SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. The emphasis this week is on whole house backup generator companies in the Redoubt.

Region-Wide

Four of the largest whole house backup generator companies are Generac, Kohler, Cummins, and Honeywell. They have authorized dealers/installers, nationwide.

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Two important points: Make sure that the generator you buy can also operate your well pump, if you are on well water. Most well pumps operate on 220 VAC, while most home backup generators produce only 120 VAC.  Only a few produce both 120 and 220 volts. Most home well pumps require at least a 5,000 watt generator. I strongly recommend propane-fueled generators, especially in northern states–where diesel has gelling problems, in winter. At the same time that you buy your generator, you should buy the largest propane tank(s) that you can afford.

Idaho

Same Day Electric in Boise is a well-known Kohler dealer. They have clients in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and Nampa.

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In north Idaho, ACI Northwest in Coeur d’Alene is one of the largest Generac dealers.

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That big Amazon distribution center planned in Nampa? It won’t be built for awhile

Montana

If you live within 150 miles of Billings, take a look at TWEnterprises. They’ve been installing backup generators since 1982.

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Missoula Co. plans emergency zoning for cryptocurrency mines

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Do you handload? Check out Montana Gold Bullet. They are located in Kalispell, Montana.

Eastern Oregon

In the Pendleton region, Pendleton Electric Company is quote well-respected. They’ve been in business since 1956.

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For folks living in or near Bend, Summit Power Systems has what you need.

 

Eastern Washington

One of the best-known photovoltaics and generator installation companies in the Spokane region is Under The Sun.

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Sheriff Knezovich responds to AG’s letter regarding I-1639. Here is a quote from the news piece:

“Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s letter to sheriffs across the state has Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich shaking his head.

“The bottom line for these letters and for all the explaining suddenly is because this is a very poorly worded law. It had problems to begin with; it shouldn’t of ever have made the ballot,” Knezovich said.

Sheriff Knezovich still believes the initiative, which was approved by nearly 60 percent of Washington state voters last November, is unconstitutional.

“This is a law that’s going to cause a lot of problems for a very long time, and it’s unconstitutional on a few different arms. One is going to be the fact that secure storage isn’t defined and therefore how are you going to charge people with a crime thereof? They did that purposefully; they said ‘we’ll leave it up to the prosecutor’ which gives you a major problem. And that major problem is equal representation under the law,” he said.

In the letter, Ferguson states: “Firearms are not required to be stored in any particular place or any particular way.”

Sheriff Knezovich says even that is flawed.

“Well, that’s very true, but it’s very problematic for his law. Because how can you tell somebody that you’re going to be charged with all of these crimes and then tell them that ‘we’re not going to tell you how to store the weapons and we will just charge you with a crime?’ “

While the sheriff says he’s happy the attorney general finally put some of the points in writing, he still thinks the law will have consequences.

“The people of this state, it doesn’t matter democrat or republican are very upset about this law because it was sold to them as something that it wasn’t. This is going to be a problematic issue for all the politicians moving forward,” added the sheriff.”

Wyoming

High West Energy has locations in Cheyenne and Pine Bluffs. They are experienced in installing generators and generator transfer switches.

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Gov. Mark Gordon allows controversial Wyoming private school bill to become law without his signature

 

Send Your News Tips

Please send your American Redoubt region news tips and event announcements to JWR. You can do so either via e-mail or via our Contact form.




7 Comments

  1. you should buy the largest propane tank(s) that you can afford.

    Agreed, but 2X 250 gallon tanks on a manifold beats 1X 500 gallon tank, and 3X 250s beats them all. Separate shutoff valves on each, of course (empty one tank completely before shutting it off and opening another) and a concrete or concrete-filled block wall between tanks is a plus, but if one builds a protective enclosure for the tank(s), make sure there’s adequate ventilation to prevent accumulation of fumes. When connecting tank(s) to “usage points” burying the line is usually required, but bury it much deeper than code minimums, and running it through an oversized conduit (think at least 3″ PVC, minimum Schedule 40 (Schedule 80 – gray plastic electrical conduit) and 4″ shouldn’t be ruled out); as always, the trench will be the most expensive part, so do it once and do it deep, and don’t forget to map the exact location – to the inch – on a copy of your survey plat. Running a spare line between manifold and connection point, and capping it to keep it clean, before filling in the trench is not an unjustified expense.

    Own your tank(s) – renting may initially be cheaper, but it locks you into being supplied by the propane service renting the tanks. Owning means you can buy from any provider. If you bury the tank(s) building an underground vault – which is expensive – helps in preventing tank rust-out and makes inspection possible where direct burial precludes it.

    Don’t have propane now? Running propane lines in walls and capping them during construction or major remodeling create future opportunities. Don’t forget lines to locations suitable for (potential future) propane wall-mounted lighting. If buying Natural Gas appliances, ask about possible future conversion to propane; usually it’s just swapping valves and regulating orifices, but now probably also requires different electronic control boards. If propane conversion parts are available for the NG appliances you’re buying, I’d suggest getting them as part of the purchase – there might be an opportunity to get them at a lower price – and as appliance models get changed/updated/deleted those conversion parts may not be available in future years.

    There’s nothing wrong in having NG service, using NG appliances AND having quantities of propane on hand plus propane conversion parts, or using both. Example: NG whole-house furnace, but plumbed-in propane heaters in every room.

    Whatever the case, keep a supply of spare valves and fittings on hand, and the tools to install or fabricate them.

  2. Please add in Wenco generators. We have had our 15,000 watt propane Wenco for about 6 years now. Works well, is quiet, gets yearly service from local Electrical contractor who installed it. I check oil level monthly, and that is it. Uses a Briggs & Stratton engine, and the case is made of STEEL. They are made in Minnesota.

  3. Nosmo;

    Please explain to me why two or three 250s are better. I tried to figure it out myself, but the fill rate at 80% is the same no matter which way you go. I can see a possible advantage if you have a leak you’re only losing one tank at a time. But with three separate manifold connections it seems like you’re opening up for greater possibility for manifold and line leaks. I did purchase a refurbished 1145 water gallon tank that was filled with 983 propane gallons. I graded a flat spot and filled it with 8in of gravel that extends two feet from the ends as well as the sides for drainage. I also have the tank raised another 6 in by having the propane company weld 6 by 6 tube steel to the pre-existing legs. That gives me better air circulation under the tank, and easier access to the wet valve. I had that installed in order to fill smaller tanks at bulk prices. Which works great by the way. I appreciate your advice on the conduit and trenching, those are great ideas. I got a great deal on the tank refurbished with new gauges and valves including the wet valve. And thought I would add another one similar size if the right deal came up. So I would appreciate your thoughts on the advantages of multiple smaller tanks, rather than adding another large one. Thanks, 2bob.

    1. 2bob:

      “Two is one, one is none.” The total volume capacity of 2X 250 gallon tanks is the same as 1X 500 gallon tank, but if something happens to one tank, with 2X 250s you’re not completely up the proverbial creek. Single tank = single point of failure: valves, connections, the tank itself (the multi-tank manifold and single pipe to point of use is also a single failure point, which is the reason for a 2nd pipe in the buried conduit). Is having 2X 250 tanks more expensive then 1X 500? Yes. But….

      2X tanks also allow for positioning them apart (might be a “convenience of use” issue (barn for one, house for the other, manifold-connected with underground pipe and manual valves); security – if a calamity occurs to one tank, it’ll probably affect only the one tank; purchasing additional tanks as one finds them; adding “storage only” tanks, to be manually connected as needed; extra tank capacity could be a useful economic position if one discovers a short-term sale price on propane. Etc.

      RE: trenching & conduit – I always include a trenching plan as part of every construction plan, and conduit gets included. Example: When putting in a driveway or walkway – concrete, asphalt, gravel, whatever – it’s very reasonable to include trenched-in 2.5″ – 3″ Schedule 40 (or 80) PVC underneath the driveway every 10-15 feet, to accommodate future use like irrigation lines, electrical runs, waterlines, propane lines, etc. In both cases some fairly cheap pipe installed while the driveway or walkway location is still “just dirt” saves a tremendous amount of work and hassle later. Be sure to put the pipe in deep enough to not compromise the driveway or walkway, and well below the frost line if it’s a water line. Pro Tip: trench 6-8″ deeper and put one or two layers of 1″ thick 25PSi – 30PSI rated foam insulation board in the trench above the pipe, on top of the 3-5″ of sand over the pipe; underground piping should always be laid in a 3-5″ thick sand bed and covered with at least that much of sand, and I do that for conduit as well. Even if the foam board isn’t used because it’s not necessary, any future digging that brings up sand says “stop digging – there’s something important buried here.” (Not everyone documents buried lines, and not everyone looks at the documentation.) FYI, on long trench runs, concrete companies can deliver sand in a concrete truck to make putting sand in the trench easier – set the delivery chute over the trench and have the driver slowly drive along the trench. The time saved over shoveling and wheelbarrowing it is worth the expense

  4. In response to – AG’s letter regarding I-1639.
    Do we not live in a Constitutional Republic where “rule of law” applies to everyone?? Only in tyrannically controlled gov’s and this “socialist kingdom of Washington” does democracy rule, where the majority has say over what the minority is subjected to. Simply because the majority votes it in does not mean it’s correct or right. As has been proven throughout time, majority can be persuaded and bought off by all the gimmies and carrots dangled in front of them..

  5. I also have had good experience with refurbished propane tanks. They have new valves, gauges, and fittings, are repainted, and are half the price of new tanks.

    Another advantage, older tanks were fabricated with heavier steel plate. Mine weight about 60% more than new tanks the same size.

  6. I started reloading Montana Gold bullets back in the 1990s and have loaded thousands of them, mostly 115 grain 9mm JHP and and 180 grain .40 JHP. I like the JHPs because they have no exposed lead on the base of the bullet. I have some of both in my reloading room right now.

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