How to Insure Power Never Goes Out

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by SPST, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. SPST

    SPST Member

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    I just got my insurance against my power ever going out again. Ours went out the other day in the storms.

    We are both working from home and Duke said it could be a couple of days before it came back on. Our work laptops won't go that long.

    Well, I got this delivered today so I doubt my power will ever go out again! It won't run everything but I have gas hot water and stove so I just need something to run the fridge and freezer, computers, a few lights and the TV. I have a guy coming to install a transfer switch this weekend.
     

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  2. Beef15

    Beef15 B or somesuch

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    I've cranked mine up twice in 5 years. Did I need to? Probably not I think both outages were less than 18 hours, but it sure is nice. I really should get a transfer switch or something.
     
  3. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Wait long enough and it will come in handy. I owned a generator for the sole purpose of running my finished basement sump pump, and ten years after buying it Hurricane Matthew came along and tried to flood my basement, but FAILED.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  4. 12151791

    12151791 schadenfreude | \ ˈshä-dᵊn-ˌfrȯi-də Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I need 220 volts for the well pump - recommendations anyone?
     
  5. Ben Jefferson

    Ben Jefferson Well-Known Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    I bought one about 10 years ago because my MIL needed an oxygen machine and we lived in rural KY. I start it once a year but thankfully have never needed it. As @fieldgrade said, only one time is needed to make it worthwhile!
     
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  6. Catfish

    Catfish E Pluribus Mendacium Supporting Member

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    Ive used mine to save my fridge at least a half dozen times in the past few years. Good purchase!
     
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  7. Ben Jefferson

    Ben Jefferson Well-Known Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    I get 220 from mine. It is like 6500w, 8HP (I think). came from Lowe's if I remember correctly.
     
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  8. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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  9. Timfoilhat

    Timfoilhat Active Member Benefactor Life Member

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    You just reminded me that I still need to break mine in. I've had it for 15 months and haven't started it yet.
     
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  10. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I've got a Honda, it just starts. I run non-ethanol gas in it exclusively and synthetic 5W40 changed every 2 years. It mostly sits.
     
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  11. Timfoilhat

    Timfoilhat Active Member Benefactor Life Member

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    Yeah, mine is a Champion dual fuel. I intend to only run propane so I don't have to deal with keeping proper gasoline around. The government really screwed the pooch putting corn in the gas.
     
  12. InvisibleOne

    InvisibleOne a.k.a. LoboLoco Life Member

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    I ran my whole house on a 7500 watt portable during outages for the last 15 years. It ran the well, heat, microwave, fridge, freezer, etc.. I recently upgraded to a permanent standby Generac. It's only run once since installed in November. But sure is nice laying in bed instead of going outside to hook up the generator.
     
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  13. Majicmike

    Majicmike Overweight lover Benefactor

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    My little suitcase gen has came in handy a few times since I bought. We don’t need it much but it’s priceless when I do new it.
     
  14. Timfoilhat

    Timfoilhat Active Member Benefactor Life Member

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    Link? I'd like to know more.
     
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  15. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    How long do you store non-eth gas? I rotate mine every six months with no fuel stablilzer. I wonder how long it will actually safely keep.
     
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  16. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    until it all burns in the carb. I don't add stabil any more I just run the gennie for like 15 mins every 30 days or so during the winter months. Then I top it up which probably (like oil) adds back in good additives. Who knows, it doesn't have ethanol so there shouldn't be any water in the gas. The gennie also has a cap that closes off air so it's a completely sealed system.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  17. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Most gensets 5HP and larger have 240V at the control panel. Using a 120-240 converter will need to be sized to the pump motor amp requirement. For example, your gas range uses 50A at 240V, it would need 100A at 120V. A 1/2HP sub pump normally 10A 240V would need 20A at 120V.
     
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  18. Majicmike

    Majicmike Overweight lover Benefactor

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    Honda 2000ei. We have have 2 of the Harbor freight predator clones at work. They have been abused and we have really been impressed. No issues at all with them. Half the price of the Honda, kinda wish I would have bought 2 Predators versus the one Honda,
     
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  19. Majicmike

    Majicmike Overweight lover Benefactor

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  20. S4f

    S4f I survived v- bulletin Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Ive got a Ryobi 6500 watt gen I've never had to use. And it is worth every penny I spent on it for the peace of mind it brings
     
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  21. amnesia

    amnesia Habitual Trader Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    With me working an hour away from the house I recently had a generac whole house 22kw propane installed. Talk about a price of mind to not have to worry. It was worth every penny.
     
  22. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I got a quote last year on a 22KW Generac natural gas fueled whole house. Wife put the kibosh on that. Apparently she doesn’t recall being nine months pregnant when the lights (and the AC) went out for ten days after Hurricane Fran
     
  23. skiles

    skiles Reloaded Charter Member Supporting Member

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    We have a Champion 3400 watt that I bought for our camper. It has a dedicated 30 amp plug built in. I've been really happy with it. Fortunately, we haven't had to use for the stuff in the house yet.
     
  24. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck ....glutton for punishment..... Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Had a 20Kw Briggs with auto transfer switch installed about a year ago. In ground 325 gallon propane tank to fuel it. Haven't lost power since.
     
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  25. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck ....glutton for punishment..... Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I had been wanting to do it for several years. The remnants of Hurricane Michael passed right over my house in Oct. 2018. After day 3 of no shower and flushing toilets with Creek water my wife said, "I don't care how much it costs this sucks." I said, "Yes dear." And started getting quotes.
     
  26. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    Never goes out? You need a UPS system that runs your house on a PWM inverter with battery, utility, and generator sources. Still might go out if the UPS fails, but it’d be pretty rare.
     
  27. SPST

    SPST Member

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    I wanted to get the Honda but I just won't use it enough to justify the price difference. The Predator only has a 90 day warranty. The Champion has a 3 year warranty. I didn't get electric start to save weight and not have to charge the battery all the time. The model I got is a 224cc OHV 4000/3500 watt inverter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  28. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    We crank ours the first day of every month. Runs 5 minutes. Cut off. Has never failed to Bust Off!
     
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  29. amnesia

    amnesia Habitual Trader Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    We have a 500 gallon buried tank that runs the stove, hot water heater, fireplace, and heat pump. I was originally looking at solar to be completely self sufficient but after weighing the cost between the generac 22kw vs the solar, I opted for the generac. I still may consider the solar if/when we decide to put up a second garage. I’ll spend a little extra and purchase the tesla PowerWalls while I’m doing it.
     
  30. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck ....glutton for punishment..... Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    The only things we have that run off the propane tank are the fireplace and the generator. Otherwise I would've gone for a bigger tank as well.
     
  31. amnesia

    amnesia Habitual Trader Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I was lucky. The tank was already buried when we bought the house.
     
  32. Tatershooter

    Tatershooter Member Charter Life Member

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    When those of you that routinely run your generator as a p/m act, do you put any load on it or just run it for a few minutes?
     
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  33. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck ....glutton for punishment..... Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Yeah it was about 2 grand to have the tank installed, connected to the generator and first fill.
     
  34. Pink_Vapor

    Pink_Vapor “Not as funny as he thinks he is”, spouse Supporting Member

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    We’ve a welder that’s 5500 continuous output, it doesn’t have an inverter, so we don’t plug sensitive electronic in. It’ll run the fridges, freezer, lights, well and a portable heat pump to heat/cool a room.
    BBF29AD2-F85C-499F-B9AB-E95B27128487.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  35. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    My parents house has a 22kw Generac. $5,000 while doing the service entrance. Well paid for itself given the poor power quality in the area.
    I run my gas generator once a month. I at least put a couple of paint stripping heat guns on it for load. Ideally, I hook it up to the house and switch the generator panel over and exercise that too. Basically, I run it at 2kw plus the max house load (which tells me the house is under loaded).
     
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  36. McDirkale

    McDirkale Active Member

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    I bought one after a couple rounds of hurricanes ago and tired of power losses....then I did this to keep it in.

    20180921_154735.jpg

    20181009_101657.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  37. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix bag of mostly water Charter Member Supporting Member

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    That is giving me ideas about the old pump house here...

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  38. McDirkale

    McDirkale Active Member

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    Two doors were important to be able to access it to manipulate and maintain it. I found that out after just the one door on the long side, the second door on the short side was added after completion when I realized changing the oil would be a nightmare.

    20180922_170836.jpg

    This is why I added the second door....easier to maintain the unit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  39. Carolinatlc

    Carolinatlc Member Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I haven’t used mine in 6 or 7 years but broke it out to help some friends without power earlier in the week. My son helped me carry it over and unload and asked me how old it was. I bought it in 2000 a week after my wife and I bought our first house. It’s a now old Yamaha YG6600 and ran for around 18 hours providing power to our friends. I think that about doubles it runtime for its life.
     
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  40. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    That looks seriously overbuilt.



    I have had mine for about 10 years and had to run it in anger once, for only about an hour. I start it a few times every year and run some power tools with it; the air compressor puts a good load on it.
     
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