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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2019, 8:29 PM
ohsmily ohsmily is offline
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Default Generator selection - dual fuel - SEE CHART

I would like a backup generator for my 4300 sq. ft. home. The capacity of the generators below will allow me to run most of my home during an outage (I will shut down pool and spa pumps and only run one of my two central AC units). It will run with an interlock switch; not a standby backup.

I would like dual fuel for flexibility. It is attractive for me to be able to store several full propane tanks in lieu of managing and rotating stored gasoline. That and gasoline may not be available from the local stations in a large blackout. However, the flexibility of using gasoline is still attractive for various reasons.

I anticipate that this generator will be used fewer than 10x per year and hopefully never for more than a day or so.

Any thoughts, feedback, suggestions regarding the four compared below? Any alternates in a similar price range that are preferable?

Thank you in advance.



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  #2  
Old 07-09-2019, 9:34 PM
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While attractive, how much propane and how many tanks are you willing to buy and store? Your typical 20# BBQ size tank will run these gennys for only about 3 hours with your AC on.
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Old 07-09-2019, 9:37 PM
ohsmily ohsmily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-forceJunkie View Post
While attractive, how much propane and how many tanks are you willing to buy and store? Your typical 20# BBQ size tank will run these gennys for only about 3 hours with your AC on.
I figure 3-5 tanks or perhaps a couple of 30 gallon ones. I haven't looked into the logistics but i would consider buying and storing a 100 gallon tank or two and moving them on a dolly if that works with the generator and is safe/lawful. But you're right, either way that is rather fast consumption of fuel.

Running the AC would be a luxury and would be used to keep the house at a habitable temperature (below 80 or 82 degrees) in the event of a summer outage. I live outside of Sacramento in the foothills and it can get rather hot.

Thank you for the feedback.
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Last edited by ohsmily; 07-09-2019 at 9:42 PM..
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2019, 7:49 AM
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There are really good reasons why Honda generators of comparable wattage cost twice as much. Something you might want to research and consider.
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Old 07-10-2019, 8:06 AM
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you need to check and see if your A/C units are three phase or single phase 220/240. first.

then look at the generator output. that Firman lists 6 gallons per hour. check the MFG website.
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Old 07-10-2019, 8:10 AM
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Wait for homedepot sales, they have a lot better price generator’s
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2019, 8:18 AM
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Keep in mind that the wattage listed on those will be max when using gasoline. The output will be less when running propane. Running watt's on my dual fuel is 7500 gasoline, and 6750 LPG. Not a huge difference but enough to matter depending on what you're trying to run. My generator's will go to necessity item's, frige, freezer and well.
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Old 07-10-2019, 8:53 AM
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Reefer, fans, water and comms are my priority items to keep going during an outage. Running AC and my pool pump will never make it to that short list. The more you load your genny the more fuel you use up.

My power goes out in the winter time on a regular basis. I use a Yamaha with an easy button starter. I keep a 12V deep cycle battery trickle charging as a backup in case genny's batt gags.
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Old 07-10-2019, 9:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohsmily View Post
I figure 3-5 tanks or perhaps a couple of 30 gallon ones. I haven't looked into the logistics but i would consider buying and storing a 100 gallon tank or two and moving them on a dolly if that works with the generator and is safe/lawful. But you're right, either way that is rather fast consumption of fuel.

Thank you for the feedback.
Watch out that you don't confuse a 100 pound propane tank with a 100 gallon propane tank. A 100 pound tank holds about 24 gallons of propane and is transportable with a dolly or can be rolled around by hand. You can transport them to town to be filled by yourself.

A 100 gallon tank comes in around 420 pounds and is hardly transportable once filled on site by a propane truck. You might be able to transport one to town for filling but the propane seller will demand the tank be set on the ground before they will fill it. Good luck with that.

I mention this so you don't think in your calculation that you are going to buy from Home Depot what you may mistakenly be calling a 100 gallon tank which is actually a 100 pound tank that holds 24 gallons.
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Old 07-10-2019, 9:14 AM
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I'm on my phone, so maybe I missed it. ALL of those are gonna be loud. I dont see any db ratings. Suggest an enclosed?
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2019, 12:54 PM
ohsmily ohsmily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freonr22 View Post
I'm on my phone, so maybe I missed it. ALL of those are gonna be loud. I dont see any db ratings. Suggest an enclosed?
You did miss it. They are listed at between 72-74dB. Noise is not a big concern, anyway, where I am located.
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Last edited by ohsmily; 07-10-2019 at 12:58 PM..
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2019, 12:55 PM
ohsmily ohsmily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baih777 View Post
you need to check and see if your A/C units are three phase or single phase 220/240. first.

then look at the generator output. that Firman lists 6 gallons per hour. check the MFG website.
What difference does it make with respect to generator choice?

Is there an easy way to tell visibly on the AC equipment without using a voltmeter?
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Last edited by ohsmily; 07-10-2019 at 1:00 PM..
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2019, 1:18 PM
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Are you in town or on property?
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2019, 2:24 PM
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Are you in town or on property?
1 acre. Some larger properties in the area.
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Old 07-10-2019, 2:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohsmily View Post
What difference does it make with respect to generator choice?

Is there an easy way to tell visibly on the AC equipment without using a voltmeter?
Take a look at the a/c unit. There should be a specification plate on the unit.
It should say single phase or three phase.
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Old 07-10-2019, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepergeo View Post
There are really good reasons why Honda generators of comparable wattage cost twice as much. Something you might want to research and consider.
There are and those reasons are sound level and most important. Durability and reliability. Also cleaner elec.

Since you are buying for an emergency. Buy once. Cry once.
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Old 07-10-2019, 3:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baih777 View Post
Take a look at the a/c unit. There should be a specification plate on the unit.
It should say single phase or three phase.
I looked at the motors that drive the fans on the outside units. They are both single phase. Is there something else to look at or is that the answer?
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Old 07-10-2019, 3:55 PM
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Quote:
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I looked at the motors that drive the fans on the outside units. They are both single phase. Is there something else to look at or is that the answer?
That's it. Now look at the specs of the 220v outlets on the generators.
I tried looking up a couple of those and did not see the specs.
Maybe the mfg websites might have more info.

Also check your pool pump. Should be 220v also. I know you said you would just turn them off. But I have seen people use the pool pump to run a fire hose. That's another story.
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Old 07-10-2019, 4:43 PM
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I purchased the Champion 7500 watt duel fuel from tractor supply. I like being able to test run it on propane and store and not worry about the carburetor varnishing up. If the SHTF, I have plenty of gasoline in my four vehicles and fuel cans, plus 5 20# propane tanks to keep the fridge and freezer going for awhile.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...electric-start
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Old 07-10-2019, 8:45 PM
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I have a champion propane generator I got on sale at HD. It does well - I charge the battery (also has a pull start) and fire it up once or twice a year. I have it primarily for my well pump.

I have a propane oven and hot water heater. The generator can run a freezer and a small a/c when have in a casita. In addition to that, I have a battery pack charged up that will open my garage, run a light and charge my cell phones.

I like these tanks. Propane guy will fill up when they get low. Store outside in the shade. They are at the height of the generator and are easy to move around. Friend has the 100 lb tank and it’s inconvenient to get filled up and move around.
FlameKing YSN-301 Propane Tank-30 Pound Refillable Steel Cylinder with Type 1 Overflow Protection Device Valve-DOT and TC Compliant, 30 lb, White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003UHVVV2..._WORjDb5HR15T7

https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/poweroutage2013.html
You can get gallon size jugs, fill with water and leave in the freezer.
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Old 07-12-2019, 5:41 PM
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I also purchased the Champion DF 10,000 generator. I keep 3 additional 40 pound cylinders in the shed in addition to the 3 20s I keep for the grill. I also purchased a natural gas adapter so I have 3 fuel choices.
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