OT: Climate change or just November?

The startup drain on a household fridge is significant. Back when First Energy’s shoddy maintenance took down the entire north east, one of my neighbors dug out his little genny and had it running in the parking lot. The genny would purr along fine for a couple minutes, then, suddenly really struggle, for several seconds, then start purring again. About the fourth time it went through that routine, it finally stalled. I figure each episode that the genny had was their fridge trying to start.


November has been weird in south central Indiana. A wood stove is our primary heat source. The earliest we started using it was several years ago on October 24. Last year we started it on November 1. It was the latest we ever started using it until this year. We began using the stove 8 days ago on November 12 this year.

I understand how damaging wind storms can be. We live in the woods. In 2017 we had a severe thunderstorm a few miles north of us but we got the 70-90 mph outwash winds. It uprooted, pushed over, and snapped the tops off of 60 trees on 15 acres of our property. The damage was so bad that it made that part of our property unsafe and we had to have it logged to make it useable to us.

Do I really need to say that if you want to run a fridge, you need to size the generator - or refrigerator - appropriately? Clearly, this guy failed to do that.

And I still claim that a generator appropriately sized to run your refrigerator will be smaller and less expensive than a whole house generator, able to run your fridge and your home AC at the same time. Along with your computers and lights and the TV and the game console and whatever else you may run at your home without thinking about where the power is coming from.



I don’t often have more than an hour or two of power outages… we have a 24’ trailer, that, if needed we can use if needed, it’s batteries will hold a few days, but they the batteries, 2 deep cycle 6v golf cart batteries need to be recharged. Tried a 200W Yamaha genset, but the micro stalled it, took it back, bought the Honda 2200W genset and it handles it fine… For the house, I’d need to redo my service panel, put in a transfer switch, interlocked before connecting, or run cords in, but then the window or door would be open, defeating some of the usefulness… Never had to do any of to so far…

I have an older Coleman 4000W genset out under a tarp, but it needs some more care than I’ve given it so far… It was gifted to me by a workmate, someone had shot it, broken the governor. I patched the hole (Epoxy), took the generator off the engine, replaced the governor parts, cleaned it up, paint and such, and did get it running, but the #@$% exhaust is pumping out right where i have to be to tinker with the carburetor, planned on adding a 90º elbow and a muffler, but, there it sets… Was going to give it away, but haven’t found a willing, mechanically bided person to take it so far… But maybe I should spend a bit more time on it… Maybe find a battery and electric starter… Powered by an 8HP Briggs engine, it could be handy if we fo have further power troubles… It has 240vac & 120vac outputs if I recall, I did measure output AC what little time I had it running… Price was right, for sure… Be nicer if it ran on NG or propane… There are conversion kits… Somewhere I have notes from back then… Found some pics… I had replaced the original frame, livened it up a bit… It’s user a tarp… waiting for me…

This is exactly what we did. After a couple of extended power outages (one of them a week long debacle) we purchased a Generac 8000 watt portable gas generator and had it hooked up to our main circuit panel with a transfer switch for $2,800.

We have used it a couple of times now and it works great. We can pretty much power many appliances and lights around our 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath home. The appliances that make the generator really work is the microwave oven and the Breville toaster oven. Every time we make some toast, the generator wants to puke :wink:

We get sufficient heat, hot water and lights to stay cozy and showered during extended power outages now. Love the thing. Just fired it up this weekend to make sure everything is in working order for another New England winter.

Cheers and Generac,


House window problem is 99% solved by cutting a strip of properly sized hard foam with one or more cord-sized notches in it then closing the window on it and covering on the inside with some soft foam, towel, etc.



Founder of Generac died this week:

He sold the company in 2006 for $1B, shared the proceeds with employees, then went on a charitable giving crusade.

With the sale of Generac Power Systems, Mr. Kern shared some of the proceeds with employees, some receiving as much as $40,000 each.

My natural gas powered, automatic transfer switch equipped Generac is crucial to my husband and mine living and working in the countryside of Mexico. Here the grid is quite fragile – designed to provide rural families with light (to such an extent that people do not speak of paying an electric but rather a “luz” bill) mostly but not during storms and etc… We have become a neighborhood resource, and poorer neighbors come to us with problems, such as an old man on a oxygen concentrator who was dying when his power went out.

I am preparing to install a new bank of much higher efficiency solar cells than came with the house, as well as a power wall, but am waiting for supply to catch up with local demand.

david fb


@wecoguy - one thing about this new platform, I was able to use the search function to find this topic using the keywords “generator muffler” - small blessings!!

You seem very experienced with the mechanics of gas motors. I have some experience, but no expert at all!

I have a 24 yr old Craftsman 12 horse garden tractor that I keep maintained and it runs like a charm. I don’t use it very frequently - sometimes I don’t start it for 2 months maybe. When starting it after a long rest, it takes quite a few turns (which drains the battery) to (I assume) get fuel into the carburetor. I’m thinking gravity causes the fuel line to drain back into the tank which is in the rear of the tractor.

I was thinking of cutting the fuel line in a safe place near the engine and put in a manual rubber pump thing that I could squeeze to get fuel flowing in the line.

Do you think this is a reasonable problem analysis and resolution?

Thanks in advance!

I’m no expert, but it would probably be easier to simply dump some fuel directly into fuel filter, or even easier, spray some starter fluid.

1 Like

Rubbery things tend to deteriorate over time, even if rated for fuels… Maybe try putting a little shutoff valve in the line, near the carb, shut that off while it’s running, that wold let it use what’s left in the carb and seal it off from draining back, if that is the problem, maybe even add a fuel filter in the line so you can see it there is gas up there, too… But I do recall keeping a can of starter fluid handy to help get stubborn engines going… Ether, mostly, fires easily, gentler on us!


Thanks for the suggestion. I think there is a fuel filter on the fuel line, I’ll have to check to see if it is empty or not. Thanks again.


1 Like

Speaking as an organic chemist…

Ether (technically, diethyl ether) gradually forms explosive peroxides. Not gentle.


" This person then held the can up to his ear while shaking it, listening to see if any solid material was sloshing around in there. Which is one way to find out." Because if there were any peroxides the can would have exploded, blowing his head off.

Ether needs to be handled with extreme care due to high flammability. The comedian, Richard Pryor, got severe burns while trying to synthesize freebase cocaine using ether. Not a job for amateurs.



The ether used to start ICE engines is in an aerosol can. Peroxides unlikely in that use.

It was usually sprayed into the carburetor in the days when we had them.


Indeed, one needs to be aware of how to use it, this one is 45% ether, the rest likely trade secrets, likely lubricants… Handy for its purpose, easing the stress on our bodies by making a stubborn engine start easier…

Handy to have around “Better Living Through Chemistry!”


Don’t leave gas in the tank for more than 3 months, unless you put in fuel stabilizer and then no more than 6. With the amount of ethanol already in gas, anything you leave in the lines degrades and fouls the carb.


This is the BEST advice you can give anyone who has gas powered garden tools. Well, maybe only surpassed by, keep your damn hands out of the spinning blade!!

I have been fortunate to save boatloads of cash on annual tune-ups for our gas powered garden tools ever since the guy that I take them to told me to add fuel stabilizer to the fuel and run them out of gas at the end of the season. Unfortunately for him, I have not had to go back for a tune-up since.

I do change the air filters and spark plugs as needed - which is pretty easy to do.

→ here’s to fuel stabilizer!


Other than switch to battery powered. About to buy a battery powered riding lawn mower. Just hate dealing with gas, oil, etc and “winterizing” lawn equipment.


Co-signed. At one point in my life I liked doing that kind of stuff. But the gasoline and other maintenance items are on their own schedules, not mine.