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Arcticdude

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I just ordered a new propane generator for my well pump. Its a 12kw Winco with auto start. I'll be able to wire it in to the pressure switch on the holding tank. When the pressure drops below a set psi the generator will automatically start. I'll get a 250 gallon propane tank to run the generator on, plus the heater inside the pump house. The heater goes through about 30 gallons of propane a year. Not sure what the generator will use yet.
 

JosephBlough

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Generators are a great source of backup power. I bought a small generator at Harbor Freight and converted it to tri-fuel using a Tonco carburetor from eBay. Tonco carburetors sell for less than $40. Lots of great videos on installing the carburetor on to the generator. The best thing is that once you hook it up to natural gas, you don't have to worry about buying more gasoline or propane. Yes, it is a hassle running black pipe to the generator outside, but it is huge peace of mind. Tonco carburetors have confusing instructions, but they work.

If I had to do it over again, I would have bought a larger generator and carburetor, but I didn't know what I was doing way back when so I just chalk it up to learning experience. Our power lines are underground and we have only had 3 power outages in 15 years - none of which lasted more than 4 hours. It was hard to justify going bigger with such a reliable power supply, but you get more bells whistles with larger generators.

Costco sells a nice tri-fuel generator with lots of bells and whistles. I've seen it on sale for $599 which is a screaming deal in my opinion. Hope this helps! :)
 

Dracos

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Chickens are an excellent prepper livestock. Methane (natural gas) is easy to make from chicken poop. All you need is a pool of water and a 55 gallon drum. On a raised platform under water invert the drum with one end cut off. As the methane bubbles rise up it will fill the drum and cause it to rise. Pressure is regulated by putting weights on the drum. This is a very simplified version but I think you get the picture.
 

Schattentarn

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Can you share how you are going to obtain more propane Rellgar?
Unless you live in a big city, a generator is a must. If electricity goes out in the dead of winter, no cell phones were you live, and the land lines are on batteries, you can't even call the electric company and tell them the power is out. And guess what, if you are isolated, they don't really want to come and fix it anyway.

You end up with a generator and maybe storing gasoline or diesel. Then you realize you need that 10 gallons of gas to try to drive 30 miles to a gas station to get more gas before you run out. Remember, the electricity is out in your area so gas stations can't pump gas.

Then you evolve and realize its propane. You can go off a large propane tank but I wouldn't. I would just buy the smaller propane bottles when I could, where I could, and on sale. These store much more easily than gasoline or diesel. You can store as many as you want for almost as long as you want. You can run one until empty or run it for a few hours, charging up the refrigerator and running the internet computer and TV. Eventually, the food in the frig. runs out and all you need is communications.

Those Generac whole-house models look nice but you can get by with less. In fact, maybe you get a big one and a little one. You don't want to run the generator and waste power so you could tailor the need to the generator.

Solar would be wonderful.
 

Proud Prepper

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I would get the big propane tanks. I have 2 500 gallon tanks and a 1000 gallon on a trailer as a reserve. I rotate and refill the 500 gall9n tanks as needed. I still have many small 20 lb. Tanks and if SHTF begins, I will get as many small tanks as I can.
Besides with the large tanks, propane will cost you half as much per gallon.
 

GaRp58

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I have a small 900 watt gen. for the camper trailer and a 2,5 kw for a backup when the power goes out to save the 3 freezers. Don't plan to stay in electricity if SHTF scenario comes up. A small solar setup to charge the 12 V batteries for keeping the re-chargeable lights and flashlights going as long as possible tho. Lots of LED lamps, flashlights, re-charge batteries, solar USB chargers and hand crank lights. The rest I will just do without. Only my plan at the moment. Have backup heaters, grills, lighting and such with propane, butane, petroleum and gasoline and the 20 and 50 lb propane tanks are my interim backups. How long they will last is decided on the weather, cooking needs and how much I plan to work in the dark times...
8 plates of window glass which are 5 mm thick and 20 inch square which I can use to build a solar cooker for small meals and bread. A tripod grill and a Weber grill and the smoke house will last long after the gas and electricity are gone, and that rounds the picture off for my needs, I hope....GP
 

Arcticdude

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We have a 500 gallon propane tank for the house. It will last around 2 years. We use propane for cooking, clothes dryer and tankless water heater. We also have a gas furnace that is seldom used. We keep the thermostat set at 61 degs and it only comes on if we're gone all day or if it's really cold out and I forget to stoke the wood stove at night. During winter we cook/reheat a lot on the wood stove.
We have quite a few of the 5, 7 and 30 gallon propane bottles. Some are used on the outdoor griddle, a one and 2 burner stove, tankless water heater in the fur shed, pump house heater and a jet heater for the shop.
For generators we have a 12 kw diesel back up to the solar system, an 8.7 kw for the well pump (soon to be replaced with the Winco 12 kw propane), 6.5 kw for the barn and a 3.5 kw for remote power around the ranch. Plus my portable welder has a 12 kw generator.
Once the Winco arrives it will be setup to automatically start and run the well pump when the pressure drops to around 30 psi. I'll connect the generator and pump house heater to a 250 gallon propane tank. No more getting up at 3 am to check the temperature inside the pump house, or going out in a blizzard to start the generator because we ran out of water in the house.
 

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