Generator for home during power outages

mentalarson

New Member
Jun 7, 2021
3
3
Gilmer, TX
Only problem with that system is, that unless you are buying non-ethanol gasoline, and storing them in metal gas cans, ethanol gasoline in plastic fuel containers degrades rapidly, and will still degrade even if using a fuel stabilizer for ethanol gasoline.
Thank you. Good to be here.
Agreed.

I avoid plastic cans these days, and can usually find the good metal cans for $25-30...at least I could BC.

We lived in Hawaii 2016-03/2021. I had gas stored in these metal cans in a hot garage in Kihei Maui for 15 months.
Zero fumes in the 1-car garage and fuel appeared to work find running through my Pilot.
It made me a metal can-only guy.
Amazon product
 

mentalarson

New Member
Jun 7, 2021
3
3
Gilmer, TX
I have found the cheapest method for backup power to be a 1,000 watt inverter tied to our car battery.

That's enough to handle the start-up and running load of a fridge/freezer/room AC, and also provides plenty of power to charge devices and batteries for lights, tv, etc.

Even if you have a genni, this is a cheap way to get another layer of redundancy.
It's a good option for people who are unable or unwilling to deal with a genni and fuel storage.

I set this up for my 80-year-old mom and showed her how to connect it just in case.
The inverter, cords, splitters, etc. all sit in a tote ready to go.

The basics:
1. We already have nifty quiet generators sitting in our driveways.

2. We always have at least half a tank of fuel, and usually top off before a storm, then can supplement with cans if necessary or switch cars and go fuel the other one up if that's available. You can get a lot of idle time out of 15-25g of gas.

3. It's easy to quietly idle the car for an hour or two at a time to keep food cold....obviously not an issue if you're having a polar vortex, but it does save having to put your stuff outside in a cooler.

If things get really funky, I don't want to be the only one with a purring generator sound emanating from my property, and an idling car is barely noticeable.

They typically only come with 3' cables which forces you to put the inverter on the fender/radiator and leave the hood open.
Everything gets hot and rain blows into the engine compartment.
I got the 6' cables and put the inverter under the car on a block of wood where everything stays cool and dry.

Then I run a heavy 100' cord into the house and split as necessary to handle the stuff I need.
Setup is 10-15min.

During an extended outage on Maui I ran our fridge and freezer and also took care of the elderly land lady's two fridges.

NOTE: I moved away from Hawaii due to the politics among other things. I'm not a carpetbagger. :)
 

diesel1959

por vida
Lifetime Member
Nov 7, 2013
3,831
113
Houston & BFE
I would add, for up this way (where ten below zero for weeks on end is about an every 4 or 5yr occurrence....add tank heaters to the fuel tanks)

My fuel, 550gal, is in the basement...so it stays about 65 degrees....If I think it is going to be a bad winter, I toss in a couple gallons of conditioner around Christmas....

Filled my tanks in April, $2.40/gal. Think "sniFF & bLO" are going to really mess up the price of fuel? (hope not...but ....)

I use about 350 to 400gal a year. We have a small, well insulated home and a fairly efficient boiler.. which we Service every year...about Halloween...
That's definitely an imperative for living up north, but hereabouts in Houston, we rarely go even to the freezing point, so diesel gelling isn't really an issue for us. Though, if I must, I can run a heater in my garage. The only diesel which would be exposed would be the 7.4gal in the genset's tank, and the 55gal of red-dye diesel in the drum in the back yard.

For us, the most realistic urgent need is for hurricane emergencies and such like.
 

AR1911

Member
Apr 26, 2009
127
18
I bought a 3500 Craftsman generator 10 years ago. So far I haven't taken it out of the box. Last winter we had power while all our neighbors were out. Seems we happen to be on the same line with a hospital a mile away.

But preparedness is some thing I live by. I ordered a new truck in March. The F150 Hybrid as an optional 7200W generator panel in the bed. If that ever gets here (chip shortage) that will be my backup power.

The 1000W inverter is a good idea. I have a Ford Escape Hybrid. Many owners are using these with an invertor for backup power. The little hybrids have a much more efficient generator than a conventional vehicle.
 

Axxe55

Just a man, and his dogs.
Dec 15, 2019
18,214
113
somewhere.....East Texas.
That's definitely an imperative for living up north, but hereabouts in Houston, we rarely go even to the freezing point, so diesel gelling isn't really an issue for us. Though, if I must, I can run a heater in my garage. The only diesel which would be exposed would be the 7.4gal in the genset's tank, and the 55gal of red-dye diesel in the drum in the back yard.

For us, the most realistic urgent need is for hurricane emergencies and such like.
I'm pretty sure a lot of people thought the same thing before the snow and ice storm hit last February.

Will it ever be an issue in the near future? Who knows? But it sure got me to thinking about some things I wasn't as prepared for as I thought I was.
 

DD130

Active Member
Aug 21, 2017
489
63
Devil's Backbone
I have an older 5k watt generator that i had around and pulled out and prepped during the February extended freeze. Although I didn’t have to resort to using it, it was nice to have around.

...
I got a Ryobi inverter 2300 watt gen at Home Despot's 'broken' isle for $250. Started first pull, have used it to power the tire warmers on my bike for track days for a couple of years. I had one of those nasty Chicom non-invertes I got of CL for $100 was good when the CA grid crashed during a winter storm in 2015.

For purposful use (like track days where I'm trying to enjoy myself) I prefer the quieter inverter for sure, but when the S-hite the breeze generator...it was all hands one deck and noise be damned.. .I got food to save.

So my advise would be to get 1of each. :) Oh.. and keep your eye out. I got a Subraru/Coleman 2000w for free, it was sitting on the curb when my neighbors moved out. $10 in spray paint, a good cleaning and a new $5 fuel filter and it too, started first pull.

I guess what I'm saying is with no urgency, a careful eye can get some generators cheap (or, free!). They really do come in handy. I've found the 2300w is just barely capable of handling the startup on our fridge, so my suggestion is if you plan to use it for disasters... test it first to make sure it will get the job done.
 

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