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Generators

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21 hours ago, BradM said:

They're getting better about getting it back on, I guess. JEA rides by and always says "Mandarin is just the worst hit area in town." I can only imagine they mean worst pertaining to downed trees. It was bad this go around, but I don't think any worse than Matthew (in my specific area). We lost power at 9a the morning befor Irma...simple nor'easter did us in. 

How are you guys coming along? I can lend a hand, just need to know when is good so I can work around my wife's schedule. Kids, you know. 

I live on a tidal creek in Fernandina Bch. with a mass of old growth oaks which fell on the overhead power lines at the front of the island which in turn took care of   us for an outage. On the good side, Matthew thinned out the water oaks and Irma did a little more.  Almost lost my Safe Haven boat dock but my neighbor tied it off to the dock house.  Have a company that trims my trees each year so they came and cleaned up the debris. Now we have another "Nor'easter" which is pushing the tides up the creek and close to going over the dock. I need to put extensions of my pilings so my floating docks don't become floaters.

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Considering natural gas/ multi fuel option.  When City was repairing our water lines (no water or power) they cut the gas feed to neighborhood...following the excitement of Hazmet team closing area we got gas back.  So much for nat gas only option. :)

Ran a 4000 unit first few days..ran the fridge, fans...borrowed a 7500 and wired into house. Ran everything but stove, pool and AC...and lots of trips to gas stations with the associated standing in long lines.   The sound of generators (and chain saws) is pretty common in my neighborhood.  Yeah, FPL is darn cheap vs. gas generators.   After that year of 4 storms my neighbor put in 13500 system uses LP or gas.  Runs whole house...and I think I want, but having trouble justifying cost to use maybe 5 days a year.   But oh, those 5-7 days are no fun.  

Following this thread as I consider what the options are and what my pocketbook affords.  

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If anyone decides to go whole hog and get a diesel I must point out that a 1800 RPM genset is the key to longevity and fuel efficiency. There are many diesel engines out there, usually designed specifically to run generators or irrigation pumps, that simply will run forever @ 1800 RPM with proper maintenance. My wife talked to many of her co-workers who's generators "blew-up" after a day or two of use. I understand that many of these generators have probably been neglected for years since the last long power outage so I'm not saying diesel is the only way to go by any means.

We dropped the coin because out where I live we can lose power for extended periods of time and we're not planning on ever moving so it was a good investment. Even if we did move I guess I could take it with me. Since a diesel and LPNG/Propane set up are roughly the same cost, to me it was a no-brainer when factoring longevity, fuel efficiency, and not having to depend on someone else for fuel (I know I'm depending on a gas station to be open and have diesel, I get it early and store it)

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I just saw this thread.

Isn't there a limit on the amount of emergency Fuel/flammables that we are allowed to store in residential areas?

I believe less than 10 gallons if the garage is attached to the house, or 30 in a shed separate from house.

I have a 300 gallon tank at home that I used to fill with BIODIESEL, that I used in my previous truck, since it's not considered "flammable" fuel, (it's classified as a additive I believe.)

I haven't used it since i have a new truck and didn't want to void the warranty.

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Bought a Generac last year rated at 1000 continuous volts and wired the house to run on that power source.
Now that I've spent the money and done that we won't have anymore hurricanes along the Florida east coast. You must sacrifice to the "god of storms and chaos".

 

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41 minutes ago, mdemott said:

Bought a Generac last year rated at 1000 continuous volts

  I think you meant 10,000 watts and supply's 240/120 volts. That is enough to keep you comfortable during an outage. 

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Hey my old post.Must be hurricane season again.... Lots has happened since I made this post but I think I came up with good solution for us. 

I went with a  3400 Champion Dual Fuel and a interlock for the panel so you can’t back feed lines. A few flips of some switches and everything in house, under house and detached garage except 220 runs like nothing happened. It actually runs 3 fridges, big deep freeze, 6-7 ceiling fans and all normal lights, TVs and internet on economy mode once fridges get started.  I keep it filled with non ethanol and keep 2 extra 20lb propane cylinders just for it so should get a few days outta that.  Then I can use boat I guess  Having been here before, I didn’t feel like I “needed” 220 stuff for a few days we’d lilely be without power.   Grill is fine so don’t need stove, I got one of those stand alone AC units to sleep.  

All in with the generator, interlock (I installed myself) and the AC  I have under $1500 in it and it can double duty with my travel trailer and the extra AC is great if we have AC issues one night or on a weekend. 

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 4:22 PM, MuddyBottomBluz said:

  I think you meant 10,000 watts and supply's 240/120 volts. That is enough to keep you comfortable during an outage. 

Yes your right. That last zero got away from me.

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With this topic being brought back up, I finally got around to dragging my little Generac out yesterday. I poured a cup of gas in it, and she fired off first pull. Not bad considering it's been sitting for a year. I think it's worth mentioning that the way you store these items plays a huge role on their reliability and dependability. When done for the season, I drain all the gas I can back into a gas can, then run the engine until the float bowl runs dry. After that I pull the drain plug on the float bowl to ensure it's empty. Then I change the oil and put a piece of tape on generator with the date and oil I used. I always keep a spare sparkplug or two on hand (old 2 stroke MX guy), enough oil for a couple of oil changes, and when season approaches, I fill up 2 - 6 gallon gas cans, which is plenty for 48 hours or so.

 

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18 hours ago, BradM said:

I think it's worth mentioning that the way you store these items plays a huge role on their reliability and dependability.

I think that is an understatement!

We got a new house not long ago and the owner sold us the generator there for "cheap".  It was never used but they must have put some gas in it to try it out and never drained the fuel when they were done.  The junk that came out of the fuel system was shocking and the time it took to get it running was not fun.  It now sits with an empty tank and carb like Brad stated. 

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I bought one of the small Honda EU 2000 inverter type just to run the freezers / refrigerator and a few lights and it has been fine. I keep non ethanol fuel in it when in use...it has a fuel cut off, so I put about four to six ounces in it with a fuel conditioner every four months and set it on back porch..crank it up and let it run dry and then put it away again until next time. It has been a great investment for use when our power gets knocked out.

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I've got a 6500 Watt generator that I've used the last 2 hurricanes. This thread made me start looking into getting something in the 10-12KW range to power my AC as well. 

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23 hours ago, MuddyBottomBluz said:

Just make sure you can store enough gasoline for a generator that big. I am looking at the same but duel fuel; gas/natural gas since I have it plumbed to the house already.

I’ve got 19gal capacity on hand now, and will be purchasing another 14gal roll-around caddy soon.  

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1 minute ago, HewesYourDaddy said:

I’ve got 19gal capacity on hand now, and will be purchasing another 14gal roll-around caddy soon.  

As well as the tank capacity on the generator and fuel in the boat as a last resort.  I hope it never gets to the point where I have to siphon it. 

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12 hours ago, HewesYourDaddy said:

As well as the tank capacity on the generator and fuel in the boat as a last resort.  I hope it never gets to the point where I have to siphon it. 

A friend told me to get a few extra feet of fuel hose.  In case of needing fuel from the boat, you can disconet fuel line on engine side of your fuel bulb and hook up the spare piece of fuel hose.  Place the hose in a portable gas can on the ground (provided your boat is on a trailer) and you can use the bulb to push gas through the line to the portable can and once it starts gravity should take over and fill your portable can.

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8 hours ago, jim33042 said:

A friend told me to get a few extra feet of fuel hose.  In case of needing fuel from the boat, you can disconet fuel line on engine side of your fuel bulb and hook up the spare piece of fuel hose.  Place the hose in a portable gas can on the ground (provided your boat is on a trailer) and you can use the bulb to push gas through the line to the portable can and once it starts gravity should take over and fill your portable can.

As mentioned earlier by Justfish, I also use my boat for a reserve. I always keep it full or mostly full out of habit. When a storm is on the approach, I top it off. I keep a small transfer pump handy that runs off battery power (boat has 4 batteries) and I can use that to siphon gas out of the boat into a jerry can. I also have a manual pump and of course the tried and true mouth siphon, which I try to avoid these days. :D

Mulligan, my neighbor across the street must have been the guy you bought your house from. That guy can't keep anything running! I've never seen someone so hard on equipment. He went through 2 new generators in Matthew, alone (72 hours w/o power). Lawn equipment, vehicles....I've never seen anything like it. He has his yard maintained because he can't keep a lawn mower running for the summer. It's CRAZY!

HYD, I'm with you. My wife and I were discussing moving up to a larger unit that will power the entire house. My 5,550w set up runs two refrigerators and a portable a/c unit just fine. We also use ceiling fans in whatever room we're in and the t.v., we even manage to use the microwave just fine. However, Momma likes the big a/c to work and everything else too. On top of that, my mom isn't getting any younger, and she always stays at our house during and after a storm; until power is restored and roads are navigable. I'm sure your area is similar to mine with lots of old live oaks and what not, and when they come down, it's a chore to get cleared.  Follow up when/if you go that route. I think we're one prolonged outage from going that route, too.

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We have a company coming out to give a quote on putting a whole house Generac in this week. Our house is already set up with propane appliances (Stove, Dryer, Water Heater, Furnace).

Knowing we will need to have a bigger tank installed, and the gas line rant o the other side of the house where the gen would be installed I'm bracing for a big quote. Once I pay for this, you guys wont have to worry about hurricanes for the next 5 years.... That's how my luck works. 

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While we are talking generators......

 I’m adding a manual outdoor transfer switch and power inlet box to run an 11-12kw portable generator (15kw surge). Must be 50A. Any recommendations on brand, part#, etc? I’ve seen some combo units with the generator-inlet plug inside the box with the manual switch, which I like.

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Not sure on the transfer switch, but maybe look at inter lock kit as it was a cheaper and easier option for me. It’s specific to your breaker panel and easy to install. 

You put a 50 amp breaker on top spot and inlet plug and the interlock won’t allow the main and the 50 amp to be turned on at same time so you can safely back feed your panel  

It was recommended by my electrician during my renovation when I told him what I wanted to do. I think it was around $150 for interlock, breaker and plug and I installed it myself. 

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Here’s mine. You can see what it actually does here, it wont allow the 30 to open til the main is thrown off...

One other (big) advantage to this is you have your everything In your  panel available. The transfer switch I had at my old house only had 6 or so circuits so you had to pick and chose what you wanted to hook up. 

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