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


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1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Another WEN generator recommendation here. Honda and Yamaha might be slightly better (quieter, better fuel efficiency) but I like saving over 50%. If the WEN starts to fail, then I won’t have any issue buying a second/replacement.

the other bonus of the inverter generators is that you realize how you can take power on the go: tailgates, camping, etc. I wouldn’t want to stand next to it for long but they’re surprising quiet for a small engine.

Not having a small generator is a turn your man card in offense after this, especially given all the cool shit you can do with it. Keep it in the garage and throw it in the truck and take with you for all sorts of reasons.  

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8 hours ago, Updawg said:

I’m buying generac stock

 

8 hours ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

I saw that they went up significantly in the last few days and I get pissed at myself for not seeing this angle.  

 

8 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

They’ve been up for awhile. I posted a screenshot of their chart on first couple pages of the thread. 

Next time we have a 10 day forecast with shit like this I'm going all in. 

I'll also get a short haircut so it's easier to wash with minimal water. 

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On 2/23/2021 at 1:22 PM, gsoda3 said:

if you're planning on buying emergency supplies, hold off til april 24-26 if you can.  there's a state sales tax holiday on emergency prep items for both in-store and online purchases (although there are a few qualifies for online purchases, see link below).  here's a quick list of what qualifies.

 

 

 

https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-1017.php?fbclid=IwAR3_AeIPCO4tnXxlooO7S0K4bMr97h84_TZ1NXXCgslbkKxJ8-98vD8gQoA

you mean I could have gotten my hatchets tax free?

image.thumb.png.8ad2679d0c5f266a9171f4cccefbaf00.png

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On a related topic, anyone get the adapter that allows you to fill 1# propane canisters from a bigger tank? Does it work well?
I’m thinking mainly about camping and stuff. Plus it seems wasteful to dispose of the 1# bottles.
Thanks

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On a related topic, anyone get the adapter that allows you to fill 1# propane canisters from a bigger tank? Does it work well?
I’m thinking mainly about camping and stuff. Plus it seems wasteful to dispose of the 1# bottles.
Thanks

I’m gonna order one soon. I’ve got friends that have used them
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39 minutes ago, Lhorn said:

On a related topic, anyone get the adapter that allows you to fill 1# propane canisters from a bigger tank? Does it work well?
I’m thinking mainly about camping and stuff. Plus it seems wasteful to dispose of the 1# bottles.
Thanks

I find it easier just to use the adapter hose and run the Coleman stove off a standard 20# or 30# tank.

I know it's not as easy to tote around a 20# tank, but to your point, using the little 1# bottles seems wasteful. 

 

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1 hour ago, Lhorn said:

On a related topic, anyone get the adapter that allows you to fill 1# propane canisters from a bigger tank? Does it work well?
I’m thinking mainly about camping and stuff. Plus it seems wasteful to dispose of the 1# bottles.
Thanks

I've looked at them in the past.  I think they work, but technically, isn't the correct way to do it.  There are youtubes about why to/not to do it. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
What am I looking at?
(am out of the loop on most of these threads)

Those are the forms for insulated concrete forms for the outer walls Troph’s house. (Concrete is poured into the gap. Insulation remains on both sides for R value). Done that way instead of using typical 2x6.
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Ah, newfangled construction technology!

Wonder how much it would increase the cost of a home if all the exterior walls up to the eaves were constructed like that instead of balloon frame? 

 

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With lumber prices right now you’d be surprised.  Also from walls up to drywall or plaster, no additional insulation required.  Away from the windows we should stay constant 65 year round - in part bc of the ICF technology but also because the back is built into the hill.  

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Ah, newfangled construction technology!
Wonder how much it would increase the cost of a home if all the exterior walls up to the eaves were constructed like that instead of balloon frame? 
 

I think most estimate it as about 5% cost of house, as opposed to closer to 2% for traditional framing. But you should get substantial saving on energy usage to offset much or all of those costs long term.
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There were waiting lists for Generacs before this happened.  They have been having supply issues since covid started.  Kohler is a really good alternative.  I have an engineer cousin who got one a few months ago.  He did quite a bit of research and thinks the Kohler ones are a little better because of something that is different with their windings compared to a Generac.  It's over my head, but he's super smart so I'll take his word on it.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, shadetree said:


I think most estimate it as about 5% cost of house, as opposed to closer to 2% for traditional framing. But you should get substantial saving on energy usage to offset much or all of those costs long term.

All of that and we are in a VF district and no municipal water (i.e. no fire hydrants) and sticks are silly expensive right now.  Hoping to save on insurance too.

Edited by troph
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Just now, dingleberryswitzer said:

What are the wooden boxes?  Forms for windows?

Yes and door frames.  This company has used all sorts of frames and settled back to wood because that’s what all the installers are used to. Most of the interior framing and subfloors will be wood too so it’s not the only wood. 

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21 hours ago, troph said:

Zombie fortress under way... 

 

 

F160AB4D-B28A-47C5-B43F-78041AB7CFA2.jpeg

EE1BC7AB-EC13-4FF5-93A4-E169F56D6AA7.jpeg

BFC0143E-2C61-4891-A50B-ACAD253B2396.jpeg

ICF for the win.  Your house will be tighter than a nun's pussy with regard to air exchange.  Downside: if you ever need to get into the walls for any reason, that won't be as fun.  This is the walkout basement?  How high up are you doing ICF?  Are you putting in an ERV or any kind of in/outside air exchanger to make the house "breathe?"

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Horn of Gabriel said:

ICF for the win.  Your house will be tighter than a nun's pussy with regard to air exchange.  Downside: if you ever need to get into the walls for any reason, that won't be as fun.  This is the walkout basement?  How high up are you doing ICF?  Are you putting in an ERV or any kind of in/outside air exchanger to make the house "breathe?"

The entire exterior is full concrete or ICF.  Bottom and top floor.  Yes re air exchanger - she calls it a “makeup air” system. She does that on even her wood stick houses because they are so tight - part of that is Austin regs.  She’s also putting in a dehumidifier. 

https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2019/02/15/makeup-air-for-tight-houses

there will be a lot of windows upstairs to bring over all R-value down and lots of inside out living so except in extreme heat and cold the house will likely be open.  

here’s a pic - back half of the bottom floor is below grade.  So yes a walk our basement type design - kids / extra bedrooms floor. Will water proof the concrete.  The enclosed concrete is the water cistern. 


 

09E16F2A-29AF-4334-8ADD-86C88CC682D1.jpeg
 


 

7D076863-A833-44A6-B926-57E817D00609.jpeg
 

getting into the walls - the plastic framing between the styrofoam does take screws and is fairly reliably 8 inches on center, she will have the full plan on video too but yeah getting into the walls is a bit more involved.  The good news and to stay on topic - freezing pipes will be a non-issue.  And our water supply will be a non-issue too - provided we have power to pump it (which we will).
 

The engineer/install team did talk to us how contractors are afraid of the system but once they get familiar it can actually be cheaper for the trades.  Traditional framers obviously hate it. 

Edited by troph
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the concrete is sandwiched between the blue insulation?  how are they going to attach drywall?  and if you ever want to add plumbing to an exterior wall do you have to break the concrete?

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Pic doesn't show it well, but you just hit the plastic ties with the drywall screws. The ties are designed for it.

Re: plumbing. The interior foam is +/- 2" thick, so there's room for your regular water lines. Sewer needs to be cast in, or run through an interior wall, which is better anyway. (Did you learn nothing from the Apocalypse?) New penetrations for new exterior faucets? Get you a hammer drill. It's a downside of ICF.d3d2e6b1be2910ed330e752af1073c9d.jpg

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1 hour ago, Parliament said:

Pic doesn't show it well, but you just hit the plastic ties with the drywall screws. The ties are designed for it.

Re: plumbing. The interior foam is +/- 2" thick, so there's room for your regular water lines. Sewer needs to be cast in, or run through an interior wall, which is better anyway. (Did you learn nothing from the Apocalypse?) New penetrations for new exterior faucets? Get you a hammer drill. It's a downside of ICF.d3d2e6b1be2910ed330e752af1073c9d.jpg
 

I should probably ask my husband but is there a better way than trial and error to find the plastic webbing? I can't imagine a typical stud finder would work.

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1 hour ago, BradInATX said:

I don't know, I think I prefer my house with doors.

Haha the doors are mostly on the top floor but the downstairs doors haven’t been cut out yet. 

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40 minutes ago, B00M said:

I should probably ask my husband but is there a better way than trial and error to find the plastic webbing? I can't imagine a typical stud finder would work.

Sonogram stud finders will find them and they are perfectly 8 inches on center so measure from an interior corner and you’d have them. 

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2 hours ago, Parliament said:

Pic doesn't show it well, but you just hit the plastic ties with the drywall screws. The ties are designed for it.

Re: plumbing. The interior foam is +/- 2" thick, so there's room for your regular water lines. Sewer needs to be cast in, or run through an interior wall, which is better anyway. (Did you learn nothing from the Apocalypse?) New penetrations for new exterior faucets? Get you a hammer drill. It's a downside of ICF.d3d2e6b1be2910ed330e752af1073c9d.jpg
 

That’s it exactly. Great post and explanation. We’ve already cut some interior foam for some of the plumbing drains and the design is such that you don’t need more than that 2 inches of foam.

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6 minutes ago, CycleTex87 said:

I guess I'd be worried about voids in the concrete with tall narrow pours like that, but I suppose they know how to do it/mix it and avoid those problems.

They pour the bottom floor then you do interior framing and subfloor then they frame the top floor and then do the top floor pour so no more than 10-12 feet deep at a time.  Not sure how they ensure no gaps other than gravity certainly will help a lot. 

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5 hours ago, gsoda3 said:

the concrete is sandwiched between the blue insulation?  how are they going to attach drywall?  and if you ever want to add plumbing to an exterior wall do you have to break the concrete?

A lot of thinking through exterior penetrations now. But yeah. 

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2 hours ago, CycleTex87 said:

I guess I'd be worried about voids in the concrete with tall narrow pours like that, but I suppose they know how to do it/mix it and avoid those problems.

The Essential Craftsman is one of my favorite YouTube channels and he is doing a series where they are building spec house solely for showing the build steps on his channel.  They are 3+ years in and just getting to hanging drywall.  Here they are pouring very tall walls and showing how to use a vibrator to consolidate the mixture down in the form.

 

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3 hours ago, troph said:

Haha the doors are mostly on the top floor but the downstairs doors haven’t been cut out yet. 

 

If you remember snap some pics of them cutting them out. That's pretty cool stuff.

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If Troph felt comfortable, a separate thread on the build and its processes would be a big hit, I would guess. I could understand not wanting to get too much into things for privacy reasons, though. And the endless second and third guessing. So, maybe not a good idea after all.

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Posted (edited)

Had a 3000w Champion generator (inverter) that kept the the 3 fridges/freezers, some LED lights, wifi and a tv powered during the storm but had to run extension cables across the house which was a pain.  My frigging "heater buddy" is in my blind at the lease... After about 6 hours - whatever batteries that were keeping the internet from Xfinity in their "substation" finally died so even with power in my casa - no internet... (Getting fiber in the coming months and those who had it didn't lose internet at all during the outage)  Glad I also have a digital antenna in the attic so could still watch crappy local TV.  Lesson learned - gas furnace still needs electricity to run the blower fan and thermostats...

Going forward, I'm going to buy a 13,000W portable generator to be able to power most of the house using an external 50A (male) connector and a lockout switch on the fuse panel. I will then manually turn on the fuses in the panel on what I want to power...  Costs for the generator - around $1000 and another $6-800 to put in the connector and lockout switch.  I have a 5 ton and 3 ton A/C but have the "soft start" switches in both so the start load won't bring the whole system down if running in the summer - would probably just run the smaller one upstairs.  VSP pump on pool can be set to slow/low wattage flow. Can't justify a $8000 Generac and another $6-8000 install cost (gas on opposite side of the house from the panel) when I can basically power what I need for $2000 and can take it with me if we move...

Info to consider if you go this route:

Don't buy more generator than you can use - if you put in a 30A connection, a generator larger than 7500W is useless. 

  • The max power you can put into a 30A switch is 7200W.

If you get a larger generator like 12000W, you've better off going with a 50A transfer switch...

Watts / Volts = Amps

  • A 7200W Gen is only really capable of feeding 30 Amps @ 240V (7200W/240V=30A) If you get a bigger generator like a 12000W unit, go for 50A @240V transfer switch. (12000W/240V=50A)
  • Put in LED lights as they draw less than incandescent bulbs.
  • Get a dual-fuel generator and a couple of propane tanks as they don't "spoil" like regular gas and use these first to save your carburetor from getting dirty.  If you run out of propane, you can always siphon your truck/auto gas tanks so get a pump.
  • Buy a small solar panel to trickle charge your batter in the generator when not in use.
  • Buy a cablelock or chain so your generator won't "walk away" in the middle of the night when it's running outside...
  • Once you fire up the A/C, set the thermostat (in the summer) to something like 60F so it just keeps running and doesn't have to turn on/off all the time... No need on a gas furnace(s) blower as it barely draws any power.
  • If you have an attached garage, buy a couple of sheets of the 4x8' sheets of styrofoam with foil on them and cut them to size and put on the back of the garage door - my temp in the garage stayed above freezing this round and in the summer, never gets above 80 degrees even with direct afternoon sun beating on them... Helps the garage freezer and fridge as well...
  • 15" of sprayed insulation in the attic helped keep the internal temp above 50F after 18 hours of no power with sub-freezing temps outside

I'm putting in a separate connector from outside (posted in this tread) to be able to plug in my smaller inverter generator so I can still power my computers/tv/internet/UPS with "clean power" when those batteries die - the large portable generators plugged into the panel produce "dirty" power that can fry electronics...

Total system to power most of the house is around $2k.   Wait for the Sales tax holiday in late April to buy new generator as generators under $3K get the sales tax waiver for "hurricane" supplies...

Edited by Grimas
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1 hour ago, shadetree said:

If Troph felt comfortable, a separate thread on the build and its processes would be a big hit, I would guess. I could understand not wanting to get too much into things for privacy reasons, though. And the endless second and third guessing. So, maybe not a good idea after all.

Seconded, came close to building one of those some years ago, but have since lost touch with that technology/method.

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So a general house building thread or zombie bunker / sustainable home thread? If it’s wanted I’ll post it.  We have ducted mini splits, solar, rain water collection, back up generator, ICF, expansive glass doors, steel structures, and I’m sure a few other neat items worth bantering about. And I’m sure some value add from the gallery (true). Might get my better and shorter half to join the board. I know y’all want more wommens here.

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11 hours ago, Grimas said:

Had a 3000w Champion generator (inverter) that kept the the 3 fridges/freezers, some LED lights, wifi and a tv powered during the storm but had to run extension cables across the house which was a pain.  My frigging "heater buddy" is in my blind at the lease... After about 6 hours - whatever batteries that were keeping the internet from Xfinity in their "substation" finally died so even with power in my casa - no internet... (Getting fiber in the coming months and those who had it didn't lose internet at all during the outage)  Glad I also have a digital antenna in the attic so could still watch crappy local TV.  Lesson learned - gas furnace still needs electricity to run the blower fan and thermostats...

Going forward, I'm going to buy a 13,000W portable generator to be able to power most of the house using an external 50A (male) connector and a lockout switch on the fuse panel. I will then manually turn on the fuses in the panel on what I want to power...  Costs for the generator - around $1000 and another $6-800 to put in the connector and lockout switch.  I have a 5 ton and 3 ton A/C but have the "soft start" switches in both so the start load won't bring the whole system down if running in the summer - would probably just run the smaller one upstairs.  VSP pump on pool can be set to slow/low wattage flow. Can't justify a $8000 Generac and another $6-8000 install cost (gas on opposite side of the house from the panel) when I can basically power what I need for $2000 and can take it with me if we move...

Info to consider if you go this route:

Don't buy more generator than you can use - if you put in a 30A connection, a generator larger than 7500W is useless. 

  • The max power you can put into a 30A switch is 7200W.

If you get a larger generator like 12000W, you've better off going with a 50A transfer switch...

Watts / Volts = Amps

  • A 7200W Gen is only really capable of feeding 30 Amps @ 240V (7200W/240V=30A) If you get a bigger generator like a 12000W unit, go for 50A @240V transfer switch. (12000W/240V=50A)
  • Put in LED lights as they draw less than incandescent bulbs.
  • Get a dual-fuel generator and a couple of propane tanks as they don't "spoil" like regular gas and use these first to save your carburetor from getting dirty.  If you run out of propane, you can always siphon your truck/auto gas tanks so get a pump.
  • Buy a small solar panel to trickle charge your batter in the generator when not in use.
  • Buy a cablelock or chain so your generator won't "walk away" in the middle of the night when it's running outside...
  • Once you fire up the A/C, set the thermostat (in the summer) to something like 60F so it just keeps running and doesn't have to turn on/off all the time... No need on a gas furnace(s) blower as it barely draws any power.
  • If you have an attached garage, buy a couple of sheets of the 4x8' sheets of styrofoam with foil on them and cut them to size and put on the back of the garage door - my temp in the garage stayed above freezing this round and in the summer, never gets above 80 degrees even with direct afternoon sun beating on them... Helps the garage freezer and fridge as well...
  • 15" of sprayed insulation in the attic helped keep the internal temp above 50F after 18 hours of no power with sub-freezing temps outside

I'm putting in a separate connector from outside (posted in this tread) to be able to plug in my smaller inverter generator so I can still power my computers/tv/internet/UPS with "clean power" when those batteries die - the large portable generators plugged into the panel produce "dirty" power that can fry electronics...

Total system to power most of the house is around $2k.   Wait for the Sales tax holiday in late April to buy new generator as generators under $3K get the sales tax waiver for "hurricane" supplies...

This is really good info.

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12 hours ago, davidg said:

The Essential Craftsman is one of my favorite YouTube channels and he is doing a series where they are building spec house solely for showing the build steps on his channel.  They are 3+ years in and just getting to hanging drywall.  Here they are pouring very tall walls and showing how to use a vibrator to consolidate the mixture down in the form.

 

The back walls are 24 inches at least of pure concrete and rebar. I’m sure they used that system. We weren’t there to see it but the results are obvious. 

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