Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Sandhill Crane, Feb 9, 2019.
Lost power this morning for about an hour. Did not drag out the generator.
You need a generator with the setting to run full out so it runs a steady voltage. My lennox furnace wont run on my generator but my wood furnace will. The lennox has a circuit board the wood furnace is just a motor.
Some generators ramp up and down with the amount of power that is being drawn and others have the switch so that they run full out and at a constant steady voltage.
could be a 240 v0lt blower? some stoves are 240 volt.
I've not found any reference to this in on-line generator descriptions. Hard to know what the choices are then. I see inverter mentioned in welder ads.
Edit: More snow, rain, freezing rain this morning. 28º and 18 mph winds. School closings in much of southwest Michigan.
I think this is what you are looking for.
If it looks like it could be a suit case, it's an inverter genny. The spec that you're looking for is usually called something like "waveform". The value will have "pure" or "modified" in the description.
Thank you. Very, very helpful.
Another term is duty cycle, and from the chart, greatly effects run times, by more than 50%.
Are you pointing out that duty cycle is important, or are you asking what it is?
I have a 4000 watt Coleman generator I wire right into the a 30 amp 220 volt breaker on the panel. I turn off the main breaker coming into the house before I do anything so I am isolated from the electric company. With wood heat and a well I can power the rest of the house without a problem but I don't run items that pull a lot of amperage. The generator runs my well pump no problem. A tank of gasoline on the generator runs up to 12 hours. I have run up to a week without power. My parents are older so I get them going as well, he has a bigger generator with electric start and a plate that covers the main breaker so when you are in backup mode the main can't be switched on. I got them a Vermont Castings Radiance LP Gas Heater with remote setup last year and that heats the house with ease. My Dad had a heart attack a while back so hauling firewood into the house is not an option anymore. Down here in NC we rarely see single digits as you all see up North. A lot of 30s and 40s throughout the Winter here.
This same 4000 watt generator ran my house in NY when I lived there 20 years ago. It ran the well pump and oil fired boiler without a problem. Some appliances don't take much to run, you just have to understand the load you need to run.
You really have to be careful if you have a lot of sensitive electronics that you are going to be running with a generator. A lot of older or some the the cheaper generator's don't control voltage real well and the wave length is not good for electronics. Had a buddy that moved to a acreage a couple years ago and bought a older generator off CL list for a good price. His house is a newer house with a lot of electronics and already wired for a generator. I said I would just install one of those permanent mount self start generators he had the money. When the first storm hit he plugged in the old generator and got the house powered up. By the time the power came back on two days later he had burned up furnace board,ref board, wife's laptop,and one garage door opener. He now has a permanent mount generator. His wife was pissed she was a city gal and had never been out of juice.
From this forum I've learned a generator is a generator, but .... you can screw up real quick by assuming a generator is just a generator, if you don't know what it is generating. It's a complicated world.
Well it's good to check what voltage your generator puts out. Laptops can handle a very wide range of voltages, they may have had a surge of some kind. I have never had any issues like that and my generator is 25 years old. Never had any problems at my Dad's house either. Seems like a lot of people have issues using generators.
Duty cycle - the percentage of time that something is "on". For example, a welder with a 25% duty cycle will require 45 minutes of down time for every 15 minutes of work. Not that you use it for 15 minutes straight, but you get the idea.
For generators, you can run them for hours. Where the percentage comes into play is in fuel consumption. The fixed tank size will last for X hours at YY% load. The heavier the load, the more fuel you burn to support the load, the shorter your fixed fuel supply lasts.
To keep this within the 'firewood' thread, our Defiant VC is burning nicely as I read these comments. Outside is an inch of new snow from last night capped with a thick crust of ice. Scared the crap out of my wife a moment ago when the ice cleared off the skylights and slid completely off the roof. Rather noisy!
I'm not as prepared as a lot of you guys, but I'm a heck of a lot better prepared than most of my neighbors.
I heat primarily with wood, with a gas furnace as backup. Always have plenty of wood on hand. My back-up power is a Honda EU2000i. There is always a few days worth of gas here for it (I've also got a 6 gallon extended run external gas tank for it). I can run the essential things with it... fridge, lights, gas water heater, etc. I don't worry about TV or internet when the power is out because if it is out at home, it is out at the stinkin cable company too. I cook on the wood stove regularly, so I can do so in an outage as our kitchen stove is electric. We are on city water but we always have several days worth on hand in case.
The longest we have ever been out was just under two days. Several years ago we had a wicked ice storm. We never lost power, but neighbors a block away were out over eight days.
I'm always trying to improve, and this summer I will make it so I can run the furnace off generator power if needed.
Our only heat is fire wood. In case of a power outage we have a 7500 watt genny we hook to the transfer box. I cut the power for the barn and have 3500 Watt genny I use there when I need power.
Keep about 20 gallons of fuel on at a time and cycle it about every two months now. Use the creek for flushing duty .
My Brother in Law would loose power if some one two counties over sneezed. Finally installed a whole house hooked to his propane tank. It is a Briggs & Stratton model a bit less money than the common genarac model.
We are going to get a whole unit installed soon and hook it to the natural gas piped to out house. If we are going to spend thre money we will have enough back uop to power every thing.
If we had a big LP tank or NG on site, I would definitely check out a different gennie setup.
I like gasoline and propane for powering a backup generator. Natural gas, not so much. Call me overly concerned, but I like the idea of having the fuel in my possession, not relying on someone (or someone's system) to deliver the fuel as needed.
In the event of a MAJOR event (storm, earthquake, zombie apocalypse) where there could be wide spread damage, the first public services to get turned off are usually electrical and natural gas. If your backup genny runs on natural gas, it's worth little more than its scrap metal value until gas service is restored - which may take only hours or take many days depending on the level of damage needing repair.
I think this is a bit funny. I have a 500 gallon propane tank and propane is my enemy. However if I had natural gas then yes I'd have a stand by generator and all gas appliances. When you are limited to the supply of propane, because it's expensive and in a tank, it's no different than having a gas or diesel generator. Some may disagree. But I'll trade convenience for a few days of harder work because let's face it if I lost power in the middle of winter my propane is already half gone so I'm not making it more than a few days with a stand by generator running 24/7 so I can watch TV and pretend nothing is wrong.
If my power is out it's because I didn't pay the bill When I was young I got good at pulling the tabs and getting the power back up. Room mates were terrible bill payers. There are not many folks around here with backup power. I have an onan that came out of a motor home. Bought it at an auction for pennies because it did not have a fuel station. Rigged a 25 gallon boat tank and mounted it on a yard cart. Would do the trick but I have not been out of power for more than 3 hours in 20 years.
Separate names with a comma.