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  #26  
Old 01/08/2008, 04:35 PM
RasBobre RasBobre is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tmerrick
Does anyone run a natural gas unit tied to the house that automatically fires up when power is lost?
That's what mine is two posts up tmerrick.
  #27  
Old 01/08/2008, 04:38 PM
tmerrick tmerrick is offline
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Have you been happy with it? Is it loud and how was installation?
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  #28  
Old 01/08/2008, 04:43 PM
RasBobre RasBobre is offline
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It actually is not too loud. I have not gone through a power outage with it yet. I have had it for a year and a half. But it runs through a twenty minute cycle every Monday and I don't think it would really bother me too much.

I hired my neighbor who is a licensed electrical contractor to install it for me. He did lay a concrete pad for it. His cost was $600 and it took him and an employee a full day.

Just the fact that I could be out of town is a godsend if I have a power outage. I can live with the decibels.
  #29  
Old 01/08/2008, 05:58 PM
CaliforniaDreamer CaliforniaDreamer is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tmerrick
Does anyone run a natural gas unit tied to the house that automatically fires up when power is lost?
I have a GENERAC unit that runs off of my propane (it will run off of natural gas also). We live in rural Elk Grove and don't have natural gas. In any case the unit is great. We bought it a Costco 6 years ago. It comes with a transfer switch and will support about 60 amps. We use it to run our refrigerator, freezer, well pump, fish tanks, Koi pond pumps, and some house circuits including our TV and DirecTV and internet equipment. When the power fails it waits about 30 seconds and then starts the generator motor, waits for it to come up to speed and then cuts over the dedicated circuits. When line power is restored it waits about a minute and then cuts back to line power and shuts off the generator. It also does a test once a week to make sure everything on the generator side is working and alerts us (via a red light) if the test failed. We have been very happy with it. As a side note we had SMUD come out an inspect the installation to verify that there is no way for it to back feed the line and put their crew in danger.
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  #30  
Old 01/08/2008, 06:35 PM
jamesdawson jamesdawson is offline
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No doubt about it, a standby generator offers the ultimate protection.

I found out that just having in-tank circulation via-UPC is not good enough in the Winter. After 10 hours of no power my tank was down to only 69 degrees so I got lucky and found the Champion generator at Kragens.

Someday I will upgrade to a standby generator.

James
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  #31  
Old 01/08/2008, 07:18 PM
maxdout maxdout is offline
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hey i bought that 200$ champion from kragen and it works like a champ! started on the 2nd pull after oil and gas was put in it. I had it running my 2 fridges and my tank with all the lights on and it was working great. not sure about the sinewave as well but i hooked it up to the most critical things which were at teh time the tank and the fridges. It was an easy 200$ well spent. If my food would have gone bad, i would have lost over 200 in food and if the tank died, well we all know how much we put in our reefs.
  #32  
Old 01/08/2008, 07:22 PM
WarrenG WarrenG is offline
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Me/us: I need a $300 generator to protect my reef tank.
Wife: But I thought you said those corals only cost $15 each...?
  #33  
Old 01/08/2008, 07:25 PM
funman1 funman1 is offline
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I ran a Coleman 3500 I got from HD
It had a big gas tank on it, and wasn't too loud, but nothing like a Honda!
It ran almost everything at Fragmented's house
But I've been wanting to get rid of it because it just didn't have the power to run my air compressor, (Which was the whole reason I bought it!!!)

So I need a bigger one now because I sold my last one.
hehehe..
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  #34  
Old 01/09/2008, 12:35 AM
Larry Robison Larry Robison is offline
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Generac 5kW here, and it is OK, but dang loud. We were w/o power from Friday 9AM to Tuesday 8:30AM. While my tank is down right now, the wife has three FW tanks (total of about 110 gal), and it is NICE. My input is if you like your neighbors, spend the extra $ and get a quite one. If you have to go over several nights, it is nice to be able to run it between midnight and dawn. We shut ours off because it is so loud between 11PM and 7AM. It ran the refers, the tanks, several lamps, the TV and such, and a MW ( and here and there an iron) without a sweat. Still, the quiet ones with AUTO-on, full house w/ auto disconnect is NICE (that reminds me, I need to buy some lottery tickets).
  #35  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:25 AM
jtarmitage jtarmitage is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by WarrenG
Me/us: I need a $300 generator to protect my reef tank.
Wife: But I thought you said those corals only cost $15 each...?
LOL! Yeah, explain that one away!
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  #36  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:32 AM
JEFFTHEREEFER JEFFTHEREEFER is offline
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I have a Champion 6500. I purchased it at Schucks- Kragen down there.

I run my 90 gal reef- everything, but my top off and my 45 in plasma and my cable box and cable router for internet and still have power left over( I even ran outside xmas lights last year just for fun) I think my neighbors hate me now.

It works great as long as your home when the power goes out. I have been looking at the natural gas auto Generac by Orion. I am going to purchase a whole house unit that they have at Costco for 3500.00 soon. I travel alot with and without my wife. This way I dont have to worry about someone hooking everything up, It will just come on by itself and power the WHOLE HOUSE.
  #37  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:32 AM
palawan palawan is offline
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Honda EU2000is here. Found the deal on Craigslist. The generators at HomeDepot or Costco would have worked for my tank, but decided to get something to take to parks,beach,camping, stargazing, etc... Awesome generator, so quiet and portable and has it's own inverter so you can run a laptop directly from it.
  #38  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:32 AM
JEFFTHEREEFER JEFFTHEREEFER is offline
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I have a Champion 6500. I purchased it at Schucks- Kragen down there.

I run my 90 gal reef- everything, but my top off and my 45 in plasma and my cable box and cable router for internet and still have power left over( I even ran outside xmas lights last year just for fun) I think my neighbors hate me now.

It works great as long as your home when the power goes out. I have been looking at the natural gas auto Generac by Orion. I am going to purchase a whole house unit that they have at Costco for 3500.00 soon. I travel alot with and without my wife. This way I dont have to worry about someone hooking everything up, It will just come on by itself and power the WHOLE HOUSE.
  #39  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:34 AM
JEFFTHEREEFER JEFFTHEREEFER is offline
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not yet temerrrick but several in my neighborhood do. I lost power 10 time last year for more than an hour- once for 5 days.

here is a good resource for generators:
http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....FSqhiQodCgI3PA
  #40  
Old 01/09/2008, 11:13 AM
WarrenG WarrenG is offline
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McMastercarr.com has a foam sound absorber that I've used around my reef tank and various air compressors and it works really well. Part number: 5692T49 It's 1" thick flexible foam with an adhesive back. I line a 3 or 4-sided box with it
  #41  
Old 01/09/2008, 12:58 PM
boviac boviac is offline
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One thing to note with the auto-start generators. There's still a startup/warmup phase of the generator and there is not instantaneous transfer. You will loose your energy source once the grid goes down and until your generator automatically comes online. So beware of that if anything needs to be restarted or tends to have trouble restarting upon resumption of power. It may be wise to somehow be notified when away and the generator kicks on to have someone swing by to check that everything is still operating normally.

Other than that, they about the best thing you can have if you expect (and after this, who doesn't) a power loss.

Further, I'm not sure how they sense that the grid power has resumed, switch back to the grid, and shut down the generator. So it is nice to have the generator but what if power only went out for say 30 minutes at your location, would the generator continue to run until you return to turn it off? That would be a bit costly to have 3-4 days of 24hr natural gas use on the generator when it wasn't needed. I suppose just as you had somebody check after the generator starts. You could have them shut it down and manually flip the switch back to the grid. (sounds like it is getting confusing again)...
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Last edited by boviac; 01/09/2008 at 01:29 PM.
  #42  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:04 PM
boviac boviac is offline
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To that matter further, a solar photovoltaic system (which I am ALL For BTW), wouldn't be much help as you can see it is our generally winter weather that causes the power to go out. Winter = cloudy, dark, and wet usually. So for those that think a Solar PV system will save you when the power goes out...

That being said, I'm referring to the lower cost, Grid-Tied systems(i.e. battery-less).
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  #43  
Old 01/09/2008, 06:56 PM
funman1 funman1 is offline
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Ok..
Yes Generators take usually about 5-10 seconds to click over after a power outage.
For items that you know have problems with outages you could put a very small UPS on it. It would only have to use the UPS for like 10 seconds so no big deal.

Yes, auto transfer generators know when the grid comes back on, and the grid must remain stable for 5 mins before the system transfers back over to grid and shuts down the generator.

Solar actually requires grid power to operate. I know that sounds really BACKWARDS!!
but unless your system is Pure solar (IE: does NOT feed back into the grid) Then the system needs grid power to run.

It has to do with phase matching the grid, and if there is no grid to match then it assumes the power is out, and since they do not have auto transfer switches to disconnect the house from the grid, it would try to backfeed the grid and burn up or, pop breakers.

So solar wouldn't even really save you even if it was SUNNY
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  #44  
Old 01/09/2008, 07:50 PM
kevin95695 kevin95695 is offline
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Honda eu2000i -- Inverter style.

Powered the reef, aquapod, one lamp, and fridge for 27hrs no problems, well other than fueling it at 3am but that's really just my paranoia.
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  #45  
Old 01/09/2008, 08:17 PM
Reefugee Reefugee is offline
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Kevin - how much fuel did you go though in the 27 hours?
  #46  
Old 01/09/2008, 08:26 PM
mike1962 mike1962 is offline
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Great info everyone, I appreciate it. Still haven't decided whether to go the cheap route or not. I'll have to follow up on some of those RV links bored4long posted.

Kevin, when you say it ran your reef, do you mean the lights as well? Sounds like the EU2000i is ample enough! Also curious how much fuel you used.
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  #47  
Old 01/09/2008, 09:35 PM
WarrenG WarrenG is offline
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I've been looking hard at the Champion at Kragen that's $300, plus another $60 or so to make a good sound-absorbing box. 3500 running watts. 4 gallon gas tank that can last 12 hours at half that load. It can also do 240v for washers and dryers.

Half load would cover all night with a gas furnace (~700-1100w) on occasionally, fridge (~400-600w), reef tank stuff (300w), water heaters, clocks, some lights, etc.
  #48  
Old 01/09/2008, 09:44 PM
kevin95695 kevin95695 is offline
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I don't know for sure how much fuel, but my best guess is 1.5-2.0 gallons since I started with a 5 gallon container that was not all the way full...

It ran everything with the exception of the halides, I unplugged those. Also, I ran the gen on eco mode, so it was extremely quiet unless the 500w heater cycled or the house fridge turned over. The gen cranked up pretty good each time those fired. Out of courtesy to the neighbors I put it in the garage overnight and left some ventilation. Couldn't even hear it in our house, let alone the neighbors.
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  #49  
Old 01/10/2008, 02:05 PM
boviac boviac is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by funman1
Ok..
So solar wouldn't even really save you even if it was SUNNY
Yup... unless you've got a battery backup (i.e. NOT a sole, grid-tied system).

Glad to hear Auto-Start Generators will switch back. Thanks for the info Steve - you are the true MARS electrictian go-to guy!!!

One thing that can pose a problem with generators is hot refueling (refueling while generator is running or is still hot). News Story: A guy near here nearly burned his garage down as he was refilling late one night, spilt fuel on the hot exaust which cause a fire, which caused him to drop and break his kerosene lantern, which also caught the floor and other nearby items on fire. He ran out, on fire, yelling call 9-1-1. Then, of course, did the stop, drop, and roll.

From the comfort of our computers, this seems all too silly. But say the power's out, your flashlight's are dead, you're tired after the third day of no power, haven't showered, your grumpy, and at 3am you sleepily stumble out to refill the generator and this could easily have happened to me at least.

Keep your wits about you! And don't qualify for the Darwin Award.
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  #50  
Old 01/10/2008, 02:40 PM
WarrenG WarrenG is offline
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I think the run time is important and might be overlooked. I saw a nice-looking 2500w Coleman generator, but it's run time is an hour!

So, a 1500w that lasts 7 hours at half load will get you through the night IF the load is 750w, but if the load is 1000w you 're going to be out there refueling at a time when you should probably still be in bed or at work.
 

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