Tag Archives: generator

Propane-Powered Generators: Are They the Best Choice?

Propane Powered Generators-Recently I was asked the following question by someone who wants to install a 5000-watt generator to run their home in case of a power failure:

What is the best choice for fuel, propane, gasoline or diesel?

This reader is leaning towards getting a propane-powered generator. The choices are confusing, and a guide like this one can help the newcomer to the world of generators make the best choice.

I have been doing some research on the subject and here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of all three fuels for generators: gasoline, diesel, and propane.

  • Advantages:
    •  Easily obtained
    •  Portable in small containers
  • Disadvantages:
    • Highly flammable
    • Short shelf life of fuel (approximately 12 months)
    • Storing large quantities of fuel is hazardous
    • May not be available during power outages
  • Advantages:
    • Least flammable fuel source
    • Fuel easily obtained (fuel is easier to obtain during a disaster because it is a necessary fuel for the military, trucking industry, and farming operations)
    • On site fuel delivery available
    • Designed for off-road applications and can operate on dyed or farm/construction diesel fuel which is sold without the road tax and thus is considerably cheaper to purchase.
Posted in fuels | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

How to safely connect a generator to your home

There are several ways to connect a generator to your home, the trick is to use a safe method and don’t electrocute yourself. The first method that we will discuss is connecting individual appliances and lights with extension cords.

Now this sounds easy just run a cord from your generator to your freezer and you are in business. That is partly right. Your generator will normally have a built in circuit breaker. The wire size in the extension cord should be heavy enough to carry the load for the equipment you are energizing. My generator has a 20amp circuit breaker so my extension cords should be a minimum of 12 gauge wire.…

Posted in lighting | Tagged | 2 Comments

Tri Fuel Generator Conversions

Yesterday I spent about an hour and half converting a Honda Eu2000 generator to tri fuel (runs on natural gas, propane or gasoline).  A while back, I had ordered a conversion kit from Central Maine Diesel.  The kits cost about $179.00 plus a core charge unless you send them your carburetor. In my case since the generator was new and had barely been run I decided to pay the core charge and keep the carburetor for a spare.

I am not a mechanic and the instructions were not the best.  They consisted of 3 or 4 pictures with a few notes. …

Posted in equipment, fuels | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

How Big a Generator do You Need

How much Electricity do Common Household Appliances Use?

The following information is only an approximation, since different brands and models of tools and appliances power usages vary.  However the following list is useful in helping you determine the size generator or alternate power system you need.

Remember that every appliance that is plugged in may consume energy even if it is not turned on.  For example, TVs, computers, VCRs, and other electronic devices use energy to stay in standby mode. Even your mobile charger for your phone or iPod consumes about 4 watts of electricity per hour.

Electricity is measured in kilowatts.…

Posted in electronics, equipment, lighting, Self sufficiency, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments