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What are y’all buying for the next grid failure?


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Don’t want to clutter up the main threads for people who are still hurting, my heart goes out to you...but almost a week into this thing, I think my particular combination of location, utilities, house and luck has me thinking about next time (finally).  I figure $100 or so of little crap woulda made a big difference when we had 12+ hours at a time in the dark with young kids. 

Here’s what I’ve found I need vs want:

Need:  4 Flashlights and extra batteries, electric hurricane lamp, better gloves, pair of wool socks, hand warmers (keep spigots from freezing overnight), another power bank, couple big jugs of potable water, and another book besides IT saved on my phone (don’t recommend as your only thing to read in the dark, in a cold and silent house). 
 

Wants:  Freeze Misers for the spigots, propane space heater + propane tank, heat tape, more radiant gas fireplace logs, installed valve for outside water only, heat gun, ‘fuck ERCOT’ flag,  nuclear power plant.  
 

Anyone got anything else?  Clone of South Austin’s mom (she was booked by Sunday).  

Edited by Homercles
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For me, in Dallas or the general metro for the foreseeable future, a generac type device makes little sense.

A generator does, though.  And a couple of those propane radiant heaters.  And I think I'm gonna get some of those Freeze Mizers for the outdoor faucets.

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4 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

For me, in Dallas or the general metro for the foreseeable future, a generac type device makes little sense.

A generator does, though.  And a couple of those propane radiant heaters.  And I think I'm gonna get some of those Freeze Mizers for the outdoor faucets.

I may get those freeze misers as well...I know you and I were pretty active early on worrying about the spigots.  The only reason I haven’t yet is because *knock on wood* this is just about as bad as it could get with no power, cold temps, ice and hell...yet the riskiest faucet still seemed to thaw out ok with no leaks once I got some heat on it.  Then again if this happens again in a few years I’d gladly pay $60 to have them...so may just do it. 

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1 minute ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

We are in the design phases of building a new house on some semi-rural land. I'm now convinced to add solar panels, a whole home generator, and the biggest fucking underground propane tank they will sell me. 

That reminds me I meant to post this in the winter thread...before drywall goes up, do a very through walk around and video EVERYTHING.  It’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.  
 

You’ll want to know where all those water lines, vent pipes, drains, romex, conduits, etc are for a time just like this.  It told me exactly where to focus my attention when the house was freezing. 

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11 minutes ago, Homercles said:

I may get those freeze misers as well...I know you and I were pretty active early on worrying about the spigots.  The only reason I haven’t yet is because *knock on wood* this is just about as bad as it could get with no power, cold temps, ice and hell...yet the riskiest faucet still seemed to thaw out ok with no leaks once I got some heat on it.  Then again if this happens again in a few years I’d gladly pay $60 to have them...so may just do it. 

Yeah, good point.  Just #teamstream is proven effective and cheap.  I guess the Freeze Mizers might inject a bit of uncertainty.  And I thought it was two for 38 not 60 so yeah.  Although the "fire and forget" has some appeal.

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I'm going to wait til summer because all this stuff is going to be overpriced and scarce for a few months. Will also give me time to research and plan. We didn't lose power but the "what if we had" game has kept me up at night.

But back of napkin plan:
- keep at least half a cord of wood on hand every winter starting Octoberish.

- figure out how to get water to the house if the well pump fails. Some sort of manual pump.

- small propane generator that will tap into the tank for the pool. Enough to run a space heater in the master suite and a few electronics.

- maybe a couple of those indoor heaters that run off of camping propane tanks and a bunch of those tanks in the back of a garage cabinet.

- something to stop outdoor spigots from freezing. Heat tape or heat misers. TBD.

- some good cold weather thermal clothes for the kids. We'll never use it, but it's cheap peace of mind.

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3 minutes ago, gsoda3 said:

A generator. Anyone have recommendations? And are they ok to sit with gas inside for years at a time?

No, they tend to require upkeep and maintenance. Given their cost, I have always argued that is more economic to plan to stay in a hotel. I don't have kids so my tolerance for house that doesn't fully function for a few days is higher than most. 

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Since I can’t get back to my house yet to repair and haven’t turned my dads water back on, I spent yesterday ordering shit online and made a couple of hardware store stops when I got out today.

Generator breaker interlock kit for my breaker panel, feed breaker, power inlet box and some cable parts.  If I was home, I could have temporarily wired my genset into the panel and probably wouldn’t have broken a pipe.  Wife would not have been capable of doing that  but she should be able to drag it from the storage shed, fuel it, plug it in and get it running if I’m not there.  

4 fuel cans with treated non-ethanol gas.  Every quarter oldest goes into the car tank then get refilled.

Waterbob bags for bathtub water storage. for us and parents households, a couple more 7 gallon water cans too.

A good backpacking style water filter. Micropur water treatment tablets

Extra 20# propane tanks and a couple of the Mr Heaters

Window A/C unit for when shit fails in the summer

Some additional led flashlights and lanterns

A  bunch copper and pex fittings for repairs

Some of those freeze misers maybe

Edited by davidg
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25 minutes ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

We are in the design phases of building a new house on some semi-rural land. I'm now convinced to add solar panels, a whole home generator, and the biggest fucking underground propane tank they will sell me. 

I built my own barndo. My regret is listening to the women folk and making any attempt to look "finished." I think we should embrace the industrial loft look. Put all electrical in accessible (and ugly) conduit. Put pex water lines behind easily removable fascia, maybe just halved pvc, or maybe just out in the open. Nothing in walls but studs and insulation. Function over form.

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Putting a shut off valve in my attic that runs to my damn hose bibs. Have whole home foam with heated attic, got down to 0 and those were my only problems. Want to join team drain and forget. Team wrap failed twice, team stream failed when we lost water (well, they technically didn’t freeze).

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38 minutes ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

We are in the design phases of building a new house on some semi-rural land. I'm now convinced to add solar panels, a whole home generator, and the biggest fucking underground propane tank they will sell me. 

We already had this planned, we were just going to have a spot for the genny but we will add it now. Rainwater collection too.  

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20 minutes ago, gsoda3 said:

A generator. Anyone have recommendations? And are they ok to sit with gas inside for years at a time?

You would not want to do that but some have the ability to drain the tanks and carb and/or run it dry.

You would still want to start it up and run it at least every couple of months as stuff like that doesn’t like to sit long and you don’t want it to fail when you need it.

As for recommendations for a portable unit, IMO Honda sits at the top of the pile and it goes down from there.  I bought a $550 3400w Ryobi Inverter generator to use with my RV and it will power all the emergency house loads that I would want.  

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22 minutes ago, CleverNickname said:

I built my own barndo. My regret is listening to the women folk and making any attempt to look "finished." I think we should embrace the industrial loft look. Put all electrical in accessible (and ugly) conduit. Put pex water lines behind easily removable fascia, maybe just halved pvc, or maybe just out in the open. Nothing in walls but studs and insulation. Function over form.

Ours will look finished and none of the survival shit will even show. We will have a mechanical room with all the rain water collection water gauges, pump and filtration stuff, pex manifold, and tankless water heaters, another spot for electrical and transfer stuff for power and generator stuff, and both spots indoors - could be same room if we can safely separate water from power.  We don’t even have but one gutter on one side of the house you’ll see, all other downspouts for collection run through roof drains.  Cistern is under half of the top floor accessible through a hatch but otherwise hidden. 
 

I’ll still buy some other stuff - probably what David there is getting on a lot of it. Our grand plan requires a large quantity of propane but some of our friends are nearly out and not getting deliveries either.  So the simple stuff is still a good idea.


Might pull our RV generators back to the garage from the stored RV and have them available. They are gas hogs though. You’d need 8-10 gallons per day I would think. That might be a little high.

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25 minutes ago, davidg said:

Since I can’t get back to my house yet to repair and haven’t turned my dads water back on, I spent yesterday ordering shit online and made a couple of hardware store stops when I got out today.

Generator breaker interlock kit for my breaker panel, feed breaker, power inlet box and some cable parts.  If I was home, I could have temporarily wired my genset into the panel and probably wouldn’t have broken a pipe.  Wife would not have been capable of doing that  but she should be able to drag it from the storage shed, fuel it, plug it in and get it running if I’m not there.  

4 fuel cans with treated non-ethanol gas.  Every quarter oldest goes into the car tank then get refilled.

Waterbob bags for bathtub water storage. for us and parents households, a couple more 7 gallon water cans too.

A good backpacking style water filter. Micropur water treatment tablets

Extra 20# propane tanks and a couple of the Mr Heaters

Window A/C unit for when shit fails in the summer

Some additional led flashlights and lanterns

A  bunch copper and pex fittings for repairs

Some of those freeze misers maybe

This guy is a guy to listen to. 

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1 minute ago, utexas8 said:

Dumb question, but would solar panels have helped during this time or no?

Easy answer. With battery storage, yes. Even without battery storage yes, during the day, but battery storage would be key. Tesla Powerwall or similar. 

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Adding about 1000 sqft to our house (if we ever get permits) was already adding a propane tank for fireplace, tankless water heater, and range so now going to up size it and add a generator for the addition so that we have a place to go when the worst happens.

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2 minutes ago, South Austin said:

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If you have a warm dry house with food and hot showers, you can get two chicks, at least the kind that would double up on me.  Sugar baby thread over there should have told you that.

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1 hour ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

We are in the design phases of building a new house on some semi-rural land. I'm now convinced to add solar panels, a whole home generator, and the biggest fucking underground propane tank they will sell me. 

My brother has a 1,000 gallon propane tank buried in his back yard that fuels a 15,000 kw generator mounted on a slab near his a/c unit. He says it burns about 2.5 gallons per hour at full load.

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4 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

Whole home generac and a water distribution manifold will be part of any new build in the future. 

My dad is eyeing a generac too.

For us, more attic insulation because it's been on my list forever for summer electric bills (under roof, in ceiling, on pipes), hose misers + better insulation already ordered. Fire logs because by the time we realized we needed them we couldn't safely find them. A bit more water in our prepper stash. God damn toilet paper because we haven't had more than a few spare rolls in a calendar fucking year.

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2 minutes ago, The Dog said:

Seconded. I’m not buying the 110 hour capacity, but if it works for 2 days with a back up tank, I’m good. I ordered one form Bass Pro Shop. It’ll be good for the garage and the porch  until the next ice apocalypse hits in 10 years. 

I’m hesitant on generators. They’re great, but if there’s 2 feet of wastewater in your house, what’s the point? 
 

 

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1 hour ago, gsoda3 said:

A generator. Anyone have recommendations? And are they ok to sit with gas inside for years at a time?

Honda eu series. I have a 2000 and a 3000 watt. The 2k is much smaller and versatile. No to your 2nd question 

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54 minutes ago, davidg said:

If you have a warm dry house with food and hot showers, you can get two chicks, at least the kind that would double up on me.  Sugar baby thread over there should have told you that.

I just discovered that thread yesterday.  JFC.

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Had and glad we did: firewood, back stock of non-perishable food, swimming pool full of water, camping gear (propane grill, sleeping bags), back stock of basic medicine, 100w solar power rig

Dont have but wish we did: back stock of bottled water, a truck, basic electrical/plumbing supplies/tools

I don’t want a generator because all it would do is piss me off when I neglected it and it failed to work when needed.

Edited by Snake Diggity
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Generac or Kohler are both good for whole home generators.  Just as an FYI, Generac generators were scare before this because of the rona.  They will be even tougher to get now, so be prepared to wait.  I have been thinking about it for a couple of years, but this finally motivated me.  My cousin got a Kohler a few months ago and it worked great for him during this.  If you have your own propane tank, you will want to get at least a 500 gallon one if you have a 250 now.  Based on the math I have done, a 500 gallon tank would run my house for about a week or so.

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Get the bigger size and the adapter hose to fit a large propane tank. The bigger unit has a fan that runs on 4 D batteries. The fan makes a huge difference in how much area it will heat up
Which model are you talking about?
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1 hour ago, LABEVO said:

 

No, they tend to require upkeep and maintenance. Given their cost, I have always argued that is more economic to plan to stay in a hotel. I don't have kids so my tolerance for house that doesn't fully function for a few days is higher than most. 

A lot of my coworkers were in the same hotel I usually stay at in Houston.  It lost power.  And the restaurant ran out of food.  The following night when I was looking for a place to stay the nearest Hilton property with availability was in Lake Charles.

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