i had a message from laswamp this am! he is ok plenty of stories he will post later in here!
glad he is ok!
glad he is ok!
There's not much to see outside. There's a few large limbs but it's mostly small stuff. Tons of pine needles, pine cones and smaller stick and twigs. I have to clear it all so I don't hit any of it with the mower. I was going to try to clear through some of it today but it rained for about an hour and a half. I will try to get out there early tomorrow. I'm still exhausted from the past week.cool!
any pix of your area outside?
do you have natural gas and if you do did the gas stay up and working?
cool on the extended run tanks!
we have modified the cars and trucks for external fuel ports off the manifold area for ball valves rated for gasoline and marine quick connects...
then we can use the in tank fuel pump to fill gas cans out of the larger gas tanks.
my little honda eu2200i gens i use the berg system with 6 gallon marine fuel tanks.
and i have fuel block splitters etc for the fuel lines so i can hot swap the fuel tanks out or refill them while they system is in use as you are not close to the gen set.
pretty cool idea.
so far the tri fuel plan has worked well for me.
natural gas as my primary fuel...
gasoline as my secondary
and LP as the third.
LA maybe it is time to look in to a generator system interlock and inlet for both properties..
at least get it in the plan....
mother nature is throwing a hissy fit every few years now....
so a larger tank fuel plan, better inlets...
and maybe a few battery inverter options...
food and water plans need to be a priority as well.
and depending on your location a plan for bathroom and shower...
think flood and no drains and bad city water supply....
Yeah, the cords were a real hassle to deal with. Far more so than I had anticipated. It created a lot of clutter. Wen makes a more powerful inverter for about $700 that has 240 VAC. Oddly, it does not have parallel capability. Using extension cords is not the most elegant solution, but I have to admit, it did work quite well even if it was not terribly aesthetic. That's something I've been working on. That, and trying to figure out a more practical way to deal with the tiny gas tank on my Wen. The external fuel tank idea worked. Now I need to refine the design into something a bit easier than using the Coleman tank.Good to hear everything worked ok with the generators...what a story! The only thing I would recommend going forward is to do away with all of the extension cords and setup an interlock and power inlet for your house. No way I would want to fuss around with running individual cords. Having a 240V inverter generator makes it so much easier. Converting the Honda EU7000is to run on natural gas also alleviated the gasoline availability and storage issue.
In 2012 Hurricane sandy knocked power out for me for 4 days. By the skin of my teeth bought my first generator off of Amazon as they were all selling it rapidly. I used a slew of extension cords and was happy to have power but immediately wanted a better setup.Yeah, the cords were a real hassle to deal with. Far more so than I had anticipated. It created a lot of clutter. Wen makes a more powerful inverter for about $700 that has 240 VAC. Oddly, it does not have parallel capability. Using extension cords is not the most elegant solution, but I have to admit, it did work quite well even if it was not terribly aesthetic. That's something I've been working on. That, and trying to figure out a more practical way to deal with the tiny gas tank on my Wen. The external fuel tank idea worked. Now I need to refine the design into something a bit easier than using the Coleman tank.
Hi Blu. I keep the Champion at my girlfriend's house because she has a bad back and the Champion has an electric start. I left it at her house after the storm had passed and she got her power back having concluded that I didn't need the full wattage of both generators when I returned to my house. It was much easier to move just the Wen and I was only going to power a few items. Plus, I have two other generators on site that I could use if something happened and I needed additional power beyond what the Wen provides. I wanted to run only one generator, though, in order to conserve fuel. It was almost impossible to find in the days after the storm and I needed to stretch my supply as long as I could.Glad to hear you're alright and made it through okay. Everybody was wondering how you were. I have a really stupid question because I probably missed something. But why didn't you take the Champion home when you're girlfriend got power back? And yes, you really need an interlock setup.
drmerdp is right about the bridged adapter cord. After finding out it could be done I made one up for my 2000 inverter. The plan being to use the bigger gen during the day for the big stuff because my house is all electric. Then using the small inverter for a window A/C unit at night.
In the U.S. we use 240V split phase, where the two 120V legs are 180 degrees out of phase with each other. Therefore using the two hot legs together gives you 240V. The bridged connector for a 120V generator puts the same phase 120V on both legs and will allow all the 120V items to operate up to the capacity of the genset, but the 240V breakers should be turned off.What’s the purpose for a bridged connector? As I’m an electrical newbie I wasn’t sure what you meant by supplying 120 to both legs? for some reason I thought the l14-30 supplied 2 legs of 120V each?
you forgot to add "with a proper generator inlet and interlock it works well"The idea is to install a jumper wire from the occupied L1 position to the empty L2 position inside of a l14-30 connector. It supplies the same 120v feed to both legs of the Electrical service. The caveat is its 120v in phase with each other as opposed to 2 separate 120v legs 180 degrees opposed producing a combined 240v of amplitude.
Hey LaSwamp, Glad to hear you made it through alright. Man I know what you mean with the heat and trying to sleep through it. My family of 4 spent the first night (Sunday night) in the dark as I was not going to try and setup the gen while there was still storms and rain going sideways. I'll post a separate thread with my story shortly.Hi guys. It's good to see y'all again. I got a message from Paul during the outage but I couldn't respond until yesterday. It's been a heck of a week. I saw Rene posted and he's okay. I believe he's from the greater New Orleans area. They got whacked really hard. I was happy to see he made it okay.
We've mostly got everything back up and running as of this morning. The power went out last Sunday afternoon at my house as the weather started picking up. The power wasn't restored until Friday night. Since then, it's been a huge clean up job and sorting/putting up equipment. I've gotten the inside of the house mostly cleaned out and organized. The outside has debris everywhere and that's going to be a longer cleanup. I plan to try to start tackling that job today. Luckily, I didn't seem to get any house damage. I have a huge tree line at the edge of my back yard and it appears to act as a wind break during high wind events. Needless to say, my preps and plan got put to the test. The outcome was mostly good, although it was still a learning experience.
I spent the first part of the outage at my girlfriend's house. She has my Champion inverter. I brought my Wen inverter and set up shop. I modified a Champion parallel kit to work with the Wen. Here is the power station set up and ready to go:
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Here is the Champion parallel kit:
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All of my cords and surge suppressors ready to roll:
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The power went off a bit later Sunday at my girlfriend's house. We decided to wait until morning to start the generators. We had quite a bit to power but I was confident we'd have enough wattage. The house got really hot and about 5:00 am, I'd had enough of the heat and humidity. Both inverters started up without issue. I had to modify the parallel kit to work with the Wen, but the generators synced right up. I could tell it was working because when I started the Champion (before the Wen), the LEDs on the Wen's external outlets lighted up. We got the window a/c units started and plugged in the fridge. I tested the signal from the two inverters with the scope and it looked better than wall power.
Overall, I was able to power three window a/c units, a fridge, a deep freeze, LED lights, TV, fans, and a cable modem and router. I set up a charging station for all of the cell phones/tablets and that worked out well. Some observations... the Champion's rating of 22 hours on a 4-gallon tank of fuel was pretty close to accurate. It did extremely well with gas. The Wen was a bit of a puzzle. It has a 1.8 gallon tank and is rated for 7 hours at 50% load. I was having to refuel it about every 4 hours. Granted, it's got a pretty small tank and we were running it hard. But I was still a bit disappointed that at 4 hours, I was having to prep to shut it down to refuel. Overall though, the two inverters didn't miss a beat. They seemed to provide plenty of reliable power.
On Tuesday, my girlfriend's power came back on. Since she was good to go, I packed up the Wen and cords and headed back to base. There were rumors in the neighborhood that we might have power by Tuesday morning. Yeah, that didn't pan out. I set up the Wen in the front driveway at first. I was able to run 2 fridges and a 6k BTU window a/c, along with some lighting. Before setting up the Wen, I changed the oil. It was definitely through break in at that point so it was time. The oil was pretty dark but didn't look too bad. I changed the oil with Chevron Delo 5w40 full synthetic. It was hot as blazes and I knew I was going to run it hard. The first two days, I ran the Wen in the front driveway (around 20 hours). I moved it to the back porch after that so I could run it at night to power the window a/c. Sleeping in 82 degree heat with 98% humidity is one nasty experience, let me assure you. I really wanted coffee on day 2 after coming back to my house. I have a small electric percolator but I didn't want to use it with the Wen since it was already running a good load on it. I decided to start the Firman since all the percolator is, is just a big heating coil and would not care about the dirty power. I set up the coffee pot on the tailgate of my truck in the driveway and plugged it in. The Firman didn't flinch. Even though it was hotter than blazes, it was very nice to have some good coffee.
After the oil change, I was getting about 6 hours on a tank before needing to refuel. That was certainly much better than before. I don't know if the better oil had anything to do with that or I if I was simply running a lighter load. The first night with the Wen on the back porch was nice in that I could sleep in a/c comfort. However, the bad part was that no matter how I timed it, I was having to get up in the middle of the night to refuel. My pattern was to wait until around 9:00 pm to refuel for the night. However, I'd have to set my alarm because that would only get me to 3:00 am. Both refueling times were during the night and the insects in my back yard were swarming. Every species of insect on the planet seemed to be waiting to ambush me. I started brainstorming about a way to extend the run time of the Wen through the night so I didn't have to endure the worst aspects of the insect kingdom. My Coleman Powermate has a 6 gallon tank. I had plenty of 1/4 inch rubber fuel line on hand. I began to wonder if I could run a fuel line from the Coleman's fuel tank to the Wen's carb. If it worked, I could get about 20 hours of run time on a tank instead of only 6. That would allow me to fuel up at around 5:00 pm when it was still light and the bugs had not yet come out for the night. The fuel would then last until well after sun up the next day, allowing me to sleep through the night. It took a bit of work but I got the rig set up.
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Since it would be gravity-fed, it looked like it should work with no problems. I filled up the Coleman tank at around 5:00 pm and started the Wen. It worked. The Wen was able to run all night using the fuel from the Coleman's tank. No more 3:00 am fueling and fighting the insect wars.
All told, the Wen ran about 60-70 hours mostly non-stop. I was impressed with how well it did. Once I did the fuel mod, I was really happy with how it performed. I wish the Wen had a larger fuel tank. If it had a tank about 3 to 3.5 gallons, it would be near perfect. That would extend run time to about 10 hours which would be a lot more practical. We had begun hearing rumors that we might get power restored on Friday. However, it was getting late and still nothing. I decided to go to bed since I was exhausted. By the time it came back on I was so tired I let the Wen run overnight since it was powering the window a/c and no way was I in the mood to face Bug Central. I got up the next morning and shut it down. I moved all of the equipment back to the garage and changed the oil in the Wen once more. It looked like honey when I put it in on Tuesday. It looked like coffee coming out yesterday morning. I'm glad I decided to change it. Overall, I am very pleased with how well the Wen did with the extended outage. I just got it a few months ago, so the timing could not have been better.
As you all have probably heard and something Rene has also seen in his area, no doubt, is the massive gasoline panic that has ensued after the storm passed. It's been really bad. Few gas stations had gasoline and the ones that did had long lines. Imagine a line of cars wrapped around the station, extending out of the parking lot and down the highway for a quarter mile. Apparently, a lot of people now have portable gas generators but, for some reason, didn't have much gas on hand when the lights went out. So they all, at once, began swarming the gas stations and draining them dry. I read that the typical three day supply most stations keep was going in 5 hours. I saw something similar happen after Katrina in 2005 and Gustav in 2008, although I don't recall it being nearly as bad as it was this time. I didn't have generators then, so I may have simply not noticed it. Although I think the answer is that far more people have generators now than they did back then. I know after the 2016 flood when I lost power for 5 days, I decided it was time to get a generator and some means to cool at least one room of the house. Houses in this neck of the woods become a hot, nasty mess after a day or two with no power. One big lesson reaffirmed after this saga is that gas is king. As much as I had on hand, I was on my last 5 gallon can when the lights came back on. That said, I burned off a lot of older gas I had stored. I am hopeful that in the future more people will be better prepared gas-wise when the next big storm takes out the grid for a week.
As many extension cords as I had, I used every one of them. I had just enough to make it all work. I thought I'd have cords to spare. Nope, all of them got pressed into service. I'm going to order a couple more good cords to toss in the power chest. The flat appliance cords are awesome. You can pass them under exterior doors far more easily than the thick round ones. Next time, however, I want to run the cords outside if I can. Having numerous cords running up and down halls was very messy and cluttered, and made for some tripping hazards. I also want to pick up a shop fan. I used a borrowed one to keep the exhaust fumes from the Wen away from the house. It worked extremely well.
That's all I can think of for the moment. Ask me anything!