exercising an emergency generator

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Most folks I know who have emergency generators run them once a month or so.
I just got one [lost power for a week last week] and note that the manual says once a *week*. [Briggs and Stratton 5500 watt Storm Responder]
That seems like a CYA suggestion. I run Stabil in my gas and will probably go for once a month under load. What is a good load? An electric space heater that draws a constant 1500watts or so? Power tools that draw a surge?
I'm also going to build a little shed/doghouse for this thing. Has anyone seem some good ideas for a 4x5 structure that blends into the landscape? [I've been thinking of a scaled down chalet- a gingerbread house- or a fake boulder as possibilities.]
Thanks Jim
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That sure sounds excessive. Do they think the motor is a real piece of shit?

Just starting it is probably enough. Once a month w/ a load sounds fine.
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Want you to wear out the engine and buy another?
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Christopher A. Young
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It needs it once every 6 months so the generator doesnt loose residual magnatism, if you ran it dry of gas you would have no worry of gumming the carb, stabil helps, but empty is best.
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Suppose you went too long without starting it. How do you go about getting it generating again? (I don't know that I have a problem yet.... will have to go start it first to find out. It's been a while.)
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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On Dec 19, 8:37�pm, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

I frequent a used tool company, hamilton tool beaver falls pa, A fascinating place..have bought 4 or 5 broken generators there, me and a buddy fixed and gave them away or sold them till harbor freights prices got so low,.
My buddy was the brains of repair retired with electroinics degree from CMU pittsburgh........
many broke ones were ID as lost magnetism, never found a single one with that problem.
blown boards, bad commentators or brushes, sagged springs causing low RPM = low voltage output, and the killer bad start windings.
I think the lost magnetism is a urban myth
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I saw it happen, it didnt work then we jumped it. But I wonder if it might not take years. Urbn myth, then why do better or some big units have a circuit that engages on startup to juice it, because demagnitising happens.
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On Dec 19, 7:37pm, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

You "Flash" it, that is using a 12v battery on the generators output terminals while it is running, I never did it but I had instructions and im sure they are online, I think better units have a circuit put in for this. 6 months does not mean it will not work and I dont know the science behind how long they really last but I have heard of this happening. Starting it with any minimal load keeps it working I have been told.
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

I probably only run mine every 2-3 months. No load, just let it warm up. I've had it maybe 3 years. I wheel in and out of garage where fortunately my panel is connected just a couple of feet from end of garage. Over hang keeps rain off and if needed, I can close garage and leave generator connected outside.
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I've had a Cummins Pro 6000E gasoline generator for about 10 years. It has a 9 gallon tank on it. I exercise it for about half an hour every couple of months, under varying loads. I use Stabil in the fuel, and I religiously dump the fuel twice a year and fill with fresh gas. Never had a problem
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Brand of gasoline is important, and also deciding if you wan to burn that 10% ethanol stuff. My sense is that ethanol is a bad idea in small equipment. I know that my vehicles get more than 10% mileage decrease on ethanol. So, the actual usage of petroleum goes up when I tank up on ethanol gasoline.
I'd like to hear about your religious gasoline dump. Are you using the old gas for a burnt offering at an altar, for example? Do you call a priest for the ceremony, or perhaps a couple of witches? Is the semiannaul fuel dump mentioned in the holy writings some where?
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Christopher A. Young
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On Dec 19, 7:21pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Can you honestly but 100% pure gasolene anywhere, I thought it was all 10% moonshine. But dont forget it wont freeze from water at -20f, alcohol has absorbed condensed water. I often saw folks with frozen gas at -0f in the 70-80s, bu not now.
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I suggest you keep it indoors where the temperatures are moderate and moisture doesnt cause grief and rust.
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Now, that's religious. Store your generator in Heaven, where grief doeth not steal, nor moth nor rust corrode.
I was thinking about the 6,000 watter with nine galons. That sure would be nice, have a bit of extended run time without having to top it off.
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On Dec 19, 8:23�pm, "Stormin Mormon"

well in pittsburgh with heavy moist air and winter temperatures near zero occasionally I would much rather try starting a generatoir thats not at 15 degrees. plus everything in my 16 by 20 foot shed rusts, no doubt from trapped moisture and temperature swings. so my generators live indoors. I have 3, for redundancy:) two smaller ones and one 4000 watt unit
as to your 6000 watter fuel consumption is larger with a bigger generator even at low load, and bigger often means noiser.
my 1000 watt inverter and 1000 watt gasoline generator get the most use here. havent needed the 4000 watt one for years thank goodness.
by carefully rotating loads you can use little fuel, and be reasonably comfy.
last summer we got a new furnace with AC, previously we used window units.
well I kept one 5000 BTU window unit for emergencies, during the summer.its living in a closet in case we ever need it
remember gasoline may be in short supply, you dont have to light up your home like a baseball stadium, get have some warmth, light, and keep your freezer cold..
its a good idea to have a few spare watts for your neighbors, during a emergency if they have a light provided by you, they are unlikely to complain about the genrator running:)
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well in pittsburgh with heavy moist air and winter temperatures near zero occasionally I would much rather try starting a generatoir thats not at 15 degrees. plus everything in my 16 by 20 foot shed rusts, no doubt from trapped moisture and temperature swings.
CY: Rust is a serious concern.
so my generators live indoors. I have 3, for redundancy:) two smaller ones and one 4000 watt unit
CY:I also like the redundant equipment.
with a bigger generator even at low load, and bigger often means noiser.
my 1000 watt inverter and 1000 watt gasoline generator get the most use here. havent needed the 4000 watt one for years thank goodness.
CY: Inverter... you have a battery storage bank? Or run it off the vehicle? My 1200 watt ETQ generator is a two stroke, but it's very quiet. When a friend had his power off, it ran his very old furnace.
by carefully rotating loads you can use little fuel, and be reasonably comfy.
CY: An hour of furnace will heat my trailer to get me through the night.
last summer we got a new furnace with AC, previously we used window units.
well I kept one 5000 BTU window unit for emergencies, during the summer.its living in a closet in case we ever need it
CY: Yes, a window unit will often run off a portable generator. Central AC takes more power, and larger starting current. Might be possible with some larger generators.
remember gasoline may be in short supply, you dont have to light up your home like a baseball stadium, get have some warmth, light, and keep your freezer cold..
CY: With few exceptions, most of the time when you need a generator, gasoline is unavailable. Cause the gas stations don't have power, to run their pumps. The furnace run I did, was an exception. The guy was wihtout power for non payment, and everyone else in the world had power and gasoline.
its a good idea to have a few spare watts for your neighbors, during a emergency if they have a light provided by you, they are unlikely to complain about the genrator running:)
CY:It's nice to have extra power. However, you risk setting up yourself as the neighborhood power company. Many people get insistent, miserable, demanding, and jealous. Very few offer to help pay for your gas and oil.
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On Dec 20, 10:08�am, "Stormin Mormon"

My 1000 watt inverter connects quickly to any one of my 3 vehicles. for short power outages and lights while setting up bettewr things, plus I have a drop light with 12 volt bulb, and spare bulbs they break easy..
my one neighbor is in her 80s in bad shape but refuses to leave her home, I would absolutely help her out in a emergency. my other closest neighbor is a buddy who helps with projects etc.
if I were provding electric and someone got too demanding I would just pull the plug:)
most people getting something for nothing are pretty laid back, I wouldnt ask for money for gasoline unless the outage lasted many days
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I wonder if we live on the same street. I've got one of those neighbors.
Thousand watt inverter is 83 amps, plus losses, at 12 volts. What kind of connection? Bigger than a lighter socket, I'd guess?
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jumper cable clips, that came with inverter. although I just picked up some longer heaer all copper cable jumper cable set, will modify with ring terminals at inverter end.
our inverter easily runs our 34 inch tv, a satellite receiver and CFL living room light in a quick emergency
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I use welding cable for my 1500 watt inverter.
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Jim Rusling
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