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Joey
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verrry senior member
PostTue Jan 08, 2019 6:44 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
I guess it's not over, for sure.  Per Cliff Mass's latest post, there's a "huge, deep mid-latitude cyclone" sitting offshore right now.

Nooooooooooo  eek.gif  rant.gif  mad.gif

We are still running our generator and waiting for the power to be restored from the last storm.
Puget Power says maybe tomorrow.
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Jan 08, 2019 7:24 pm 
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These weather events show the benefit of heating and cooking with gas, as well as having a wood stove/fireplace, but I always thought gas would be horribly dangerous in a big earthquake.

flammable.gif

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RandyHiker
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PostTue Jan 08, 2019 7:38 pm 
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When I drove down Lake Washington Blvd today, work crews were clearing the remains of giant tree from the roadway just south of Madrona Blvd.  Est at least 4 foot diameter trunk.  Yikes.
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moonspots
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Happy Curmudgeon
PostThu Jan 10, 2019 6:50 am 
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Joey wrote:
We are still running our generator and waiting for the power to be restored from the last storm.
Puget Power says maybe tomorrow.

Joey, I have some questions about using a generator.

1) What size?
2) Whole house or selective circuits?
3) If whole house, did you have it installed or do it yourself?
4) If whole house, permanent installation with automatic or manual isolation switch?
5) If selective circuits, do you shut off some breakers or be mindful of capacity/usage?
6) What fuel?

I ask as we've never had, to my knowledge, more than a few minutes power outage at any time in the past 45+ years that I've lived here.

And to the admin(s), I guess this question doesn't really have much to do with "trail talk", hiking, etc, so if it needs to be moved, I'm good with that.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostThu Jan 10, 2019 7:43 am 
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I never got a generator because it seems like they are something else that folks want to steal, you have to have a fuel supply for them, they need maintenance and checking throughout the year.  I do have a couple of solar panels for my trailer that keep it's battery charged up and I can charge phones and stuff off it.

We had a three or four day outage in the third world of CA that was caused by a mudslide.  My friends across the road had a fairly portable generator, I had a low to the ground pickup so we put the generator in the bed of the pickup and went around plugging refrigerators into it every few hours.  Everybody had a woodstove in their house so heat was not a problem.  Refrigeration was.

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Joey
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PostThu Jan 10, 2019 4:11 pm 
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1) What size?

Honda EM5000SX
Rated output 4,500 VA
2 seperate output circuits

I move it from the garage to a spot under our deck.
Then a big piece of 6 mil plastic goes on top of the deck and is heavily weighted down with 2x6s and concrete blocks


2) Whole house or selective circuits?

We run two 12 gauge extension cords in thru the laundry room window.
I bought a 1-circuit transfer switch whose only job is to let us run the oil furnace.
But since we mainly heat with wood, the main thing this does is run the oil furnace blower to help move the hot air around the house.

Using extension cords we run:
chest freezer full of garden goodies
fridge
some lamps
small kitchen appliances
computer stuff

I just bought another 25 ft 12 gauge extension cord to feed power to the UPS which then delivers power to the modem, router and my PC.  Before I was using a punier cord which was causing a slight voltage drop that my UPS did not like.


3) If whole house, did you have it installed or do it yourself?

I hired an electrician to install  the transfer switch. I know nothing about that stuff.

4) If whole house, permanent installation with automatic or manual isolation switch?

It is just my wife and myself.  As long as we are abled-bodied, this system works OK.
But I might look into adding a battery start.  It takes a big tug to start the generator.


5) If selective circuits, do you shut off some breakers or be mindful of capacity/usage?
n/a.  We run cords and have divided the load over the two generator cirsuits.  When we start up we are mindful to turn heavy power draws on one at a time.  Those are the furnace fan, chest freezer compressor, fridge compressor.

6) What fuel?
Gas.
I have three 5 gallon cans.  And I keep the generator full.  I add fuel stabilizer when I buy gas.  If needed I can siphon gas from our dual tank pickup.
We shut it off for 5 hours or so at night.

Our house is electric - so no natural gas.
Santa brought me an enameled cast iron dutch oven and I am going to start experimenting cooking various things on top of the wood stove.
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moonspots
Happy Curmudgeon



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Happy Curmudgeon
PostThu Jan 10, 2019 5:32 pm 
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Joey wrote:
[i]Honda EM5000SX
Rated output 4,500 VA
2 seperate output circuits

I move it from the garage to a spot under our deck.

Thank you, that sounds quite practical, and not over done! I've thought about a generator, but having no pressing need, I've never really seriously considered it.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Jan 10, 2019 6:39 pm 
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FWIW: On the generator issue, one of my brother-in-laws is wheelchair bound and needs electricity for various aspects of his care.  He has an electric start generator.  But when his caregivers checked in the fall it wouldn't start.  I found that the carburetor was badly gummed up.  A good cleaning with carburetor cleaner and replacing the 5 yo starter battery fixed things up.

So gasoline powered generators need a certain amount of care to ensure they are serviceable when needed.

Propane powered generators avoid the issue of gummed up carburetors, but should still be started and run periodically during the winter.
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moonspots
Happy Curmudgeon



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Happy Curmudgeon
PostFri Jan 11, 2019 6:44 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
So gasoline powered generators need a certain amount of care to ensure they are serviceable when needed.

Propane powered generators avoid the issue of gummed up carburetors, but should still be started and run periodically during the winter.

True enough. When I was still working full-time (and to this day I believe), all our systems generators, (gas, propane or diesel) were run monthly for about an hour, and quarterly for maybe 4 hours on full load. This seemed to identify, and probably prevent unplanned outages.

I've occasionally wondered about having to utilize camping gear (stove, bag, pads, water filtration options, etc) during prolonged power outages. But again, not having a pressing need to do so, I've not done this.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostFri Jan 11, 2019 7:22 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
So gasoline powered generators need a certain amount of care to ensure they are serviceable when needed.

Yup.  And you should figure out where to store, and cycle a supply of gas.  I guess you could pour it in your vehicle tank and get fresh every couple of months.  When the power goes out, unless they have generators, gas stations can't pump.  If your community is cut off, the gas supply will run out--quickly.  I learned that the hard way, but we couldn't go anywhere so a bicycle worked well.

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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Jan 11, 2019 8:51 am 
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I recently purchased a generator on sale for $250, online and shipped to Home Depot, 4,000 watts and runs on propane or gas, and as a bonus, it's super easy to start. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sportsman-4-000-3-250-Watt-Propane-Gas-Powered-Portable-Generator-with-Clean-Burning-LPG-and-RV-Outlet-GEN4000LP/202222977

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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