Thread Number: 84440  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Power Outages-
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Post# 1088364   9/7/2020 at 20:06 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Had one last night about 11pm. power out till after 1 pm.Hate being without internet. It was a minor outage, only 3 homes total were out, rest of sub was lit as per normal.

Anyway, what do you do when the power goes out? I flip the main breaker quickly, then turn all the individual breakers off.After the power comes back on I turn on each circuit one by one. Trying to avoid a power surge, plus it exercises the breakers, something an electrician once told me was a good idea from time to time.

Had a bit of a problem, my VOIP phone was acting up and my main computer did an update and lost the kernel, took about an hour to get things back to normal.





Post# 1088366 , Reply# 1   9/7/2020 at 20:16 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Don't move to California.  PG&E has made a real mess of things here.


Post# 1088374 , Reply# 2   9/7/2020 at 20:53 by qsd-dan (West)        
PG&E has made a real mess of things here.

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Very understated comment. A whole house generator with an auto transfer switch may be a decent investment for the future.

Post# 1088378 , Reply# 3   9/7/2020 at 21:22 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I have a whole house generator and it takes 10-15 seconds and it starts,
and everything is fine. When the power is back on, the transfer switch gives a LOUD snap, generator powers down and its like nothing ever happened.


Post# 1088379 , Reply# 4   9/7/2020 at 21:24 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

When the power goes I turn off the tv, laptops, dehumidifiers, & dishwasher if any of them are running. If it's daylight, I turn on one light so I'll know when the power comes back.

Post# 1088381 , Reply# 5   9/7/2020 at 21:34 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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When the power goes out I usually will go for a drive. Doesnít make sense being at home having nothing to do since there is no power.

Reply #1 PG&E from what I heard has terrible service even more so than SoCal Edison. Last power outage I remember was last summer and this wasnít during a heatwave but a planned power outage to do maintenance on the power lines in my area and thatís the last time itís been out within the past year.


Post# 1088384 , Reply# 6   9/7/2020 at 22:08 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I do have a genny but it's used so infrequently it's buried in the shed. I worry about "dirty" power and modern electronics which is in everything.Luckily years go by without an outage for me.

Post# 1088386 , Reply# 7   9/7/2020 at 22:32 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

There hasn't been one on my street for a couple months, at least while I was home. The neighbor kid mentioned it being off briefly a couple weeks ago, though. Two of my neighbors have generators that run on natural gas, and start automatically, as does the nearby school. I have a portable gas powered unit, but haven't used it for a couple years. It needs to be serviced before further use. I bought it when doing construction on my house until the new electric service was installed.

The permanently installed gen sets such as the larger Kohler, Cummins, etc. put out very clean power, with good frequency and voltage regulation. There shouldn't be any issues with operating electronics with these. My Aunt Doris had a 60 KW Kohler diesel that kept everything in her house operating as normal for five days after hurricane Katrina.


Post# 1088395 , Reply# 8   9/7/2020 at 23:52 by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Just had an 11 day power outage here beginning at noon on August 10th and lasting until late evening on August 21st.  Cable internet took an additional week to repair and some nearby neighbors are still without cable and internet.

 

11 days without power is really enough to try your last nerve.  We were all cutting up tree debris day after day so I tell people it felt like a bad camping trip.

 

 


Post# 1088455 , Reply# 9   9/8/2020 at 11:18 by beehiveboy (Northamptonshire, England )        

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Maybe itís a UK/US thing, but it has absolutely never occurred to me to do anything in a power-cut other than wait for the power to come back on. I didnít realise it could cause problems.

Post# 1088456 , Reply# 10   9/8/2020 at 11:24 by estesguy (kansas)        

I usually at least turn off the central air conditioner, if its summer time. By the time power has been restored, I'm sure most everyones AC thermostat is calling for cooling. I've always been amazed that the power grid can handle all those LRA (locked rotor amps) compressors coming on at the same time, but I guess it does.

Post# 1088458 , Reply# 11   9/8/2020 at 12:06 by qsd-dan (West)        
My Aunt Doris had a 60 KW Kohler diesel

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Does she own a castle? I've seen 30KW natural gas generator power 3 large A/C units all running at the same time and full power to a 4000 sq house with 2 80 gallon electric water heaters.

Post# 1088466 , Reply# 12   9/8/2020 at 12:37 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        
We Are Facing Power Outages

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thru Thursday morning due to the Red Flag warning for wildfire because of the excessive heat, high winds and extremely dry condition of the terrain.  Last night the power was turned off for over 18,000 Sonoma county residents, and the cutoff for the shutoffs was just about 3 miles north of us.

 

I’ve got our freezer packed with ice in case I have to put everything perishable into an ice chest.  Since the pandemic I’ve only been grocery shopping once a week on Wednesday morning.  Anticipating the fire season I’ve been using all the frozen meat and vegetables.  Tomorrow, I’m only going to buy what we can use in a week.

 

We are going to live with the threat of wildfires and power outages every Summer and Fall for the foreseeable future.

 

Eddie


Post# 1088475 , Reply# 13   9/8/2020 at 13:52 by hobbyapocalypse (Northeast Pennsylvania)        

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First thing I do when the power goes out is unplug the fridge. I asked my elderly dad to please do the same and he scoffed. "I'm not moving the fridge to pull the plug blah blah blah...." I said, you have a circuit breaker labeled FRIDGE don't you? Yeah. Well flip it off. Of course he never did, til he heard from one of his FRIENDS that they had to replace a fridge after a power outage.

Post# 1088476 , Reply# 14   9/8/2020 at 14:02 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Reply #9

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DITTO!  I never thought of it either.  We just sit and wait for it to come back and usually it's so fast that we wouldn't get all these things done before it came back on and we'd be reversing it all.

 

We've been in this house about 2 1/2 years and I think the power has gone off once.  The last house was 13 years and I don't think the power went out more than a few times.  The only thing I did on one occasion was try to open the garage door which I was unable to do.  I didn't know we had an issue with the door spring and the door was too heavy to open.  When we moved into this house we had the openers replaced with those that have a battery backup but I think it was a waste of money because we haven't had to use it.

 

The whole house generators are a scarcity around here.  You mostly see them where there is a medical need for consistent power.


Post# 1088477 , Reply# 15   9/8/2020 at 14:22 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

The issue is a large power spike can damage electronics. Most have some sort of built in protection, but do not want to risk it. one of these days I'll get around to installing a whole house surge protector, odds are after I need it.

Post# 1088478 , Reply# 16   9/8/2020 at 14:24 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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We lost power a week ago Thursday into Friday for 15 hours, it was torture.

Post# 1088489 , Reply# 17   9/8/2020 at 15:25 by sfh074 ( )        
I can't stand to be without Internet as well .....

so I put the modem and Ooma box on a UPS I bought from Costco. Power goes out and I'm good for Internet and landline for at least 8 hours. Had power go out about 3 months ago. Had Internet for most of the day. Laptop died after 4 hours so I plugged laptop into the UPS and kept going. It also keeps the modem from rebooting when the power glitches ...... which happens several times a year here.

Post# 1088491 , Reply# 18   9/8/2020 at 15:34 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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These horror stories really scare me. In the almost 20 years  I've lived here, I've only had the power go off twice. Once when a vehicle hit a major power pole (utilities are underground in my area) and once when a small junction box near the sidewalk started smoking. Edison has turned the power off a couple of times for a few hours for maintenance but they let you know weeks in advance. Other than that service has been very good. I go ballistic when the cable and internet go out. I'd need to be tranquilized if the power went off during a super-heat wave like we're having now. I'm going to finally have solar installed in the fall/winter, but of course if the regular power goes out your solar goes with it. My house is one of the last in the neighborhood to be solar-less. People are starting to talk.

 

Ralph...that's sad to hear about PG&E. When I was growing up in SJ they were the envy of utility companies everywhere, well managed with very reasonable rates. Almost all of the electric power generated was hydroelectric. The more electricity you used the lower your rate was. See how that would fly today anywhere. What happened is too many people...way too many.

 

Even though I get a 30% discount on my electric and gas (negligible even in winter) I got the highest electric bill ever last month. Every day except 3 were above average for August and 3 records were set. On Sunday it was 121 degrees in Woodland Hills. This was the highest temperature ever recorded in all of Los Angeles County...ever! The weather...it's a changin. Something's blowing in the wind. Today it happens to be wild-fire smoke.




This post was last edited 09/08/2020 at 19:06
Post# 1088493 , Reply# 19   9/8/2020 at 15:39 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

No Dan, my aunt's house wasn't a castle, though it was fairly large. The reason the generator was so large is due to the place being all electric - including the heat. Natural gas service isn't available in that somewhat rural area of Mississippi, so gen sets run on diesel or propane. She found the high cost worthwhile as power outages would occur frequently- several times per month in spring and summer. The area also had issues with voltage drop in hot weather. The transfer switch was set up to start the generator if the voltage fell below 90% of normal for more than three seconds, so sometimes it would be running even though the utility power wasn't off. Before she got it put in, she threw out everything in her deep freeze five times in one Spring and Summer.

Post# 1088495 , Reply# 20   9/8/2020 at 15:51 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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Last Oct. we had our power shut off for 4 and 1/2 days, because PG&E doesn’t maintain their power lines in a manner that would prevent them from coming down in high winds and starting fires.  So, to avoid yet another lawsuit settlement for their negligence in maintaining their equipment, the customer just has to bite the bullet and suffer without power.  

 

The last time before this shutoff that I was without electricity for so long was in Dec. ‘64 when my family was without power for 6 days when it rained biblically for seven days and seven nights non stop, and the Russian River had a record breaking flood.

 

PG&E should be spending more of their profits on the maintenance of their equipment instead of paying it out in dividends and then going to the CPUC begging for rate increases expecting the customers to pay for maintaining their equipment.  These are tax deductible business expenses.

 

Eddie


Post# 1088513 , Reply# 21   9/8/2020 at 18:17 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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As far as I can tell, PG&E has not paid a dividend since 2017. Itís in bankruptcy court.


Post# 1088518 , Reply# 22   9/8/2020 at 18:35 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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Yes, PG&E hasn’t paid a dividend since 2017, because thats when the excrement hit the fan due to the Tubbs Fire that began from a PG&E power line falling.    The resultant lawsuits and bankruptcy have prevented any dividends since then. BTW, the Kincaid Fire of last Oct. also began from another fallen PG&E power line, they just don’t learn or they just don’t care.

 

 However, had they been properly maintaining their lines and equipment prior to this terrible fire (Tubbs Fire of 2017) that happened 10 miles from my home theres a good chance thousands of people wouldn’t have lost their homes and many wouldn’t have lost their lives.

 

PG&E has been in “bed” with the CPUC for as long as I can remember and I’ve been paying PG&E since 1970.  Anytime PG&E makes a request for a rate increase its a done deal before the ink is even dry.  The CPUC puts a rubber stamp of approval on anything PG&E wants, the customer be damned.   I have zero sympathy of this company or its shareholders.

 

Now every late summer and fall we in Northern California have to sweat it out as to whether or not we will have electricity that we can depend upon.  Should I buy groceries or not?  Because who knows if I’ll be able to keep them from spoiling.

 

 It’s not like they are providing our power for free, we pay fairly high rates, and they keep going up all the time so we can pay for their equipment maintenance and replacement, which in my book is the responsibility of of the provider, not the rate payer.  

 

As I type this post I don’t know whether or not I’ll have power tonight or tomorrow because we are currently on notice that there is a potential  of Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

 

Eddie


Post# 1088770 , Reply# 23   9/10/2020 at 10:38 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I made a DC power supply for my DSL modem and Wifi router/access point so I can run for about 36 hours through an outage. You could just plug these devices into a computer UPS but stepping the battery voltage up to 120v AC and back down costs a lot of run time. I use a 7 amp hour 12v lithium battery.

Only thing I shut off during a power failure is the air conditioner. Everything else will be fine. I used to really worry about the computers making sure they were all on a UPS to protect the spinning hard drives from power bounces. Since none of my computers have mechanical drives anymore I only have a UPS on my NAS box with spinning drives.

I don't worry too much about surge spike damage as that problem is way blown out of proportion, but I do have an impulse supressor at the breaker panel. Mainly because I have antennas in the air for amateur radio so I am cautious about strike energy.


Post# 1088777 , Reply# 24   9/10/2020 at 11:08 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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We haven't had a power failure since August 14th, 2003. The great Northeast Blackout. When we had that power failure the first thing I did was fill the bathtub, buckets and virtually every pot with water. Beyond the 7th floor, we loose water since the pumps fail. We're supposed to get emergency generators to power the water pumps, elevators and common area lights. No generator yet, and I'm not holding my breath. However the common area lights have batteries, enough for them to work for 5 hours. On particularly hot days, when power demand is high, we sometimes get a reduction of voltage. Other than the lights being slightly dimmer, everything else seems to work fine.


Post# 1088826 , Reply# 25   9/10/2020 at 17:46 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

If the outage lasts more than maybe 1/2 hour, I start the 4K watt portable generator and plug in the extensions to power the freezer, 2 fridges, internet/cable box/router, a TV, a couple of lights, etc. If it's winter, I take the cover off the 120VAC connection for the furnace, disconnect the wires and put a pigtail on it so we still have heat and hot water. Things get plugged in and unplugged as different things are needed (microwave, etc.). Inconvenient but livable.

Chuck


Post# 1088829 , Reply# 26   9/10/2020 at 17:58 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I had a 5000 watt generator that powered all I needed. Male to male pigtail in an outside outlet and a jumper wire across the breaker box with the main breaker off to power everything I needed. But it chewed a gallon of gas an hour and it was too much work to mess with. My whole house Generac works flawlessly as we tend to loose power alot, total of 12 days since Halloween.

Post# 1088836 , Reply# 27   9/10/2020 at 18:39 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Full outages are rare although momentary blinks may occur during thunderstorms or a rogue 18-wheeler hits a pole.† Have a portable gasoline generator bought when one of the hurricanes some years ago was headed straight here (it turned so nothing happened) but have never (yet) used it.

The circuit substation is up the road 'round the corner, not that that means anything specific.† The local electric cooperative owns their service lines, not shared with any other utility.


Post# 1088953 , Reply# 28   9/11/2020 at 09:38 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
What's a power outage?

we live off grid and make our own power.

Solar mainly, with a small 24V DC generator to replenish the batteries when the sun doesn't shine enough.

Home-made DC genny - 6 Hp Briggs Vanguard engine driving a 24 volt Bosch truck alternator.

 

Of course I was joking about "what's a power outage," we have had a few outages. One serious one when the inverter shorted and had to go off for repair - fortunately we have neighbours with whom we share a spare inverter so we used the spare.

Other than that, in earlier days with a smaller inverter we had to be careful not to put too many high load items on together, no ironing when the washing machine is heating for example. now we have a bigger inverter so not such an issue. We still try to have only one big load on at a time - inverters last better if they run cooler, so we try to space out our loads.


Post# 1090739 , Reply# 29   9/26/2020 at 02:53 by DaveTranter (Central England)        
Power outages, generators, and fuel

Whilst most of the UK has stable, reliable power, the old mining village and 'satellite' estates where I live have started having more frequent outages in the last few years. This is almost certainly because the infrastructure can no longer cope with the ever increasing loads, for the simple reason that none of the private electricity companies nor the Government want to spend any money on it!

About a month ago, I came home from work one afternoon to discover that the power was off, and (by checking the electro-mechanical clock on the heating timer) that it had been off for about 4 hours already, so set about digging out my 1.5kVA Briggs genset, which is my usual 'standby set' for short outages. Sadly (and rather annoyingly!!) I was unable to start it, despite it working perfectly at the end of last year. Luckily, the power came back on after a total of 5 1/2 hours.

This brings me to the 'crux' of my post this morning....
I discovered that the fuel (gasoline) in the generator tank was now 'stale' and virtually non-combustible, as had been the fuel in my lawnmower a month or so earlier.

I have never previously had problems with fuel 'overwintering' before, but have heard rumours that the 'gasoline' being sold now contains very little in the way of petroleum distillates, and is mainly wood alcohol, which evaporates much quicker to leave degraded,. useless fuel in store.

Have any of our readers had similar problems with gasoline (petrol) going 'stale' in a very short time, rendering the notion of a 'standby set' unworkable??
I would value any replies/opinions.

All best (after a long absence)

Dave T

P.S. Please excuse any rambling... It's 8:30am here.... Went to bed at Midnight with terrible toothache... Been awake since 2:30, still with toothache!! Concentration not at a maximum now.... :-(
P.P.S. Yes, I had noticed the time was 'Tooth Hurtee'... Never let personal discomfort interfere with your sense of humour!! ;-)





Post# 1090755 , Reply# 30   9/26/2020 at 06:17 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

It's kind of odd, because we used to have power outages almost every other day during the summer when we'd get severe thunderstorms. They would last for hours.

But these days it's rare we get an outage at all. At most the power will blink off for a second. Several years ago our utility went around and replaced most of the transformers, and I think that fixed part of the problem.

At work we'll sometimes get an outage that lasts an hour or so, but they're usually due to cars knocking down a pole somewhere.


Post# 1090791 , Reply# 31   9/26/2020 at 13:13 by Rolls_rapide (.)        
Petrol going off

I've heard of that too, but thought is was as follows:

I have heard that during winter, you should keep the car's petrol tank reasonably full (i.e. not empty dregs), because of moisture condensate, which causes water to collect in the tank.

I suppose it's like a box of matches getting damp. Becomes useless.


Post# 1090792 , Reply# 32   9/26/2020 at 13:25 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Problem with gasoline now is the ethanol content that will gum up the carbs in small engines when gas sits for a month or more. Stabilizers for gas help some. There are a few stations selling non-ethanol gasoline that I use for all my small engines for a buck more a gallon but worth it.

Post# 1090898 , Reply# 33   9/27/2020 at 13:24 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
Ethanol

When I picked up the Mantis tiller from the repair shop I let the guy know my routine at the end of use for the year- add Sta Bil and run for 5 minutes or so to have it get everywhere. He said it will help, but it's best to either run the unit dry or use high-octane fuel without ethanol. I'm leery about running them dry- anyone do this?

Chuck


Post# 1090902 , Reply# 34   9/27/2020 at 13:45 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Running to-dry (after every use) ... that's what I was told to do with my Stihl line trimmer and a push-mower that is used only to mow the deep FM ditches (when they're not wet from rains).


Post# 1090917 , Reply# 35   9/27/2020 at 16:53 by sfh074 ( )        
I run mine ....

dry at the end of the season. Been doing it forever since my dad did the same thing with his tools.

 

I use ethanol free gas and spend the extra buck a gallon for it. I also mix Stabil in with it.  Doing this has kept the primer bulbs and fuel lines soft. Can't remember the last time I had to replace clear fuel lines or bulbs. 

 

At the end of the season I'll crank and run the unit for a few minutes to get it warm. Then turn it off and pour out any remaining fuel. I then crank it again and run it with 3/4 throttle until it runs dry.  I have never had any problems starting the next spring ..... and I have probably a dozen tools with gas engines.


Post# 1090959 , Reply# 36   9/27/2020 at 23:48 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Run dry here too...


Post# 1091006 , Reply# 37   9/28/2020 at 09:05 by dalangdon (Seattle, WA)        

In thirty years of living in Seattle, I can count the number of outages on one hand. The Inauguration Day windstorm of 1992, the Hanukkah Eve windstorm of 2006, and one weird microstorm that hit our neighborhood with lighting and took out about twenty transformers. Other parts of town are more prone to outages, but we live in the central part of the city.

With that said, I work for the power company, so I am familiar with outages. It seems like whenever there is an outage, everyone just filled their freezer. ;-)

If it were worth the investment, I would get solar with some of those Tesla power walls. (That allows the solar to keep functioning in the event of an outage). But the infrequency of outages, combined with our low rates, just doesn't pencil out.

When the power has gone out, I haven't done anything special (partly because I'm usually called into work). The nice thing about having elderly appliances is that they ride through outages pretty well. They can be rough on solid state stuff. We had a situation a few years back where a transmission line fell on a distribution line. That blew out gobs of customer equipment, but the old stuff just shook it off.


Post# 1091013 , Reply# 38   9/28/2020 at 09:42 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Seems like the gas problem here has gotten worse over the past few years. Such as having to replace carbs on small garden engines.


Post# 1091043 , Reply# 39   9/28/2020 at 14:57 by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

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One advantage of having a house near Chattanooga ever sense they installed Fiber to the home for all houses and business.They installed it for power switching during outages in 2009 but it has dual uses as very FAST and Very cheap internet.I pay 69 bucks a month for a 1 Gig of speed and 10 gigs cost 200 bucks a month I think.
Power rarely goes out here for more than a minute.Then comes back on.
The last time it was out for a long time was in 2011 when we had Tornadoes destroy everything. That was the last time my parents Generac ran for more than a hour.
Now the at farm where we don't have Fiber optics the power goes out frequently
a few times a year and takes hours and hours.We have a very large Yanmar diesel Generator up there being a working farm for the Milk refrigeration.My Brother who works for Oak ridge labs told me that other cites are wanting to install a Fiber optics system like Chattanooga but that Comcast is putting up road blocks at every chance they get.


Post# 1091186 , Reply# 40   9/29/2020 at 14:10 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        
Gas problem getting worse

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Not sure it has changed a lot recently, but there was an awful turn for the worse as soon as they mixed Ethanol with the gas. It isn't really a problem in frequently run engines where the fuel doesn't age but infrequently run engines have horrible luck. From what I have found there is NOTHING you can add to the fuel that makes up for the alcohol being in it. Hopefully we don't end up with higher percentage blends but I'm not sure they could be any worse.

In many parts of the country it isn't tough to get non-oxygenated Ethanol free gasoline. I've been using non-oxy gas for about 6 years now and I no longer do anything special. I used to use Stabil and drain tanks for the off season etc. I rarely run my lawn mower so the fuel in the tank is now about 2 years old, I start it every couple months first or 2nd pull every time. Snowblower started last weekend first pull on last years gas. I've never had a single fuel related problem since I switched.

Check the link for a list of gas stations that carry non-oxy fuel

www.pure-gas.org/...




Post# 1091199 , Reply# 41   9/29/2020 at 17:02 by DaveTranter (Central England)        
Thanks for the replies

I managed to log in on Sunday evening, and read the posts mentioning 'Sta-Bil' and similar additives, then spent the rest of the evening and into the night reading up on stabilisers and the sub-standard, ethanol rich petrol/gasoline which we are now having foisted upon us. As far as I know, here in the UK, there is no option to buy 'straight' gasoline anywhere... Unless I can get a few gallons of aviation grade fuel from an airfield. You never know, that might turn my mower into a REAL 'fly-mow' ;-)

I will be checking on the availability of fuel stabilisers in this country at the weekend, and will post on what I find.

The depth and diversity of knowledge available within this group never ceases to amaze me!!

Thanks to all again!

Dave T


Post# 1091200 , Reply# 42   9/29/2020 at 17:08 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

Oddly, some engines have issues and others don't. Our lawn rider, snowblower and backpack blower- no issues with a start-of-season start using regular unleaded and Sta Bil. Tiller, weed-wacker, Mantis mini-tiller, generator... not easy. 

 

I think I'll try running them dry this year, but maybe run them dry, add a little race fuel, and run them dry again to be sure there's no ethanol in them.

 

Chuck


Post# 1091208 , Reply# 43   9/29/2020 at 19:03 by qsd-dan (West)        

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I've used Seafoam as a fuel stabilizer/cleaner since 1997. The lawnmower is 24 years old and the 4 stroke weed eater turned 20 this year. Other than new primer bulbs (one for the lawnmower, 2 for the weed eater), none of the carbs have been touched and never had any issues. They have been through MTBE, ethanol, and whatever political scam California loves to embrace with open arms. 1 ounce per a gallon treats fuel for up to 2 years although I can't remember going much longer than 5-6 months on the same gas.

Running the carb dry using ethanol fuel is a not a guaranteed fix. I recently borrowed my neighbors tiller that he ran dry and stowed away for almost a year. I couldn't get it run longer than a few seconds and ended up rebuilding the carb since individual gaskets were more expensive than a complete rebuild kit. It was a mess inside there.

There's a goofball small engine repair guy on Youtube who's currently testing different fuel stabilizers on a monthly basis. His experimentation began at the start of the year and now approaching month 10. One of them has already failed. There should be a new video out within the next few days but here's the last one for the month of September.







Post# 1091338 , Reply# 44   9/30/2020 at 12:25 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Power is out again in nearly all the state due to another windstorm, many trees down, roads closed. My Generac is humming away nicely.

Post# 1091945 , Reply# 45   10/4/2020 at 15:03 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        
BAH!

Power went out again last night, but this time with damage.  Went out about 11:10pm  but it "Bounced" 2 or 3 times.  I knew that would be trouble.  Came on a couple of hours later and everything looked good until I went to my main computer.    Got a warning message: Could not find Kernel - never a good thing.  After an hour of messing with it decided I had no option but rebuild.  I had bought a SSD a few months ago but was dragging my feet reinstalling my main system.  SO 20 minutes later I had a new system up and running, Linux Mint 20 on an SSD loads VERY quickly. 

 

Tested the 4 other dives in the system all OK, but my 1T drive with my OS was dead.  My hope is it blew the controller board since it's not even spinning up.  I can swap out the hard drive controller board for $35, cheap fix to recover all the stuff I had not backed up.  I do keep my data on a second drive separate from the main OS drive, but it will be a pain to recover.


Post# 1091948 , Reply# 46   10/4/2020 at 15:24 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        
Forgot about the hurricanes

Our power always is out a minimum of one week after a storm comes across Florida.

2004 when we had Charley, Frances and Jeanne, I believe we were out for about two weeks after the first two of those.

It gets really HOT in Florida in the middle of summer, and it seems after the hurricanes pass there are NO breezes. It's almost unbearable when you're used to air conditioning.

After that we avoided about 13 summers of hurricanes until Irma came in 2017. We were off for about a week and a half here. What was weird about Irma was parts of downtown had power within a day or two, traffic lights in those parts were working, etc.

My area is almost always one of the last ones to get power back, and this time was no different. The main transmission lines were down which prevented us from even getting power here. Lineman's work is hard. It's hot and many of these poles and lines are in areas that have been inundated with water from the hurricanes.

Being downtown had power earlier most of the stores and restaurants started opening within a week. We still had to go into work, but after I would go to Walmart and walk around in the air conditioning or sit in a restaurant and cool off.

I remember the first night our power came back on, it was a Friday night, had a hot shower, clean bed sheets and A/C finally. It was heaven.

Some of our neighbors have whole-home propane generators, and I wouldn't mind having that, but my understanding is they do go "bad" after a decade or so. At least the residential type. Commercial ones I hear are better built.

What I ultimately want to do, once I get my own place and it's just me. Is to get a small window A/C unit and one of those small, quiet generators, so I can have A/C in just whichever room I sleep in. I don't care about the power being out really, other than it's just impossible to cool off and go to sleep in that heat. I could also run the fridge here and there.


Post# 1091954 , Reply# 47   10/4/2020 at 17:10 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Matt, do you not have all your computer equipment on battery backup with surge protection? When I had a desktop PC, I used a 500 watt APC unit, and had no trouble with power issues. What got my PC was a lightning strike to the pole across the street, which came in on the unprotected phone line. It didn't bother the Western Electric 2500 phones in the least, but fried the computer.

As for the longevity of generators, the commercial units almost always have 1800 rpm engines, regardless of whether they run on natural gas, propane or diesel. Many of the residential models have 3600 rpm engines, especially under 20 KW rating. The faster running engines tend not to last as long. The liquid cooled models also do better than the air cooled, and all higher KW units are of the liquid cooled type. Gensets are like any other type of machinery, such as a car, truck or tractor, and have to be maintained on a regular basis to be reliable. All permanently installed units should be set up to automatically exercise themselves on a regular basis (every week to two weeks), and should be run under load every three months or so if there haven't been any power outages for a while. This needs to be done to make sure the transfer switch(s) are operating correctly, as they are known to stick if not operated for too long.


Post# 1091956 , Reply# 48   10/4/2020 at 17:34 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Tom, have my main computer on a surge with a dead battery b/u.† It's a large unit but the battery died a few years back.† Never had an issue with outages so it was an expense I let slip.† The HD does not spin up indicating the controller, so my hope is a new board will allow me to recover.† But in the meantime I've got to reinstall all sorts of stuff, the main reason I did not do the update to the new SSD.

Post# 1091968 , Reply# 49   10/4/2020 at 19:21 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Matt, I hope you can get things back in order without too much expense.

I never replaced my PC. Went to the library to use theirs for a couple years, and now have smart phone. May get a new computer next year if I can afford it.


Post# 1092193 , Reply# 50   10/6/2020 at 15:08 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
OP

mark_wpduet's profile picture
that's interesting and I never thought of that. Flipping main breaker off then others individually, then when power comes back on.....turn them all on at once to avoid power surge...

Our power rarely goes out but it has happened a few times. Everything is underground here in my subdivision. Back in 2003 I think or 2002, we had a horrible ice storm and power was out for 7 days. I was living in a different part of town.....the folks over in this area (at that time) never lost power. Being without power is miserable. I've often wondered if something goes terribly wrong with the power grid, we're so screwed.

After being without power for 7 days, I've never cared how much my power bill is because I feel like it's worth every penny.


Post# 1092485 , Reply# 51   10/8/2020 at 22:08 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
My experience is that the smaller gas powered lawn tools tend to be more susceptible to gas induced malfunction than the larger ones. Perhaps this is because the smaller ones are 2-strokes, which by their nature are dirtier. Also, the smaller ones tend to have odd carburetors that depend on rubber diaphragms that can swell and distort with old gas. They may also have smaller jets that are more easily clogged. I do use Sta-Bil in all my garden tools. I have a couple of then that need new carbs. I have the carbs, I'm just being lazy getting around to installing them. The 30" hedge trimmer will get its new carb first because the 10" high ivy-covered fence is just about at the limit of acceptable growth. As is the 6' high ivy-covered fence.

Fortunately things here have cooled down quite a bit so working in the yard isn't as grueling as when it's in the high 90's.


Post# 1092490 , Reply# 52   10/8/2020 at 22:20 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Dan,

Whew. Don't mean to be petty and judgemental, but that video could be a very strong argument in favor of orthodontics. Probably too late now.




Post# 1092503 , Reply# 53   10/8/2020 at 23:51 by qsd-dan (West)        
strong argument in favor of orthodontics

qsd-dan's profile picture
It's a fake mouthpiece used as part of his spiel. There was an old vid of him that caught a short glimpse without the fakers. They looked fine.

Post# 1092527 , Reply# 54   10/9/2020 at 04:03 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Fake teeth

sudsmaster's profile picture
I wondered if they were fake; LOL. Good to hear that they are fake. I was actually feeling rather sorry for him. I don't quite get why he wears them, but to each his own, I suppose.


Post# 1092529 , Reply# 55   10/9/2020 at 04:13 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
At around the 5:00 mark, this video shows Taryl without the "teeth". Still sounds about the same.

Love the shirt. No need to tuck it in!






(The preview frame also shows him w/o those buck teeth)


Post# 1092530 , Reply# 56   10/9/2020 at 04:20 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Here's the preview pane w/o teeth as a gif...

  View Full Size
Post# 1092746 , Reply# 57   10/10/2020 at 16:00 by chetlaham (United States)        

chetlaham's profile picture
@dalangdon: I agree. The whole "power surge" thing tends to be overblown but you do make a good case scenario. A 115kv transmission line falling into a 12kv distribution line does some of the worst damage en mass.

@Mark_wp_duet: If you truly care about something just unplug it. I don't care what type of surge protection you have or how much of an internal contact gap those circuit breaker provide. A direct lighting strike or a 20,000 volt primary falling into your 120/240 volt secondary will arc across literally (and I mean literally) anything and trash everything. (I've seen whole homes needing to be rewired where the surge protection charred like everything else did) An open neutral can also turn surge suppressors into a fireball. If a storm is coming, just unplug. Once you power is on and nothing amiss (ie lights aren't dimming and brightening from an open neutral) then you plug back in.

As for power coming back on after an uneventful outage I wouldn't worry about flipping breakers, rarely is that accompanied by transients or over voltage voltage nor will the breaker panel have any control over it.





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