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Emergency Generator.... But what about fuel

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by JC9995, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    So I am getting ready for the winter, and due to the amount of wild game in my freezer (yay me) I dont want to risk losing it due to power outages.
    I am looking at the Tri-Fuel generators online. Something like a Honda EU2000I with a fuel conversion kit that allows it to run on Propane, Natural gas, or gasoline. Its a pretty cool setup actually and seems to work pretty dang good. In fact you can even buy a Honda or Yamaha genset with the conversion already done.
    Anyways, my question is more about natural gas. How reliable is it? I mean, for the normal stuff we deal with during winters. I cant remember EVER losing natural gas. How about you guys?
    I know if we had a SHTF scenario, it is all going to be worthless, but thats not what this is for.
    Can I rely on Nat. gas? Has anyone experienced an outage? Thanks.
     
  2. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    The nice thing about natural gas...it never, never, never goes bad.

    I personally have never lost natural gas in my area in nearly 20 years, but in an earthquake a line could rupture and you'd be without until the repair was completed. However, except for the houses blowing up in CA a few months back, these stories are so few and far in between NG is probably your most reliable bet short of a total collapse of infrastructure.

    Keith
     
  3. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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    I would go with propane.
     
  4. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    Mind if I ask why?
     
  5. The Duck

    The Duck Oregon Active Member

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    If it is a tri-fuel generator (have not done much research on them) I would have it setup to run on natural gas as the main source of power and have propane as a nice backup (i.e. as many large tanks that you feel is needed for extended use)...

    This is assuming that the unit can change from a natural gas into propane with little or no work? Like I mentioned above, I have not done research on these units and am unsure how the change over in fuel source is done...

    That would be a solid plan with a contingency plan already in place!
     
  6. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    8KW diesel gen., 150 gallons of fuel in the tank, 32 gallons of propane for heat/cooking, and 110 gallons of fresh water.


    The "Trade Rating" is low by 3
    Not everyone posts it I guess.

    Deen
    NRA Benefactor/Recruiter
    WAC member
    SWWAC member
     
  7. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Unless properly maintained, diesel is unstable and goes bad very, very quickly due to bacterial and microbial growth in the tank. Unless you're using and replacing fuel constantly (like in a truck) be prepared for the beginnings of severe degradation in as little as 30 days under the worst conditions.

    The problem with propane as your primary fuel is you will have to store a large amount on site to supply your needs for a long time, but NG with a propane backup as mentioned above is an excellent maintenance-free source of emergency fuel. With some NG/propane adapters, switching between fuels if as simple as turning an adjustment screw.

    Keith
     
  8. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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    In an emergency situation I just would not trust the reliability if natural gas. Just because we have never lost service doesn't mean that it won't happen.You can get a large propane tank and store enough fuel to last weeks if not months. I like sanders320 suggestion of having both if possible.:thumbup:
     
  9. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    properly maintained, as mine is, it'll keep for many months. I keep the tank full and add a anti-gel and anti-algae at each fill. Plus I refresh it each time we fill the tank throughout the year. The gen. uses ½ to ¾ gallon per hour depending on the load.

    Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the battery bank and inverter that's in the MH also.

    Diesel fuel will not "go bad" in a short time, just think about how many people use heating oil to heart their house and how many months it sits in the tank before being used. You do know that heating oil is usually #2 diesel don't you? Unless it's set for winter weather then it's #1.


    The "Trade Rating" is low by 3
    Not everyone posts it I guess.

    Deen
    NRA Benefactor/Recruiter
    WAC member
    SWWAC member
     
  10. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    Gotcha, were on the same page then. :thumbup:
     
  11. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    Sweet, sounds like im on the right track. NG as the primary, then between what I have on-site for propane and Gas, I have enough to run this little baby for about 15 days straight. If I were to run it every other day to keep the freezer and fridge, then I could stretch the fuel past 30 days!

    For those interested. This fuel kit allows switching from one fuel to the other almost instantly. Check it out here. Its prettys weet.:
    YouTube - Triple-Fuel Honda EU2000iS Inverter Generator
     
  12. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, Deen it sounds like for a person who chose to store diesel, you're maintaining and servicing it properly, and will have no problems when needed.

    Although I'm admittedly getting into an area I have little knowledge of (oil heaters), I believe that fuel burned in a oil heater can be of much lower quality (ie stored untreated for longer periods of time) than fuel burned in an engine, because it is merely being atomized before burning, rather than being injected into an dirt-intolerant engine. For instance, towards the end of WWII, Japanese ships burned in their boilers unrefined oil pumped straight out of Taraken Island soil.

    Still, for trouble-free, maintenance-free, long-term electrical generation uses, a combination of NG and propane is hard to beat.

    Keith
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  13. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    That's a sweet generator.

    Keith
     
  14. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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  15. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Personally my tribe is collecting parts for a multi-fuel generator that has the ability to run off of biodiesel or ethanol(wood derived) since both can be crafted on demand.

    If you invest in a giant external propane tank that would be a great resource if you're prepping for weather or eco-collapse and not a Red Dawn scenario.
     
  16. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Wow, that's pretty cool! I didn't see a link to the manufacturer or where to buy though... Will it work with other generators too?

    Greg
     
  17. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    Yes it will. Here is the site that sells them. I have no affiliation with this company, and have not purchased my kit yet..... but I plan to this week.
    Here is a list of the kits they offer.
    A and C Kit List

    These guys offer a propane ONLY kit, which means you cant run it on gasoline, or the kit I want which is the "Tri-Fuel" kit, which is the one in the video.:thumbup:
     
  18. A2theK

    A2theK Olympia Member

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    Propane is much more dangerous than natural gas, but stores forever. Be sure the propane storage is away from buildings and/or basements. When propane is mixed with air to the right mixture it is more explosive than TNT.
     
  19. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I successfully converted our home back-up generator to Tri-fuel last weekend. Runs great on propane now. No worries about stale gasoline for us.
    I used the kit from US Carberation (Yes, I know it is spelled improperly. They did too. That made me a little uncomfortable. Spell'n can be a window to the intelligence presented) A and C Propane Natural Gas Conversion Kits I used the C kit.
    The kit arrived promptly and the parts look good. It works as it should and I like the quality overall.
    Instructions: Non existent. They were included, but basically worthless. You had better understand how things work and how you want to install it yourself. Watching a couple Youtube installs is helpful.
    Not everything is included for a bolt on installation. Cutting the frame and fabricating brackets were items for which I was not forewarned.

    This may not have been the cheapest kit. It was the most prevalent I had seen and their website did have good descriptions with pictures. Lots of information there. They did list my generator model. That was comforting as well. Their order form did request enough information about my generator for them to make an accurate kit.

    I contacted three supplier / manufacturers. No other supplier responded to my requests for information. That does not sit well with me should I have had a problem, missing part, or needed customer assistance.

    Would I buy from them again? Probably. Price? $243 with the 6' hose and propane regulator. A couple quick connectors are still needed to get the Natural Gas connection ready to go.

    Just FYI
     
  20. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Thanks for the review. I've considered them before. My generator is an RV model and everything fits together just-so. How thick is the plate that goes in front of the carburetor? I'm concerned it will shift the intake housing too far and interfere with other stuff.