Portable Home Generator Questions

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powered generator. Weather doesn't sneak up on us these days, so you should have ample time to fill how many plastic 5 gallon jugs you think you need. I've got a 4.4Kw gas powered unit that gets used once or twice a year. I use "Stabil" in the fuel tank and the the engine starts easily by rope. The unit is light enough to transport to other homes, or a job site, if needed; something a diesel generator might not be.
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our last power outage was five days. I expect to need a minimum of 12 gallons a day. that would be 60 gallons/ a ten day outage (possible) would be 120 gallons. That isn't easy to store.....
James
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During a power out, it's wise to conserve energy use. You can't go on with your hair dryer, electric coffe late' maker and heated cuticle trimmer and vibra massage door mat outside the front door like nothing is wrong. Man, that is so yuppie. You have to make adjustments during emergencies.
Run the furnace, and a few lights. Turn off the TV and learn how to play scrabble, or other bored (spelling air intenshunnel) games with your family. Go visit folks, invite the nieghbors in for a hot drink and a bored game.
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How many days were the roads and gas stations closed? And I very much doubt you'll need 12 gals a day.
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WTF are you doing that you need to run the generator for that long?
In an EMERGENCY, you don't need the air conditioner, sixteen computers, electric dryer, all the lights on. Your priorities should be preservation of the food supply, communication, and protecting the shelter. Basically, refrigerator, freezer, radio/TV, and a sump pump.
Hell you don't need anywhere near 8KW for that.
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On 1/26/2010 10:34 AM, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

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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I have been fine with a 4k one. I can't run the central ac's but I can run both gas furnaces and the kitchen fridge and bar minifridge. I hardwire it to the house and we use the lights, microwave, hairdryers, computers, and other appliances just as we normally would. I do tell everyone not to leave lights on and to consider the fact that we're on the generator. Yoiu can hear it crank harder when the microwave or a hair dryer is usd but most ofthe time it's no where near full load. Typically 5 gal of gas lasts the whole day. I put in a whole house fan to compensate for the loss of ac.
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One time at a friend's, the electrician left his generator running while he was doing some wiring. They plugged in a coffee maker, you could really hear the engine work harder. I can run a window ac 10,000 BTU, on my 2500 watt generator.
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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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wrote Re Re: Portable Home Generator Questions:

That looks good. I have a 5kw (surge) and wish I had a larger unit. If I was replacing my 5kw unit I would go for at least 7kw, so I don't think 8kw surge is too large. The tri-fuel is a very nice option to have.
With the 8kw, you'll probably be running at 1/2 power most of the time, but so what? You'll use less fuel and have less wear on the unit. When you need the extra capacity you'll have it. After the fourth day without the grid you'll be glad you have the extra capacity.
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REALLY your far better off to have TWO generators a small quiet fuel conserative 1KW for nightime operations, PLUS a large 7 or 8 KW or more for interiment operations.
Probably natural gas powered, cause theres definite issues with storing a 100 gallons of gasoline or more, and new gas spoils even with stabilizer. Probably the 10% ethanol mix.. Just ask your municipality about storing so much gasoline:( and since most stations dont have generators you wouldnt be getting more easily:(
Now I have a 1000 watt inverter, for quick hook up to my vehicle. it worked great! Came home to no power:( TV and light on in 5 minutes........
Having lived thru a 3 day summer outage it was horrible. In the winter people can die.
I believe in having enough power to help some neighbors!!
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I bought an ETQ generator off Ebay. Two cycle gas mixer. I was totally astounded, how quiet it was. I'd not want to leave a generator outdoors at night, too much risk of theft. But the ETQ is good for not disturbing the neighbors. Most generators are as noisy as a lawn mower.
How did you handle the three day summer outage? Cold showers?
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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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