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Old 12-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #11
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Lol! Same experience up here in Maine! I'm at a camp now and power went out. Wood stove is great for heat and cooking, but the water pump is frozen, so I'm out hacking through the ice on the lake to get flushing water. A pot of water on the stove serves for hand washing water. No shower for 4 days thus far.

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Old 12-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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I know the feeling Mosin. My wife is still sleeping, so I washed a ton of dirty dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. I've been putting lanterns away and generally picking up the house. I'm about to take a shower, I'm getting somewhat ripe.

My buddy in Sacramento is coming up after the new year and he's going to bring my propane and stuff. He just happens to know another former Marine who's a retired engineer and the guy has a generator shop. So my buddy's going to pick his brains about a water wheel for me.

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Old 12-24-2012, 07:58 PM   #13
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Take a look at solar panels, too.

When purchasing batteries, look at spreading out when batteries are purchased. You don't want to be forced to purchase all at once when the life expectancy is up.

http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-panel-kit-45-watt-68751.html

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Old 12-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for the tip and the link Dan. Spreading out the batteries is something I wouldn't have thought of.

My electrical knowledge is pretty much zero. What can you run with 45 watts?

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:01 PM   #15
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You can get a generator to run most of the house for around $800. I had one 7500 and 1250 peak at Home Depot for $700. My suggestion get an LP tank and order the generator dual fuel. May cost a little more but well worth it, lived in the country for awhile, had the generator that ran everything in the house except the heat pump, converted it to LP with a 250 gallon tank and an insert converting the fire place to a wood burning stove with blower, my house was all electric including the well pump and had no problems

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA357 View Post
Thanks for the tip and the link Dan. Spreading out the batteries is something I wouldn't have thought of.

My electrical knowledge is pretty much zero. What can you run with 45 watts?
A 25w light bulb in the pump house.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
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A 25w light bulb in the pump house.
WOW!!! That much huh?

It's pretty obvious to me that I have a bunch of homework to do.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:13 AM   #18
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For a little power the water wheel will turn an alternator out of a car. You will have to work out the pulley ratios on site. Use it to charge 2 6v golf cart batteries in series and get a power inverter for 120v. Remember you draw 10 X the amps on 12V over 120V. Wire from the batteries to the inverter have to be sized correctly for the load. It will be enough to give you some light and maybe run the fridge. You will have to figure out what you want to run for the inverter size. You might want a small portable pump for water. That is what I use to fill the RV when I have to fetch water. I use the RV as a life boat in an emergency.
When I lived in WA, I had a free standing wood stove for heat. Used it a few times to cook when the power went out. We were on a well so I kept water bottles filled. Walmart has some 7 gallon blue jugs that are reasonable. I keep them in the trailer.
Don; PM me your new phone number.

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:21 AM   #19
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The Harbor Freight 45 watt unit will actually give you about 30 watts stored power. Say you have 8 hrs sunlight- you have 240 watts to use for one hr. or ABOUT 400 for 30 minutes.

You can run LED or compact flourescents on low wattage. Anything with a heating element eats power like mad. Motors are in the middle of power demand.

Going "off the grid", fist thing is to figure out what REALLY needs electricity, and what CAN be run by another source. Really hard to find a coal fired computer, or a propane TV. But I can cook on a propane or white gas camping stove just fine. We have oil lamps- but also have a Coleman table lamp (twin mantle, white gas, about 200 watts of white light)

coleman-lamp.jpg

I do have a small scale solar electrical system- and a 2500 watt inverter. Can keep the deep freezer going, but to run a deep well pump, fridge, lights, etc etc, going to have to fire up generator.

Old book, good start, but you will want more reading beyond this- Mother Earth News Handbook of Homemade Power. $3.97 on Amazon. $2.00 on Alibris.com

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #20
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I use one of those propane heaters in my garage. There is a hose available (got mine at walmart) that will hook a 5 gal or larger propane tank to your heater. It cuts the cost way down. In Oregon, Walmart will accept any old 5 gal propane tank for return/exchange and give you the new tank for the cost of the propane refill.
As far as the non compliant wood stove, you could hook it back up now that you are in the house but if a fire starts, your insurance company is not liable. When I lived in my cabin near Fiddletown, I ran a non compliant wood stove for 2 winters. Unless someone was home,we always put the stove out when leaving. I brought it into compliance to get the final approved.

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