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Any home generator geeks here? I learned something interesting about my biggest home gen

So far we have been extremely lucky. In 30 years we have only had a couple of unplanned outages that lasted more than an hour

We did have an outage that lasted four hours, 10 years ago. But our grid here is extremely reliable.

Of course when the S hits the F, the electric grid may stay down. In that case I can’t imagine finding fuel to run the generator for more than a day or two either, Unless you keep a large amount on hand.

Here it is illegal for residential people to keep more than 1 gallon of gas in a gas can at the residence. Now you can buy a 5 gallon gas can anywhere. Go figure…

But I don’t think it’s illegal if you keep the gas tank on your generator full. I don’t think there’s a limit on that size. If your generator has a 200 gallon gas tank and it’s only 12 hp, it is gonna run for a long time.
Back when Hurricane Charley swept through in 2004, we lost power for a week. Many gas stations did not have back up generators and the ones that did soon ran out of gas to sell. Gas cans, generators and tarps soon sold out everywhere. I fortunately had five 5gal containers full of fuel that I was tight-lipped about. ;)

I was in Home Depot buying a chain and oil for my saw when I noticed a pallet of generators wrapped in plastic. I asked the guy "are those for sale", he said "yes they are" as he pulled the plastic wrap off, so I bought the first one off the top and brought it home. We had been without power for a couple days at this point so I figured I would be the hero. My demented wife is like "We don't need that! We'll have power on soon--go return it!" :rolleyes: My neighbor across the street noticed it and came over asked where I had bought it and ended up owning it. We suffered for 5 more days after that... :( About a month later, Frances swept through and we were without power for another 6 days. The wife is like "We need a generator!" :rolleyes: at which point any new stock had all been transferred north to supply hurricane recipients there. Used gens were going for double the new price...
Just received a kit to convert my Rigid generator to dual fuel, LP/Gasoline. I want to be able to hook it up to the main LP tank at my cabin and just to have other options.

Looking at the kit and watching a few videos, it appears to be stupid easy to convert one to LP/NG. I opted for the kit because it comes with a regulator the cuts off the flow if it loses vacuum (i e. Motor stops running)

I may start another thread once I start workin on it
Just received a kit to convert my Rigid generator to dual fuel, LP/Gasoline. I want to be able to hook it up to the main LP tank at my cabin and just to have other options.

Looking at the kit and watching a few videos, it appears to be stupid easy to convert one to LP/NG. I opted for the kit because it comes with a regulator the cuts off the flow if it loses vacuum (i e. Motor stops running)

I may start another thread once I start workin on it

Please do!
I'd like to see how it's converted too.

Before long, we all may be tapping into our outhouse gasses just to be able to drive to town and back.
I converted a DR 6500 generator a few years ago with a Motor Snorkel kit from U.S. Carburetion. The installation was very simple but sometimes you might need to slightly regulate the factory propane flow setting so the engine runs smoothly. The instruction sheet covers that. The one thing you will notice is how clean the oil and spark plug is maintained after running. The propane burn is very clean.

Startup is simple with only slight priming required and when you turn the engine off the propane flow is stopped but I always shut the propane supply valve off to be safe. I've always run mine from a 100 LB cylinder but no issue running from your house tank.

Good luck.

The simplest dirty DIY hack I've found so far is litterally just drilling a hole in the air box cover and sticking the LP/NG hose through it. Just need to make sure it runs through a low pressure regulater first if using propane.

Obviously there is no safety cutoff doing it this way but in an emergency....
Mike, other than the safety issue you mentioned I don't see why your DIY solution wouldn't work if you used a two stage adjustable regulator on a bottle. That's essentially what these kits are doing with the adapter installed between the carb inlet and the air box.

However, not sure I'd hook it to a 500 gallon tank. The only issue might be the volume of propane you can get through a two stage regulator and if it would be adequate to run the engine. On larger generators the minimum size of the supply line is specified to assure adequate flow.

In my neighborhood we still have overhead power lines and the electricity goes out with disgusting regularity. I gave up using the smaller gas generators, but I could not bring myself to do the permanent Generac thing, as it would be an over-improvement for our current house. Plus if we move we'd have to leave it behind.

Some years ago we had our electrical service upgraded to 200 amps & I had the electrician install a transfer panel/switch along with an outside generator plug in.

This year I splurged and got a Champion tri-fuel portable generator which, at 11K watts running, should let me make use of the transfer switch the next time we have an extended outage. It won't run everything all at once of course, but I can keep the heat and some lights going in winter.

I used gasoline for the break-in hours, but I've got it set up now for propane - easier and safer to store than gas.

It has a battery with a starter, and I keep the whole 270lb monster in the garage, with a battery manager hooked up. It'll just fit out the back door of the garage, and I got a steel ramp for when I have to roll it outside for use.

We'll see how it all works out when the next outage comes. My old body may regret getting one so large. :)
I have thought about a generator shed, but the unpredictable climate here might cause too much rust or deterioration and that concerns me. Originally I had planned to keep it in my Tuff shed outback and run it from the inside with the door open, but the CO2 sensor in the generator kept shutting it off. Maybe It could handle being outside in a special built enclosure; I’ll just have to think about it more
We have an 1800 watt battery pack that can be charged from a standard 110 outlet or 100 watt solar panels. It won't power the house but it will run a fridge or freezer enough to save the contents from spoiling. I am thinking of getting another solar panel so I can charge faster.

The cons are it won't power as much as the ones running on propane/gas/diesel. It has takes a good bit of time to recharge if it is drawn down very much.

The pros are it does not require the above mentioned fuels, it is quiet, and can be totally operated and recharged indoors. It only weighs 40 pounds so if I have to bug out it goes wiith me.
I’ve been here for almost 50 years and I’ve never seen a power outage that lasted more than four hours. The norm here is they never go more than one or two hours.

If it does it probably means they took out the local substation and it will be a lot longer than one or two hours.

Anyhow because of the boat, I have six big batteries sitting around doing nothing most of the time, and I could be using them for temporary backup power with the use of an inverter that could convert 36 or 72 V up to 110 ac.

Maybe. Our power is so reliable I never worried about it.
If Canada keeps pushing the green energy transition ahead of readily available tech and sufficient public infrastructure we're gonna go in the weeds in the power dept. With the ungodly cold temps we've had this last week or so, we've already seen very concerning lack of capacity and weakness in the grid and in the available tech/infrastructure. BC had to buy power from you guys at one point this last year despite our massive dams & hydro infrastructure. BC and SK had to sell power to AB a couple days ago to keep their grid from collapsing under -40C to -50C temps and unprecedented power demand. In the bitter cold, some EV chargers stopped working in the north.

We (BC) have a massive new hydro/electric project called "Site C" due to come online in 2025. Reservoir filling is supposed to start this year. It's already a year behind schedule, but energy "experts" are already saying that demand will outstrip capacity within a few short years and we'll be back to buying power from other provinces & our US neighbours.

Stand-by power has slowly crept up my list of important things to look after and has quickly ascended to nearly the top concern. Looking at likely doing (non-Generac), propane & gasoline dual-fuel system. It will likely be a 10-14KW generator hard wired in for automatic switching. Once I have that set, I will look into solar and battery storage as a supplemental system. We have lots of cloudy days and bad weather that can go on for weeks. I don't see solar being a total answer for us. I already have plans to make the back shed larger, so I'll just incorporate the genset into those plans and give it a home in there. Should help to keep the noise down and I'll have a proper muffler installed on it and vented outside.
I recently did a test run on the Champion tri-fuel to make sure that converting to propane would work. I'd been really careful to get all of the gas out of the system, and it kicked right off when I hit the starter after setting the controls over to 'propane'. Now to start accumulating propane cylinders.