Portable Home Generator Questions

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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:

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.
--
Christopher A. Young
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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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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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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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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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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Folks in my neighborhood are getting prepared now. I was surprised when I found out how many are very serious about the turn of world events.
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