You are not registered yet. Please click here to register!


 
 
plc storereviewsdownloads
This board is for PLC Related Q&A ONLY. Please DON'T use it for advertising, etc.
 
Try our online PLC Simulator- FREE.  Click here now to try it.

New Here? Please read this important info!!!


Go Back   PLCS.net - Interactive Q & A > PLCS.net - Interactive Q & A > LIVE PLC Questions And Answers

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 23rd, 2022, 01:59 PM   #1
Ron Beaufort
Lifetime Supporting Member
United States

Ron Beaufort is offline
 
Ron Beaufort's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,693
OT – recommendations wanted for purchasing a household emergency generator

Greetings to all ...

I've never owned or needed a household generator – but current conditions have convinced me that now's the time to buy one ... I'd appreciate it if anyone has any specific comments to share (pro or con) about any particular brand or type ...

what I have in mind is connecting the unit to my household refrigerator – and then running it just long enough to keep the temperature down low so that the food doesn't spoil ... specifically, I'm not worried about keeping the generator running constantly – just whenever the refrigerator's thermostat needs a cool-down cycle ... hopefully that will be something like one hour or so – maybe three or four times a day (but OK if it's more than that) ... and I have no desire to power up my whole house ...

ideally I want a portable unit that one or two men could transport in the bed of a pickup truck ... I have several nearby neighbors that I'd like to be able to help out in case of a power failure ... Charleston, SC is pretty much prone to hurricanes – and I've lived through several over the years ... in the past, losing the food in the family refrigerator has always been par for the course – you just deal with it ... but nowadays the question is becoming more about how difficult it's going to be to obtain replacement food supplies ... things are getting kind of hit-or-miss at the supermarkets lately ...

one of my neighbors has a Craftsman unit that he's had for 7 or 8 years – he says he's satisfied with it - so that's the way I'm leaning right now ...

I did a quick Google search for conversion kits to run a gasoline engine on propane – which I'm hoping someone might be able to comment on ... sounds like that might be a good option for some of the emergency situations that I've been thinking about lately ...

anyway ... thanks for any comments you might be able to offer ... stay safe – stay well ...
__________________

2-B ?
Best regards, ----+----] [----+------------( )----
Ron | |
PLC Boot Camp - Retired | 2-B |
+----]/[----+

I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 02:29 PM   #2
Jim G.
Member
United States

Jim G. is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 173
I have a Generac 3500 watt portable unit. I have a small auxiliary panel in my garage run to an outside receptacle to accept the twist lock plug cable from my generator. The panel has just a couple of circuits for use. Bought mine after we lost power for a week. I have used this for about 15 years now.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 02:33 PM   #3
Rson
Member
United States

Rson is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 493
Depends on your needs - but as an old guy who doesn't do a lot of heavy lifting anymore I have a Honda EU2200i generator.

It only uses about a gallon of gas at a time and is about the size of a 5 gallon gas can. As far as generators go - it's pretty portable.

You can get parallel cables and buy a companion for it and run a 30A 120V outlet if you ever find yourself needing the extra power. There are also aftermarket siphon tanks for longer run times if you find the small gas tank too limiting.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 02:54 PM   #4
MHennel
Member
United States

MHennel is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 61
I Have a Generac generator that powers about 3/4 of the house and kicks on automatically when the electric goes out. Worst part is that it runs on propane which is not cheap right now. The generator was installed when we bought the house.If if had nothng installed I would just buy a small portable generator to run a few things. I would just look for something with a Honda or Kohler engine. It nees to be dependable, you don't need it them often, but when you do, it better work
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 03:17 PM   #5
Ken Roach
Lifetime Supporting Member + Moderator
United States

Ken Roach is offline
 
Ken Roach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 16,585
My city block is functionally a disaster area full-time now: about 80 people live in apartments here, and 40 more in tents, cars, and RVs.

My unhoused neighbors almost universally use gasoline-powered generators because they get their fuel by scavenging and siphon from parked cars. In a conventional disaster, there are going to be a lot more abandoned or unused cars then there will be backyard grills or diesel trucks.

They're well into the "beggars can't be choosers" market, and most of the generators are intentionally defaced. But Honda and Generac are probably the most common ones I recognize.

You would think that because many of the RVs are diesel powered that they'd choose that, but the economics of scavenged gasoline prevail because most of the RVs don't run at all. Several of the RVs clearly have the diesel gensets removed, with a Honda chained in their place.

Conversely at my shop we have a v10 Ford-based generator plumbed into the natural gas line with an excellent auto-transfer switch. Our common power outages are vehicle-versus-distribution-pole on the arterial up the hill, or animal-versus-powerline down here along the rail tracks. In the most likely disaster (earthquake) we would be out of NG, but that's not our use case.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 04:37 PM   #6
harryting
Lifetime Supporting Member
United States

harryting is offline
 
harryting's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 2,478
"unhoused neighbor", I call them addicts.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 05:53 PM   #7
Contr_Conn
Member
United States

Contr_Conn is offline
 
Contr_Conn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,380
I know that you want a portable solution, but consider a full house generator with automatic transfer switch.
After multiple power outages in our area, we have installed 16KW Generac full house generator. It can run everything, including AC.
Few things that I don’t like:
- starter runs on 12V car battery and you need to check it time to time, ours failed in 3 years. So this is clear a weakness and error code does not tell you that this is a dead battery.
- very noisy, don’t put near bedroom windows.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 07:21 PM   #8
TheWaterboy
Lifetime Supporting Member + Moderator
United States

TheWaterboy is offline
 
TheWaterboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: State of Denial
Posts: 1,419
We have a stack of the Honda suitcase generators, they are pull start and you can get extension gas tanks for them.
__________________
. . . and then I pronounced myself an idiot, to which there was general agreement and merriment . . .
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 07:43 PM   #9
Peter Nachtwey
Member
United States

Peter Nachtwey is offline
 
Peter Nachtwey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: United Welfare States of America
Posts: 7,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contr_Conn View Post
I know that you want a portable solution, but consider a full house generator with automatic transfer switch.
After multiple power outages in our area, we have installed 16KW Generac full house generator. It can run everything, including AC.
Few things that I don’t like:
- starter runs on 12V car battery and you need to check it time to time, ours failed in 3 years. So this is clear a weakness and error code does not tell you that this is a dead battery.
- very noisy, don’t put near bedroom windows.
The transfer switch is very important. This needs to be installed by an electrician. 16KW is definitely enough for a normal house. If you are doing this for a house then listen to Contr_conn. Contr_conn's issue with the battery is an issue. I prefer LiFePO4 battiers. They hold their charge better. Another option is have a solar panel that keeps the batteries topped off.

The other suggestions above are OK for campers. The Honda generator is very quiet but not practical for a house.



I writing this from my truck camper. It has has an automatic transfer switch that switches to my 2500W Propane powered Onan Generator. The generator will power the whole camper easily but it is noisy. The good thing is that propane runs cleaner than gas so there is no need for get a special non-alchohol gas or remember to run the carburetor dry when shutting down. I would definitely look in a generator that will run off of propane.


I have become interested in solar power since I have got my truck camper. If you are interested in solar power then look at the YouTube channel by Will Prowse.


@Ken, it is time to move to a red state. I am not going to stay where I am at now for long. Washington state was OK but not now.
Time to move on.
__________________
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see...." Strawberry Fields Forever, John Lennon
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 07:44 PM   #10
bigbuckaroo
Member
United States

bigbuckaroo is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 113
There are some decent dual fuel units out there and it would give you some options in trying times instead of looking to convert. I have looked into Duromax and they appear solid unless others have knowledge different than that. Another thing you might wish to look into are portable power stations. They have their detractors but I think they have come along way recently with multiple charging options and faster charge times than earlier models. Keeping a fridge running as you are suggesting seems easily possible with the right size. Please share what you end up deciding as I and I'm sure others are curious.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 07:52 PM   #11
TheWaterboy
Lifetime Supporting Member + Moderator
United States

TheWaterboy is offline
 
TheWaterboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: State of Denial
Posts: 1,419
We are all going to need generators to charge our electric cars during the summer power outages.
__________________
. . . and then I pronounced myself an idiot, to which there was general agreement and merriment . . .
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 08:03 PM   #12
jstolaruk
Lifetime Supporting Member
United States

jstolaruk is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Detroit, SE Michigan
Posts: 3,781
This spring, I outfitted my cottage (retirement home) with a 22kw Generac running off propane, soon to be natural gas. Plenty of power to run everything. The area suffers from outages because the "grid" is a single miles long feed to a small community surrounding a lake and power outages can easily last more than a couple of days. The unit was on order for about 9 months. Heard recently that lack of transfer switches/relays are holding up new installations. They are a mechanical break-before-make arrangement, very simple but I could see where they won't live for ever.
__________________
I don't always test my code but when I do, I do it in production.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 08:08 PM   #13
TheWaterboy
Lifetime Supporting Member + Moderator
United States

TheWaterboy is offline
 
TheWaterboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: State of Denial
Posts: 1,419
There are battery solutions as well. I built a 'powerwall' from a SOL-ARK inverter and batteries to ride through California PSPS programs. Outback makes another one.
__________________
. . . and then I pronounced myself an idiot, to which there was general agreement and merriment . . .
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 08:23 PM   #14
Ken Roach
Lifetime Supporting Member + Moderator
United States

Ken Roach is offline
 
Ken Roach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 16,585
Fortunately for me we're mostly hydropower in the Northwest and our distribution system is rugged, so my EV usually has as much range as my wife's gas car if we lose power.

And I've never had someone try to steal my catalytic converter or siphon my gas.

There will definitely be Tesla-siphons in the Blade Runner dystopia. We're doing our best to create that around Lake Union.
  Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2022, 09:03 PM   #15
Contr_Conn
Member
United States

Contr_Conn is offline
 
Contr_Conn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,380
Quote:
The transfer switch is very important. This needs to be installed by an electrician. 16KW is definitely enough for a normal house. If you are doing this for a house then listen to Contr_conn. Contr_conn's issue with the battery is an issue. I prefer LiFePO4 battiers.
Our generator was installed by the local licensed distributor and they do annual maintenance as well to keep 10 year factory warranty. They also brought licensed plumber to install natural gas line, and gas company installed larger meter and regulator for free.
The battery should be charged during weekly run - 5 minutes.
We also have a cold weather kit that is included oil and battery heaters.
  Reply With Quote
Reply
Jump to Live PLC Question and Answer Forum

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OT Another Generator Question dmmons LIVE PLC Questions And Answers 4 February 13th, 2012 12:31 PM
OT: Home generator wiring kolyur LIVE PLC Questions And Answers 11 March 9th, 2011 09:21 PM
OT Generator Sizing Doug_Adam LIVE PLC Questions And Answers 5 August 23rd, 2009 05:33 PM
Starting an emergency generator Plc_User LIVE PLC Questions And Answers 5 November 5th, 2008 12:22 PM
Ot Generator Installation davefinic LIVE PLC Questions And Answers 8 August 3rd, 2007 02:08 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:48 PM.


.