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The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Doly » Wed 22 Jun 2022, 16:12:34

Unfortunately such equipment isn't free, and if people would rather take fancy vacations and drive fancy cars, wear fancy clothes, eat at expensive places, yadda yadda, then they won't invest in such things. Again, trade-offs. For me, having had a 2 week power outage with a foot of water in the basement in the winter after a nasty ice storm, not having power backup is unacceptable.


The vast majority of people wouldn't want a 2 week power outage, and if they thought it was somewhat likely to happen to them, probably they wouldn't choose the fancy stuff first. The problem is, most people think that a 2 week power outage isn't going to happen to them.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 22 Jun 2022, 19:13:35

Doly wrote:Outcast_searcher:
Unfortunately such equipment isn't free, and if people would rather take fancy vacations and drive fancy cars, wear fancy clothes, eat at expensive places, yadda yadda, then they won't invest in such things. Again, trade-offs. For me, having had a 2 week power outage with a foot of water in the basement in the winter after a nasty ice storm, not having power backup is unacceptable.


The vast majority of people wouldn't want a 2 week power outage, and if they thought it was somewhat likely to happen to them, probably they wouldn't choose the fancy stuff first. The problem is, most people think that a 2 week power outage isn't going to happen to them.

A run of the mill contractors generator will serve and can be had pretty cheap. (My own 5KW Honda set me back $3000 but there are much cheaper options) The problem becomes that to run a full household uses about seven gallons of fuel per day and few have 100 gallons sitting around at all times.
Not to push the brand but Generac has a lot of standby systems that run off a good sized propane tankeor utility provided natural gas (if you trust that not to go down in an emergency) that range from $2000 to $9000 dollars. One of my daughters has one. It comes on in seconds when the power goes out and it exercises itself once a week to keep everything in working. order.
You could do a lot worse.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby theluckycountry » Wed 22 Jun 2022, 22:45:06

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
But doing something like being completely dependent on hydro for large cities near rivers sounds like a VERY bad idea indeed, even if AGW weren't a thing.

Of course, human planning being what it is, we tend to do whatever's cheapest in the short run. Which likely is NOT robust. Trade-offs.

I have a whole-house NG generator for a backup. When they get much better and cheaper, I also plan to have a battery backup system (the generator can have a part fail occasionally as it ages). Down the line, if I can get some solar without voiding my roof warranty, I'd like some of that to have another way to charge the batteries, etc.

Unfortunately such equipment isn't free, and if people would rather take fancy vacations and drive fancy cars, wear fancy clothes, eat at expensive places, yadda yadda, then they won't invest in such things. Again, trade-offs. For me, having had a 2 week power outage with a foot of water in the basement in the winter after a nasty ice storm, not having power backup is unacceptable.


Bad luck with the melting ice! We have had, possibly, devastating floods in Queensland this year. Another major flood in the Capital Brisbane 11 years after the last on (usually they are 33 years apart) and my own region got 250mm in a week. That's a lot for us.

No power dramas though, Australia's grid is shoddy but not totally prone to failure like the US grids. I have 500Ah or Trojen's at 12V as an offgrid, Solar panels and inverter to suit. It certainly won't run the house but it'll beek the fridges going and run a few lights which all I wanted it for. No need to spend 10k for something that's probably not needed more than once a decade for a few hours. Yet anyway...
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 23 Jun 2022, 05:09:35

theluckycountry wrote: No need to spend 10k for something that's probably not needed more than once a decade for a few hours. Yet anyway...

Perhaps in OZ but where I am, I'm getting outages every winter. Often just a few hours but there have been a couple this decade that lasted several days. I bought that Honda 5kw contractors generator in 2008 and I probably have 400 hours on it.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby C8 » Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:18:59

The big problem with generators is that they are expensive and will therefore be stolen. Shoe me an anti theft device and I will show you a determined thief. Generators are great if you live way out in the country but less than 10% of the population lives this way. Why spend 10K on something that is gone the next day?
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:45:22

C8 wrote:The big problem with generators is that they are expensive and will therefore be stolen. Shoe me an anti theft device and I will show you a determined thief. Generators are great if you live way out in the country but less than 10% of the population lives this way. Why spend 10K on something that is gone the next day?

Actually about 52% describe their home as Suburban and 21% rural and any suburban home could be well served by a backup. Many units are bolted down to a concrete pads or are too large to be loaded into a vehicle by hand.
Ones like mine that have wheels and handles for portability are more susceptible to theft and need to be behind locked doors when not in use. It takes me about five minutes to roll mine out and start it and run the extension cords to the appliances I need or want to run.
My doors are backed up with a shotgun or two so I've had very little theft problems. 8)
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby C8 » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 01:38:32

vtsnowedin wrote:
C8 wrote:The big problem with generators is that they are expensive and will therefore be stolen. Shoe me an anti theft device and I will show you a determined thief. Generators are great if you live way out in the country but less than 10% of the population lives this way. Why spend 10K on something that is gone the next day?

Actually about 52% describe their home as Suburban and 21% rural and any suburban home could be well served by a backup. Many units are bolted down to a concrete pads or are too large to be loaded into a vehicle by hand.
Ones like mine that have wheels and handles for portability are more susceptible to theft and need to be behind locked doors when not in use. It takes me about five minutes to roll mine out and start it and run the extension cords to the appliances I need or want to run.
My doors are backed up with a shotgun or two so I've had very little theft problems. 8)


So it's not hardwired into you electrical box. How many appliances can you run on it at once?
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 08:35:13

C8 wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:............
Ones like mine that have wheels and handles for portability are more susceptible to theft and need to be behind locked doors when not in use. It takes me about five minutes to roll mine out and start it and run the extension cords to the appliances I need or want to run.
My doors are backed up with a shotgun or two so I've had very little theft problems. 8)


So it's not hardwired into you electrical box. How many appliances can you run on it at once?

It has two 20 AMP 110 volt outlets and one 30AMP 240V outlet.
One cord will run the computer &,TV and a light off a single power bar. another can run the refrigerator and kitchen lights. or go upstairs for lights and the bosses Cpap machine. There is a chest freezer in the basement that needs to be run a couple of hours a day during a long outage. I have enough cords and power bars to run everything at once but I have never bothered to.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby C8 » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 14:35:25

vtsnowedin wrote:
C8 wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:............
Ones like mine that have wheels and handles for portability are more susceptible to theft and need to be behind locked doors when not in use. It takes me about five minutes to roll mine out and start it and run the extension cords to the appliances I need or want to run.
My doors are backed up with a shotgun or two so I've had very little theft problems. 8)


So it's not hardwired into you electrical box. How many appliances can you run on it at once?

It has two 20 AMP 110 volt outlets and one 30AMP 240V outlet.
One cord will run the computer &,TV and a light off a single power bar. another can run the refrigerator and kitchen lights. or go upstairs for lights and the bosses Cpap machine. There is a chest freezer in the basement that needs to be run a couple of hours a day during a long outage. I have enough cords and power bars to run everything at once but I have never bothered to.


That's neat, I'm going to have to learn from this. I inherited a large Honda unit that has to be hardwired into the box but I never installed it as we are not sure if we are moving in a couple of years.

You must keep quite a bit of gas on hand- how fast does it go through a gallon of gas and how much do you store?
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 15:46:19

C8 wrote:You must keep quite a bit of gas on hand- how fast does it go through a gallon of gas and how much do you store?


If you ever buy large amounts of gas for long term storage add additives to it to keep it from going bad.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 19:37:56

But also small gas engines don’t do well with ethanol. You need to put in soke Stabil or other additive. Or you have to run the carb dry every time before storage. If you do not you will get gunk in the very small passages of the carb and it will not run. I have this happen on a Honda 2000 generator and I carry a spare carb for my outboard just in case.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 19:42:04

It depends on how hard you load it but it will run for about a day on the five gallon tank it has. I could get by with three gallons a day and if a storm is predicted I'd fill it plus three five gallon jugs. I only run premium gas thru it and exercise it now and then so bad or old gas has not been a problem. Yes to all of Newfie's comments.
It is a normal July 4th weekend so I only have about ten gallons around for lawn mowers and such plus it's tank is full.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 21:06:18

Newfie wrote:But also small gas engines don’t do well with ethanol. You need to put in soke Stabil or other additive. Or you have to run the carb dry every time before storage. If you do not you will get gunk in the very small passages of the carb and it will not run. I have this happen on a Honda 2000 generator and I carry a spare carb for my outboard just in case.


Yes, I had the same problem with the water pump at the farm my first year. I do both things now; I use additives and run it dry. Now I know how much gas it uses, and I run it dry all the time. No problems at all since I learned, going strong for years now.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 21:19:03

We spend about 6 months a year on the boat, Covid excepted. We have 600w of solar and a wind generator charging 4 golf cart 6 volt batteries. We can go months without needing to run the generator. Unless we have a job that requires more juice, like some light welding. The outboard use is varied, some places we may average 4 miles a day, some places 1/2. All depends on where we are, what theee is, and where we anchor.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby C8 » Fri 01 Jul 2022, 22:29:34

vtsnowedin wrote:It depends on how hard you load it but it will run for about a day on the five gallon tank it has. I could get by with three gallons a day and if a storm is predicted I'd fill it plus three five gallon jugs. I only run premium gas thru it and exercise it now and then so bad or old gas has not been a problem. Yes to all of Newfie's comments.
It is a normal July 4th weekend so I only have about ten gallons around for lawn mowers and such plus it's tank is full.


That only gives you 3 days - don't you want more?
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 00:46:49

C8 wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:It depends on how hard you load it but it will run for about a day on the five gallon tank it has. I could get by with three gallons a day and if a storm is predicted I'd fill it plus three five gallon jugs. I only run premium gas thru it and exercise it now and then so bad or old gas has not been a problem. Yes to all of Newfie's comments.
It is a normal July 4th weekend so I only have about ten gallons around for lawn mowers and such plus it's tank is full.


That only gives you 3 days - don't you want more?

Yes!
If I thought an event would also close the roads so I could not go get more gas, which has happened to some Vermonters in flood/ hurricane situations, I would, but that is an extremely rare occurrence.
If economic conditions really deteriorate I might fill a 55 gallon drum with ethanol free gas and another with diesel for the tractor. I don't see the need for that at this point.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 07:27:01

I put a Tractor Supply back if truck tank in the basement for diesel, because the idiot fuel oil company would run us out.
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