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Thoughts on a generator for condo

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by beavertonbuck, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    So in my march toward being prepared I have come to the conclusion that I will most likely have to bug in the event of SHTF. This can obviously change but that is Plan 1. As the title suggest I live in a condo but I am thinking about getting a generator. Since its a condo and I don't want to annouce that I have a generator I am looking at some of the quite models. Looking at some of the Honda models they are rated at 59db which is equilavent to a conversation at 1m.

    My concern is that even though thats pretty quite I live on the ground level and the unit would be visible on my patio. Any thoughts on how I could possibly disguise the generator? The other issue is that my back door would have to be open to allow for the cable and therefore could create an entry point if people become desperate.

    My other thought is I have a front room with a window. I thought about putting the generator in that room with the window open and use a fan running to clear the CO. The window is secured in a way that I can control how much it can open. If I took heavy vizqueen and weaterstripping to seal up the doorway I was wondering if carbon monoxide poisoning was still an issue. If I were to do it i would also make sure I have a CO detector. In searching for ideas I came across a site where someone set-up a similar experience but was wondering if anyone here has tried this?
     
  2. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely would not run a generator in the house. If you are concerned about it getting stolen from your patio, get a strong cable/lock system of some kind to deter theft. Place something in front if it so that it's not readily visible. Get some kind of pin lock for your sliding glass door so that you can keep it ajar, but not allow it to be opened. Maybe only run it during the day so you can keep an eye on it.
     
  3. ArgentineSteel

    ArgentineSteel Vancouver, WA Active Member

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    Get an inverter fro your car and run it off that.

    A better plan for Apt. living. For small usage, what about UPS? Solar chargers etc.
     
  4. kibs45

    kibs45 Portland Active Member

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    I work with generators quite a bit, and you absolutely do not want it running inside! You could possibly build a crate for it (outside, that would secure it well), as long as it is vented... But that takes a little more know how , because you need to make sure there is sufficient air flow, air temp control etc... Honda makes a fine inverter generator, however, I would consider the Yamaha line to be superior for a SHTF scenario, where extended service may be required. The Honda has a belt driven cam just like a car, they can, and do, break. If the belt breaks it's toast. The Yamaha is a convential overhead valve arrangement. While in a SHTF scenario we aren't worried about epa compliance, the Yamaha is EPA compliant for 500+ hrs. I forget how long the Honda is but it is significantly lower. I bring this up because an engine that is EPA compliant longer, is wearing less. They are great and relatively inexpensive.
     
  5. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    A couple more things to think about. I suspect you plant to use the generator in stand alone mode - IE. where you just plug what you want to run into it correct? I mean you don't have any Rube Goldberg ideas on integrating it into your existing 'grid' correct? And have you thought about gas storage and consumption?
     
  6. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    If you're in a public area like in a condo then be advised you've played your hand. If it is an ice storm and it is a one day- two day situation then no one will do much about it other than be very envious, talk about you (the whole complex and neighborhood will know) and tease you about "can I come over to your place or can I put my food in your fridge!)

    If it is a mid to major disaster (longer term outage due to Columbia Day wind storm, or earthquake or worse) then expect to draw a lot of unwelcome attention to yourself. Since you stated this as a solution for a SHTF situation then I'm surmising you're concerned more than just a one or two day ice storm inconvienance. Having someone steal your gen set would be your least concerned....this gen set will only draw unwelcome attention to you and it will put you on the radar like it or not.

    Even if you could (and I'm NOT saying do so) figure out a more secure way to operate the gen set - unless it is Blue Thunder and in total "Whisper Mode" then someone will discover you have it. (You'll need to totally black out your windows to maintain light discipline). Once discovered and the more "stealthy" you've tired to be the more others will think you have something else of value. You and your family are at risk.

    You need to blend in and act and behave like all the other SHTF victims - i.e. the Gray Man.

    There is no perfect solution and everything is a trade off but you need to be fully aware of other considerations with having this resource. Also longer term this gen set is not going to be sustainable more than for a few days assuming everyone leaves you alone. As was stated earlier, fuel storage etc.
     
    Hook686 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    I want to thank everyone for their responses, especially Dan. I was aware of the obvious danger but wondered if there was a way to safely pump out the CO. In a short time event (less than 7 days) I don't have too much of a concern as I can secure it to my patio and could pull it in tonight. Dan you make a good point about the gray man and I think that its the right way to go. Anything mid to long term it would be better to fade away than try to hang on to things a little longer. For gas storage purposes long term I would be much better off using my limited space for more food and water.
     
  8. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Or you could talk to your condo association about the possibility of a generator for the entire complex- depending on how big it is. Your condo association might be able to fund it.

    For the most part, I wouldn't worry about it too much. A small 3kw generator would be enough for a couple/few day emergency, outside on your patio with a cable lock should suffice. If you're prepping for anything more than a weather-related power outage, you need to move.

    Remeber that gasoline generators need to be turned off and cooled off to refill the tank. Generator fires tend to happen from people attempting to refill running generators with gasoline.
     
  9. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head southeast Well-Known Member

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    Well here is my .02 cents worth, as said above never ever run a generator in doors the CO2 is a silent and deadly killer and can seep throught the walls and affect your neighbors or kill them as yourself, just not a safe thing to do.

    Second, I know someone who has a Honda EU 3000 is, they tell me it is super super quiet, If you do not need a 3000 then consider the EU 2000 is, i should be quieter.

    But as others have said, in an apartment, condo or aplace with close neighbors, you will be a magnet for every bone head and all their friends.

    My opinion, bug out as soonas possible until that time rough it, save the geenie and fuel, if you can move now or start looking into it.

    ALso, the person I know who has the EU 3000 is lives in the country and plans to use it to run just a few appliances at a time, shtf fuel is going to be one of th ehighest priced commodities there, if any one doubts this take a minute and lookat what is going on in the northeast and adjoining states.

    I lived through the 2003 power outage that struct Ohio, 1/3 of MI parts of PA, NY etc, and btw it lasted 3 times longer and affected 3 time more and area than was reported or has been officially documented. I have hauled fuel in 5 & 6 gallon cans from northen MI to friend and family in the detroit area and only charged them for cost, except my parents who were retired I filled their car with gas and them extra.

    What I am saying the bigger the generator the bigger that fuel tank had better be and sonner you had better be planned to be without fuel, because eventually you will not be able to feed that beast.
     
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  10. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    There's probably a thousand shades of SHTF, and while having a generator may create unwanted attention in some situations, it could also be very useful to have a little power every once in a while. Charging phones, maybe running the refrigerator to keep things cool, some lights on occasion. In my opinion, you're much more likely to encounter a small-to-medium event (like a wind or snow/ice storm) where something like this will be useful. If things got bad enough - stealing, violence, etc. - then you could re-think your use of the generator.
     
    Thebastidge and (deleted member) like this.
  11. nwwoodsman

    nwwoodsman Vernonia Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I just read an article on this very thing written by a guy on the east coast enjoying the aftermath of Sandy. He started his generator and the neighbors swarmed in like locust. They became hostile when he refused to let them use it. Also had people hitting him up for gas. In your situation it sounds like nothing more than a good way to get unwanted attention.
     
  12. bentbronco

    bentbronco pdx New Member

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    Is there a way you could silence it? something like this that Google found Joel's Garage: Quiet Generator Muffler
    If it could get down to road noise level and used spiratically it may work
     
  13. Squidly

    Squidly Sandy Active Member

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    +1 Honda EU 3000 very quiet and efficient
    +2 ... EU 2000 ultra quiet and efficient
    -10, FAIL - for running a generator inside your house in any way, unless you plan to kill everyone in your house.

    That being said, I've plumbed sealed exhaust tubing for a generator in my garage to the outside. It was noisy and shook the whole house... seemed like it anyway. It really heated up the garage though, not to mention the smell of hot engine. Tolerable during an ice storm power outage. A really quiet genny like previously mentioned should be more manageable. Again, safety first. Do not attempt without professional assistance.
     
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Generator noise is relative to the surroundings. In a noisy environment it may not be noticed at all and oddly in a relatively quiet environment it may be only a slight nuisance in the background but if it is a somewhat out of ordinary sound for the environment then it may stand out above everything regardless of how quiet it is. I suspect in a condo scenario the generator would be somewhat out of place and could cause more problems for you than helping - especially from those who who may be more desperate than you and are looking for anything to make their situation better. I think you would be better off capitalizing on some more practical means in your situation than a generator. Also depending on you situation power may not be your highest priority.
     
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  15. HBIII

    HBIII Wilsonville Active Member

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    Link to article?