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The Generator Thread

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sooooo....after installing a motorsnorkel a few years ago....i finally picked up a hose amd regulator.....got it all running this afternoon and the generac 7550exl spooled up...

 

Had to get it set right but runs well on idle control and full power.

 

The idea for me was always to use gasoline...i do keep like 30gal on hand....but to use propane for short term use...

If you were going to use propane solely.....to be the equivalent BTU of 30gal of raw gas...

 

(I'm drinking some bourbon and too lazy to do math... :) )

 

what are you propane guys running?  

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3 hours ago, USRifle30Cal said:

The idea for me was always to use gasoline...i do keep like 30gal on hand....but to use propane for short term use...

If you were going to use propane solely.....to be the equivalent BTU of 30gal of raw gas...

what are you propane guys running?  

I run mine on only propane, a grill tank gets me 20 hours. According to the manual, 1.6 gallons of gas the tank holds will run 8 hours,  doing the math 4 gallons of gas would be the same runtime of a propane tank. 

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I guess i should rephrase my question...

 

What is the preferred method of fueling it..?

15lb bbq type tanks?  

Other larger cylinders?

I think i read a standard bbq tank is like 3.8 gallons..but you can buy true 5 gallon cylinders.

Is there a consensus on larger capacity propane.....other than bbq tanks?

 

 

I am not here forever, at all but will take the generator with me...i assume the motor snorkel can do line gas as well......i will look into that

 

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1 propane is equivalent to 5gallons of gas.  I've used propane on my former genny throughout Sandy and was the easiest, most efficient, care free way to operate.  Long lines for gas, I just stroll up to exchange propane tanks.  5 minutes vs 2hours in the line

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42 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

I guess i should rephrase my question...

 

What is the preferred method of fueling it..?

15lb bbq type tanks?  

Other larger cylinders?

I think i read a standard bbq tank is like 3.8 gallons..but you can buy true 5 gallon cylinders.

Is there a consensus on larger capacity propane.....other than bbq tanks?

 

 

I am not here forever, at all but will take the generator with me...i assume the motor snorkel can do line gas as well......i will look into that

 

There is a different issue that is perhaps more important.

The amount of LP vapor available to burn depends on the temperature and how full the tank is.

What works at 80F may or may not work at 0F.

I did the math and my 14kw whole house will start starving if my 500 gallon tank is below 17% and the ambient temp is less than 20 degrees.

What it means to me is that if my main tank starts getting low and it is really cold out is that I have to really cut the genset usage to the absolute minimum.   In a do-over I'd have gotten a 1000 gallon tank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I run my getset on NG except to fire it up once every few months. The pluses way out weigh using gasoline . I've looked into getting a big LP tank and found Tractor Supply, loews and HD all carry them. A 40lb tank would be like having 10 gal of gas on hand and not worrying about rotating the gas cans to keep it fresh. If you already have the conversion kit, it's a no brainer. If you've ever had to fill your generator in a raining lightning storm night, you'll leave the gas cans for the lawn mower.

No a side note, if you are storing gas for any length of time I just talked to a long time small engine guy that says using hi test is the way to go. It will out last regular even treated. The alky is tuff on these small engines. And if you can get it, aviation fuel is even better long term.                                                                 

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1 hour ago, USRifle30Cal said:

I think i read a standard bbq tank is like 3.8 gallons..but you can buy true 5 gallon cylinders.

Is there a consensus on larger capacity propane.....other than bbq tanks?

A big part of the equation is convenience. Sure you can go with 40, 100 or 500 gallon tanks, but do you want to have to drag them around when you pull out the genny. 20 lb tanks are easy to store and move around. If you're worrying about a 3 month outage, and need that volume of propane, you'll have a lot bigger issues to deal with.

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19 minutes ago, SmittyMHS said:

No a side note, if you are storing gas for any length of time I just talked to a long time small engine guy that says using hi test is the way to go. It will out last regular even treated. The alky is tuff on these small engines. And if you can get it, aviation fuel is even better long term.                                                                 

AvGas does have a longer shelf life--it's very low in alkenes and alkynes which polymerize to form the 'varnish' that gums up carbs.   It's expensive...the smaller (i.e. cheaper) airports around here are selling it in the $4-$5/gallon range.   And it's leaded, slightly (much less so than the auto gas of yesteryear).  I've not encountered a generator with a catalytic converter, so trashing that isn't a concern, but don't run it in a modern auto even if the 100 octane rating is tempting.

Self-serve is legal for aircraft in NJ, which amuses me no end...if you want to look for a local avgas source, check Airnav, open the airport tab, and search for airports near you   At the bottom of each airport page you find, it will show the current fuel price, and if self serve is available.   Then you'll probably have to call the airport to see if you can access the pump; sometimes you can, often you can't get to it in a car or on foot.  The credit card readers often make you enter the aircraft tail number to start the transaction, but if they're making non-aircraft sales, they should be able to tell you the workaround for that.

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7 hours ago, SmittyMHS said:

I run my getset on NG except to fire it up once every few months. The pluses way out weigh using gasoline . I've looked into getting a big LP tank and found Tractor Supply, loews and HD all carry them. A 40lb tank would be like having 10 gal of gas on hand and not worrying about rotating the gas cans to keep it fresh. If you already have the conversion kit, it's a no brainer. If you've ever had to fill your generator in a raining lightning storm night, you'll leave the gas cans for the lawn mower.

No a side note, if you are storing gas for any length of time I just talked to a long time small engine guy that says using hi test is the way to go. It will out last regular even treated. The alky is tuff on these small engines. And if you can get it, aviation fuel is even better long term.                                                                 

Will a local.place fill a 40lb cylinder?

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9 hours ago, USRifle30Cal said:

Is there a consensus on larger capacity propane.

Years ago I had two 100# cylinders for my range.  Buying bulk was cheaper, it was considerably less than what it cost to fill five 20# tanks.  I'd throw them in my truck and go to the refilling station.  Easy peasy.

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55 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

Will a local.place fill a 40lb cylinder?

I'd find that out before I got one. I'm sure anyplace that can fill cylinders could do any size. But with the new exchange-a-cylinder thing going on recently it might  be a little harder to find a fill station.

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7 hours ago, Sniper said:

If you're worrying about a 3 month outage, and need that volume of any type of fuel, you'll have a lot bigger issues to deal with.

ftfy.

A three month outage, that's getting into prepper territory.  Might not even have NG if that happens.

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4 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

ftfy.

A three month outage, that's getting into prepper territory.  Might not even have NG if that happens.

Exactly... but the way some post here, they expect Mad Max to show up any day!

madmaxfuryroad28.jpg

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21 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

3 month outage makes me want diesel...

Add solar, wind and hydro if possible. 

An outage of that duration would require a huge storage tank.  It's only doable if one has oil heat and a very large tank.  My late father-in-law had a 600 gallon underground tank.  But that's only a 30, maybe 40 day supply, contingent on running JUST the genny.  If it's winter, then yer skrued, that turns into, maybe,  a 15 day supply because you are using it for heat too.

The bottom line, get what you can afford, get what you can handle, get what you have space for.  Above all, economize.  Also, don't put ALL of your eggs into one basket.  tri-fuel, solar and wind are probably offer the best ROI for long term security.  Shit, you can build a "wind turbine" out of a car alternator and a ceiling fan if you had to.  It's a little more complicated than slapping it all together, but it can be done.

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2 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

An outage of that duration would require a huge storage tank.  It's only doable if one has oil heat and a very large tank.  My late father-in-law had a 600 gallon underground tank.  But that's only a 30, maybe 40 day supply, contingent on running JUST the genny.

Guess what, after the first week or two, when all the other people run out of gas in their 5 gallon cans, your genny running off of that 600 gallon tank will be attracting those Mad Max guys I posted above. Your genny will be the only sound for miles.

2 hours ago, SmittyMHS said:

The thought of 3 months without power makes me want more ammo.

Wait... What.... you should already have all the ammo you'll ever need?

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3 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

The bottom line, get what you can afford, get what you can handle, get what you have space for.  Above all, economize.  Also, don't put ALL of your eggs into one basket.  tri-fuel, solar and wind are probably offer the best ROI for long term security.  Shit, you can build a "wind turbine" out of a car alternator and a ceiling fan if you had to.  It's a little more complicated than slapping it all together, but it can be done.

This is the correct answer. Relying on a genny only is bad planning (first because of the fuel situation, second, because it's a mechanical item, which can break). Batteries, solar, wind, alternative energy production, learning how to live with minimal power, etc. should ALL be part of the equation.

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6 minutes ago, Sniper said:

Guess what, after the first week or two, when all the other people run out of gas in their 5 gallon cans, your genny running off of that 600 gallon tank will be attracting those Mad Max guys I posted above. Your genny will be the only sound for miles.

Wait... What.... you should already have all the ammo you'll ever need?

Never enough.

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23 hours ago, RUTGERS95 said:

1 propane is equivalent to 5gallons of gas.  I've used propane on my former genny throughout Sandy and was the easiest, most efficient, care free way to operate.  Long lines for gas, I just stroll up to exchange propane tanks.  5 minutes vs 2hours in the line

Sandy demonstrated the intelligence of being able to run on all 3 fuels: NG, propane, gasoline.
Different areas has shortages of different fuels, and quite honestly you don't know which one will hit next time.

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1 hour ago, Sota said:

Sandy demonstrated the intelligence of being able to run on all 3 fuels: NG, propane, gasoline.
Different areas has shortages of different fuels, and quite honestly you don't know which one will hit next time.

And have redundant ways to generate power (besides a genny), as well as other necessities.

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