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#298453 - 02/22/21 04:42 AM Re: Texas after action report [Re: Bingley]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3228
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bingley
Is this how you start a generator with a drill?


Haha, that's hilarious! "I already have a bad injury, and I had a brilliant flash so I'm going for a second!"

Personally, I would want some sort of slip clutch mechanism in that starter drive train. I'm trying to cut down on wrenched limbs and shrapnel.

#298457 - 02/22/21 01:11 PM Re: Texas after action report [Re: brandtb]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3831
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: brandtb
O.K., Blast & Chaos, great info. I will have to build a little wooden shelter or put it under the deck to keep it out of the rain.

Just make sure that there’s plenty of airflow, both for the engine’s well-being and your own.

My deck is a sieve when it comes to rainwater, so that wouldn’t work to keep the water off my generator.

I do keep a dedicated chunk of plywood on hand — I can set the generator outside, and place the plywood on its metal frame. Neither high-tech nor perfect, the one time I needed the generator to keep the sump pumps running, it did work and stayed dry. The wheels and front stand were enough to keep the engine out of the water on the ground.

#298461 - 02/22/21 08:31 PM Re: Texas after action report [Re: TeacherRO]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1680
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I've posted this before, but since we are talking about small generators and fueling... I've converted both my generators to work with bulk fuel cans, supplied by a 5/16" squeeze bulb siphon system... the older Honda does not have a fuel pump, so must be fed with a true siphon started by the squeeze bulb, with the fuel above the height of the carburetor (an advantage is if multiple families are using the generator, they can supply their own fuel) the smaller inverter has a fuel pump, so is fed with a T fitting tapped between the shut off valve and fuel pump, with the shut off closed the pump draws from the external tank after the line is primed... an external plug shuts off the line when not used with the external tank

to improve the water proofing of fuel line to the external cans, a snorkel of 1/2" pvc is used to allow the drop tube to extend to the bottom of the can, through the pour spout... the pour spout opening is 1/2" so two elbows and a short connecting section, and a tail piece... seals the top opening, and U shaped drop down so the rain will not follow the fuel line... the factory spout had an internal cast channel to allow air to flow, and was tediously removed with a narrow wood chisel... the pvc elbows were not glued to allow the fuel line to be more easily snaked through...

I don't rely on external information tags, and just put the spark plug numbers, V belt number (the old Honda is belt driven) and oil filter numbers on the outside of the case with a good permanent marker

#298462 - 02/22/21 09:00 PM Re: Texas after action report [Re: TeacherRO]
Doug_Ritter Offline


Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2203
Funny story, but sorta sad. Friend's cousin in Austin calls and they are discus suing that she's a wee bit inconvenienced becuase the power and gas are out. She especially misses her hot tea. He reminds her that she's always sending photos of them BBQing on their propane powered grill. DUH! Never occurred to them to use the BBQ to cook or heat water.
Doug Ritter
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation

#298463 - 02/23/21 12:28 AM Re: Texas after action report [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
The knack to improvise - think outside the box - is critical in unusual circumstances.....
Geezer in Chief

#298468 - 02/23/21 04:57 PM Re: Texas after action report [Re: hikermor]
TeacherRO Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2574
Originally Posted By: hikermor
The knack to improvise - think outside the box - is critical in unusual circumstances.....

It is. And yet so few people study how to do it...

#298511 - 03/03/21 12:51 AM Re: Texas after action report [Re: brandtb]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2203
Loc: Bucks County PA
There are two major generators in my life:

1) At home. I have a portable gasoline generator & a transfer switch that keeps the "essentials" (water pump, septic pump, refrigerator, freezer and some lights and outlets) running. I have a rotating store of 20 gallons of stabilized gasoline that gets renewed regularly (every month, the oldest 5 gallon fills a vehicle, and is refilled and sent to the back of the line of 4 five gallon-cans.) This method works well - we were able to run the house for 2 weeks this way in 2012, and have run the house for 24 to 72 hours quite a few times since then. Run the generator every month and look after oil changes and so on and this works find.

2) At the Firehouse. There we have a much larger whole-building system and that runs on Propane. Propane is much less efficient than gasoline, but we have a massive tank there, and we have yet to determine the run-time possible - it's likely at least 7 days, maybe more. Propane has some big advantages though. Does not gel like diesel and does not "go stale" like gasoline. As long as the generator is well maintained, with propane, it WILL PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS START IN COLD WEATHER unlike with gasoline and propane, which may run into challenges.

The main issue with propane in a long-term situation is resupply. While there are portable generators that can use propane and gasolone, when you have a huge in-ground tank and you need a refill, the truck has to come to you, you can't go get enough propane to refill your big tank. This can be a problem when supply lines are down. You can drain a variety of other gas-powered devices if needed to get a few hours of run time.

I love solar, am a HUGE advocate and want everyone to have solar everything. But. But. If you have to generate HEAT directly from electric, solar is going to require an epic amount of battery storage. I mean kilo-dollars of battery. It's possible, but over the last few years, I've gotten into RV Solar power retrtofits and learned that solar electric is not ideal for heat. I've set up an RV with a pair of 100 amp-hour batteries that are charged by an array of solar panels on the roof and watched a toaster oven just obliterate the stored energy in the batteries in a weekend. For solar heat, a better solution is a closed loop hot water system. We installed one of these on a freind's house using two panels and it consistently generated far more heat than expected.

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