Can we talk generators please? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-23-2009, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the things on my preparedness list is getting a generator but I admit I don't really know anything about them other than they take gasoline. I learnt that during the big blackout of 2003 and the folks on our local radio station were saying that citizens were coming in and giving them gas for their generator so they could keep broadcasting. Other than that, I'm pretty clueless.

I mostly want one to run our chest freezer for a few hours each day. We are well prepared as far as alternative power sources for small things in our house but I do keep my freezers stocked and I would like to be able to save that in a short term emergency or at least keep it frozen until we could use it up in a long term emergency.

What should I look for in a generator? How much power would I need to maintain a mid-sized chest freezer? Are there particularly good brands? Any to avoid?

TIA

Martha
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#2 of 10 Old 02-23-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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Hi there, it depends on what you want to run. A lot of folks around here (country), want a generator that'll run their well pump and/or their whole house... and THAT requires a *lot* of energy, and therefore a big generator that goes through gas uber quick. However, we decided to go with a smaller generator that is just big enough to run our freezers (3) and refrigerator... and maybe the TV/computer in the evenings So, last summer, my dad bought a Honda generator, not sure exactly what size, I think its their midsize model. Anyhow, it worked fantasticly the week we were without power. Running it pretty much all day (from 8 or 9ish am through 9 or 10ish pm), used ~1 gallon of gas a day! Not bad, if you ask me And its pretty quiet, so it wasn't like we had big obnoxois noisy thing going all day either. One thing we have relized over the past few weeks when we've had the power go out for a few hours (thankfully I think the longest we were actually out was a lil less than 8 hours), is that we need to drill some holes to have access to our freezers/refrigerator. Over the summer when we were out, we just had cords running through windows/doorways. And that worked peachy fine when it was 70-80* outside... but wouldn't work nearly so well when its 10 or 15!!!
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#3 of 10 Old 02-23-2009, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Hi there, it depends on what you want to run. A lot of folks around here (country), want a generator that'll run their well pump and/or their whole house... and THAT requires a *lot* of energy, and therefore a big generator that goes through gas uber quick. However, we decided to go with a smaller generator that is just big enough to run our freezers (3) and refrigerator... and maybe the TV/computer in the evenings So, last summer, my dad bought a Honda generator, not sure exactly what size, I think its their midsize model. Anyhow, it worked fantasticly the week we were without power. Running it pretty much all day (from 8 or 9ish am through 9 or 10ish pm), used ~1 gallon of gas a day! Not bad, if you ask me And its pretty quiet, so it wasn't like we had big obnoxois noisy thing going all day either. One thing we have relized over the past few weeks when we've had the power go out for a few hours (thankfully I think the longest we were actually out was a lil less than 8 hours), is that we need to drill some holes to have access to our freezers/refrigerator. Over the summer when we were out, we just had cords running through windows/doorways. And that worked peachy fine when it was 70-80* outside... but wouldn't work nearly so well when its 10 or 15!!!
We're on city water so no need to run a well pump. During the blackout, we still had water. In a more extreme emergency, our water sources would be our pool, our 2 water heaters and the river at the end of our street. A blackout would be our most likely emergency in our area.

I'm thinking the freezer would be the main thing we would run. I could toss everything from the fridge freezer and from our little upright into the chest freezer so that would minimize what we had to run. Anything from the fridge that could be frozen would go in there too. We also have a cooler that keeps things cold for a couple of days so some fridge stuff could go in there with ice packs.

We have a window in the basement right beside where we have the freezer so access wouldn't be a problem but that would put the generator in our driveway and right where anyone walking by could see it. I'll have to think a bit more about where we would put it to run it.

Thanks for the info!

Martha
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#4 of 10 Old 02-23-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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Moving to Mindful Home Management.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-24-2009, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Giving myself a shameless bump
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#6 of 10 Old 02-27-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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Have you gone to any local stores and checked out what they have available? We found quite a bit of information at Home Depot. I don't know if all of them have a lot or not though. We just happen to be located near a large generator manufacturer.
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#7 of 10 Old 02-27-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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We're in the country, and we have frequent need for our generator. We have a seperate panel for our hard-wired generator. The generator runs the well pump for water and bathrooms, as well as the fridge and some basic lights.
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#8 of 10 Old 02-27-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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The "size" of a generator is the amount of watts it will run at one time. You need to go around and find out the wattage of everything you want to run. At any given time, you cannot run more than the maximum wattage that your generator... generates. We don't need much, so ours is only 3650 watts. That will start and run our freezers, a fan, a few lights, run the hot plate if it's summer and we don't use the wood burning stove, etc. The point is that you need to make sure you don't go over wattage at any given time.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-27-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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Sigh, I learned some about generators post-Ike.

You don't want to go over the wattage.

BUT, there is no point going way under either. It won't use less gas. SO- use what you've got when it's on.

-Angela
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#10 of 10 Old 02-27-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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A freezer doesn't take much to run. A small generator would probably do.

Generators need to run occasionally to keep the magnets in them working.

Generators with Honda engines are the gold standard. They are much more pricey than other generators with other brands of engines but they are much more quiet.

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
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