Think practical? Isn't that what this thread is about? Practical thinking is why I have what I do. Over 25 days so far over the past three years when we've been whacked by wicked weather and lost all power. Cook on it, warm water to bathe on it and mean while it's silently heating the house Didn't have to concern myself with running out of gasoline or propane.
Now I haven't looked at gen set prices lately, but I bet a new 7kw could be had for $800, or a good used for $400, alot could be run with that. A propane grill $200 new or sometimes free by the road side. How much would a chimney,stove pipe and the stove itself cost.
As far as gas, I would start and stop the generator as needed, I DO. As far as water, no power ,no water for me. If power goes out, I can chat here, can you ...>8
Around this neck of NJ, we ain't talking about no measly 16 hours of no power! That's a walk in the woods with Sandy dropping them like flies.
That $800 will fetch a 5.5k. Add the cost of operating and maintaining the genny to the purchase price. John's loaned 5.5k unit and idling my diesel tractor to power the inverter cost me ~ $70 in fuel and I didn't have to drive around and look for an open station because I'd stashed the fuel before hand. That's not too many hours of run time either. I've talked to some who spent $4-500 on genny fuel. What's the average life of a 5k genny? It WILL DIE
when you need it, nothing breaks when your'e not using it
Don't get me wrong, I should have one for as many times as we've run the drill these past few years.
Cook on a grill? Great when it's daylight & 70 outside but not when the wind is blowing in the pitch dark of night and the temperatures are are in the 20's w/o wind chill. Besides, I'd need a head lamp to know when to flip the steak! Not when I can put the pot on the coal stove. Didn't mention it before but I purposely installed a propane cook stove - oh yes - INSIDE
the house. Strike a match, turn the valve and presto-chango, Blue flames to cook on
Price of the install is now paid for and putting money in the bank. I think the set up has been in use for 12, maybe 13. I'd say it's saved me enough to by a genny and I'd still be in the green for $15,000. The coal stove isn't my back up but it's still my main heat source. Everybody should have a hand fed coal burner stashed away for a rainy day. Yes mine is a hand fed and does take a bit of labor and thought but it's in my blood now. Just wish I could convince my knees of that
One more thing about off grid life. It's crossed my mind that you can get a bucket with a foot valve that's designed to slip down inside a 6" casing to haul you own water out of the well. Then again I live on a hill and the well has static water @ 30'. The bottom of the hill on my property is ~ 60' lower than the well head. Can you say siphon?