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Basic Preparations #4 - Generators

Hunner

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,321
Location
Arkansas
I agree with that about not using in an "enclosed" space.
In my case I am aware of that and understand the risk but have compensated. Placing one outside that you cannot see without going out there that is placed next to the house can also be a problem. Heck it's just a risk anyway you do it.
I did hear of several cases down on the Gulf while there, of generators "disappearing" that were running and connected.
Low life Huh?
I do know it is VERY dangerous to go outside in the rain or snow on wet ground to mess with a generator. Which is normally the conditions I need them. Heck switching off the mains is scary also. I use an insulated pole. I wish that was inside as well. I'm working on that.
I purpose built in, my large exhaust fan in the shop and have an opening window in the walk in door and raise the garage door some also. I have an auto Halon mounted next to the generator and being rural I have quite a few extinguishers in strategic places. However when up and running I check very often the state of everything.
I do not store the extra fuel inside.
With both doors open for flow thru and the large exhaust fan it becomes more like an open shed but out of the weather. I have done some smoke tests and it is removed very quickly. In fact the purpose was to also remove airborne dust when using wood working tools or fiberglass dust that was not picked up by the vacuum system.
But I do agree that one should be very cautious of any type of installation involving fuel and electricity. I have two sealed doors between this and the living area and CO2 detectors in several places. They have not gone off during any use of the generator. I have a staggered schedule of battery replacement.
We do not run ours when we finally try to sleep. Good time for them to rest too and the fridge and freezers will carry over until morning.
Usually by that time the battery backups are all charged up for any auxiliary lighting, for late night runs down the hall.
I love indoor plumbing!
 

3Hummers

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,183
Location
Central Texas
I have three 10x10 garage doors, central HVAC and large fans in my shop. The only way I run a generator in there is with them all open and with at least the large shop fans running and that is rare. Use caution and plenty of ventilation if running a generator in an enclosure that you are sharing with the generator.
 

Trekker

That Guy
Messages
217
Location
Olathe, KS
I found gas for $3.04 a gallon this weekend. Time to resupply my generator/vehicle fuel supply:

IMG_0044.jpg
 

Hunner

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,321
Location
Arkansas
I would be concerned Home Land Security and local law enforcement would stop you with all that on the front.
Looks like something out of Mel Gibson movie (Road Warrior) for crashing the compound.
 

Trekker

That Guy
Messages
217
Location
Olathe, KS
I would be concerned Home Land Security and local law enforcement would stop you with all that on the front.
Looks like something out of Mel Gibson movie (Road Warrior) for crashing the compound.

The contract civilian guard at the Ft. Leavenworth main gate did look at me kinda funny when I drove up. He took a quick look to make sure there wasn't any wires or detcord rigged to make them 'splode, then he waved me on.
 

H3nightrod

Well-Known Member
Messages
390
Location
Illinois
Hello everyone. I have been searching for a portable generator for home backup. I have a few in mind but problem is the price. Don't want to spend more than 700.00

I found this brand that seems more than I need and little over my budget. But I like the run time, fuel capasity, and low oil safety alarm. Anyone familiar with this brand or have any recommendations?

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SP101A14982S6033506902?mv=rr#desc
 

Flash

Well-Known Member
Messages
195
Location
Michigan
Hello everyone. I have been searching for a portable generator for home backup. I have a few in mind but problem is the price. Don't want to spend more than 700.00

I found this brand that seems more than I need and little over my budget. But I like the run time, fuel capasity, and low oil safety alarm. Anyone familiar with this brand or have any recommendations?

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SP101A14982S6033506902?mv=rr#desc

1. Determine how many watts you need. 5000 watts will run essentials like sump pump, refridgerator, furnace, master bath, a couple ceiling fans, etc. 1500-2000 watts will run a campsite.
2. Decide on fuel type (gasoline, natural gas/propane, or deisel).
3. Research maintenance of the engine. Honda's are quiet and mine has been trouble free.
4. Depending on your electronics, you may require a specialized unit with filters for "clean" power.
 

Portager

■ ☼▐▐▐▐▐▐▐ ☼■
Messages
1,506
Location
Silverado
Never heard of that brand.

Keep in mind that a cheap generator can damage expensive electronics. Also, inductive motors draw up to 5 times their steady state power during startup, so if two large loads start up simultaneously it can draw the voltage down into the danger one. For this reason, most people buy a much larger generator than they really need and it runs for hours with very low load, which is hard on the engine and wastes fuel.

If you need ultra clean power for electronics, you might be better off running the sensitive electronics off an pure sine wave inverter and using the generator to recharge the batteries as needed. Also, some inverters can synchronize with the generator and add their power to the generator to help with peak loads. This allows a smaller generator to handle a larger load.
 

nitrousvert

Member
Messages
8
Location
PA
For anyone who chooses to be prepared, some type of emergency power supply is a must. Short term (Less than one week) localized power failures occur frequently, and can be easily weathered with a small amount of preparation. But long term, widespread outages present different challenges. Stored fuel supplies will deplete leaving nothing to run that generator with.


Hence my project for this winter. :huh:


A wood gas generator.


I don’t want to disrupt the thread with a long explanation, so for those interested here’s the Wikipedia link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_gas_generator


FEMA published a book in 1989 describing how to build a gas generator in an emergency when oil was not available.
I tried to attach the pdf of that book but it exceeds the file size limit. So here's a link to the book.
http://www.woodgas.net/files/FEMA_emergency_gassifer.pdf

I have no association with woodgas.net but their download page has some interesting stuff.
 

cgalpha08

"Like Nothing Else"
Messages
3,499
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Our house is getting a massive generator installed, one capable of powering the whole house without any issue. I don't know what brand it is, but it puts out 20,000 watts, or something like that. We have a natural gas well on our property, so it runs off of natural gas. Theoretically it should be able to power it for a long time, unless the generator itself breaks, because fuel will not be an issue.
 

Sircode13

Well-Known Member
Messages
547
Location
Laguna Hills
I have two Solar generators, one from Solutions from Science which has a battery for power storage and one I got at Harbor Freight which can run lighting for camping. It doesn't come with a battery, but you can add a marine battery to it. Then I have a portable gas generator. Don't have a big home one cause might have to bug out.
:rolleyes: :) :beer:
Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

Paladine71

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
Messages
1,483
Location
Tallmansville, WV
For anyone who chooses to be prepared, some type of emergency power supply is a must. Short term (Less than one week) localized power failures occur frequently, and can be easily weathered with a small amount of preparation. But long term, widespread outages present different challenges. Stored fuel supplies will deplete leaving nothing to run that generator with.


Hence my project for this winter. :huh:


A wood gas generator.


I don’t want to disrupt the thread with a long explanation, so for those interested here’s the Wikipedia link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_gas_generator


FEMA published a book in 1989 describing how to build a gas generator in an emergency when oil was not available.
I tried to attach the pdf of that book but it exceeds the file size limit. So here's a link to the book.
http://www.woodgas.net/files/FEMA_emergency_gassifer.pdf

I have no association with woodgas.net but their download page has some interesting stuff.

Thanks, I've been looking for those plans. :thumbs:
 

Hunner

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,321
Location
Arkansas
Can you have dual output and make "shine" at the same time??
Wife works at a fuel distributor and I plan to park a small tank truck covered in camo in the south 40. That should last awhile.
As I originally posted I would not buy any generator in that larger size, 5000 and up, that did not have pressurized lubrication. When you spend what those cost the protection to get one that does is worth the increase in price. The others have a very limited run time before failure and especially when run for long periods of time.
 
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ricomondo

Member
Messages
19
Location
Northwest Indiana
I'm on natural gen #2 for the house. We had a Generac 7 kw at our last house. Worked great and living on a well, you need power so you can get water.
At our new house we stepped up at Generac 10kw. runs 12 circuits, which is almost everything in the house, save for the a/c. Installer says we'd need a 12 or 14 kw for that, but as long as we have all the ceiling fans going in the summer, its all good. Plus the garage door is on it too.
If you can swing it, I'd reccomend the Generac!
 

cgalpha08

"Like Nothing Else"
Messages
3,499
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Generator is up and running. Its a Siemens generator. Its huge!!!! About 2x5x2. Its runs a self test every Saturday to make sure all systems are go. We plan on turning off the power to the house this Saturday and seeing how it holds up to regular use

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
 

05Mudiak

Well-Known Member
Messages
731
Location
Lake Charles, LA
I have 2. the big one is a home depot special, Ridgid 8,500/6800 360cc Yamaha motor. it a beast I truely think its underated. It is loud we take it camping all teh timeto run a rv trailer and you can't really hear it inside. It will run our whole house I have yet to try the central A/C though lol.

IMG_8731.jpg


The lil guy is the Harbor Frieght $89. 2 stroke 800/900w, it runs good quiet and runs little stuff perfect, lights, fans, power tools. it doesn't weigh much. This one is actually brand new my old one a buddy borrowed and had it running on his tailgate and it fell off. I boughtthe extended warranty returned it no questions ask.
IMG_8733.jpg
 

Steve #1

Well-Known Member
Messages
534
Location
TEXAS
I don't have any experience with generators, but will pass on this little bit of information. If you are storing gasoline, try to find some without ethanol. Ethanol absorbs moisture and deteriorates plastic fuel lines and carburetor diaphragms. Premium (high octane) fuel is less likely to have ethanol in it but this is changing. Check this site to find stations that sell 0 ethanol fuel. http://pure-gas.org/ I keep a can to run lawn mowers and other yard equipment
 

abearden

Well-Known Member
Messages
609
Location
N. Idaho
I don't have any experience with generators, but will pass on this little bit of information. If you are storing gasoline, try to find some without ethanol. Ethanol absorbs moisture and deteriorates plastic fuel lines and carburetor diaphragms. Premium (high octane) fuel is less likely to have ethanol in it but this is changing. Check this site to find stations that sell 0 ethanol fuel. http://pure-gas.org/ I keep a can to run lawn mowers and other yard equipment
If you're storing gasoline, you should be using a fuel preservative like PRI-G or Sta-bil on premium fuel anyway. Both of these have ethanol neutralizers in them, but it does help to start off with gas that's fresher to begin with.
 

Hunner

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,321
Location
Arkansas
I'm trying a tank full of "regular" gas without ethanol in the H3 and I filled some 5 gallon cans. However they charge more for it here.

I use an ethanol conditioner in my power boat with a four stroke outboard.
 

LagunaH1

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,631
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Our daily lives are centered around electricity. It runs most of our applicances, and supplies us with water, heat, light, cooling, etc. Since the power grid crashes from time to time, or is taken down by storms, a generator is an important preparation for long-term emergencies.

What generators are you using as a backup power supply and what are your evaluations of them?

Since I am still on active duty, and have to move about every three years, I haven't been able to setup a permanent, large generator for my household. As soon as I retire, I'll look at picking up a more capable generator that can produce a lot more electricity. Currently, I only have a small solar generator that operates off of a solar panel for small loads. My setup is based on the one in this link, although you can buy the components and connect them yourself for a much lower price. The good side: you don't need a source of fuel other than the sun. The bad side: you need the sun, and a lot of time to charge the system (about 8 hours from drained to full).

http://livecofriendly.com/powersource-1800-solar-generator/

Very interesting. Living in Southern California, using the sun as an energy source seems a pretty viable option. If I understand correctly, the "battery" is the Duracell unit from the Youtube piece? If that's the case, presumably I could keep the battery plugged in to a regular AC outlet to keep it permanently charged, and then simply hook up the solar panel if the situation calls for it?
 

abearden

Well-Known Member
Messages
609
Location
N. Idaho
The Duracell unit is a battery, charge controller, and inverter in a single unit. You could get a trickle charger and leave it on the battery to keep it topped up and fresh until necessary. Building your own would run about $500 for a 800W unit (though run time would depend on what batteries you choose).
 

shawndondo

Zombie Slayer
Messages
49
Location
Enterprise, AL
Paladine71, Like you I like to be prepared for the worst at all times. The issue i have with gas generators are that they require gas...so you hav to rely on big brother to have a gas supply and storage for the abondate gas. I on the other had perfer solar...i know they too have their downfalls. I will not bore anyone with why i chose solar other than i wanted to be self reliant and the sound of some gas generator can be heard quite some distance away. If stuff hits the fan, a working generator with supplies means unwanted guest....thats where the armory comes in but that is another story.

The two companies that i recommed are Solar Stik and Goal Zero. Solar Stik makes products for the military and they are top notch in both quality and price. I have seen and used some of there Nano 100 products and the survived the Afghanistan enviorment. Goal zero on the other hand provides a very reasonable quality product. The Yeti 1250 is pretty amazing. Here are some pictures of the yeti and the escape 150.

The Yeti 1250. the picture on the far right is the upgraded panels with tripod. 120 watt of collectable power.

20120509_140909.jpg20120509_140919.jpg20120509_140925.jpg20120509_194145.jpg20120608_183704.jpg
My Configuration on the river.

20120527_183214.jpg
 

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