Propane, and propane acessories for backup power.
December 23, 2008 1:19 PM Subscribe
After the recent issues with running a gas generator for emergency power backup, I was going to make the plunge and purchase a propane generator. The question is, should I plan on having a couple propane appliances installed as well?
posted by inthe80s to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So I'm up here in Central Massachusetts in an area with no Natural Gas service, so if I want gas powered backup, I'm going LP. The generator size I want that would serve me well is 7KW, with a consumption rate of around 1 gallon an hour. After last week's ice storm and no power for several days I know I want a couple days of run time, which means no less than 96 gallons, so a 120 gallon tank looks to be the size I need (80% capacity). Anything smaller, and I would probably run out before I could get a truck to deliver when everyone is running low. If I stick with removable storage (like the really big bottles you can bring to the refilling stations) I would need several at a time, and be at the mercy of whether the stores were in stock during an emergency, have to lift and move them, deal with getting back and forth, etc.
However, extended periods without power are rare (once every few years) so I generally wouldn't use that much propane from year to year if I just run the generator. I'm assuming I'd have a hard time getting a service contract with a provider if I'm not using at least one tank worth of gas a year. I guess I could always just shut the power to the house down and run the generator, but that seems like an expensive way to get electricty.
Would a propane gas kitchen stove be enough to help me make sure I use enough each year to help justify the installation of a 120 gallon tank? My water heater and main heating system is already heating oil, so there's no advantage to converting those to propane. I'm in the process of replacing my kitchen, and need a new stove, so a switch to LP now for that wouldn't be exceptionally painful.
Alternatively, has anyone heard of someone installing a diesel generator and feeding it from the home heating oil tank?