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Administrator
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"In a thread about power generators last week, Juan mentioned an upcoming sponsor for the site, Generac. (I love that we are focusing on sponsors who are more relevant to contractors!)

Generac.PNG

Listening to your discussion made me take some time to go check out their site. As most of you know, I am fascinated by tiny houses, especially in remote areas so it definitely caught my attention.

Is it mostly a rural thing?

How many of you live or work "in the country?" Do you find generators to be of more importance to business and homeowners away from the city?

What about those of you who work in suburbs and the city? Do your clients have interest in back-up generators? Or do they just count on the power companies to keep them running?"
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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I lived in a rural area for a few years and I would have to say that a generator is important to have simply because you need power for the well water, the septic system, and phone service if you are using something other than a land line.. which is an issue now because back when Ma Bell owned the entire system and the government funded it, everyone in America could have a phone even if installation was cost prohibitive.

OTOH for the 4 years that I lived in a rural area, I only experienced 1 single prolonged power outage due to the fact that they put the power plants in rural areas also. I was only 3 miles away from the plant.
 
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Head Light Bulb Changer
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I guess it depends on the definition of 'Rural'. My house used to be on 'Rural Route #2', but now the postman delivers to an actual street address since Atlanta has creeped so close. If you live in a truly rural area (big city at least 50-75 miles away), a generator (or 2) is an absolute necessity IMO. Most people I know who live 'Out in the weeds' have at least one portable genset. They don't generally have reliability problems with the PoCo, but when power goes out it can stay out for a few days. And if you live on acreage, taking a little genset with you to do some work away from the main house power makes life easier.

Most whole-house backup power I see is in higher-end homes. The problem I see a lot with them is the power hardly ever goes out and the HO's don't do the yearly testing/maintenance on them, so when the power does go out they're still in the dark because the genny won't start.
 

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water re-locater
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My area is i guess typical suburbia being only 40 miles from Manhattan but since hurricane sandy and Irene a year earlier many of the trades advertise big time for gens. I see a few houses a week that have made the investment within the last few years.
 

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John the Builder
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27 times we lost power last Dec-Jan. Around here, EVERYBODY has a genset of some sort - except right next door - and they just go away until the power comes back (I have no idea how they know - they don't talk to anyone...).

Anyways, old skoolers usually back the JD up to a 3-point mounted genny, the johnny-come-latelys do the whole house auto -switchover - we mustn't dare let our whole home security system, electric estate gates, or A/C go down for any reason. LOL

But seriously, some of these spreads around here have mighty expensive ponies and there's a need to keep power working.

Dying Ash trees take down lines. And the grid is old and decrepit and overloaded.

Its the new normal.:thumbsup:
 

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Folks ask about it here but decide not to when they discover the cost and the need for a pad at the side or back of the house. Yards are small here. People here don't have freezers, either, so no worries about the venison or side of beef going bad.
 

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Super Moderator
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I work in a TRUE "keep up with the Jones'" atmosphere of clients, but most of them spend their money wisely unless money is truly not a concern.

When the power occasionally goes out, the ones with the largest ones grunt and beat their chests about how they have back up power with an automatic transfer switch. (And not just a critical load panel, but their whole house is undisturbed!) The rest really aren't that impressed and just fire up their smaller ones to keep their sump pumps, fridges, and some lights going.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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I live in town and would never consider not having a genny. City slickers get their power from the same grid the country bumpkins do. Only in large cities is there generally more than one source of power.

The only big difference is when there's lots of damage spread out in a given area. POCOs usually restore power to the largest group of customers first. This is because when the power goes out, the cash register on your house stops. The more they get back online faster, the more revenue they collect.

So those in the country, especially those near the 'end of the line' are typically restored last.

But if the serving grid is down, everyone gets brought back to the 20th century together.
 

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I live along a river---lots of big old trees---and few houses---when the lines go down--they are often down for days---

So having a generator to keep the well and the sump pumps going is something all the neighbors have----

We are always the last to get the power back on----especially during flood season.
 

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I live along a river---lots of big old trees---and few houses---when the lines go down--they are often down for days---

So having a generator to keep the well and the sump pumps going is something all the neighbors have----

We are always the last to get the power back on----especially during flood season.
But Mike you know the city I refer to right? You work there too!:laughing:
 

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Love me some Concrete
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I live just outside of town on an acreage and have looked extensively at generators. 85% of our power lines in our "grid" are burried, so during storms and such we rarely loose power. We received 24" of snow in 48 hours 2 years ago and lost power for about 3 to 4 hours. I have a smaller generator that is usually used in construction but it can not power our whole house. Well, stove for short time a necessities but I think I really need to buckle down and get a dedicated unit.

Now figuring out how to fuel it?
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I have lived off the power grid. A reliable genset was imperative.

I have lived out in the sticks on the grid and lost power for almost a week.

Even though I live in town near schools and hospitals (they get power restored first) I still keep a 5k gennie ready.

I have clients that have whole house back ups. But in this area it is not the norm. Norm is to take power and water for granted. Water is getting to be a huge issue. We need a wet winter or it will get real interesting next year.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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I live just outside of town on an acreage and have looked extensively at generators. 85% of our power lines in our "grid" are burried, so during storms and such we rarely loose power. .....
Your LOCAL infrastructure (7200 or 14400 volts) may be underground, but I can pretty much guarantee you the lines that feed it power (the high-voltage transmission lines criss-crossing the country) are overhead.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Your LOCAL infrastructure (7200 or 14400 volts) may be underground, but I can pretty much guarantee you the lines that feed it power (the high-voltage transmission lines criss-crossing the country) are overhead.
Not that much of an issue with the big lines, unless a storm is throwing trees and houses up into the air. Fortunately, that rarely happens around here.

But I do live on a mountain in an oak forest. When we lose power, it tends to be days until restoration--so most of us have gennies.

Ironically, I have a direct line of sight to the state capitol building.
 

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If the USA keeps going down the green path to please the Unicorn hunters, the grid will get even more unreliable as evermore part-time power al la solar and wind mills are added funded by massive welfare subsidies and legalized rate fixing at several times old school nuke and coal plant costs.

the grid masters have already lower frequency and voltage standards so "green" power can hook on to the Grid, look for more sales of power line conditioners to preserve expensive electric plant investments at work and home.

Some sort of generator service, service would appear to be a no brainer, perhaps in tandem with reduced insurance rates from the mansion's insurance? Even local, and state governments would profit from having a large % of homes and businesses able to continue with out power for several days, as an adjunct to Civil defense and disaster prep....

Some one with tens of thousands of $ of livestock without back up power is just a case of animal abuse waiting to occour.:sad:

Maybe wise utilities could offer gen set and switch inspections and safety tests of switch gear...... "un-hook from grid, THEN start generator... please..."
 

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I think the main difference is the time to get the power back on. In the city, a few hours is common. In the country it could be a few days. I think it is because the co-op has fewer employees spread out over a larger area.
 

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But Mike you know the city I refer to right? You work there too!:laughing:
To the folks in Naperville--having a whole house generator gives them 'bragging rights'

Most of them probably don't work any more---When I mentioned to one of those folks that it needs a new battery,they said," We don't need one. The power is never out around here.":laughing:
 

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I think generator sales in the rurals of Ottawa skyrocketed after 1998:

 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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Not that much of an issue with the big lines, unless a storm is throwing trees and houses up into the air. Fortunately, that rarely happens around here........
Never heard of 'tornadoes', have you? :whistling

Ice can do the same thing.

And human error (pilots running in to them).

And old age (of the lines.... they have a limited life span).

And the fact that the entire system is overburdened to boot.
 
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