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    Surviving Collapse
     

    The Multi-Fuel Generator: Don’t Depend on Just Gas…

    Eric Peters
    July 16th, 2012
    Eric Peters Autos
    Comments (168)
    Read by 53,070 people

    Having a generator for back-up power is great – unless you don’t have the fuel to run the generator. The irony of the portable back-up generator – most of them, at least – is that they run on gas. And what’s the item that’s usually hard to get when the power’s down?

    Gas.

    About two weeks ago, a violent storm line called a derecho passed through our area; thousands of people lost power – not for a few hours, but in some cases, for a week or more. The lines queued up real fast at local gas stations – the ones with still-operable pumps, anyhow. You could not even buy a portable five gallon (or 1 gallon) gas jug at any Lowes or Home Depot in the area.

    Many people had generators. But sometimes, they couldn’t get gas for them. Which meant they might as well not have had the generator, for all the good it did them.

    And this was just a relatively minor (and known-to-be-temporary) situation. Imagine a more serious – and longer-term – SHTF-type of scenario. Just when you need gas the most – so will everyone else.

    Which means you probably won’t get any gas.

    No gas = no power.

    Well, you could store up some gas. I’ve done that myself. One problem with that idea is that gas – especially ethanol-adulterated “gas,” which is in fact 10 percent alcohol – does not store well, even with fuel stabilizer added and even if you keep the stuff in a sealed container kept in a dark and fairly cool place. Three months or so at the outside is the longest you probably want to leave gas just sitting around. After that, you risk bad gas – and a gummed-up carburetor in your generator. Which means it might not run.

    Which means – once again – you won’t have power.

    That’s why I converted our generator to operate on multiple fuels – gasoline, propane and natural gas. This has several advantages, functionally as well as practically speaking.

    The obvious one is I am not entirely dependent on gasoline for back-up power. If the juice goes out for a couple of days – or longer – I don’t have to worry about queuing up with everyone else down at the gas station – and hope the gas station’s open.

    I keep about 100 pounds of propane in storage – enough to operate the essentials (most especially the well pump, so we have drinking water) for weeks. A month or two, if need be – if I limit the time the generator runs to a couple of hours per day.

    If your home already has a large propane tank – or even better, a natural gas hook-up – you could run  a generator almost indefinitely. Or at least, for a long time. Long enough, probably, to make it through all but complete SHTF-type scenarios.

    This is peace of mind gasoline cannot provide.

    Propane/CNG also stores indefinitely – or practically indefinitely. A portable 20 pound tank will be as good a year from now as it is today, provided you keep the valve from rusting up. Assuming you keep the tank in a reasonably well-protected environment such as an enclosed shed or in a garage, the fuel itself will last for years. So, no hassles keeping track of when you bought your fuel – or how old it is – and whether it’s time to run the stuff through your weed-whacker, just to get rid of it. Buy a few 20 pound (grille-size) tanks – about $40 new; much less to get a refill – or one of the large 100 pound cylinders. Whatever works best for you – and you’re set. It’s like having long-term storable food: One less thing to worry about.

    Propane (and natural gas) also burns more cleanly – which will extend the life of your generator’s engine as well as increase replacement intervals for spark plugs and oil. That’ll save you some cash over time.

    There’s another money issue, too:

    Gas – even now – is still pretty expensive. If you find yourself in a situation where it’s necessary to rely on gasoline to run your generator for an extended period, the dollars add up quickly. The typical portable generator has a five gallon tank, which will run the unit for about 10 hours or so under a full electric load.  At $3 per gallon – current prices – that’s about $15 a day to run the generator. If you have to run it for two weeks, you’ll be spending more than $200 to keep the lights on – and the food in your ‘fridge from spoiling. At $4 or $5 a gallon, it gets harder to keep the lights on.

    At $7 or $8 a gallon, many people won’t be able to afford to run their generators at all. No lights, no AC. No frozen food. No water – if you’re on a  well.

    Propane – and CNG – are not only cheaper on a per-gallon-equivalent basis, they’re not as subject to sudden price increases because there are vast reserves of the stuff right here in the USA. Plus, you can stock up now – at current (low) prices – and not sweat future (inflation-driven) price spikes as much. Because there’s no worry about the fuel going bad in three or four months’ time.

    Buy now, use later – even if  “later” is several years from now.

    Bottom line: There are no downsides – and lots of upsides – to multi-fuel operation. So, I went ahead and got the kit – from U.S. Carburetion (see here) for about $180. The kit included all the components needed to convert my 8,000 watt portable generator to multi-fuel operation. They probably have a kit available for whatever you have, too.

    I just finished doing the install – and thought I’d share the experience.

    It’s a pretty straightforward deal. The kit contains an aluminum adapter block you install in between the air cleaner and carburetor. This will feed the propane or natural gas to the engine. Installing the adapter is not mechanically challenging and can be handled by anyone with basic hand tools (socket set, screwdrivers, pliers, drill) and the ability to carefully read and follow some simple directions. Basically, you remove the air cleaner housing, slide the adapter in place, then reinstall the filter housing. You may need to install stud extenders (provided) but this, too, is easily done.

    On the adapter is a threaded 90 degree elbow with a a barbed fitting. This is the propane/natural gas feed to the engine. A hose (also provided) runs from here to the regulator – the main piece of hardware that comes with the kit. You mount the regulator on the frame of the generator by drilling a couple of holes and using the supplied bolts, which thread through bosses built into the sides of the regulator.

    On top of the regulator is another fitting – called the load block. This is used to meter the amount of fuel fed to the engine. You make adjustments by turning the bolt in (less fuel) or out (more fuel) to accommodate the needs of your particular engine. Large engines will use more fuel  – and so on.

    On the bottom of the regulator is a large threaded fitting – this is how you connect the works to your fuel supply, either propane or natural gas. Now you’re ready to rock. Or at least, not be left in the dark!

    The really neat thing about the kit is that once installed, you can easily switch from one fuel to another. To run on gas, just turn in the bolt on the load block all the way (to close off any openings and prevent vacuum leaks) cap off the propane /gas inlet – and operate the generator as you normally would when burning gas. Turn the fuel tap on, start ‘er up – and there you go. The generator will run the same as it did before. The kit does not interfere with the factory choke mechanism and the adapter block does not affect the way the engine runs when it is running on gasoline.

    To switch over to propane (or natural gas) simply turn the gasoline fuel tap to “off” position and allow the engine to run until it runs out of gas. Now you can turn on the feed supply for the propane or natural gas. Open up the load block the appropriate number of turns for your engine (tuning instructions are provided with the kit) and – if necessary – push the primer button on the back of the regulator (this performs the same function as the choke when the unit is running on gasoline). Start the engine – and you’re good to go.

    As mentioned above, if you’re lucky enough to have a big propane tank (the type used to run fireplace logs and so on) or have a CNG line plumbed to your house you won’t even have to hassle with getting the smaller, portable tanks like the ones I use. Just be sure the hook-ups are right – including the diameter of all fittings and the integrity of all the lines. You may want to consult with a professional to get your lines (and flow rates) set up exactly right. The US carb people also have a tech line and are great when it comes to helping you get up and running.

    This conversion, to my way of thinking, is one of those “preps” that’s also very practical. It’s something that will be for-sure useful – not merely just in case useful … and something you may never need. Even if the S does not H the F, someday, the power will go out – and even if it comes back on again in a couple of days, gasoline might be scarce in the meanwhile.

    But if you’ve got the ability to run your rig on fuels other than gasoline, you’re a leg up on the problem before the power even goes out.

    Also by Eric Peters: It’s Entirely Possible That Nowhere in North America is a Safe Redoubt


    Eric Peters is an automotive columnist and author who has written for the Detroit News and Free PressInvestors Business DailyThe American SpectatorNational Review, The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal. His books include Road Hogs (2011) and  Automotive Atrocities (2004). His next book, “The Politics of Driving,” is scheduled for release in 2012. Visit his web site at Eric Peters Autos.

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    Author: Eric Peters
    Views: Read by 53,070 people
    Date: July 16th, 2012
    Website: http://ericpetersautos.com

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

     

    168 Comments...

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    1. Highspeedloafer says:

      Nice article, I will forward this one to a lot of folks I know.

      People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

      • SilverFox says:

        OMG, this article is so timely. I was literally just watching a video on Youtube that showed a guy that has a generator/motor combo. The generator makes enough power to run the motor that turns the generator plus 14 100W light bulbs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFu-s6ZmGyE
        This is right up my ally, I for one will be looking into it. This is the 1st of three videos. You will have to look up the other two if interested.

        People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6

      • durango kidd says:

        Two words: Solar Shingles. Or, “absolute black”.

        People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

        • SonOfSam says:

          Durango, you are the freakin BOMB! When I am able to get a house this is the first improvement

          People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

        • Facebook Page says:

          To many connections to worry about. Panels are much better.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

          • FNTM says:

            Have 60 watts on roof of shed and battery, inverter etc inside.

            Generator only runs gas – anyone thought of a battery operated siphon??

            And gas with ethanol store quite nicely for over a year with stabilizer. I stored 5 gallons last year then ran it in my lawnmower and other yard varmits before refilling and re-stabilizing.

            Hope some of this helps

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        • Obarry says:

          While I am not as enthuseastic about solar as you, I think the world is about one breakthrough from residential solar systems becoming common ($), starting with new houses. Barring some calamity, I don’t see grid power going away completely anytime soon, but slowly being supplanted by newer technology. Our government only pays lip service to solar, partly because they can presently put thousands or millions in the dark easily. If 30% have solar arrays, not quite so easy. Homes lend themselves to solar more than industrial applications because of the sheer quantity of power needed. Central A/C is a big sticking point, but that issue can be overcome (we are using basically the same cooling technology as the early A/C systems, kind of like piston engines being 19th century technology).

          The wild card is that we may set ourselves back a cantury technologically first.

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

        • FEMACAMPER says:

          If the 90 effecient PV devices you write about become available at a price people can pay, it will be a game changer, just cell pones have been in the phone industry, where a large percentage of people under 35 have never had a land line. For my entire life, solar has always been just around the corner. We may have finally reached that corner. i suspect that part of the solution will be for Americans to change their energy use habits ( I gagg as I agree somewhat with the environmental loonies). I have a 26 cu ft fridge, and don’t remember seeing any that large during any of my (few) trips to Europe. Ourf present power distribution system was developed when large amounts of electricity could be easily and cheaply generated in one spot. The grid has worked in the past, but will probably shrink as time goes on. I wonder how many new homes have been built and never had phone cable installed in them?

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AZ Ready says:

        If you want to store gas for long periods of time and have access to a small airport, store AVGAS. It is more refined and stores much longer than regular gas. Think about this, small planes often sit for many months or even years without being used. The last thing a pilot needs is engine failure on takeoff or anytime for that matter because of bad fuel. I looked up some info on AVGAS life expectantcy and found three years with no degradation.

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        • MXLord327 says:

          I don’t believe it contains ethanol either. I have heard info that it is not good to run at low altitudes because of the different additives, but rann it in my motocross bikes back in the ’80′s and never had a problem. I believe it is over 100 octane as well.

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • FNTM says:

          AVGAS can be up to 145 Octane which will burn out your valves. It does come in lower grades down to about 100, maybe lower and should be labeled as to grade. All but the grades marked with LL have lead additives that will screw up automobile catalytic converters – better with generators.

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Gitmoslave says:

        out put goes down when on Propane, and drops even further on NG. I think its about 10% drop to propane and 20% to NG. But your still ‘alive’

        Propane has a higher BTU, but NG is a lots safer due to flash-points.
        I’m planning on a smaller gas genny and a bigger diesel.

        Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Red Leader says:

          Can you store natural gas like propane or are you dependent on the natural gas grid being piped to your house. If you cannot store natural gas, it is not a good plan to use it. We only have propane in our rural area. I would not trust a natural gas distribution system under someone elses control for my preps.

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    2. eppe says:

      Makes solar look better and better. Who knows what “energy” we will have with a complete collapse…

      People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

      • inon says:

        @Eppe- Yeah and after you throw those nice big solar panels on your roof, don’t forget to paint the target on your back too, and install the neon signs out front that blink on and off…

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 15

        • SonOfSam says:

          OK, so let’s try to figure this out: how could you disguise solar panels to LOOK like something else? I mean, I understand what you’re saying about solar panels — they stand out like a sore thumb — but they are also much quieter. I myself have tried to puzzle out a way of deadening the sound from a standard generator without having a massive buildup of Carbon Monoxide.

          If anyone has ideas about either of these approaches, as Ross Perot once said “I’m all ears”

          stand strong until freedom dawns

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          • SilverFox says:

            SonOfSam. Solar Paint is also breaking into the field of possibilities. That’s a great disguise. Check it out. http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=solar-paint-converts-light-to-elect-11-12-30

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

          • REB says:

            Just go ahead and do whatever you want/can to help yourself survive and prosper…no matter what you do theres a risk someone will notice and attack you,and of course theres always someone who is willing to hollar wolf every time you do anything…we’re all gonna die sometime by some method,if we let fear trick us into doing nothing then we’ll be dead for sure,having only ourselves to blame…use common sense and cross each bridge as you reach them,youll do fine :)

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          • BannerCap says:

            Sore thumb, maybe, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think my panels are stunning, not to mention useful. They provide shade and snow shelter for one of my outbuildings for the garden (farm), keeps the batteries charged, so the 12KW propane generator isn’t running all the time. The genset uses about 2 gallons of gas/hr. Back in 2010, before we upgraded to full house battery backup, we had a series of snow storms which kept us without power for 22 days, we ran 24/7 and burned through 300 gallons of fuel, so roughly 1,500 lbs or 60 small tanks. Fortunately we have a 500 gallon tank, but what if the outages lasted even longer?

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

          • John W. says:

            Eagle tile sells roof tiles that are actually solar panels. look just like the other tile. Not sure how much they generate.

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          • MXLord327 says:

            SonOfSam – check out gensilencer dot com, never tried the generator silencers, but have heard (no pun intended) good things about their ATV silencers. There is really no good way to completely silence a 10+ HP gas generator, but if you can cut the distance the sound carries in half, it would be a big help…

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          • just QUIET info says:

            what good is a suggestion like paint that really isn’t available yet! i looked at link’ good news story that’s all ( i want my flying car as promised 30 years ago news story) To the point make a dog house for genset there are U-Tube videos on this. I will be putting mine on pneumatic casters for portability some of the videos show a lot of thought for the problem of sound Plus it is another layer of security for the machine itself

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Prepared Pastor says:

          If someone can see your roof it’s time to move. I’m far enough into the woods that my place can’t be seen from the road and there isn’t even a driveway. I dragged a couple 100# tanks in for the range and instant water heater, but when I start my generator it echoes through the valley. It’s how my nearest neighbor knows I’m there and usually hikes in later to see me. I don’t think I want unwelcome people to come hiking in to see me WTSHTF so will be relying on solar and wind that isn’t on a peak.

          When I looked at natural gas generators for the house in town, I was surprised how few hours they were rated. Definitely intended for intermittent use. By the way, take out your backup generator before you sell your home as they have one of the lowest payback percentage of any upgrade.

          People like this comment. Do You? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

          • SonOfSam says:

            PP, you are one lucky bugger…unfortunately, I work in a school, and this requires me to be closer to lots of people. On the plus side, I’ve spent the last 11 years quietly spreading the word among as many of my students as possible. No one pays me any mind, because I’m just that nerdy little computer teacher/programmer. Any time one of the kool aid gurgling administrators walks by, I just start spouting some tech talk, and they run for it…. the kids for the most part warmly despise them as being bossy judgmental blowhards with a major stick up their ass

            stand strong until freedom dawns

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          • Obarry says:

            Probably lower than an inground pool, which could be used as a water source, but few think of one that way.

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Warlokke says:

            \it isn’t hard to quiet down your generator, you just have to dig it in. In the Army, around a command post, you have many generators. As an infantryman in an abn bn, ours were many and small, mostly 3K or 5K, but still very loud. First, dig a hole deep enough to put the generator top about 4 inches below ground. Make sure you have about a foot or so around the outside of the generator, with a slope on the side you need to access the controls. Buy some sandbags and fill them. Stack them about 4 layers deep all around the hole. As long as you leave room for the exhaust, you also then put a roof on that is strong enough for a layer of sandbags as well. You will be amazed how quiet this makes a generator. I have literally stood 50 feet away and been unable to hear it.

            Rate This Comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • eppe says:

          Hidden due to low comment rating. Click to read it.

          Poorly-rated. What do You Think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 24

        • Odd Questioner says:

          Lots of factors there…

          Unless the viewer is standing uphill from you or is flying over your place, roof-mounted solar panels aren’t really going to stand out much more than the roof of your house will. In fact, I daresay that it’s one of the least stand-outish of the renewable energy resources.

          Wind generators *move* (the assembly pivots and the blades rotate), which attracts attention fairly quickly.

          Most gas generators make a Harley sound quiet. You can muffle the crap out of it, but it’s still going to make some noise.

          Water/hydro generation works okay and is very quiet, but requires moving water, which in turn attracts people looking for water to drink.

          Long story short, you could do worse than solar…

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        • cris says:

          Guys got a point here . . . when you are the only one with power (and hence warmth, food, etc)you WILL become a target . Desperate doesn’t only mean your average criminal either. Ostensibly law abiding citizens will get desperate REAL quick, especially when they realise how big a mug they’ve been suckered into wasting their fiat money on buying kardasian inspired crap instead of future proofing themselves. you got solar ??? make sure you’re all second amendment prepared too !!

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          • Odd Questioner says:

            I don’t disagree when it comes to being the only guy on the block with electricity.

            However, you can be intelligent about it.

            First off, you shouldn’t have your home entertainment center blasting out the opening rocket-launch sequence from Apollo 13. Second, you’d better not have all your house lights blazing brightly. It helps to keep the hot tub disconnected too, yanno?

            Fact is, you can have power, just that you feed it to only those things that matter – the freezer (maybe), a couple of (very) small lamps (which in turn is more easily confused with candle light when seen from outside), charging stations for any communications equipment you may have, and you cover/cut all the little LED’s to any alarm systems you have going.

            Now a couple of years post-collapse, when things are relatively peaceful again? Maybe then you drag out the big-screen and the Blu-Ray player once in awhile, and run your own movie theater.

            Otherwise, there is very little that you need electricity for…

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      • Youdontneedtoknow says:

        Any suggestions on solar anyone? Not worried about OPEC in regards to panels, our Bol is hidden enough.

        Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Red Leader says:

          We live off the grid full time powered by 100% solar and wind. We have everything on the grid people have. Solar is incredibily cheap right now. Panels that were once $5.00 a watt are now sligtly more than a dollar a watt.

          We moved out here full time a year ago. I doubled our solar panels because of the cheap prices. We did not use out 15 Kw, low speed (1800 rpm) propane generator once last winter. (Light winter) It has a dedicated 575 gallon propane tank.

          Our system: 4.5 Kw of solar panels, 60 Kw battery storage (24 Trojan L-16s), two 4kw sine wave inverters, and two MX 80 charge controllers. Our batteries seldom go below 90%. We also have a 1 Kw wind turbine. With the large solar system, I see the batteries charging in a few hours of sunlight and in overcast weather.

          I do not like gasoline generators primarly because of poor storage issues and dangerous flamable liquid handeling. Stick with diesel or propane except for small portable generators.

          Since we live on over 100 acres surrounded by federal lands, our house is not visable from any road.

          Happiness is being able to shoot off your front porch and there is no one to hear it and complain.

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        • Mick says:

          I’m interested in this topic as well. In particular, I’m struggling to find a “plain English” guide on how you could connect multiple panels, batteries and inverters so that you can get the power you need. The limiting factor seems to be the inverter, so I would need to combine 2 or more. I read this is possible, but haven’t come across a practical guide.

          My well circuit can draw up to 40 amps on startup, but most inverters I found can’t supply that much power.

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        • durango kidd says:

          YDNTK: Here’s a link for you from the alt energy section of SHTF Energy:

          http://www.natcoresolar.com/

          Rate This Comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • KY Mom says:

        Buy or make a solar oven. I use mine on most sunny days. I use mine on the deck. It uses no energy (except the sun) and you can cook anything you could in a regular oven – bread, cake, pinto beans, soup, stew, pot roast, BBQ ribs, pork chops, etc.

        Another plus using the solar oven, there are no giveaway aromas that you are cooking. With my solar oven, you can’t smell the food until you are a few feet away from the oven. Yet, take the food out of the oven and it is delicious! Pans are easy clean up as the food doesn’t stick to the pans.

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      • tibrojo says:

        I agree. I hear what this is saying but in a SHTF situation I could see LPG being as difficult if not more than gasoline simply because it has to be kept in a pressure tank and not a drum.
        As fas as the gasohol issue, I found a fuel oil supplier in my area that has a license to sell ethanol free gasoline. Im sure many if they check could find one in their area.
        Lastly, if you have several vehicles, keep them full all of the time. We have come to topping off our cars several times a week. If all of your cars were full that is alot of gas. You would need to siphon it but in a SHTF situation you have to do what you have to do.

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        • durango kidd says:

          Composting will generate methane. Capture it.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

        • Obarry says:

          I recently tested my generator. It had been sitting at least a year full of gas/ethanol, and started first pull. Reasearch the siphon thing. I hear that most newer cars have a screen in the filler tube to prevent this.

          While not yet a huge solar fan because of cost, a 1KW system can be warehoused and fairly easily deployed. Probably cost less than $2K, which is not a whole lot more than the quiet Honda ginnys.

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          • JayOfAllTrades says:

            Its true, most newer cars have an anti-siphon mechanism in the filler tube going to the tank. Designed not only to keep people from siphoning gas, but to keep gas from leaking out of the filler tube in the even of a crash where the vehicle rolls over. As much as I work on cars, one thing you might want to look into is a fuel pressure tester with a volume output tube. I have one on my cars. It screws onto the end of the fuel rail at the engine, and shows running fuel pressure. But, there is a button which directs fuel flow out through a line of clear hose to wherever you choose. As long as you can start your car, all you have to do is press the button to have the car’s fuel pump dispense gas into whatever container (5 gallon jug, or straight into a generator tank). This is pretty much the only way around newer siphon systems, short of putting a hole in your gas tank. Its also a great way to stock up on gas, without lugging around a bunch of 5 gallon jugs to a station, and looking suspicious. Just fill your car up as normal, and pump it right back out. Go to a different station, and do it all over again. Just don’t pump your tank dry. Easy to keep the fuel storage containers on site, and keep up your OPSEC. If you are automotive inclined, you can rig the pump to run all the time without even running your car. Most car pumps turn off if the car isn’t running. By putting a jumper across the right terminals, you can run the pump without wasting the gas idling your car.

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        • JayJay says:

          All our stored gas in ethanol-free..pure gas is sold at several locations near us.

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      • FNTM says:

        Other forms of creating energy creates noise too. A lot of noise if everything is not running. I don’t intend to run my generator past the time it takes me and mine to eat what is in our freezer. Then all is quiet…….

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    3. phdinlogic says:

      The only thing bad about the generator is the noise factor.

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      • Big E says:

        You can deal with the noise by either building a temp box around it (well ventilated) or actually dig a hole in the ground and set it in. It still has noise, but it will shoot straight up , limiting the noise best you can. I’m sure there are smarter folks than me that have better ideas.

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        • durango kidd says:

          Honda generators are said to be the quietest.

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          • mark says:

            check out the honda eu2000 super quiet and it hardly uses any gas. inverter generators are the way to go. stay as small as possible and only run the basics (frige and freezer, fan maybe a light or two).

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        • SmokinOkie says:

          Big E- right about muffling the sound. Many years ago, when we moved to the okie compound, we had to save up for a few months to cover the cost of bringing grid power to the home. (yeah, we’re a little ways off the road). In the meantime, I bought a generator. By the second day I had dug a hole about 50 ft from the house and set the unit in there. Threw a piece of plywood over it and..presto! much, MUCH quieter.

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          • PO'd Patriot says:

            Right Okie! Folks are going to have to be inventive to keep a low profile during upcoming rough times. Plan to have your compound probed by scavengers/looters. If you are fortunate to be missed it will only be by the grace of God cause “Luck” will have bugged out.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Roger, in the military we dug in the generators to direct the sound upwards. You could still hear them of course, but only at a couple hundred yards, rather than what seemed like miles. I’ve seen online guides to making a muffler for the typical generator. I think that, coupled with good placement will keep noise down. If you live in the ‘burbs though, any generator, save one of the Hondas, is guaranteed to be heard by a neighbor.

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        • FNTM says:

          Good ideas.

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        • Jeff M. says:

          If you put your generator in the ground, you might want to plug a box fan into it to vent fresh air to it. Mine is in my garage. A large, uninsulated tin garage with corners that are covered for safety and cosmetic sake but you can still see daylight through them. When I first set it up, if I closed the doors, the generator would choke out after about 1/2 hour because of accumulated exhaust. I plugged a box fan into the outlet in the generator and placed it to blow past the entire unit and not only does it vent better but it keeps cooler in summer.

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    4. J_Ct says:

      Thanks, found this post very helpful since I’m shopping around for a generator and info on propane conversion.

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    5. Be informed says:

      Someone once mentioned this on another blog and I thought it was brilliant. After a SHTF event and most of your neighbors or gone for whatever reason, there is going to be a whole lot of abandoned propane tanks full of fuel that were once used for barbeques. An almost endless supply of 15 and 20 lbs. tanks of propane to be used for those LP type electric generators, and almost endless supply of electricity. Something to think about.

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      • Kevin2 says:

        Those LPG tanks will be priceless as one of the last remaining fuels to boil water and cook food. Ever eat raw beans?

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        • SonOfSam says:

          Yeah, I’ve eaten raw beans… I was in the Boy Scouts, and none of us knew a damned thing about cooking. My father and the Scoutmaster almost killed a whole troop of us one night because, due to the explosive buildup of gases, NO ONE SLEPT THAT NIGHT :-)

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        • Government Guy says:

          They are #1 on my ‘to loot list’ on my way out of town. While the hordes are in the Quik-E-Mart fighting over the Twinkies, I will be outside cutting the locks off the propane box. Each swap-a-tank cage holds the equivalent of 2 100# tanks.

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        • SWIFT says:

          Never ate raw beans, but in Viet-nam, I ate canned ham and lima beans that were canned 5 years before I was born. We had a special name for them, but I won’t repeat it here. Anyway, it was some nasty shit and convinced me that under certain circumstances, I could eat road kill.

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        • Highspeedloafer says:

          Yeah, I eat raw crowder peas all the time, they taste like green peanuts mmmmmmm.

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      • Red Leader says:

        Good point Be Informed. I was planning to use my tractor to grab the abandoned 250 and 500 gallon tanks. They can’t take those with them!

        Think big!

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        • Saddle Up says:

          Red Leader: I thought about the same thing but a guy I know hauls propane and said he thought they would be too heavy when even half filled to pick up with a tractor.
          Any idea as to the weight of those tanks?

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          • Saddle Up says:

            Sorry check that. Looked it up. Big tanks beyond anything I have to lift it.
            Wet Leg maybe? Then just truck smaller tanks to it.

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          • Red Leader says:

            A empty 500 gallon propane tank weighs 1180 pounds. Propane weighs 4.11 pounds per gallon. You can legally fill a propane tank up to 80% so a 500 gallon tank actually holds 400 gallons when full. Total weight on a full 500 gallon tank would be 2,824 lbs.

            Max lift on my tractor loaded is 3,300 lbs.

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          • Smokey says:

            They are heavy, no doubt. Plan on building a dual ‘A’ frame at each end, chain hoist it up, and drive trailer or truck under the tank. You’ll need the same set-up at your place. Take the empty tanks and use ‘em for roadblocks, fill with dirt, good to go.

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    6. Most of the multi fuel generators sold aren’t legal (to buy) in CA. Gotta a love a state that can’t take care of itself and doesn’t want you to care for yourself.

      Fortunately Nevada isn’t a long trip.

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      • kevin says:

        Is there ANYTHING legal CA????

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      • SonOfSam says:

        Hey there Jim,

        If the law-makers make no sense, then it makes no sense to obey them. And yeah, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

        stand strong until freedom dawns

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        • Well for me its Reno. Funny thing is they do a bang up business there on a “lot” of things. I’m trying to find the article but the State Dept of Justice literally stakes out the gun shows in Reno, and then has its patrons returning to CA stopped at “check points” to enter the state to see if they acquired anything like Hi Cap magazines and other “contra band.”

          By the way someone asked if anything is legal. YES. Did you know hi cap magazines are against the law to buy, but you can buy all the pieces necessary for one – yes no kidding – so long as it comes unassembled it is legal to buy. It seems some enterprising young State Senator managed to suggest “parts” being ok so the people could repair their pre existing hi cap magazines and they didn’t say you couldn’t buy all the parts!

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          • PO'd Patriot says:

            44mag.com sells hi-cap mags (Pmags) in parts. Maryland only allows up to 20 rounds. I can put these mags together in seconds. So easy even a caveman can do it!

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      • Stoneage says:

        tried to buy one in San Diego when we were there. It was ASSEMBLED in California to burn Propane. They couldn’t sell it to me because of EPA regulations. Do you know what the regulation was? The Gensets did not have the carbon canister in the fuel(gasoline) tank vent line. You know the one – The fuel vent line goes tot he carbon canister and the carbon eliminates any VOC’s that are escaping from the gasoline.

        I mentioned that it was ridiculous because these were Propane units and did not HAVE one of those.. She was very helpful in calling the EPA a bunch of mindless idiots and was very apologetic that they couldn’t help me.

        We were buying the unit for our boat and were headed to Mexico the very next day. They still would not sell it to me.
        California is WHACKED. :-)

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    7. Katrina survivor says:

      Yes something else, you can rent a 250lb tank for 50 bucks a year and forget the little cracker jack bottles.

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      • SonOfSam says:

        @ Katrina survivor

        Is there a particular brand or company you recommend for the 250 lb tank? Because this sounds like a great idea, especially for the cooking aspect of it alone. Plus, I’m not at the point yet where I own a house; as a renter, my options are more limited than most

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        • Highspeedloafer says:

          SonofSam, Just look in the yellow pages and call up the lp dealers near you and check their tank rental fees and their prices on gas. Some dealers have special pricing if you pay cash up front. Ask them if they have any special pricing since this is the off-season.

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          • SonOfSam says:

            Thank you high speed, I appreciate that!

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          • Tina says:

            This was my Christmas present to myself last year. I bought a new gas stove and a FILLED 250 gal propane tank, I actually bought my tank instead of renting it . I plan on keep this forever so no sense in paying for it over and over with rental fees.

            I would rather have a new gas stove over a diamond ring anyday…..

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    8. Bill says:

      Great idea. I store LP in 100lb tanks too for cooking in the garage and for syrup season. This would be a natural.

      Thanks!

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    9. justincase says:

      I have looked into this but did not know how this really worked. I heard the propane keeps the engine on your genrator clean so less likely to break down after long rumming times. I just bought a genrator and besides gas i would like to maybe do this. Then of course we are planning a more long term form of power. It seems it takes sooo long to get what we need for long term preps. I would like to know if anyone here has knowledge on building a wind turbine. Easy to build tower but I have questions about the power lines and what type of wire to run.I hear to use welding wire in the area near the blades because it does not tangle (it last forever too) but do you need to run that wire all the way down the legnth of the tower or how much do I need. any info would be great as we have almost all of what we need to build it just need wiring info (hubby is an elctrician) And as usual thanx for the great article great info and thanx for the pics etc cuz this is something I could actually do and let that be one more thing of my hubbys’honey d list, which he would be happy about:)

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    10. Ohcumgache says:

      I invested in a full house generator a few years ago. When the power goes out, it kicks on automatically, runs off a 1,000 gallon propane tank. My Son who lives down the road from me, did convert his own gas run portable generator to also run on propane. The guy who ran the line from his 700 gallon propane tank to the generator thought it was ingenious. My full house generator is very quiet compared to the portable ones. I am thinking of building a structure around it to make it even quieter. I could theoretically run this thing for months if I had to, or longer if I used it sparingly. This was one of my best investments.

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    11. T in TX says:

      ochumgache, what is a full house generator?

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      • Ohcumgache says:

        T in TX,

        My generator is large enough to power the entire house, 2,300 sq. ft. with no difference from the electric being on. Everything has full power and yet it is extremely efficient. I figured out that I could run my generator for less money than my monthly electric bill.

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        • SonOfSam says:

          Hi Ohcumgache,

          I am wondering, do you recommend a particular brand of “whole house” generator? I only ask because you seem to have in depth experience with this…. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I am also wondering, is your generator quiet enough that it wouldn’t be noticed in a typical “cookie cutter” suburb? There are many people here who are lucky enough to be able to live on a nice big patch of land, but not all of us can do that…not yet anyway :-)

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          • Ohcumgache says:

            SonOfSam,

            The generator I purchased is from Lowes, (Centurion by Generac Power Systems 20000 Watts (LP)/18000 Watts (NG) Standby Generator with Automatic Transfer Switch) If the power goes out, within 15 seconds the generator kicks on. It is extremely quiet compared to a gas portable generator. The only thing I have to do is change the oil once a year, it even does a test run on its own, every thursday for 20 minutes. I think if you could build a small structure around it, you would have to be almost right next to it to hear it running. I lose power frequently where I live so for me it has been very beneficial. I did have a professional install it and run a line from the propane tank.

            We all have advantages and disadvantages no matter where we live. I wish you the best of luck.

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          • Mr. Blutarsky says:

            Approximate cost?

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          • JayJay says:

            Centurion by Generac Power Systems 20000 Watts LP 18000 Watts NG Standby Generator with Automatic Transfer Switch
            $4,589.00

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    12. Joe says:

      I just dig down 15 ft and hit a coal bed. :D No problems for me.

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      • M2245th says:

        Joe build yourself a gasifier powered generator and you will have all the fuel you’ll need with that coal. Where I’m at firewood is just out my back door. I’ve been researching gasifiers for sometime. Some companies are building them now to power up a 15kw generator. I think wood will play a major role in post SHTF times.

        On a side note: I wonder how eeder and his hojo motor wet dream are doing?

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    13. SWIFT says:

      I certainly can see a generator in certain short term scenarios. But the big one? No. As phdinlogic mentioned, noise. Noise will be your enemy. A proper solar system is an expensive investment. Go for it if you can afford it. I prefer to learn to live without electricity and collect old tools for getting work done the old way. Let’s not kid ourselves; at some level we all know something bad is coming, or we wouldn’t be on this forum. I’ve recommended this before, get the Foxfire books. They cover every topic you’ll need for primitive living. They are the best of the best.

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      • Young MAP says:

        Love the way you think Swift and can’t agree with you more. I’d rather learn to live without power and have more of an appearance that I’m in the same sh*t as everyone else. But the idea of looting those propane exchanges is a good one. Easier than cooking on an open fire. That’ll probably be my 1st stop when things get ugly too. Just to have them.

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      • Ohcumgache says:

        SWIFT,

        You have a valid point. Doing things the old way is sometimes the very best way.

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      • SonOfSam says:

        @SWIFT

        Two thoughts:

        A) Thanks for the tip about the Foxfire books, already in motion for getting my copies. I KNEW about them, but for the life of me couldn’t remember the darned name! Dang memory….

        B) We all know something bad is coming, but we don’t totally know what form it will take. There’s all sorts of things that can seriously ruin your day, your year, your life, not all of which will involve going completely without electricity. Weimar Germany had the most massive hyperinflation ever seen by a modern industrial civilization, yet the power stayed on. America had a Great Depression that lasted for years, yet the power stayed on. In World War Two, Britain had the crap kicked out of it by the Luftwaffe for over a year, yet the power (mostly) stayed on. Germany got its ass whipped by day and night bombing raids, yet up until 1945 the power (mostly) stayed on.

        Will the power go completely out? I don’t know. Will it stay off for a month? A year? Forever? Again, I don’t know. The chance that any one of these possibilities could take place is why I — like you — am gathering tools that don’t require power. I look at it like insurance: you pay for car insurance even if you’re an excellent driver because you just never know what will happen, and its too late “after the fact”. Ditto for the tools: I’ve even got a manual coffee grinder to go with my “brew over a campfire” coffee maker and 85,000 bags of coffee beans.

        Incidentally, my neighbors think I’m nuts for cutting my grass with a HUMAN POWERED MOWER… but they shrug it off, and chalk it up to me being one of them tree hugging “oh bless his heart” damn yankees. It took me over a year to figure out that when they told my wife “oh bless his heart”, what they really meant is “your husband is an idiot” :-)

        stand strong until freedom dawns

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      • REB says:

        Ive had and been using the old tools for many years…have some fancy power tools too but rely mostly on the hand ones…Id recommend that people get the old tools, but also use them,become proficent with them BEFORE they have to rely on them…as it stands today if the power goes away my life wont change much…hope folks pay attention to your advice…like I say if you live it day to day it becomes a “lifestyle” and not a “lifes-over” scenario…good luck!

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      • DPS says:

        SWIFT,

        Got them there foxfire books, some really great reading on those cold winter days.

        DPS

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      • PO'd Patriot says:

        I agree the foxfire series are excellent. Also “The Book of Buckskinning” series is also beneficial.

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    14. WeThePeople2020 says:

      I like this idea for a cheaper way to do thing, I found a great way myself. I found an old military truck for about $3,500. I took the diesel engine out of it and wired it up to a generator, the best part is those engines will run on anything, diesel, gas, ethanol, used Veggie oil, used engine oil transmission fluid, you name it I have ran it through it with no problems. Yes some smoke more then others and they aren’t really the most environmentally friendly, but when you need the power its there. It’s an idea for others if you can afford it. I know noise is the enemy, but if you must have you must have, living in the desert and dealing with 120+ degree days its a necessity to have air conditioning, I know most will say well then move out of the desert, I say no. I will stay as long as I need to if I have to move to survive I will, but I’m not just gonna run for the hills with everyone else and fight over what everyone else will want.

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    15. Padre says:

      I looked at multi-fuel generators and decided against them. Everyone who uses them says the stupid corn additive in Gas will wreck the motor in a generator. Since Gas is a) bad for the engine and b) most likely to be the first fuel to run out, the benefit of having the ability to use gas is limited.

      Propane, on the other hand is clean, cheap, and plentiful, and it will continue to be plentiful because very few vehicles use it and every house has a tank of it in their back yard. Not to mention all the homes that will have tanks of it but not know how to make use of it without the Electrical Grid up.

      I decided on going with just a Propane generator. Now I would like a diesel generator which would run one multiple grades of “diesel.”

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    16. JRS says:

      Swift…The more I prep the more I agree with your thinking. While I do have various means surviving a medium SHTF situation, I find myself trying to find ways of surviving something long term.My biggest problem would be cooking, baking, water heating.Since I already heat with wood I came to the conclusion an old cookstove would probably be the best. Now trying to find one with all working parts and not cracked may be a problem.Another thing I need to find is an old 2 man saw for firewood. The only ones I seem to find are at antique prices and not that good anyway. A noisy chainsaw may not be a good long term idea.

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      • George castanza says:

        I went with the flameview wood cook stove. Best investment I have made for my house.
        We prefer cooking with the wood stove over our conventional stove, much faster and more even heat. The oven works great also. This winter I am going to install the water coils to have free hot water.

        Power goes out in the winter we don’t even care.

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        • JRS says:

          Good luck with your coils. Are they a factory setup? I installed a coil in my wood/coal furnace plenum last year. I had a TP valve on the high side exit but not on the low side inlet. Somehow, I got a steam bubble while the circulator pump was off and blew the low side pipes apart. Luckily I was close enough to hear it and shut the water off. I haven’t fixed the pipe yet to re-try it. Kinda scary, but I will try again when I either have enough courage or fermented drinks in me. lol

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      • REB says:

        Lehmans in OHIO has some nice woodcook stoves(and alot of other stuff)I have an old Round Oak Chief cookstove that works well and was made about 1909…had to repair it a few times but its a great piece in my collection of self sufficient living tools…have a nice 2/man saw but it takes 3 men and a boy to operate it so I use a bucksaw and my noisy chainsaw…hope you find what you need :)

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    17. Joe Texas says:

      Other alternative fuels to consider.

      Wood Gasification
      http://www.woodgas.net/files/FEMA_emergency_gassifer.pdf
      http://youtu.be/GiPoVkocQ3w

      Ethanol (Moonshine) Stills
      http://www.milehidistilling.com/

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      • Poor Boy says:

        @Joe Texas,

        I’ve been working on one of these for about the past month. A little outside my skillset but a fun project all the same. Been trying to put one together to run a generator. I have also found plans online to make a briquette press so I can power it with the clippings from the lawn once I get it working.

        http://www.instructables.com/id/Biomass-Briquette-Lever-Press/

        This is also a fun site to dig around in to find projects to keep one busy and out of the little ladies hair

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    18. Clark Kent says:

      I have a seperate garage from my house,that i ran a 2 pole 220 volt 80 amp service from the 100 amp house service .If the power goes out I turn off the main breaker in th house (in case the power comes back on with the gen. running).I om actully back feeding power from a 220v welding outlet to the 2 pole curcuit breaker in the house.Thus I can turn on any other breaker to run Furnace for a while ,freezer for a while etc.

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    19. Anonymous says:

      Generatorsales.com for tri-fuel, diesel, all gen sets. Install quick disconnect natural gas/propane fittings. Honda is BEST for tri-fuel and quiet “inverter style”, diesel for long term (they don’t call them portables). Rent or buy a yard bomb (propane tank) bigger the better. Purchasing a new truck in future? 6.7 Ford diesel with PTO option. Bolt up 15KW gen set, 1 gal/hr. Nice article Mac.

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    20. GrayFoxGreen says:

      Greetings Everyone!
      Mac:All I’ll say is this article and the comments are TOP SHELF and On time and On Target!!!
      Looks like you DO have your towel!
      Best to All and to All a good night!
      LTR,
      GFG

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    21. GrayFoxGreen says:

      Just a off topic question.
      Has anyone else have the problem of Hotmail logging you off after only 5 mins.?They’re doing it to me for the past month or two.Tried leaving mssgs. to help center.All to no avail.
      Advice?
      LTR
      GFG

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      • janet says:

        I lost connection when they could not deliver an email I sent with reference to companies enforcing diet restrictions on their employees, compliance issues.

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    22. Ranch says:

      Thanks for the info. Great read.

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    23. SmokinOkie says:

      I was out in the garage last night when my neighbor, Bubba, came sprinting up the driveway in a panic. I figured he was in trouble because he never runs anywhere. Except for that time we were coon hunting and the hunter became the hunted, but that’s another story.
      “Quick, hide me! If she finds me, it’s curtains!”
      I knew instantly that the ‘she’ he was refering to was Erlene (Mrs Bubba) but that other part confused me. For him to say ‘it’s curtains’ just doesn’t sound like him. The phrase itself is too old, too cultured,…too intelligent for him.
      “What do you mean, it’s curtains? What are you talking about?”
      He put his fingers to his lips and shushed me as he ducked behind my work bench and covered himself with a greasy tarp. “If she finds me, my ass is grass!” came the muffled reply from under the quivering tarp. “Just cover for me….please?!”
      Sure enough, in a few minutes his wife walked up. She looked angry. “Where is he?” she demanded, “I know he ran up here.”
      I tried not to look in the direction of the shaking tarp. “Oh, you mean Bubba? He ran around the back of the house and hopped on my 4 wheeler and took off into the woods,” I lied. “I thought maybe he heard the wild hogs back there, but he didn’t have a gun. What’s up?”
      “A gun won’t do him no good when I catch up to him,” she screeched and took off behind the house in a trot.
      “Okay, she’s gone. You can come out now,” I said to the tarp. The way it shook reminded me of Don Knotts in that old movie, The Ghost and Mr Chicken.
      He emerged, still trembling.
      “Now, what’s this about ‘it’s curtains?” I asked. “Where did you come up with that old saying?”
      “It’s not a saying,” he said, “It’s her living room curtains. She found out I’m the one who set ‘em on fire.”
      I was incredulous, “You set fire to the curtains?! What’s that all about?”
      “Oh, I only scorched the bottom few inches of ‘em. And I trimmed off the burnt part with scissors. I didn’t think she’d notice.”
      “I know I’ll regret asking, but what were you doing?”
      “Well, you remember last week I was tryin’ to convert my gas generator to propane? And it started raining, so I moved it into the front room to work on it. When I finished I decided to try it out. It ran good for a few seconds, then it backfired through the muffler and sent out a shot of flame.”
      “And you set fire to the drapes?” I asked.
      “No, that’s when I set fire to the carpet. But I got it put out real quick. I dumped my beer on it.”
      “So how are the curtains involved in all this?”
      “The curtains? Oh, I was using my torch to dry out the beer spot. That’s when I lit the bottom of ‘em’ Boy, that polyester sure don’t take much heat without bustin’ into flames.”
      “So now you’re looking at a major butt whooping when she catches up to you.”
      He looked toward the back yard nervously, “Oh, that ain’t what I’m worried about. It’s just that she knows I got 6o bucks saved up for a new fishin’ reel. And If she corners me I’ll have to give it to her for new curtains. And worst of all, she swears she’s takin’ me shopping with her to go pick ‘em out!”
      I hid him for the rest of the weekend. After all, there are some things that are just too horrible to let a friend go through.

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    24. Obarry says:

      1KW @ 120VAC=8.33amps Not enough for central A/C, but it goes a long way.

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    25. We have a butane tank up country and will likely get a secondary. I have a 8000 w generac I can convert, this is a good idea. From what we went through during hurricane Ike, I hesitate to depend on liquid hydrocarbons.

      I also, after Ike, designed and built a prototype reflux fractionating tower with integral boiler out of 100% copper. It is completely designed for emergency use and can be fired using ANY heat source, firewood, charcoal, LNG, garbage if you want labor intesive…also on the cooling side it can be hooked up to a pressurized water system via a garden hose connection, but in an emergency when you do not have a pressurised water supply, it can be gravity fed by elevating something as simple as a 5 gallon bucket above the height of unit. You also may use a small “bait bucket” 12 volt pump and hook up a solar trickle charger if you want to do it that way. This would be a similar set-up to what we use to power deer feeders.

      What does this unit produce? Well, first it can take scum filled, tainted ditch water and purify it. Distillation, besides filtration is the only way to remove radioactive particulate, as well.

      What it also may produce should peeps have the need is antiseptic grade alcohol (ethanol) 62%-65% or if the need be, it will produce fuel grade ethanol (alcohol) at 94%-95%, well documented on one of my fave web site home distiller dot org.

      Now I’m not trying to seel you a unit, cause the Good Lord knows I have been thumbs downed and heckled here before.

      At present I have three units almost ready for delivery and three more in the works, I’m to busy to take any orders at this time. BUT, I will advise anyone and provide design knowledge to make your own, even if it a simple one, for a person on limited budget, to make just antiseptic and medicinal grade. Keeo in mind always abide by local, state, and federal regulations, but in case of shtf…you do what you will to survive. A simple one can be made for under $100 if you have some common kitchen items all ready.

      For making fuel tho, you will need to check out that above mentioned site, look at a more sophisticated design. The good thing about this is the fuel can be used in an engine if the proper retrofit is installed as the article above tells you how to do a propane or lng retrofit. It is not simple but do-able, and if you have a cheap or free heat source and some land to grow the correct plants for feedstock, then ethanol is something to look into. It completely frees you from hydrocarbon, liquid or gas and personally renewable if you have the skillsets and can grow things. For me, I plant sugar cane, will plant sugar beets, potatoes and corn, all of which make excellent feedstock.

      Take care y’all and God Bless,
      Terry W. Reed
      LNL PROTEKT LLC
      832 -425-2932

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      • DPS says:

        Terry,

        I don’t think you got heckled for promoting your products.. I have checked out your products and the look to be excellant. But please remove my e-mail from you list..

        DPS

        A mans word still stands for something..

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        • M2245th says:

          I agree your products look great Terry. I was wondering have you ever considered fabricating a gasifier? I like the concept of just putting readily scavanged wood for fuel instead of distilling it.

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          • No gasifier yet…I was interested interested in a multi-purpose unit, for the water, antiseptic and fuel. Mostly for the fuel. I’m also working on mole sieve for further dehydration to 99%.

            I’d also like to build small rocket engine for use of the etoh and o2 fuel, I’ve seen some tests on u-tube that were awesome, fixed, inplace engine. Serious thrust.

            I like to tinker and enjoy fabricating. Especially in the more exotic metal welding arena…am still a “noob”.

            LOL

            Terry W. Reed

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    26. VRF says:

      Deputies shoot, kill man after knocking on wrong door

      Deputies in Lake County shoot and kill a man in his doorway.
      Nice floriduh cop eh?

      Innocent man answering his door to the cops and gets killed before even knowing wtf is going on..wrong house..ooops..

      look it up it happened in Orlando

      so people dont answer the door to cops any more..they ruined it for themselfs as usual..ya’ll coppers can kiss off when its my castle door ., we need a law protecting ourselfs from the “so called law”

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      • VRF here they killed the right man. He fired first and killed a deputy and the locksmith who came to lock him out. This was 2 months ago. After the initial shooting they police responded with 140 officers, including 8 special weapons teams, 7 armored vehicles, and 2 helicopters. The sheriff complained his department was under manned – no kidding.

        They flash bombed him to the point where the house caught on fire and then they let it burn to the ground with him in it. Oh it was a 4 plex – 3 other homes got burned to the ground too.

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    27. Josh says:

      for people on a budget this will cook your food and charge your electronics

      http://shop.biolitestove.com/BioLite-CampStove_p_15.html

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    28. Barn Cat says:

      I don’t have a generator. It’s not something I’d use after it hits the fan. When we lived in a house that had natural gas we had the option of buying a generator through the natural gas company that ran on natural gas. That seems like the best solution if you have that option.

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    29. KY Mom says:

      Flash mob of 300+ teens storms Florida WALMART…

      COPS: 40 kids ‘flash rob’ Oregon store…

      Video link and articles posted on Drudge Report

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    30. Y'all Beware! says:

      TOP 31 THINGS THAT YOU WILL NEVER HEAR SOUTHERN BOYS SAY:

      31. When I retire, I’m movin’ north.

      30. Oh I just couldn’t, she’s only sixteen.

      29. I’ll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

      28. Duct tape won’t fix that.

      27. Come to think of it, I’ll have a Heineken

      26. We don’t keep firearms in this house.

      25. You can’t feed that to the dog.

      24. No kids in the back of the pickup, it’s just not safe.

      23. Wrestling is fake.

      22. We’re vegetarians.

      21. Do you think my gut is too big?

      20. I’ll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.

      19. Honey, we don’t need another dog.

      18. Who gives a damn who won the Civil War?

      17. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.

      16. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.

      15. I just couldn’t find a thing at Wal-Mart today.

      14. Trim the fat off that steak.

      13. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.

      12. The tires on that truck are too big.

      11. I’ve got it all on the C: DRIVE.

      10. Unsweetened tea tastes better.

      9. My fiance, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany’s.

      8. I’ve got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.

      7. Checkmate

      6. She’s too young to be wearing a bikini.

      5. Hey, here’s an episode of “Hee Haw” that we haven’t seen.

      4. I don’t have a favorite college team.

      3. You Guys.

      2. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Betty Mae.

      AND THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT YOU WILL NEVER HEAR A SOUTHERN BOY SAY:

      1. Nope, no more beer for me. I’m driving a whole bus load of us down to re-elect OBAMA.

      Y’all Beware! HS@25… & y’all need a laugh!

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    31. Y'all Beware! says:

      kevin,

      #7 is chess.

      Y’all Beware! Thanks

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    32. sideshow says:

      be warned… LP converted gas generators go through LP QUICK..much faster then gas

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    33. Genius says:

      I use pri-g gas treatment and my gas is good to go over a year after treatment. Been using it for almost 20 years now and it’s great stuff. One quart treats 550 gallons and is about 30 bucks. Dont use stabil, that stuff is crap and doesnt last near as long and per gallon costs waaaayyy more. Fuel is fuel no matter gas or propane and I like gas because I can use it in my vehicles, chainsaw etc. I save my propane for cooking, refigerator. IMO pri-g and 5 gallon gas cans safely stored is the best and gas is a great barter item too, worth more than gold! As far as gen noise fit a pipe into the exhaust (where the muffler screws in) and 90 degree it into a pit filled with 1 inch stones a few feet deep with a plywood cover. Attach the muffler back onto the end of the pipe before backfilling with rocks. Easy solutions and cheap.

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    34. Lakeside says:

      I’ve converted my generator using the same company and a HUGE difference vs. using gas. Burns cooler and hardly any fumes. Hooked up a quick connect valve with a 30′ hose from the main regulator at the house to my 325 galllon propane tank used for the house and what a breeze. My wife loves it too, no heavy containers to try and lift (at 2am) or smell, no chance of spills. If your gonna run a generator for days at a time, like we had too awhile back, it get’s no easier. This is a no brainer, I highly recommend anyone that is able to convert to lp/natural gas to use your generator, don’t think twice

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    35. Lakeside says:

      Oh and the 10-15 percent of lp vs. gas is well worth the safety and ease without having to worry about checking the fuel level in the middle of the night. If we’re talking about months on end, then no doubt, gas, lp, natgas, wood, and anything else to eat or stay warm comes into the equation. If we’re talking 2,3 or even 4 weeks, I’ll take the lp any day.

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    36. Gary Near Death Valley says:

      Thanks for the great article. I have a 5000 watt generator and use it for those small times out here in the desert when power goes out, when monsoon thunder storm strike. I also have a propane barbeque as well as a 250 gallon tank. Will immediately order the upgrade and treat it like my other survival items.

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      • Lakeside says:

        Good decision! I also have the BBQ hooked up and can cook and have electricity and water and window air conditioner and…. (mine is an 8250 watt) US carbuerators is a great place to order your conversion kit, and they are very helpful. Make sure they send the right carbuerator jet for the type of generator you have, that was the only thing that I had to reinstall (very easy to do by the way) since the one that came with the conversion kit they sent didn’t screw into the carbuerator quite right. No big deal, just make sure to tell them the exact model you are converting. Good luck!

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    37. Y'all Beware! says:

      M2245th,

      Yes sir, we’ve had a few fly out of the back end on Friday nights – some end up wrapped around trees.

      Some were lucky enough that they drank themselves to sleep and missed the flight through the air. Couple of ‘em died.

      Down here in SC we just say, “another redneck got thinned out last night! We all know how he died.

      Y’all Beware! Who needs seat belts in the back of a truck when you got beer!

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    38. Prepping Preacher says:

      so much better to have and NOT need than to need and not have… and then there’s: two is one amd one is none… prepping demands duplication of effort, redundancy, in every aspect… to NOT prepare even a single, 1500w genset for dual fuel is to leave oneself behind the 8-ball… yes, the kits can be pricey and care MUST be taken for proper installation but how do those negate otherwise having at least minimum power in just a temporary grid-down scenario..??? such preps could be life saving even in a short-duration difficulty…

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    39. copperhead says:

      Sooner or latter you will have do without your generator, the fuel is no more after what you have stored. So for me start the party without one, they are good for temp outages, but when the SHTF it’s over. Unless you have a natural gas well in your back yard, remember that natural gas at the well head has a higher sulfur content and is very hard on metal so be carefull if you use NG from the well head.

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    40. Concerned Citizen says:

      This has been an excellent read. I have been reading this website for a few months now and this is the first time I am posting. I have been thinking of just going solar myself (Just getting of the grid entirely). I have been looking into the SUNRNR system. The link is here:
      http://www.sunrnr.com/Home_Page.html

      Can anyone tell me anything about this system and if they have tried it?
      Thanks CC

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    41. Kevin2 says:

      Your best gasoline storage tank is your vehicle fuel tank. I had a Dodge Ram 1500 and with little effort (and destroying nothing) 30+ gallons of fuel were available.

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    42. Genius says:

      Concerned Citizen says:
      July 18, 2012 at 11:22 am This has been an excellent read. I have been reading this website for a few months now and this is the first time I am posting. I have been thinking of just going solar myself (Just getting of the grid entirely). I have been looking into the SUNRNR system. The link is here:

      WOW that is insanely high priced! all of the so called portable power systems like that I have seen are about 3-4 times the cost of just building your own. for the 3800.00 they want for that you could have a system with 4 times the power and capacity as that one. Try contacting some solar companies that sell all the components and get some info from them its free. I reccomend http://www.windsun.com and http://www.wholesalesolar.com for free advice, just tell them your budget and they will design you a system that is a LOT better than those all in one ripoffs. One thing to keep in mind is to buy your batteries locally (6 volt golf cart batteries) to save a ton on shipping. Trojan batteries and Interstate batteries are the worst! I have 2 certs in solar power and 15 years experience and every trojan bank I have ever seen was a POS short lived crap. U.S. battery or Crown battery are good bets for the money. Build your own sytem and have you will be waaayyy better off and it isnt that hard to do! If you have any questions I will check back occasionally, good luck and please dont get ripped off!

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      • Concerned Citizen says:

        Thanks Genius. I will look into the links you posted. It really does seem like I will really just end up building my own system. Will check in occasionally to let you and everyone know how it’s going.

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    43. John says:

      I bought such a kit on USCARB.COM.
      Now they’re not delivering, nor answering my mails.
      So watch out.

      Rate This Comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    44. Jean Marc Fortin says:

      Hello!
      I have a generator Honda 2000 watt inverter…I am looking for a “Propane kit”

      Some body can refer me where I can buy it ???

      My email : jmfortin60@hotmail.com

      Thank you so much. Jmfortin

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