Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-25-2014, 08:53 PM   #41
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
I am considering moving back to my house in my home town. If I do that I will be looking at a natural gas powered generator that can handle the whole house. I figure about 16Kw should be enough. I've seen enough 3 day blizzards with power problems that I think it would be worth the expense.
Look carefully at the noise figures. Some of those are incredibly noisy and although marketed for residential use are simply not suitable for that purpose because of the noise they make.

Even if you don't want to sleep your neighbors probably will. Noise suppression to a reasonable level isn't that expensive anymore but it does add a few hundred dollars to the price if done right. It might make the difference between your neighbors merely being envious during an outage or coming after you with pitchforks and torches.

A hint is in the advertising. If the ads put their noise levels front and center in the ads (expressed as a number in DBA, should be in the mid 60's or lower) they've probably done their homework. If they're silent on the issue or make you dig for it you probably don't want that machine running outside your bedroom window and neither does anyone else.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-25-2014, 09:22 PM   #42
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Look carefully at the noise figures. Some of those are incredibly noisy and although marketed for residential use are simply not suitable for that purpose because of the noise they make.

Even if you don't want to sleep your neighbors probably will. Noise suppression to a reasonable level isn't that expensive anymore but it does add a few hundred dollars to the price if done right. It might make the difference between your neighbors merely being envious during an outage or coming after you with pitchforks and torches.

A hint is in the advertising. If the ads put their noise levels front and center in the ads (expressed as a number in DBA, should be in the mid 60's or lower) they've probably done their homework. If they're silent on the issue or make you dig for it you probably don't want that machine running outside your bedroom window and neither does anyone else.
I disagree, sort of. The whole house generators that run on natural gas (or diesel for that matter) are really pretty quiet. Ours is 25kW, and has what is basically a VW Beetle engine in it. It runs on propane, and powers about 2/3 of our large house. When you are outside near it it sounds like a well tuned car idling. From inside you have to listen hard to even know it's on.

When we built the house the people next door (the word neighbor implies friendliness that doesn't exist here) insisted we build an enclosure around it because they were afraid of the noise. No problem, I like the enclosure. But you can't even hear it from their house. They, OTOH, bought a smaller Honda gas generator that is noisy as hell in comparison.

The research I've done shows good sound levels for all the whole house generators, although I mostly researched Generac. But the portables, for all their claims of quiet running, are pretty noisy IMO.
__________________

__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 01:00 AM   #43
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,256
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I disagree, sort of. The whole house generators that run on natural gas (or diesel for that matter) are really pretty quiet. Ours is 25kW, and has what is basically a VW Beetle engine in it. It runs on propane, and powers about 2/3 of our large house. When you are outside near it it sounds like a well tuned car idling. From inside you have to listen hard to even know it's on.

When we built the house the people next door (the word neighbor implies friendliness that doesn't exist here) insisted we build an enclosure around it because they were afraid of the noise. No problem, I like the enclosure. But you can't even hear it from their house. They, OTOH, bought a smaller Honda gas generator that is noisy as hell in comparison.

The research I've done shows good sound levels for all the whole house generators, although I mostly researched Generac. But the portables, for all their claims of quiet running, are pretty noisy IMO.

I am surprised that the Honda was so noisy.... Once I went to a local football bowl game here and went tailgating... the crew had a wide screen TV showing the bowls before our game... it was run by a small Honda which they placed on the other side of the truck.... could not hear it at all... I went to the other side and could hear it, but it was like a very quiet lawn mower....

Now, I have heard some of those $300 generators from 3 houses over...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 06:41 AM   #44
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,317
Maglite flashlights for the house and Maglite's and cheapo's for garage. Maglites in all vehicles. Battery powered lanterns and Coleman fuel lanterns for indoors (not Coleman) and outdoors. My husband checks batteries in them on a regular basis. I have kerosene lamps.......don't think it's kerosene.....that I use indoors and outdoors. You buy quart size bottles of fuel and it doesn't smell. I keep spare wicks on hand.

Had a portable generator but a couple of years ago after a bad series of storms we installed a whole house generator by Generac 20kw hooked up to natural gas. All generators that I've heard are loud. Our Generac has a dba rating of 66 in full operation and 60 in test mode. Ours is installed behind a wood fence with shrubs in front to try to block noise from neighbors. Don't think neighbors would complain about noise because we have run cords (heavy duty and made for this) to neighbors to help keep refrigerators running and the biggie is their coffee pots. We probably don't need all the flashlights in the house and garage but we still keep them.

Someone on this thread mentioned that a friend went on a battery plant tour and saw or was told that the same battery was sold under different brand names. I'm surprised that the tour would show this. I know it's done but why a manufacturer would tell people on a tour seems odd.

Sounds like a good idea regarding using your solar powered outdoor lights for indoor emergencies. Wonder if there's a downside and do those outdoor solar lights actually give off much light? I guess if it's frozen into the ground that could be a problem.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 08:38 AM   #45
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post

Now, I have heard some of those $300 generators from 3 houses over...
We bought a "cheepo" 5500 watt gasoline powered generator after one of the three recent hurricanes went through south Texas. It works fine, but when I start it, the cat doesn't come home for a day or two.
__________________
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 08:44 AM   #46
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitwdw View Post

Someone on this thread mentioned that a friend went on a battery plant tour and saw or was told that the same battery was sold under different brand names. I'm surprised that the tour would show this. I know it's done but why a manufacturer would tell people on a tour seems odd.
Yes, Johnson Controls makes the base battery for several retailers. There are other independent battery manufacturers, however. I had a Varata in one of my German cars that was quite good and lasted 7 years and it was starting a diesel.

I worked a project last year at a plant that bottled personal care and laundry products (shampoos, mouthwash, lotions, liquid detergent, etc). The plant manager told me (when I asked about it) that liquid laundry detergents use the same base stock soap and the only difference is the fragrance that the retailer wants put in the mix.
__________________
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 09:25 AM   #47
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: dubuque
Posts: 618
when I was younger I installed furnaces for a while. when you went to the wholesaler to pick it up it came with 3 or 4 different manufacturer labels you could put on to align with what the customer wanted to buy. I also thought about the generac whole house generators and was wondering does it take a special setup in your breaker panel to use them? how expensive are they for a 16 kw unit? natural gas model.
__________________
frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 09:58 AM   #48
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RetireAge50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,119
We have electricity so flashlights not really needed. In the rare event of power outage use candles which have unlimited shelf life and do not need batteries.

Also for the times I need a flashlight I always have one in my pocket as my iPhone camera flash can be set easily to remain on constantly.
__________________
RetireAge50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 09:59 AM   #49
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
I have a radio that uses a spring powered generator to run the radio and an LED light. Crank the handle on the radio to wind the spring for a few minutes and it will run for close to 30 minutes. It's a bit of a pain to use but I never have to worry about leaking batteries. It stays in my winter survival kit in my car.
Something stores the energy for those 30 minutes, probably a battery. Eventually it will leak or not charge.
__________________
GrayHare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 10:28 AM   #50
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by frank View Post
when I was younger I installed furnaces for a while. when you went to the wholesaler to pick it up it came with 3 or 4 different manufacturer labels you could put on to align with what the customer wanted to buy. I also thought about the generac whole house generators and was wondering does it take a special setup in your breaker panel to use them? how expensive are they for a 16 kw unit? natural gas model.
Here's a link to some, there's different models and costs. YES, you do have to have a transfer switch. It prevents a lineman from being killed by your genny powering a dead line(others can explain better I'm sure).

There are tricks some folks use to improperly connect portables to some of your home. Don't do it, without the transfer switch, they can kill too. I'm guessing your homeowners policy would leave you high and dry if you did so, leaving you with 2 disasters.

http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....Generator.html

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
__________________
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #51
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Something stores the energy for those 30 minutes, probably a battery. Eventually it will leak or not charge.
It has a large spring like an old gramaphone that is wound up by cranking and it then powers a small generator as it unwinds. There is no battery in the radio.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 12:26 PM   #52
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Look carefully at the noise figures. Some of those are incredibly noisy and although marketed for residential use are simply not suitable for that purpose because of the noise they make.

Even if you don't want to sleep your neighbors probably will. Noise suppression to a reasonable level isn't that expensive anymore but it does add a few hundred dollars to the price if done right. It might make the difference between your neighbors merely being envious during an outage or coming after you with pitchforks and torches.

A hint is in the advertising. If the ads put their noise levels front and center in the ads (expressed as a number in DBA, should be in the mid 60's or lower) they've probably done their homework. If they're silent on the issue or make you dig for it you probably don't want that machine running outside your bedroom window and neither does anyone else.
I have been looking at that. When I get moved back I will get more info on the units. I have a large garage separated from the house by a breezeway and am wondering if the generator could be mounted in the garage with exhaust through the wall. The garage is 18 feet square and I only have 1 car. I have a lot of questions but as long as I am 300 miles away from my house I will have to wait for answers.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 02:08 PM   #53
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,240
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Time to just get a small generator?
http://http://t.harborfreight.com/en...9676-8945.html
Less than $350, big enough to start and run a fridge or freezer or even a room AC unit (which would be super handy in some places), you can recharge your big batteries, power tools and LEDs while it is running other stuff, and your fuel would probably last longer than running a car engine just to turn a small alternator. Down side: noisier (for the portion of time it is running) and requires upkeep
Our complex's HOA does not allow generators for a couple of reasons. We are in an "egg crate" configuration, so noise and exhaust would be issues to neighbors. Also, since fire in a semi-high-rise is the worst scenario, we are not allowed ANY storage of fuels on premises (except in the car's fuel tank.) I did use a whole house arrangement (generator and isolation wiring) back on the mainland. My thinking on the battery driven inverter was that, in a pinch, it would be possible to keep the batteries charged using the car alternator. Not ideal, certainly, but fits neatly within the HOA guidelines and should work for all but truly extended outages. Again, though, I'll have to do the research to be certain it will work and also that it will be worth it.

Last time we had an extended outage, the power company paid off those who filed claims of lost food in freezers. We simply left the freezer/fridge closed and lost nothing. So, in theory, I don't need to run the fridge. More than anything, I just do not like the idea of being without power - some sort of personality quirk more than a fear of losing the contents of the cooler. YMMV
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 03:11 PM   #54
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
It has a large spring like an old gramaphone that is wound up by cranking and it then powers a small generator as it unwinds. There is no battery in the radio.
THAT's a good design. I didn't know such were available, now I'll have to see about getting one like that.
__________________
GrayHare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 03:29 PM   #55
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
It has a large spring like an old gramaphone that is wound up by cranking and it then powers a small generator as it unwinds. There is no battery in the radio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
THAT's a good design. I didn't know such were available, now I'll have to see about getting one like that.
May we get a photo or link for this, please ?
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 03:38 PM   #56
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I disagree, sort of. The whole house generators that run on natural gas (or diesel for that matter) are really pretty quiet. Ours is 25kW, and has what is basically a VW Beetle engine in it. It runs on propane, and powers about 2/3 of our large house. When you are outside near it it sounds like a well tuned car idling. From inside you have to listen hard to even know it's on.
They have improved then. I heard a couple many (30 years?) ago and they were deafening. Probably designed for industrial backup where noise doesn't matter.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #57
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
May we get a photo or link for this, please ?
I bought the radio from C Crane Company about 10 years ago. I don't know if they still have it or not. It was intended for use in countries that had poor electrical systems. Their web site is:
Home | C. Crane
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 04:21 PM   #58
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
They have improved then. I heard a couple many (30 years?) ago and they were deafening. Probably designed for industrial backup where noise doesn't matter.
Walt, What's considered loud as far as dba ratings? Ours is fairly new, about 3 years old and running full load is 66 dba.
Sometimes they sound louder due to where they are located and if there's anything around to soften the noise. My older neighbor set up his portable generator in his garage with the front door open. I live along him and could hear it but not too loud. It was deafening when you stood in front of the garage.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 04:40 PM   #59
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
May we get a photo or link for this, please ?
I looked at my radio and it is made by Baygen. After searching for a current source it looks like it may have been discontinued. A newer model may be available but it looks like there is a battery included now. Here is a You tube clip that shows the radio I have:
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2014, 04:47 PM   #60
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitwdw View Post
Walt, What's considered loud as far as dba ratings? Ours is fairly new, about 3 years old and running full load is 66 dba.
Sometimes they sound louder due to where they are located and if there's anything around to soften the noise. My older neighbor set up his portable generator in his garage with the front door open. I live along him and could hear it but not too loud. It was deafening when you stood in front of the garage.
66 dba is fairly quiet, you should be able to carry on a conversation standing next to the source without having to raise your voice much, if at all.

How sound is perceived can get real complicated real fast. I learned a lot about that from being in a model airplane club at a time when the county was receiving noise complaints about the models at the flying site. The sound levels were well below allowable limits and in fact were below the sound of a lawn mower 1/2 block away. But because the sound of a model airplane engine is at a higher frequency it is perceived by most humans as being louder even when by all objective measurements it is not. Think of how annoying the high-pitch buzz of a mosquito is but it actually is not very noisy.

We were lucky - the club's president at the time was a sound engineer! So he was able to poke lots of holes in the arguments made by the people making the complaints and had access to some fairly sophisticated measuring equipment and the knowledge to use it.

It turned out that all the complaints stopped when one jerk moved away.

Anyway, as most people know vegetation of almost any type goes a long way toward muffling sound. So does directing the sound upward when that is possible or as you found by moving away from the direct emission of the sound in your neighbor's garage. And reducing the frequency of the sound may have the effect of reducing the perceived loudness even if in fact the volume is not reduced at all. We saw that effect when model airplane 4-stroke engines came out in volume. The actual noise they produced was nearly the same as the 2-strokes but they are perceived to be much more quiet because they turn more slowly and thus have a lower frequency.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Removing stuck battery from maglite flashlight? zinger1457 Other topics 19 10-07-2014 02:59 PM
Need help - Best flashlight for home use Amethyst Other topics 30 12-06-2011 02:22 PM
Suggestion needed: Flashlight-style with flexible handle? Orchidflower Other topics 16 04-09-2009 06:53 PM
Now This Is A Flashlight poboy Other topics 10 03-04-2008 01:07 PM
Flashlight TromboneAl Other topics 22 11-07-2007 06:02 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:44 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.