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nunya
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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reply to ITICharlie1

Re: Convert from gasoline to tri-fuel

I really don't think fuel cost is the main reason most people opt for tri-fuel.
My reasoning was fuel availability. As an example, let's look at the damage by Sandy.
People simply could not get gasoline. Gasoline is difficult to store in most suburban and urban areas. If the pumps aren't working, you are SOL. A dry generator doesn't do much good.
Now let's look at NG. In areas where there was major damage during Sandy, NG service was cut off to entire sections of towns. This is done to keep fires / explosions to a minimum. If you are in an are with substantial damage, but your property survived, you may still find yourself without a NG supply.
On to propane. Propane stores well. It doesn't go bad. Even in a power outage, it can still be dispensed (in many cases). There isn't quite the demand of gasoline (every swinging dick with a set of keys is looking for gasoline). While propane is expensive, I've not seen it near $4.00 in a long time. It's about $3.00 in small quantity. It's easy to store another tank or two under the grill or behind the potting shed.
Having each of those options available certainly increases your odds of having a fuel source of some sort available regardless of your circumstance.

While we'd like to think power can easily be restored in our suburban environments, situations like Sandy prove otherwise. Even being able to run your generator a few hours per day can mean the difference between keeping your home habitable or not.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL

... and in the case of my neighbor, a few winters ago we had what turned into 4 days without power. His wife was on O2 and he luckily found a genny early on to keep her Oxygen machine going.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

On to propane. Propane stores well. It doesn't go bad. Even in a power outage, it can still be dispensed (in many cases). There isn't quite the demand of gasoline (every swinging dick with a set of keys is looking for gasoline). While propane is expensive, I've not seen it near $4.00 in a long time. It's about $3.00 in small quantity. It's easy to store another tank or two under the grill or behind the potting shed.

The only caveat of propane is the boil rate needed to power the generator. In warm weather... no problem. But get into sub-zero temps with a smaller tank, and you could be in trouble as you'll vapor lock the tank and it's just as useless as having no gasoline. For cold weather climates, I'd say to get AT LEAST a 100# tank, if not 2 tanks ganged together.

That's another beautiful thing about bulk propane tanks (like the typical 500-1000 gallon home tanks). At that size, there is really no concern about boil rate unless the ambient temp is consistently something like -44* F... which really isn't a concern in the continental US. If one has a big tank and can hook the generator to it, it's clearly the way to go.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Propane stores well.


But not inside. Not in a basement. Not in an attached garage.

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

1 recommendation

reply to nunya

said by nunya:

On to propane. Propane stores well. It doesn't go bad. Even in a power outage, it can still be dispensed (in many cases). There isn't quite the demand of gasoline (every swinging dick with a set of keys is looking for gasoline).

From talking with friends in N. Jersey, propane was equally hard to get. Most places that had the exchanges were out quickly as everyone was getting them for their grills and such. Those places that refilled had lines too.

Also, I can't remember a time that I filled up a propane tank where they didn't have some sort of electric motor to help the liquid along. Not sure if it would work if that was out.

I thnk storing 100-200+ lbs of propane is just as dangerous as 50 gallons of gas. Rotating gas is simple since every car that runs on gasoline can use it.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

The propane is a lot more dangerous.


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

said by Bob4:

The propane is a lot more dangerous.

True. I park almost 40 gallons of gasoline inside daily. 19 gallons in my car and 16 in the wife's.


nunya
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reply to itguy05

First of all, I never said storing gasoline is dangerous. Although it can be. It's inconvenient if you don't have a way to cycle it through (most people have cars or lawn mowers).
Storing propane isn't nearly as dangerous as what people here are making it out to be. I'd be far more comfortable storing propane vs. gasoline though. Propane tanks are pretty well built. Just follow the rules.

If you'll re-read my post, I was simply saying having OPTIONS is the benefit of tri-fuel. I wasn't picking any winners.

There are people on this site, and in this particular forum, who will twist my words to try and post anything they can to appear counter to me. I swear to god, if I were to put up a one word post that said "Black", withing minutes there would be a 5 paragraph dissertation screaming "white" and extolling the negative virtues of the word black.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


garys_2k
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Farmington, MI
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said by nunya:

If you'll re-read my post, I was simply saying having OPTIONS is the benefit of tri-fuel. I wasn't picking any winners.

True enough, it's about having OPTIONS, each person can pick the best choice for themselves. I'm likely going to buy a tri-fuel kit for my portable generator just because I'd like to have the flexibility.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

First of all, I never said storing gasoline is dangerous. Although it can be. It's inconvenient if you don't have a way to cycle it through (most people have cars or lawn mowers).
Storing propane isn't nearly as dangerous as what people here are making it out to be. I'd be far more comfortable storing propane vs. gasoline though. Propane tanks are pretty well built. Just follow the rules.

If you'll re-read my post, I was simply saying having OPTIONS is the benefit of tri-fuel. I wasn't picking any winners.

There are people on this site, and in this particular forum, who will twist my words to try and post anything they can to appear counter to me. I swear to god, if I were to put up a one word post that said "Black", withing minutes there would be a 5 paragraph dissertation screaming "white" and extolling the negative virtues of the word black.

Well, I'll agree with your position on this one nunya. As I said before, my only concern would be vapor lock on a smaller tank, but barring that, propane makes a lot of sense for this application.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
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join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
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reply to nunya

said by nunya:

If you'll re-read my post, I was simply saying having OPTIONS is the benefit of tri-fuel. I wasn't picking any winners.

precisely
--
* seek help if having trouble coping
--Standard disclaimers apply.--

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to nunya

Nunya,

I wasn't trying to twist your words or anything like that.

I was simply pointing out that everyone points to propane as this miracle fuel that will store forever (it will) and will be very easy to find in an emergency situation.

I was relaying experiences from "Ground Zero" in Sandy where propane was just as hard to get as gasoline. Given that fewer places sell propane vs gasoline it may be harder to get due to limited supplies.

I think neither fuel is better than the other - you'll have everyone and their brother looking for gasoline for their cars and generators. You'll have everyone and their brother looking for propane for their barbecues and other gas appliances so shortages may be the norm.

One thing I've learned in life is - no matter how brilliant the idea, you're not the first to have it....



nunya
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Sorry, the last half of that post was not directed at you.

Jack, I've had the police check my fuel tank several times in Southern Illinois (farm country). If you refuse inspection, it's a $1,000 fine. If you get caught, it's a $1,000 fine the first time, as a misdemeanor tax evasion charge. Second time is a $5,000 fine and moves up to felony.
I've always had dyed fuel available, but never fell to the temptation.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



Jack_in_VA
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join:2007-11-26
North, VA
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said by nunya:

Sorry, the last half of that post was not directed at you.

Jack, I've had the police check my fuel tank several times in Southern Illinois (farm country). If you refuse inspection, it's a $1,000 fine. If you get caught, it's a $1,000 fine the first time, as a misdemeanor tax evasion charge. Second time is a $5,000 fine and moves up to felony.
I've always had dyed fuel available, but never fell to the temptation.

I have never heard of that here in Virginia and I live in farm country and commercial fishing country. Our major infraction is the number of "Farm Vehicle" & "Waterman" wooden signs on vehicles you see everywhere. No body checks this abuse either.
I've never used it in my vehicles either but my next door neighbor who is/was in the landscaping business has his Diesel and Gasoline tanks.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
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reply to itguy05

said by itguy05:

I was relaying experiences from "Ground Zero" in Sandy where propane was just as hard to get as gasoline. Given that fewer places sell propane vs gasoline it may be harder to get due to limited supplies.

And even if you don't need electricity to dispense propane, if the propane station doesn't have electricity, the workers won't be there and the place will be closed.

nunya, my other response was to make sure someone doesn't get the not-very-bright idea to stock up on propane and store the tanks in the basement.