Observatons on running genset for a week
Like a lot of you, we recently had a power outage which lasted three hours short of a week. Ran a generac 3250W genset 12-14 hours per day. The little generac covered itself in glory, started right up, took the loads, didn't mind the over 100 degree temps every day, etc.
What I learned from this:
Been in this area for over 60 years and am very familiar with power outages and generators, however, never seen an extended outage in summer? We almost routinely get them in late winter or early spring due to ice storms. So, when I got this unit, I sized it for a frig, freezer, and the "entertainment center" and a couple of lamps. Heat and cooking is by propane so power is not required. Works just fine during the winter. I intentionally didn't get a larger unit as the 12 hour run time was a key factor. Slipping and sliding around refueling after an ice storm ain't fun, neither is driving 17 miles for more gas. I once had a homelite monster which had to be refueled every 3-4 hours!!
This time however, the temp was over 100 during the day and was typically 90 at night. I didn't have the power to run any A/C units, couple of fans only. Being with a post menopausal female in that situation ain't fun....:-)
Also, historically, running a large upright freezer and side by side frig for 12 hours kept everything frozen and nice and cool. The key however is the ambient temp was around 70, NOT over 100. We didn't lose anything in either of them, however, the temp climbed higher than I liked in both. Being conservative, guess I'm just not comfortable letting a small engine run when everyone is asleep.
Adding to the fun and excitement was the fact that the county water supply system had no power to any of the wells, so they took out generators and left them running. Folks immediately stole them.... In phase two they took a generator out to a well, filled that tank, went to the next, filled that tank, etc. until they returned to the first one and started over. We have had a whole 5 PSI to try to water garden, flowers, etc. (crispy critters now).
What I've learned, the new "energy efficient" frig's, freezers, etc. don't use a lot of power, but in high ambient temp's they run almost continuously. Amusing side bar to this was that all the local TV and radio stations were urging folks to empty and throw out everything after 4 hours without power?
When I replace the generac, I'll probably go up to a 5KW so I can at least run one A/C unit. Refilling is still a concern to me. The "yolks on me" as many times in this and other forums I've "opined" that you should always buy bigger than you think you need, LT's, GT's, etc.
Couple of other amusing things. With the massive outage a lot of gas stations couldn't power their pumps, so gas sales were down, (ignoring the irritation folks had driving all over southern ohio trying to find gas) so, in the middle of all this, gas prices jumped thirty cents, then the following day another twenty five. My wife (an accountant) said, if your sales are down, you just charge more to satisfy your overhead and proftit margins. Now "everybody and their dog" is buying generators, I've attached a link to one that three neighbors have ordered. Made in China, one year warranty, not returnable if oil or gas is installed, but the price is right. Now, that's scary.
Just sharing some lessons learned, guess an old dog can be taught.
Here is a link that might be useful: 10KW (?) genset