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Arcticdude

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They really want to tax our star? Might as well tax our air and the rain too.
Some places do tax the rain. They base the tax how much square footage of roofing and pavement/concrete there is on your property. Their lame theory is that rain can't soak in to the ground and runs off instead to the storm drains.
 

Schattentarn

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Just got word today that the generator I ordered in March has shipped. Should get it in a few days.
Good. I hope you have better luck than I did---mine came. I thought this was an American company but the whole look is Chinese. But that is not what upset me the most. I have to do a lot of assembly work on this and they didn't state this in advertising.
 

Arcticdude

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Good. I hope you have better luck than I did---mine came. I thought this was an American company but the whole look is Chinese. But that is not what upset me the most. I have to do a lot of assembly work on this and they didn't state this in advertising.
Very few generators are made in the US any more. Some of the XP model Generacs are, or were, made in the US. The Winco generator that I ordered is still made in tbe US. There could be a few more models made in the US but I can't think of them right now.
 

Schattentarn

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OK, got it together. Sorry about the whine. On the positive side for preppers, this generator says it will use regular 30 weight motor oil so no fancy synthetics are necessary. This might be a plus in a shortage. The air cleaner and gas filter can both be taken out, cleaned and returned so no parts to buy in a pinch. It has a battery starter but also a hand pull starter. The battery is charged by the generator itself. It runs on either gasoline or propane and is rated high enough to run every device in my house. It is not a long term solution but I hope will fill in short term.
 

backandbeyond

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---mine came. I thought this was an American company but the whole look is Chinese.
I just spent an hour and a half getting the pull start on an old honda DC set working. It's never failed to run but recently the starter pawls would only engage once every 20 pulls or so. I sprayed WD40, CRC, whatever into the mechanism and that freed it up fine. On the bench now is a 3 year old Chinese suite-case gen set, an 800W one that has had hardly any use but always run up every month and the fuel changed regularly.
It just won't start. No spark it seems and the plug checks out ok. It will be the last chinese tool I ever buy, I'll go secondhand now, reliable old stuff. I'm sick of the trash those [email protected]!#& are flooding the world with.
 

Arcticdude

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OK, got it together. Sorry about the whine. On the positive side for preppers, this generator says it will use regular 30 weight motor oil so no fancy synthetics are necessary. This might be a plus in a shortage. The air cleaner and gas filter can both be taken out, cleaned and returned so no parts to buy in a pinch. It has a battery starter but also a hand pull starter. The battery is charged by the generator itself. It runs on either gasoline or propane and is rated high enough to run every device in my house. It is not a long term solution but I hope will fill in short term.
30 weight is fine for summer but I'd recommend 10-30 for winter. The 10-30 will make for easier starts which could make your engine last longer. No need for synthetic motor oil if you don't want to use it. On all my gas generators I use 30 weight in summer and switch over to 10-30 for winter. On my diesel generator I use either 10-30 or 15-40 synthetic.
 

Jermphil

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They are extremely useful. What about all types of power interruption? Even an EMP is not going to destroy every piece of electrical equipment everywhere. I store about 1560 gallons of propane. I have sources to get more, even after an EMP event.
Thoughts on diesel gens? There may be a post about it here but I haven’t seen it. Are they worth the added cost? Are they as easy to power with scavenged cooking oil as vehicle diesel?
 

Arcticdude

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Thoughts on diesel gens? There may be a post about it here but I haven’t seen it. Are they worth the added cost? Are they as easy to power with scavenged cooking oil as vehicle diesel?
I've got a Perkins 12 kw generator that is used as backup for my solar system. In my opinion a liquid cooled diesel is well worth the money. They will out last gas or propane by several times. I dont have any experience with cooking oil, since I dont have a source for it. I buy off road diesel, no tax.
 

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Thoughts on diesel gens? There may be a post about it here but I haven’t seen it. Are they worth the added cost? Are they as easy to power with scavenged cooking oil as vehicle diesel?
Diesel stores safely for many years. If you already have diesel tractor, get a PTO generator.
 

M0del_31

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Thoughts on diesel gens? There may be a post about it here but I haven’t seen it. Are they worth the added cost? Are they as easy to power with scavenged cooking oil as vehicle diesel?
I think the modern Diesel engines are fairly particular about the quality of fuel and are less forgiving of moisture than older indirect injection power plants. I have a 8500 watt (less than 5% THD) gasoline generator and a 1800 watt inverter generator also gasoline. I don’t bother with gas preservant. I rotate the gas through my gas super duty a couple times a year. One fuel for generators, log splitter, trucks, suv and mowers though I just bought a John Deere and now I’ve got to store diesel and can only use it in the tractor. Your sensitive electronics will appreciate quality electric power. I like the idea of a pto generator but I’m fairly sure you need some type of auto throttle to keep the engine rpm stable under varying electrical loads.
 

Amish Heart

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Yep still waiting. And for windows for the garage. I think we need to call another contractor for those. It's been 11 months.
 

Weedygarden

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Yep still waiting. And for windows for the garage. I think we need to call another contractor for those. It's been 11 months.
I've been thinking of getting a Generac from Costco, but a new dishwasher and gas stove will be before that. I also have a window that needs to be replaced and my guess is that it will need to be custom made. A kid who lived in my house many years ago played with matches, started a fire, and this window was damaged and replaced with an aluminum window which has degraded. I have looked at generators lately though. I think you have to pay when you order, so that money can be tied up for a while.
 

Amish Heart

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We even have the wiring down and the concrete pad that it'll sit on. Still no generac. Our windows needed are not standard, and there's about 8 of them. The contractor was our cousin, and I wouldn't hire him again. We were just quoted $4K for a half of a large barn roof, for the labor only. Ha Ha. No. Why a half? The owner before the last just replaced one side of it. The other side is in bad shape. It is big, and two story, but add the $4K to $2K in materials, and forget it.
 

GaryLa

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My paranoia about the standard-issue type generator is the noise they make. From the TV shows I've seen, zombies are attracted to noise.

Also, I think many people do not realize just how much electricity they really use or how much fuel generators waste. For most houses, a 20HP generator would be needed in order to run all the conveniences found in the home (some only one at a time, such as ovens and A/C units). There's also the issue of Harmonic Distortion. The power company provides 5% or less Total harmonic distortion. Most generators are nowhere even close to this number. Quick research into any generator company's product line will reveal that the 5% or less THD generators are as much as triple the cost.

Many items can run without noticable degradation with a high THD, but it exacerbates fuel waste. For example, your refrigerator motor will not run as efficiently and will therefore waste more fuel. Some items will be outright damaged by it, particularly electronics. My TIG welder's manual indicates it cannot be run on power with more than 5% THD.

That aside, my approach has been to divide power generation into categories and address them individually. For night use, I have 100Ah AGM batteries which can be charged via solar panels during the day. Using an inverter, I can run a microwave and other small appliances without issue. I have also acquired 12VDC and 24VDC powered items such as lighting and PC-powered supplies. This saves me from wasting power through the inverter. Many items are available which can be powered directly from 12 and 24 volt DC.

I intend to limit daytime power generation to assisting with battery charging, large appliance usage, water pumping, etc. While I don't like the gasification process, I can get about 50% power from my 22HP generator using it. (I'm assuming the engine will need to be torn-down frequently in order to remove the tars and filth introduced by the process.)

The battery-based solution won't last forever, so I'm investigating Stirling and Steam engines (probably foolishly). I have also made an effort to convert my shop over to hydraulic power (motors, mostly) as running an hydraulic pump can be performed in myriad ways unlike AC generation.

And yes, I'm addicted to electricity.
 
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GaryLa

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One other thing worth considering is the use of a small gas engine (gas, alcohol, gasifier, propane, etc) with an oversized pulley driving a heavy-duty car alternator. An oversized pulley is needed because car alternators like to spin at RPMs much higher than a small engine can manage.

This would allow charging 12V batteries. If you go to an RV store or similar, you can find many 12V gadgets, lights, and even appliances.

If you purchase AGM batteries, they can take the punishment of fast charging and full discharging thousands of times. A single 100AH battery could get you through the night quite comfortably. It can also be recharged using solar or wind if you have it available.

Be aware that car alternators do not like to see a dead battery -- it's too much for most alternators to handle on a regular basis. Therefore, a volt meter is required to keep an eye on the battery to prevent the voltage from dropping too low. This problem is easily solved by having 2 or more batteries.
 

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