Portable Home Generator Questions

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In 2003, when the ice storm took out much of northeast USA. My neighbors didn't seem interested in sharing power. One neighbor didn't want me to wire into her furnace. I'd been installing furnaces for three years at that point, and knew what I was doing. The other neighbor had a generator coming from the fire department (he'd been a member). He planned to use it to run electric space heater. I told him that was a poor use of resources, but he didn't seem interersted.
One family did let me run their furnace, in the house. Warmed up, nicely. They had lost the digital phone when they lost power. The next day I went back, and found they had gone to a public shelter, and I'd wasted my trip.
I'm not big on sharing power, any more.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Your only on the hook if you charge for the use of your power. Otherwise the courts won't give them the time of day. They neighbor would simply have no cause of action at law.
-- Tom Horne
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PeterD wrote:

Do you have a cite for the "buried gas line below the frost line"? I don't think that is required or common practice.
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I'm also curious for the cite. Where I am, (NY State, USA) we often have gas lines exposed outside buildings.
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Christopher A. Young
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It may be common practice, but frost isn't the issue. I have little to no dirt on a property and was thinking about relocating a 500 gal propane tank a little farther away from the house mostly for visual reasons, but also to make winter deliveries up a frequently icy drive easier.
I was thinking I'd have to have some expensive rock trenching done, but the local propane supplier said we could also just mound dirt over the line. The requirement is to protect from casual abrasion.
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As to abrasion. I'd be tempted to put PVC or Pex over the propane line, for improved shielding. It's a bit of a pain to trace propane or other gas leaks. Seeing as how it's working for you, that's good.
Put the tank closer for the delivery guy is very considerate. Especailly when you call for fill in the winter snow season.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:07:27 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Exposed, yes, burried no. Frost heaving can fracture the line if not properly installed. Frost can move the ground 2 to 4 inches in some cases, but not a consistant move, someplaces it moves less than an inch, other places much more. Frost is nasty that way!
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The bush doctrine WE FIGHT THEM THERE SO WE DONT HAVE TO FIGHT THEM HERE.
Well after the NEXT major attack on US soil:(
It will get changed too:
Bring the military back from peaceful areas of the world like japan and germany, and put them to work HERE for stuff like border security.
our country is broke having given away its wealth buying energy for a generation, and shipping our manufacturing base and even phone support jobs overseas.
we can no longer afford to be the worlds cop......
now its time to protect ourselves.
Airport security and TSA is all about making us feel safe, not about real safety.
a couple terrorists with a SAM can take out us airliners at any time.
having a generator or two, sopme shelf stable food, drinkable water, etc is survivalism its just good common sense........
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My family is using minimum buried lines from New Hampshire out to Southern California and has been for many years. Not one of my five sisters not my brother has had a line broken by frost damage. My church operates summer camps from the mountains of North West Maryland to the sea coast of the Carolinas. None of those underground propane lines has ever had frost damage. No that is not a complete geographic sample of the US but I have not heard of buried gas lines being frost damaged. I don't see the problem.
-- Tom Horne
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Peter
There are a number of factual errors in your posting. Fuel gas lines do not have to be below the frost line. Under the miss utility laws of most states the liability is all with the person doing the digging who disturbs an existing line. We have had a number of propane installs done and a single central tank has always worked out cheaper in the long run. When we installed the generator at my firehouse the cost of the gas line was much cheaper than the additional cost of a diesel generator even though that was a natural gas and propane combination unit that needed a gas line run from the street as well as from the propane tank.
The point is that your own experience; or mine for that matter; will not, necessarily extrapolate well to another installation in another location.
-- Tom Horne
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PeterD wrote:

A fellow from Alaska got involved with a post about using similar fuels for heating and diesel engines along with jet fuel and kerosene for cross purposes. He said they brought fuel in by barge and didn't screw around with having too many categories of fuels. I wish one of our Alaskan friends would speak up and tell us all what will work.
TDD
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Especially if the free market forces were unrestrained. Gas stations could charge hurricane prices, and pay for the generator that way.
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Christopher A. Young
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Chas Hurst wrote:

Whenever there is some sort of disaster, entrepreneurs will load up trucks with all sorts of supplies to sell in the affected area but that was in the past. Now capitalists are charged with the crime of price gouging and often have their property confiscated by government types with guns. I thought it would be interesting to open a warehouse down in Florida well in advance of hurricane season and advertise things like batteries, generators, chain saws, etc at three times the going rate. No one would buy any until there was a disaster and when government types showed up to accuse you of price gouging, you can point out that your prices have been the same for months, what's the problem?
TDD
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Gas station owners don't make any money off the gas even when the power is on. I've heard on more than one occasion that only a few cents per gallon goes to the store owner. Out of that they have to pay a licensing fee to the oil company, upkeep on the pumps, etc...
Why the hell should they fork out money for a generator just so the big oil company can rake in more money?
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

So, if buy gas at a gas staiton that only sells gas and oil, doesn't have a store, and doesn't fix cars...., am I to assume that they are not making any money? Why else would they be in business?
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You have gas stations that only sell gas and oil? We sure don't have any of those here in NC. There is a profit margin on gas but it's generally pretty small. Store sales profit margin is 50% or higher.
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most of their money comes from the snacks and drinks. Seriously.
nate
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I've never seen a place that was 100% gas and oil only. Even the most basic gas station has a stand-up cooler with overpriced bottles of soda next to the cash register, and a rack of smokes.
Judging by the looks of those places, though, I would say you're making a pretty safe assumption. Dirty, run-down, old pumps, potholes in the lot... They're not making any money, or they'd make improvements.
Why do they stay in business? Sheer stupidity, possibly. Who knows? Lots of people will continue to forge ahead with a failing business long after it's clear that there's no future.
Some of the places are owned by the fuel distributors, though. I know of two here locally that have signs proclaiming that they're owned by such-and-such oil company... That's called double-dipping. Not only do they get the distributor's cut, they also get the gas station's cut.
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Same here. Pumps aren't the latest gee wiz built in advertising monsters, but the gas comes from the same place.
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I can't say as I know of any "gasoline only" retail. Every one I know, has mini mart as part of the operation.
According to some, they would be in busines "because others have a need".
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Christopher A. Young
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