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Bad storms Monday, shtf!!

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Kingfish, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Well this week we get to test our preparedness. Monday Morning power was knocked out to my area. Power company says thursday evening before it will be restored. My first response was like most people. It will be back on in a couple of hours. When it did not come on I switched my mind set to (its not coming back on) . My first act was to change the oil in my 3000 watt Honda generator and gas it up. Honda ran great and is powering this computer,my freezer and refrigerator. I have 60 gallons of gas so Im good to go. However we are with out the means to pump water. I hauled up 10 gallons from the lake for the two toilets. Our refrigerated water is going to run out by tomorrow so Ill be hooking up the Generac 8000 watt to my emergency propane tank and running my pump to fill several of our 7.5 gallon water tanks. Cooking will be done on the weber Grill and the camp stove tonight. Dinner will be barbecued Chicken Breasts and fresh Broccoli from the garden.

    Ill let you all know how the first test of the Big Generator goes. I dont have the transfer switch installed yet so Ill be back feeding it into the panel through a 40 amp 240 breaker. Ill turn off the 100 amp main in that panel so I dont send power out into the lines. I should be pumping water by this afternoon. This will be a good test for us. Kingfish
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    A most excellent test situation, except for the water problem. I got my transfer arrangement in place to power part of the house, including the well pump, water tank (propane fueled, electric controls) reefer, minimal lights and the comms gear (wireless phone, one TV, and 'puter.) It's a matter of shifting the breakers, plugging in the gennie and away I go for about 12 hours between fillups of the gennie tank. Gasoline, but still --

    You don't need a full blown transfer switch setup unless you are powering the whole house, soup to nuts. You can (as I'm sure you know) set up a sub panel with the critical loads fed from the main panel or the gennie, breakers mechanically interlocked so it's fed by either the main or the gennie. About a pile of FRNS cheaper that way.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I only have one comment. Make very sure that you have very clear instructions printed out and posted at the Transfer Point, and that EVERYONE in the household is familiar with the procedure, so if you are not around, they can both start the Backup Power, make the correct breaker settings, and reverse these things to go back to normal Power. ..... YMMV.....
  4. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Well , I was not able to use the new Generator as I do not have the proper couplers to hook up my 100 pound cylinder. I was going to back feed the 240 into a twin 40 amp breaker that feeds my shop but also lacked the 8 gauge wire to hook up so decided to get water from my in laws who had power. Total failure on our part. Im glad this wasnt the big one.[beat] . The good news is the Honda is still working great and the refrigerator and freezer are doing fine. I have used about 6 gallons of gas so far and we are now on day three. Power is supposed to be restored tomorrow. This has moved us to push finishing the installation of the Generac to the top of the list. That is the only positive thing as far as Im concerned. What has delayed getting this done is the fact that we have a cobbled up power panel set up. The house was built with an old push to set type breaker panel and another 100 amp panel was added parallel to it. This puts half the house on each panel and its a cluster fock. So we are having both panels removed and replacing them with a new 200 amp main panel and will place a new transfer switch in line then. W e decided this is the next step as we cant hook up the correct way until this is done. I could install a separate panel for the Generator but not at this time.

    My new plan is to save the 100 amp panel which is a square D. The new panel will also be a Square D. Some day when our Solar array is built Ill use that 100 amp panel for the circuits that will run off solar. Until then I have to get it all into one panel. Anyway lots of things to get done. Signing off for now as its time to shut down for couple hours. Freezer and fridge have shut off so powering down. Thanks for reading, Kingfish
  5. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    I wanted to add that I decided that it was not a good Idea to risk injury or damage by trying to cobble the new Generator. This lack of water has pushed the misses to forget about the other honey do projects and get this problem fixed NOW. KF
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Make a freakin' to do list with details and parts lists and everything you can think of. It sure saves on gas when you actually whittle away at that list. jmho, but then I am a forgetful olde phart.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Isn't it amazing, how fast Momma can get worried about things when the lights don't work..... Yea, I hear ya, KF.... Lots of things get put on the back burner, when the lights go out....
  8. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Yup, she wanted that dry wall done in the garage, then the damned wall painted at the back of the house then those stupid pine trees pulled so we could plant spruce[beat] . First time that Air conditioning shut down and it hot and humid, no shower, etc. She says why cant we use the Generac? I just sighed and [dunno] . So we tore up her honey do list and now we have a new list. It starts with getting a new panel and transfer switch installed. No more forking around with this crap. I called an electrician a couple hours ago. I am going to get everything done this time including the prep for a solar array. HEY!!! power just came back on air conditioning just fired up. Got go and shut down the Genny and plug everything back in the walls. KF
  9. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Well, I had an interesting object lesson in 'assumption' when my power got knocked out a few weeks back. I live literally within sight of the local power plant, and had always thought - "I'm on the main leg and will always have power unless the plant's offline!"
    Turns out about two thousand of us in this AO get our power from a substation ten miles outside town down the highway! A transformer there burned, and we lost power for about three hours TIL they rerouted. Happened in the evening, so I just switched the bedroom fan from wall AC to 12VDC power, got the LED lantern nearby, and went to bed early!

    I also keep about forty gallons of drinking/cooking water stored, in a mixture of various containers - the largest the 7-gallon Reliance Aquatainers, then some one gallon water bottles, and a bunch of one-quart bottles. It all gets changed out and retreated periodically. Storage is split between three different areas, so home damage doesn't take out my whole supply!
  10. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    We have a bunch of those 7 gallon aquatainers. We filled two of them and that got us through no problem. I talked with the electrician today and he is coming Friday and we are going to get this done. Looks like we might be going with two panels and splitting the 240 items into one and 120 into the other. This way I can start getting an inverter,battery setup hooked up for our 120 volt stuff and use the Generac for the 240 appliances. Both will be set up with transfer switches. I will be able to charge the battery bank with wind, solar, my Honda, My tractor, wood gas or any other power source. Im thinking this is the best way for us to go. It has all the long term possibilities covered as well as short term comfort during those power outages where you know its coming back in three days. Kingfish
    Sapper John and BTPost like this.
  11. Spring Tom

    Spring Tom Monkey+

    thanks for the reminders
  12. Wolfgang2000

    Wolfgang2000 Monkey++

    Kingfish, Shouldn't that 8 KW gen set run your well? I know my 10.5 runs everything even the A/C.

    I'm working on a propane fuel back up for mine also.I'm just not there yet.

    I keep a minimum of 15 gallons of gas on hand as an emergency reserve. That should give me about 3 day if I don't get stupid, and turn it off at night.

    by all means having a professional installed plug and transfer switch it the best way to go.

    Years ago my son fixed me up what is sometimes call a dead man cord. We put a connection in the middle, thus no hot prongs, thus we removed the dead part. We back fed through my drier plug. It worked well for a couple hurricanes.
  13. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Wolfgang, Yes it will run up to two of my 240 appliances.

    Our electrician came today and we agreed on the two panel system. This is going to be easy and will work real well. Right now we have a newer Square D 100 amp panel in parallel with an old 60 amp push button type which was the original panel. The previous owners had the second panel added so they could run Central Air and some other circuits. The plan is to replace the old panel with another 100 amp panel that matches the other Square D. SO ILL HAVE TWO PARALLEL 100 AMP MAINS. He is going to run new wire from the meter into a pair of transfer switches and from them to the panels. We will hook the Generac into one of the transfer switches leading to the panel which will hold my 240 volt stuff, well pump, Central Air, Range, Hot water heater and clothes dryer. The other transfer switch will feed the panel with all of our 120 volt breakers like our lights, wall outlets and my shop. Ill be putting a pair of 20 amp Outback inverters into that panels transfer switch powering our 120 circuits. Battery banks and charge controllers to follow. Once I have the batteries ,charge controllers and inverters in place then I can use several different means of charging the batteries.

    Now to go back a little even before I wire in the Inverters. I have the 3000 watt 120 volt Honda to use short term. So there will be a parallel plug for the Honda. This system is very versatile and will allow me to walk now and run later meaning I can add in my solar system as I get the parts. Eventually Ill have half of the house off the Grid and the other half with the ability to run one hour per week for 20 years on propane.

    This is our mid range plan. I do also hope I have time to replace that well pump with a lower amperage one that can run on solar. Nadja and others here have convinced me to buy new appliances which will make that second panel able to run on two 20 amp inverters. I think its very doable. What I love about using the battery banks is that there are so many ways to charge them. Solar, wind, gasoline, Sterling engine running on wood fire and even a wood gasifier fueling a generator. Methane powered, Bio fuels, alcohol etc. The inverters and battery banks will give us that versatility to use every charging method we can come up with.

    Anyway the first 500 bucks got spent today. He starts next week and said it will take about 5 to 6 hours to wire it up. I have to set the Generac this weekend. Its a heavy sum bitch and I am going to need lots of help getting that thing down to the house from my garage. Prayers will be accepted ha ha ha , Thanks for reading. Kingfish
  14. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    did you allow for a horse powered generator like i drew :p
    a cow, goat, dog or human could turn it in an emergency
  15. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Any form of charger will work. The old mule going in circles comes to mind. If it can turn a generator fast enough through sheer power or gearing its a battery charger. KF
  16. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    there are a few low rpm perm magnet generators online
    full DIY plans and instructions
    i have one here for 120 VAC 3 phase
  17. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    I have been looking at them and stirling engines. Also wood gas . I like the magnetic engines chances when it comes to charging batteries for an electric car. Solar though expensive is still the only real clean power that requires very little help to work. Several guys here are grid free and they have the set ups down. I am working my way in that direction. This is why I went the way I did. Its like having that security blanket(the grid) on one side of the switch and self reliance on the other side of the switch. KF
    BTPost likes this.
  18. Wolfgang2000

    Wolfgang2000 Monkey++

    Sorry for the delaied responce, been dealing with some health stuff.

    Kingfish it sounds like a plan, hope it works out well.
  19. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Today the Generac started for the first time . Ill be taking some pics of the set up. All done to code legal and safe. My new tank is awesome and the splitter worked cool. I have a 100 pound cylinder to use for short term stuff so we can keep 4 of those right beside the 500 gallon tank. Now to get it all wired up. Im going to start a new thread for those who are working towards a generator setup. Ill ahve all the details in that post tomorrow. Kingfish
    Cephus and BTPost like this.
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