My total backup plan for winter electricity outages is two of these.
And currently about 4 gallons of kerosene. Should get more.
For outages when it's not freezing, I just suffer it. Multi-day
outage only happened once.
Here, there ave been 3 multi-day outages. that's about 1 every 8 years.
The first was an ice storm in 1999. I had just moved and the outage was
when I found I had gas logs (old and completely non-electric).
The second was Hurricane Ike (about 2007) in the fall when the weather
was good (at least after the wind stopped).
The third was a tornado this May. It wasn't summer yet but it was still
hot. I got a generator in 2007 and it could run a window AC. It'd be
enough for the natural gas furnace if it was cold.
OT: Tomorrow I put out Halloween decorations.
71 days until the winter celebration (Friday December 25, 2015 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).
Guy I know has one of those fancy-schamcy pad-mounted gennies with
automatic start/cutover - fed by a huge propane tank.
Every so often it starts itself up for a systems check.
When we had last year's 9-day electric outage, it turned out that all
those systems checks had burned out the alternator and he was without
the gennie until the outage was over and a repair guy came out.
After hearing that, I got a second 2KW gennie.... now I have two... and,
besides it being nice to be able to make coffee or run the big
microwave, the real purpose of it is redundancy.
I keep them in the garden shed and start them up for a few minutes every
month or so .... or whenever I think of it.
On Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 1:58:10 PM UTC-4, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
A guy who lives near me had a similar experience. He had a 12KW Generac
nat gas powered, maybe 5 years old. Started up every week for the routine
check run. Very lightly used, power is generally reliable here. During
a hurricane outage, a few hours into running, it died. He wound up buying
a gas generator from one of the out-of-state guys with a rental truck.
I'm sure that wasn't cheap. He had the service guys come out and they
told him it wasn't worth fixing. So, he bought a new one. I got the old
one, which, since it was only a few years old, I figured I could probably
fix and keep. We knew the engine part was good, it started, ran for a
minute, etc. Upon diagnosing, the rotor for sure was shot and possibly
the armature. It would have been several hundred just for a new rotor.
The I happened to look at the reviews on Amazon for Generac standby
generators. They were horrific. All kinds of people in similar or
worse situations, including new ones out of the box that were defective.
A lot of people said they ran fine for the weekly test, then failed
when needed. I came to the conclusion that for the money I'd have to
put into it, versus what I'd wind up with, it wasn't worth it.
I wonder if the weekly test used up all the
hours of run time? Maybe if it were tested
every six months, it would work when needed.
Thanks for the field report.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
I can't imagine a short test run every week or so
being a problem for equipment that's worth anything.
Generators for irrigation systems in my area run about
800 hours per year or so. They sit outside for months
at a time between uses. There's usually no need to use
them from about Thanksgiving or so until maybe mid March.
Most of these generators are Lima-Mac. They're three
phase, 480 volt, 10 or 15 kw.
Using Opera's mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
On Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8:12:39 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:
Impossible. They run for about 10 mins once a week.
Insignificant in the expected life of a generator.
And even if it did, it would still be the manufacturer's
fault. They spec'd the eqpt and set the default weekly
On Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 10:06:25 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:
The only thing that made my reply "center posted" is that I didn't
trim off your usual Mormon plug. And about this you actually
have the nerve to complain? And you were the poster that people
for years complained about top posting and you continued.
Now go fuck your Mormon self.
The dealers and service people who attend the forum make the claim that
everybody is building similar stuff, and switching brands will not make
much of a difference. I have no way of proving or disproving their
claims, but my own unit has had a lot of small failures, each of which
has rendered the generator useless until they are fixed, such as failed
oil pressure sensor, leaking rubber part (manufacturing defect) leading
to overcrank /no start, bad gaskets, etc. It has delivered 7 years of
weekly testing and a total of 4 hours of actual use.
If Honda or somebody with quality engineering offered a replacement, I
would immediately replace mine. I would gladly pay twice the price for a
really reliable unit. Mine was $17000 for a 7K natural gas unit, and I
did all the installation (gas,
electric, concrete pad, etc.) by myself in one weekend.
Generac keeps changing model styles, cabinets, internal components, and
specs. They have not even slightly focused on perfecting a single design
and refining the functions, performance, safety, or reliability.
They have, as a single and only compliment, kept their prices fairly
constant, but their service and reliability makes them totally unsuited
for any really critical backup. If I leave and go out of town, I have
absolutely no confidence that my furnace, sump pump, refrigerator, etc.
will continue to work in a power outage, I know several Generac owners
locally with the same conclusion as mine, some of whom paid $5-7K for
big 16KW units with labor to install.
On Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:01:10 PM UTC-4, Smarty wrote:
Thanks for confirming what I thought. Luckily I figured it out before
putting $$$ into repairing that freebie one. Another factor that lead
me to that conclusion was that from my testing, the only thing that was
shot was the armature. A new one could be had for a few hundred bucks.
Yet the dealer was recommending scrapping it and buying another on a
unit that was only about 5 years old. It was possible that the service
guy had better test eqpt and figured out that the stator was also shot,
but I tend to doubt it had multiple failures all at the same time.
So, I'm thinking the service guy knows that a 5 years, even if you
fixed it, the future isn't likely to be very good. I guess they also
make more money faster on selling a whole new unit, but if you're doing
that only for that reason, you're not going to have many happy customers.
BTW, if you need any parts for yours, post a message here and maybe I
can help you out. Still have most of the parts. I made the mistake
of deciding to part it out instead of putting it on CL or Ebay as a
whole unit. And what do you think the one thing is that I sold?
The cabinet.... Go figure.
I know that you know this already but...
the Internet is overflowing with drama queens.
If we listened to some of the clowns here we'd never
buy any product ever again.
I have a 9-year-old 17kw NG Generac and it powers us
thru the typical 3-day after-storm outages just fine.
Has not failed yet.
Also have a house full of Whirlpool appliances,
some over 20 years old, all are humming along just fine.
And the Toyota vehicles in the driveway perform flawlessly as well.
And then there's Comcast. According to the attention-seekers,
Comcast is the devil incarnate yet we enjoy perfect service from them.
Comcast employees have always treated us well and
their prices are the best in the area.
What's not to like?
My 94-year-old parents just retired a 44-year-old
Lochinvar electric water heater made in Detroit.
They also have a 62-year-old GE chest freezer that
is still in service.
Sure, products fail occasionally and I'm sure Comcast has missed a
service appointment or two but it's not the epidemic that some
would have us believe.
We had a central electric furnace in our old house. One year in the
middle of a cold winter, the furnace broke. No one had the part locally,
and it took two weeks to special order a replacement. We struggled to
stay warm and keep the pipes from freezing using a couple of small space
From that experience I learned not to put all my eggs in one basket. In
our current home we have electric wall heaters. Each room can be heated
individually. If one breaks, we still have heaters in several other rooms
we can use.
If the power goes out completely, we have a woodstove. It easily heats
the entire house, we can cook on it if needed, and we can boil a pan of
water for bathing purposes. It even provides a bit of light.
I also have a small butane powered stove with several canisters of butane
I can use for cooking if needed.
Around here, power outages usually happen during the winter. Food will
generally stay cold in the refrigerator for almost a day. After that we
have been known to bag up the food and stick it outside where it's colder
I have a wide assortment of battery powered lighting and battery backup
for the computer and other devices.
Our biggest weakness during a power outage is water. We are on a well so
the pump stops running when the power goes out. If it times out right, we
may have 200+ gallons of water in the pressure tank. Usually the tank is
closer to empty when the power shuts off. So, I store about 20 gallons of
water in jugs for emergency needs.
We can easily get by for a few days. Beyond that we'll need to replenish
our food supplies anyway.
The longest outage we have had in 30+ years was two days.
Here, long (more than a couple of hours) outages seem to happen every 8
years. However, only 1 of the last 3 have been in the winter.
As I said in another post, I was glad to have the gas logs (gas water
71 days until the winter celebration (Friday December 25, 2015 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).
On Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 8:30:51 AM UTC-7, Mark Lloyd wrote:
Last two outages (rare around here)
The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, several hours but I had a small plug-in-the-car TV set to watch the local news.
A year or two ago, a car took out a telephone pole.
Got the gas powered generator started when the electricity came back on
We've had several episodes of the power going out for days at a time
here. One ice storm nearly closed down the entire city. Most power
lines are above ground here, so trees dropped a lot of ice laden
branches and lots of people were without power. Ours was out for 10
days, but others were 2 weeks or more.
We have a couple of generators and enough extension chords to get about
90% powered up. By the time the power came back on we were so used to
using the generators it was almost a bit of culture shock to not have to
use them again.
We had a friend who was out at the end of a dead end street after
Charley and they lived on a generator for months. They say the problem
was "feeding the monster".
Sometimes fuel is hard to come by and even then you are hauling a lot
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.