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Thinking about a Generator - Looking for Suggestions

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by goodhors View Post
    The kerosene heaters do stink when used. Smell does go thru the house, lingers long afte they are shut off, like DAYS. We have a woodstove, used it in power outages before we got the generator. You might consider a wood burner stove/heater or propane heater as an alternative. Safer too, when properly installed and vented. Maybe you could find a used one, have it put in when the budget allows. We had a heater like you show, but only used in the very open workshop, didn't stink up the house. Even then husband got headaches from it, so he put in a woodstove that does a better job of heating, though you have to clean ashes out. Other shops he visits have propane heaters, so now he is considering one of those.
    We had one several years ago that was used regularly. When adjusted correctly there was very little odor and it did the job. Someday I want to replace my mobile home with a house set up for off grid living. I do plan on a woodstove then, but right now it's not practical.

    Comment


    • #22
      Well he and friend who also tried the kerosene heaters are both very sensitive to smells, so even adjusted right, they could not live with it. If it worked for you, that is fine. You work with your own situation, what is do-able in it. I am not willing to work hard enough to manage off the grid, it is a constant consideration of everything you do. But has to also be a big feeling of accomplishment as you succeed! Even camping these days, we now use a small trailer instead of a tent. I feel like a wuss, but LOVE having a solid roof in the rain, a bathroom inside, not a long stroll down the road with the flashlight in various weathers at night. Ha ha

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by goodhors View Post
        Well he and friend who also tried the kerosene heaters are both very sensitive to smells, so even adjusted right, they could not live with it. If it worked for you, that is fine. You work with your own situation, what is do-able in it. I am not willing to work hard enough to manage off the grid, it is a constant consideration of everything you do. But has to also be a big feeling of accomplishment as you succeed! Even camping these days, we now use a small trailer instead of a tent. I feel like a wuss, but LOVE having a solid roof in the rain, a bathroom inside, not a long stroll down the road with the flashlight in various weathers at night. Ha ha
        The eventual off the grid would involve solar panels and maybe geothermal heating with all the regular "luxuries" like lights and heat . I'm not interested in truly roughing it either.

        For now I'm just planning for winter and thinking about the crazy weather and possible power outages. The infrastructure in this area is set up for the usual winter weather we get and I have seen the power company out trimming trees and clearing power lines all summer so hopefully nothing will happen.

        Comment


        • #24
          We are starting our get-ready-for-winter jobs too. It has been a very odd summer, so it could be any thing goes, for winter. Does feel nice, being prepared for terrible, even if winter is gentle like the last couple were, here anyway.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by clanter View Post
            want something big check the government surplus sites,

            http://www.govliquidation.com/auctio...ords=generator
            From this site clanter linked to....

            http://www.govliquidation.com/auctio...&convertTo=USD

            10KW Diesel Generator current bid $261.00 A steal of a deal if it's in decent shape.

            Diesel is my choice for a portable gen. because the diesel fuel is so much safer, easier, to store.

            Comment


            • #26
              I love my Honda. It has a key start so there is no struggling with a pull cord. It is quiet. Check some of the generator websites that will tell you what size you need by adding up the demand from your well pump and other essentials. Have an electrician install a transfer switch. Compare prices online. My Honda was a great deal at a place called Speedway Sales. I don't know if they still have good deals.

              Comment


              • #27
                If you live in a mobile home you probably have a Miller furnace unless it's a newer unit. Unless it's been modified those you can actually unplug ifrom the power source box and plug it in to an extension cord. If it's hard wired install an electrical receptical and plug the burner in to that. Have the fan box (with the door safety switch) rewired to plug in to the same power supply. That way you can plug it in and your heat is on.

                Figuring out your total load is easy. Find the amp draw and multiply it by there voltage (ie 12 amp x 110 volts = 1320 watts). Add together everything you want to run, then look for a generator of that watt. Match what you need to the continuous run load, not the max or peak load. Most times you'll need closer to an 8,000 watt generator to run most of the house necessities, but it varies greatly
                If at first you don't succeed, get back on the horse and try it again!

                Comment


                • #28
                  If you live in a mobile home you probably have a Miller furnace unless it's a newer unit. Unless it's been modified those you can actually unplug ifrom the power source box and plug it in to an extension cord. If it's hard wired install an electrical receptical and plug the burner in to that. Have the fan box (with the door safety switch) rewired to plug in to the same power supply. That way you can plug it in and your heat is on.

                  Figuring out your total load is easy. Find the amp draw and multiply it by there voltage (ie 12 amp x 110 volts = 1320 watts). Add together everything you want to run, then look for a generator of that watt. Match what you need to the continuous run load, not the max or peak load. Most times you'll need closer to an 8,000 watt generator to run most of the house necessities, but it varies greatly
                  If at first you don't succeed, get back on the horse and try it again!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Relative to the load calculation listed above, do keep in mind that when shopping for generators, there are two watt ratings that apply to each unit. The one you see in the big, big numbers is the "peak" wattage. What you want to actually look for is the continuous wattage which is often much lower. You need that continuous rating to be up to where your load calculation is. The portable unit I still have in the garage because I haven't gotten around to selling it has "4400 watts" in nice big numbers. But it's continuous rating is 3500 watts...a meaningful difference. Even my 22kv whole house unit doesn't provide a full 22kv continuously! Like many things...advertising can be misleading.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by csaper58 View Post

                      From this site clanter linked to....

                      http://www.govliquidation.com/auctio...&convertTo=USD

                      10KW Diesel Generator current bid $261.00 A steal of a deal if it's in decent shape.

                      Diesel is my choice for a portable gen. because the diesel fuel is so much safer, easier, to store.
                      Where do you see the current bid? I only see $0.....

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Gloria View Post

                        Where do you see the current bid? I only see $0.....
                        It says this lot is now closed

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by Horseman15 View Post
                          If you live in a mobile home you probably have a Miller furnace unless it's a newer unit. Unless it's been modified those you can actually unplug it from the power source box and plug it in to an extension cord. If it's hard wired install an electrical receptical and plug the burner in to that. Have the fan box (with the door safety switch) rewired to plug in to the same power supply. That way you can plug it in and your heat is on.

                          Figuring out your total load is easy. Find the amp draw and multiply it by there voltage (ie 12 amp x 110 volts = 1320 watts). Add together everything you want to run, then look for a generator of that watt. Match what you need to the continuous run load, not the max or peak load. Most times you'll need closer to an 8,000 watt generator to run most of the house necessities, but it varies greatly
                          I will have to look at the furnace. I have no idea of the manufacturer or the actual wiring situation

                          The big generators look nice, but are really more than I need and for now I am just thinking about getting a back up heat source that can also be used in my shop if I want to work out there (no heat there at all, but it is well insulated).

                          I have a reliable, accessible water supply at all times. My regular kitchen stove is propane and can be lit with matches and I have oil lamps and flashlights, even one with a crank and plug for my car charger to charge my cell phone if needed.

                          With a back up heat source I could get by for several days if needed and so far the longest I have been without power is 8-12 hours and this is most likely in the winter so refrigeration isn't an issue either.

                          Right now my car is dying and I just don't have the money for what I want. I thought I would, but the numbers aren't adding up .

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Could you use a couple smaller generators instead of one big one for everything? Get one this year and another next year?

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by csaper58 View Post
                              Could you use a couple smaller generators instead of one big one for everything? Get one this year and another next year?
                              That would get really ugly because then the OP would need more than one transfer switch...unless they have a way to run extension cords through the walls without letting weather in and out to get to the generator(s) which need to be outdoors. Transfer switches are required by power companies to be sure that locally generated power for whatever circuits are needed is isolated from the grid.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Jim_in_PA View Post

                                That would get really ugly because then the OP would need more than one transfer switch...unless they have a way to run extension cords through the walls without letting weather in and out to get to the generator(s) which need to be outdoors. Transfer switches are required by power companies to be sure that locally generated power for whatever circuits are needed is isolated from the grid.
                                OP can run one or two appliances that are plug-in (not hard-wired into the house) on a genny with out a transfer switch. depending on the size of the genny and appliances

                                As long as the generator is stand alone and not connected in any way to the house and the appliances are completely disengaged from the house and connected only to the generator.. no transfer switch is needed.

                                That is why I can put my small genny in the wheel barrow and push it 300 feet over to the fence and run my skill saw with out using a transfer switch.

                                The OP could run the heat and well on genny A. via a transfer switch.

                                Unplug the fridge, and a lamp and a fan.. and run extension cords for those to stand alone genny B.

                                It would be awful loud.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by csaper58 View Post

                                  OP can run one or two appliances that are plug-in (not hard-wired into the house) on a genny with out a transfer switch. depending on the size of the genny and appliances

                                  As long as the generator is stand alone and not connected in any way to the house and the appliances are completely disengaged from the house and connected only to the generator.. no transfer switch is needed.

                                  That is why I can put my small genny in the wheel barrow and push it 300 feet over to the fence and run my skill saw with out using a transfer switch.

                                  The OP could run the heat and well on genny A. via a transfer switch.

                                  Unplug the fridge, and a lamp and a fan.. and run extension cords for those to stand alone genny B.

                                  It would be awful loud.
                                  I agree with Jim on this. In my situation it's not really practical or required. I can get by with the space heater for now and will save my pennies for a usable generator next year

                                  I will still at least look into having the transfer switch installed this year, though I do worry about that opening a can of worms by itself. I will only say there has been some questionable work done by previous owners.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Crista P, it's easy with the fuel fired mobile home heaters to get set up for a generator. If you aren't knowledgeable enough to do the rewire it won't cost much to have an electrician do it. They can do the whole thing in a half hour or less. That way you just plug the heater per supply in to an extension cord and you'll still have all the safeguards built in to the heater itself.

                                    Real then you want a 2 plug grounded outlet installed to plug the blower motor (should already have a plug on it) and the burner in to (will possibly need a plug put on the end of the power cable, but a lot of burners already have them). Then have the power for that box wired to a separate power cord. Put another outlet powered by the house wiring in. Then plug the new outlet box in to the house power. When you need to use the generator simply unplug the power cord from the other and plug it in to an extension cord petted but the generator. You don't need fancy switch gear or anything like that, just a heavy duty extension cord. The whole thing shouldn't be more than $150. Could be less depending on service rates for your area.
                                    ​​​​​​
                                    If at first you don't succeed, get back on the horse and try it again!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Can OP do what they do for RV or trailer with living quarters?

                                      I'm quite interested in the link csaper58 posted. We are sort of in the same boat, as we "occasionally" need a generator but money is tight. The whole house generator is insanely expensive. And having horses at home relying on well water is scary. In the last big ice storm a couple of years ago, we lost power for two weeks, and had to pull a big water wagon to my company and use their high pressure faucet to fill the wagon for horses. Hubby isn't interested in the small portable generator though.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                        Can OP do what they do for RV or trailer with living quarters?

                                        I'm quite interested in the link csaper58 posted. We are sort of in the same boat, as we "occasionally" need a generator but money is tight. The whole house generator is insanely expensive. And having horses at home relying on well water is scary. In the last big ice storm a couple of years ago, we lost power for two weeks, and had to pull a big water wagon to my company and use their high pressure faucet to fill the wagon for horses. Hubby isn't interested in the small portable generator though.
                                        I do have options, but I can get by without a generator.

                                        My permanently accessible water supply comes from my artesian well overflow. I attached a 3/4" water line to the top of my well as an overflow because the natural water pressure completely fills and overflows my well casing. This water line is buried until it goes out to fill my water trough in the pasture, about 100 feet from the barn. Based on the refill rate when I dump the trough I estimate at least 900-1000 gallons a day go through the trough. (Note, I have another overflow line on the trough that goes to a culvert pipe, then out to a natural wet area.)

                                        Also due to the constant flow of above freezing ground water, this water is never frozen. It's not as easy as using the pump in the well, but it will always be available if needed. I also only have the 5 large animals to take care of, not a huge barn. This is why I'm not seriously concerned about water.

                                        **Yes, I know this is weird well, but apparently not that unusual in my area.**

                                        So with that water supply, a non-electric space heater, some flashlights and oil lamps (house only), a crank charger/flashlight for my cell phone, and my regular propane kitchen stove I would be able to be deal with at least a few days without power. I have boxes of books I can read for entertainment.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Is a portable generator for home enough? How much do you like to spend for it?
                                          I purchased a 13,750kw Propane Generator a few years ago even the one i like most is Cummins which I saw from a website that i listed below.

                                          But i did not get it in the end and i purchased another one.

                                          20 HP Honda engine, Italian generator head.
                                          Paid about $2300 plus shipping via Paradise Freight which was a few hundred.
                                          I see the price is just a bit higher now...

                                          Recently it blew a capacitor. Central Maine sent me 2 for the price of one even though it

                                          is out of warranty. $39 total for two.

                                          I looked at generators on island but a similar Honda at Quality electric was close to $6000

                                          and it wasn't even a 13750kw. More like 8 or 9000kw if I remember right.....

                                          Quiet, no smell, propane lasts forever........

                                          You can negotiate with the suppiler as they usually will give you some discount. That is what i learn from website.

                                          Comment

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