Our Generator

So today temperatures in the village are down to -5 at night and during the snow yesterday we had a power cut. If you have an online job and depend on the electric and the internet, then for those awkward times when the power is out, a generator might be the answer.

We have a Federal Power Chinese made generator. It didn’t come with a battery but we had one fitted so that we could start it up easily.

This video shows you how we set up our generator up and how we connect it up to the house. It is only for emergencies so we did not go to the expense of having it wired into the whole house.

So, firstly we built a small brick housing for the generator. The side door comes off and a gap was left above it for ventilation. There is also a vent in the side wall near the generator exhaust. The front door panel comes of easily for access but protects it from the weather when it is not being used.

Although the fuel tank is always kept full we have a 20 litre jerry can full of fuel which we keep in our outbuilding. Our generator is petrol and not diesel. It cost us around £250 or $320 US dollars.

Our village does not get a lot of electric cuts but in severe weather conditions such as wind, snow or heavy rain, we can get cut off. We seldom get cut off for long which is why a generator suits us. We also have a small 800 watt portable generator in case this unit fails. At least it would enable the computer and the internet to continue working if nothing else.

The unit you see here though is a Federal Power 3.1 kw double socket output unit. On a full tank of fuel it can last around 8 to 10 hours. The fuel tank holds just under 2 gallons or approx 8 litres.

The battery is a motorcycle battery and it is 12 volts. Ideally, in order to keep your generator in good working order, I would suggest that you start it up every couple of weeks in winter, and at least once a month in the summer. I have found that this helps provide for a good reliable service from the unit. It starts up easily and has so far proven to be very reliable. The unit is 2 years old.

Inside its housing the unit is always kept covered in plastic with a rubber mat on top to make sure that damp or rain cannot get to it. It is well protected from the elements. The unit is also far enough away from the house so that from indoors it can hardly be heard. Having it housed in a small bunker like this cuts down on noise.

So lets start the generator. There is a set system for starting it up. Firstly turn on the fuel tap and set the choke lever to the on position. Turn the unit’s on and off switch to the on position and then use the ignition to start it. Once started turn the choke off straight away and the generator is up and running.

So having plugged in the electric cables to the input plugs which lead to sockets in the house, we now have to plug them into the unit. You can see here that there are waterproof sockets that connect the outgoing electric to sockets in our living room and office. We can run our TV, lights, computer, internet and a small electric fire comfortably off this generator.

When the electric comes back on we just switch off the generator, turn off the fuel tap, return the on and off switch to the off position and re-pack our cables in a plastic bag for protection and keep them stored with the generator.

If your internet connection is as important to you as it is to us then we have a back up system for that too. Our incoming phone line and internet is via a cable which comes straight from the post to the house through our pine tree. It works well most of the time but for those occasions when there might be a problem we have a small wireless unit, or dongle, whatever you want to call it, that provides us with a further 20 gb of internet for those situations that crop up when the normal service fails. A unit like this is also very useful whilst travelling since it works everywhere and is portable.

We hope you liked the video. As soon as the weather improves we will be travelling again and be able to get back to our sightseeing videos. In the meantime thanks for watching.

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