Author Topic: Power outages  (Read 500 times)

ajaffa1

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Power outages
« on: November 28, 2018, 07:24:10 AM »
Hi Guys, another massive power outage. The power is out for about 300 km up and down the coast from Urunga to just north of  Lismore. So much for the gold standard poles and infrastructure promised to us when they privatized the distribution network. Guess all the executives are too busy investing their ill gotten and drinking champagne to worry about the customers they are supposed to service. Third outage in the last month.

Fired up the old ST2 and we now have power, I`ll be having a nice warm shower while everyone else will be going to bed dirty. I have phoned a few neighbors and invited them to come round.

Got to worry about the guys in Queensland who are facing catastrophic bush fires, with unprecedented threat to life and property, hoping they are not getting the  80 Km winds we are.

Got to go check the genny isn`t leaking oil or fuel.

Bob



glort

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2018, 08:51:07 AM »

We have had 79mm of rain here in well under 24 hours.  far and away the best rainfall  we have had since we have arrived. Hard to imagine there are bushfires anywhere let alone 1000Km or so away.  Our plan this year was to go back to Cairns  a bit later, as in now, than we did last year. NZ came up so plans changed. Maybe for the better.

Saw water gushing down the Drainage ditch out the front this morning, Didn't know whether to go get a pump and send it back up the front lawn or knock something together to fill an ambition to play with Micro Hydro. We have had the winds last week but apparently are in for more. I hate wind with a passion.
Does nothing but destroy and make a mess. Still leaves and branches all over the yards I haven't got to.

When I heard about the coming rains yesterday I happened to look up and see the gutters full of leaves again. I cleaned them the week before we went away, less than a month ago.  They were chockers again so got the blower and ladder out and spent a few hours up and down cleaning them again.  Bought some leaf guard to pit in the gutters but it was crap and didn't bother with it. Got some more that seems better but haven't got to it yet. Obviously going to be a priority.

Had a power failure here yesterday and again today.  Self inflicted.
The south facing solar array that is on the shed was supposed to be temporary and we all know nothing is as long lived or permanent as " Temporary". As such the DC wiring is a bit cobbled together and must have broken down and letting water into the connections. Clearly there is some earth leakage going on which the RCD doesn't like.
Shut all the solar down late yesterday when it tripped although I suspected my ground mount system and checked the main ones.  Put it back on this morning and after a couple of hours, all the lights went out again. Going to have to change the all in one RDC to individuals. Of course I could just fix the solar wiring but what fun would that be??   :laugh: Works fine in the dry so probably won't have to worry again for another 6 weeks at least.

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I`ll be having a nice warm shower while everyone else will be going to bed dirty. I have phoned a few neighbors and invited them to come round.

Oh, OK..... I have heard of some of those more Liberal, Hippy " free love" communities up your way. Didn't realise you were one of those sharing types. Can't say I have ever been inclined to shower with my neighbors but maybe yours are a lot better looking and younger than mine ever have been?.

Sitting here now I see the sky clearing and a sunset off the clouds. I hope the rain travels north and puts out the fires.
I wanted to move to Qld but geez it seems a tough place. If it's not floods it's drought, if it's not Drought it's fires. I't like they have a state Catastrophe every year in some form.

Enjoy showing off the your lister to the neighbours and your other " Equipment" Bob.  Don't forget to repeatedly point out to the Mrs every 15 min  the power is still off and aren't you lucky you did that generator and how important the one you are working on will be for backup.
Might pay to pour her a cold drink pointing out the frigde is working, put her favourite show on the TV and turn on the AC just for good measure pointing out the rest of the neighbours can't do that.  :angel:

glort

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2018, 09:00:52 AM »

I was just reading up on the fires and saw this:

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The State Government has announced packages ranging from $180 for individuals and up to $900 for families who have lost their homes or possessions.

What the FK is $180 going to buy a person or $900 a family whom have lost everything?
A spare change of clothes so they have something besides what's on their Backs?

I think the straight Gubbermint would be less insulting to people to offer nothing.

I'll say no more less I get into another feature length rant.

LowGear

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 04:58:32 PM »
When we first moved to the farm I was all excited about installing a backup generator.  As I was shopping for disconnect switches my favorite electrical equipment salesman asked kind of the same questions.  "How often does the power go off?" and "How long are those episodes?".  I decided to live here for six months and see.  We have better service out here 20 miles from town than we had back in the suburbs of Seattle.
NPR Tipper/Dump Truck
Kubota BX 2230
Witte BD Generator
SunnyBoy 6000 + SolarWorld 245

BruceM

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 05:21:44 PM »
I've been doing some research on power co. grounding practices around the world. 

Bob's comment:
''The power is out for about 300 km up and down the coast from Urunga to just north of  Lismore. So much for the gold standard poles and infrastructure promised to us when they privatized the distribution network. Guess all the executives are too busy investing their ill gotten and drinking champagne to worry about the customers they are supposed to service. Third outage in the last month.''

reminded me that Australia, most of the US, and Canada are the worst offenders in the world.  They all use T-NC (terra-neutral connected) with "MEN-  multiply earthed neutral" of the distribution neutral, and bypass transformer isolation in order to use the customer's grounding for their distribution line.  This is an abomination from the 1920's, which allowed the power co.s to save a few bucks by connected their lines to the customer water pipes (at the expense of customer safety and hugely elevated magetic fields).

This causes magnetic fields in homes and yards 100x higher than need be.  To then add a digital meter to this 1920's tech abomination and call it "smart" is like adding a digital pulse rate monitor on a horse pulling a buggy. 

Many other countries use WYE distribution with proper single point grounding of the neutral to avoid injecting current through the earth and aquifers.  They use RCD main service breaker and independent earth connection for the home earth connection.  This is called T-T (terra-terra) grounding and is the fastest growing system, worldwide.  If you wanted to improve your countries grid, you should be bellowing for this, or  I-T grounding, which is isolated, non-grounded lines- aka Delta, with earth grounding of the secondary (customer) neutral.  A few older cities in the US still use Delta, or I-T grounding, but 90% of the US is the abominable T-NC.

Privatized energy systems suffer the worst from the "race to the bottom" for service of lines, customers and customer health.  But they do make nice fat profits for shareholders and their executives.  It's interesting that as far as I can find so far, no nationally owned grid system in the world uses the abomination of T-NC grounding practice.

Based on the independent research from the 70's through today, the cost of this basic infrastructure grounding practice in public health misery and costs is huge. 







glort

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2018, 12:27:27 AM »

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If you wanted to improve your countries grid, you should be bellowing for this, or  I-T grounding, which is isolated, non-grounded lines-

You have no idea of the grid here Bruce.
Tens of thousands of people literally are bellowing just to try and get their power within the spec voltages it should be and I'm not talking about people out in the Boonies at the end of the line!

Bobs Comment about gold plated poles is a popular Sarcasm here due to the cost of power and Supply charges we get hit with. My last power Bill from week before last was $297. $94 of that was supply charges so pretty close to 1/3rd.  Granted my bill is below that which on the bill they say is typical useage for a 1 person household but still being charged so much just to have the power connected is a rort. I was at my last place 24Years and the only thing I ever saw them do to the power supply was  replace an ancient pole across the street that had deteriorated to the point it snapped  when a car hit it not too hard at all.  Other than that, all those poles and wires were never touched.

It's hard to swallow the power cos bleating about Maintaining a 'safe" ( their favorite drama adding word) and secure grid and the need to raise prices when it seems they are the only entity to post a record profit every single quarter.

Many people now are having problems with their solar cutting out or limiting output due to high line voltage. The Utilities blame " too much" solar feed in and their fantasy story  is akin to everyone goes to work on another planet therefore there is all this unused power coming from the solar that no one uses.  It's insulting to a persons intelligence but lucky for the grid operators, they know peoples intelligence overall is pretty low. If there is already too much solar power, why are they all in a race to build succedingly larger and larger solar farms?  they go on about all the domestic solar causing destabilization through frequency shift but happily ignore the fact every inverter here has very tight  frequency matching standards so that does not happen and are more likely en masse to pull it back into line rather pull it out. 

Their Rhetoric is about as truthful as the weather bureau is reliably but at least the weather mob is just incompetent rather than trying to screw people over for their own profits.

They do everything they can to get out of adjusting transformer taps which are still High at midnight when there isn't a whole load of sun anywhere in Oz funny enough and make excuses.  The fact that they can profit out of this through an amount of higher usage ( 5% is substantial when you are talking about grid customer numbers and they reduce revenue loss through reducing back feed they have to pay customers for is), irrelevant we are told.   ::)

Until maybe 12 Months ago when You mentioned it,  I had no idea our power system worked the way it did and TBH, when you first mentioned it I thought you must have made a Typo.  Running one side back to earth seems  crazy. I'll gaurantee here there is no way the operators would change the system unless they could do it for no more than $10. As I said, just getting a supply out of them that is within the guidelines is Difficult enough.

I am also reading that there are a lot of new places now being restricted to 42 amps in their supply allocation.  They have a table which attributes so much power per circuit which is a calculation nothing to do with actual ( or realistic) draw and certainly nothing to do with making any sense. Suffice to say,  Put in ducted air, Electric stove and a pool, and you are way over and they won't connect you till you eliminate something.  The allocation they make for a pool is something like 20A.  I have never known anyone with a pool to have a motor larger than 1.5 HP and that's not even 10 A let alone 20. By the same token, they allow 80 power points in a house and only allow 20 A for that. I realise you won't use every one at the same time but a couple of fan heaters or a welder and compressor and you are there. That's without all the small things like Tvs, computers and refrigeration that tend to all be connected at once and do add up.

For people that want more power, they are charging them ridiculous money. Of course a lot of these new suburbs don't have gas so you are committed to electricity for things like hot water and cooking which would take significant power out of the equation. Just to really screw you over, no, you can't eliminate the load in the calculation by using bottled gas, it has to be factored in whether it's used for these loads or not.  Having solar does not alter the calcs either unless you have some implausible size ( cost) battery.

What I do with my solar is not legit at all and the power co would shit a kidney if they found out and I could not care less. Their own corporate behavior and policy's are  predatory to say the least and their attitude towards their customers stinks from their distribution techniques on down.  I get satisfaction from screwing them over although it can't last forever. They have got it past the gubbermint that all meters NEED to be smart arse meters and there is a program to replace them despite the debacles in every other part of the country and the world where they have been used. BUT.... they are spending the money on this to save their customers Money which by extrapolation means less profits for them.  Yeah, that makes perfect sense and isn't a load of BS or anything!
 I am scared of the thought of when my grid battery  ends and the bills I'll face but i'm using this as a learning curve and getting my waterfowl in a linear alignment so when the time comes, it will just be one more step to go off grid and screw them over completely.

They are crying about that now too trying to argue that it's not fair for the people who remain on grid to pay a larger share for the gold plating required.
So nice of them to put their customers before their own corporate greed and profits.
Think I'll just go have another glass of the Power co KoolAide to toast them for that.

I'd like to toast them allright, with about 9KW of 350V DC straight from my main array!

BruceM

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 02:04:37 AM »
The history of private power companies in the US is also a classic tale of graft and corruption at the expense of the public  They invented what we now call "cigarette science" in the 1970's when independent research showed that EMFs were a serious health stressor.  They spent a bundle on bribes and to "campaign funds" to get the system we have in the US, where they have a monopoly but are "regulated" mostly by regulators who they fund, now openly here in AZ.  The public has no clue as the extent of collusion and corruption.

I moved off grid because of their insane T-NC with MEN (multiply earthed neutral), which caused my MS and epilepsy to flair up badly seasonally with load increases on our rural single phase power.  I now say with the cheap PV prices that the time is ripe to tell them to STUFF IT.  There is no chance of them behaving in a responsible way.

Load shifting and super quiet (CS ring a bell) backup generator can save you a bundle in batteries.  The conventional houses and building codes were built with cheap power in mind, or just altogether ignoring operating power costs.  A hell of a lot more insulation and redesign to improve energy efficiency is in order for retrofits.  Propane is a good clean fuel as solar backup and I expect synthetic propane will come along in another decade or two.






mikenash

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 02:57:32 AM »
Up at my "retirement property" (a shed in a paddock with no services lol - and that's assuming there will be "retirement")  I have one of the CS Listers sitting gathering dust & birdshit and a couple of 230V gen heads in the shed - a project for "when I have time".  Plus there's a couple of big, 24VDC Leece-Neville truck alternators waiting to do some work - when I have time . . .

When I finally move up there, I'll put in some PV and batteries as the Bay of Plenty is NZ's sunshine capital - maybe in four or five years?

Meantime there's nothing to gain by having good batteries turning to sulphated crap by sitting around doing nothing for months on end - so solar can wait.  So I have several of the much-maligned petrol "screamers"

Pride of the fleet is a 2.4kW Chinese copy of a Honda.  New, 7 years ago, it cost $400.  I couldn't tell you how many hours it has done - hundreds anyway.  It has had a new carb ($40 and possibly unnecessary) and a new AVR ($27).  Both easy-peasy fits.  It's really quiet.  When I'm up there I just plonk it out behind my old Camry wagon at the end of an extension flex.  It has often run for 12-15 hours at a time on a winter's day.  Being petrol it doesn't mind running no-load

I have a genuine Honda 2.2kW unit which cost three times as much and that's the one I lend to neighbours whenever there's a power cut as it has a very easy pull-start.  There are lots of power outages up there due to steep terrain, storms and trees near power lines.  Also it's the one which my lady friend uses if she's up there on her own as she can manage the pull-start easily and it always starts first or second yank.  Otherwise it just sits under the shed doing nothing

There's also a big, circa 7kW unit which runs the hot-water-in-a-hurry cylinder.  That's a 60-litre cylinder with a 3600W element that draws about 15A on a 20A Reyrolle plug and heats up from cold in about half an hour to 85 degrees.  I use that if the sun isn't shining for the solat hot water or if the stove-with-wetback isn't running

For some reason I also have a "spare"  It sort of followed me home one day - a 3kW Chinese Honda copy with an electric start - I haven't used it in a year.  it was the electric start that sold it, I guess

All of them are kept full of gas with about a 1/0th of 1% mix of fuel stabiliser.  They always seem to start up just fine

I keep a spare carb and a spare starter assembly and a spare AVR and a pair of (light and heavy) throttle springs up there "just in case" as well.  I have long since established that - despite different stickers on the Chinese tinware, and different designs to the Chinese plastic bits - mechanically they are identical

Despite the bad press they get from purists - I think they're great.  I have convenience, reliability, redundancy in depth . . . I guess the whole lot probably owe me something like $2200 spent over the last five years.  I may never have to spend another penny on them

There's a lot to be said for convenience when you turn up at midnight after a day's work and a six-hour drive

Just my $0.02 on the generator front

ajaffa1

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 03:48:44 AM »
Well guts, yesterdays power outage has convinced me that it really is time to complete my Lister CS/ ST5 project. Running the Lister ST2 and only pulling one third of it`s available output is not going to be doing it any good. It needs a long run under heavy load or the cylinders start to glaze. Running the CS, with the same load, would be somewhere between half and three quarter power. Much better.

Dropped the head and cylinder off at the local engineering shop this morning. In a very strange twist of fate the guy who will be doing the work is the same guy that recovered, what was left of my Ute,from a field two years ago after my accident. Wonder if I`ll get discount as a regular customer?

I`ve got a couple of those Chonda engines running water pumps, never had a problem with the engines only the carburetors. Replaced them with genuine Honda carbs and they run a dream, I think the difference is simply a quality control issue or possibly poor gaskets.

Couple of pics showing the ST unloaded and loaded.

Bob

glort

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2018, 03:57:56 AM »
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I now say with the cheap PV prices that the time is ripe to tell them to STUFF IT.


There is a lot of talk on the solar forums about batteries like power walls, LG's and other commercial produce grid connected money savers.
They DO NOT add up, no matter how complicated you want to make the maths to confuse the non electrically Minded.  The FACT is NONE of them hold enough power for that power to be of enough value to offset the costs of the units in their expected operating lives. And that is in best case, perfect return, impossible to achieve calculation.

I think about going off grid and think the reality is I don't make enough power all year to do that, winter being the problem.  Then I think a bit more and realise, I probably have less than 10% of the house roof covered in panels ATM. Another 20% faces the wrong direction and would only be of any use in summer when I won't need it anyway. That leaves a good 70% of very viable roof area still untouched.  Probably wouldn't bother with 10% of that being small areas shaped for appearance so i'm still left with a real good amount.  The entire east face and the majority of the west is clear. On the back west roof I have 9x6M entirely clear. On the same roof I then have another 9 x 3 above the other angled off set roof and above the row of existing panels.
That's 54 250W panels Plus another 9, potentially 15 If I max out the area with different orientations.  Call it 62 panels potential for sake of connection and ease of install.

That's another 15.5 Kw and I have another 5KW waiting to go up on the north roof now.  that's over 20 Kw in addition to the almost 20KW I am presently running. And I haven't touched the east roof yet.  That's another 9x5 or another 7Kw worth Min.
Yep, crunching the numbers, I think I'd be fine with off grid and the Lister/ Ruggerini/ merc engined generators would be lucky to get more than a monthly maintence run.  And that would be with the same all electric I run now. Add in a oil or wood heater for winter as in the works presently... No brainer.   It rained more than it has in the last 18 months here yesterday and my 5.5 west array still did 2.8 KW.  If I had 40KW of panels and did half rating on a crappy day,  it's still minimum half consumption on a cold day so still in good shape. When I didn't have to run the air or heating, I'd be OK.

The other thing I forget often is ALL my inverters are way over clocked and derated due to the limits of the wiring I am working with. My 5 KW inverter up the back has 9 kw of panels but unless I bleed off the power from the circuit say boiling water with an urn, it's lucky to make more than 3.5KW before the voltage rises too much and the thing trips out or I have to switch off one string.  The west array is 5.5 KW on a 3.6 Inverter and that does run pretty much flat out on a good day because it is connected through the water heater circuit so whenever the voltage climbs there indicating backfeed, the voltage relay kicks in turning on the water heater and giving it a load to work against. As the heater is 3.6KW, it's virtually neutralized leaving any gains for the other inverter on the same phase.

The 5KW ground array atm is on a 2KW inverter which obviously maxes out pretty often as well and there is another 1.5 Kw on the south shed roof. There is room to take that out to about 2.5 KW without much trouble if I wanted but that was really just a test setup that's worked way better than the solar folk lore would have anyone believe. That has a 4 Kw inverter but maxes out as well due to the fact that is a light circuit and struggles at much over 1KW going though it.  When I get all the proper wiring in place and set things up more efficiently, I expect I'll get way more power than I need in summer and come closer to winter needs before anything else is added in.

While this might all sound doubtfully expensive, I have under $2500 in this so far being everything I have bought has been 2nd hand. I visit a nearby solar installers Skip bin pretty frequently and the NEW switch gear and things I have pulled out of there they throw away for reasons that baffle me has been worth a bit and allowed me to replace what I was making do with with the right gear. I have it so better doing it right for nothing than having stuff sitting on the shelf gathering dust.  There is still a LOT of stuff on that shelf though!

Given out first bill would have been well over $1500 as is most peoples without solar round here, we are already so far in front with what I have spent on this and it's been a good distraction and profitable hobby as well. Sometimes I can't get my head around the simplest of straightforward problems and other days I can come up with clever workarounds off the top of my head which make this buggering around very rewarding.  I's still a bit heath Robinson but I have to admit, that's not just being slack.  Once I do it all right and permanent, there will be nothing else to and waste my time on. Not much fun in that.

If I went off grid I would probably go to a lead acid forklift pack of 30Kwh. I could go smaller but for the $2500 price I could get a refurbed one here for with 5 year gaurantee in stationary ( home) use as they are happy to sell them for, may as well go a bit bigger and lessen the strain.  I'm also looking into  refurb EV packs.  Very much smaller, lighter not that it makes much difference in this application and about the same price and capacity depending on what you exactly get.  Life of said pack I believe would be shorter.  I would think 10-15 years from the lead is feasible, maybe 8-10 out of the EV pack.
The EV pack with the right BMS should be maintenance free for the most part which is probably it's main real advantage over the Lead acid.
I have to research about that more though but they are certainly being used in the states and other parts of the world where they are a LOT more EV's and parts prices are much lower than here.

I figure maybe $2500 for inverters, chargers and ancillarys IF I buy right for the lead acid setup.
For the EV pack, I'm wondering about buying a wrecked Prius ( as I can buy from the trade/ wholesale Auctions) and breaking that up and using the components ( with a bigger battery pack) as the main part of a system. I'd get a small battery, the BMS and a very efficient generator.  Might be petrol but I could supplement that with Biogas and heat the gas plant with a co gen system. Feed the gas generator with household scraps, wear tie Dyed shirts, hand made sandals, already growing my own food..... Buy a guitar and learn to play Kum by ah and I'm a modern hippy!

Right now using the grid is the cheapest option for me. I can keep the bill to $300 or less pretty easy 3 quarters of the year and expect my winter quarter to be about the same next winter If I can offset the heating factor.  I plan to do this with using an oil burning heater and am also setting up an inverter to feed the 3rd leg of the AC which I can't backfeed due to the electronic meter.  This will be a relay that boots up a small inverter that will take the majority of the load off that leg when the AC is running during the day. Probably don't want to go below $200 a quarter or they will get too sus I think and suspect I'm stealing power somehow.

Given the all up guideline price of $1000 KWH all up here for the commercial batteries ( or much more) this would seem a cheap way out IF I have to go that way.  Also looking exactly what I might be able to get away with and turn to my advantage with a smart arse meter and getting paid ( as low as it is) for backfeeding.  I'm wondering about a small solar setup but with an over sized inverter and approval for a much higher feed in.  from there I'll just hook all my existing panels up to drive the bastard to its full capacity. If I have approval in teh first place saying I want to upgrade later, then I'm confident they won't be bothered asking anymore questions and I may be able to offset my consumption with the feedin tarrif as people with larger systems seem to be able to do.

glort

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2018, 05:09:10 AM »
Running the CS, with the same load, would be somewhere between half and three quarter power. Much better.

Wouldn't that be a luxury?
I have the little engine for the light loads, the big engine for the heavier loads and I'll sync both of them up for running everything at once!

Looks like a very professional and well laid out setup there Bob.... as we'd expect nothing less from you!

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Dropped the head and cylinder off at the local engineering shop this morning. In a very strange twist of fate the guy who will be doing the work is the same guy that recovered, what was left of my Ute,from a field two years ago after my accident. Wonder if I`ll get discount as a regular customer?


The engineering shop has the local towing contract??  That's diversifying!

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I`ve got a couple of those Chonda engines running water pumps, never had a problem with the engines only the carburetors. Replaced them with genuine Honda carbs and they run a dream, I think the difference is simply a quality control issue or possibly poor gaskets.

I think between my father and I we have about 20 of the china engines now, also never had a problem in the 7 years since we started buying them. Dad was a Honda only man and dead against Cheap Chinese Junk.  His position now is he wouldn't pay the price for a Honda now when the Chinese ones work so well and you can buy about four of them for the price of one Honda. As he also says, at his age, getting 20 years out of something is no longer a priority.

Ironically, Different to your experience, I bought him a Chinese Coil and a carb  for his old Honda water pumps. Been working fine.  Again a coil for the Honda from memory was about $120. The Chinese knockoff, $17 delivered.  Carb was a similar disproportion. Both pumps have been getting a work out of late and he was telling me earlier in the week they haven't missed a beat.

I have had a fair bit of trouble with all my 2 stroke Chinese engines of late but traced it all down to crappy fuel line that breaks or gets holes even though it's only 12 months old and I DON"T use that crap E10 fuel.  Been replacing the line which can be a tedious and fiddly task on some things but having done that, all equipment has returned to it's previous reliability and easy starting. Still have to do the chainsaw which looks like it' going to be a monumental pain in the arse but the blower, hedge trimmer, brush cutter and pole saw have all been cured. Thought I must have put crap fuel in them at first but figured if one ran OK, they all should.  Full tanks one day and empty the next without using them was the giveaway along with the stain on the shed floor.

 Guess you have to expect some shortcuts but if this is the worst that happens, I bear in mind the huge savings and wear it happily.

mikenash

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2018, 05:48:29 AM »


I`ve got a couple of those Chonda engines running water pumps, never had a problem with the engines only the carburetors. Replaced them with genuine Honda carbs and they run a dream, I think the difference is simply a quality control issue or possibly poor gaskets.

Couple of pics showing the ST unloaded and loaded.

Bob
[/quote]

By chance I live & work near an importer of these generators - they do anything that is portable-ish & has a Chinese Honda-clone engine - generators, pumps, log-splitters, concrete-cutters . . . and I have found them to be honest and capable. 

They maintain their particular motor supplier also makes Hondas - as evidence they showed me a bunch of spare parts in Honda-logo boxes with the Honda stuff scribbled over with black felt pen . . .

As you say, Bob, QC is key, and I have never had an issue with any of these guys' gear.  Fingers crossed

ajaffa1

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2018, 06:53:49 AM »
Hey Glort, strangely enough the local machine shop also repairs/services motor vehicles. They have the NRMA franchise to tow/recover damaged vehicles. Very lucrative business considering how many hoons and f*ckwits there are on the roads these days.

I have also had big problems with fuel lines going hard and brittle. Not sure if the problem is with the fuel or cheaply imported fuel lines. I only ever run E10 in one lawn mower that is reasonably new and specifies it as the fuel of choice. It does not appear to be any more or less reliable than any of my other equipment. E10 is probably OK provided you don`t let it stand too long, once it has absorbed a whole lot of moisture out of the atmosphere it will cause corrosion to any metal parts it comes in contact with. The lawn mower in question has a plastic fuel tank, plastic and nylon carburetor and polyethylene fuel lines, nothing to corrode.

I have four chainsaws of various sizes and makes. One of them I made the mistake of putting E10 in. It ran perfectly well until I wanted to refill it and couldn`t get the fuel filler cap off. Apparently this is a common problem with these saws, the ethanol in the fuel causes the plastic cap to swell! Once I did get the cap off with a wrench I left it open overnight, the ethanol evaporated and the cap fits perfectly. If you are looking for  chainsaw parts for Husqvarna or Stihl check out a company called Farmertec in Singapore, the prices are about a quarter of what you will pay here.

Hi Mike, pretty sure you are right about Honda having stuff made in China. Nothing wrong with that, the Chinese are perfectly capable of making very good quality machinery. The mistake people make is in trying to drive the price of components down too low, at which point the manufacturer will have to start cutting corners and reducing quality.

One trick I always use on Chonda engines is to run them for a few hours and then re-torque all the bolts including the cylinder head. I haven`t had to replace a head gasket since I started doing this. One of my Chinese Davey pumps leaked from day one, striped it and found that some idiot had put the ceramic seals in back to front, it`s run like a champion ever since.

I have another one which I need to connect up to the dam, This one will be used to irrigate fruit trees and will have a diverter valve to pump water up to a sprinkler system on the roof, in the event of another bush fire. Not sure I`m up to digging trenches at the moment so it will have to wait.

Amazing how many of these motors, pumps, chainsaws and generators get thrown out by incompetent home owners every time there is a council cleanup. I guess if it doesn`t start first go they just chuck it out and buy a new one. Great for the Chinese economy and very bad for ours, can`t be doing much for the environment either.

Bob

Bob

mikenash

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2018, 07:36:47 AM »
Interesting comment about re-torquing things.  I haven't made that observation

We have the Chinese motors in pumps & small gensets at work which we use pretty hard - issues are commonly limited to the odd AVR, replacement starter assemblies cos it's easier than pull-cords, and an annual oil-change

You're on the $$ re quality control and price point.  After all, the Chinese make cars & high-speed rail and aircraft carriers etc.  It's our own fault if we demand cheap and then get cheap

The downside is that our demand for cheap has driven suppliers of well-made, last-a-lifetime stuff into extinction.  Look at the way an old 20-series John Deere or an old Ford 5000 is still running after 40 years as long as it's had a bit of maintenance.  Or a proper Husqvarna or Jonsereds saw.  Or a CS for that matter  :)

ajaffa1

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Re: Power outages
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2018, 07:53:22 AM »
Hi Mike, another downside of our wasteful, cheap mentality is that most young families stick the cost of this awful crap on a credit card. The tool/machine is scrap before they have even finished paying it off. Their total lack of any practical knowledge of machinery just exacerbates the problem.

Bob