Portable Home Generator Questions

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Well, yes. A window AC has to plug into a bedroom outlet, which means it can't draw more than 1800 watts.
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Well spoken Morton. My sentiments exactly. I will install the 8KW, and have the comforts that I choose. Hell, a hot water heater alone takes 5kw, so will have to balance the load when I run that once a day to warm up the water.
Also have to run a water pump, and other misc stuff in the house.
James
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I have lurked on the sidelines and watched this thread progress and I must agree you don't NEED 8KW. However after experiencing several outages that stretched into the 10 day or longer periods it is certainly nice to have some creature comforts along about the 4th or fifth day. Running a generator at full load will shorten the life expectancy of the unit while running it at 50 percent load will allow the unit to operate longer with fewer repairs and use less fuel. It will also provide a cushion that allows you to be neighborly and keep others food from spoiling. By the next outage, they will probably have their own generator so they can enjoy a few creature comforts instead of merely existing. Then when yours goes down you can always walk over with a heavy duty extension cord over your shoulder and not feel guilty. Just my humble opinion from past experience.
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Here is the link to the trifuel generator made by Northern Industrial Tool:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
James
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I cannot say I've ever heard of anyone who bought a generator to prepare for the next power cut. I may have, but sure can't remember. Most folks buy them during a power cut, for sure. The stores sell right out. I can't say as I remember anyone getting paid back for fuel, or for being given power as return kindness.
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On Jan 26, 8:15�pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I DID!! Bought one to be prepared many years ago!
Then added a couple more, a tiny one for quiet times, and a bigger one for bigger loads.Added a inverter later:)
My best friend did the same thing before a outage.
No offense but not everyone is unprepared!!
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You must be Mormons? Or survivalists? My confidence in humanity is restored.
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On Jan 26, 8:15pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Guy I know was bragging that he got a practically new generator at half price when he bought at HD as a return after a big outage.
Another point, made by guys at HD, is that in high demand periods, generators are made with a variety of motors and generating units. If you find a cheap unit with a Honda motor and a Generac power supply, you're finding a bargain. A Honda dealer had told me to look for the Generac part which is what came with my B&D PowerBoss.
After perusing thread, I started up my 4 year old unit yesterday as it had not been run in 3 months and it started on second pull of rope.
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What's your future experience on the matter?
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During power cut, it's very wise to cut the electric usage to the bone. On your list of essentials, furnace is nice for heat in the winter. Someone who needs 8K continuous run is trying to maintain a party life style during a depression era. Not wise.
Besides, all the neighbors will see all the lights, and come over to live there, and eat you out.
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wrote:

The only answer which is correct is to ask the maker of the generator if it is acceptable. Some will run OK on it, some will not. My diesel generator will run on JP-1 (which is basically kerosene with some anit-ice additives), but it is very clear that doing so is not good! (Lack of lubrication). I'm not sure (exactly, that is) what K1 is, but I think it is a kero/fuel oil mix. Find the ratio that they are using, that will be a question the generator maker will ask. You may be able to add a lubricant to the fuel oil tank when it is filled to fix lubrication problems.
Unless you can get the propane tank next to the generator, I don't think that's an option.
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PeterD, I am not sure of your point in this sentence.....
------------
Unless you can get the propane tank next to the generator, I don't think that's an option.
--------------------- Why do you think a gas company will not run a line underground to a generator a hundred feet away ?
James
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wrote:

Technically it may be possible, but it would be expensive, and would have to meet code. The person who runs the underground line will have to address his liability should there ever be an accident or problem as well. Any line burried has to be below the frost line, for example, so for many areas that is a deep trench.
I guess I'd think that maybe a second tank near the generator would be the way to go... Almost certainly be cheaper in the long run.
My guess is that the cost of running a 100 ft underground gas line may exceed the incremental cost of going to a more appropriate generater (diesel), but I could be wrong.
If you have not guessed, I'm a big fan of diesel generators, followed by nat gas/propane ones. Gasoline ones are problematic often.
And while we are at it, getting a good generator is paramount! Some are so poorly built that their running life is only a few hundred hours! However, I was in Home Depot the other day, and they had two reasonably well build generators there, one with a Yamaha engine, one with a Subaru engine. Both would probably give good service. But those $500 units from China with the unknown engines on them are generally not a good investment. As well, if one uses a gasoline generator I'd recommend an annual 'tune-up' by a professional shop. Nothing sucks more than needing the generator and finding it won't start, runs poorly, or won't generate electricity!
(My generator is a 15KW diesel on a trailer... It'll put out 20KW if needed, and run at 15KW as long as you put fuel in it. You can even check and add oil while it is running!)
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PeterD:
Good comments/ and good comments from others. Yes, I will buy a good quality generator, and I will fire it up at least every other month/ I am looking at the trifuel generator sold by Northern Industrial Tools/ it is powered by a 390 cc Honda engine. I am sure it would be reliable.
James
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Can't say that I completely agree with some of this advice. I have a fairly cheap generator I use for backup power. I've had it for 7 years now. I probably use it an average of 0 to 30 hours a year. It does have a b&s engine but it's your basic 1 cyl cast iron engine. It's a 4 kw and if I had to do it over again I might get a 5 kw but would still get a cheap unit. People using them on job sites need the expensive ones cause they will get run for thousands of hours. I'd be surprised if I have more than a hundred hours on this one after 7 years. Running it periodically is critical. If it has a float bowl carb I also recommend you start it, let it run for a couple minutes, then shut off the gas at the tank. This will drain most of the gas out of the carb.
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wrote:

Run monthly (or even every two weeks during high risk times) for at least an hour each time, loaded for 45 minutes.

Can you post a URL to that one?

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That's total crap. Run it for 5 or 10 minutes every couple months. No load needed. Turn off the gas and let it run out of gas each time. Keep a can of ether in case it's hard to start when you need it.
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PeterD wrote:

(snip) Why does the genset need to be 100 feet from the house? The fancy automagic gensets I have seen installed were right next to the a/c box outside, and not much louder. The neighbors won't care, they will all be running generators themselves.
-- aem sends...
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the key to happy neighbors is your extension cord, if they are getting power too no one will complain
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Have plenty of gas and oil. Don't expect anyone to offer money to help with the expenses.
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On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:35:47 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

I don't see giving neighbors power (with an extension cord or anything else) is a good move. I see all kinds of downsides, including if anything goes wrong, you would be on the hook, not the neighbor.
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