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Emergency generator and misc. projects

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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.

Hey pal, welcome back!  You've been missed.


--- Quote from: franksolich on November 03, 2021, 07:52:25 AM ---Hey pal, welcome back!  You've been missed.

--- End quote ---

Thanks Coach. I needed a break. Hope all is well take care my friend.

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.


--- Quote from: Eupher 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.


Congrats on your purchase and installation.

--- End quote ---


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.


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