Channeling Papa

The Old Man In The Yard

The bad storm came.  The man's house was not damaged.  The man got his phone back last night, but no electricity.  He sat in his yard waiting... waiting for the power company to come.  The generator was noisy.  He couldn't think in the back yard so he sat in the front yard.  He typed his blog.  He had a lot to say, but he was tired.  Tired from the storm and tired from the noise.  So he didn't say much. 

There's my ode to Ernest Hemmingway.  Grey beard, check.  Perdomo cigar, check.  Short, choppy sentances, check.  But instead of a military folding desk in Cuba, I've got two kitchen chairs in Virginia.  No bottle of whiskey, but I do have a Diet Coke.  I used to have a Greek fisherman's cap, but that's long gone.  I'm really beat this afternoon.  I think I ran a lot on adrenalen and mission-essential energy for the past few days, but I need to recharge.  The power outage numbers in Virginia ar shrinking, but out here, I'll be real surprised if we get it back before Saturday or Sunday.

The Generac GP5500 is really kicking butt.  It is great on gas, so I don't need to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to refuel.  It has over 60 hours on it so far, and hasn't missed a beat.  Last night, my wife even used her hair drier (tough to do with a generator due to the huge pull it has) and we ran the washer machine to get some work clothes clean (still hung them up to dry, I'm not ready to try the drier yet).  You might remember back in the winter I railed against Generac because they would not sell a replacement jet for a carbureator, I had to buy a whole new carb.  Their excuse was that people just mess them up working on them themselves.  They still have me ticked off.  I need to do an oil change on this one, but I can't find the owner's manual on line (the original got lost in the storm).  I've tried searching by model number, but their website doesn't recognize it.  I've tried looking for the oil filter part number, but they don't list it.  They really must have their hooks in with the "official" Generac repair places.  I'm going back to Lowe's tonight to try it from that angle.

Reader Comments

For some reason, I can't leave a comment on yesterday's post, so here's my reply to you guys...

Thanks Anonymous, Steelheart and BVDD! (And Steelheart, you're darn tootin she does!)

Mike, glad to hear you did ok with everything. I know what you mean about getting ready earlier. I was in Idaho until Monday, then had the earthquake, then started getting hurricane prepped at work before doing my last minute stuff on Friday.  I didn't have as much as you (living on the water can be a blessing and a curse), but I know what you mean about the humidity.  Being on my roof in the afternoon sun nearly did me in.

Also, a good point on the reppellent. They don't bother me much, but they can be a real problem. Re: the LED light, I recently upgraded my EDC with a slightly bigger pouch on my belt. Still fits in with a suit (looks like a cell phone case) but holds a decent LED light. I always have it with me.

I really appreciate the kind words and support from all of my readers.  I feel like we are building a bit of a community and that I am getting  to know some of you a bit.  I really hope to meet some of you someday!


  1. I hope you can find the Generac parts you need. I have a DeWalt with a Honda engine, and I also had to replace my carb because of the @#$%^& ethanol in our gas. Luckily for me, I found and fixed the problem during my early June hurricane equipment checkout two years ago, which meant that mine was just about the only generator on my street that would start after the Nor'easter hit us later that year. It cost $69 on eBay for the new carb, which I wasn't happy about but I guess I have come to peace with it. :-)

    And talking of appreciation, I really appreciate you taking the time to maintain this blog and give us all a place to listen, learn, and chat. The more I read, the more I pick up tidbits that eventually find their way into my own preparation plans. So thanks, and I'd be happy to buy you a beer after work one day.

  2. I used to work for Lowe's and Home Depot as a manager and yes they have a special deal worked out with Generac so that you have to use their authorized repair shops to get work done. It is one of the reasons I won't ever buy Generac products again. I like their stuff but I don't like their repair network.

  3. are you saying that you run the genny all night, unattended? why? if i were your neighbor, it would have had a "malfunction". a genny should never be run unattended, and certainly at night while asleep, or when others are trying to sleep. nothing is more frustrating than trying to sleep while a noisy genny is running. i run my genny a hour or two in the morning and evening. keeps the frozen frozen, heats the h2o, etc. and doesn't annoy the neighbors. run a tiny solar array for lights etc.quiet.....might want to look at propane conversion of the genny too.no ethanol probs.

  4. RiverRider:

    I hear what you're saying about the gensets running all night, but in my neighborhood there are several folks with "whole house" generator setups that run 24/7 when the power is out. I tend not to run at night, but you couldn't hear mine if I did because of all those 20KW units going full blast.

    By the way, to help avoid running the genset at night I just bought a sweet little 12V fan over Amazon. It's made by FanTastic, which appears to mainly build vent fans for sailboats and RVs, and it's got a 12" 10-bladed fan that moves an amazing amount of air (given the low amp draw). I really could have used this last week! Fair warning, though, at $64 it's not cheap, but it got by far the best reviews and I'd rather pay the price to get something that actually works. I figure I can run it all night at least twice on each of my deep-cycle boat batteries, and charge the batteries back up while the genset runs during the day.


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