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** A generator question **

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by InsureGuy, Nov 5, 2012.

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  1. InsureGuy

    InsureGuy Member

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    Good Afternoon,

    I have an exceptionally serious question to ask and I will put it to this forum for an answer. Given what we have seen from the disaster out east and the general populations unpreparedness I am assembling emergency kits for myself and family. Now I don't want you to think that I am just now coming to this epiphany, I have been assembling preparations for a while now. The question of a generator has come up and there have been disagreements as to type.

    Myself, I am opting for a diesel generator. The fuel is more stable, can be stored longer without degradation and the unit is quieter overall. The downside is that it's bit more expensive. As a matter of fact I could buy 2 gas units for the price of the unit I picked out.

    The other side is saying that we need gas units. Stabilize the fuel and store. The units are less expensive and easier to maintain.

    I would like your opinion and lets for the sake of arguments, take price out of the equation.

    Which would you choose ?

    Jason
     
  2. travisalfrey

    travisalfrey Member

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    I have a gas generator- technically it is portable but it is the large portable one. I have my house wired where I can plug it in the garage and back feed my house for the essentials. The main reason I went with this type is that it was way cheaper and I can use it other places if needed...like on job sites or camping.

    I have installed a bunch that are propane and have automatic switches and battery back ups. They even come on every month to do automatic tests. They cost a bunch more but they are really keen and easy to use. I go out and start my generator at least once a month to keep all things in working order.

    My thoughts has always been that I normally would only need to use it for a few days- up to a week and only for the bare necessities to keep my family safe and warm.

    Travis in NC
     
  3. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    I had a lot of experience with diesel generators. A standby genset. must be heated over 50 degrees F to start with reliability. Also fuel must be treated with BIOBOR and polished on a regular basis. I would opt for a propane unit with a 500 gal buried tank.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  4. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    My house in Belize has a propane generator as a standby. It's been reliable and quiet and the fuel lasts indefinitely.

    Keller
     
  5. billn

    billn Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    I have a propane generator, hooked to two 500 gal tanks, I heat with propane, i would not recommend a burried tank, down the road you may have trouble with the tank in crossion. put it on top of the ground. very little to worry about with the propane generator. It comes on each week, runs about 15 min. change oil, filter once a year. If it runs more than once a week, check your manuel.
     
  6. AEST BOSS

    AEST BOSS Member

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    I was reading about folks in NY & NJ who are screwed right now because their big@$$ generators they bought to power their entire mansions.....ran out of fuel on Day 2. Oops.

    Having a smaller MORE FUEL EFFICIENT unit to power 2-3 times each day for 30 minutes is what is working up there. These 30 minute runs are keeping the freezer going and powering batteries and allowing time to get TV news and info from the internet. They are making due because fuel is unavailable and they have stock to go another week or so since consumption is very miserly.
     
  7. pretzel

    pretzel TS Member

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    It depends on your situation. If you have access to a lot of diesel then thats how I'd go. I keep a lot on hand but propane will store just about forever.
     
  8. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    A genset is only good if you have fuel

    If you are at all mechanical you can buy a gas genset and go to US Carburetion and get a kit to convert it to LP or Nat gas

    If you use oil to heat your house I would get a diesel as they will run fine on No 2 fuel oil

    Unless you heat with electricity most homes will be able to function with a 5-8 Kw unit, the bigger it is the more fuel it will use
     
  9. OldPshtr

    OldPshtr Member

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    During 21 day power outage, ice storm, used a Lincoln Ranger 8
    welder with 8Kw generator to power house. Plugged into breaker box,
    threw main switch, and didn't have to use extension cords. Would run
    everything except central heat and elec stove. Just mindful not to run
    too many at once. New welders now have 10K generators. Of course,
    welder has greater utilization than generator.

    Doyal
     
  10. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    I too live in NC. I purchased a Honda Gas generator (3500 watts) and had it converted to propane. I have 2-50lb tanks that will run it for a couple days and I had the gas company put in a flexible hose near the generator so I can use my 250 gallon tank we use for backup heat and the stove.

    When power quits I turn on the gas, fire up the generator plug it in to the box my electrician put on the side of the house and flip the transfer switch so no electricity goes back up the lines. Takes about 5 minutes to do. The generator is outside under a utility roof and covered when not in use. I fire it up 4-5 times a year and it has never failed to start on the second or third pull. It has an electric start which my wife can use with the battery booster I have in the basement. She just puts the clips on the 2 terminals and hits the key.

    I can run the refrigerator and the deep freeze and a couple lights and the TV. We use gas logs with a fan for heat.

    Bob
     
  11. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I'm in the process of getting a 20kw unit and plan to run it on propane given I have a 500 gallon tank buried in the front yard.

    Corrosian in underground tanks? Shouldnot be a problem if you replace the sacrifical zinks every decade or so.

    Pete
     
  12. ImpalaBob

    ImpalaBob Member

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    http://www.emergencypower.com/generators/portable-diesel-generators/agi6500sde

    I like ^^^^these guys diesel rigs!! However I am buying a gas generator!!!

    The fuel/propane company here says 300 lb propane tanks MINIMUM for a generator hook-up. They have better things to do in an emergency than keep coming to fill you up. Small tanks get charged slightly less than $4 a gallon. BIG tanks get a discounted price. Natural Gas N/G is the way to go!! If you do not use a minimum amount of propane you will be charged a yearly tank fee!!!

    That being said .... diesel fuel has its disadvantages (filters/ algae/ etc) just like gas. It is just as unstable IMO.

    If you drive a diesel car or truck .... get a diesel generator. Use the fuel up! If you drive a gas car or truck .... get a gas generator. Use the fuel up.

    My truck holds 38 gallons of gas and I fill it before a major event.

    YES You must use the generator regularly to keep the fuel good and the magneto magnets in good shape. Fuel shut offs and letting it run out are the way to go.

    I also can get gas without ethanol .... which I prefer for long storage with Stable.

    Bob
     
  13. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Gary,

    One question, Why did you open the thread then???
     
  14. DIXIE SPECIAL 25

    DIXIE SPECIAL 25 Lifes too short not to shoot a K-80... TS Supporters

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    You tell'em Gary!
     
  15. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    If it's available I would opt for natural gas. I purchased my home with an Onan 45KW diesel and it works fine.
     
  16. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    Natural gas.

    Wayne
     
  17. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    Jason, If you can't get natural gas piped to your home your going to have to make sacrifices of one type or another. Only you know what your willing to do or pay to have power when it goes out in your area. Both gas and diesel, will spoil over time and cost you extra to have fuel conditioner of one type or another during a short year. Propane is a great second way, but you have to sink a tank$$$. A small portable kept in garage will work fine if you need only small amount of electric to run home while you wait for power to get turned on. Bottom line is pay up big time or compramise in a way that suits you best. Oh Yeh, don't forget to mount a fixed Generater high up for hurricanes, or it'll be underwater when you need it. Snow storms might have simular/and different problems with fixed outside generaters you'll have to look into. Good Luck and break em all. Jeff
     
  18. oz

    oz Active Member

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    propane gives more power than natural gas check northern tool (online) for genrec generators. free shipping, no tax. I also have a 3500 watt Honda (gasoline) generator. Runs perfectly about 10 gal for 24 hours. runs heat. lights, refrigerator & freezer. need to turn heat off to run water pump, but not a big problem. I don't think I could use the stove or oven. used grill instead.
     
  19. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Live in northern NJ, just half a mile from the NY border. Lost power Monday night. Have a 20kw Generac powered by natural gas. Finally got power back today. That unit ran 24/7 a few hours short of a week. Chichay
     
  20. mag410

    mag410 Active Member

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    I am sure most of you know this already, but a word of warning to the uninformed. You should never plug a generator into the house wiring without disconnecting from the incoming power lines. There have been a number of linemen electrocuted while working on a "dead" line. As a temporary/emergency measure you can trip the main breaker in your distribution panel. A better solution is to install a transfer switch that disconnects from the mains and connects to the generator.

    Michael
     
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