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Thread: Emergency Generators

  1. #1
    CSM
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    Apr 2017
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    Toccoa & Clayton, GA
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    904

    Emergency Generators

    What do you do if the power goes out? When we had a house in Toccoa and a house in Clayton, it was simple. If the power went down in Clayton, we would get in the car and drive 40 minutes down to Toccoa. And vice-versa.

    We decided to sell out in Toccoa and move permanently into our Clayton house. A very mountainous area that normally has a few power outages during the year. Some have lasted for several days. Down to living in one house, we were out of options if the power goes out. I would drag out our 4,000 watt gasoline power and pull the cord and hope it cranks!

    Our solution was to put in what some of you already have, a whole-house emergency generator. We put in a Generac brand that runs on Natural gas or on LP gas. Our area does not have Natural Gas available so we had to put in a large LP gas tank and had it buried to eliminate the eye-sore.

    We can rest much easier when these heavy thunderstorms come through blowing down trees and powerlines or these sometimes heavy ice or snow storms move through our area. So far, we have had one outage and it was a good test of the system. Our power went out and 5 sec later our power was back on due to our generator kicking in. The outage only lasted 15 minutes and it came back on and our generator automatically turned back off.

    Here is a photo of our Generac. By the way, they are not cheap but in our case, very much worth every penny.

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  2. #2
    LTG AgentOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    South Carolina
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    12,322
    Very nice Tony.

    I have looked into things like that a few times. In my situation, it is a luxuary I just can't justify.
    I don't live in Clayton.
    If one of us was on CPAP or something, I could.
    Is yours natural gas or propane?

    I bet you have thunk it through and can educate us.

    As the crow flies, you are less than 30 miles from me, but your elevation is higher. Your town is listed at 1925' and my yard is 700'. Your weather is different.

    -- After 20 years here, my deal has been loosing power a few times a year, but usually for a few hours, never for more than a day. About the worse that could happen would be loosing food in the fridge if it went on for a couple days, so a couple hundred dollars. I don't have a freezer full of food.

    -- I don't have access to natural gas, so that unit will not pull my air conditioning for an extended time due to lack of fuel. I think your Generac uses about 3 gph of LP on low. As to heat, my propane gas logs will more than heat my house (untill the LP is gone). Having natural gas would make it look a lot better to me, but not an option for me. Is yours natural gas?

    -- As to lights, TV, computers, etc, it would be great, would like to have one, but like I said, the cost is more than I can justify just for that. Your situation is different.

    I do have 4 large solar panels, 2 not even hooked up, one still new in the box. These will keep a cell phone, music player, laptop, etc charged. The controller has usb charging slots. On a sunny day they can actually run some things.
    I could run lights, computers, internet router, even my refrigerator from batteries that charge during the day if there is Sun. I have several deep cycle ones. The down side is batteries would be heavy to move in and out of the house every day, but in case of a long term zombie thing, could run a wire from roof panels inside.

    I have battery backup (APC) on my inside router and my computers, so that can handle a couple hours of down time which is about the normal downtime for me.

    As to cooking, have a few different type camp stoves with gallons of fuel. I have city water so don't need to power a well pump. I have a kerosene stove for some heat that is still new in the box and 15 gallons of kerosene, maybe could buy more if needed?

    I really, really want one like you have, but just can't justify it. In the last 20 years, have had no need of one. A better deal for me might be to add in a larger LP tank as backup for the gas logs. I don't even know the size of my tank as it is in the ground. A company from Taccoa keeps it filled, have never run out.

    I probably just jinxed myself and will be down for a month.

    My nearest neighbor has a noisy gasoline model he cranks up when needed. His main need is a large freezer filled with meats and other food. It has worked well for his needs.

    After your post, looked into smaller gasoline models. Generac and Honda are the leaders there. The deal for me there gets back to the fuel thing. I keep some gas on hand for my boat, but to store enough to run one of those for days is a deal breaker for me (or most). For a couple $K you can get a Honda that is the equal of one 15 amp wall plug. That would be great, except for the gasoline storage thing.

  3. #3
    CSM
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Toccoa & Clayton, GA
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    904
    Yes A.O. you have it covered pretty well the way you are. You probably do not need this. Clayton has had some very bad outages some lasting for several days to a more than a week in some areas. If that happened here in the winter, we would have had to move out of town into a motel until power is restored. "or maybe move in with you!"

    Our generator runs on LP with a buried tank. For our house, we would have enough fuel for more than a week.

  4. #4
    I have thought about this. I have gas run to my house as we had gas logs which I took out. I have to big refrigerators and a chest freezer. If I loose power for a day or so we are out a thousand bucks and have a large mess. I have some power packs I bought that can be charged with the solar panels that came with them. The can charge anything small and jump start a truck. My wife and one of my daughters have them in the car in case they need to jump start.

    I don't want batteries as they take space. I have looked briefly at the solar powered generators but don't know how long they would last. I will check again. That might be an easy fix. I don't want my wife here alone for a long time with no power. Hell, I may get one just to plug my treadmill into.

    I need to move to somewhere that would require me to have stand by power. I have what Charlotte has become.

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