Author Topic: Emergency generator and misc. projects  (Read 192 times)

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Offline fatboy

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Emergency generator and misc. projects
« on: November 03, 2021, 07:25:09 AM »
Two years ago I purchased a 8000 watt gasoline powered generator, a Generac portable. I had been wanting one for years, about 3 years ago we had a 3 day power outage where I heated my house with wood and kerosene but no electricity, that got me started planning. We live in a semi-rural place which is low priority for the utility.

I wanted to use the generator to power most of the house but also make it code legal and easy in the event my wife had to hook it up without me being there. I purchased a Generac transfer switch but realized that because most of my house is powered by a subpanel on the other side of the house and my well is powered off the main, that this install would be difficult and expensive.

Finally, decided the time is now to hook this thing up so just as I was getting ready to run $500 worth of romex from the subpanel to the main I decided to switch gears and install an interlock on the main. This is the way to go, easy as a DIY project and less expensive, and I can power all of the essentials (boiler, well, 2 refrigerators, a chest freezer and most of the lights. My system test for 4 hours on the generator went well.

Now i'm in the process of trying to figure out how much gasoline to have on hand and how/where to store and manage it. The main thing is now that I'm ready, we will prolly not have to actually use it. But it's a good feeling knowing that we can party through at least a short term outage without concern.

If we have a winter power outage, I'm still going to use an alternate heat source, probably kerosene because I really hate running our wood stove.

This is just me chatting.
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19

Offline franksolich

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2021, 07:52:25 AM »
Hey pal, welcome back!  You've been missed.
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Offline fatboy

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2021, 08:24:33 AM »
Hey pal, welcome back!  You've been missed.

Thanks Coach. I needed a break. Hope all is well take care my friend.
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19

Offline Eupher

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2021, 04:25:32 PM »
Not sure where you live, but oil and natural gas are both expected to skyrocket due to Biden's idiocy in shutting down the pipeline.

After sustaining a 10-day plus power outage when we lived in Salt Lake City about 20 years ago now, I swore then I'd never depend solely on the utility. We have a 20kW Kohler standby generator with transfer switch that powers the entire house. It wasn't cheap (electricians never are), but I'm glad we pulled the trigger on that 4 years ago now when I was making more money than I am now in retirement.

We've needed that generator from time to time, but not nearly as frequently as when we lived in SLC. No matter -- I like having that backup capability.

Congrats on your purchase and installation.
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Offline fatboy

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2021, 08:29:51 AM »
Not sure where you live, but oil and natural gas are both expected to skyrocket due to Biden's idiocy in shutting down the pipeline.

................................

Congrats on your purchase and installation.

Thanks

I'm in NE PA. We have been here for 17 years and only have had maybe 5 or 6 outages, most of them are short a few hours or so. Of course I would like a whole house system but even looking at portables there is a quantum price increase from 8000 to approx 10,000 watts steady power. My humble set up costs $1,000 for the generator and about $200 for the ancillary items plus at some point I want to build a wood enclosure to house this thing so add another $200

A 10,000 watt portable is quite a bit more for just an additional 2000 watts probably more than what I have in my total set up. I can run just about everything but keeping it running and storing gasoline is going to be a challenge.

In my mind I think that this is a good beginning and at some point (hopefully) we can upgrade to something like what you have and hand off our present system to one of my kids. But the problem is the kids will not leave although both of them make decent money LOL.

In some respects it like I recently woke up from a long snooze. 5 years ago my wife and I had a mortgage and a lot of consumer debt. Today no mortgage and no debt, paid off my kids student loans and a decent amount in our retirement funds. I have a jumbo list of things I want to do around the house, the generator is one thing crossed off the list, we put in a new oil fed boiler and water conditioner, next up will be central air I want a mini-split system. Hopefully that will come in next spring.
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19

Offline Eupher

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2021, 09:40:55 AM »
Thanks

I'm in NE PA. We have been here for 17 years and only have had maybe 5 or 6 outages, most of them are short a few hours or so. Of course I would like a whole house system but even looking at portables there is a quantum price increase from 8000 to approx 10,000 watts steady power. My humble set up costs $1,000 for the generator and about $200 for the ancillary items plus at some point I want to build a wood enclosure to house this thing so add another $200

A 10,000 watt portable is quite a bit more for just an additional 2000 watts probably more than what I have in my total set up. I can run just about everything but keeping it running and storing gasoline is going to be a challenge.

In my mind I think that this is a good beginning and at some point (hopefully) we can upgrade to something like what you have and hand off our present system to one of my kids. But the problem is the kids will not leave although both of them make decent money LOL.

In some respects it like I recently woke up from a long snooze. 5 years ago my wife and I had a mortgage and a lot of consumer debt. Today no mortgage and no debt, paid off my kids student loans and a decent amount in our retirement funds. I have a jumbo list of things I want to do around the house, the generator is one thing crossed off the list, we put in a new oil fed boiler and water conditioner, next up will be central air I want a mini-split system. Hopefully that will come in next spring.

You're doing great! When Mrs. E and I got married 22 years ago, we looked around and decided that we'd always have a mortgage. I bought my first house at age 42. We're now on our 7th house purchased, sold 6 of them over the years. (Lotsa moving around chasing jobs.)

Now we're parked. I'm mostly retired, she's fully retired. I hear you about the house projects, which is why I pulled the trigger on some of the more expensive things when we bought this house 4 years ago and before I retired -- but we just plunked down major $$ for a tiling job in our master bathroom. That was one of those "must do" things because of the shit-hack way the bathroom was built in the first place.

Our savings are somewhat depleted, but the big $$ things are DONE.

Now, on to a brake job for Mrs. E's mini-van. I'll do that myself, though my back complains constantly. Within a few months, we'll build back our savings appreciably.

It sounds to me like you have a great plan. Mrs. E and I don't have children, so we never had that financial obligation to deal with.

BTW, our Kohler generator runs off natural gas. We had installed a 17kW standalone generator in Missouri which ran on propane. Propane is another one of those energy sources that's skyrocketing thanks to Gropey Joe and his deliberate attempts to trash our economy.
Adams E2 Euphonium, built in 2017
Boosey & Co. Imperial Euphonium, built in 1941
Edwards B454 bass trombone, built 2012
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Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline fatboy

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2021, 10:16:21 AM »
My better half's car just got new tires and needs some front end work before the end of Dec. In the past I always did this kind of work but thinking maybe will just open up the wallet this time.

Starting Jan 1, 2022 we are going on a strict Dave Ramsey style budget. One of the items on the budget will be a new car fund. I want to drive the wheels off my wife's car, leaving my PU at home. If we can get her car to last another 3-4 years we will be able to replace it by paying at least 80% cash. We should both be retired or close by that time.

I want to pay cash for all of the proposed home improvements. We usually get about $3500 refund from the IRS, I hope to use that to pay for a good chunk of the proposed central air conditioner. Our house has a fireplace that was converted to use a woodstove before we bought it. The deal I made with Sue is if she allows central air, I will allow making the fireplace a working fireplace. That would be a 2023 project.

Maybe it's my weird way of thinking but when we were deep in debt, doing even simple upgrades or repairs in the house seemed like a chore. Now a days I have my list, I try to tick off or at least start one project every weekend. When we made up our jumbo home wish list, some of the items seemed out of the question, way too ambitious, now they seem reasonable.
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19

Offline fatboy

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2021, 08:53:49 AM »
OK now I'm officially talking to myself LOL!

I consider myself to be a semi-serious DIYer type. Will try anything, engine swaps in the car, building a shed by hand, that kind of stuff. I had mentioned that I have kerosene heaters, I have (2) of them actually.

One of them needed a wick change, I had heard that it is difficult sometimes to do this but was confident that I would be able to figure it out. So two winters ago 2019 I picked up a replacement wick and jumped right in.

Epic failure, I couldn't get the wick to move up or down. Tried everything several times, still the stupid wick wouldn't crank up or down. So I threw everything in a box and in a heap in the shed. Went all last winter with just (1) kero heater as my sole heat source in an electric outage situation.

Now that I'm in semi-prep mode decided to give it one last try. Unboxed the parts and got it after about 2 hours of futzing around. I have now my two heaters on deck plus my generator. I have never been this prepared for winter.
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19

Offline Rick

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2021, 10:51:20 AM »
How's your stock of kerosene?

Had stocked up on tike torch juice, but noticed home depot has raw kerosene back in stock.

Offline J P Sousa

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2021, 11:07:35 AM »
When I lived in an area that was hit by Hurricane Sandy, my power was out for three days and no heat. (SE PA)

I decided to buy a generator with an auto transfer switch and use two hundred gallon tanks of Propane. I decided on propane because a friend used gasoline and when his power went out so did power in all the gas stations.

I now live in an area with natural gas so unless there is a catastrophic event, my power will be good. 
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Offline fatboy

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2021, 01:04:51 PM »
How's your stock of kerosene?

Had stocked up on tike torch juice, but noticed home depot has raw kerosene back in stock.

I use pump kerosene. It smells but works and is about half the price of 1-K.

I have 25 gallons plus the 4 gallons in the heaters. That should be enough assuming a short term outage. I would probably only use one heater unless it's really cold, so what I have should last about a week, more if I'm frugal. My intention is to use kero as a supplement to my regular oil heat which runs on my generator. And in a pinch I could have a wood fire but prefer not to.

BTW I was in my local Lowes yesterday. They had no keosene heaters, about 5 (1 gallon) cans of 1-K kerosene and about that many 5 gallon (blue) kero storage cans.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 01:07:54 PM by fatboy »
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19

Offline fatboy

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Re: Emergency generator and misc. projects
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2021, 01:19:58 PM »
When I lived in an area that was hit by Hurricane Sandy, my power was out for three days and no heat. (SE PA)

I decided to buy a generator with an auto transfer switch and use two hundred gallon tanks of Propane. I decided on propane because a friend used gasoline and when his power went out so did power in all the gas stations.

I now live in an area with natural gas so unless there is a catastrophic event, my power will be good.

That is a better solution to the problem and I thought about it but decided for now at least gasoline is a better option for me. We are far enough inland that would probably be able to find gasoline but still it's a worry and that is the reason I'm putting a lot of it in my set up with a rotation plan to keep it fresh.

I grew up on the Jersey Shore, rode out a few hurricanes but personally never experienced long term outages. Where I'm at in NE PA Sandy was a lot of rain and wind but not that much destruction. In western NJ where I work, much more storm damage.

Back around 1985 forget the name of the storm but I was working in a home center store in Ocean County NJ. We had a lot of weather but  the management had us ship just about everything we had that could be used in this situation, generators, camp lanterns and heaters to sent to our Long Island NY stores. Long Island got the brunt of that one.
"We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth - and we will bring back our dreams!" -President Donald J. Trump 1/20/17

“The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office." -Donald Trump Jr. 1/29/18

"You've been talking about Russia for the last three years, all day, every day then all of a sudden it comes out that the whole thing is a hoax...and all of a sudden they want to talk about health care. “This is why they're going to lose. This is why they're going to lose in 2020.”
-Eric Trump 4/12/19