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Old 11-02-2012, 07:41 PM   #181
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Obviously, one has to stock up on gasoline before hand, or be ready to siphon some from a car. It would not be long-term, only for some comfort until power is restored.

It's tough if one is stuck in the city. But if in the suburb, I would think keeping the fridge running a few hours a day to keep the food from spoiling would be good. Also, it's to have power to charge a battery for some lighting at night, or to run a microwave to prepare food. I don't think I would run the genny 24 hrs/day.

As said earlier, we never have to prepare for anything like this in the SW. The only serious problem for me would be being out of power in a heatwave, and the only way to survive would be to get out of town. Here, when people's home A/C quits in the summer, they have to leave home to check into a motel. That's about the only hazard that has happened in my almost 40 years living here.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:06 PM   #182
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Obviously, one has to stock up on gasoline before hand, or be ready to siphon some from a car. It would not be long-term, only for some comfort until power is restored.

It's tough if one is stuck in the city. But if in the suburb, I would think keeping the fridge running a few hours a day to keep the food from spoiling would be good. Also, it's to have power to charge a battery for some lighting at night, or to run a microwave to prepare food. I don't think I would run the genny 24 hrs/day.

As said earlier, we never have to prepare for anything like this in the SW. The only serious problem for me would be being out of power in a heatwave, and the only way to survive would be to get out of town. Here, when people's home A/C quits in the summer, they have to leave home to check into a motel. That's about the only hazard that has happened in my almost 40 years living here.
Note that parts of Phoenix are subject to flooding but that is controllable by the choice of where one lives. Flood is of course the most controllable of risks, if you like to live on the water well ...
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #183
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I am in the foothills which if get flooded means that the most of the metro area would be invisible under the water.

But where's the water to get flooded? It hardly rains here!
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #184
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Don't these things run on gas? Heard there were long lines for gas in the storm sticken areas.

Might be good for a while but a long term solution for a major disaster? Just asking.
Depends. If you want to go whole hog, there are generators that hook up to your natural gas or propane supply and can run as long as you'd like. I don't want to go that far and I would like to have the option of bringing it camping, so a smaller generator and 10 gallons of stockpiled gasoline are a better choice for me. Every 6 months I would just dump the stockpiled gasoline into one of the cars and get fresh stuff. In a real mess, 10 gallons might get me through a couple weeks if I were conservative and if it took longer than that I might be more worried about looters or simply getting out of Dodge.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #185
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Depends. If you want to go whole hog, there are generators that hook up to your natural gas or propane supply and can run as long as you'd like. I don't want to go that far and I would like to have the option of bringing it camping, so a smaller generator and 10 gallons of stockpiled gasoline are a better choice for me. Every 6 months I would just dump the stockpiled gasoline into one of the cars and get fresh stuff. In a real mess, 10 gallons might get me through a couple weeks if I were conservative and if it took longer than that I might be more worried about looters or simply getting out of Dodge.
There is a big advantage in propane if you have the space for tanks, it does not degrade with time, whereas gasoline does. (Although something like stabil does give you a year. I don't know what stabil would do to a car if you put the gasoline in it. It has worked well when I had a 1 1/2 year period where due to drought the yard did not need mowing, and the gasoline evaporated to dry. Bought a new battery for the mower and in 90 sec the mower started (riding mower). So one could then add stabil and get a number of 5 gal jugs and rotate them into the car and refill.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #186
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I looked for a portable genset that runs on propane, but you are talking about big honkin' sets that very much stretch the definition of "portable."
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #187
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If you decide to get the Honda EU2000i, I remember that there's a propane conversion kit for it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:48 PM   #188
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If you decide to get the Honda EU2000i, I remember that there's a propane conversion kit for it.
Interesting. Only problem is that between the genset and the conversion kit it would be double the cost of the costco alternative.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:01 PM   #189
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I looked for a portable genset that runs on propane, but you are talking about big honkin' sets that very much stretch the definition of "portable."
Go to the northern tool web site and there are a number of propane generators from 3000 to 9000 watts in the 600 to 1000 range. Then if you don't already have a propane tank a 120 gal tank would be about $500. (This should run 4-5 days at 1/2 load depending on the generator)
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:21 PM   #190
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Go to the northern tool web site and there are a number of propane generators from 3000 to 9000 watts in the 600 to 1000 range. Then if you don't already have a propane tank a 120 gal tank would be about $500. (This should run 4-5 days at 1/2 load depending on the generator)
These have drawbacks that I don't think I can live with, namely much bigger/heavier, noisier, cruder power output. That said, its clear I have a bunch of research to do.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:25 PM   #191
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In a real mess, 10 gallons might get me through a couple weeks if I were conservative and if it took longer than that I might be more worried about looters or simply getting out of Dodge.
And the 10 gallons of gas can be turned into 200 miles of range in the truck/RV if you make the decision to scoot and the local gas stations are closed. Also, I suppose if you needed to trade for something, gasoline could be a valuable currency.

But it's dangerous stuff to keep around. I think a well-ventilated outbuilding is probably the safest answer.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #192
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And the 10 gallons of gas can be turned into 200 miles of range in the truck/RV if you make the decision to scoot and the local gas stations are closed. Also, I suppose if you needed to trade for something, gasoline could be a valuable currency.

But it's dangerous stuff to keep around. I think a well-ventilated outbuilding is probably the safest answer.
I have a shed in the backyard that should do the job well. As far as danger, we also have 4 or 5 propane tanks kicking around at any given time. All about being appropriately careful.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:51 PM   #193
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These have drawbacks that I don't think I can live with, namely much bigger/heavier, noisier, cruder power output. That said, its clear I have a bunch of research to do.
Actually all they have to do is change the the fuel system. If you look a number of the pictures look like the gasoline generators. Basically with changes in carberation a gas engine is quite happy on propane or indeed natural gas. The conversion kits all deal with the carburetor changing the fuel elements. So I don't suspect the small units should be noiser than when running on gasoline, and its hard to see how they would have more crude power output than a gasoline generator, in that class since the same spin is provided to the generator no matter the fuel.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:55 PM   #194
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Actually all they have to do is change the the fuel system. If you look a number of the pictures look like the gasoline generators. Basically with changes in carberation a gas engine is quite happy on propane or indeed natural gas. The conversion kits all deal with the carburetor changing the fuel elements. So I don't suspect the small units should be noiser than when running on gasoline, and its hard to see how they would have more crude power output than a gasoline generator, in that class since the same spin is provided to the generator no matter the fuel.

Agreed. What I have in mind is an inverter generator that I can lift without killing myself. Out of the box they all run only on gasoline, as far as I can tell. The issues have nothing to do with the fuel source.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:03 PM   #195
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Agreed. What I have in mind is an inverter generator that I can lift without killing myself. Out of the box they all run only on gasoline, as far as I can tell. The issues have nothing to do with the fuel source.
So you are really looking for what would be called an RV generator, since they are most commonly used in RVs this suggests looking at RV stores as well.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:05 PM   #196
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So you are really looking for what would be called an RV generator, since they are most commonly used in RVs this suggests looking at RV stores as well.
Pretty much. Easier to justify if I can use the backup generator for camping.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:46 PM   #197
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I think I posted this before. This is the inverter generator I have:

Amazon.com: Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator (CARB Compliant): Patio, Lawn & Garden

It's light and pretty quiet. It also has an economy mode to conserve gas. I used to store 20 gallons of gas for it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:33 PM   #198
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A few guys who worked thru the storm...

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Old 11-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #199
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My late father was an electrician. Family legend (kept alive by older siblings) has it that when the sump pump failed during a power outage and the basement was filling with water, he hooked up something or other to a bicycle and kept pedaling the bicycle to keep the sump pump running...he had been a bike racer in his youth, and loved to come up with idiosyncratic solutions to practical problems, so I believe the legend.

Just wish I knew what the something-or-other was!

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Here's an old-fashioned way to generate power to charge cell phones: a bike-driven dynamo.

PS. Photo linked from Bloomberg. See: Blackout Backlash Builds as Sandy Slow Recovery Drags Out - Bloomberg

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Old 11-03-2012, 03:12 PM   #200
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I'm glad NYC (and even ING) came to their senses and canceled the marathon.

"Hey, you can't have that generator for your house, we need it for the media tent! Now move out of that hotel room so the runners who reserved it last year can have it for their weekend..."

As New York City Marathon Sponsor, ING Comes Under Fire - Businessweek

As always the comments are particularly interesting. Imagine how much more interesting they could be if everyone who wanted to comment actually had the electricity and bandwidth to do so...
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