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DirecTV with a Generator

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by llupin, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Dec 5, 2012 #181 of 369
    Joe166

    Joe166 AllStar

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    As a seasoned veteran of many storms, I bet you guys will probably never really have as much use for your generators as you now think you will. I was without power for almost a month after Hurricane Andrew, and it was only because one of my neighbors went to the local motel where an out of state power restoration crew was resting between shifts with a fistful of $$ that we got power when we did. After that, I got a whole house generator (and 14kw is plenty for two central A/C's, all the lights and hot water heater as long as they don't all turn on at the same time). I would say that the longest I have ever had it run is two days since then. I have 70 gallons of diesel fuel on and under the trailer it is on (an installation on wheels is considered a temporary installation and has much easier zoning requirements here even though I would have to tear down my wall to move it). That will run it basically for three days (about one gph). I try to keep the tanks full and keep a couple of 5 gallon tanks full also.

    Since the Andrew debacle the power company has done a great job with hardening our power grid so we have been through a few major storms with little or no outages. Some power lines have been buried, some wooden poles have been replaced with concrete but the single most important contribution to maintaining a normal lifestyle was the County government passing a regulation that ALL gas stations (and hospitals and shelters) MUST have a standby generator in order to be in business. When all else fails, we still know we can go and buy gas and diesel fuel at the corner. Major factor.

    I am still very glad I have the generator and even if it only goes on for a couple of hours due to a blown transformer, my wife is really glad we have it too. It is totally hands off. It has a big panel made in Spain in my garage that senses when the utility power goes off and thirty seconds later kicks in and if the power comes back on it shuts off in 60 seconds. It has been flawless and it "exercises" itself every Saturday morning for 15 minutes to make sure everything is ready and waiting. The guy who installed it comes by once a year and changes the oil and checks the state of the battery.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2012 #182 of 369
    loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    I was down there during Andrew and I definitely can confirm that statement. But, since then I have moved up to Maine. We loose power a lot more up here than we did in Florida (besides hurricanes), especially in the winter (ice storms, snow knocking branches down on wires). Unlike Florida most of the electrical lines are on poles, not underground, which makes them more prone to damage.

    Today outages are lasting a lot longer than they have in the past, due to the reduction of personnel on repair crews. The crew that handles our area is only half as large as it was 10 years ago.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #183 of 369
    sbl

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    I have two houses. My "main" house is in a suburban part of a city (small by most state standards, but big for NH). I've lived here since 1990 and, until the "Snowtober" storm of 2011 the longest we had been without power was about 4-5 hours (though in some earlier storms other parts of the city had been out for a week or more.) But I lost power for 6 days in that storm and finally bought a portable generator and wired up a transfer switch. As I tell my neighbors, this guarantees that we won't lose power for another 20 years. (Neighbors on both sides also have generators.) But I feel better being prepared should it happen again.

    I also have a small house in a decidedly rural town. Power goes out there a lot, for days at a time, and I found myself trekking out there to run propane heaters and keep the pipes from freezing. Finally I broke down and had a standby generator installed. For each of three years running, there have been multi-day power outages there and the generator kept the house alive in freezing temperatures. Worth every penny.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2012 #184 of 369
    Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    It just gets better and better ... also need a gas meter upgrade. Only have 200 cfh meter now, 14kw generator needs 193 all by itself. Project gets bigger and bigger and ...
     
  5. Dec 6, 2012 #185 of 369
    Tom_S

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    I saw myself going down this same road last year after the freak October snowstorm left me without power for a week. I was gonna go whole-hog, but then took a step back and realized that this was a freak thing and that I could get away with much less.

    So I went with a 7000 watt portable Gas driven generator and hooked a 220v power inlet box to the back of the house. The total cost was about $800 for everything. I lost power for 10 days during sandy, and while it was not as convenient as a home-standby, my life was 90% normal with lights, hot showers, TV and of course cold freezer and fridge.

    So I suggest anybody looking to get a generator stop and think how much you may need it, and how much is inconvenient for you. You may find you can get by with alot less.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2012 #186 of 369
    brad2388

    brad2388 Mentor

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    Generac def. rules the market in home standby units for sure. They come prepackaged with the transfer switch and the generator. There just not made to run for days and days. But the automatic feature is nice when its snowing outside and freezing cold!
     
  7. Dec 6, 2012 #187 of 369
    Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Yep, exactly. Been thinking it all through. Thinking maybe a smaller quiet Honda inverter-type, nice clean power, and a transfer switch. Haven't decided yet, but it's somewhat a hobby right now to figure this all out, with no need to rush into anything. I'm certainly learning a lot as I talk to generator suppliers, my plumber guy, an electrician, and the local building inspector.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2012 #188 of 369
    patmurphey

    patmurphey Godfather

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    I'm putting in a 10kw Generac with service disconnect 200 amp switch and load shedding for just over $6000, here in NW NJ. I found an online supplier for the generator just before they went to a long back order, delivered yesterday. The generator, switch, battery and load shed modules total $3200, with free shipping. Plumber, electrician, permits and landscaping make up the rest.
     
  9. Dec 6, 2012 #189 of 369
    Rich

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    Guess I'll have to call up PSE&G and see if I've got one that needs replacement. I think they replaced mine a few years ago.

    Rich
     
  10. Dec 6, 2012 #190 of 369
    Rich

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    That's the thing that's got me worried, but the weather's changing so much that I'd rather be safe than sorry. Some parts of NJ and NY still don't have power after Sandy.

    I've also got some dopey neighbors who can't see the reasoning behind the power company wanting to trim the trees back from the power lines. Huge trees hovering over power lines is a recipe for disaster, but they don't listen.

    Rich
     
  11. Dec 6, 2012 #191 of 369
    Rich

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    Just checked mine and it's 275CFH. I'll probably need a new one. Yeah, better and better. Thanx for the info.

    Rich
     
  12. Dec 6, 2012 #192 of 369
    Rich

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    What you did wouldn't have worked here. No gas. No gas stations with gennys of their own, can you believe that? That ought to be mandatory, I think.

    Rich
     
  13. Dec 6, 2012 #193 of 369
    Rich

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    What!? Why not? What's the purpose if not to run for days on end? It's been over a month since Sandy and people here still don't have power in some places.

    Rich
     
  14. Dec 6, 2012 #194 of 369
    Rich

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    I'm doing the same thing. The only thing that stops me from just buying another portable genny (I have two CB boxes that I can feed separately) is the gasoline thing. Good learning experience, tho.

    Rich
     
  15. Dec 6, 2012 #195 of 369
    trdrjeff

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    Aren't most of your weather situations you will need this for give you a decent lead time to accumulate gas?

    I know the smaller Honda Inverter series are quite efficient on gas, but the volume needed for whole house operation will likely require a pretty good amount for 4-7 days...

    I have seen kits for conversion of the Honda's also
     
  16. Dec 6, 2012 #196 of 369
    Rich

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    No. Sandy certainly didn't. Nobody expected what we got.

    Rich
     
  17. Dec 6, 2012 #197 of 369
    sbl

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    The Generacs (and other standby generators) can run for days and days. It is recommended that you stop them every day or so and check the oil level.

    Also, while many Generacs look the same from the outside, I can see definite differences "under the hood" between the models sold at Home Depot and the one I got.
     
  18. Dec 6, 2012 #198 of 369
    Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I change my mind about once a day. The Honda EU6500IS seems appealing with a Tri-Fuel Kit, but then I wonder about warranty, and my latest thought is that if we get hit in the middle of the summer then I want the A/C, so no point in having great power but the house is hot. Yes, could run window A/C units, but then that adds another layer of complexity. I like the Honda inverter type, because my APC UPS' didn't like the generator power source from my neighbor during Sandy/Athena, and I have 9 APC UPS' in the house for every electronics device, including all the DirecTV gear.

    Did talk to the town building inspector today, and left the conversation feeling better about the whole home unit, but candidly, I do change my mind daily, as I think through the pro's and con's of each option.

    For me, it's Kohler 14RESAL vs Honda EU6500iS.
     
  19. Dec 6, 2012 #199 of 369
    Rich

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    Everybody seems to be leaning toward or has a Generac, so I guess I'll be looking for one.

    I'd expect that.

    Rich
     
  20. Dec 6, 2012 #200 of 369
    trdrjeff

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    huh? I heard about this "Perfect Storm" possibility days before it made landfall and I'm in Sunny Socal...

    Obviously no one knows for certain where a storm will strike or the severity from county to county, but you have a pretty good idea if you are in the path days before.
     

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