Stand by generator


Just Bob
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Just lost power for the 2nd time in 24hrs, (working off of generator now) we average about 7 multi-day outages a year.   I have a backup generator wired into a homemade transfer switch, but it is limited to 30 amps, curious if anyone is using and can recommend a whole house standby generator.

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Don't know much about them. They make some that will run off of natural gas or propane which sounds easier than hauling fuel . My dad has a big one that is a pain in the ass to start. A client has one with a Kohler engine, separate panel and starts automatically. Runs 60% of the house including the HVAC.

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At work we have standby gasoline generators, and every month someone has to run them to keep them working.  Preventative maintenance twice a year, I think.  Gasoline engines don't like being ignored for years between uses.  If you have multiple power outages a year, I guess that wouldn't be a problem.

I plan to get an inverter that's big enought to power my fridge, etc.  I figure I already have a car that I run and maintain, anyway, so I might as well use that as the gasoline engine and generator, and just use an inverter to give me AC power.  I don't know if a truck could generate enough power to run your whole house.

 

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Maybe if the truck was on a treadmill it could run your house but your alternator can only produce so many watts before it maxes out.

The gas today has alcohol in it and doesn't store well. The gas stations around here recently started carrying no alcohol gas for mowers & small engines. I would either get that or use one of those fuel stabilizer additives.

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I just use the one I use at jobsites occasionally.  We need it so rarely, and I have way too much different small equipment to start it every month, that I just keep a spare carburetor near where I store the generator.  It doesn't get used for years at the time, so about a 50% chance that it will start next time.  I think the last time we lost power was Hurricane Isabel, and it was a good thing I had the spare carb, because I needed it.  I run non-ethanol in all small equipment, but if left for years at the time, even after running all the fuel out of it, chances are not the best for it being ready to go years down the road.  Replacement carbs are cheap now.

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20 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Bob, it sounds like you live in a rural area, is there a chance you own a tractor with PTO? There are PTO driven generator units available that would save you an extra engine to maintain, although manual intervention would be required to power it up.

I have looked into the PTO driven gens, problem is the tractor is tied up for storm clean up and other duties.   I still have a bunch of downed alder from last year's storms, was going to make a roubo...maybe next year:ph34r:.  I wanted a surplus military gen, but those are really hit and miss and spare parts are an issue.  I am going to look into the ones from Costco,  see where it goes.

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