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Author Topic: Power outage  (Read 4180 times)

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Offline Dean186

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2011, 09:11:45 PM »
I have a similar setup to Hockeyguy.  I just switch a few essential circuits to an outlet where a portable generator could be connected.

Offline gspren

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2011, 09:14:23 PM »
  I have lived on this farm for over 25 years and have gotten by with portable generators but as I said in my earlier post if I am away hunting or fishing for a week a standby would keep the wife comfy. Also fooling with generators when it's freezing rain and windy isn't as easy when your 60 as it was a few years ago. The people I know that bought standbys are happy because of the peace of mind they give on stormy nights.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Offline doctorb

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2011, 09:34:05 PM »
I think I could have easily gotten by with a similar set-up.  I chose to run the built-in instead because we already had propane for the cooktop of the stove,which I prefer.  It was pretty easy, with a buried propane tank already in the ground, to decide on the built-in generator.  We don't have the whole house connected by any means, which is an over-luxurious waste, IMO.  My 100 gal tank runs my generator for 5 days 24/7.  Even when the power is out, the propane guy delivers!  Very happy with the set-up as I don't have to be home for the family to have selected portions of our house get emergency power. 
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline Norm

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2011, 06:40:52 AM »
I agree, last thing I want to be doing is going out in the weather to hook up, try to start, and keep fueling a portable generator. Our well pump alone takes up most of the portable ones capacity especially with it cycling. We lose power often enough but I worry about when I'm not home Patty having to mess with it.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2011, 08:37:14 AM »
We're set up with the generator plugging in to the side of the house and backfeeding a breaker on our main panel. There is a mechanical interlock that prevents you from turning on the generator unless you have first turned off the Main disconnect).

The advantage of this is that we can choose to energize any circuit in the house. We have blue dots near the critical loads for winter, and orange for those in the summer (some are marked with both). We just flip on the breakers we'll need, depending on what we want to do. We can still energize any other circuit we need.

We've never found hooking up and starting to be an issue. We're outside in all kinds of weather anyway, hiking, snowshoeing, or just checking on the animals. It's as simple as plugging in an extension cord, and starting a lawnmower. If we want to run on propane instead of gas, we plug a hose on the generator into a quick-disconnect and opens a valve (quicker than hooking up and turning on a garden hose). The most intimidating part for Kim was flipping circuit breakers in the panel -- not sure why that's the tough part for her, but she got over it after trying it a couple times. If we're running off the 500 gallon propane tank, refueling is not an issue.

The nicest part is that little generator just sips the fuel. I've sometimes debated going up a size (5 or 6 KW), or perhaps going to one of the pure sine wave inverter-based generators, but haven't made that jump.

When my brother was up for a visit, he was impressed with the set-up, but remarked: You know the times I remember most growing up? The times we lost power, and cooked on the Coleman stove, a propane camping lantern, and used flashlights until they started to run out, and then switched to candles. I remember that too. As kids it was quite an adventure. I think the generator may have to stay down for a bit on our next power outage.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2011, 09:44:32 PM »
My OWB is a water tube boiler and will overheat.I have a small holding relay hooked up to 110v if the power goes out it switches on an inverter to power a taco pump to keep some water moving.I use a trickle charger on a 12v battery to maintain it.When the power comes on it automatically switches back.For longer term outages I hook up a small gen. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline countryboy1

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2012, 10:14:48 PM »
Why take a chance with the furnace?  If the power goes out and you have a standby there is no chance of $$$$ damage from no electric service.  The cost of freeze damage would be quickly paid for with standby service.  A small tractor with pto generator or a portable unit will do for a start.  I started with pto gen, then an old military 5000 watt that didn t know it was small.  I now have a 20kw diesel (bought used with 16 hrs).  I can run the house and shop and forget what the weather is doing and have heat and electric.  You coud also attach a small generator to a 15-20 hp lawn tractor.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2012, 11:27:50 PM »
You coud also attach a small generator to a 15-20 hp lawn tractor.

Have you ever done that? The governor on lawn tractors will not hold RPMs under varying load, which can cause you some real problems with frequency and voltage variation. There is more to making that work than just figuring out the mechanical drive linkage to a generator head
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline countryboy1

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2012, 09:25:17 PM »
Good Point.  But, have done that many times with large pto generators and larger farm tractors.  You still have to watch and take note if the power varies.  We run milking equipment and the home when power is out.  If its extended for days we shut it down at bedtime. 

Offline John Mc

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2012, 09:35:23 PM »
The governor on a farm tractor is a whole lot more suited to the task than a lawn tractor. Not to mention that the torque is quite a bit better on a "real" tractor as opposed to a lawn tractor.

I'm not saying it can't be done to use a lawn tractor to run a generator, but to do it right (for anything other than a relatively "steady-state" electrical load) will take more than just getting the engine to spin the generator head.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline wayno12

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Re: Power outage
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2012, 11:01:13 AM »
I show about a 400 watt draw when my Taco 009 pump is running and the boiler is firing.


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