Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 3

As punishment for posting an AAR the power died at 2200 Thursday and has not come back on yet. So we have been on generator power ever since. Yesterday I had to go to Lawton for gas and the drive was scary. Every tree in the area has been coated in ice and most have broken in half. The temperatures have not gone above freezing yet so no ice has melted except on the roads. All the power and phone lines are sagging nearly to the ground.

But we are ok. My 4400 watt generator is running like a clock. It produces 3500 watts regular with surge capacity of 4400. After reading the guide and some experimentation we have figured out our setup.

One tank of gas (4 gals) gives us ten hours. We can power one space heater, two floor lamps, tv and dvd. We can use our G Foreman grill/hotplate with either the heater or lamp. So we had noodles and vension stew and borscht for supper. We use the garage as the fridge. We also discovered that our hot water heater is well insulated and we have hot water (well warm this morning) so we have able to take short showers too.

I have I'd'd a couple of changes I think I will put in. One, I need to have some items with easier access for plugging in (aka the fridge). Two, I should get the fuzebox modified so I can plug directly into the house instead of running cords. I also need the switch to prevent returning power from blowing up the fuzebox (you turn the house from grid to generator and back). Three, a bigger generator may be in order. 4400/3500 watts does ok, but I can barely use 2 space heaters on this one. A 5500 watt would be able to handle a bigger load so we could use more of the house (more heaters).

The generator is use is a PowerMax 4400. Its made in China originally for RV power and its pretty good. It cost me 450 dollars through Amazon. It was one of their top ten recommended choices and it was a good buy. It was several hundred dollars cheaper than compable models. It is a pull start but it has started on the first pull each time. You can get these models with an electric start and I may do that for my wife's sake next time. PowerMax also makes 5500 models and that will be my next step up.

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