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#159654 - 12/23/08 12:34 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: wildman800]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Fuel critters, water and cold weather issues come to mind right off the bat.

Then comes the EPA and anything else the State of California in its infinite wisdom can come up with.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#159676 - 12/23/08 03:54 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: ]
Grouch Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 395
Loc: Ohio
Now I'm beginning to reconsider my decision to install a NG generator due to the high fuel demands that I was unaware of. It seems that here in Ohio, lengthy outages don't occur often but they do occur. We've had outages that took weeks to restore. Our area was struck by outages last week (ice, wind, temps below 0 F) and I reckon there are still people whose power hasn't been restored. I have a decent Honda unit (gasoline) that will keep the furnace running but my job keeps me away from home for about 14 hours on work days and the generator will run out of fuel before I can return.

Gotta run - more ice is predicted and I need more gasoline! smile

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#159678 - 12/23/08 04:22 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: ]
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
You can only fit 12-15 breakers (Counting double breakers) onto the transfer switches.

Yeah, but how much do you actually need to power in a true "emergency?"

I'm thinking:

- The furnace (20A/120V) (if you're where it's cold. Hopefully you don't have electric heat).

- A/C (30A/240V) (if you're where it's really hot. It might be easier to get a window A/C (15-20A/120V) and cool one bedroom that everyone sleeps in.).

- A well pump (20A/120V)(if you have one - water, showers and toilets).

- The fridge/freezer (20A/120V)(to keep food from spoiling).

- Electric range (40-50A/240V) and/or electric water heater (30A/240V) (Most generators won't make this much power).

- A few lights and a TV. (15A/120V)

I'd try and stretch out my fuel supply for as long as possible by feeding only what was really needed. Look at the north east after the ice storms they just had. Most of all they needed heat, to keep the house safely warm and safe from damage (freezing water pipes make a mess). The well pump so you have water and can use a toilet. If it's that cold, empty the fridge/freezer and put the stuff outside (Let Mother Nature keep it cold for free). If it's hot where you live, try and keep the fridge/freezer doors closed as much as possible and run them in cycles (run the fridge for an hour, then unplug it and run something else or turn the generator off to conserve fuel).
If your stove/range doesn't work, fire up the grill or camp stove, or if you can, go out to eat.

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#159683 - 12/23/08 04:57 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: Grouch]
GarlyDog Offline
˘┐˘
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Originally Posted By: Grouch
I have a decent Honda unit (gasoline) that will keep the furnace running but my job keeps me away from home for about 14 hours on work days and the generator will run out of fuel before I can return.


That is definitely a downside to a portable generator. I taught Mrs. Garlydog, who works from home, how to refill and restart it. This works for us.
_________________________
Gary








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#159690 - 12/23/08 05:13 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: ]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
We have done one truly "whole house" generator. We did all the prep work wiring and panel wise, and the homeowner contracted directly for the generator. I don't know the size, but it was almost an Oversize Load on the 18 wheeler that brought it in. It is about as big (outside dimensions) as the one behind our local telephone company central office. The guy is phenomenally rich, so it didn't matter to him. I bet it cost more than my house easily. The darn thing is LOUD also.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#159705 - 12/23/08 07:03 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: Desperado]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Power for the HVAC is a must have in Florida. September power outages lasting more than an hour make staying in the house quite uncomfortable.

I can usually get my oil lamps to last me a couple days between feedings. Losing the stovetop just gives me an excuse to break out the cast iron and the firepan and go to elk camp mode. In cold weather, I only need to keep the house warm enough to protect the utilities from freezing. If it doesn't become too much of an inconvenience, it's easy to turn the whole thing into an adventure.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#159715 - 12/23/08 07:58 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: ]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
100g isn't to bad to store, 50g wouldn't be bad either.
I have a designated generator room, enclosed, and plan to insulate it actually too. Additive should be used anytime it's not going to be used right away IMHO. I agree, diesel is NOT For everyone, I live Rural, and can store it... so I know 50g or 100g is not that much esp after I get my tractor *Dreams* hehe.

-Todd
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#159728 - 12/23/08 11:54 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: ]
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
They do do the whole house, just not at the same time! wink

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#159729 - 12/23/08 11:58 PM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: Todd W]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Carbon monoxide the 5th most deadly killer in the US. Sure you want a generator room inside the house?
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#159730 - 12/24/08 12:00 AM Re: Cool Tools review of _big_ generator for house [Re: Desperado]
Nishnabotna Offline
Icon of Sin
Addict

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 512
Loc: Nebraska
Enclosed doesn't always mean inside the house.

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