Master thread for disasters and generators.

BVH

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I'd guess there is very little, if any surge. I have a 10-year old G.E. Frige that is DC inverter driven. It is whisper quiet at the moment of start and takes about 6-8 seconds to come up to speed. I put a surge measuring clamp meter on it a long time ago and don't remember the number but it was nothing for all practical purposes. I didn't buy it for that reason, but just got lucky.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I have an inverter microwave oven and it cured a problem I had with blowing breakers I had to run it at 80% though instead of 1250 watts it was around 1000 watts
 

turbodog

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You might want to rewire that circuit. Breakers that throw often tend to fail. And if it's tripping... there's a reason.

I hope this was a 15a circuit.
 

Lynx_Arc

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It is a 15A circuit and there was a lot of other stuff on it that is why. I'm sure some of the breakers are wearing out but the microwave does draw a lot of current I have another microwave that is only 1000 watts and it doesn't blow the circuit.
 

Poppy

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I'd guess there is very little, if any surge. I have a 10-year old G.E. Frige that is DC inverter driven. It is whisper quiet at the moment of start and takes about 6-8 seconds to come up to speed. I put a surge measuring clamp meter on it a long time ago and don't remember the number but it was nothing for all practical purposes. I didn't buy it for that reason, but just got lucky.
BVH,
Thank you for that.

I did a little reading this morning about inverter air conditioning units. That confirmed that there is little to no surge.
 

Poppy

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Apparently some newer units have low voltage start, and overall draw fewer amps.

My 10K unit is listed to pull 9.1 amps
This unit 7.5 amps, and has low voltage start and EER of 12.0

Frigidaire FFRE1033S1 10,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control:

  • 2016 Energy Star: 12.0 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
  • 10,000 BTU compact air conditioner for window-mounted installation
  • Frigidaire FFRE1033S1 10,000 BTU 115V window mounted compact air conditioner uses standard 115V electrical outlet
  • Quickly cools a room up to 450 sq ft
  • Frigidaire air conditioner has a ready-select electronic control panel and full-function temperature-sensing remote control
  • Low power start-up and operation conserves energy and saves you money
  • Quiet operation keeps you cool without keeping you awake (52 dB on low)
______________________________

I'm thinking that if my 2K gennie can start my 9.1 amp unit, it should be able to start this 7.5 amp more easily.

I made a little of a low ball offer on one of these as a used unit, with the provision that my gennie could start it. My offer was refused. Oh well... I need it like I need another hole in the head.
 
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turbodog

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FYI,

If any are considering a whole house auto start auto transfer unit...

I've owned mine for slightly under 5 years now (4y 8mo). Have around 130 hours on it, half of which are exercise.

So, the $7k it cost has provided power for ~60 hours... or around $100/hour so far.

If I didn't need the auto start/transfer for work (home office) I would look seriously at nat gas duel fuel with manual transfer or maybe a tractor PTO unit with manual switch... due to fuel availability.

The manual switch makes life tons easier... no more extension cords or 'cheater' backfeed cords.

Other than oil/filter changes maintenance has been sporadic checks of the oil level (and immediately after a run event). I'm going to go ahead and replace battery tomorrow.
 

turbodog

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Ha... battery replaced just in time. Positive terminal had corroded badly. Clamp was loose enough it disconnected just from moving the wire. The bolt broke trying to unscrew it. Replaced bolt, replaced battery, and doused terminals with exide terminal spray (leaves red coating).
 

Poppy

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Preventative maintenance beats doing it in the dark during a thunderstorm. Glad you caught it in time!
I absolutely agree!

As I said in the past, I think my central AC is a little undersized.

We are in the middle of a four day heat wave with "feels like" temps over 100F. My windows are not conducive to air conditioners, and I have a 10 K unit that is too large to mount in a window without removing the window itself. So my plan is to lie this baby on the floor, and close the sliding door onto it, and fill the top space with 1 1/2" insulating foam.

It will be interesting to see how well it works. It will also be a emergency prep, should we have a power outage, and I had to run the house on a 120V generator, with a window AC for comfort. I'm thinking that it is better to get the materials I need and size them up, prior to the actual emergency, especially when the materials may not be available, when they are actually needed.
 
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idleprocess

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Playing email tag with the electrician while they chase down a the correct interlock and an inlet - in the mean time I have a 14-50 dryer outlet outdoors since I guess they had to terminate the connection somehow for safety. Maybe a friend will park their Tesla in my driveway and has a really long extension cord and I can test the breaker.

In the event I demand more than ~7kW of power I can swap it for something beefier.

We are in the middle of a four day heat wave with "feels like" temps over 100F. My windows are not conducive to air conditioners, and I have a 10 K unit that is too large to mount in a window without removing the window itself. So my plan is to lie this baby on the floor, and close the sliding door onto it, and fill the top space with 1 1/2" insulating foam.

It will be interesting to see how well it works. It will also be a emergency prep, should we have a power outage, and I had to run the house on a 120V generator, with a window AC for comfort. I'm thinking that it is better to get the materials I need and size them up, prior to the actual emergency, especially when the materials may not be available, when they are actually needed.

Suggest a trial run before 'the real thing' happens.
 

Poppy

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Playing email tag with the electrician while they chase down a the correct interlock and an inlet - in the mean time I have a 14-50 dryer outlet outdoors since I guess they had to terminate the connection somehow for safety. Maybe a friend will park their Tesla in my driveway and has a really long extension cord and I can test the breaker.

In the event I demand more than ~7kW of power I can swap it for something beefier.



Suggest a trial run before 'the real thing' happens.
Perhaps your dryer outlet was in violation of code. In NJ all outdoor outlets must be "Ground fault" protected. Maybe you just need a ground fault breaker for it.

Regarding a trial run? I thought only IT people did that. :)
 

idleprocess

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Perhaps your dryer outlet was in violation of code. In NJ all outdoor outlets must be "Ground fault" protected. Maybe you just need a ground fault breaker for it.
The sole concession to safety is the splash cover. Since I've zero interest in hacking together a suicide cord, the odds a Tesla will deposit itself in my driveway with all the accoutrements necessary to charge, and I've no other 240V appliances not already on their own more convenient circuits ... I'll not throw the soon to be interlock breaker and await conversion of my new puzzling outdoor dryer outlet to proper generator inlet.

Regarding a trial run? I thought only IT people did that. :)
Or not. Nothing like a challenge on short notice.
 

Poppy

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idleprocess,
I'm sorry I misinterpreted what you wrote.

I was thinking that you had a stray clothes dryer outlet, outside, that wasn't hooked up. Now I understand that your electrician was there and didn't have the correct interlock, but ran the cable to what will be your generator power input box. I guess he already connected it to the panel, so he didn't want to have the possibility of having it hot from the panel. The interlock will prevent that.

Step by step you are getting closer. :thumbsup:

In the meantime at Poppy's ranch, I placed my 10K btu emergency air conditioner on the floor of the family room; Closed the sliding door to the patio on it, and filled the top with 1.5 inch thick foam board. There are some air leaks that I'll tighten up at another time.

AM-JKLVS620LXDkVF1JASz0HamxVea1gqMIQtoTdNGIbNE7EMxjd8HWbkOoqZ-qEva1SVl2YG6X5Sf7lI141A21uC_OKrbRae6mMh5Xc2DENbGaWLSCaolZoyN4h9N_YdqU6c3eH0ySeoaXPlppNVTYVt5xy=w538-h789-no


They are predicting another day of 99F actual temperature that feels like 112F due to humidity again today. Yesterday, the central AC struggled in the middle of the day, and could only hold 75F in the coolest room. The Family room must have been about 79. So I'll leave it in place today, and put it back into storage tomorrow, when the temps will be more normal.
 
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turbodog

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...

They are predicting another day of 99F actual temperature that feels like 112F due to humidity again today. Yesterday, the central AC struggled in the middle of the day, and could only hold 75F in the coolest room. The Family room must have been about 79. So I'll leave it in place today, and put it back into storage tomorrow, when the temps will be more normal.

I don't want to derail this thread, so I'll limit my comment to one post. If we want a new thread, or a PM conversation that's fine.

Had a 4 ton scroll compressor hvac. Had hot/cold spot issues due to ductwork problems. And in today's temps it would run all day flat out. MS is not having the heat waves some parts are having, but daytime temps are 92 with heat index of 102-104.

Replaced the unit ~2 months ago with a 4 ton scroll unit with 2 speed compressor and variable speed air handler. Ductwork had some dampers installed. Airflow was balanced using dampers and windspeed measurements. Air return was enlarged (was too small originally).

Results? No more hot/cold spots. Unit cycles off/on during the day. Power bill dropped 33%. And the unit, as of today, has never gotten above 'low' on the compressor. It takes a lot to impress me... but this did it.
 

Poppy

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turbodog,
It sounds like you got a HVAC guy who knew what he was doing, and that the newer unit is more efficient.

Although my 10K window unit can be started and run with a 2K gennie, I see that it is rated for 9 amps. There are other 10K units rated at only 7.5 amps. If my gennie wouldn't start and run the 9 amp unit, I'd replace it with one that it could start. The purpose of having a 115V window unit is for use during a power outage.

Regarding preparedness: I bought the foam board during a heat wave, but there was no wide spread power outage. Meaning that the Home Depot had power and was open for business. IF there was a wide spread outage, they might have been closed, and I would not have been able to purchase the foam board, and I'd be looking for cardboard, and tape. So now I have what I need for a quick and dirty installation of 115V AC.

Another note:
craigslist had a 7.5 amp 10K unit with an asking price of $185. It didn't sell, so it was marked down to $175. I didn't need it, but low balled with a $120 offer, which was refused. I then upped it to $150 if my 2K unit could start it. There was no response. Then the heat wave hit, and it was marked up to $195. It's a matter of supply and demand. I mention this, in that, it is better to be prepared, before an emergency hits, in part because there may be a limited supply, and the cost may jump up.
 

turbodog

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Foam board is rather bulky, but that just the type stuff that's very handy during rough times. I have more space than most and am able to keep a few sheets of plywood, some 2x4 boards, couple of tarps, and some roofing nails. That should be enough to handle most reasonable roof/window damage from storms/etc.
 

Poppy

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I'm not as well prepared to do structural repairs, but I do have some tarps.

One time while camping with the scouts, we used some tarps as side walls to a standing structure. It was very windy, and although we had some roofing nails, the heads weren't big enough, that they wouldn't hold the grommets in place. We ripped up a cardboard box into 3 inch squares, and used the carboard as a washer. That worked well. :)
 

Lynx_Arc

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Foam board is rather bulky, but that just the type stuff that's very handy during rough times. I have more space than most and am able to keep a few sheets of plywood, some 2x4 boards, couple of tarps, and some roofing nails. That should be enough to handle most reasonable roof/window damage from storms/etc.
With the insane prices of wood lately a foam board over a broken window may be a lot more affordable than buying a sheet of plywood these days. I always make sure I save a few large cardboard boxes as you can cover them with plastic to put over a window and unless there is a 50 mph wind on it, should be ok till the window is fixed. Tarps are fine too but a roll of thick plastic is sometimes better as it is cheaper and can be cut to fit and you don't worry about putting holes in it and you can get clear plastic also and colors that are less conspicuous too, even white plastic can reduce heat vs a dark tarp that is often heavy and has to be more supported to keep from sagging. A roll of plastic can be stored easily and thrown away after use instead of having to be cleaned up and folded etc.
 
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