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Monday, July 2, 2012

Murph got me thinking....

So Murph has a power outage and tells the aftermath. I don't have a 172 to survey what has power or not. After a cursory inspection here my game is lacking. 

On the nightstand:
















A E2D Surefire, a wireless phone that would be useless in a power failure and a land line phone.  Say what you will about the death of them. It is coming but they still have a bunch of batteries and generators at the central offices. 

Next on the dresser. A standard MagLite. 






















If I need more flashlights, there is one right here in the laundry room on the wall. 

















If we go into overtime I have this for lighting.
















Another LED MagLite and a little B&D LED stick.

Oh and this:
















This is a cool Coleman LED lantern that has a rechargeable battery pack as well as accepting 4 size D batteries. You can split it into two parts and carry them around. 

I can recharge it with this:

















This is a big sealed 12VDC battery in a pretty case. It can power 12 volt devices as well as small load 120VAC stuff. You can keep your cell phone charged as well as the lighting the above stuff for days.

Heat I have.


















Powered by this:






















So is the gas grill.



















Good on that end, but not good enough.

Battery powered radio I have, but it would be cumbersome to bug out with. On the plus side, I could do some blunt force trauma to an adversary when it is loaded with NINE D cell batteries!













Water. This one is interesting. I have one of these:
















A deep water well. The hand pump is for show to keep the plastic crap cover on it. The previous owners cut over to county water leaving me with two outside hose bibs for watering.

Local regs say I cannot interconnect the two systems. Plumber is coming tomorrow to give an assessment on what would be required to switch the house back to the well. 

I looked online and found hand pumps that would work in conjuction with the pump arrangement. 2K?!?!?

I think I could do better. 

If I decide what I MUST run with electricity and size a generator properly I thought I should be able to beat the 2K and simply have well water in the house as well as powering essential stuff.

I get right to it. 

  
  


















Taking amp readings for essential circuits. 

Inrush current for the well pump:














The biggest load. I can power the well pump, the beer storage unit refrigerator, coffee maker, ceiling fans, office PC, modem, TV, directv, lights and the security system. For less than the 2K for the hand pump for the well. 

This thing is covered in awesome sauce! The manual transfer switch. A masterful show of simplicity. From Reliance Controls. One is one the way. Looks like I need about a 7Kw generator. I thought hard about the propane fueled ones to run off my tank without worrying about gasoline gumming and such. That would require hard plumbing though. That means a building to house it an all of that. A portable generator will be on the way.

Thanks Murph! I think I would be a popular guy if I could make ice next time a HUGO runs through here.

  

26 comments:

  1. If you can get water at around 30 feet, you can have a well with hand pump for around $600.

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    1. Bit tougher here now. Thanks though!

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  2. Have you considered a diesel generator?

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    1. Matt, I did, but I am leaning on other long term bug out locations if I need them. I just want to keep the joint running for a couple of days before I head out if I need to.

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  3. My wife just said, "He must be your long-lost brother..." as we have Maglites in various places of convenience throughout the house and barn, many mounted to the wall with Maglite clips...

    Dann in Ohio

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    1. Ohooh, Plus one for you noting the clips on the wall! Maybe you are my long lost bro!

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  4. Harbor Freight has some decent generators that don't bust your wallet, but STAY AWAY from the little $120 unit.
    Cool old Zenith TO! I have one of the tube models in the brown leather case.
    For a portable SW radio I have a little Grundig G3. It's amazingly good, and has a BFO so I can copy SSB with it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks drjim! A lot of people miss the Zenith TO. I'm proud of it. It was my Fathers.

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    2. My TO has quite a backstory to it, too. After my Dad mustered out of the SeaBees in 1945, he couldn't find a job in his trade (He was a Tool and Die Maker), and he and Mom struggled for a couple of years. He finally met up with a guy who had secured the franchise to sell Bridgeport Milling Machines, and several other top-end equipment lines, in the Chicago area, and went to work for him. My Mom and Dad and this man and his wife turned into quite close friends, and my sister and I used to go to their house all the time in the summer to use their swimming pool. "Aunt Joyce" had the Zenith, and I used to spend hours listening to the shortwave broadcasts she'd let me tune to.
      It was magic, and really fired my interest in radio.
      As I got older, she kept "upgrading" to the newer Zenith TO's, and one day my Dad brought the leather-cased Zenith Model A600L home.
      Aunt Joyce had given it to me!
      I've had this radio for 50 years or so now, and I'll NEVER get rid of it. It's one of the things that will get passed down to my son.

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    3. That is a cool story. The TO's have a history by themselves, the people associated with them that can be passed on adds a great deal.

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  5. You'll thank me some day, when the time comes. ;-)

    I also have mag-lites around the place, but darn me--I keep using them for routine stuff and not putting them back. And I know better, too.

    I have yet to rig my electrical panel to let me hook the generator into the system directly but one day I will get around to that. Running the pump--and maybe even the water heater--would be a real bonus.

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    Replies
    1. I can help put a manual or automatic transfer switch in up there. I just need to know if the gen set has GFCI breakers and has a bonded neutral.

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  6. Diesel is the way to go. No storage issues for the fuel, and unless the temps are extremely cold, it'll start with no sediments or other "carb" issues.

    Plus, while gas runs out fast in a crisis, diesel usually remains available.

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  7. Good plan, but one actually needs to 'check' the generator occasionally... Lots of folks up here DIDN'T!

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    1. Oh, When I get one it will get load tested once a month NFO!

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  8. I'll have to look for one of those rechargable lamps. I like oil lamps in the winter, but when it's hot and the power is out the battery ones don't add to the already miserable inside temps.

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    Replies
    1. Check Amazon for that Coleman lantern, I like it a lot!

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  9. I suggest you hold off on connecting the well to the house for now and instead go with an affordable generator with enough Kw to cover your essential needs. Then either purchase correctly sized and rated extension cords for connectivity (most cost effective) or do some upgrades on your circuit breaker box. After this you can consider installing some rechargeable deep cycle batteries with the appropriate panel set ups to power essential needs and recharge them/run them via your generator. Later on you can go with the minimum amount of solar panels for recharging and or maintaining the batteries and sell surplus power to your power company. There are also some tax incentives in this as well. Now, back to the well, an electric drill or small electric pump will move more water than you need through a water hose and poly barrels are dirt cheap. With the exception of the deep cycle batteries, solar panels and wiring set up this is what I’m already doing, in the reasonably near future I’ll be set up to run from batteries for more stabilized and efficient electrical power.

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  10. Yeah, we have lots of those things in place, but stil need to do better in many areas.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, as do we all! Just like running a gun, we can always be better!

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  11. If you have copper supply plumbing in the house, think carefully about reconnecting to the well. The town water has probably been softened. Some of the well water in that area can be somewhat acidic. It can eat through copper after a while.

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    1. Good call Mrs. S. Looks like the copper has been replaced with PVC here some time ago. I want to have the ability to use the well temporarily if needed.

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  12. See that Zenith Trans-Oceanic? I have the exact same radio about 6" behind and 6" above this monitor.

    I should do the same sort of overview. There sure is a bunch of commonality...

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  13. Before you convert the entire house back to the well....consider connecting only the critical stuff to it - such as toilets, and maybe one shower (if you have a basement, consider installing a simple fiberglass shower stall there on the well circuit, with a small (6-12 gallon) 120V electric water heater you can keep turned off until you need it. Running PEX is pretty simple, you can do it and bring the plumber in to make the hookups with his PEX tools.

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