Emergency Power/Storms/Prepping etc

IReallyLikePizza2

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The other thread was me asking about buying a generator, but seems to have a lot of discussion. I figure I'd make this catch all thread for general discussion.

I'll start. I filled my 5 Gallon HDPE Hedpaks the other day, just in case Beryl comes around here to Houston. I keep them in my spare bathroom tub

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The other thread was me asking about buying a generator, but seems to have a lot of discussion. I figure I'd make this catch all thread for general discussion.

I'll start. I filled my 5 Gallon HDPE Hedpaks the other day, just in case Beryl comes around here to Houston. I keep them in my spare bathroom tub

View attachment 197809
I like the idea of having those jugs on hand! How big is your hot water heater? You could close the inlet valve on that to keep possibly contaminated water from going in and have that many more gallons on hand.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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I like the idea of having those jugs on hand! How big is your hot water heater? You could close the inlet valve on that to keep possibly contaminated water from going in and have that many more gallons on hand.
Only 29 gallons, but still not bad.

I keep a lot of bottled water rotated out, as well as sparkling water, coconut water, beer, etc. I Think we'd be set for quite a long outage. My main goal here is to survive a week or 2 during a hurricane
 

abita_brewing

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After living through Katrina, helping friends through Katrina, and picking apart strategies with gov't researchers.... I've learned a few things.

Water
Cooling (fans/etc) as you are in TX.
Entertainment: cards, board games, etc

Good heavy duty trash bags... the kind you can twist closed, fold over, and zip tie so they airtight. Then you can store them inside garage or somewhere protected to keep animals from them. If they are torn open... you get flies. When you get flies, you get diseases.

COVER THE RIM/LIP OF YOUR DRINKING GLASSES WITH A LITTLE CARDBOARD "HAT" TO KEEP FLIES OFF AND OUT OF IT.

All the rest is probably covered so far.

If home depot has not been wiped out yet... this is an excellent personal fan that runs from 12-36 hours (high-low). Doubles as usb charger and flashlight also.

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Maybe I'm just not built for Houston heat, but I ended up just buying a 27kw generator so I can just enjoy the 68 degree AC :nervous:
27??? Holy Crap! We use a lot of power, but with AC running and electric stove going at the same time (along with the normal household stuff), we were using just over 7kwh when I had a meter for such things back in California.
 

TonyR

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Good heavy duty trash bags... the kind you can twist closed, fold over, and zip tie so they airtight. s (high-low). Doubles as usb charger and flashlight also.
I buy the 4-flap tie kind, not the kind with 4 red handles ties....the handles always snap when I pull them tight to seal. The 4-flap tie bags can be closed up several ways and can be sealed easier, nothing to snap....fewer "moving" parts! :headbang:
 

dudemaar

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Ri22o

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This is something else to consider, but is more of a fill as needed and not keep it in the tub, sort of thing.

We are considering going in on a Freeze dryer with a few other family members. We don't get any hurricanes here, but still good to prep.
My brother has one. When he isn't freeze drying long term food, he is doing candy and selling it. Skittles, Starburst, Bit o Honey, Milk Duds, Salt Water Taffy, etc.
 
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MTL4

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Maybe I'm just not built for Houston heat, but I ended up just buying a 27kw generator so I can just enjoy the 68 degree AC :nervous:
Wow 27kw!!! Are you guys on natural gas? That must use a ton of fuel at full power for any period of time. We can only use gasoline, diesel or propane where we are so I have to make sure whatever we do decide to use that it will also be available during a disaster. Last major hurricaine we had we were out of electricity for 2 weeks and it was really hard to get any propane tanks filled. As a result I have to keep 50 gallons of gas on hand at all times just so we're never stuck (I fill with super and rotate through my cars annually). Thank God we have wells and septic tanks so water and sewer are always working as long as you have electricity.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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So here is the full generator story. When I was looking for a generator and made the other thread, I decided I wanted a liquid cooled unit. At the time, the smallest liquid cooled that Generac made was 22kw, the RG022-QS. But, to jump up to the RG027-QS was just $500, and on a $20,000 install, it seemed dumb not to pay an extra $500 for that capacity. I said 27kw, but its actually 27kw on Propane and only 25kw on Natural Gas, which is what I'm running. Both those generators have the same 2.4L Mitsubishi Inline 4 engine, and just recently they stopped supplying Generac, Cummins and some other brand with them, so now you can only get warranty replacements for them, but no net new units. The smallest liquid cooled unit that is 1800RPM from Generac is now the new XG32, and a 32kw unit is way, way, WAY overkill and uses a lot more natural gas at idle. The other liquid cooled models they have are turbocharged units running at 3600RPM, boo!

I could have gone with Cummins or Kohler at the time, but the Cummins installer was a no-show for the quote, and the best Kohler dealer in the area was trying to tell me I had to change a bunch of electrical stuff as well, bumping up the cost (I did NOT have to change anything, they were just being scummy)

It ended up working out really really well. At that time, I didn't have any power monitoring in place, so I really didn't know how much power I needed, and the City has this antiquated load calculation sheet, and if they determine you are above the kw rated of the genset, you are required by code to install the really annoying load shed modules that fail all the time. The city calculation came out a hair under 25kw, so no load shed modules required!

Much after I did get power monitoring, and with the AC's running, electric oven on, etc I see around 14kw, so I have 11kw to spare. But as @TonyR mentioned, my wife got a Mach-E last year, and we put in a 12kw EV charger in the garage. I'm thrilled I didn't get a smaller genset, as I have enough headroom to pretty much do what I want

The larger genset also means starting larger motor loads is no problem, and the thing runs super cool all the time.

As for natural gas cost @MTL4 , I got my gas bill and punched the numbers into excel and I have an estimated cost. This assumes a constant 6.25kw load, which is way, way way high. In reality I'm using more like 3kw most of the time. So this is almost a worst case, and it comes out to just $20 currently. I've seen it as low as $10, and as high as $32. Either way, I would happily pay that cost to have power for an entire day!

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We recently had an outage for almost exactly 24 hours during some bad storms here in Houston, and my gas bill was I think $12 above normal, pretty cool!

Here is a pic

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biggen

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I love your setup. I need to take a picture of my 24kw Generac just installed. Still waiting on a couple plumbing loose ends to tie up, but it's basically running. Now I'm figuring out how to mount my RPi in it so I can use Genmon and not their Mobile Link app.

I also did some NG calculations based on the Generac spec sheet for my unit. At 50% load (~10kW on NG), it consumes roughly 200 Cubic Feet/hr. That is approx 2 therms worth of NG. I'm charged $.35/therm from my gas company so it would cost me approx $.70/hour to run this at 50% load which I'll probably never have it loaded anywhere close to that for an hour much less a day.
 

elvisimprsntr

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Good luck to those in Beryl’s path.

I’m in pretty good shape.

  • All underground utilities.
  • House is on critical infrastructure part of grid.
  • Fiber to the house, so no intermediate points of failure.
  • IT infrastructure on UPS.
  • JIC I installed a portable generator back feed interlock and bought window shaker.


 

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biggen

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I looked into having a manual transfer switch installed on the outside of the house with a 50A inlet for portable generator use, but I ended up nixing the idea as I don't know if my wife would be able to set all that up if I wasn't around when power went out.

It's a hell of a lot cheaper though to go that route!
 
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