Monday, November 2, 2015

When It rains, it Pours.................



The new and ( not so) improved generator

Thinking back on this past week, I honestly cant tell you of a day when the sun has made an appearance for more than a quick minute between the clouds. It has been overcast, and as of last night more rained has moved in ( we do need it! as we are still in a drought) and it doesn't look like its going anywhere, anytime soon.
During extremely rainy ,cloudy and overcast "spells" our batteries from our off grid system, take a hit. We use the generator to charge the batteries up, when they fall around 70% ( at the lowest). While it does not charge them up like the sun can, its a great ( and necessary) back up, if you don't want to lose your batteries.
The more your batteries go without sun, the harder time they have holding a charge. So on weeks like this, we are using the generator more than usual to keep our batteries topped off...

Around 7:30 last night, during a game of Go Fish with Norah,  Robb and I heard the generator , just putter and shut off.
OF COURSE its pouring rain, I mean what fun would it be to go work on a generator at 8:00 at night without it coming down buckets??
So, Robb fiddles with it for about and hour and a half, he checks the choke, low oil pressure gauge( disconnects that) takes the carb apart.. nothing,, Still getting gas but not starting....
By now its 9:30 , pouring out, we have batteries that were not fully charged, another 5 days of cloudiness in the forecast, and a broken generator, Yippy.Skippy.

Why don't you have a back generator? you might ask?? I don't know.... and you are right, we should.. and I suppose should be thankful atleast its not January and a full on blizzard so we can leave tomorrow to buy another generator ( ewwww, I don't want to spend my hard earned money on another generator!!!)

So up and at em' early this a.m. Dropped Norah off at school and headed to the pawn shop...

Now our current Generator is a powerhorse 9000 watt, with a 30 amp breaker,,, its large enough and has enough ampage that we can still "live our life" without knocking the generator off by using too much power..
The generator we are looking for today, was not going to be that,, why? because I am not spending 700.00 today,,,, I stuffed 300.00 in my purse and was sticking to that budget. Because in my world that's a lot of cash to spend on something "unfun"...

Hit the pawn shop.. Nothing, all of them were 20 amp.. Hit Lowes Home improvement,, they had 2 and they were Expensive, way more than I wanted to spend on a back up....
They had a reasonably priced one that they could order, but it would take 8 days. We nicely told the guy that we don't have 8 days, we have .. I don't know... 8 hours.... No sun + no genny= batteries slowllllly discharging...
He did mention that we try Tractor Supply,, and so we did :)

Score! Found a 3500 watt genny with a 30 amp breaker for 299.00... situation diffused..
now just a trip back to Lowes to get a plug that  Robb thought TSC didn't have , and home to realize we don't need that plug anyway, ;) hehe...

Moral of the story??
hmm I suppose there could be many..
* things WILL go wrong when you are your own power company
*back up generators, and off grid equipment may seem like a waste of money but will save you massive amounts of stress when things break...
*While we love all seasons, We really miss The long sunny days already!!!
*chickens have bad hair days when it rains too :D

The Cools

UPDATE: Robb found the problem with the original generator. The Rocker arm stud busted off,, looks like something he can fix and will only cost about 30.00 bucks :)


  1. You might try Steven Harris 123. He have a lot of amazing information about power and preparedness. He does a podcast and you may find some inexpensive solutions for the off grid issues.

    1. thank you, we did find the problem with the generator,, Unfortunately we had to rectify this immediately... or our batteries would have bit the dust.
      We are completely disconnected from the power grid, so no grid tie at all,, so keeping our batteries charged is a must!

    2. hi there the generator i was thanking of getting one like this one i get some more solar panels Mono crystalline work better on cloudy days on a separate mppt solar charge controller we live in ga we get some bad cloudy days here to take care

  2. Hello, my name is Levi, I'm a Casting Producer on a new show which teaches people how to live off the grid, and even sets them up with land in Alaska. I'd like to speak with you if possible. please email, thank you

  3. Hello, my name is Levi, I'm a Casting Producer on a new show which teaches people how to live off the grid, and even sets them up with land in Alaska. I'd like to speak with you if possible. please email, thank you

  4. This blog is so helpful for those of us who just recently took up this way of life. I love it and it definitely makes me happier but somedays I get frustrated. I am almost ready to go back to what the rest of the world is doing. It makes me question everything. Thanks for leading the way for us.

    Jordon @ Verdegy