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Portable Generator Inside the House...?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    So, the standard opprobrium is to NEVER run a portable generator inside the house. Not even in the garage with the door open! Might kill yourself with CO, they say.

    But who wants to publicly be running a generator after an event? OpSec and all that...generatorless neighbors showing up to demand their fair share...doogooders perloining it to run Grandma's refrigerator because her medicine needs refrigeraton...angry neighbors asking "What do YOU need your generator for?"

    So...I got to wondering...what if you placed the portable generator in the fireplace (my little Honda would fit easily) and ported the exhaust up the chimney? Maybe with dryer ducting or similar? And for additional security, made certain your CO monitor was nearby?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  2. No gasoline in the house!!!:wavey:
     

  3. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Not even the gasoline in the generator's tank? (Fill it outside.) Why is that? Danger of fire or explosion? I have natural gas piped all over the house now...!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn

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    Memphis
    nope, wouldn't do it. Build a small shed/storage building and run it from there. run your exhaust however you want.

    googling "generator sound reduction" will return lots of valid and useful responses (along with some not-so useful)
     
  5. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

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    N. Dallas
    No storing gas in the house.

    And just FWIW:

    It just takes a little Carbon Monoxide slowly little by little to kill you in a building.

    You will go to sleep and not wake up.

    :wavey:
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  6. kewa0501

    kewa0501

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    Switch from gasoline to propane powered and it should be a little safer. Find a way to ensure 100% of exhaust gas is vented outside and you should be good to go.


    A better option IMO is to change the exhaust on the honda or add-on more exhaust baffling to keep it quiet. Those hondas are already very quiet but after all power is gone I imagine it would be loud.
     
  7. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    Arkansas, USA
    I personally wouldn't, but I'm hyper-phobic about fire; I don't even like oil lamps & candles indoors if it can be avoided.

    It could be made to work, and probably even made to work safely. It would just never be inside my comfort zone unless it was an absolute 'must' - meaning we'd die if we lost the generator, and we'd lose the generator if we didn't keep it in the house with us. Then, I'd find a way to do it; but short of that I probably wouldn't.

    If you have an attached garage or sunroom, that'd still be less than ideal, but much better than in the actual house imo. I'd be very conscious of securing it, with a cable to an anchor in the concrete or similar. During ice-storm outages here, we've had people wake up to find their generators stolen during the night; sometimes finding a running lawnmower left in its place so the sudden absence of noise wouldn't wake them up.
     
  8. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    That seems like a very good idea. I didn't know until someone pointed out here just a few days ago, that you can have the little generators easily converted to propane/LP gas.

    If you built a snug-fitting coverplate for the front of your fireplace, and had at least a small muffin fan (as from a PC) built into the coverplate that forced air into the fireplace, that would likely help tremendously. Even better would be a fan inside the chimney itself above the generator - or in a 'snorkelized' vertical exhaust from the generator up the chimney - so it's pulling air rather than pushing it in. You'd have to worry about heat damaging the fan that way, but forced airflow would be my top priority if (and it's a big "if") a situation came up where I had to do this kind of thing.
     
  9. HexHead

    HexHead

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    Shoot them when they show up with pitchforks and torches.
     
  10. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    That was my original thought...the engine would naturally push the exhaust up the snorkel (inside the chimney) and the hot gas would naturally rise anyway.

    I also have the ability to largely seal off the fire place. Not air tight, but not bad, either.

    I understand it's not ideal, but I'm thinking it might not be deadly either.
     
  11. Devans0

    Devans0

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    I used a heavy chain on mine, to an outside tree. It stayed put. If SHTF and someone needs power, they can bring a battery to get charged...for a fair barter for gas payment. My immediate neighbors were happy that I let them run an extension cord until they could get situated.

    Don't underestimate good neighbors. Lone wolfs don't do well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  12. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    Alaska, again (for now)
    Much easier to put it in the garage, and buy one of the exhaust vents they make for cars so you can run them, and connect the exhaust to a tube that vents outside.


    Its secure, and there's no additional risk of CO2 poisoning.

    Its how my diesel generator will be mounted.
     
  13. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

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    Nowhereville, USA
    \

    I see where your going with this, but I would not chance it. There has to be a more safe(or covert) solution to the senario you described.
     
  14. Clay1

    Clay1

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    Wisconsin
    I have two generators. One at the main house and one at the recreational piece of property. Since there is no catalytic converter, the exhaust is more dangerous than a car exhaust. People with your idea die every single year from generator exhaust.

    Propane is NOT safer for exhaust! People die from propane fueled generators too. The reason for Propane or Diesel is that the fuel is more stabile and lasts longer. Take your generator and figure out how much fuel it needs to run per hour and then just figure a week of solid running. Most people don't have a clue how much fuel that is.

    I just have 6 six gallon tanks that I fill with premium, non ethanol fuel then add Sea Foam as a stabilizer. I rotate that fuel through the vehicles every six months and get fresh. Gas generators biggest issue is the fuel upkeep. My generators are really just set up for a couple of days of relief, after that it doesn't look good.

    Mine are for storms, not for shtf scenarios.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  15. You may, or may not be able to get the exhaust to do what you think it will. Spend anytime at all living with wood heat, and time on the forums devoted to it, and you will find plenty of people who have had much warmer and higher volume smoke/fumes/cO come back into their house. Sometimes it's atmospheric, sometimes a house under/over pressure, etc.

    As others have said, I wouldn't chance it. I buried a loop of 3/4 stainless rod 24" in a concrete plug that is made from 6 bags of quikrete. A very large chain and lock then attach to the genny. I also built some noise abatement structure, but when it's dead quiet out, it can still be heard a fair ways off. But it's also a big generator.

    I figure if the crazies come for your generator, for whatever reason, inside, outside, locked, camouflaged, etc. won't matter.
     
  16. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

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    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    If you build a sandbag wall around your generator--slightly higher than the generator itself all the sound will be directed straight up. You can still hear the thing but its almost impossible to figure out what direction the sound is coming from. Have done this in situations where my life depended on it. It works
     
  17. sebecman

    sebecman

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    Maine
    I have had the issues you speak of with my wood stove. Took me hanging out on forum site hearth.com to figure out my pressure problem.

    I have a 3000 W portable generator in my RV. When I bought the RV the previous owner had the genny in the aft storage compartment and had piped the exhaust out the bottom of the RV using 2 inch pipe. What he did not realize is;

    a. there was a crack in one of the elbows
    b. the rv is not air tight and exhaust creeps back in.

    I did a carbon monoxide test with it running for an hour and it was tripping my sensor all over the RV. It could have been lethal.

    Generators need space.
     
  18. sebecman

    sebecman

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    Maine
    This^
     
  19. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    State of Stupidity
    I'm seeing a pattern here!

    OK, won't do it.

    Like the sandbag idea & the car-exhaust-vent ideas.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  20. Pardoner

    Pardoner

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    Sep 28, 2000
    Lake Mary, FL
    It is not worth risking.

    I tested my generator just outside of my open garage door with no wind and my CO detector was off the chart in about 15 mins.

    We have people who kill themselves every time we have a hurricane here. They tell people every 30 mins on the news about the dangers, newspapers print it on the front page and we still have people who think they can outsmart CO.

    When we had our last hurricanes, I had to stop and tell some lady to get hers out of her garage. She would have been dead by morning and she was clueless. I guess she couldn't read or didn't have a TV either.