV is a Diesel too, but has 330 watts of solar and big house batteries, so we can move in there if the house becomes unlivable, and as long as there is Sun, we are good.
Diesel stored how? Your diesel in your vehicles are safe from hurricanes and tornadoes? In-ground tanks? What about flooding? I not saying what you do is bad, I just wondering.
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  #59  
Old 03-27-2019, 05:33 PM
GONRA GONRA is offline
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GONRA gotta "Natural Gas" GENERAC in 2001. Very Pleased!!! Automatically runs Usual Stuff, Well Pump too. BUT - not quite "whole house": No AC, kitchen range, clothes dryer.

So, in the Winter we have everything we really need. In summer everything except AC. If his isn't OK, just get a Larger GENERAC....
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  #60  
Old 03-27-2019, 05:38 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
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All I gotta say is not having power after a hurricane in south Florida mid summer SUCKS!
My portable gas one runs the fridge and we use the propane bbq to cook with.
But man it gets HOT HUMID AND STICKY in the house and I just can’t sleep in that crap.
I want a whole home generator to run some things during the day and the central AC at night.
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  #61  
Old 03-27-2019, 07:43 PM
Timbo3 Timbo3 is online now
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Originally Posted by 7.62Kolectr View Post
All I gotta say is not having power after a hurricane in south Florida mid summer SUCKS!
My portable gas one runs the fridge and we use the propane bbq to cook with.
But man it gets HOT HUMID AND STICKY in the house and I just canít sleep in that crap.
I want a whole home generator to run some things during the day and the central AC at night.
I hear you man, went 5 days with out AC after Irma. I have a 5k portable with transfer switch that will run lights fans and the fridge. I also have a Honda 2000 for back up to the 5k and to let it rest. Over the winter I got a couple window AC units so at least next time we can have one room cool. I think I was loosing my mind on day 5. LOL.
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  #62  
Old 03-27-2019, 11:12 PM
1911_Kid 1911_Kid is offline
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Originally Posted by Timbo3 View Post
I hear you man, went 5 days with out AC after Irma. I have a 5k portable with transfer switch that will run lights fans and the fridge. I also have a Honda 2000 for back up to the 5k and to let it rest. Over the winter I got a couple window AC units so at least next time we can have one room cool. I think I was loosing my mind on day 5. LOL.
If you have city water and it still runs after the event, then I can suggest this for some AC relief w/o any need for power.

1) you need something like a 4core car/truck radiator (bigger is better)
2) you need a shroud for fan blade to radiator (like cars and trucks have)
3) you need a hydraulic pump of correct design
4) you need a lightweight fan blade

The idea is to use city water pressure to flow through radiator, then into the pump that spins the fan, then dump that water back out to the street and/or store some of it for later use. Can be done using garden hoses, etc. City water should be 20F+ less than a hot humid summer day in FL.

It will provide some cooling relief at the gal price of your city water. The key to the design is to have a large radiator with low flow rate so you can get good dwell time in the radiator, and a high enough flow rate that can drive a pump that spins the fan. Unfortunately for you humid places, swamp cooler will not work.
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  #63  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:54 AM
Taxed2death Taxed2death is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911_Kid View Post
If you have city water and it still runs after the event, then I can suggest this for some AC relief w/o any need for power.

1) you need something like a 4core car/truck radiator (bigger is better)
2) you need a shroud for fan blade to radiator (like cars and trucks have)
3) you need a hydraulic pump of correct design
4) you need a lightweight fan blade

The idea is to use city water pressure to flow through radiator, then into the pump that spins the fan, then dump that water back out to the street and/or store some of it for later use. Can be done using garden hoses, etc. City water should be 20F+ less than a hot humid summer day in FL.

It will provide some cooling relief at the gal price of your city water. The key to the design is to have a large radiator with low flow rate so you can get good dwell time in the radiator, and a high enough flow rate that can drive a pump that spins the fan. Unfortunately for you humid places, swamp cooler will not work.
Actually, not a bad suggestion, and I like the water pump drive idea on the fan! Very creative! I have electrically driven evaporative coolers for use outside in the courtyard that my house is built around, which definitely drops the temperature in that enclosed environment by at least 10deg (or at least if feels that much cooler). I can't tell you how many comfortable naps I have taken in my hammock on hot summer days under the shade of the porch that circles 3 of the 4 sides of my courtyard with the "swamp cooler" running in the corner. It really makes a difference! Misters work well too for outdoor use if you have water pressure, but you have to have water that is low in minerals or the misters will clog up pretty quick. Even without the usual source of water pressure for the evaporative cooler (or misters too for that matter) I guess I could, if I wanted to get fancy, use a sump pump and rig a recirculating system (obviously no recirculation system for the misters though) with an iced water sump of some sort (like one of the decorative metal horse troughs we have around the place) and further increase the cooling effect. Never had a need for it so didn't really think about that until now, but it wouldn't be that difficult to do and wouldn't require a lot of power. Heck, in a pinch I could probably repurpose the solar panel, inverter and battery system from my front gate to run it for as long as I had ice. Even without ice I could make a cascade system for the return water and still cool it enough to have a workable cooling system. That's one of the things I love about this forum, it makes me think about stuff before I actually need it!

Last edited by Taxed2death; 03-28-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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  #64  
Old 03-29-2019, 10:42 AM
hardluk1 hardluk1 is offline
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We had an old Lister single cylinder diesel running a 120volt ele. motor at a hunt camp . Listing to the putt putt putt would drum you to sleep at night . Now I have a propane generac 7000watt for the last 11years that can run my well , refer , gas furance and several other area circuits . In 11 years powers not been out for more than a hour total time so it runs 10 minutes a week and that's about it !! Power copo head man lives down the road so when problems pop up his powers back on NOW if it goes off .
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  #65  
Old 05-22-2019, 03:28 AM
Johnny handgun Johnny handgun is offline
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Well, purchased a Sears 3500W OHV 8 horse around 1999. I have never needed it but I have had many friends that have needed it. They were all very thankful that I bought one.
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  #66  
Old 05-23-2019, 10:23 AM
wlhawk wlhawk is offline
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Originally Posted by STORM2 View Post
I went 10 kw portable with house breaker panel wired with appropriate plug. I had a licensed electrician do the work. I can run everything including A/C or heat. I cannot run the A/C and other 220 at the same time, but we can operate with that limitation. I wanted the off property option...but it is heavy. We have used it 3 times. 2 brief (3-4 hour) ice events and one summer A/C, 25 hour event (it was 100 daytime degrees outside), that event justified the breaker wiring cost! I now consider back-up power a NO-GO item.
I had a 220 outlet put in the garage when my house was built. During an outage, I turn off the main breaker from the utility company and connect my generator. I run it regularly to keep the battery charged.
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  #67  
Old 08-17-2019, 10:40 PM
Calibrator Calibrator is offline
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This is an older thread but I thought I would contribute. I had a 16kW Generac whole home generator installed a little over 2 years ago. It's been awesome! It came with a 10-year warranty! I have an annual maintenance agreement for $140/year but they keep the generator running in tip-top condition. This generator runs and performs a weekly self-check to ensure it's operating correctly. It has a phone app so I can see what the generator is doing. During a power outage, the generator automatically starts and switches my home power source to the generator automatically! It's a turn-key solution. I haven't worried a bit since it was installed. It's great piece of mind and it powers my entire home which would include A/C in the summer and the furnace in the winter. The only negative is during an extended power outage my home is the only light beacon in the entire neighborhood which draws attention to me. But, that's where the 2nd amendment comes in...
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  #68  
Old 08-28-2019, 01:09 AM
1911crazy 1911crazy is offline
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I ran my camp in the mountains on solar, 12 volts with eight 6 volt emergency lighting batteries. With a 90 amp alt, 4 hp gas engine. Great for lighting. Plus 12 volt camper stuff. I been thinking with bigger batteries a inverter can be used.
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  #69  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:42 PM
stevemaury stevemaury is offline
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I live where this is no grid power. Generacs have a horrible reputation, which I concur with. The last one I had lasted 200 hours before it blew. Same for my neighbor. Now I have Kohler and much better.
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  #70  
Old 10-12-2019, 08:38 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I concur with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemaury View Post
I live where this is no grid power. Generacs have a horrible reputation, which I concur with. The last one I had lasted 200 hours before it blew. Same for my neighbor. Now I have Kohler and much better.
Propane for electricity generation is just a bad way to go. The Kohler Diesel gen sets are the way to go. My wife and I looked at the Generac units and were not impressed.
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  #71  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:43 PM
STORM2 STORM2 is online now
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Storm blew through Northern Dallas area about 2 hours ago. Power out. Generator running, A/C running. Regardless of which fuel you use, itís nice to have power when the whole neighborhood is dark. Itís sorta like the compressor. Once you have one, you will not go without!
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  #72  
Old 10-21-2019, 01:43 AM
cruise cruise is offline
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Thanks for the post. Great info here. We have been contemplating a gen set. We have a portable that will run critical circuits except for our well (650í deep, 5hp pump motor). We want to upgrade to a propane whole house setup.
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  #73  
Old 10-21-2019, 05:38 AM
Wilsonedbrown Wilsonedbrown is offline
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Originally Posted by win3030 View Post
I have a Generac 11K propane, flawless for the last 4 years. Kicks on within 5 seconds of an outage. Longest it's run was for about 3 days.
This right here I have the same or similar unit works great have been using it for about 15 years.. It has failed to start during its once a week test 3-4 times do to needing the battery replaced but thats about it.. I have heard the new generacs arent as reliable as the older units but have no experience with them..

Last edited by Wilsonedbrown; 10-21-2019 at 05:40 AM.
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  #74  
Old 10-21-2019, 09:38 AM
2Amister 2Amister is offline
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i have a 3.5 Yamaha kva that is sufficient
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  #75  
Old 10-21-2019, 03:29 PM
msjdgman msjdgman is offline
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For the minor outages, I have a contactor grade Gererac 7500W that I bought back in 2003. If itís going to be a long outage period, I get out my Winpower 15KW pto generator.
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