Author Topic: Have you hugged your generator today?  (Read 6528 times)

millerized1

  • Guest
Have you hugged your generator today?
« on: November 01, 2008, 05:33:03 AM »
Seriously.  Have you spent any time with it lately?  Kind of like a kid or family member, you have to spend time with them to keep them an active part of the family.  Go ahead, give it a few minutes today.  Take it out for a ride, give it a full load to play with, give it some attention, buy it some new gas/oil/filter/cover....something to tell it you love it and it still matters in your life.

(insert video of teenage generator lashing out at in-attentive parent)

We don't ask much, just 10 minutes a month could keep your arm in the socket next time you need us.  (Unless you like pulling your arm out of the socket, then by all means ignore us like those NRAILA flyers)

This message brought to you by the Abused and Neglected Generators of America.  Please give generously.






(seriously..... go check your generator, check the oil, change the gas, add some stabilizer, run it with a few items connected to give it a load.....  Your arms/battery/starter will thank you)


Offline CTF250

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 327
  • Karma: 28
  • OATH KEEPER
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 07:05:54 AM »
Heres a useful link from NYSEG for generator set up and use.   
http://www.nyseg.com/MediaLibrary/2/5/Content%20Management/NYSEG/Usage%20and%20Safety/PDFs%20and%20Docs/nyseg%20EmergGennyseg.pdf


Want another (-) Jim?

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 09:18:31 AM »
Great analogy!  +1 on always testing with a load.  A small space heater works well to do that.  Many generators actually have two separate circuits in them so you will want to load both of them - usually by testing in one outlet then moving to the other for a while.

Offline iron mike

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 12:43:26 PM »


good reminder,

I loaned my genny to family (in laws)  after they got hit by Ike.

They burned it up  >:(  >:(  >:(

They did reimburse me for what I paid for it though....

So now I have to break in a new one.

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2008, 01:39:35 PM »
I have 2 generators.  Those of you that have read my posts know that I always propose having a Plan B.

My first generator is a Honda brand.  Well built and reliable. 

My second is a cheap, made in China, no-name genny.  I actually got it at Aldi's (the grocery store).  It is a 3KW and was like $150 or $200!  That way when someone asks to borrow my generator I have one to lend.  If they burn it up I still have my primary.

Offline iron mike

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 05:17:51 PM »
Quote
I have 2 generators.  Those of you that have read my posts know that I always propose having a Plan B.

My first generator is a Honda brand.  Well built and reliable. 

My second is a cheap, made in China, no-name genny.  I actually got it at Aldi's (the grocery store).  It is a 3KW and was like $150 or $200!  That way when someone asks to borrow my generator I have one to lend.  If they burn it up I still have my primary.

Yeah,  lesson learned.....

I keep  solar panels (45 watt harbor freight set)  & a pedal powered generator as absolute last ditch power supplies.

as time & $$$ permit,  i'll add more panels & a cheapy back up genny

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2008, 07:56:51 PM »
Quote

I keep  solar panels (45 watt harbor freight set)  & a pedal powered generator as absolute last ditch power supplies.


So for proper preparation did you add some kids to keep the pedal powered system running!?!? 

How do you run those solar panels?  Do you have a battery and charge system?

Offline iron mike

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: 2
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2008, 09:18:28 PM »
Quote
So for proper preparation did you add some kids to keep the pedal powered system running!?!? 

How do you run those solar panels?  Do you have a battery and charge system?

The panels come w/ a charge controller.   I route them into a pair of marine / deep cycle batteries.   

I keep the batteries on a charger under normal circumstances,  When the power goes off,  I'm starting w/ a full bank.

limiting them to a couple 8 watt flourescent lights & a radio for news / info  would give me a week easily.

if the emergency is weather related,  the sky should be clear by then.  Otherwise, there's the genny.


The pedal genny is for the wife,  yeah, i have a pack of nephews  that will be on it if they think they're going to be watching a movie or listening to music.

Offline Dirt Rider 3006

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 247
  • Karma: 22
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 06:56:13 PM »
Checked the oil in my generator, opened up the gas valve and fired it up on Sunday afternoon for an hour. I went down to the basement, flipped the transfer switch and ran it under load for a little over an hour. I was vacuuming our vehicles at that time too and the shop vac was plugged into one of the generator circuits, so that was a pretty good load on it. 

It ran flawlessly. After it cooled down, I drained the carb bowl, topped the gas off with some "stabilized" gas and put it away.

Thanks for the reminder Millerized.

millerized1

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 07:10:32 PM »
Thanks for the reminder Millerized.
Yer Welcome!
It'll cost ya, tho.  Hit that little [I Don't Dig This} text on the left of your screen under the Karma text.  I'm saving towards Karma Kollege, and I need all the negatives I can get ;)
Thanks

Offline GlenM

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Karma: 3
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 09:05:05 PM »
I actually got it at Aldi's (the grocery store).  It is a 3KW and was like $150 or $200! 

I'm not too familar with Aldi's.  The one near my home sells mostly foodstuff.  Do they normally carry generators in their store?

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 08:34:17 AM »
Yes, I am talking about the little grocery store.  I know its odd, but every now and then they will get unusual items like that.  Watch for their flier in mail, they actually have some pretty good deals on prep items.  Carry your sidearm when you go in one, not always the best crowd in there.

Offline Tactical Badger

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
  • Karma: 34
    • Preparedness Junky
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2008, 06:09:06 AM »
Part of my maintenance schedule is to start everything in my posession with a gas engine on it once a month.  That includes the genny.  So...Yes...I guess I did hug my genny lately.

Good reminder to test the output of it though.  I will admit to being lax in that area.  I normally just fire it up and let it run for about ten minutes or so.  Next time I'll plug my electric heater into it.  That should give it a heck of a test.

I like the idea of having a cheap back-up to my primary.  I don't think the CFO is going to go for that though.  She's not really on bord with the whole redundancy thing.

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2008, 08:26:53 AM »

Good reminder to test the output of it though.  I will admit to being lax in that area.  I normally just fire it up and let it run for about ten minutes or so.  Next time I'll plug my electric heater into it.  That should give it a heck of a test.


In the industry that is called a Toaster Test. They have trucks with huge heating elements on them they hook up to large generators and run to test under load. 

millerized1

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2008, 09:14:30 AM »
Yep, load bank.  Toaster Test is a good anology for it.  Large inductive or resistive loads are great tests for generators.  I prefer large motors, since the initial load of starting usually is what kills generators, at least non-commercial units.  Having a steady resistive load (toaster, heater, load bank) are much cheaper, but still offer good results.  Plus, you find out really quick just what you can and can't operate on your generator.  Hell, a pair of 1600W hair dryers are a great test on a 3000W generator.

The last one I saw at work (1M load bank) was adjustable for load.  With our 750Kva generator attached, it sure put a hurting on it when they pushed 750Kva on the keypad and hit enter.  Hearing/feeling a generator have to dig deep to keep the load is an amazing thing.  The 6 generators next to us were pushing 2 Meg each....when they kicked down, the entire township knew it.

millerized1

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2008, 10:16:02 AM »
Monthly jump start.  Getting time to prepare for snow/ice and long days home instead of work cause you're sick.  Seriously, look at your generator this weekend if you ignored me the first time I mentioned this.

See Dick.
See Dick Neglect his Generator.
See Dick pull his arm out of the socket cause he didn't pay attention to me.
......
.....
.........I think you "get it", right?!!!
Don't make me come over there.......

Offline ejsandstrom

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 414
  • Karma: 21
  • Right in a left world
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2008, 11:22:39 AM »
OK This is going to be a pet peeve rant. Not directly at any one but just over all.


















Generators are the neglected step children of the mechanical world. You don't think about them until that you need it. In the commercial world, we recommend 1/2 hour once a week with load. and on lightly loaded diesel unit a 4 hour load bank.

A load bank IS NOT A TOASTER. If you absolutely need to call it a big hair dryer. A toaster doesn't have a fan. Second run a resistive load only. Resistive loads run at 1.0 pf. If you run an inductive load (oh god cringe) you could be running as low as .2 pf. With something like that you can make copper spaghetti or torch a regulator. At 1.0 pf you are loading the engine at the same percentage as the generator.

Also there is only one circut on a generator. not two separate circuts. The easiest way to describe this is to picture a W. If you number it points of the W left to right it would be L1, L0, L2. If you measure between L1 or L2 and L0 you get 120vac if you measure between L1 and L2 you get 240. With that said if you plug in your 240 vac heater you run on both legs. It doesn't provide any benefit to run a load on one outlet then unplug it and plug into the other.

Sorry if its A-holeish but to me its like calling a Sig, a Glock. Or an AR an AK.

millerized1

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2008, 11:40:33 AM »
I've got a small generator with 1 duplex outlet.  Both sides are 110ea, but a combined 240.  I've put together a suicide cord that uses both sides to give me a 240 output plug.  Not a huge load (since I'm splitting the amperage) but it is 240V. For a low amp 240 device, that makes my 110 only generator a bit more usable.

Now, my intent is not to split hairs with terminology.  It's to get these things out of the dark corners and maintained.  I no longer make money getting them running, and I'm not taking any money out of any one elses pocket.  Most of the folks here would rather spend their money on other things than a repairman. I could have made a fortune raping folks fixing their "dead generators".  I just watched a guy on AR15.com pull one from a dumpster, with some advice from me get it running and sell it, last I'd heard, for over $500.

 I don't care if it's a hair dryer, toaster or someone running their Sybian for fun, run the damn things. A 20 minute run with a load, any load, is better than setting in a shed for 5 years with gas in the tank.

Terminology aside, run the damn things and prevent 99% of the problems I've seen with them and keep the money in your pockets.

Offline Lawyerman

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 266
  • Karma: 13
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2008, 02:41:11 PM »
NO, NO, NO!!!!!! >:(  ;D

I buy used and non working generators out of the pawn shops locally and for very little money. Usually all that is wrong with them is stale gas and a gummed up carb......I drain the fuel out, check the oil, air filter and spark plug- hose down the carb with carb cleaner and fill with new fuel.

In about 90% of the cases that's all it takes. Oh sometimes I will have to rebuild a carb, replace a fuel line or pull cord etc....but most of the time it's about that easy. I usually pay about 1/3-1/2 of what a new one costs. Then when storm season comes I sell them for almost what a new one runs. Plus if things really go to heck....I have 4-5 "extra" generators on hand.....a valuable commodity.

BTW, all of my "personal" generators are stored with no fuel in them. Each has a log of hours run and when, oil changes etc...I power them up under load every other month. I run Mobil One in all of my personal gennies- they are air cooled and less friction means less heat and longer life. A gallon of Mobile One will service every air cooled motor I have for a year- yes it's more expensive but not THAT much more.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 02:43:34 PM by Lawyerman »

Offline TexSquirrel

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Karma: 23
  • Native Texan
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2008, 02:58:31 PM »
Ah, that reminds me.
I need to change the oil in my generator.
I changed it every 24 hours during the Ike outtage, but when I shut it down the last time I decided to wait until the weekend to change the oil.
Oops, several weekends have gone by now.
I have too many things this weekend, but maybe next weekend I'll get to it.

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2008, 07:03:48 PM »
OK This is going to be a pet peeve rant. Not directly at any one but just over all.

A load bank IS NOT A TOASTER. If you absolutely need to call it a big hair dryer. A toaster doesn't have a fan. Second run a resistive load only. Resistive loads run at 1.0 pf. If you run an inductive load (oh god cringe) you could be running as low as .2 pf. With something like that you can make copper spaghetti or torch a regulator. At 1.0 pf you are loading the engine at the same percentage as the generator.

Also there is only one circut on a generator. not two separate circuts. The easiest way to describe this is to picture a W. If you number it points of the W left to right it would be L1, L0, L2. If you measure between L1 or L2 and L0 you get 120vac if you measure between L1 and L2 you get 240. With that said if you plug in your 240 vac heater you run on both legs. It doesn't provide any benefit to run a load on one outlet then unplug it and plug into the other.


ejsandstrom - feel free to direct the comments right at me since I am the one that made most of those!  I dont mind being corrected.  You obviously know quite a bit about generators.  Your contributions are very welcome. 

The term 'toaster test' is what I have heard guys in the industry use.  When they come do it at my office they bring a huge truck with big coils and fans so your description is of a hair dryer is more accurate.  My theory is that it sounds more manly to say 'toaster test' than 'hair dryer' test!   ;D  You also make an excellent point on the power factor.  I have a device called a kill-a-watt that I put inline that gives me pf.  Picked it up at Radio Shack for $15 a few years ago.  Ill post a picture in case you have not seen one.  Sure I could probably use my Fluke Scopemeter to read the output properties, but this device is too easy.




As for the two circuits, let me elaborate further.  Tell me if I am off base here.  The unit is rated at 5000W overall however each outlet is rated at 18.8A which is only 2256 watts.  There are 2 120V outlets connected to a 20A circuit breaker.  Each of the outlets has a separate circuit running from the exciter (see schematic).  Since the duplex outlet is actually 2 individual circuits I like to exercise/test each one of them.  With the way it is wired one outlet could work but not the other.  Am I way off base here?







Offline ejsandstrom

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 414
  • Karma: 21
  • Right in a left world
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2008, 06:49:17 AM »
GP- It was mostly directed at people as a whole. I speak to people every day and have to bite my tongue when some one says genny or the like. Its just one of my quirks. As far as your schematic, itshows exactly what I was trying to describe. You wouldn't want to plug in say a 1KW heater into the top outlet, run it for 15 min and then plug into the bottom to run for 15min. It is better to run a 500w in the upper and 500w in the lower. This way it loads both windings equally.

That Kill a watt is super nice, way better than what they have now.

Offline TexSquirrel

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Karma: 23
  • Native Texan
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2008, 08:55:35 PM »
I have a Watts-Up for measuring Amps and Watts.
It is nice to have, but a Kill A Watt is much nicer since it can measure over time, not just at-the-moment measurements.

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2008, 09:03:20 PM »
The thing I really like about the kill-a-watt is that I can put it on an appliance for a week and get a measurement of the Kilowatt Hours used.  I have put it all over my house to determine where my power consumption is going.  I spend a lot on the 3 refrigerators and freezers but I save a lot more on the bulk food purchases, especially the full beef I buy every year.

Offline TexSquirrel

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Karma: 23
  • Native Texan
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2008, 09:34:44 PM »
With the Watts-Up I can tell you how much I spend when the fridge is running and when it isn't.
But I can only guess how often it is running.
I really wish I had a Kill A Watts.
I may pick one up someday and give my Watts-Up away.

GroundPounder

  • Guest
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2008, 09:43:22 PM »
Just to show you the nice data I got from it here are some examples:

Garage Freezer - in 10.92 days used 45.77kwh.  that's $8.80 / month
Garage Frig - in 8.0 days used 62.59kwh.  that's $16.43 / month

And for ejsandstrom's benefit the pf is .67!   :P

Offline TexSquirrel

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Karma: 23
  • Native Texan
Re: Have you hugged your generator today?
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2008, 07:04:30 PM »
Man I'm jealous!