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I don't have one, but was thinking of the possibility. What does anyone recommend for a generator that would be enough to power the essentials such as the fridge, and the heating unit pump and firing mechanism, and some lighting and a few appliances?

Portability, power, ease of use, cost, durability, accesibility of parts, ease of maintenance and repairs would all be considerations for me.
 

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The weakest link for a generator is the fuel that it needs to run. South Florida ran into that problem when gasoline became in very short supply, so even having a generator didn't do you too much good if you couldn't find a supply of gasoline.

I put an 20kw Onan genset onto my reptile and rodent buildings a couple of years ago. Runs off of propane. It's hooked into a 500 gallon tank which should keep the generator running continuously under full load for about two weeks.

We also had two portable 4000w gasoline powered generators but I sold one of them recently. Each had a 5 gallon tank on it, and would run for 8 hours on a tankfull. I figured with the three vehicles I have with their gas tanks filled would give me around 70 gallons of fuel, which means roughly 4 days of running time with the one remaining unit I still have.

Storing gasoline in portable gas tanks just is not a good idea. You have to have an awful lot of them if you are planning for an extended outage, it is just plain right dangerous having that much gasoline around, and it does go bad eventually. I tried that route and found that I was constantly having to find some way to get rid of gasoline that I had stored and forgotten about. A couple of years can go by before you know it, and the gasoline, even with Stabile added, just doesn't hold up that long. Poring old gasoline into the gas tank of your vehicle is NOT recommended!
 

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man!

throw your infeed switch to out side panel off![imperitive] and hot feed the down stream side
of main breakers[100 amp only] with the use of a 3" jumper wire hooked to a minium5000watt generator[it's alot easer to do than print about for me] i have powered up a 100 double wide mobile homes on field checkin' /fans for close off crews,ect,[10/3 romex with a male plug 25'[great]50'[max] from gen set, hardwire to 'DOWNSTREAM SIDE'OF 'HOME MAIN BREAKER[SORRY,YOUR 220V WON'T WORK] when i said hard wire i meant the 'WHITE GOES TO NEUTRAL BAR. the bare copper goes to the ground bar, and the BLACKGOES TO THE DOWNSTREAM SIDE OF MAIN HOUSE BREAKER[with a 3to4" [[of10ga.wire]]horseshoe clip to double/feed the other leg of main home breaker] this was more work to explain than to just show a figuring man 'ONCE' .
one could wire to 200amp main but certain 'stuff' won't work!


the onan generators are bullmongony great[even the r.v. outfits although smaller]


ha!RICH Z WHAT KIND OF B.T.U.'S are your 'shed's pulling for 400gallons of L.P. TO LAST ONLY 2 WEEKS[thats right,80% liquid-%20 vapor space! for a 500gal tank fill] have your service provider check it out top to bottom[that gas usage has GOT ME 'FUZZED' UP] you get about 92,500 b.t.u's per gallon of l.p.[what's the btu imput rating of that 20kw? gen[off hand it does not sound right,although, i've been MIS-TAKEN before! i would have a pressure/leak test done on the equipment[l.p. tank,regulators,piping, generator feed intake, any other gas appliances? on that system]

the only reason i'm like i am is because people who use 400gallons in 2weeks
flat come un-glued,[when billed] and i'm the guy that re-sets their 'feathers' :rolleyes:

[ your b.t.u. imput rating means for every 60minutes of continous opereration
thats what it pulls/needs, not like a 30k water heater that kicks on for 5minuntes every hour or so!] if it's 400,ooo your suckin'in excess4gallons an hour,i can't help you buddy![alot of spa/pool heaters are in that range]

:wavey:
 

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The "almost" worst case scenario is that the power outage takes place in mid August. I have 4 A/C units in the reptile building, 2 in the rodent building. Three freezers, 1 refrigerator, 2 dehumifiers and 3 air cleaners. There is 200 amp service to the buildings (the rodent building runs off of the breaker box in the reptile building), and I am pushing right at that turning test shutdowns. The absolute worst case, which is a slim chance, is that the water pump at the well would happen to come on exactly the same time the generator was starting to provide juice after a power failure.

The problem with specing a generator is that you have to plan for the initial surge upon startup, assuming you will not be at home to try to manage the load. If the generator won't get over that hump, then you may have wasted all of your money on the darn thing. If the breaker pops on the generator while you are gone, the game is over. At least for me. ALL of my animals would likely be dead. In the rodent building, if power is out for longer than 3 hours, everything in the building will die from heat build up. Rodents generate an enormous amount of heat. The reptile building won't be as critical, because reptiles don't generate their own heat internally. But a hot August day without A/C could be a real problem real quickly.

I don't have the specs for that Onan unit, but I calculated out what the gallons per hour usage was for the generator and just extrapolated out to how many gallons of propane I need available. In hurricane country, a two week power outage after a major hurricane would certainly be likely. Of course, knowing Murphy's Law, if a major hurricane hits here, the first tree to fall would hit the propane tank, splitting it open. Then the next would hit the generator itself, causing sparks and igniting the loose propane, causing a spectacular fireball. I would come home to a big hole in the ground......
 

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yeah, like the lights and fridge are "essentials". :)

Human life just sprang to life at turn of the 19th century. there was no LIFE before refrigeration and electric lights. :) What a clown.
 

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Not sure who you are talking about, Andy, but my generators are to keep my animals alive, which is my business, if the power goes out. My house is NOT connected to the generator at all. So it's not a comfort thing, it's an ESSENTIAL method of protecting my business assets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes with life as we live it the refrigeration and lighting could be considered at least to be extremely important if not essentials, but even if I want electrical power in order to sustain luxuries - how does that make me a clown?

The real life thing is though, if there is a power failure where the power goes out for days across even a large region of the country, I prefer to be one who has refrigeration, lights and a way to keep heating elements functioning that will heat my home. Why is none of your concern, but I do have valid reasons for this. To call me a clown for such only goes to show what I believe to be the absurdity of your outlook on SHTF situations. You think all SHTF situations are the same as TEOLAWKI situations; this plainly is not so in anyone else's mind on this site. SHTF scenarios can last anywhere from seconds to years, and most of them are quite short term because no one usally poops enough to keep lots of it going into the fan and even if they do someone is usually able to pull the plug so it does not spread all that much. I guess when and if I am sitting here in my home, enjoying an ice cold beer during a lengthy power outage, you can think of me as I smugly smile while I am thinking of you drinking piss warm beer.
 

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LOL,I rather like warm beer.That's beside the point though.:)

Where I live I am just about gauranteed to lose power 1-2 times/year w/a duration of a few hours to a few days.I remember a few years back we had a bad storm in July that left us w/o power for almost a week.No hardship(gas water heater & city water-no pump) but we lost the frig/freezer(s)-three of them! contents pretty quick.

My point?Well,there was one guy in the whole 3 block area w/power.He owned a small construction company & had his own portable gen set.All hours of the day & night you could hear that diesel chugging away.All the lights blazing & the bastage even had friends over for a hot tub party.It's incredible how quiet the nights are when there is no power.Everyone sitting on their porches trying to catch some breeze while our eyes were riveted on the neighbor flaunting his juice.

No,I didn't expect him to share,I just would have excercised better judgement in using his juice.

There are a few of us w/snowblowers that usually clean out the sidewalks & some driveways on our street.For some reason his walks never did get cleaned that winter.Hmmm.
 

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Ha,ha,ha,ha,!

refrigeration has it's bennies, huh, GLEN?

i think i'll fore-go the running of a genset 24hours[i know the meat in the freezer willgo bad] and then grill/cook it all up, besides if the juice is off for 2-3 days the thawed meat bar-b-q would be a GOOD time to 'weigh' out certain neighbors you might not know very well,[you'll be seeing them 'for real' for sure!

i kinda figured on powering up the home an hour or so in the evening? who knows, maybe every other evening!

but like RICH sez' when your fuels gone your done.

i have[3] 5 gallon 'jerry cans but only keep [1] full of gas, although,.

the r.v. has a 45 gallon tank i topped off before parking it.



heck, i plan on setting a coleman lantern out [in the early stage/short term]
just to establise[s.p.] a sense of normalcy[s.p.] in the 'hood' [theres some kind of private grade school 3/4 mile up the road[they sound like happy kids at recess] and no! i'm not worried about that lantern luring in ninja killers,
just cuz' the electric is down for awhile.


thanks.
 

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Having a generator for emergencies is very sound. Unless we are talking gunkids SHTF dreams then a good generator backed by a supply of gas can do much good.

Not only for such as lights but also:

security around the home.

communications (more than walki-talki, news brodcast comes into mind.

refrigeration of food, food that must last.

sanitation.

morale.

Now I can say from experience that generators do drink gas! So make sure you have enough for what you plan. And make sure the generator has enough KW power. Not only normal output but surge output. That's very important or else you will end up not having anything that can run, or having to run only some at one time, others at different times.
 

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Actually, you can get by with a lower kw model by hooking it in through the breaker box and selecting which rooms or devices you want to run via the breakers. You probably don't really need to run everything all of the time anyway, and this could be a rather economical way to stretch the use of the generator more efficiently.

20kw generators are big, heavy, and expensive. 5kw units are rather inexpensive and will do the job if you manage the load properly.
 

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Rich?Is there any reason that either your herp operation or the bamboo couldn't be classified as a farm?You could then,IIRC,buy & store fuel in bulk containers on your property.You could keep several hundred gallons of diesel(or gasoline)that cost a lot less than pump gas(25%? less) because taxes on fuel for AG use are less than for road use.A potential back-up/alternate fuel source for the gen set.
 

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Well, I never knew that was an option? Actually my land does qualify for a big tax exemption every year as a tree farm, because most of it is wooded and a section is of planted pines.

But I don't know if that applies to propane. I wouldn't want to store that much gasoline around here, and have never been real fond of anything that burns diesel fuel.

Guess it can't hurt to ask next time I need to fill up the propane tank. Which might be a real long time from now, since there has only been one real power outage here in the two years or so since the genset was installed. I test it every couple of weeks, but it only runs for a half hour or so each time.
 

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rich Z

the ag status might be the way to go, although, the beauty for L.P.

is it won't get stale, draw moisture, heck it could set in the tank for 40+years and still retain it's 100+ octane rating.

if your comfortable with a [2] week ready reserve, i'm fine with it!

i could mention another 500gal tank set sidexside or go with a 1000 gal. tank

i wouldn't worry about a tree splitting the tank open[it won't]. if you just here hissing and a smell it should disapate[not reach explosive levels] till repairs [unless it sounds like a jet engine]

but if you ever see a white jet/cloud around it, it's time to think about a 'pucker' factor, :dgrin:

just keep the lid/cover of tank closed for falling debris
 

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I think a two week reserve will do me. If I need to evacuate because of a major hurricane, I expect I should be able to get back within two weeks to either get the tank topped off or to work the manual generators until I can get that done. Tallahassee doesn't frequently get hurricanes, so that is somewhat in my favor.

I guess in a major SHTF situation, at least I will have a ready food supply with all the reptiles and rodents......
 

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Rich Z said:
I will have a ready food supply with all the reptiles and rodents......
I've wondered what deep fried rat tastes like-let us know,eh?:)


I wonder what the effect of a API round shot through a (full)500gal propane tank looks like?:dgrin:
 

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mag.41 the rat would be good!

me thinks YOU wundur to much!


although, if you was chained at the ankle 50' away from stated propane tank
when the tank was shot, would LOOK pretty hilarious[on film for repeat viewing] :dgrin:



the tank would need to be almost m/t for what you envison with a light round
[.30]
 

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Well, you know, just about ALL predators will eat rodents if they get a chance to. I imagine they must be pretty tasty. I've got over 10,000 frozen mice in the freezers right now.

Skinning them would probably be a crappy job, I suspect. I think my wife would probably prefer to starve to death rather then eat them. And she calls ME a picky eater.... :;puke02:
 

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A coworker told me about a Discovery Channel program where he saw some Asians(I've no idea from what country-& I never saw the show)cooking rats.They just pulled 'em live out of a cage and dropped 'em into a pot of hot oil.The hair fell(?) off & the skin fried up nice.They shoved a stick up their bum & sold 'em fresh.REAL fresh. :dgrin:


Think corndog but w/fresh rat instead of a hotdog.:nyah:
 

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Hmm, I wonder if they sell hotrats instead of hotdogs at the ball games over there. :eatpointe
 
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