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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,


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  #1  
Old 07-26-2006, 07:36:54 PM
Robert in W. Mi.
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Default OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Now, how can you afford to run that generator at the cost of $2, $3, or $4.00 per hour at todays fuel prices????

Robert
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2006, 08:14:01 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

The usual power outage here is usually less than 3 hours. At even 1 gallon/hr for my house load in this hot weather, that is 10 dollars. I n moderate weather my usual fuel rate is less than 3/4 gallon/hr. This keeps the HVAC, TV and other entertainment stuff on, and life goes on as normal. Easily worth the 10 bucks in reduced stress and misery, particularly when it is near 100 degrees with high humidity.

The few times my power has been off more than 24 hours, fuel costs never entered my mind. Compare $60 worth of diesel to the costs of a flooded basement and freezer full of ruined food, plus sitting around in the dark watching for line trucks. It is an easy decision in my case.
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:58:55 PM
thom430 thom430 is offline
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Cool Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Obtain one handgun or rifle bullet (any caliber), place in mouth between teeth, bite down hard.

My genset is for emergency use. Last year I spent 7 days without electric service after hurricane Katrina, then 4 more after hurricane Rita. I had a 4kw Homelite (8hp Briggs) generator that I had bought after hurricane Andrew in 1992. That unit running continuously will burn at least 10 gallons of gas every 24 hours.

Compare that cost to a hotel room(of which none are available) at low end of $75.00 per day. Add 2 meals(and I prefer 3) for 3 people at $7.50 each(yeah right) and the dirty clothes are still piling up. There is no ice available, nothing that anyone wants on the store shelves and my employer expects me to be at work the next day.

I now have a diesel genset(20kw) that may cost $4.00 per hour, but I will now have air conditioned home, a refrigerator, a washing machine, television, my own bed and a wife that now doesn't think it was such a crazy idea to spend all that money on something we will seldom use.

As for fuel, I can buy farm diesel for approx $2.50/gallon and when a hurricane starts heading my way, I plan to fill three 55 gallon drums. I usually keep at least one on hand for the tractor anyway.

I just received my largest electric bill ever for last month ($6.60/day) and I admit the generator is expensive to operate but...we still gotta live. I also spent more money than I care to admit at DisneyWorld last summer, but that also was a "quality of life" choice I made for my family.

There are several other SmokStak memebers that are my neighbors and I think they will confirm that after a hurricane, with no power, it's hot down here.

From south Louisiana...Sincerely,
Tom
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:26:12 PM
Jim Davis Jim Davis is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Here I go again. Five days and nights during Rita. 100 degree temperatures. Learned my lesson. I am ready for the next one. I will pay for propane until all my money runs out or the power comes back on. When you are laying in a wet bed drenched with sweat, warm water no ice A/C and refrigeration is priceless. Yes, $6.00 an hour and damn well worth it.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:42:48 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

I also have a Kohler K301EP powered 3.5 kw set that will keep my refrigerator and freezer as well as a TV, fan and light or two on- 5 gallons runs it about 8-9 hours. A 6ft length of hose and 5 gallon can is invaluable if gasoline is to be "relocated".
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:58:16 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

When the power is out and the wife is on your ass,money does not matter.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:42:56 PM
Jim Kinler Jim Kinler is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

i went 7 days (katrina) 2 for (rita). was on a 5 kw onan water cooled deisel 24 hrs a day, had plenty of off road deisel. used 11 gal. 24 hrs..was able to run 3 window units,washing machine, ref. and hot water. well worth the $13.00 bucks a day to be comfortable. i also had two inverters, 2 battery banks that feed these, and 3 solar panels.but didnt hardley use them, its just to darn hot and sticky (se la.) getting set for this year, have a couple of extra gen. just in case,
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:27:15 PM
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Since every electric utility in the country has followed the Montana Power business model, and adopted as their motto, Electricity, too good to waste, LET THEM FREEZE IN THE DARK, you damn well better be ready to make your own.
Storm damaged lines that used to be rebuilt 20 years ago, are now only patched up in a halfassed manner.
Power houses fired by coal are being taken off line, so the polution credits can be sold, because it's more profitable than generating electricity. Within 6 months, there will no longer be a powerhouse in NY state with a house generator, so the next blackout will take days to come back on line from, rather than just hours.

If it's raining hard, I have half an hour to get the genset running, or pull the drain plug on the cellar drain to the creek that limits flooding to 1".
According to the %^(%$@^( neighbor, I'm nuts to own a few generators. Hell, I gotta shut the Onan down and change oil, and I still need power while I do that.
What it costs, it costs.
When a new gas station is proposed in this Town, I'm at the hearing, strongly suggesting that station better have a generator, because we can't count on the utility any more.
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:07:01 AM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

I have a 12.5 kW diesel that burns 1/2 -1 GPH depending on load. The decision to go with diesel was based on the fact that I heat with an oil fired boiler. There's a 300 gallon underground tank in my back yard that feeds the boiler. I also have two above ground tanks that hold 275 gallons and 140 gallons. They are for storage only. Since diesel and home heating oil are virtually the same thing, I figure that should be enough fuel to carry me through an extended outage. Our area was without power for quite some time after Hurricane Isabel blew through here a few years ago. As mentioned in previous posts on this thread, it is miserable trying to exist without electricity and air conditioning. There comes a point where you are willing to pay almost anything to have them.

In a recent electrical contracting trade rag that I subscribe to, there was an article pertaining to what Franz mentioned in the previous post. It seems that Miami-Dade County, FL now requires gas stations to install standby generators. A county ordinance was passed in March that requires all stations to submit an emergency response plan by this July. The plans must indicate a station's capacity to provide service 24 hours after a storm and also require an alternate power source to operate the gas pumps. If you think gas prices are high now, who do you think is going to ultimately pay for those upgrades? It's actually a good idea and I think we'll see more of this in the future, particularly in coastal areas subject to hurricanes.
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:30:31 AM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Backup power is worth whatever it costs, not only for the comfort side of things, but also for the necessary things like keeping a freezer working, washing machine, you may have an aquarium/pond with fish or other pets that need electricity to survive and there are those electric tools that you always want to use when the power is out.

Your gas prices are still low compared with the UK, where we are back up to $US 8.00 per gallon and a bit more for diesel.

Having said that, we haven't had any recent power outages in our region (East Midlands) in the heatwave but Northern Ireland had a big storm that damaged power lines and led to power losses for a big area of the province.

We may be fortunate in the way our utility services are all on the main grid so power cuts are fairly rare, but a lot of folks (including us) have small generators to keep basics like freezers running for a few hours.

Peter
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:02:17 PM
David C David C is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

The fuel cost of running a generator will be low on my priority list after a storm. If you have some roof / water damage from a storm (hurricane) and you have no power, you will have a hard time keeping the mold and mildew from sprouting without some sort of air conditioning or dehumidification. I have a decent 40 year old house that I don't care to have damaged from mold and mildew.

I will be glad to pay some extra bucks to sleep in a cool house with all of the creature comforts of modern life. Plus, it may help me stayed married since I am one very grouchy person when I don't get a good nights sleep.

I also have a small gas backup for the diesel backup.

If all of the backups fail, I have a couple of inverters that I can hook up to my old diesel pickup, which will at least power up a couple of fans and minimal lighting from the batteries.

David
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:51:50 PM
Beavisz Beavisz is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

My electric has not gone out long term since i installed my genereator 3 yrs ago. Hmmmm ? with the exception of when I have it dissasembled for maintenence, it never fails to go out. go figure. Hence it doesnt cost me much to run. I think if I bought a snowmobile it would never again snow in western PA.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:43:16 PM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy J Shafer
When the power is out and the wife is on your ass,money does not matter.
Now that sounds like the voice of experience!
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:06:16 PM
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

That is why I have a 20KW Kohler on my house.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:34:09 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy J Shafer
That is why I have a 20KW Kohler on my house.
Billy, I figured your home standby would be green. David Onan is likely to be spinning (at 1800rpm) in his grave......
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:29:36 PM
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Can you say, "waste vegetable oi"?
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:53:03 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

Wayne I could not resist the price.It is yours if you will just haul it off.Got the batteries,muffler.exhaust system,charger and unit all for about four hours work.Six hundred hours on unit old but still in good shape.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:25:58 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

If you ever decide to get rid of it for that price, let me know , 20KW is about right for my house.

We had a late 70's vintage 30 kw Kohler diesel at work, it was a good little unit, the "powers that be" scrapped it rather than install an isochronous governor. The replacement was the 80kw Onan that I had such a time with on initial start up.

The only set I ever got for hauling it away was a 45kw Detroit diesel powered set. I sold it when money got tight, and have been sorry ever since.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:35:38 AM
Jeffw5555 Jeffw5555 is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

A bit late to the party, but I have to add that my rig that I am installing on my house will cost me considerably more to run per hour, like about $ 9-10 per hour. (It is an Onan 75KW unit)

However, my newer house is all electric, and the neighborhood where I built the house lost power in an ice storm for 5 days. The neighbors with propane heat only needed small generators to get by. A dinky 25KW unit won't even run one of my heat pumps with the aux heat coils kicked in. And I have 4 heat pumps; I plan to run only two in an outage.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:50:05 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: OK, The Power Is Out And Your Genset Is Up And Running,

helped a fellow hook a 15KW up to his manual transfer switch
I mentioned his full load consumption mentioned in the instruction book was 240,000 BTU/HR
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