Ridin the storm out....

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DaveKamp

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Saga said: "I really wish we'd have more interaction with people who live different lives than the way we live. I think that would solve a lot of our problems."

This is a theme of conflict historically proven as the fall of basically every structured civilization. Study ANY one... and you'll find that the fall is commensurate to the loss of mutual support and cohesive cooperation amidst the varying environs of human and geophysical topography.

Congrats on securing a generator, AApple... having one is ONE piece of a more complicated scenario for disaster-proofing. You need a plan for fuel supply and conservation, a plan for managing loads, and a plan for maintenance.

When large, and extended outages occur, gasoline becomes very unavailable... because gas stations frequently lose the ability to pump fuel. As others already noted... modern gasoline doesn't 'store' for a very long time before the quality degrades. Diesel CAN be better... Natural gas IS fairly reliable, but I wouldn't say it's immune... in seismic areas, NG distribution networks are often fitted with fast-cutoff valving, such that a good earth-shaking will trigger an emergency lock-off of flow, just in case there's a chance of pipeline or main damage. Propane wins the long-term storage quality award... sealed in the tank, it simply cannot 'go bad'... but it may not be legal for a bulk tank, or practical in your location.

My generators (I have four in the generator shed right now) are fed from two 1000-gallon propane tanks... the same that feed the furnace and water heater of my farmhouse. My MINIMUM emergency loads for winter include furnace, well, water heater (gas), sump pumps, refrigerators, freezer. My Minimum Emergency loads for summer include sump pumps, well, refrigerators, freezers, and ONE 2-ton air-conditioning compressor/condenser, and 1 air handler (I have two of each).

My minimum emergency load will run on my Kohler 6.5R22, it's a 6.5kw 4-cylinder liquid-cooled, and has enough strength to also handle the microwave oven, and a TV set.

IF I decide that we need MORE power, I switch to either a 12.5kw 4-cyl, or a 35kw 6-cyl unit. If we're on an extended outage, we will plan times when laundry, cooking, etc., will occur such that switching to the BIG one takes advantage of it's abilities, and once done, we switch back to smaller machines to reduce fuel consumption. Our longest outage so far has been just under 2 weeks during a summer, and it required 310 gallons of propane. Our most frequent outage scenario is ice storms with high winds... wintertime. The highest continuous draw being air conditioning, our winter-storm outage consumption is generally less than a summer event.
 

AApple

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Otay...I know at least one of youse guys will know. With my new generator, it is listed as " neutral bonded to frame". It has a terminal on the frame to connect to an external ground rod. I will NOT be connecting this gen to the service panel at any time. It will be set on the deck, with extension cords running into the house. Do I need to connect the frame of the gen to a grounding rod driven into the ground or not? I am getting confused when I research this on line. The property here is pretty much solid rock aboot a foot under the soil...hammering an 8 foot rod into it is gunna be impossible. Help!
 

Denver

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Harbor Freight sells an extension cord, that plugs into a connector, that is put in an outlet box.
That box is ran to the 40 amp, 220 breaker in the garage.
That is one is powered from a 40 amp, 220 breaker in the house, that powers the whole garage.
Shut off the power from the street, them power up the generator, & it back feeds into the house.
A lot easier, & safer, than running multiple extension cords, i m h o.
 

AApple

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Harbor Freight sells an extension cord, that plugs into a connector, that is put in an outlet box.
That box is ran to the 40 amp, 220 breaker in the garage.
That is one is powered from a 40 amp, 220 breaker in the house, that powers the whole garage.
Shut off the power from the street, them power up the generator, & it back feeds into the house.
A lot easier, & safer, than running multiple extension cords, i m h o.

You musta missed the part where I stated "I will NOT be connecting this gen to the service panel at any time." lol
As it turns out, if I am using the outlets provided on the gen itself, then I need not worry about grounding the unit. If I was to connect to the service panel of the house(which I am not), the the gen would need to have a separate ground to earth.
 

Denver

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Didn't miss a thing AApple, just a safer method, with fewer cords.
It's only for a back up, for short term power outages, i hope.
Connecting to back feed the whole house, just seemed like a better choice for me.
Best of luck to you, do hope you stay warm, & safe, this winter
 

AApple

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We're just needing temporary solution...not looking to power the whole house, just the basics...fridge, microwave, gas furnace, and a few lamps. TV if needed, depending on how long the power might be off. Summertime, same thing, except we can run a few fans instead of the furnace. This past Feb was the longest we've ever gone with no 'lectric.... Can't really justify the $$$ to have the transfer switching crap installed, considering the house was built in '62, and still has cloth covered wiring from the meter to the service panel....lol I think what I got will suffice for our needs....hope we never have to find out tho!
 

AZgl1800

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I bought one of the 10KVA generators, 8KVA constant duty,
I spent a few extra dollars and installed a Manual Transfer Switch on the outside of the house.

Had power company remove the meter while I was doing my own work, once I had finished it all up, called them back and they put it back together and put another Crimp Seal on the meter.

I used a Digital Fluke Ammeter ( borrowed ) to balance the loads in the house.
Every thing except the Compressor on the HVAC can be used with caution.

The caution being that in the kitchen the idiot who wired the house put all of the kitchen wall sockets on a single 15 amp circuit.... so, you can use the toaster, or the counter top oven, OR, the Microwave, but never two at a time. pops the breaker to the kitchen..... idiot...

So, the HVAC uses natural Gas for heating, the HVAC fan pulls 5.8 amps running on high, 2.7 amps on Low.... we keep it in the ON position all the time, keeps the house even all through it... ( Old house, add ons, bad HVAC duct design )

Power grid goes down long enough we get an Alert from PSO that they expect repairs back in 2+ hours, I can roll the generator out of the garage, plug in the cord to the transfer box, and pull the manual Switch down...

For me, it was worth it....
I considered just running some Extension cords around to power the Fridge, Freezer, but there was a problem with that.

At the time, my wife was still alive, and a type II diabetic, and in a wheelchair.... the heat had to work in the dead of winter, so I spent money to put in a switch.

There is one Downside to using a typical Emergency Generator meant for power tools, the voltage is not regulated tightly enough, and the Phase is not a "Pure Sine Wave", which means the DISH-TV receiver won't work, and none of the CyberPower UPS units will accept the generator's power.... they must be "Phase Locked"

sigh, it is good enough, for a few hours... worst case so far, about 18 hours.... at least we had heat while the Electric boys were freezing in the winds replacing power transformers... they earn their pay, big time.
 
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