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Should You Buy a Standby Generator?

 
KoFFee_
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01/27/2013 11:42 PM
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Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
For the second time in a week, my furnace isn't working.

The home I'm in does not have an alternate source of heat, so if there was no electricity, I'd be feeling pretty cold right now.

Fortunately, I've been running 2 space heaters and turn on the oven when it starts to feel a little chillier.

The repairman finally returned my call tonight at ten and he will be here first thing in the morning.

When it comes time to move from this home into another, you can be sure that I will be looking at homes that have a
fireplace or woodstove. Cold weather climate will not be fun to live in if the power grid ever goes down.

Anyways, while I was looking online at articles that have to do with living without electricity, I found the following
and thought I'd share it with you:

Should You Buy a Standby Generator?

The wrath of Hurricane Sandy made the fragile state of our nation's power grid hit home. A standby generator can energize a house for days after a blackout, but these are costly, complicated machines. Here's how to know if a standby generator is a good investment.

Blackouts are nothing new, but major storms over the past two years have hammered home the importance of electrical power.

Generac, Briggs & Stratton, and Kohler announced that they would ramp up production of standby generators, which can energize a home nonstop for days. But these sophisticated machines also can cost more than $20,000 installed, and some are the size of a Fiat 500. Here are six points to help you decide whether they're worth the investment.


Read more:
[link to www.popularmechanics.com]
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task
the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

"This man really is the Savior of the world!" John 4:42

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7

I do not own the rights to any video posted, they are for educational/entertainment purposes only.
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 11:54 PM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I have a standby generator for my standby generator for my standby generator. any questions. oh ya, have a standby gas tank for your standby gas tank for your standby gas tank.
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 11:59 PM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I live on the North side of a mountain. It freezes here when it does not freeze on the South side. It always scares me, so I am thinking about buying a generator.

We have electric heat with a back up of a wood. I just hate the wood fireplace...I think I am allergic ...anyway, we do have a propane stove, too.

Generators are just so expensive.

Everyone take care. I have to go now.
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 12:01 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I think a wood stove is the best idea. When tshtf you will not be able to buy fuel for the generator.
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:05 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
Koffee, have you considered a kerosene heater and lamps? They produce a lot of safe heat.

The best solution is something I've written about in the 1st link in my sig...

You need a battery operated carbon monoxide sensor, but typically it produces less than a standard gas forced air unit. This setup would really have helped the folks with the recent Hurricane in the NE, and we've got ice storm warning coming for the upper North of the USA.

The fuel is wood pellets, but any yard scraps can be burned. Actually that's a misunderstanding. What happens is the scraps release a gas and that's what is being consumed, and therefore it leaves biochar remnants. This then is added to the soil and enriches it. It's an ideal solution overall. Charcoal is very valuable in a collapse, for brushing teeth, for poisoning, for metalurgy, for water purification,etc.

This burns cleanly and can be quickly constructed. It's based upon some work being done to mass produce these in 3rd world countries. That's called the LuciaStove.


A generator needs a cutoff switch to prevent generating electricity and then incoming electricity. Generators are LOUD. There frequently is theft of generators and fuel in a disaster. That must be expected in a collapse.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/28/2013 12:14 AM
mrmuffins69

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01/28/2013 12:09 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
yes buy one, if its winter and you lose heat and power your pipes will freeze and then you have a major problem
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:10 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I live on the North side of a mountain. It freezes here when it does not freeze on the South side. It always scares me, so I am thinking about buying a generator.

We have electric heat with a back up of a wood. I just hate the wood fireplace...I think I am allergic ...anyway, we do have a propane stove, too.

Generators are just so expensive.
 Quoting: Krystal


"We" awww are you married? Lucky guy!

Well have you thought about an negative ion generator? That electrically charges the soot in the air and then that's collected. Then it won't trigger or will lessen an allergic reaction or asthma.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/29/2013 12:40 AM
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:12 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
yes buy one, if its winter and you lose heat and power your pipes will freeze and then you have a major problem
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


Yeah, that's called heat tape, but the issue is finding a dc kind. I wonder if they make them? If so, then you could use a solar trickle charged battery to send dc to the tape, or use an inverter to convert to ac and power the heat tape.

Otherwise all you can do is keep the water trickin' and insulate the pipes well.
KoFFee_ (OP)

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01/28/2013 12:12 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I live on the North side of a mountain. It freezes here when it does not freeze on the South side. It always scares me, so I am thinking about buying a generator.

We have electric heat with a back up of a wood. I just hate the wood fireplace...I think I am allergic ...anyway, we do have a propane stove, too.

Generators are just so expensive.
 Quoting: Krystal


Yes, they are. Those portable ones are noisy.

I have a few friends in this area who live in homes with fireplaces. Each of them own a portable generator, too. If the power grids were to go down, and I'm still in this house, I have a place to go. So that is reassuring.

I do own quite a few gas cans that were purchased during the Y2K fiasco. So that's a bit of a jump start in the right direction.

I'm wondering if my furnace breaking down is a warning to me of what is to come.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task
the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

"This man really is the Savior of the world!" John 4:42

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7

I do not own the rights to any video posted, they are for educational/entertainment purposes only.
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 32113282
United States
01/28/2013 12:16 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I live on the North side of a mountain. It freezes here when it does not freeze on the South side. It always scares me, so I am thinking about buying a generator.

We have electric heat with a back up of a wood. I just hate the wood fireplace...I think I am allergic ...anyway, we do have a propane stove, too.

Generators are just so expensive.
 Quoting: Krystal


Yes, they are. Those portable ones are noisy.

I have a few friends in this area who live in homes with fireplaces. Each of them own a portable generator, too. If the power grids were to go down, and I'm still in this house, I have a place to go. So that is reassuring.

I do own quite a few gas cans that were purchased during the Y2K fiasco. So that's a bit of a jump start in the right direction.

I'm wondering if my furnace breaking down is a warning to me of what is to come.
 Quoting: KoFFee_

Koffee, if you store gas, having some fluid to dry the gas from collected humidity is essential. It's dangerous to store gas as the fumes are make it so volatile. Diesel is safer. Regardless you need a spark arrester otherwise BOOM when filling it or pulling from it.
KoFFee_ (OP)

User ID: 1373078
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01/28/2013 12:17 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
Koffee, have you considered a kerosene heater and lamps? They produce a lot of safe heat.

The best solution is something I've written about in the 1st link in my sig...

You need a battery operated carbon monoxide sensor, but typically it produces less than a standard gas forced air unit. This setup would really have helped the folks with the recent Hurricane in the NE, and we've got ice storm warning coming for the upper North of the USA.

The fuel is wood pellets, but any yard scraps can be burned. Actually that's a misunderstanding. What happens is the scraps release a gas and that's what is being consumed, and therefore it leaves biochar remnants. This then is added to the soil and enriches it. It's an ideal solution overall. Charcoal is very valuable in a collapse, for brushing teeth, for poisoning, for metalurgy, for water purification,etc.

This burns cleanly and can be quickly constructed. It's based upon some work being done to mass produce these in 3rd world countries. That's called the LuciaStove.


A generator needs a cutoff switch to prevent generating electricity and then incoming electricity. Generators are LOUD. There frequently is theft of generators and fuel in a disaster. That must be expected in a collapse.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


I'll take a look at this tomorrow, my brain is too tired right now to comprehend much.

I'm going to show it to my son, also. Wouldn't hurt for him to have some knowledge of this.

Thanks for the post!
hf
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task
the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

"This man really is the Savior of the world!" John 4:42

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7

I do not own the rights to any video posted, they are for educational/entertainment purposes only.
mrmuffins69

User ID: 3378512
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01/28/2013 12:17 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
yes buy one, if its winter and you lose heat and power your pipes will freeze and then you have a major problem
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


Yeah, that's called heat tape, but the issue is finding a dc kind. I wonder if they make them? If so, then you could use a solar trickle charged battery to send dc to the tape, or use an inverter to convert to ac and power the heat tape.

Otherwise all you can do is keep the water trickin' and insulate the pipes well.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


i guess that works too but how do u get to hard to reach spots?
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 12:17 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I live on the North side of a mountain. It freezes here when it does not freeze on the South side. It always scares me, so I am thinking about buying a generator.

We have electric heat with a back up of a wood. I just hate the wood fireplace...I think I am allergic ...anyway, we do have a propane stove, too.

Generators are just so expensive.
 Quoting: Krystal


"We" awww are you married, lucky guy!

Well have you though about an negative ion generator? That electrically charges the soot in the air and then that's collected. Then it won't trigger or will lessen an allergic reaction or asthma.


 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


Yeah, I have one of those. It does not seem to help much lately. I have had some asthma attacks in the past.

I live with my husband, my elderly Mom, and my miniature pinscher.

I have two boys. The youngest one is deceased. He comitted suicide while drunk. My oldest boy lives on his own and doing well...thank heavens.

Thanks for all the information...man, you are a wellspring of knowledge and wisdom.The creative mind is a marvel.

Koffee...I hope you get your furnaced fixed and all goes well. I hope u can get a generator, too.

All take care, gotta go now.
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:22 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
yes buy one, if its winter and you lose heat and power your pipes will freeze and then you have a major problem
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


Yeah, that's called heat tape, but the issue is finding a dc kind. I wonder if they make them? If so, then you could use a solar trickle charged battery to send dc to the tape, or use an inverter to convert to ac and power the heat tape.

Otherwise all you can do is keep the water trickin' and insulate the pipes well.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


i guess that works too but how do u get to hard to reach spots?
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


The only thing you can do is expose the pipe and wrap it. It's why planning is better (stitch in time saves nine). If you go down in your crawlspace, a lot of them have very poorly insulated pipes, so what I've done is made wooden inserts to block the air circulation in Winter, then open them up once above freezing. That chill especially when a snap comes, then you've got a slow pipe of water and freezing potential.

A burst pipe is terrible to deal with when it's icy cold outside. Then you MUST have waterproof gloves. They make rubberized ones. You never want to deal with this. Trust me. In an emergency with no water and no heat and no electricity and trying to deal with it, plus dealing with potential frostbite, bad juju all around.

Losing water in an ice storm could become extremely serious in a matter of days. Please everyone, test the valve on your hot water tank to see if you could drain it in an emergency. People count on that, and then find it plugged with rust. Check that tomorrow. It only takes seconds.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/28/2013 12:22 AM
KoFFee_ (OP)

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01/28/2013 12:26 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
yes buy one, if its winter and you lose heat and power your pipes will freeze and then you have a major problem
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


Yeah, that's called heat tape, but the issue is finding a dc kind. I wonder if they make them? If so, then you could use a solar trickle charged battery to send dc to the tape, or use an inverter to convert to ac and power the heat tape.

Otherwise all you can do is keep the water trickin' and insulate the pipes well.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


i guess that works too but how do u get to hard to reach spots?
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


The only thing you can do is expose the pipe and wrap it. It's why planning is better (stitch in time saves nine). If you go down in your crawlspace, a lot of them have very poorly insulated pipes, so what I've done is made wooden inserts to block the air circulation in Winter, then open them up once above freezing. That chill especially when a snap comes, then you've got a slow pipe of water and freezing potential.

A burst pipe is terrible to deal with when it's icy cold outside. Then you MUST have waterproof gloves. They make rubberized ones. You never want to deal with this. Trust me. In an emergency with no water and no heat and no electricity and trying to deal with it, plus dealing with potential frostbite, bad juju all around.

Losing water in an ice storm could become extremely serious in a matter of days. Please everyone, test the valve on your hot water tank to see if you could drain it in an emergency. People count on that, and then find it plugged with rust. Check that tomorrow. It only takes seconds.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


Wow, I took a quick look at your thread, there is a wealth of information to read and videos to watch. I'll have to make some time to read a little of it each day.

Thanks again!
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task
the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

"This man really is the Savior of the world!" John 4:42

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7

I do not own the rights to any video posted, they are for educational/entertainment purposes only.
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:28 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I live on the North side of a mountain. It freezes here when it does not freeze on the South side. It always scares me, so I am thinking about buying a generator.

We have electric heat with a back up of a wood. I just hate the wood fireplace...I think I am allergic ...anyway, we do have a propane stove, too.

Generators are just so expensive.
 Quoting: Krystal


"We" awww are you married, lucky guy!

Well have you though about an negative ion generator? That electrically charges the soot in the air and then that's collected. Then it won't trigger or will lessen an allergic reaction or asthma.


 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


Yeah, I have one of those. It does not seem to help much lately. I have had some asthma attacks in the past.

I live with my husband, my elderly Mom, and my miniature pinscher.

I have two boys. The youngest one is deceased. He comitted suicide while drunk. My oldest boy lives on his own and doing well...thank heavens.

Thanks for all the information...man, you are a wellspring of knowledge and wisdom.The creative mind is a marvel.

Koffee...I hope you get your furnaced fixed and all goes well. I hope u can get a generator, too.

All take care, gotta go now.
 Quoting: Krystal

Because Primatene was taken off the market, people don't know about Asthmanefrin. All preppers need that. A bronodialator is the best way to deal with an allergic reaction closing the airway, but also more commonly dealing with a severe cough from influenza. It works 20x better than cough syrup.
Thread: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF (Page 35)

...and I am not surprised you're taken. And so sorry for your loss.

You are exccedingly kind and I'm humbled by your words. If I can help one GLP person have a more full life by teaching one single skill, then I'll be happy.
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 12:34 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
Get a small genny but just about 900-3500watts.
Gennys consume much fuel, make lots of noise and can fail have backups and know what parts fail (spark plug, fuel line, fuel valve, pull starter units) i have had to replace all of these parts.

What you want are wick type Kero heaters.
Kero fuel lasts longer and heat is more important than electricity.

If you need heat now, buy new.
Pickup used heaters in the summer and refurb them.

Get a radiant (small) and a convection (large) kero heater if you can.
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:35 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
...


Yeah, that's called heat tape, but the issue is finding a dc kind. I wonder if they make them? If so, then you could use a solar trickle charged battery to send dc to the tape, or use an inverter to convert to ac and power the heat tape.

Otherwise all you can do is keep the water trickin' and insulate the pipes well.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


i guess that works too but how do u get to hard to reach spots?
 Quoting: mrmuffins69


The only thing you can do is expose the pipe and wrap it. It's why planning is better (stitch in time saves nine). If you go down in your crawlspace, a lot of them have very poorly insulated pipes, so what I've done is made wooden inserts to block the air circulation in Winter, then open them up once above freezing. That chill especially when a snap comes, then you've got a slow pipe of water and freezing potential.

A burst pipe is terrible to deal with when it's icy cold outside. Then you MUST have waterproof gloves. They make rubberized ones. You never want to deal with this. Trust me. In an emergency with no water and no heat and no electricity and trying to deal with it, plus dealing with potential frostbite, bad juju all around.

Losing water in an ice storm could become extremely serious in a matter of days. Please everyone, test the valve on your hot water tank to see if you could drain it in an emergency. People count on that, and then find it plugged with rust. Check that tomorrow. It only takes seconds.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


Wow, I took a quick look at your thread, there is a wealth of information to read and videos to watch. I'll have to make some time to read a little of it each day.

Thanks again!
 Quoting: KoFFee_


Thank you. I write for karma to stay here on GLP. I get banned frequently, but I'm unsure as to why. I'm a prolific writer of complex prepping tips. They're complex because I look deeply to ensure they're practical, cheap, comprehensively deal with an issue, but always within the technical ability of most 16 year olds. I've also especially tried to explain them such that an untrained woman would be able to fix something, for many households are run by single women.

I'm a guy who's been trained as a craftsman, worked in the spiritual arena as Christian (paid and unpaid) for many decades, have graduate level medical training, and classical training in the Humanities and Science. I'm kinda handy to have around.

Rather than lock that up in my brain, I'd rather teach anyone interested in ancestral skills. I took training from Tom Brown Jr., as well self-taught survival training from numerous hiking/camping/rock climbing/white water rafting trips.

I was born in the wrong century. I owe my mentors eternal loyalty, and the best way is to pass it on by good deeds.

"14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? James 2: 14-16

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/28/2013 12:38 AM
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 12:41 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I only have an oil boiler where I'm living now.

When I first bought the house I was going to install a standby generator but quickly realized it would've been a waste of money as (thankfully) we haven't lost power for more than a few hours.

In fact the only time we've been without electricity for any length was when I updated the electrical service from 100-200amps.

I still would like to have a backup source of electricity if anything ever does happen though but my worries are if TSHTF

Would I be able to get fuel for the generator (Gasoline, Propane, Natural Gas, Diesel, etc might only be available for a short time after a disaster)

2. If it is available it will be very expensive. To run a generator for any time you will need large amounts of fuel.
and this can add up $$$

So I've decided that a self renewing fuel source would be the best way to go. Solar, wind, water, or wood gas
They're cost more initially but if you need your generator for any length of time it will pay for itself.

Speaking of wood gas you can store it like propane and if you have the right setup you can make it fot a fraction of the cost. So long as you have high grade organic material.
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:43 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
Koffee, have you considered a kerosene heater and lamps? They produce a lot of safe heat.

The best solution is something I've written about in the 1st link in my sig...

You need a battery operated carbon monoxide sensor, but typically it produces less than a standard gas forced air unit. This setup would really have helped the folks with the recent Hurricane in the NE, and we've got ice storm warning coming for the upper North of the USA.

The fuel is wood pellets, but any yard scraps can be burned. Actually that's a misunderstanding. What happens is the scraps release a gas and that's what is being consumed, and therefore it leaves biochar remnants. This then is added to the soil and enriches it. It's an ideal solution overall. Charcoal is very valuable in a collapse, for brushing teeth, for poisoning, for metalurgy, for water purification,etc.

This burns cleanly and can be quickly constructed. It's based upon some work being done to mass produce these in 3rd world countries. That's called the LuciaStove.


A generator needs a cutoff switch to prevent generating electricity and then incoming electricity. Generators are LOUD. There frequently is theft of generators and fuel in a disaster. That must be expected in a collapse.
 Quoting: Don'tBeAfraid


I'll take a look at this tomorrow, my brain is too tired right now to comprehend much.

I'm going to show it to my son, also. Wouldn't hurt for him to have some knowledge of this.

Thanks for the post!
hf
 Quoting: KoFFee_


Most people in my part of the woods have a charcoal chimney. All you need is part of a coffee can cut off with a hacksaw blade, a clean new paintcan (with drilled holes) and an aluminum pie pan. Then you could easily make the low emission heater yourself.

Don't confuse this with a rocket stove. A rocket stove cannot be used indoors, something a lot of beginners make a mistake about. Carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly. You don't smell it. That's a misconception. It seizes upon the hemoglobin and only pure oxygen and a dedicated medical staff can save you. Sometimes whole families are wiped out by some dingdong running a generator too close to the house, or burning charcoal inside.

Hopefully the LuciaStove will become commerically available in the USA. Even though the second video is in Italian, it's subtitled, and that guy is a Saint for he will help millions heat indoors cheaply.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/28/2013 12:45 AM
Don'tBeAfraid

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01/28/2013 12:48 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
More information about the Everything Nice woodstove showing instructions. There's scientific data on emissions there too. It's an intentional international project done to help folks worldwide burn less fuel and help themselves and the environment. This way they burn less trees, so they can get fruit, nuts, lumber, medicinal products, tools, etc.

[link to worldstove.com]
The above link explains precisely how to make it.

[link to worldstove.com]
This link is different and shows many styles.

In a collapse long term, you'd likely use those as portable units, the main heater would be a rocket mass heater. That burns 1/10 of the firewood and waste yard products, has almost zero emissions (mostly steam and a little carbon monoxide).

It works like a rocket engine, superheating the wood gas, and creates heat, a cooking stove, hot water, and a warm comfortable couch/bed too.
[link to www.permies.com]
[link to www.richsoil.com]

Sweet couple. They just glow so radiant, don't you think? They've help make 700 of them.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/29/2013 12:48 AM
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 12:49 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
[link to www.americanenergysystems.com]

other manufacturers also.

??
KoFFee_ (OP)

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01/28/2013 12:54 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
More info here about standby generators:

[link to www.amazon.com]
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task
the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

"This man really is the Savior of the world!" John 4:42

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7

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Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 32113282
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01/28/2013 01:05 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I only have an oil boiler where I'm living now.

When I first bought the house I was going to install a standby generator but quickly realized it would've been a waste of money as (thankfully) we haven't lost power for more than a few hours.

In fact the only time we've been without electricity for any length was when I updated the electrical service from 100-200amps.

I still would like to have a backup source of electricity if anything ever does happen though but my worries are if TSHTF

Would I be able to get fuel for the generator (Gasoline, Propane, Natural Gas, Diesel, etc might only be available for a short time after a disaster)

2. If it is available it will be very expensive. To run a generator for any time you will need large amounts of fuel.
and this can add up $$$

So I've decided that a self renewing fuel source would be the best way to go. Solar, wind, water, or wood gas
They're cost more initially but if you need your generator for any length of time it will pay for itself.

Speaking of wood gas you can store it like propane and if you have the right setup you can make it fot a fraction of the cost. So long as you have high grade organic material.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 20675367


The most probable oil would be grown and pressed from rapeseed. That's canola. It produces the most per acre except for sesame, but the latter won't grow in as many places in the USA. Buy only heirloom rapeseed as your livestock won't eat GMO kinds as fodder. So you'll waste that. The GMO kind has a nasty tasting ingredient too.

All those oils will burn, and will be extremely valuable like GOLD post-collapse. You'll use them for oil heaters and lamps.

Here's an oil heater:
[link to tinyhouseblog.com]


Yep, I agree on the wood gas as long as you have a good source of timber like fast growing poplar, otherwise you'll clear it out too quick. All that means needing 7 acres + of land to make it work out for a pond and agricultural and forested region.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/29/2013 12:51 AM
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 33126688
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01/28/2013 01:19 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
All you need is 2 faithful Christians.

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 32113282
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01/28/2013 01:23 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
All you need is 2 faithful Christians.

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 33126688

Whoa, talk about taking something out of context! God gave us strong backs and hands and legs to do work. We pray for strength mostly. Stuff doesn't just show up at the doorstep, but is grown or raised. Sounds nice though. Sounds like success theology, a practice that's practically discounted by most pastors.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/28/2013 01:24 AM
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 01:53 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
I think a wood stove is the best idea. When tshtf you will not be able to buy fuel for the generator.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15488325


This ^^^^
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 33173490
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01/28/2013 02:10 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
A generator is short term.

As in storm.

For societal breakdown it's a bust due to fuel problems.... unless you have a big enough spread to grow enough to process your own, "fuel," as in alcohol...

Look elsewhere for long term.

I'm down on the Gulf.

We have a generator.
Pain in the a-s keeping it in fuel.

Didn't use it in Isaac.

Butane stove and canned goods.
Battery operated fans.
Small flashlights in small cups pointed at the ceiling for general lighting.

We have plenty of water stored and our own well with aux. hand pump capability as well.

I know it's a different ballgame where you are O.P.

But a generator is short term no matter where you are.
If that is all you intend to use it for it could be great for its purpose.
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 02:15 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
The alcohol as fuel bit came from a meeting in the 70s with a fellow who was an engineer on a Brazilian plantation in WW2.

With tweaking they ran their vehicles, machines, on alcohol they distilled themselves.
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 02:16 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
The alcohol as fuel bit came from a meeting in the 70s with a fellow who was an engineer on a Brazilian plantation in WW2.

With tweaking they ran their vehicles, machines, on alcohol they distilled themselves.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 33173490


I should add... they did this because they couldn't get gas at the time.
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 32113282
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01/28/2013 02:17 AM
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Re: Should You Buy a Standby Generator?
Besides poplar (which won't help you in a typical wood insert or wood stove) which produces a low BTU per load, then there's mulberry and locust.

Osage orange burns too hot and will void the warranty of wood stoves. It'll warp. Anyway osage makes great long bows, so save it.

[link to www.engineeringtoolbox.com]

Ideally your forestry management must take into account coppicing for regrowth.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

Rather than spend an enormus amount of time managing wood for fuel, which in a collapse is a bad plan for you'll be building things, you'd need a rocket mass heater so you'd burn 1/10 as much. That won't work pre-collapse, for rocket mass heaters are not UL listed and so void any home owners insurance. As far as I know, there's only one that's in the process of being UL listed and is expensive.

If you live in cold region, you must think, "How in the world will I fell enough trees without fuel for chainsaws and log splitters?" While you can use long saws, it's a ton of work, and you need time for agrarian use. Not cutting enough wood in a place like Montana or Michigan would doom you. Instead use a rocket mass stove.

Since tree crops like: honey locust, acorns, hazelnut, walnut, carob, fruit trees like apple, maples for maple syrup....produce an enormous amount of calories, you have to weight that far more important consideration. The tannic acid produced from the acorn washing is an important chemical for tanning, healing, cleaning, etc.

The same is true for walnut hulls producing vital iodine which YOU MUST HAVE (or face goiters) and won't have in a collapse unless you live near the ocean. So you need some walnut trees to harvest iodine to put in your diet as well as a tincture for wounds.

Burn less trees and manage them, for by burying wood using Hugelkulture, you prevent drought on your land, since it acts like a sponge.


Smartly burning wood into biochar is far more valuable, though some wood ash is needed for soap making by creating lye from the ashes. Otherwise you're making tons of wood ash and wasting heat. Some wood ash can be used to make a battery caustic, something you'll need as well to have dc electricity when the batteries fail.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/28/2013 02:27 AM

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