Need Help For Family In Houston With A Generator!!!

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Old 09-14-08, 06:51 PM
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Need Help For Family In Houston With A Generator!!!

I have a 2 sets of family in the houston area that will be without power for 2-3 weeks (estimate). I live in ALbuq. and am checking about getting a portable generator to them from here. What size would I look for to power essentials like fans, TV/VCR (keep them sane), and probably fridge too. Would 6500 be sufficient??...if this is in a wrong area moderator, please put where it should be! This is kind of serious (My Dad is in chemo treatment, and VERY uncomfortable w/o power right now) I would go to SAMS/Costco or wherever and get them tomm and be on the road right after...I really need an answer pretty quick .
 
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Old 09-14-08, 07:17 PM
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I think in their situation, a 6 or 6.5K would be sufficient. They are in survival mode, not entertaining in a thunderstorm. Just as a caution, if they are still in their house, they will have to install a switchgear to keep the generator from backfeeding the grid. Good luck, and thanks for helping out in a time of need.
 
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Old 09-14-08, 07:18 PM
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If it is Harris county keep in touch with them. Reliant is doing a pretty good job of getting most people up. Mine was only out two days. If Montgomery or Galveston county though all bets are off especially Montgomery county where Intergey has declared catastrophic failure of their system across three states.

If Centerpoint Energy or one of the resellers that Centerpoint provides service for call and explain medical needs and they may give them priority. (I'd suggest calling Reliant directly not the reseller.)

Centerpoint=Reliant energy

I'll leave it to the experts on the size of generator. Keep in mind though gasoline pumps don't work without electric and most stations are down. A propane generator might be a better choice. (Some convenience stores are open without power and do carry prefilled propane tanks.)
 
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Old 09-14-08, 07:21 PM
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keep in mind its going to burn 10-15 gal of gas a day

will they be able to get it ?

will they be able to afford it ?

350 to 500 a week for limited power

just something to consider
 
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Old 09-14-08, 07:24 PM
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Need Help For Family In Houston With A Generator!!!

I can't help with the specific sizing, but based on 5 months disaster releif/recovery form Katrina and Rita, I can point out some needs.

In addition to the minimal needs for radio/tv and lights, you must have power for fans and the refrigerator.

Without knowing the specic damage, if there is ANY POSSIBILTY of moisture and the home is wood with fiberglass insulation, you need fans for ventilation to slow or possibly stop the mold from roof leaks. This was the major source of problems in NO when the homes were not totally ventilated. If flooded, a generator will not stop the problems from continuing since fiberglass holds moisture and will not dry out unless removed and tossed.

If you let a refrigerator go without power for more than 3 days (kept closed constantly), then you can just toss it. You can always empty it completely and run it for a few days, take a "wiff" test and decide if you can live with it.

I hope this helps a bit.

Dick
 
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Old 09-14-08, 07:56 PM
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thanks.....me and my uncle are doing this, he happened to be with me here, and one of the family is his daughter, my cousin.
they are in the bentwater area in montgomery. Looking for basic stuff here. fans, fridge, tv to entertain. modern houses with probably a big extension cord form it, and a surge protector. It is a basic help mode to make life easy. We would probably bring gas from ALB at 3.50 for them to start. From what i heard 3 weeks for power. Pep boys has a 5500 for around $400...is that workable for their needs..thanks!!!
 
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Old 09-14-08, 08:22 PM
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Typically anything over 4 KW size will handle most load you will need

but make sure you bring extra fans as well to help dryout the walls and if you supect the walls are wet punch a hole with screwdriver near bottom of wall if you see water come out of the wall that is good time to rip it open and throw the fiberglass insuationg materals { they will wick the water someway }

For most portable generator fuel tank they useally run anywhere from 4 to 15 hours per tank of fuel { depending on the load } and typically hold 2 to 5 gallons of gasoline other wise if you can snagged tri fuel or dual fuel verison { natrual gas or LP or both } then they will last much longer with Natural gas or LP all they are affect by fuel supply that it.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 09-14-08, 08:37 PM
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This is Houston. While we will have a cool spell for the next few days the temperatures will still be in the 80"s. After that it is back to the 90"s. Homes in Brentwater typically have central air. Fans or open windows are ok for drying but won't work for cooling. So figure putting a window AC in at least one room. Forget the 5000 BTU window units unless it's a walk-in closet your cooling! You will need at least a 10,000 BTU unit for one maybe two small rooms. That needs to be figured in to you generator size since running the central AC is probably not practical.

Honestly I think your relatives might be better off looking for temporary housing especially if there are medical problems. I feel for them and wish them all the luck but Houston without power is miserable at best even for a healthy person.

For those in the northern part of the country if I sounded a bit harsh in the first paragraph it wasn't that but frustration that people in other parts of the country don't seem to know how important to a livable existence AC is for us. Rmember we have only two seasons, hot and cold and we often have parts of those in the same month. Even in November you can't safely say no AC for a couple of months.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-14-08 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 09-14-08, 08:55 PM
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Also bring a few good extention cords At least 14ga, 12ga better, like you said. Then no issues with backfeeding to the power grid or switch gear needed.
 
 

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