[Generators]/ supplemental power generation

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aquaman
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by aquaman »

Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:42 pm
JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 pm
tomd37 wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:00 pm Based on previous posts on this site, you are going to get all sorts of answers from permanently installed expensive units that provide enough power to run everything at one time if you so desire down to portable generators that you have to move outside, hook up, and run on gasoline to provide enough power to run selected amounts of items.

That said, as an 84 year-old couple, we recently permanently installed a 22KwH Generac, natural gas powered whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch which will allow us to run everything in our 2200 sq ft home, including the two HVAC systems, at the same time whether the temperature is 99 degrees outside as it is routinely here during most of the summer or whether it is 9 degrees outside as it is tonight with the ice and snow storm we are experiencing for five days.

We had talked about such a generator not too long ago but did not get to have it installed until shortly after we experienced a 69-hour total power outage in May of 2020 after a very severe two-day storm ravaged this part of the state. We watched out our dark rooms to see our neighbor's unit running constantly during those 69 hours. He was the envy of our 162-home community! :wink: We may, however, get to use ours for the first time if these snow/ice storms continue for the next three days!

You have to weigh the pros and cons and the costs involved in your decision. Great sense of security though when you have it.
Thanks. I actually saw the Generac when I Googled natural gas generators. Seems like they run around $5k to $6k, plus I'm guessing installation? While a seemingly a costly solution, I'd view it as peace of mind.

My main question would be, what is the possibility in such an event that not only is electric disrupted by gas too? I don't recall in 25 years ever experiencing as gas disruption. I do occasionally hear about gas line breaks or gas leaks but seems pretty rare.
The particular situation in Texas is precisely this.
It actually doesn't sound like that's the case. Commercial power plants in Texas rely on natural gas to generate electricity. There have been widely reported natural gas supply disruptions to those commercial power plants, which caused a lot of residential customers to lose electricity, which then caused them to lose heat (natural gas furnaces need electricity to operate their blowers). Likewise, there have been propane disruptions.

There were lots of warnings that residential natural gas customers could also lose service, but from everything that I've seen, an overwhelming majority of residential (not commercial) natural gas customers did not actually experience any disruptions.
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willthrill81
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

lazydavid wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:46 pm Yes, an interlock is perfectly legal in most areas, including ours, and is very safe. It's physically impossible to energize the grid if it's installed properly.

That said, the cost of an interlock may be equal to a transfer switch, and given the choice between the two, I'd pick the transfer switch.
You're either looking at interlocks way more expensive than I am, or transfer switches way cheaper than I've ever seen. :)

A whole-house manual transfer switch would have cost me about $450, while a 6-circuit one goes for about $280, and a 10-circuit for about $350. Plus 6 or 10 new breakers for the sub-panel style, so call that another $50. Then there's the cost of the electrical work to either shut off power at the street and reroute the mains in the case of the whole-house unit, or pull 6/10 circuits out of your load center, into the transfer switch, and back again in the other two cases. Neither of those options is particularly cheap.

My interlock was $49, and I installed it myself in less than 10 minutes. :)
The issue around here is that electricians seem to charge the same for installing either one. But no, I haven't seen an interlock for $49 either. Nice work.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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JBTX
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by JBTX »

MBB_Boy wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:04 pm
random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:12 am
cpumechanic wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:28 am Suggestions that work for me

1.0 Wood stove in Basement with 3 cords of split hardwood outside basement sliding door.
2.0 800 gallons of propane at 0.99 cents per gallon sitting awating use in tank in side yard.
3.0 Ability to transfer liquid propane to smaller tanks to use to power propane heaters, grill, stove and generator to run home well pump and pump water.

4.0 Small RV in driveway to use in extreme emergency for cooling if absolutely needed.

Summary :

I can survive in 100F weather fairly easily, but I don't want to worry about freezing to death.

Best of luck to you, who knew 42% of the electricity in Texas was supplied by now frozen windmills (per WSJ this AM). [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Best of luck

CPU
Just to be clear, the windmill thing is overblown. There was even some news on (Saturday?) that, even with a sizeable fraction offline, it was extra windy and the remaining ones were delivering a little more electricity than would normally be expected from the farm.

Blaming windmills makes for good politics, but at this time of year, wind is a small fraction, and the bigger problems are the natural gas and nuclear plants that are down. All 3 could've been insulated and winterized, but prior to now, there was no economic justification. It also sucks that we have our own grid and can't borrow electricity from neighboring states.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... es-frozen/
https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/texas-po ... -turbines/
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... wer-storm/
They have been insulated and winterized - just not enough. It's untrue and unfair to imply that no effort has been made to protect for winter. Starting in at least 2011, authorities have had to prepare and present plans. 2018 was successful. This year, they failed. Sometimes, bad things happen despite plans.

And we can't let the failure of renewables go unnoticed / off the hook either. The % of renewables lost was insanely high. If we don't recognize this reality, the whole world will suffer as adoption increases. Texas is the leader in wind generation, and we lose a valuable opportunity for lessons learned if we let politics get in the way of energy / utility science and engineering.

And didn't we borrow electricity from Mexico in 2011? And I thought I read we couldn't get power from them or SPP/ other states because they have their own issues from the same storm. Could be wrong

ETA: In my opinion, Texas energy policy got it right by taking an "all of the above" approach to generation - being #1 in wind in a state famous for oil and gas isn't the expected outcome. The fact that this happened DESPITE the diversity in supply makes it a perfect test case for resiliency planning. Sucks to live through though - lucky I'm only down on gas, as opposed to also power and water
It is my understanding that this time of year wind is about 7%, (compared to up to 25% other times) and that while some windmills froze up, the ones that didn't actually had above average output.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... es-frozen/
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JBTX
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by JBTX »

Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:42 pm
JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 pm
tomd37 wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:00 pm Based on previous posts on this site, you are going to get all sorts of answers from permanently installed expensive units that provide enough power to run everything at one time if you so desire down to portable generators that you have to move outside, hook up, and run on gasoline to provide enough power to run selected amounts of items.

That said, as an 84 year-old couple, we recently permanently installed a 22KwH Generac, natural gas powered whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch which will allow us to run everything in our 2200 sq ft home, including the two HVAC systems, at the same time whether the temperature is 99 degrees outside as it is routinely here during most of the summer or whether it is 9 degrees outside as it is tonight with the ice and snow storm we are experiencing for five days.

We had talked about such a generator not too long ago but did not get to have it installed until shortly after we experienced a 69-hour total power outage in May of 2020 after a very severe two-day storm ravaged this part of the state. We watched out our dark rooms to see our neighbor's unit running constantly during those 69 hours. He was the envy of our 162-home community! :wink: We may, however, get to use ours for the first time if these snow/ice storms continue for the next three days!

You have to weigh the pros and cons and the costs involved in your decision. Great sense of security though when you have it.
Thanks. I actually saw the Generac when I Googled natural gas generators. Seems like they run around $5k to $6k, plus I'm guessing installation? While a seemingly a costly solution, I'd view it as peace of mind.

My main question would be, what is the possibility in such an event that not only is electric disrupted by gas too? I don't recall in 25 years ever experiencing as gas disruption. I do occasionally hear about gas line breaks or gas leaks but seems pretty rare.
The particular situation in Texas is precisely this.

Deep freeze leads to soaring gas demand.

At the same time it has disrupted coal fired and nuclear power stations. (Some wind farms but that is a much smaller proportion of supply and the Texas grid operator does not rely on wind power in periods of extreme stress because it is not "dispatchable" ie on demand).

So the reserve power is gas fired stations. By system design ERCOT (ie Texas grid) does not have high voltage connections to other states so it cannot pull power in from other states w sky high prices.

But the gas pressure has dropped because the domestic gas supply system has been prioritised. The pressure is too low for some reserve capacity to run.

So Catch 22. Electricity is out meaning gas supply is constrained meaning electricity is out.

(Apparently due to water vapour in the gas lines some lines have actually frozen or at least the valves have)


Power stations where harsh winters are more common are "winterised" to a greater extent. Fir example in New England they can switch to fuel oil, with reserves stored on site.

So an ekectricity and gas outage is more common in a cold emergency than a heat wave.
I don’t know if any of the nat gas shortage affected individual homeowners with direct gas hookups. When the electricity did come on, heat and hot water (from our gas) was never a problem. To the extent power was out,less homeowner gas was used. So possibly if you are one of the few with gas generation during a power outage and gas shortage you could still be ok.
glock19
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by glock19 »

hand wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:00 pm
glock19 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:13 pm
My Dealer said they sell mostly Generacs because of the name brand recognition, but they feel the Kohler is a superior unit. Also they feel Kohler is a much better company to work with. Lastly, the Generac has mechanical valves that need periodic adjustments. Kohler's are hydraulic valve lifters that require no adjustments.

I'm sure by now you are sorry you asked, but it sure feels good to vent. Had I not had the ability to do this myself, I would have been stuck with a very poorly functioning piece of machinery!
Thanks for taking the time to share the issues in detail and in a way that was understandable by the average buyer.

There seems to be an industry of reducing product quality in ways that aren't immediately obvious to the average consumer to improve profit margins, but ultimately provide poor value to the consumer (and society as a whole). Testimonials like this are the only way to stem the tide and retain focus on quality and long term value.
You are welcome. As stated, my Generac is finally working well, but I did spend the money on the 10 year warranty. I seldom purchase extended warranties, but I've had several friends that have had to purchase new controller boards for their Generacs. Owners cannot buy these boards, only dealers. The installed cost is $1K. Lightning and electrical surges are not your friend!

You are correct on this example of a company mass producing a well known brand, and falling far short of quality control and service after the sale. I've learned every part on my generator, and can fully dissemble and reassemble if needed. It's not a complicated machine. You would just think that a well known company would admit a flaw, and readily produce a solution. Not surprising, as we see this every day with common well know companies.

Whole house transfer switch operated generators are not for everyone. Smaller, portable generators work well depending on one's need (load). I still have my 10KW portable as a backup. They all require care and feeding. Periodic running and simple maintenance that anyone can do.

Not many folks want to spend the money on a generator until they have no electrical service.
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willthrill81
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

glock19 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:20 pmWhole house transfer switch operated generators are not for everyone.
I agree, though when I've said this in other threads, a few posters tried to vehemently argue the point. The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to backup power. Every option out there has cons, and with standby generators, there are cons that go beyond the cost alone.
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dukeblue219
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by dukeblue219 »

JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 pmI actually saw the Generac when I Googled natural gas generators. Seems like they run around $5k to $6k, plus I'm guessing installation?
This sounds low to me. Last time I looked the units were closer to $12k to run a full house plus 5+ k for install, but I wasn't seriously shopping either.
IMO
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by IMO »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:42 pm
Random Poster wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:25 pm We've had a Yamaha 2400 iSHC that outputs up to 2,400 watts of power (2,000 continuously) for years and love it. If I were to buy another generator of similar size, I'd probably get one of the Champion inverter generators.

The gas furnace blowers that I've tested only draw about 600 watts of power or so, so virtually any generator will power that.

You can power a gas furnace, refrigerator, TV, modem/router, laptop, and a bunch of LED lights for no more than 1,500 watts total.

Depending on how much gasoline you stored, you could get a 2 kW inverter generator, power all of the above with extension cords, and have an all-in cost under $1k.
How do you power all of these things from the generator? Specifically, the furnace?

I’m mostly curious how you get an extension cord from the generator to power the furnace, as I sure don’t see any power cord coming out of the furnace or a socket receptacle plug going into it.

And I guess for the refrigerator you just pull it out from the wall and plug it into the generator (via an extension cord)?
Residential gas furnaces are run by 120 volt electricity, but they are typically hardwired in. It's a pretty simple matter to add a plug to the furnace and to have the power normally run to the furnace with a dedicated single-outlet right next to the furnace (yes, this to code). There's a great YouTube video on how to do it here.

Yes, we just pull the refrigerator out from the wall, plug it into an extension cord, and push it back to the wall.
So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly? I ask because if I am able to run a portable generator with a long extension cord to our HVAC, I'm hoping there isn't some other power source/fuse powering the thermostats to control the HVAC? Thanks for the youtube link on the power cord.

I'll also have to figure out how to physically run the emergency extension cord. I guess just crack a window since our HVAC is in the attic vs. in the garage.
GAAP
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by GAAP »

JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:17 pm What are the options?

- gasoline or other fuel based generator
- natural gas powered generator (I looked this up, you can get these)
- Batteries?
- other?

If I did somethjng I'd want it to be able to run a heater or central air. Is that feasible?

I've never been big on the idea of solar panels, I'm not sure how effective that would be for this issue.


Just looking for ideas, power requirements, approximate costs, feasibility in a suburban neighborhood.

Thanks.
Fuels: Gasoline is essentially only available for portable generators -- which would probably be sufficient if all you want is heat. Propane can run anything from small portables to much bigger systems designed for whole house or even office buildings. Natural gas generally is for a permanent installation, not a portable -- and requires both the presence of a natural gas line on the property, and sufficient capacity in that line to run the generator and any other gas appliances. Diesel is generally available for bigger generators and offers the particular advantage of fire safety -- it doesn't explode. Texas also has a problem with natural gas delivery, so that may not be a good choice.

Solar panels on any reasonable scale for a house won't run a furnace for long, if at all.

The first thing you need to know is how much you want to put on the generator -- that determines the size needed, and therefore the available options. All of the major generator manufacturers, and many of the distributors offer calculators for just that purpose.

Another thing to note -- the manufacturers are swamped with COVID/WFH orders on most non-portable sizes. Lead times are long -- even after you can get someone out to work up a quote. A portable would go much faster -- but you'll need an electrician unless your house is already wired for a generator.
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willthrill81
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

IMO wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:42 pm
Random Poster wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:25 pm We've had a Yamaha 2400 iSHC that outputs up to 2,400 watts of power (2,000 continuously) for years and love it. If I were to buy another generator of similar size, I'd probably get one of the Champion inverter generators.

The gas furnace blowers that I've tested only draw about 600 watts of power or so, so virtually any generator will power that.

You can power a gas furnace, refrigerator, TV, modem/router, laptop, and a bunch of LED lights for no more than 1,500 watts total.

Depending on how much gasoline you stored, you could get a 2 kW inverter generator, power all of the above with extension cords, and have an all-in cost under $1k.
How do you power all of these things from the generator? Specifically, the furnace?

I’m mostly curious how you get an extension cord from the generator to power the furnace, as I sure don’t see any power cord coming out of the furnace or a socket receptacle plug going into it.

And I guess for the refrigerator you just pull it out from the wall and plug it into the generator (via an extension cord)?
Residential gas furnaces are run by 120 volt electricity, but they are typically hardwired in. It's a pretty simple matter to add a plug to the furnace and to have the power normally run to the furnace with a dedicated single-outlet right next to the furnace (yes, this to code). There's a great YouTube video on how to do it here.

Yes, we just pull the refrigerator out from the wall, plug it into an extension cord, and push it back to the wall.
So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly? I ask because if I am able to run a portable generator with a long extension cord to our HVAC, I'm hoping there isn't some other power source/fuse powering the thermostats to control the HVAC? Thanks for the youtube link on the power cord.

I'll also have to figure out how to physically run the emergency extension cord. I guess just crack a window since our HVAC is in the attic vs. in the garage.
Every residential thermostat I've seen operates on battery power. Ours runs on two AAs that last a long time. If the furnace has power, the thermostat will operate it.

Yes, one of the easiest ways to run the extension cord inside is through a sash window. You can use towels to seal up the small gap, and put something at the bottom of the window so the weight isn't resting on the extension cord. Once you run the cord inside, it's a good idea to place 'T' adapters like the ones below where the extension cords meet. This lets you run smaller extension cords off of the 'main' cord.

Image
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whomever
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by whomever »

"So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly?"

I can't speak to the general case, but IMHE the newer programmable ones have a battery, and the older ones just mechanically open or close contacts on a wire coming from the furnace. We've had houses with both. In general, I think newer houses tend to have the programmable ones, older houses the mechanical.

(this is referring to 'low voltage' thermostats controlling e.g. a natural gas furnace. Electric heat, like baseboard heaters, are frequently controlled by 'line voltage' thermostats, but you need a big generator to run those :-) )
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Nicolas
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by Nicolas »

Buy a 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid pickup. It doubles as a 7.2kW generator. Or you could say your generator doubles as a pickup. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/some-te ... storm.html
davedci1
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by davedci1 »

Get a dual-fuel generator. The most expensive one you can afford. You probably need at least 4500 watts minimum. Ideally in the 8,000 to 10,000 though.
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by gtd98765 »

So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly?
My Honeywell digital thermostats are both clearly designed to be powered by the forced-air furnaces using the "C" wire. Even my 25-year-old Carrier furnace could cope with that, although I did have to get an electrician to run a new cable from the furnace to the thermostat since the original cable/furnace did not have a "C" wire .
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willthrill81
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

davedci1 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:33 pm Get a dual-fuel generator. The most expensive one you can afford. You probably need at least 4500 watts minimum. Ideally in the 8,000 to 10,000 though.
We can run everything we need to with our 2,400 watt generator (e.g., refrigerator, freezer, modem, TV, lights, furnace, fireplace blower, backup window unit AC).
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
glock19
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by glock19 »

IMO wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:42 pm
Random Poster wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:25 pm We've had a Yamaha 2400 iSHC that outputs up to 2,400 watts of power (2,000 continuously) for years and love it. If I were to buy another generator of similar size, I'd probably get one of the Champion inverter generators.

The gas furnace blowers that I've tested only draw about 600 watts of power or so, so virtually any generator will power that.

You can power a gas furnace, refrigerator, TV, modem/router, laptop, and a bunch of LED lights for no more than 1,500 watts total.

Depending on how much gasoline you stored, you could get a 2 kW inverter generator, power all of the above with extension cords, and have an all-in cost under $1k.
How do you power all of these things from the generator? Specifically, the furnace?

I’m mostly curious how you get an extension cord from the generator to power the furnace, as I sure don’t see any power cord coming out of the furnace or a socket receptacle plug going into it.

And I guess for the refrigerator you just pull it out from the wall and plug it into the generator (via an extension cord)?
Residential gas furnaces are run by 120 volt electricity, but they are typically hardwired in. It's a pretty simple matter to add a plug to the furnace and to have the power normally run to the furnace with a dedicated single-outlet right next to the furnace (yes, this to code). There's a great YouTube video on how to do it here.

Yes, we just pull the refrigerator out from the wall, plug it into an extension cord, and push it back to the wall.
So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly? I ask because if I am able to run a portable generator with a long extension cord to our HVAC, I'm hoping there isn't some other power source/fuse powering the thermostats to control the HVAC? Thanks for the youtube link on the power cord.

I'll also have to figure out how to physically run the emergency extension cord. I guess just crack a window since our HVAC is in the attic vs. in the garage.
Every thermostat I have ever worked with is powered by a 24vac transformer in the air handler (the HVAC unit). This means if you can get 120 volts AC to your air handler your thermostat is going to work. Usually if there are batteries in a thermostat they serve to backup any custom functions that have been programmed, when commercial power is lost.

So if your heat is natural gas or propane powered, that extension cord from a generator will put you in business.

I am not an HVAC technician so YMMV.
30west
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by 30west »

We have a Heat-n-glow gas fireplace that has a standing pilot. It can through 40, 000 btu of heat, enough to keep the main floor of our Minnesota home safely warm with no electrical power. It brings piece of mind in winter, especially during ice storms when our overhead power grid seems most vulnerable.
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by smitcat »

IMO wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:42 pm
Random Poster wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:25 pm We've had a Yamaha 2400 iSHC that outputs up to 2,400 watts of power (2,000 continuously) for years and love it. If I were to buy another generator of similar size, I'd probably get one of the Champion inverter generators.

The gas furnace blowers that I've tested only draw about 600 watts of power or so, so virtually any generator will power that.

You can power a gas furnace, refrigerator, TV, modem/router, laptop, and a bunch of LED lights for no more than 1,500 watts total.

Depending on how much gasoline you stored, you could get a 2 kW inverter generator, power all of the above with extension cords, and have an all-in cost under $1k.
How do you power all of these things from the generator? Specifically, the furnace?

I’m mostly curious how you get an extension cord from the generator to power the furnace, as I sure don’t see any power cord coming out of the furnace or a socket receptacle plug going into it.

And I guess for the refrigerator you just pull it out from the wall and plug it into the generator (via an extension cord)?
Residential gas furnaces are run by 120 volt electricity, but they are typically hardwired in. It's a pretty simple matter to add a plug to the furnace and to have the power normally run to the furnace with a dedicated single-outlet right next to the furnace (yes, this to code). There's a great YouTube video on how to do it here.

Yes, we just pull the refrigerator out from the wall, plug it into an extension cord, and push it back to the wall.
So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly? I ask because if I am able to run a portable generator with a long extension cord to our HVAC, I'm hoping there isn't some other power source/fuse powering the thermostats to control the HVAC? Thanks for the youtube link on the power cord.

I'll also have to figure out how to physically run the emergency extension cord. I guess just crack a window since our HVAC is in the attic vs. in the garage.
I prefer a wired in transfer switch that allows the portable genset to select a number of circuits to power - these can be had with various power ratings and circuit counts to fit your needs. The transfer switch gets wired near your main panel , another inlet line power line is wired to a convenient spot on an outer wall where you will place the genset when needed. A short heavy duty power cord connects the genset to the inlet and powers the pre wired circuits safely and quickly.
One of the many possible switch types is here:

https://www.zoro.com/reliance-manual-tr ... 20Products
aquaman
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by aquaman »

davedci1 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:33 pm Get a dual-fuel generator. The most expensive one you can afford. You probably need at least 4500 watts minimum. Ideally in the 8,000 to 10,000 though.
Just remember that a 10K or so portable generator is likely to be about 200lbs (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Green-Power ... /314923167). This one, which I am using as an example, has a half-load run time of 8 hours, which will burn through 6.6 gallons of gasoline.

As the Texas debacle has once again demonstrated (I say "once again," as widespread power shortages and gasoline supply shortages tend to go hand in hand), during fairly widescale power disruptions, it's quite common to have gasoline supply disruptions as well. Likewise, the roads may be impassable, so even getting to the gas stations may not be particularly easy.

With a portable generator, you have to make sure that you have a good plan in place for exercising and storing it. Exercising it from time to time won't get rid of all the gas in it, and for infrequently used ones, you should plan on completely draining it (not just the tank, but the entire portable generator, which can take a while and which a lot of people fail to do). You'll also need a plan for keeping gasoline on hand, stabilizing it, cycling through it, etc...

You did mention dual-fuel, which is a good idea, but is not always as easy as it sounds. The vast majority of portable generators out there are gasoline. Even if you get a dual-fuel one, with natural gas, for instance, you have to make sure that your existing supply line can handle a generator, plus all the other natural gas appliances at your residence.
MBB_Boy
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by MBB_Boy »

JBTX wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:47 pm
MBB_Boy wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:04 pm
random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:12 am
cpumechanic wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:28 am Suggestions that work for me

1.0 Wood stove in Basement with 3 cords of split hardwood outside basement sliding door.
2.0 800 gallons of propane at 0.99 cents per gallon sitting awating use in tank in side yard.
3.0 Ability to transfer liquid propane to smaller tanks to use to power propane heaters, grill, stove and generator to run home well pump and pump water.

4.0 Small RV in driveway to use in extreme emergency for cooling if absolutely needed.

Summary :

I can survive in 100F weather fairly easily, but I don't want to worry about freezing to death.

Best of luck to you, who knew 42% of the electricity in Texas was supplied by now frozen windmills (per WSJ this AM). [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Best of luck

CPU
Just to be clear, the windmill thing is overblown. There was even some news on (Saturday?) that, even with a sizeable fraction offline, it was extra windy and the remaining ones were delivering a little more electricity than would normally be expected from the farm.

Blaming windmills makes for good politics, but at this time of year, wind is a small fraction, and the bigger problems are the natural gas and nuclear plants that are down. All 3 could've been insulated and winterized, but prior to now, there was no economic justification. It also sucks that we have our own grid and can't borrow electricity from neighboring states.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... es-frozen/
https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/texas-po ... -turbines/
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... wer-storm/
They have been insulated and winterized - just not enough. It's untrue and unfair to imply that no effort has been made to protect for winter. Starting in at least 2011, authorities have had to prepare and present plans. 2018 was successful. This year, they failed. Sometimes, bad things happen despite plans.

And we can't let the failure of renewables go unnoticed / off the hook either. The % of renewables lost was insanely high. If we don't recognize this reality, the whole world will suffer as adoption increases. Texas is the leader in wind generation, and we lose a valuable opportunity for lessons learned if we let politics get in the way of energy / utility science and engineering.

And didn't we borrow electricity from Mexico in 2011? And I thought I read we couldn't get power from them or SPP/ other states because they have their own issues from the same storm. Could be wrong

ETA: In my opinion, Texas energy policy got it right by taking an "all of the above" approach to generation - being #1 in wind in a state famous for oil and gas isn't the expected outcome. The fact that this happened DESPITE the diversity in supply makes it a perfect test case for resiliency planning. Sucks to live through though - lucky I'm only down on gas, as opposed to also power and water
It is my understanding that this time of year wind is about 7%, (compared to up to 25% other times) and that while some windmills froze up, the ones that didn't actually had above average output.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... es-frozen/
Maybe it typically is or its the plan, but I went and pulled last month's numbers from ERCOT (its in an excel sheet) and wind was way more than 7% - was 7700 out of 31,000 GwH, so more like 25%. Which is close to what the full year generation numbers look like - wind is #2 in Texas, after natgas and just ahead of coal.

Looked yesterday and wind output was up dramatically from a few days before, from like 1100 to 5900. The real time numbers on their site don't denote units, but assumption is MW. This is vs a total of 45,000 / 63,000 respectively, so 2.5% and 9.3% respectively. Implies a faster rate of coming back online than the other sources, which is what I expected and I THINK I may have theorized in an earlier post.
MBB_Boy
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by MBB_Boy »

Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:03 pm
MBB_Boy wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:04 pm
random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:12 am
cpumechanic wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:28 am Suggestions that work for me

1.0 Wood stove in Basement with 3 cords of split hardwood outside basement sliding door.
2.0 800 gallons of propane at 0.99 cents per gallon sitting awating use in tank in side yard.
3.0 Ability to transfer liquid propane to smaller tanks to use to power propane heaters, grill, stove and generator to run home well pump and pump water.

4.0 Small RV in driveway to use in extreme emergency for cooling if absolutely needed.

Summary :

I can survive in 100F weather fairly easily, but I don't want to worry about freezing to death.

Best of luck to you, who knew 42% of the electricity in Texas was supplied by now frozen windmills (per WSJ this AM). [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Best of luck

CPU
Just to be clear, the windmill thing is overblown. There was even some news on (Saturday?) that, even with a sizeable fraction offline, it was extra windy and the remaining ones were delivering a little more electricity than would normally be expected from the farm.

Blaming windmills makes for good politics, but at this time of year, wind is a small fraction, and the bigger problems are the natural gas and nuclear plants that are down. All 3 could've been insulated and winterized, but prior to now, there was no economic justification. It also sucks that we have our own grid and can't borrow electricity from neighboring states.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... es-frozen/
https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/texas-po ... -turbines/
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16 ... wer-storm/
They have been insulated and winterized - just not enough. It's untrue and unfair to imply that no effort has been made to protect for winter. Starting in at least 2011, authorities have had to prepare and present plans. 2018 was successful. This year, they failed. Sometimes, bad things happen despite plans.

And we can't let the failure of renewables go unnoticed / off the hook either. The % of renewables lost was insanely high. If we don't recognize this reality, the whole world will suffer as adoption increases. Texas is the leader in wind generation, and we lose a valuable opportunity for lessons learned if we let politics get in the way of energy / utility science and engineering.
The numbers i have read for wind lost was 25%? That's not insanely high?

Texas has a lot of wind for an American state. But the UK is 20% ish wind and runs to North Atlantic Hurricanes and yes, freeze ups. Heat waves are not a challenge in the way Texas is but Scotland (where over half the wind is, including offshore areas) has some pretty impressive winter storms.

And there's Denmark of course. And China (smaller percentages but the scale of generation...).

And didn't we borrow electricity from Mexico in 2011? And I thought I read we couldn't get power from them or SPP/ other states because they have their own issues from the same storm. Could be wrong

ETA: In my opinion, Texas energy policy got it right by taking an "all of the above" approach to generation - being #1 in wind in a state famous for oil and gas isn't the expected outcome. The fact that this happened DESPITE the diversity in supply makes it a perfect test case for resiliency planning. Sucks to live through though - lucky I'm only down on gas, as opposed to also power and water
Texas lacks High Voltage connections to other states. That is a quite deliberate policy choice, I believed framed into the law governing ERCOT.

Good news that reduces the opportunity to get caught in a black-out like 2003 where a transmission line going out in Ohio blacked out much of Eastern North America.

Bad news is that there is no one to call on when there is a supply shortage.

In a normal market the soaring price on ERCOT of a mwhr would pull in supply from adjacent territories. Which in turn would pull in supply from their adjacent states. Rippling out to Alberta and Georgia and whatever.

You would not, after all, constrain natural gas from flowing across state boundaries in a situation like this?

Tbh, I worry about Texas energy supply picture in heat waves a lot more, because that's also when you get days or weeks long low wind velocities. And peak demand *after* sunset so solar doesn't help you.

This situation sounds like Texas did not impose sufficient robustness criteria on its reserve power providers.

(A related problem is that the ERCOT market design did not include a Capacity Mechanism. In most other markets the system pays reserve capacity providers to stand ready, Texas relies on the possibility of super high pool prices to do that) I am somewhat vague as to the interrelationship between my points in these last 2 paragraphs.
Thanks for the reply. I think there's some Hanlon's razor going on with the reporting of the energy numbers, just like financial reporting sometimes. Put some of this is another post, but wind output when I checked yesterday was something like 5900 units (assuming MW, but the ERCOT real time site doesn't denote units for that page). It was 1100 2 days before when I checked. Even if 5900 is the expected output, that would imply lost generation was something like 80% loss. I'm pretty sure 5900 is low. The (little) reporting I've paid attention to on this often mixes planned production (with no notes around when the plan was made) vs actual. They sometimes use planned for wind and actuals for thermal. They often only use the nominal numbers to say which was the "real problem", which is fair but can be misleading for policy decisions or determining resiliency.

Like many things, especially complicated ones, the real time reporting ends up being way off. We won't know until a few months what the actual stats were I bet - there's actually a PPT floating around somewhere from 2011 that has the explanation and after action for the 2011 problems. For those interested: https://web.archive.org/web/20120120064 ... ckouts.pdf
MBB_Boy
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by MBB_Boy »

willthrill81 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:58 pm
MBB_Boy wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:40 pm For what it's worth, I'm in Texas and never lost power. But I DiD lose gas. Sooo...yeah. Really cant prepare for everything. To me, cutting reliance on outside entities is where my mind goes. So a portable generator that uses gas is my go to, because I can choose to keep gasoline stored in cans / card independent of what the energy or natgas companies go through
Indeed, there's a first time for everything. Where we live in the inland Northwest, natural disasters that result in significant power outages are rare. But five years ago, there was a major straight-line wind storm just before Thanksgiving, and many homes were without power for days, some for weeks. Very few had generators or backup heat of any form.

The combined usefulness, cost, and flexibility of a portable generator is pretty high. I'm always confused when people talk about them being physically challenging to use. Just get one with wheels or put one on a cart, and get one with a battery start, if those are concerns. Granted, it's not as hands-off as a standby generator, but it's also a small fraction of the cost and can do things that a standby generator cannot do (e.g., be moved from one location to another).
Talk about being unpredicatable! A WIND storm? Seriously? At least hurricanes and this winter storm give you days of warning when you see them developing. We have tornados down here, but even those come with a bunch of other severe weather (hail, thunderstorms, etc) so you at least know to start looking out
musicjay
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:52 pm

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by musicjay »

After a 3 day power failure this past summer, we decided to have installed a Generac 10kw standby generator to power essential circuits only. It will power our well pump, septic pump, lights and outlets on the main level as well as the master bath and bedroom. Also will power the microwave, refrigerator as well a a couple of electric space heaters . We have an all electric house in a rural area, so providing for HVAC made the cost to purchase too high. Our system is powered by a 100 gallon propane tank which should last us 5-7 days at 50% load. As most of our loads are not constant, the aforementioned time period seems realistic. The system cost us $8200 which included install, propane tank, many permits, and generator plus transfer switch. Lead time to get generator was about 3 months, plus another month to install due to permitting issues. It gives us peace of mind in an
emergency. It comes on automatically in a power failure.
whomever
Posts: 1081
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by whomever »

"With a portable generator, you have to make sure that you have a good plan in place for exercising and storing it. Exercising it from time to time won't get rid of all the gas in it, and for infrequently used ones, you should plan on completely draining it (not just the tank, but the entire portable generator, which can take a while and which a lot of people fail to do). You'll also need a plan for keeping gasoline on hand, stabilizing it, cycling through it, etc..."

I agree with that, and will expand on it:

1)We have an EU2000. We don't use it for camping or whatever, strictly for longer outages. Those have happened, since we got it, at intervals of maybe 3 to 7 years. At the end of an outage, we follow the manual's 'long term storage' advice (detailed below). We don't 'exercise' it in between outages, but it starts right up even after several years of storage, **if you followed the mothball instructions**.

2)As aquaman says, you need to drain the gas completely. If you don't, the gas gradually changes to a hard brown substance called 'varnish'. Not the stuff you put on wood, but the same idea - it polymerizes or whatever into a solid. When it does, it clogs the teeny little passages and orifices in the fuel system. Sometimes you can dissolve it out with carb cleaner, sometimes you can't. You might need to rebuild or replace the carburetor. The usual generator failure sequence is:

-an outage happens, and afterwards Fred decides to get a generator.
-after the outage, Fred gets his generator, fires it up for an hour, thinks 'this is great!', turns it off and puts it away.
-over the next couple of years, the gas turns to varnish
-the next outage comes along, Fred gets out his generator and pulls and pulls and pulls, and it won't start. If the carb is clogged enough, it isn't getting any gas. If some gas gets through the spark plug gets wet. Either way, now it won't start even with fresh gas. Fred decides generators are a bad idea.

3)Honda's long term storage instructions:
-run it completely dry of fuel. Our generator weighs 40 odd pounds. If I haven't timed things so it's almost empty, I turn off the generator, remove the gas cap, and pick it up and pour the gas out of the generator back into the gas can. This is harder to do with a 200 pound generator :-). On some of those, you may be able to disconnect the gas line to drain the tank, or siphon/pump out most of the gas. If not, let it run.
-with the tank as empty as you can get it, start the generator. Run it until it starts to miss from lack of fuel. Turn the choke on if you have it. When it stops, pull the cord to start it again. Do this until it is just bone dry and won't run even briefly.
-change the oil. Let the motor cool. Remove the spark plug, add one (tsp? tbsp?) of clean engine oil. Pull the cord so the piston splashes the oil all over the cylinder (this is to prevent corrosion over time of the cast iron cylinder liner). Replace the plug. Gently pull the cord until you feel resistance - that means both valves are shut, again to prevent condensation and corrosion over time.

This sounds like a lot of work. It takes maybe 30 minutes. It will save a lot more than 30 minutes of cursing the next time you use the generator. And it takes a lot less time than running the generator every month, changing the oil annually, etc.

4)On gas. What we do is buy ordinary gas and treat it with 'Stabil' (a brand of gas stabilizer). We do this in the fall. The next fall we just dump the gas can into one of the cars with a half-empty tank. The car happily digests the year old gas. Our outages always happen in winter, so our gas will be less than six months old. With the baby generator, 10 gallons of gas will last over a month, so we don't have mass quantities to deal with.

Some people swear by ethanol free gas. I don't disagree, that just means a longer trip to get it for us, so adding Stabil is easier for us.

If you have a propane generator, you never have to rotate the fuel. There may be disadvantages ... small propane tanks at high draw rates don't like cold weather, for example. I don't know if that's a real world concern.

This has advantages - you can get a generator for a few hundred bucks that will keep your fridge and furnace on. It has its disadvantages; it's enough of a pain you aren't going to fire up the generator for a 4 hour outage. This contrasts with a permanently installed generator that you run for an hour a month anyway - there is no disadvantage there it it starts up for a one minute outage. But you pay for the ongoing maintenance - TANSTAAFL. Horses for courses. YMMV.

(as an aside: another advantage of small generators ... you can share with neighbors who don't have one)
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willthrill81
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Location: USA

Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

MBB_Boy wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:45 am
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:58 pm
MBB_Boy wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:40 pm For what it's worth, I'm in Texas and never lost power. But I DiD lose gas. Sooo...yeah. Really cant prepare for everything. To me, cutting reliance on outside entities is where my mind goes. So a portable generator that uses gas is my go to, because I can choose to keep gasoline stored in cans / card independent of what the energy or natgas companies go through
Indeed, there's a first time for everything. Where we live in the inland Northwest, natural disasters that result in significant power outages are rare. But five years ago, there was a major straight-line wind storm just before Thanksgiving, and many homes were without power for days, some for weeks. Very few had generators or backup heat of any form.

The combined usefulness, cost, and flexibility of a portable generator is pretty high. I'm always confused when people talk about them being physically challenging to use. Just get one with wheels or put one on a cart, and get one with a battery start, if those are concerns. Granted, it's not as hands-off as a standby generator, but it's also a small fraction of the cost and can do things that a standby generator cannot do (e.g., be moved from one location to another).
Talk about being unpredicatable! A WIND storm? Seriously? At least hurricanes and this winter storm give you days of warning when you see them developing. We have tornados down here, but even those come with a bunch of other severe weather (hail, thunderstorms, etc) so you at least know to start looking out
Yes, natural disasters don't always give you advance warning. About a month ago, we got a dumping of very wet, heavy snow that brought down many limbs and some rather large trees as well. And, of course, that impacted many power lines, and some were days without power.

That's why we always keep a very healthy supply of fuel for our generator on hand. You never know when you'll need it.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
random_walker_77
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by random_walker_77 »

Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:03 pm The numbers i have read for wind lost was 25%? That's not insanely high?

This situation sounds like Texas did not impose sufficient robustness criteria on its reserve power providers.

(A related problem is that the ERCOT market design did not include a Capacity Mechanism. In most other markets the system pays reserve capacity providers to stand ready, Texas relies on the possibility of super high pool prices to do that) I am somewhat vague as to the interrelationship between my points in these last 2 paragraphs.
Actually, half of the windmills were down. But the thing is that they aren't expected to be up in winter. Here's yet another article (that I still had open) indicating that even though many windmills were down, the remainder were producing more than was forecast from the entire wind farm. It's a red herring. https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02 ... -the-cold/

Reserve capacity, storage of natural gas, better winterization of the gas fields and pipelines... I imagine there'll be a detailed postmortem after this, and hopefully there will be some changes made.
hudson
Posts: 3881
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Generator: EMPTY THE GAS TANK COMPLETELY

Post by hudson »

whomever wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:07 am -run it completely dry of fuel. Our generator weighs 40 odd pounds. If I haven't timed things so it's almost empty, I turn off the generator, remove the gas cap, and pick it up and pour the gas out of the generator back into the gas can. This is harder to do with a 200 pound generator :-). On some of those, you may be able to disconnect the gas line to drain the tank, or siphon/pump out most of the gas. If not, let it run.
I learned how to do it in the army in 1970. I was stateside in a light infantry company. A full colonel (06) wanted to inspect the storage room and especially the lawnmower. He had caught me earlier with a loose battery cable on one of our M151 jeeps. I took him to the storage room in the basement; he looked at the mower. The cap was off and the string from a mop was hanging out. He stuck a finger in the tank and it was bone dry. He said, "Good work!" I actually had nothing to do with it; I'm not sure that I'd ever been in that room. Thereafter, I knew what to check. Make sure that the fuel is run out. Put a mop string into the tank, and it'll wick away the extra gas.

Also the gasoline can had to go into the "paint shed" with all of the other flammables.
Moral of the story: Whatever the general inspects gets done. :)
Ron
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by Ron »

whomever wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:07 am<snip...>(as an aside: another advantage of small generators ... you can share with neighbors who don't have one)
I'm sure most, if not all whole house units have external outlets that can be used to run an extension cord to your neighbor if you wish. I know mine does.

I have a portable (B&W 5500) that I used for a few years before I had my Generac 20Kva installed eight years ago. In our case, having an all-electric home and no NG availability, the whole house unit worked much better - of course at a price. It's fed by a 500gal underground propane tank.

Can't run the heat pump (heat/AC) with just a portable unit. It was also a pain to roll out the unit and attach the myriad extension cords to the 110v appliances (could not connect to any 220v due to all direct connect wiring). Often, I would wait for hours rather than hooking up the portable only to have the electric come back on a short time later.

Again, it's a case of having a unit that fits your personal requirements. Some can get away with a portable, some not. At my age/wife's age (70's) we don't want to go through the hassles of a portable unit for critical use. And having an all-electric home with significant power needs for normal living was a big reason to go with an all-house solution.

I still have the portable. I use it a couple of times a year to power our electric trimer to trim bushes at the rear of our property (just over an acre), so it's still of some use. I'll keep it as a backup to the main unit; as I mentioned before, I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy 🤦‍♂️ ...

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
aquaman
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:13 pm

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by aquaman »

whomever wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:07 am "With a portable generator, you have to make sure that you have a good plan in place for exercising and storing it. Exercising it from time to time won't get rid of all the gas in it, and for infrequently used ones, you should plan on completely draining it (not just the tank, but the entire portable generator, which can take a while and which a lot of people fail to do). You'll also need a plan for keeping gasoline on hand, stabilizing it, cycling through it, etc..."

I agree with that, and will expand on it:

1)We have an EU2000. We don't use it for camping or whatever, strictly for longer outages. Those have happened, since we got it, at intervals of maybe 3 to 7 years. At the end of an outage, we follow the manual's 'long term storage' advice (detailed below). We don't 'exercise' it in between outages, but it starts right up even after several years of storage, **if you followed the mothball instructions**.

2)As aquaman says, you need to drain the gas completely. If you don't, the gas gradually changes to a hard brown substance called 'varnish'. Not the stuff you put on wood, but the same idea - it polymerizes or whatever into a solid. When it does, it clogs the teeny little passages and orifices in the fuel system. Sometimes you can dissolve it out with carb cleaner, sometimes you can't. You might need to rebuild or replace the carburetor. The usual generator failure sequence is:

-an outage happens, and afterwards Fred decides to get a generator.
-after the outage, Fred gets his generator, fires it up for an hour, thinks 'this is great!', turns it off and puts it away.
-over the next couple of years, the gas turns to varnish
-the next outage comes along, Fred gets out his generator and pulls and pulls and pulls, and it won't start. If the carb is clogged enough, it isn't getting any gas. If some gas gets through the spark plug gets wet. Either way, now it won't start even with fresh gas. Fred decides generators are a bad idea.

3)Honda's long term storage instructions:
-run it completely dry of fuel. Our generator weighs 40 odd pounds. If I haven't timed things so it's almost empty, I turn off the generator, remove the gas cap, and pick it up and pour the gas out of the generator back into the gas can. This is harder to do with a 200 pound generator :-). On some of those, you may be able to disconnect the gas line to drain the tank, or siphon/pump out most of the gas. If not, let it run.
-with the tank as empty as you can get it, start the generator. Run it until it starts to miss from lack of fuel. Turn the choke on if you have it. When it stops, pull the cord to start it again. Do this until it is just bone dry and won't run even briefly.
-change the oil. Let the motor cool. Remove the spark plug, add one (tsp? tbsp?) of clean engine oil. Pull the cord so the piston splashes the oil all over the cylinder (this is to prevent corrosion over time of the cast iron cylinder liner). Replace the plug. Gently pull the cord until you feel resistance - that means both valves are shut, again to prevent condensation and corrosion over time.

This sounds like a lot of work. It takes maybe 30 minutes. It will save a lot more than 30 minutes of cursing the next time you use the generator. And it takes a lot less time than running the generator every month, changing the oil annually, etc.

4)On gas. What we do is buy ordinary gas and treat it with 'Stabil' (a brand of gas stabilizer). We do this in the fall. The next fall we just dump the gas can into one of the cars with a half-empty tank. The car happily digests the year old gas. Our outages always happen in winter, so our gas will be less than six months old. With the baby generator, 10 gallons of gas will last over a month, so we don't have mass quantities to deal with.

Some people swear by ethanol free gas. I don't disagree, that just means a longer trip to get it for us, so adding Stabil is easier for us.

If you have a propane generator, you never have to rotate the fuel. There may be disadvantages ... small propane tanks at high draw rates don't like cold weather, for example. I don't know if that's a real world concern.

This has advantages - you can get a generator for a few hundred bucks that will keep your fridge and furnace on. It has its disadvantages; it's enough of a pain you aren't going to fire up the generator for a 4 hour outage.
Precisely, that's an excellent post. People with battery powered portables also need to take steps to ensure that their portable generator battery doesn't die/go bad.
This contrasts with a permanently installed generator that you run for an hour a month anyway - there is no disadvantage there it it starts up for a one minute outage. But you pay for the ongoing maintenance - TANSTAAFL. Horses for courses. YMMV.
Standby generators require service every 100 to 150 hours, which for most homeowners means once a year or two. As I've previously posted, I purchase an OEM service kit online for roughly $50 and then pay my handyman another $50 to install it (it's a simple oil change, spark plug and air filter replacement). Most standby generator owners in our area do the same thing.

Our homeowner's insurance company gives a discount for having a standby generator, which more than makes up for the above cost.

Standby generators automatically exercise themselves once a week for about 20 minutes. Among other benefits, if you're paying attention, this ensures that they're always in proper operating condition. So, if there's a power outage, they should start without any issues.
Last edited by aquaman on Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
whomever
Posts: 1081
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by whomever »

"I'm sure most, if not all whole house units have external outlets that can be used to run an extension cord to your neighbor if you wish"

Good point! Our nearest neighbors are a few hundred feet away, so not in extension cord range, but that would work in suburbia.
neilpilot
Posts: 3745
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by neilpilot »

whomever wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:06 am "I'm sure most, if not all whole house units have external outlets that can be used to run an extension cord to your neighbor if you wish"

Good point! Our nearest neighbors are a few hundred feet away, so not in extension cord range, but that would work in suburbia.
Until your neighbor tries to draw enough current on that 100'-200' small gauge extension cord to melt the snow between homes. :D
whomever
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by whomever »

"Until your neighbor tries to draw enough current on that 100'-200' small gauge extension cord to melt the snow between homes."

Sure, not a good application for small cords. But a 700 watt, say, furnace motor is drawing 5.8 amps so you can run a 12 gauge extension cord out to 150 feet, if you had one (we do):

https://news.ohiopowertool.com/amps-gau ... ion-cords/ (scroll down)

A 100 ft 12 gauge cord is $60 on amazon, so not out of the question. That would work for a lot of next door neighbors.

As it happens, our nearest neighbors had a generator - the neighbors who needed one were a few doors down, so way out of cord range.
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JBTX
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by JBTX »

If you have a Bucee's around they sell ethanol free gas. More than a dollar more but worth it for small engines.
neilpilot
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by neilpilot »

JBTX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:19 pm If you have a Bucee's around they sell ethanol free gas. More than a dollar more but worth it for small engines.
https://www.pure-gas.org/
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JBTX
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by JBTX »

neilpilot wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:24 pm
JBTX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:19 pm If you have a Bucee's around they sell ethanol free gas. More than a dollar more but worth it for small engines.
https://www.pure-gas.org/
Ive seen that before and never found anything in the dfw area until buckees came around. Will be good for mowers and 2 cycle engines.
suemarkp
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by suemarkp »

whomever wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:48 am And a question about 'yes, this to code'. A couple of years ago I mentioned doing this here, and someone quoted an NEC section requiring furnaces to be hardwired. Has that changed? And I'll ask what I asked then, without getting a good answer - why would the NEC object to a furnace plug in this context?

(and, FWIW, not having heard about that code provision when I put a plug on my furnace, I just did it, and the inspector approved it without comment. Which means it was 'to code' *for me*. So if it's something you want to do, but you want to be punctilious about following the code, ask your inspector if he will approve it)
You can buy single circuit 120V transfer switches. The have a power inlet for an extension cord and a double throw switch on the box. Furnaces are the reason they make them.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
canderson
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by canderson »

For those like me who lives in a dense urban environment, gas/propane generators are a non-starter due to noise, storage limitations, nowhere safe to keep it while running, etc. I long for the day powewall-type devices are the norm for home backups.
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willthrill81
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

suemarkp wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:39 pm
whomever wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:48 am And a question about 'yes, this to code'. A couple of years ago I mentioned doing this here, and someone quoted an NEC section requiring furnaces to be hardwired. Has that changed? And I'll ask what I asked then, without getting a good answer - why would the NEC object to a furnace plug in this context?

(and, FWIW, not having heard about that code provision when I put a plug on my furnace, I just did it, and the inspector approved it without comment. Which means it was 'to code' *for me*. So if it's something you want to do, but you want to be punctilious about following the code, ask your inspector if he will approve it)
You can buy single circuit 120V transfer switches. The have a power inlet for an extension cord and a double throw switch on the box. Furnaces are the reason they make them.
No way would I get a transfer switch solely for a furnace when I can put a plug on the furnace myself in 15 minutes and run it from the generator via an extension cord.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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JBTX
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by JBTX »

canderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:50 pm For those like me who lives in a dense urban environment, gas/propane generators are a non-starter due to noise, storage limitations, nowhere safe to keep it while running, etc. I long for the day powewall-type devices are the norm for home backups.
Perhaps you and others can expand on this. Examples of where it is and isn't kosher?

- if you live in subdivision with HOA?
- what is minimum lot size in a subdivision where it is ok? 1/2 acre, 1/4 acre? Less?

To some degree the complaint would seem odd. They only run when power is out, except for a brief period test, or at least so I've read. When the power is out do neighbors demand silence?
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willthrill81
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by willthrill81 »

JBTX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:31 pm
canderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:50 pm For those like me who lives in a dense urban environment, gas/propane generators are a non-starter due to noise, storage limitations, nowhere safe to keep it while running, etc. I long for the day powewall-type devices are the norm for home backups.
Perhaps you and others can expand on this. Examples of where it is and isn't kosher?

- if you live in subdivision with HOA?
- what is minimum lot size in a subdivision where it is ok? 1/2 acre, 1/4 acre? Less?

To some degree the complaint would seem odd. They only run when power is out, except for a brief period test, or at least so I've read. When the power is out do neighbors demand silence?
Only the most harsh HOAs would have a problem with a generator being used in a power outage. And if you're running an inverter generator, the neighbors might not even hear it running. When I exercised our Yamaha 2400 iSHC today at the back of our house, I couldn't hear it running from the front of the house (outside). There's no way that anyone other than the neighbors on either side of us could hear it, and we're on a roughly 1/4 acre lot.

I've heard of people who lived in apartments running inverter generators on their outdoor patios. Again, in a power outage, it's hard for any complaints to have much weight.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
6bquick
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by 6bquick »

JBTX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:31 pm
canderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:50 pm For those like me who lives in a dense urban environment, gas/propane generators are a non-starter due to noise, storage limitations, nowhere safe to keep it while running, etc. I long for the day powewall-type devices are the norm for home backups.
Perhaps you and others can expand on this. Examples of where it is and isn't kosher?

- if you live in subdivision with HOA?
- what is minimum lot size in a subdivision where it is ok? 1/2 acre, 1/4 acre? Less?

To some degree the complaint would seem odd. They only run when power is out, except for a brief period test, or at least so I've read. When the power is out do neighbors demand silence?
I could be wrong, but I pictured a high-rise apt building in nyc...
canderson
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by canderson »

JBTX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:31 pm
canderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:50 pm For those like me who lives in a dense urban environment, gas/propane generators are a non-starter due to noise, storage limitations, nowhere safe to keep it while running, etc. I long for the day powewall-type devices are the norm for home backups.
Perhaps you and others can expand on this. Examples of where it is and isn't kosher?

- if you live in subdivision with HOA?
- what is minimum lot size in a subdivision where it is ok? 1/2 acre, 1/4 acre? Less?

To some degree the complaint would seem odd. They only run when power is out, except for a brief period test, or at least so I've read. When the power is out do neighbors demand silence?
My lot is a max of 6’ around my house exterior. Rowhomes 4’ away in one side. It would walk away quicker than an unlocked bicycle.
Last edited by canderson on Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
whomever
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by whomever »

"My lot is a max of 6’ around my house exterior. Rowhimes 4’ away in one side."

Honda specs the EU2200 as "48 to 57 dBA":

https://powerequipment.honda.com/genera ... ls/EU2200i

At the high end, that's about as loud as a typical fridge, and lower than normal conversation:

https://ehs.yale.edu/sites/default/file ... -chart.pdf

It's about the size and weight of out portable sewing machine.

You do need a shed or something to store a few gallons of gas, or be able to siphon from your car.
IMO
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by IMO »

willthrill81 wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:42 pm
JBTX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:31 pm
canderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:50 pm For those like me who lives in a dense urban environment, gas/propane generators are a non-starter due to noise, storage limitations, nowhere safe to keep it while running, etc. I long for the day powewall-type devices are the norm for home backups.
Perhaps you and others can expand on this. Examples of where it is and isn't kosher?

- if you live in subdivision with HOA?
- what is minimum lot size in a subdivision where it is ok? 1/2 acre, 1/4 acre? Less?

To some degree the complaint would seem odd. They only run when power is out, except for a brief period test, or at least so I've read. When the power is out do neighbors demand silence?
Only the most harsh HOAs would have a problem with a generator being used in a power outage. And if you're running an inverter generator, the neighbors might not even hear it running. When I exercised our Yamaha 2400 iSHC today at the back of our house, I couldn't hear it running from the front of the house (outside). There's no way that anyone other than the neighbors on either side of us could hear it, and we're on a roughly 1/4 acre lot.

I've heard of people who lived in apartments running inverter generators on their outdoor patios. Again, in a power outage, it's hard for any complaints to have much weight.
Yeah and by the time an HOA complaint came, the issue would hopefully be resolved.

I do think there could be the issue of security of one's generator. While not very full proof, having a lock available to keep the snatch/grab thefts that can occur to one's generator is probably a good idea (keeping it with the generator).

The other thing I think I'll be getting will be a new/unopened 10 yr Carbon monoxide detector. Even though we have CO detectors as part of our hard wired smoke alarms, the extra risk of CO from a generator near the house/window is a significant concern, especially if one has a limited space to keep it while running. Putting an extra CO detector next to the closet window by the generator is cheap piece of mind:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26032763/
Conclusions: Acute, severe CO poisoning from portable electric generators is common in the United States, likely affecting an estimated 4000 individuals annually, occurring predominantly in residential settings

Dying to play video games: carbon monoxide poisoning from electrical generators used after hurricane Ike
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19482736/
Last edited by IMO on Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
IMO
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by IMO »

smitcat wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:54 am
IMO wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:39 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:42 pm
Random Poster wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:34 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:25 pm We've had a Yamaha 2400 iSHC that outputs up to 2,400 watts of power (2,000 continuously) for years and love it. If I were to buy another generator of similar size, I'd probably get one of the Champion inverter generators.

The gas furnace blowers that I've tested only draw about 600 watts of power or so, so virtually any generator will power that.

You can power a gas furnace, refrigerator, TV, modem/router, laptop, and a bunch of LED lights for no more than 1,500 watts total.

Depending on how much gasoline you stored, you could get a 2 kW inverter generator, power all of the above with extension cords, and have an all-in cost under $1k.
How do you power all of these things from the generator? Specifically, the furnace?

I’m mostly curious how you get an extension cord from the generator to power the furnace, as I sure don’t see any power cord coming out of the furnace or a socket receptacle plug going into it.

And I guess for the refrigerator you just pull it out from the wall and plug it into the generator (via an extension cord)?
Residential gas furnaces are run by 120 volt electricity, but they are typically hardwired in. It's a pretty simple matter to add a plug to the furnace and to have the power normally run to the furnace with a dedicated single-outlet right next to the furnace (yes, this to code). There's a great YouTube video on how to do it here.

Yes, we just pull the refrigerator out from the wall, plug it into an extension cord, and push it back to the wall.
So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly? I ask because if I am able to run a portable generator with a long extension cord to our HVAC, I'm hoping there isn't some other power source/fuse powering the thermostats to control the HVAC? Thanks for the youtube link on the power cord.

I'll also have to figure out how to physically run the emergency extension cord. I guess just crack a window since our HVAC is in the attic vs. in the garage.
I prefer a wired in transfer switch that allows the portable genset to select a number of circuits to power - these can be had with various power ratings and circuit counts to fit your needs. The transfer switch gets wired near your main panel , another inlet line power line is wired to a convenient spot on an outer wall where you will place the genset when needed. A short heavy duty power cord connects the genset to the inlet and powers the pre wired circuits safely and quickly.
One of the many possible switch types is here:

https://www.zoro.com/reliance-manual-tr ... 20Products
Thanks. After looking at the topic on-line, I think having a manual transfer switch installed this spring/summer which would be a better solution as it would allow us to cover the fridge and some other things, such as our gas fireplace that requires electric to be started and also run the fan on the gas fireplace.
smitcat
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by smitcat »

aquaman wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:04 pm
Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:42 pm
JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 pm
tomd37 wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:00 pm Based on previous posts on this site, you are going to get all sorts of answers from permanently installed expensive units that provide enough power to run everything at one time if you so desire down to portable generators that you have to move outside, hook up, and run on gasoline to provide enough power to run selected amounts of items.

That said, as an 84 year-old couple, we recently permanently installed a 22KwH Generac, natural gas powered whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch which will allow us to run everything in our 2200 sq ft home, including the two HVAC systems, at the same time whether the temperature is 99 degrees outside as it is routinely here during most of the summer or whether it is 9 degrees outside as it is tonight with the ice and snow storm we are experiencing for five days.

We had talked about such a generator not too long ago but did not get to have it installed until shortly after we experienced a 69-hour total power outage in May of 2020 after a very severe two-day storm ravaged this part of the state. We watched out our dark rooms to see our neighbor's unit running constantly during those 69 hours. He was the envy of our 162-home community! :wink: We may, however, get to use ours for the first time if these snow/ice storms continue for the next three days!

You have to weigh the pros and cons and the costs involved in your decision. Great sense of security though when you have it.
Thanks. I actually saw the Generac when I Googled natural gas generators. Seems like they run around $5k to $6k, plus I'm guessing installation? While a seemingly a costly solution, I'd view it as peace of mind.

My main question would be, what is the possibility in such an event that not only is electric disrupted by gas too? I don't recall in 25 years ever experiencing as gas disruption. I do occasionally hear about gas line breaks or gas leaks but seems pretty rare.
The particular situation in Texas is precisely this.
It actually doesn't sound like that's the case. Commercial power plants in Texas rely on natural gas to generate electricity. There have been widely reported natural gas supply disruptions to those commercial power plants, which caused a lot of residential customers to lose electricity, which then caused them to lose heat (natural gas furnaces need electricity to operate their blowers). Likewise, there have been propane disruptions.

There were lots of warnings that residential natural gas customers could also lose service, but from everything that I've seen, an overwhelming majority of residential (not commercial) natural gas customers did not actually experience any disruptions.

This is a cut and paste from a response in this thread....
"For what it's worth, I'm in Texas and never lost power. But I DiD lose gas. Sooo...yeah. Really cant prepare for everything. To me, cutting reliance on outside entities is where my mind goes. So a portable generator that uses gas is my go to, because I can choose to keep gasoline stored in cans / card independent of what the energy or natgas companies go through"
aquaman
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by aquaman »

smitcat wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:53 am
aquaman wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:04 pm
Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:42 pm
JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 pm
tomd37 wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:00 pm Based on previous posts on this site, you are going to get all sorts of answers from permanently installed expensive units that provide enough power to run everything at one time if you so desire down to portable generators that you have to move outside, hook up, and run on gasoline to provide enough power to run selected amounts of items.

That said, as an 84 year-old couple, we recently permanently installed a 22KwH Generac, natural gas powered whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch which will allow us to run everything in our 2200 sq ft home, including the two HVAC systems, at the same time whether the temperature is 99 degrees outside as it is routinely here during most of the summer or whether it is 9 degrees outside as it is tonight with the ice and snow storm we are experiencing for five days.

We had talked about such a generator not too long ago but did not get to have it installed until shortly after we experienced a 69-hour total power outage in May of 2020 after a very severe two-day storm ravaged this part of the state. We watched out our dark rooms to see our neighbor's unit running constantly during those 69 hours. He was the envy of our 162-home community! :wink: We may, however, get to use ours for the first time if these snow/ice storms continue for the next three days!

You have to weigh the pros and cons and the costs involved in your decision. Great sense of security though when you have it.
Thanks. I actually saw the Generac when I Googled natural gas generators. Seems like they run around $5k to $6k, plus I'm guessing installation? While a seemingly a costly solution, I'd view it as peace of mind.

My main question would be, what is the possibility in such an event that not only is electric disrupted by gas too? I don't recall in 25 years ever experiencing as gas disruption. I do occasionally hear about gas line breaks or gas leaks but seems pretty rare.
The particular situation in Texas is precisely this.
It actually doesn't sound like that's the case. Commercial power plants in Texas rely on natural gas to generate electricity. There have been widely reported natural gas supply disruptions to those commercial power plants, which caused a lot of residential customers to lose electricity, which then caused them to lose heat (natural gas furnaces need electricity to operate their blowers). Likewise, there have been propane disruptions.

There were lots of warnings that residential natural gas customers could also lose service, but from everything that I've seen, an overwhelming majority of residential (not commercial) natural gas customers did not actually experience any disruptions.

This is a cut and paste from a response in this thread....
"For what it's worth, I'm in Texas and never lost power. But I DiD lose gas. Sooo...yeah. Really cant prepare for everything. To me, cutting reliance on outside entities is where my mind goes. So a portable generator that uses gas is my go to, because I can choose to keep gasoline stored in cans / card independent of what the energy or natgas companies go through"
I did see it, but every other Texas poster in this and other threads as well as at the news reporting that has come up have said that residential natural gas supplies held up. Based on the above poster's experience, it does appear that there may've been very isolated natural gas disruptions, but it looks like an overwhelming majority of residential natural gas customers did not experience them.

It is possible that your experience with Sandy where the news reporting of various outages was significantly delayed is also happening here, so my plan is to follow this story for a while. If you or others come across any news stories about residential (not commercial) natural gas (not propane) outages, please post them.
smitcat
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by smitcat »

aquaman wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:24 am
smitcat wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:53 am
aquaman wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:04 pm
Valuethinker wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:42 pm
JBTX wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 pm

Thanks. I actually saw the Generac when I Googled natural gas generators. Seems like they run around $5k to $6k, plus I'm guessing installation? While a seemingly a costly solution, I'd view it as peace of mind.

My main question would be, what is the possibility in such an event that not only is electric disrupted by gas too? I don't recall in 25 years ever experiencing as gas disruption. I do occasionally hear about gas line breaks or gas leaks but seems pretty rare.
The particular situation in Texas is precisely this.
It actually doesn't sound like that's the case. Commercial power plants in Texas rely on natural gas to generate electricity. There have been widely reported natural gas supply disruptions to those commercial power plants, which caused a lot of residential customers to lose electricity, which then caused them to lose heat (natural gas furnaces need electricity to operate their blowers). Likewise, there have been propane disruptions.

There were lots of warnings that residential natural gas customers could also lose service, but from everything that I've seen, an overwhelming majority of residential (not commercial) natural gas customers did not actually experience any disruptions.

This is a cut and paste from a response in this thread....
"For what it's worth, I'm in Texas and never lost power. But I DiD lose gas. Sooo...yeah. Really cant prepare for everything. To me, cutting reliance on outside entities is where my mind goes. So a portable generator that uses gas is my go to, because I can choose to keep gasoline stored in cans / card independent of what the energy or natgas companies go through"
I did see it, but every other Texas poster in this and other threads as well as at the news reporting that has come up have said that residential natural gas supplies held up. Based on the above poster's experience, it does appear that there may've been very isolated natural gas disruptions, but it looks like an overwhelming majority of residential natural gas customers did not experience them.

It is possible that your experience with Sandy where the news reporting of various outages was significantly delayed is also happening here, so my plan is to follow this story for a while. If you or others come across any news stories about residential (not commercial) natural gas (not propane) outages, please post them.
I do not know what is happening in Texas just the large amount of warnings that if this goes on one more day there will be outages in the 100 thousands. Our plan for a larger calamity like this is to leave and travel at least a few hundred miles to an unafected area.
I do know that if you are without power , natural gas, water or communications you are very unlikely to be posting these things online.
The real data on Sandy in our area began coming our more than a year after the event was over - and even that was very muted.
jeep5ter
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Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

Post by jeep5ter »

If you want to run a/c on a generator, you are probably going to have to get a whole house generator. I got a Firman T07571 which is 9000 watts and can run on natural gas, propane, or gasoline, and can run a furnace if you have gas heat plus all of the electric you should need. No residential customer lost natural gas during the week.
aquaman
Posts: 170
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Re: Generators/ supplemental power generation

Post by aquaman »

smitcat wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:33 pm Our plan for a larger calamity like this is to leave and travel at least a few hundred miles to an unafected area.
I 100% agree. It doesn't sound like the roads were passable for the first couple of days, but if several days into the outage there were issues with water, food, etc..., our plan would be to leave the area.

I hear that Cancun is the place to be.
I do know that if you are without power , natural gas, water or communications you are very unlikely to be posting these things online.
The real data on Sandy in our area began coming our more than a year after the event was over - and even that was very muted.
Wow, scary!
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