Need help selecting a generator
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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:44 PM
In a real emergency (if everything went to hell), gas could be obtained with a siphon (or a hammer & nail) and an old coffee can from abandon cars (Mad Max style). During the LA riots, they would not sell gasoline to anyone in a container (it had to go directly into your car or truck gas tank). The authorities were trying to prevent the rioters from making molotov cocktails. I guess the people who riot in LA do not realize that if you poke a hole in the tank of a car, gas comes spilling out. It is not like people who would break store windows, burn cars and steal TVs would have anything against putting a hole in someone's gas tank.
"A small generator that can run for days on a small amount of fuel is better than a big generator that you don't have fuel for."That's my thinking, too. For disaster preparedness, I've got a 3000 watt portable generator that runs off unleaded gasoline to be able to run the fridge, a heater to keep the kids warm, some lights, just the basics with no frills. I figure I can always get unleaded gas, even if it means driving a few miles out of the disaster zone to fill up a couple 5 gallon cans. Plus I like the low cost of admission and ease of storage. The only thing I don't like about mine is that it's too heavy to move easily. If I had to do it again, I'd get one of the more portable Honda models. Granted, my solution wouldn't be sufficient for a Planet of the Apes scenario. But if that happened, I figure I'd have bigger problems than how to run the fridge.
Posted 24 June 2010 - 02:48 PM
As part of our disaster planning with the county we have two 6000 whatever generators to run a small community hospital. FYI.
Trying to determine the best overall make, model and fuel option for powering my residence in the event of a long term blackout. Need to run 2 fridges and 2 freezers and would like to power some lights and my pool pump periodically as well. Don't want gasoline and am thinking a natural gas unit might be the better option since it will be permanently installed near my pool pump. Determining the size is hard for me because I am not an electrician and wouldn't know an amp from a watt. I figure they make em big enough for hospitals so there should be one I could use to power my 4 bdrm home as effectively as SDG&E does now. Anyone got a firm handle on this stuff? If we had a major power outage, the natural gas still flows right? Or am I wrong?
Posted 24 June 2010 - 02:55 PM
Probably like ShooterJohn said, the gas lines end up with cracks and leaks, therefore shut off the gas.
Did they say why? I would really like to know since NG has been the only thing historically unaffected by major disasters in the past.
Posted 25 June 2010 - 04:55 AM
Propane tanks can be filled w/o electricy...no?
Actually, if it's a stationary tank it would have to be filled from a delivery truck which uses a PTO driven liquid pump (or vapor compressor). Another way to transfer smaller quantities is to "sweat" the propane from one tank to another, making sure one tank is a bit warmer than the other and then opening the valves. The liquid will be drawn into the cooler tank due to pressure differences. When I used to haul propane I sometimes acquired old portable propane tanks that still had fuel in them but did not have the newer OPD valves. I would "sweat" the remaining liquid into my newer tanks by leaving the old tank sitting out in the sun and running cool water over the newer tank. I never could get every last drop but it still worked surprisingly well. Hypothetically you could "sweat" a gallon or two into your storage tank, then fire the generator & provide electricity to an electric LPG pump (that you would have to provide along with an extra hose & brass fittings), but in the end you still would have to get a delivery truck out to your house which may not be possible under chatastrophic conditions. For filling portable tanks without power, just bleed out all of the pressure. The pressure from the main storage tank will push liquid into your portable and cracking the bleeder screw will keep the liquid flowing without equalizing the pressure between both tanks. Most bulk storage tanks have anywhere from 60-130psi in them.
Nope, you have to have electricity to run the pump to fill the small tank from the big one. Diesel is the way to go.
Posted 25 June 2010 - 04:10 PM
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