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Author Topic: Texas in a state of emergency  (Read 1890 times)

Grandpa Shooter

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Texas in a state of emergency
« on: February 17, 2021, 06:15:49 AM »

I came across this story and thought some of you might identify with it.  I don't know if this is a general discussion topic or a political one, but I am offering it as food for thought.  I saw another article that talked about areas that are dependent on wind and solar suffering because the generation is either nil, or way below what's needed. 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/texas-mayor-tells-residents-to-fend-for-themselves-during-power-outage-only-the-strong-will-survive/ar-BB1dL1ii?ocid=NL_ENUS_D1_20210217_5_2

Ben

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2021, 06:45:33 AM »

I read the story earlier today. The Mayor was rather tactless, since there are going to be many residents in his city, like the elderly and disabled, who might have difficulty doing what he said.

Bad presentation aside, he makes good points regarding able-bodied people that sit around waiting for someone to take care of them. He might have have framed his statement more into "able-bodied people get off your ass, stop waiting for the government to save you, and be a good citizen and check on your neighbors who might not be able to help themselves."

IMO, anyone who lives in a home (vs an apartment or similar) should at least have a small 2KW generator or some other power source for things like minimal heating with portable heaters, etc. Plus water and other reserves. We talk about this stuff all the time here, so other than the Mayor's poor choice of words, what he's saying is what we say all the time at APS.
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charby

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2021, 06:47:21 AM »

You sleep in the bed you make.
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Grandpa Shooter

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2021, 06:54:10 AM »

What about the part about Texas declaring itself independent of the national power grid, thus denying citizens of power in an emergency?  We have a coal powered plant near here that the Feds are trying to shut down despite the wishes of state residents so we haven't had a power emergency yet.  I don't consider myself a prepper, but  we are prepared to weather the storm.

MechAg94

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2021, 07:08:03 AM »

I think a whole lot of people have realized how dependent on electricity they are.  The home generator people will be doing good business this year.

I lost power Monday night.  Finally got it back Tuesday night.  Lost it again for a little bit early this morning. 

I have natural gas heat, but I still need power to run the blower and air circulation.  I might have to look at a portable propane heater or something like that.  While out of power, my house got down in the 50's.  Bearable but it sucks.  Only saving grace was I could still take a hot shower.  I never lost water.  I hope I don't lose power again, but we will see. 

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Mike Irwin

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2021, 07:10:01 AM »

Friends of mine in the Dallas Ft. Worth area are having rolling blackouts. They're surviving, but don't have heat when the power is out because they have forced air gas. They can at least use the gas cooktop, but not the oven. I suggested to him that it's time to install a free standing unvented (or vented) gas fireplace. Ambiance and warmth.
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Nick1911

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 07:29:38 AM »

I think a 1kw-1.5kw ish inverter makes sense for alot of suburban types that are at least minimally handy.

A generator sitting around for years is unlikely to want to start during a power outage.  Clogged carb, bad gas, etc.  Most folks already own and maintain a car, which should start up and run just fine.  At idle, it'll run a long time on a full tank of fuel.  An inverter is also cheaper than a generator.

Wired correctly*, most furnaces will run off an inverter.

* Don't use the ground on the inverter.  Use a two prong setup, and at the furnace bond the ground and neutral together.  If you don't do this, the flame sense circuit is unlikely to work with most cheap inverters.

WLJ

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2021, 07:30:11 AM »

Only saving grace was I could still take a hot shower.  I never lost water.  I hope I don't lose power again, but we will see.

Some areas have little to no water

Houston mayor tells residents to conserve water as ‘nearly all of Harris County has low water pressure or no water at all’
https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2021/02/17/houston-mayor-tells-residents-to-conserve-water-as-nearly-all-of-harris-county-has-low-water-pressure-or-no-water-at-all/
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RoadKingLarry

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2021, 07:57:07 AM »

Our water was off for nearly 12 hours yesterday. Our little podunk town water department doesn't do too bad most of the time so I won't give them too much hell for it.
I was more concerned that with low/no pressure I would be more likely to get a freeze up and break a pipe. So far so good.
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Grandpa Shooter

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2021, 08:11:41 AM »

I think a whole lot of people have realized how dependent on electricity they are.  The home generator people will be doing good business this year.

I lost power Monday night.  Finally got it back Tuesday night.  Lost it again for a little bit early this morning. 

I have natural gas heat, but I still need power to run the blower and air circulation.  I might have to look at a portable propane heater or something like that.  While out of power, my house got down in the 50's.  Bearable but it sucks.  Only saving grace was I could still take a hot shower.  I never lost water.  I hope I don't lose power again, but we will see.

I recently bought two dual fuel freestanding space heaters, 20,000 BTU each.  I can run them off my natural gas feed, or simply move the elbow to the other inlet and hook up to propane.  They keep this 101 year old farmhouse toasty.  There is a built in small fan but plugging it in is not necessary to the operation of the heater.  Inexpensive at $160 each.

Ben

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2021, 08:14:51 AM »

I think a 1kw-1.5kw ish inverter makes sense for alot of suburban types that are at least minimally handy.

A generator sitting around for years is unlikely to want to start during a power outage.  Clogged carb, bad gas, etc.  Most folks already own and maintain a car, which should start up and run just fine.  At idle, it'll run a long time on a full tank of fuel.  An inverter is also cheaper than a generator.

Wired correctly*, most furnaces will run off an inverter.

* Don't use the ground on the inverter.  Use a two prong setup, and at the furnace bond the ground and neutral together.  If you don't do this, the flame sense circuit is unlikely to work with most cheap inverters.

I agree that if you get a gas generator, you can't just park it in the garage until something happens. I have my generator (in fact all my small gas stuff, like portable water pumps) on my calendar to start at various times. The genny gets started on the 15th of every month. I actually just replaced the battery in mine because it wouldn't hold a charge anymore. Luckily my genset has a pull cord as well. Also can run on gas or propane.

They sell those "battery gensets" which are basically ginormous UPS units. I see them at Costco rated for I think 1.5KW, which is enough to run something like a portable oil heater for a little while. They are kinda pricey for what they are though, IMO, at around $500. You can by one of those HF Predator 2KW gensets for that. Plus you have to "maintain" the UPS by making sure it stays charged, so I'm not sure which is less work to maintain.

For warmth alone, I bought a Tractor Supply indoor kerosene heater. It is very "smell free" except at stop and start. It will run all night and put out good heat. Of course you can't just let a kerosene appliance sit until you need it either. Basically, most anything you choose for emergency power, heat, etc., needs to be maintained.
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dogmush

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2021, 08:31:19 AM »

A two stroke generator and a couple gallons of premixed, stabilized fuel would be a pretty cheap, easy to store, and maintenance free emergency setup.

Mike Irwin

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2021, 08:41:03 AM »

When I first got my pellet stove a few years ago I considered getting a small propane powered generator (Ryobi had one at the time) in the 1,000 watt range. Pellet stoves don't take much -- mine uses about 470 watts on start up and about 80 watts with the fans and feed motors running.

But, I rarely lose power, and I've never lost power in winter for more than a few minutes. Summer is a different matter -- I've lost power for a couple of days at a time in the summer due to major storms, but it's never been bad enough to make me consider getting a generator big enough to power the AC.
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WLJ

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2021, 08:42:34 AM »

But, I rarely lose power, and I've never lost power in winter for more than a few minutes.

Give Biden and gang a couple of years to "fix" that
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WLJ

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2021, 08:49:56 AM »

Quote
MikeS
@MikeS64620982
·
2h
Replying to
@AmandaOnFOX7
 and
@ERCOT_ISO
The Texas power grid is tapped out.  They have no power to provide.  63% of the power is based on wind and gas.  Equipment was never winterized.  This is deregulation in action.  Can’t import power or export.  The government is sending in experts to help us.
Tip
Quote
LabPadre
@LabPadre
·
1h
Wind and solar is supplemental in Texas . ERCOT won't let Texas crank the power because it will exceed the pollution threshold.  Someone needs to get their priorities straight.

https://twitter.com/LabPadre/status/1362062731734614024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Eembeddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Eprofile%3ALabPadre%7Ctwcon%5Etimelinechrome&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.starshipstalker.com%2F
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WLJ

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2021, 08:52:57 AM »

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WLJ

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2021, 09:17:09 AM »

The problem is obviously not enough taxes  :facepalm:

Quote
Asha Rangappa
@AshaRangappa_
Just a reminder that Texas doesn't have a state income tax. Curious to hear from my Texas friends how they think that impacts the current situation
11:10 AM · Feb 17, 2021

CNN analyst Asha Rangappa is ‘curious to hear from [her] Texas friends’ how having no state income tax is ‘[impacting] their current situation’
https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2021/02/17/cnn-analyst-asha-rangappa-is-curious-to-hear-from-her-texas-friends-how-having-no-state-income-tax-is-impacting-their-current-situation/
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adively

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2021, 09:25:26 AM »

The problem is obviously not enough taxes  :facepalm:

CNN analyst Asha Rangappa is ‘curious to hear from [her] Texas friends’ how having no state income tax is ‘[impacting] their current situation’
https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2021/02/17/cnn-analyst-asha-rangappa-is-curious-to-hear-from-her-texas-friends-how-having-no-state-income-tax-is-impacting-their-current-situation/


Hmmmm, why does that matter for a once in a lifetime occurrence?
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MechAg94

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2021, 09:44:54 AM »


Hmmmm, why does that matter for a once in a lifetime occurrence?
It matters not at all.  As if more tax money to the govt would actually help in this situation.  Maybe they can build a salt dome to store electricity. 
The screwed up perspective that shows is just nuts. 

This will be over in a few days or so and people will be again to forget that all their stuff runs on electricity and they will go back to assuming they can get all that from solar and wind because...    Then this will happen again in 5 years or so  and people will get through it again.
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Mike Irwin

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2021, 10:15:25 AM »

I'm surprised that they're not blaming Trump for this mess...
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WLJ

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2021, 10:17:00 AM »

I'm surprised that they're not blaming Trump for this mess...

They don't have to, everything bad leads to Trump by default.
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Perd Hapley

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2021, 10:36:40 AM »

I think a 1kw-1.5kw ish inverter makes sense for alot of suburban types that are at least minimally handy.

A generator sitting around for years is unlikely to want to start during a power outage.  Clogged carb, bad gas, etc.  Most folks already own and maintain a car, which should start up and run just fine.  At idle, it'll run a long time on a full tank of fuel.  An inverter is also cheaper than a generator.

Wired correctly*, most furnaces will run off an inverter.

* Don't use the ground on the inverter.  Use a two prong setup, and at the furnace bond the ground and neutral together.  If you don't do this, the flame sense circuit is unlikely to work with most cheap inverters.

Sounds interesting.
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kgbsquirrel

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2021, 11:00:58 AM »

I think a 1kw-1.5kw ish inverter makes sense for alot of suburban types that are at least minimally handy.

A generator sitting around for years is unlikely to want to start during a power outage.  Clogged carb, bad gas, etc.  Most folks already own and maintain a car, which should start up and run just fine.  At idle, it'll run a long time on a full tank of fuel.  An inverter is also cheaper than a generator.

Wired correctly*, most furnaces will run off an inverter.

* Don't use the ground on the inverter.  Use a two prong setup, and at the furnace bond the ground and neutral together.  If you don't do this, the flame sense circuit is unlikely to work with most cheap inverters.

How many amps for a basic alternator on a four banger?

kgbsquirrel

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2021, 11:05:16 AM »

I agree that if you get a gas generator, you can't just park it in the garage until something happens. I have my generator (in fact all my small gas stuff, like portable water pumps) on my calendar to start at various times. The genny gets started on the 15th of every month. I actually just replaced the battery in mine because it wouldn't hold a charge anymore. Luckily my genset has a pull cord as well. Also can run on gas or propane.

They sell those "battery gensets" which are basically ginormous UPS units. I see them at Costco rated for I think 1.5KW, which is enough to run something like a portable oil heater for a little while. They are kinda pricey for what they are though, IMO, at around $500. You can by one of those HF Predator 2KW gensets for that. Plus you have to "maintain" the UPS by making sure it stays charged, so I'm not sure which is less work to maintain.

For warmth alone, I bought a Tractor Supply indoor kerosene heater. It is very "smell free" except at stop and start. It will run all night and put out good heat. Of course you can't just let a kerosene appliance sit until you need it either. Basically, most anything you choose for emergency power, heat, etc., needs to be maintained.

Aside from removing fuel, lube oil and coolant (if any), and protecting from dust and rust, what else should be done to a small genset to prep it for proper long term storage?

dogmush

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Re: Texas in a state of emergency
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2021, 11:25:04 AM »

How many amps for a basic alternator on a four banger?

130-150ish.  Most newer ones will have the voltage regulator installed on them already.  I honestly don't know if they need a field current to get working or if they will self start when spinning, as I haven't played with a newer (after 2006-ish) one in a while.  Some of the older GM alternators I used to work on needed a field current to start actually charging.

Aside from removing fuel, lube oil and coolant (if any), and protecting from dust and rust, what else should be done to a small genset to prep it for proper long term storage?

That's probably good.  If I was buying a generator that I knew I was going to store long term, I'd look for a 2-stroke powered one so I could just drain the fuel and carb and call it cool, but it's better to actually run them every now and then to keep all those fluids moving around and the internal parts coated in oil.  My gen sits in the shed in front of my lawn mower and I just wheel it out ever month or so when I start mowing the lawn and start it.  When I finish mowing and go grab the weed whacker I turn off the fuel and let in run dry, then I put it away when I am done with yard work.  No real added time and it runs through maybe half a gal of gas a year that way.  Keeps the battery charged as well.

which reminds me.....I need to start the generator this weekend.
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