Get your temporary generators ready to go

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSOURI TALK' started by SkipEye, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Hi folks,

    Here I sit with the whole countryside around me without power. After last years Ice storm I purchased a generator and set up a system and a plan to make it easy to get power restored to my home.

    If you have an electric furnace you absolutely will not be able to run that on a small generator set. But if you have gas or propane you are in business. Be prepared. When this happened last year power was out for days. I have identified and marked the essential breakers to keep the things running that we need, no time to do this in the dark with a flashlight. I marked the breakers in my panel with a dot of whiteout, all unmarked breakers stay off. Be careful to use only what resources you need and you can get through power outages safely, and warmly!

    Did you notice that my connection to BOC, i.e. Computer room is on the essential list?

    Hey......what else are you gonna do when it gets like this?

    Be prepared in advance, now go make a contingency plan for your home and family!:0a26:


    Oh yes, if you are not comfortable with Electric, seek the advice of a TRAINED professional. If you back-feed your panel you absolutely must have the Main OFF!!!!
     
  2. Mi11er

    Mi11er New Member

    Messages:
    5,117
    State:
    Independence, M
    :crazy:Man that is not good:crazy: When did your power go out? It is freezing rain in Kc right now but I didn't think it was that bad. When we had that big ice storm in 2002 we lost power for 7 days:eek:oooh: it sucked. I hope they get the power on fast. Stay warm
     

  3. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    It went out about an hour or so ago. I always wait for a while to see if it is a quick fix or the electric company can re-route the power. Didn't happen this time, but connection was a breeze, the generator was full and ready.

    Know what you are doing! Keep the MAIN BREAKER OFF at all times that the generator set is connected, running or not.

    Me...... I am going to cook me some dinner on my GAS (thank god) Stove, and enjoy the heat from my GAS (thank god) furnace. Business as usual....... well, almost!
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Watch those portable generators. They can be hell on electronics.
    You get the wrong sine wave running its destructive.
    The higher end self start gensets like the Guardian have a guaranteed system built in. Most do.
    Its those portable jobs you have to be careful with.


    The best bang for the buck for a home generator is one of those Miller Bobcat portable welders.
    You get good generating capacity, not too loud, Cheaper then buying a name brand generator like Honda/Honda. Honda generator powered by Honda engine.
    Dual use capabilities.
    You can do alot of stuff with a Bobcat including building a trailer the exact size of the welder with a removeable tongue for storage.
    A large grill cover fits the welder perfectly.
     
  5. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Thanks Mark. I forgot to mention that most gen sets do not have true sine-wave output and that can be a big deal for some electronics. Oops!

    And folks, I also forgot to mention the Standby Generator sets that Mark brought up. They are getting cheaper all the time so could be affordable. They have an automatic transfer swich and go online in the event of a power outage all by themselves. They also monitor utility power and will transfer back after apre-determined time with good, clean power present.

    That would be peace of mind. Wish I had one.
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You probally think you wish you had one.

    The guardians run off natural gass or propane. With propane you generate more.

    Either way, the fuel consumption is high on a small one.
    You could pay 3 months of light bills before you ran one of those suckers for a week.
    most people get the biggest generator they can afford.

    It dont take much generator to supply your basic needs. You can run all the lights you normally run in an average sized house on 15 amps or less.

    Right now I'm running 2 TVs 2 ceiling fans, a whole computer system, telephone system, and 2 satellite systems on a GFI 15 amp circuit with no problems.

    Most any modern reefer will run on less then 15 amps.
    Same for a freezer.
    Gas furnace. A couple of amps. Whatever it takes to run the fans.
    Refrigerators and freezers dont even have to be plugged up all the time.
    Use the time you sleep and arent using anything else to charge those.
    You can get by with a smaller generator.

    When you shop generators , shop fuel use.
    If you live real close to a neighbor and you have 10 KW of generator, share the load and the share the cost.
     
  7. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    How big(watts)a generator do you have? I have a 5,000 watt Honda,would that work?
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Around here, the power company would rather see the meter pulled and laying on the ground below the meterbase if you are going to back feed a panel.
    You're putting alot of faith in a main breaker that was OK until the power went out.
    What came down the line when the line snapped in undetermined and its undetermined whats its done to the breaker if anything.

    the absolute best way to go for a portable generator is a generator panel sold by GE and numerous other equipment makers. Its permantly installed and the panel itself prevents back feed from generator to incoming power. Most have a twist lock receptacle right on the front of the panel to plug into and several have built in ampmeters so you can monitor your load.

    If you back feed a power line, no doubt 5 miles down the road that poor soul up there working on lines will get nailed hard and possibly die. Never fails it seems after a huricane there is a lineman killed from backfeeding.

    Around here its a stiff fine and possible jail time to cut the seal on a meter.
    When we have natural disasters like ice or hurricanes, they dont say anything. Folks have to do what they have to do.

    Some places are unfortunate enough that the power company has locked their meterbase. I can fix that too.

    When the power does come back on and you get ready to throw that main back on, stand clear. stand off to the side of the equipment instead of in front of it. Remember, you dont know what came down the line when the power went off.

    I NEVER stand in front of any disconnect device when turning it on.
    I've seen too many fireballs and had a few the size of basketballs go right by my head with a deafening boom.
    I never thought much about a single phase 220v service being dangerous until I saw a meter base that had blown up. The lineman wound up in the burn center with burns to the face and hands.

    Be careful screwing around in electrical equipment.
    I used to get alot of calls with people wanting me to add a receptacle under their panel so they can backfeed with a generator.
    I flat out refuse to do it. I dont care how thick the wallet is.
    Its either a transfer switch or a generator panel.
    I know how to backfeed without endangering myself or others. I cant rely on the homeowner or the next owner that comes along to do the same.
    What I put in a house or business is going to be just as functional 10 owners and 50 years later as it is today. Thats where the concern is.
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I bought a generator during the last ice storm, about 4 years ago.

    Lights came back on before I could get it hooked up.

    Haven't gone off since.

    Best insurance policy I ever bought...

    (But I've got my Polish extension cord at the ready just in case...:wink:)
     
  10. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga
    If it dose what they say its going to do monday night and tuesday i will wish i had one :eek:oooh:
     
  11. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga
    Well if i am not on here for a few days you will know why
     
  12. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    6000 watt Honda is ready to go but i hope i don't need it. Used it at deer camp a few weeks ago. 1 pull and she fires right up,it's about 5 years old.
     
  13. Jazper

    Jazper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    Chillicothe OH
    Umm, for what the 73 degree weather. oh wait you didn't mean us CANTUCKKEEE boys :)


    I do wish I had one, for those pesty storms that take the electric out. :)

    Great thread. learned alot already
     
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You can pick up a brand new Miller Bobcat 225 for 3000 dollars.
    Its rated at 9500 continuous watt output.
    Fuel consumption is 12 gallons of gas for 14 hours at 4000 watts.

    Added benefit.
    Electric start
    Flux Cored
    Mig
    Tig
    And Plasma Cutter capability.

    Heck of deal considering your generator doesnt have to sit in the corner of the garage for months or years without use.
    Easy to go out and cycle run periodically.

    These units are SUPER nice to have around.
     
  15. FREESPOOL

    FREESPOOL New Member

    Messages:
    1,234
    State:
    Edwardsville, Illinois
    The year of the ice storm our power was out for about for 7 days. We sat in the dark the evening it went out. Then went to bed hoping it would come back on. When we woke up, it was like 50 degrees in the house and I knew it was time to buy a generator. After driving to all the local hardware stores only to learn they were sold out. We finally recieved a tip that Rural King (which is 45 minutes away) was supposed to get a shipment of them that evening. I stood in line for 3 hours, about 80 people back waiting on a truckload of generators to arrive. So, the day the power goes out is not a good time to decide you're gonna buy one. Since that storm I haven't needed it again. But it was worth every penny at the time. And she's waiting in the garage for her next tour of duty.
    The one I have is only a 3500 watt model. But it's plenty to run the blower on the furnace, tv, and some various lights around the house. It sure is a welcome sound to here that beautiful purr from outside.
     
  16. thomas feldon

    thomas feldon New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    Farmington, MO.
    Thanks Mark :wink:,.
    Last year in july / 06, we bought our home. You know how had it can be the first year for finances. Then in November we had the first ice storm. Not too bad Power out for only one day. Then January hit and we got it bad , After 2 day's with no power and the temp in the house was 42 deg. Hood's in Farmington, saved us and got aload of Buffalo generator's. Get this / they were honest and didn't price gouge.
    True not the best generator , but it will do in a pinch. Boy oh boy , did it work good. Turned off the main switch and used only what my 3000w. could handle at a time.
    Durring the day TV / Blower on the fire place / water pump for the well and the hot water tank. Had to turn the blower off while the hot water tank was heating. ( Good thing to have a fire place.) Used only coffee pot and cooked in the fire place like we were camping. At night, refrigeration and the blower on the fire place. For the remainig 6 day's we did good. A little expensive but we servived. The 5 gal. tank ran us from 9 to 11 hrs. Biggest problem is having GAS on hand. I don't like to store gas as it can become a problem.
     
  17. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    We have a couple of useless generators around here. We have a Lincoln Welder/Generator powered by a 18hp Onan, and we have a regular 5000 watter. Last year we lost power for 5 days, so we dug out both of the generators. The lincoln hasn't been started since 1999, since we quit doing and mobile side jobs. It started right up, but it had a stuck valve, and it didn't want to run, so my Dad, put it back in the shed. Then he drags out the small one. He bought it new in 1981, and has never used it once. Imagine that... the points were shot. So right now, both of these are sitting in the shed in pieces. I don't think they will ever run again.:embarassed::angry:
     
  18. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    Gary, you can replace the points with an electronic ignition. It is reall easy. I think even Harold and Vince could do it. Not at all expensive either.
     
  19. Skunk Master

    Skunk Master New Member

    Messages:
    3,366
    State:
    Colinsville, Il
    I don't know about that Bob.. Does it come with Pictures and a cassette tape to walk you thru it.. If not then Vinny is out.. With Pictures I got it made... hehehe
     
  20. fishnfwl

    fishnfwl New Member

    Messages:
    3,334
    State:
    South Cent
    Man just what I need a winter project! :wink: are ya gonna get rid of it?