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Old 03-22-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
Hannda OP
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Do you use a portable generator?

Do you use a portable generator when the power goes out? Haven't upgraded to a 'whole house' natural gas unit yet, but don't want to go out in the middle of the night to top off the gas either? This looked like a clever idea.

The guy doesn't mention that he had to modify the cap for the on-board gas tank, but it's pretty obvious in the video what he's done. A couple of 5gal jerry cans should get you through the night even with a nice 5kw unit.

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Old 03-22-2015, 09:58 AM   #2
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That is a handy idea! The 2000 Hondas are kind of a pain to fill, especially when it's dark, with this a person could run an RV for a few days.

Also instead of running a large 5k gen at home a person can parallel 2 of the Honda 2000 gens and still have 1 small portable gen to use camping.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:58 AM   #3
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Even pulling a full 1500 - 1600 watts from one eu2000 a single gallon lasts over six hours. :shrug

Running two in parallel the same load would burn both tanks in about ten, at very quiet noise levels... guess I'll watch the video now
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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Redneck Rube Goldberg

Convert your generator to use gas, natural gas or propane? This guy says yes.

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Old 03-22-2015, 10:34 AM   #5
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Never need to refill gas in the night

Apparently more common than I realized.

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Old 03-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #6
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To tell the truth I've never heard of converting to propane on a small portable! Wow. Gotta find a kit for my small Honda.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:24 PM   #7
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I guess I am dumb because it isn't obvious to me what he did with the cap for the can, except that it isn't the standard cap that you usually see on these cans. What kind of cap is that?

Is it a vented cap?

As for NG/propane, yes, there are a number of kits out there to convert various gensets. I recommend the ones where to switch between fuel sources it takes a minimum of work, as you may not know which fuel source is available in an emergency.

BTW - you can run diesel gensets on diesel plus propane/NG, but the propane/NG is fed into the intake manifold while you are still running diesel. The basic idea is that NG or propane will extend the runtime because it will not consume as much diesel, and the propane or NG will usually be less expensive than the equivalent diesel - especially NG.

In some areas NG is very inexpensive because wells are nearby, and in many areas NG may be available even when the power goes down.

With regards to hooking up multiple 120VAC inverter gensets together, yes, this is possible. However, you won't be able to get 220/240VAC from them, and for some people this is an issue; my well pump is 220VAC, my hot water heater, my stove and my clothes dryer are also, as is my furnace.

I have a woodstove and a microwave so I can do without the furnace and the stove, but if I don't have water pressure and hot water, then living here becomes inconvenient.

I have a 5/6.5KW genset that provides 220/240 and I have a hookup into my power box with a transfer switch.

Still, I want to get a small Honda 2KW setup as a backup, as a loaner and for camping.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MotoBoss View Post
To tell the truth I've never heard of converting to propane on a small portable! Wow. Gotta find a kit for my small Honda.
Or get a tap set into your natural gas line for the house and let the generator go non-stop until the grid power is restored. I never knew.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:38 PM   #9
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I have a 5/6.5KW genset that provides 220/240 and I have a hookup into my power box with a transfer switch.
I want to do this until we can afford a "whole house" NG generator. The ability to run the furnace, a few lights and my CPAP would be all we'd need. If we could also run the fridge, great. If not, stick things outside in the snow as most of our power outages are in the winter.

I've watched a few videos about running from the generator through the dryer plug. Workable in an emergency but it doesn't look like the safest set up going.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:39 PM   #10
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You should be able to run a fridge and freezer.

Whether you can run the furnace or not, depends on what it is.

A lot of furnaces are wired into the electrical system, but it doesn't take much to wire them instead into a plugin outlet, then you could just switch it to an extension cord, otherwise you would need a transfer switch to be safe.

Many power companies will disconnect your power if they find out you have been back-feeding your house without disconnecting it from the grid. Mine will. And they will take their sweet time coming back out and reconnecting you to the grid, after you pay a fine and the reconnection fee.

So it is best to either have a transfer switch/system, or just run what you need off the genset directly and not connect it to your electrical system.

I've had a number of power outages here, primarily because of wind knocking trees or limbs into the power lines. The power co. has always had them fixed within 10 hours, usually within one or two hours. So I haven't had to use my genset - yet. But it is nice to have just in case.

If there was a huge windstorm, like we had in '62, or an earthquake, I could easily be without power for weeks. Out in the boonies here, our power/etc., is the lowest priority for restoration of services because the large majority of people live in the city, and those are the people they will service first. I've seen it happen a number of times, just been lucky to never have lost service for more than a day or so while others have lost it for weeks.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:06 PM   #11
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The usual cheat is to make a double male plug that will plug into the dryer receptacle or any of the 120 receptacles for the small stuff. Make sure to open the main breaker so you are not attempting to back feed into the mains system before starting and be certain to unplug the gennie before closing the main after power is restored.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bcbullet View Post
The usual cheat is to make a double male plug that will plug into the dryer receptacle or any of the 120 receptacles for the small stuff. Make sure to open the main breaker so you are not attempting to back feed into the mains system before starting and be certain to unplug the gennie before closing the main after power is restored.
NOT cool for numerous reasons. Get a transfer switch!
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbullet View Post
The usual cheat is to make a double male plug that will plug into the dryer receptacle or any of the 120 receptacles for the small stuff. Make sure to open the main breaker so you are not attempting to back feed into the mains system before starting and be certain to unplug the gennie before closing the main after power is restored.
I don't think you want to plug a 120VAC input into a 220VAC output for the dryer.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:08 PM   #14
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>"I don't think you want to plug a 120VAC input into a 220VAC output for the dryer."

Yes. I think the poster was plugging a double ended 120 cord into
a 120 volt outlet.

That would energize everything on that 'side' of the box.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:56 PM   #15
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The usual cheat is to make a double male plug that will plug into the dryer receptacle or any of the 120 receptacles for the small stuff. Make sure to open the main breaker so you are not attempting to back feed into the mains system before starting and be certain to unplug the gennie before closing the main after power is restored.
Yeah, its the usual cheat but don't do it. The ground is still connected and you can backfeed down the line. Kill some poor bastard up on a pole trying to get you powered back up and lots of folks are gonna be real unhappy.

A proper transfer switch "lifts" the ground so your house is totally isolated from the grid.
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