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Anybody Keep A Generator For Emergencies?  
User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1124 times:

I live in what could be loosely termed a "sub-suburban" area, and have an electrically operated water well, so when there's no electricity there's no water. So I had been thinking about getting a generator for quite some time but never got around to acutally buying one. I had an old generator I borrowed from my brother for a while but never had to use it. With the strong possibility of an ice storm coming, I finally took the plunge yesterday and bought one. It's not a really big one, but it should be plenty to run the water well, fridge, computer (through a UPS), lights, etc. in case of an extended power outage. Here's a picture of the one I bought from Harbor Freight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=3708



We've had power outages where I live (out in the boonies) due to severe thunderstorms but never for more than a few hours at a time. This one has a 5 gallon tank on it and I usually have a couple of extra gallons around for the lawn equipment so that would get me by for a while. I have a 800 gallon propane tank and I would eventually like to put a kit on this generator to convert it to propane fuel because it would run for a loooong time on the supply of propane I could keep and the propane doesn't go bad over time like gasoline does (even though I use StaBil in my gas).

Anybody else have a generator "just in case"?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1124 times:

Quoting Queso (Thread starter):
Anybody else have a generator "just in case"?

I've had one power cut in the last 3 years... I dont think i could justify the cost...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineLHMARK From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1123 times:

My dad has a very large generator in his basement. He lives in an affluent suburb, but they still lose power about twice a year. Plus, let's just say he's skeptical about the long term civility of our society...


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14140 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1109 times:

I still have a 20KW 3 phase 220V 50Hz generator, powered by an old Volkswagen Beetle engine, in my garage, but I'll have to restore it first. I got it from the civil defense (our unit wanted to scrap it) and had it dismanteled for transport and storage.

Jan


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8772 posts, RR: 42
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1098 times:

The total amount of time I've been without power in Germany is hardly half a day, so there's absolutely no reason for a generator. Things would probably be different, though, if I lived out in the middle of nowhere as opposed to a city centre.


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6180 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1091 times:
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Quoting Aloges (Reply 4):
if I lived out in the middle of nowhere as opposed to a city centre.

What is sad that here in the US it is the urban and inner ring suburban residents who seem to go without power the longest. It has been getting worse over the last 10 years.

I have a Generator. It is a Craftsman 5500 Watt. With a 7 1/2 horse power Briggs & Stratton OHV engine. I run it several times a year to make sure it works good. I also change the oil regularly and keep it drained of fuel until use. I keep 10 gallons of fresh gas in my garage. In 2003 we had a huge blackout and there was no power. Both of my neighbor's generators didn't run because of old gas and poor maintenance. I got them both running. Also people didn't have gas. The gas stations were not open. I had plenty of gas to keep things going for three days.

In 2005 our school's prom (my employer) was nearly canceled because of a bad storm knocked out the electricity at the hall. I brought my generator so the DJ and photographer could plug in. With candles on the tables and a couple of lanterns in the bathrooms the prom went on without a hitch.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1083 times:

Quoting Queso (Thread starter):
Anybody else have a generator "just in case"?

My parents do. They live in rural north state California, where when there is a power outage, it sometimes takes several days before the outlying areas get power restored.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1080 times:

I do and for the same reasons as you - electric pump on the well. Mine is 5.5Kw with a Honda engine.

I had a tame electrician come out and install a six or eight foot pigtail on my main breaker box. I can pull the generator over there, open the main breakers and all the subs, start it up and plug it in. When it is up and running and the output is stable I close the main breaker and whatever I want to power.

It won't do the whole house so I would power the well and the furnace fan, plus the refrigerator in the garage.

I might consider, if it was going to be a couple days, alternating between refirigerators and taping the door on the one not powered.

Just before we bought this house we had a double disaster. There was a huge flood and the neighborhood where we lived was under three feet of water. My house was dry no electricity and some other problems. Then a natural gas line broke somewhere way out in the boonies and we were without gas.

We had a woodstove with a nice flat top and we cooked on that and used its heat. It was fun like camping out in your own home and we got along just fine. Couple days of this was not enough to lose the frozen food.

When we bought this place I took a look around and realized that a big hazard was brushfires sweeping up from the south. They would take out my powerlines and I'd be unable to fight the fire. That was why I bought the generator and why I clear about sixty feet of fire break and have the whole exterior in metal.

Costco had a nice generator kit a while back. It attached to your propane tank and it sampled the incoming commercial power. If a loss was sensed it would start itself and put itself on line. Generator and installation would certainly run you better than ten grand but would be worth something in peace of mind if you live in the boonies and feel responsible for your own survival.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1070 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
I still have a 20KW 3 phase 220V 50Hz generator, powered by an old Volkswagen Beetle engine

That would be great to have but probably overkill for my use.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 5):
I also change the oil regularly and keep it drained of fuel until use.

That's a good way to do it. The biggest problems I've seen with small engines are because of old gasoline evaporating and leaving really nasty stuff behind. My generator has a fuel cutoff so I can run all of the fuel out of the carb after I use it without having to drain the tank.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 5):
the prom went on without a hitch.

You saved the day! Everyone that was there will remember that prom for the rest of their lives!

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 6):
it sometimes takes several days before the outlying areas get power restored.

And that's the main reason I finally got a generator. After the ice storm a few weeks ago in the Plains states, it took a long time for some of the places to get power back and I am the kind of person that likes to be prepared.

Quoting LHMARK (Reply 2):
let's just say he's skeptical about the long term civility of our society...

Completely understandable after seeing what happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1064 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 7):
I had a tame electrician come out and install a six or eight foot pigtail on my main breaker box. I can pull the generator over there, open the main breakers and all the subs, start it up and plug it in. When it is up and running and the output is stable I close the main breaker and whatever I want to power.

I'm using a setup similar to that. I have a 220v plug on the outside of the house and I built a big cord to go between there and the generator. I am backfeeding a 20 amp breaker and I just kill the incoming main when using the generator.

There's no way I could power the whole house on the generator I have, but I only got it for emergency use. Using the washer and dryer and the air conditioning can wait till commercial power comes back up.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14140 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1064 times:

I live in a very rural area of Germany, up in the hills near HHN. Here exists the real danger of snowing in in winter or having power lines collapse under snow (not this year so far, but just look at the snow removal equipment owned by HHN airport and you'll understand what I mean. Last year it got used a lot).
There is a well in the garden, and for heating, additionally to the propane (from a huge underground tank in the back garden) central heating I have two wood stoves and several cubic meters of chord wood, plus a chain saw (wood is cheap around here due to the local forestry industry. I buy the wood precut to 1.20 m length and presplit from a farmer and cut it to stove size myself).
In case of an emergeny I still own several axes and hand saws, plus I have a hurricane (Petromax) lamp and a petrol cooker. I'd have light, I'd be warm and I can cook my food.

Jan


User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1051 times:

Quoting Queso (Thread starter):
Anybody else have a generator "just in case"?

Just about everyone in South Florida has one now. After playing dodge the hurricane...We have two; a Honda Run Quiet 2Kw and a Guardian 13.5 Kw. The 13.5 will run the whole house except the A/C. I modified the electrical panel to allow the generator to directly power the bus after the external disconnect switch has been disconnected.

Biggest problem is everyone heads out to the gas stations to fill their tanks before a storm arrives so you have to do a little bit of planning ahead. I keep a certain amount of tanks filled and rotate the stock by using it in the cars.


User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1046 times:

Quoting LHMARK (Reply 2):
Plus, let's just say he's skeptical about the long term civility of our society...

Yeah, Jack Van Impe has that effect on people. Big grin  duck 



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1041 times:

I've got one, plus an battery backup for the sump pump in the basement.

Craftsman 5500.....run good and got it for free from my mother, who bought it in a panic after an icestorm cut power for a week.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1037 times:

I just moved to Washington state... to a town of 5600 people. We had a massive power outage due to a wind storm in mid-December and were without power for 5 nights. Temperatures dipped into the 20's. A generator would have been nice!

User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1033 times:

We have a generator...a Generax 5500 watt with Briggs and Stratton motor. We live in the semi-boonies northeast of Seattle and we have a 100 gallon saltwater fishtank. If we lose power for very long, we lose the tank (without almost constant manual intervention), and it's a pretty expensive setup. We had a snow and ice storm a couple of years ago and when the power went out we knew it would be a while before we got it back, so Mr. Harlot went out and got us a generator. We've probably used it half a dozen times since then.

When we had our recent windstorm, we were very fortunate to only lose power for 31 hours. Just south of us, some friends of ours were out for a week.

We run extension cords from the generator to the fishtank, fridge, a couple of lamps, the TV, the DirecTV/Tivo box, the DSL router, our laptops, and a fan to blow across the gas fireplace so we can get heat around the downstairs. Only one area of the house is really comfortable, but it's good enough.



But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlineKFLLCFII From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3311 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1028 times:

Quoting Queso (Thread starter):
Anybody else have a generator "just in case"?

After Hurricane Wilma just over a year ago, I found we could make due without one.

However, if another one happens to roll around this year and knocks out power to the majority of the region again, I'll pick one up sometime after the fact, and let FEMA foot the bill after they declare the region eligible for federal assistance grants.  thumbsup 

(Which I should have done last time  banghead  )



"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
User currently offlineLegoguy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 3314 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1010 times:

No, however I did build a wind generator in Technology afew years ago for A levels. When theres a small wind, theres enough electrical output to make an LED growly very faintly. Then it peeks at 1 mph wind meaning the blades are way too efficient  Silly


Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1003 times:

One of my brothers had the good setup.

It is in a separate building, insulated and soundproofed and has one full-time employee to service. It consists of a Bristol Proteus turbine engine and a humungous generator. If power loss is sensed it uses its 110 one-volt batteries connected in series to crank up the turbine. He can then backfeed the nearby town of a couple thousand people.

Oh, it is not really his. It belongs to a DoD facility that he managed.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1002 times:

I don't but I probably should.

I would probably but a gas powered DC stick welder instead of a generator however.

That was I can use it primarily for welding but then have the ability to run it as a generator too.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineGarri767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 995 times:

Quoting Queso (Thread starter):

We are going to get one in the next month or so (probably from harbor freight too, small world isnt it?) as we have had 4-5 power outages in the last couple of months due to ice and severe storms.


User currently offlineCMHSRQ From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 999 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 993 times:

Yes, A 6250 watt Honda.

It's primary use is to supply power for tailgating, secondary use is for power outages. I have used it for both reasons. I don't trust anyone but myself when it comes to natural disasters. So should everyone else, the majority of people have become to relaxed and reliant on the Feds to come to the rescue. I will take care of myself, I also have enough food and water to live comfortably for a week. It's all about personal responsibility, and football.



The voice of moderation
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 982 times:

Bought one two summers ago when Hurricane Rita was tracking for Houston. Generac 7550 with a 15hp B&S. It'll power the fridge, tv, lamps in all the rooms as well as several computers. I want to get a whole house generator but that is the last thing on the construction list. I've had several bids for the work which will end up costing roughly 10-12 thousand dollars.

The Generac has come in handy more than a few times since our neighborhood seems prone to power loss. I keep it out back in an small plastic storage shed and have a heavy duty power cord strung through the attic and out the soffet. Once I fire it up and plug it in all I have to do is go up to the attic trap door and I already have all the extension cords marked and ready to go. Just drop them down, run them to the appropriate room and plug them in. I have enough juice left over to power the neighbors fridge as well. I won't be without one again no matter where we live.


User currently offlineTPAnx From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 982 times:

As noted, a lot of people in Florida do. After every storm, you can count on people being killed by CO (the gas, not the airline!) I've thought of getting one, but so far, we've been lucky, and haven't had extensive power outages with the storms. We get by with cooking on charcoal...well away from the house, and battery-powered lights, tv and radios And people on the street with genrators/more elaborate grills help out the rest...usually, there are a lot of steaks and chops to cook before they spoil..and the eating's good..
TPAnx



I read the news today..oh boy
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