If you have Propane or Ng get a Tri fuel unit, gas goes bad and
filling it and storage is a pain. a 3600 rpm gas unit of Honda motor
quality is worth maybe 2-4000 hours, cheap motors you get much less
life, the cheapest around 300 hours. How you load it will determine
alot of its life. 10 days running full will wear out some units, the
biggest life increase is low rpm 1800 and lower but those are alot
more money commercial units.
I have an inexpensive PowerBoss from HD with running watts of 5500 and
starting 7350. Transfer box, as others point out, requires only one 240
plug and will power my furnace, well, refrigerator, 2 small freezers and
some left over for some TV and lights. Big items like AC, electric stove
and hot water heater were left off circuit. Unit is noisy but less than
half price of a Honda but in the 4 years I've had it, it's probably been
run less than 50 hours. I store the unit full with two 5 gal cans of
standby gas. You don't need to run the generator full time, like when
you are out of the house or asleep. Living in a state like Florida
where gas stations may be out too, then you need to store a lot of gas
but not here in Delaware. Guess it depends on where you are in NC.
If we had gas, a gas generator would probably be preferred as it would
be cleaner and maybe get by with less frequent start-up intervals.
Of course, during a power cut, you try to use as little
electric as possible. Partly to save fuel, partly cause you
don't want to stand out like a lighthouse in a harbor. And
all the moths, I mean, neighbors, will magically fly over
and ask to come in and watch TV.
Natural gas or propane might also be quieter than gasoline.
Whatever your choice, chain it securely when it is running.
Generators are a very high theft item. If possible, don't
leave it out past dark.
Do Diesel engines of the size for a home generator-I'm guessing in the
10 HP range, use glow plugs to start? And can they be easily started
manually. I would imagine pulling on a rope against the compression of a
Diesel, and trying to spin it fast enough to start would be difficult at
best. Just curious. Larry
After last month's ice storm in North Carolina, I have
decided to invest in
a portable generator.
CY: You, and at least a few others.
After some research at various sites, I am certain
that around 8 kw will fit my needs.
CY: How'd you get that number?
In terms of efficiency and fuel use, which generator type
gas, diesel, or
CY: Diesel and propane are more efficient, and the fuel
stores longer. They are more expensive to purchase.
Has anyone here used a tri-fuel generator, such as the one
made by Northern
Industrial Tools ?
How can one safely and properly store 150 gallons of gas ?
I figure this is
amount that i would need in any severe storm. I am aware
of the use of
Stabil, and I would
also "rotate" the gas at least once a year.
CY: You'd want to check wtih the local building codes
people. If there are no such people, please consider a
diesel generator, and a 275 gal tank of home heating oil.
It's essentially the same as diesel, but it's a different
color. Since you're not using it for motor fuel, no worries.
Has anyone here used a propane generator ? If so, how well
did you like it
model have you used ? If you have not used one, do you
know of one on the
right now, in the 8 KW range ? (I find that all the
propane ones I find
are much larger
generators, up to 12-15 kw or higher).
CY: Larger isn't necessarily a bad thing. If a generator
runs at part load, there is less wear.
In terms of fuel usage, is a gallon of propane about the
same as a gallon of
CY: Gal of propane is less, I think. During a power cut, you
want to run as little as possible, so your power cut
electric needs are different than your grid power needs.
I need 6 120 volt circuits, and two 240 circuits. The
are needed for
hot water, and water pump. Will this mean that I will need
power cables run
from my generator to the transfer switch in the house ?
cables in given lengths, or will my electrician custom make
CY: Should need one cable, and a good electrician will do
all of that.
If I use a propane tank, it may well be 50 feet lower in
elevation than my
up to 100 feet away. Will the propane travel an uphill
run like this ?
CY: Propane, also called LPG, is a compressed gas. Released
to the air, it flows down hill. In the tube from the tank to
the generator, it will EASILY flow uphill.
What is your favorite generator in the 7-8 KW range ?
CY: No preference.
Well, that should be enough questions for now !!
CY: Naah, there's plenty more questions.
Thank you in advance for any comment or advice !!
## Money is easier to store than gasoline. Hurricane Yikes made a believer
out of us regarding sufficient fuel on hand (every gas station for 60 miles
was without power to pump fuel). We now have oodles of gas cans and plan,
when the forecast is for bad weather (hurricanes for us, ice storms for
you), to get them filled in advance of the storm. We figure, after the storm
passes, we can use the gasoline for our vehicles.
## If you go for propane or diesel, you'll have to muster a different
## If your generator uses one gallon per hour of gasoline, I'd think 50
gallons would be sufficient. First, you won't be using the generator 24/7 -
there will be times - like when you're sleeping - you'll shut it down or you
can have 'roaming blackouts,' two hours on, one hour off, or other rationing
techniques. Second, when you get down to your last five or six gallons, you
can forage for more fuel.
## The number of circuits and so forth is handled by your transfer switch;
there will be ONE cable from the generator to your distribution panel. You
can have a cable custom made, but cables do come in standard lengths (10',
25', 50', etc.). They ain't cheap!
## The 120v outlets on the generator are for use at a construction site or
similar where there is NO distribution panel. The builders plug their saws
and compressors directly into the generator. For emergency power, as in your
situation, these outlets on the generator are typically not used.
1. Plan on some method of anchoring your generator against theft.
2. A couple of 100' extension cords are nice so you can accommodate your
neighbor's minimal electrical needs (refrigerator, TV,...).
3. Generators are generally louder than the hinges on the gates of Hell. If
you DO pay a premium for a quiet one, its only advantage is that you can
better hear your neighbors' loud generators.
4. In these difficult financial times, I see several ads for generators on
Craigslist at substantial savings. People seemingly are turning their seldom
used assets into cash. You might find a bargain.
5. You can dispense with the transfer switch by adding a double 50-amp
circuit breaker to your panel and wiring it to an external plug. If you do
this, you'll need an interlock (Google for) to fit your panel. The interlock
switch prevents the mains to the pole from being energized by your
I have always wondered why states (especially those prone to hurricanes,
storms, snow storms) do not require that ALL gas stations have a simple
backup generator so they can pump the gas that is in their tanks. And, of
course, once the generator is started they can use their own gas pumps to
keep filling their generator gas tank to keep it running.
I always think how stupid it is in a natural disaster emergency that people
who need to evacuate can't get gas because the gas at the gas stations is
unavailable simply because the gas station doesn't have the power to pump
its own gas.
You are rotating your stock, right? Even in brand new non-cruddy cans,
it does not store real well. Pour a can in the car, go top off the car
with fresh, refill the can, lather, rinse, repeat. I don't know what the
specs say, but emergency gas over a year old would not give me a warm
That is sort of what I do. I have 3 plastic cans that hold 5 gallons each.
It usually takes about 2 gallons to mow the grass, so during the mowing
season I use the gas out of one can and rotate to the next one. I also use
some of that gas for other small engines such as the pressure washer and
chain saws. I have a seperate 1 gallon can that I use for oil/gas mix but
it is filled from the larger cans.
When I go to fill an empty can, I put the Sta-bil in the empty can and go to
the gas station. That mixes it up while it is being filled and some on the
3 mile trip back to the house.
The gas is rotated very quick in the summer and not usually over 6 months
old through the non mowing months.
I put Stabil in all my gas cans. I use the gas for the mowers and it
seldom get over 5 months old. When you exercise the generator, you
need to have some load on it. I use a portable heater for this
purpose. You also need to let it run long enough to reach full
operating temperature. After you shut it down, top off the fuel tank.
don't forget to change the oil at least once a year.
Not only that but they dont make any money when they have no power.
It just seems like a no-brainer to me. Gasoline at gas stations is a vital
commodity in a disaster and no-power situation. It could even apply in
certain "homeland security" (what a joke that is) situations, so they could
spend homeland security funds to help gas station owners pay for the initial
And, the states could even impose certain no-gouging and even-distribution
laws that they could put into effect in a declared emergency. They could
authorize, for example, that in declared emergency situations the gas
stations could charge an additional $1.00 or so per gallon as an incentive
for them to stay open at least until they run out of gas, and re-open when
they get more gas if the emergency still exists and the power is still out.
And, the emergency regs could limit the size of the fill-up per vehicle to 5
or 10 gallons each. That would help prevent all of the gas stations at the
very epicenter of the disaster from selling out all of their gas to too few
people. By limiting the size of the fill-up, people would be dispersed at
to a wider geographic area and could refill their tanks when they are
perhaps 100 miles further away from the disaster center.
I realize it's fun to play dictator, and dictate how the
country should run. But, please remember that the free
market and freedom is what made the USA great, in the past.
And lack of freedom is much of USA's problems, now. Freedom,
the market, profit, supply and demand. To me, that's the
answer. Your "no brainer" demonstrates lack of brains. Or
maybe lack of understanding how the USA used to work.
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