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Author Topic: What size/type generator can run the PD cycler?  (Read 4408 times)
kickingandscreaming
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« on: March 19, 2018, 08:56:40 AM »

I live in the Northeast and we recently have had a spate of Nor'easters.  Nasty, powerful storms like a hurricane with lots of snow.  The middle (of 3) recent storms knocked out my power (electricity, water, phone, internet-- the works) for 3 days.  The power first went out in the middle of the night and in the middle of my PD session.  Woke up to an alarm saying "power failure."  Of course I freaked out.  The next day I called the police to see if they could influence the electric crews that were all over my town to give me preferential medical priority, but no go.  So a very nice young fireman came over and brought me a generator.  When I hooked it up, it ran the cycler, but not really.  I tried to go through the usual steps to set it up, and it wouldn't work.  It just kept asking me for my weight and wouldn't progress through the set up.  So I called Baxter tech support and as I was talking with them my cycler threw a "Card Reader Error" and that moved the tech person to order me a new machine.  So I don't know if my cycler failed because it was its time to die, or whether it had something to do with the gererator not being powerful enough.  I know nothing about generators but it would seem that a certain level of power is needed to operate some things.  The generator on loan is a Honda 1000.  Don't ask me what the units are because I couldn't read it and wouldn't be sure anyway.

So my question is: what kind of generator is needed to power a cycler? Anyone here use one for a cycler?
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 01:20:30 PM »

If you are serviced by Eversource (based on your location, I think you are), you can pre-register with a letter signed by your MD as a life support patient and get priority power restoration.   I'm on the list, and even got a warning call before the last storm advising me of the possibility of power outages.  The life support certification has to be renewed every year.

Cyclers generally run off standard 15A circuits, but I don't how many of those 15amps it draws.  If the Honda 1000 means 1000 watts, it's only good for about 8amps at 120V.

I've found the Murphy does a great job of keeping the power on.  I bought a generator (Honea EU6500is; new model is EU7000is) about 6 years ago and haven't had a significant outage since.

The best generators for electronic equipment are the inverter style (Honda and Yamaha make some nice ones), but in any case, look for total harmonic distortion less than 5%.   Consider fuel choices as well - natural gas (plumbed in); propane; gas or diesel.  Most portables are gasoline.   There is also the issue of transfer switch vs. interlock.  Just avoid using a suicide cable.

I got my Honda from www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com , however, and ambitious sort could get a mil surplus one like https://www.ebay.com/itm/MEP-803A-10kw-Diesel-Generator-Military-120-240-60HZ-1-3-Phase-low-hours-/162954636630
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 03:22:02 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 07:10:48 PM »

Thank you SD that's a lot of information to process.  The little portable that I'm borrowing is an EU1000 so that's not very many watts.  As to Eversource,  I have submitted a letter from my clinic and was definitively told that they don't give preferential treatment to people on machines. I was told that numerous times during this and other storms.  I do get a phone call from them before each storm reminding me to put stuff aside or get the hell out.
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
Began PD (Cycler) 5/16
Blake nighsonger
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 08:24:45 PM »

 Hi SK , "Generac" whole house generator. I have one, it runs on natural gas. They can hook it up to any room or Appliance  like refrigerator , freezer ,furnace, air conditioner. Have it hooked up to my separate breaker of my x Nxstage cycler and pureflow. Comes on Automatically,It's great. Never lost power more then 12 hours but how nice it is! Self test  itself every tues. at 2pm. startes right up ,has warmer on eng. so in sub 0 wx. cranks right up. 
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 05:04:18 AM »

Thank you SD that's a lot of information to process.  The little portable that I'm borrowing is an EU1000 so that's not very many watts.  As to Eversource,  I have submitted a letter from my clinic and was definitively told that they don't give preferential treatment to people on machines. I was told that numerous times during this and other storms.  I do get a phone call from them before each storm reminding me to put stuff aside or get the hell out.
WTF?     Eversource sends me a confirmation I was on "life support priority" once I sent the form in, and sends me a renewal every year.  The letter stated that I would be given priority as crews reach my area, and that I could still have a period of outage until crews reach my area.

The term is "life support" user.

The nice thing about the natural gas whole house units is they come on automagically - no need to go out, plug in a portable, start it up, keep the portable refueled, etc.   The downside is co$t.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 05:06:20 AM by Simon Dog » Logged
Charlie B53
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 05:14:08 AM »


The small genset should have been adequate IF the Cycler was the ONLY thing powered with it. 

Most people fail to realize the amount of power it takes to operate a whole house.  Nor do they think of the liability of plugging in and powering the house without a safety inter-tie that disconnects the house from the outside power line.  You certainly do NOT want to feed power back into that outside line, killing any lineman that is working to repair what should be a dead line.

Manual disconnects can work, iit is just one more thing you will have to do before powering up any home generator.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 06:20:48 AM »

In addition to the safety issues, backfeeding into the grid will suck power away from your generator.

Three ways to attach a portable:

1. Interlock in panel.    Allows gen to power house while assuring main breaker is turned off, thus preventing backfeed to the street.    Caution - You can backfeed if the cover if off the panel as that disables the interlock.

2. Transfer switch - Switches selected circuit over to generator.   Manually operated for use with portables; automatic with whole-house natural gas plumbed in generators.

3. Suicide cable - Double male cable plugged into generator and outlet, usually an electric dryer outlet to get both legs of 220 fed.   BAD IDEA, as noted by the name.   Also, can backfeed street if main not turned off before use.   Many people think they are clever for making such a cable (there is a reason why you cannot buy such a cable ready made).   They are stupid, not clever.

I prefer the interlock for use with a portable, as it allows me to select which circuits to power.  One must be cognizant as to total load and generator capacity.    I always turn off the AC and electric dryer breakers when running my house on the generator.   It's also a good idea to try to balance the load on both legs.  When I installed my interlock, I moved breakers around so my two furnaces (natural gas w/electric blowers) were on different legs.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 06:24:05 AM by Simon Dog » Logged
Charlie B53
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 01:45:03 PM »


Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, de-humidifiers, all have much larger start-up current draws and  need  to be considered in sizing a generator and balancing loads.  Compressors can draw up to five times their running amp draw during their start up before getting to running RPM.  I've seen this error too many times on shop air compressor when a young electrician fails to install adequate sized slow-blow fusing.  Works for a short time then blows the breakers, happens repeatedly until an old guy finds the error. Very irritating when you can't get a lot done without air.
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Whamo
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 01:57:00 PM »

Has anyone installed a generator using the new dialysis machine from Baxter?
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jcanavera
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2018, 07:14:02 PM »

I have a tri-fuel Yamaha 2000.  It runs on gasoline, natural gas, or propane.  It is a true inverter so it provides clean power to our Baxter Cycler.  I've used it twice since purchasing it using propane as the fuel.  For me I just put it out on the porch hook up a propane tank, start it and run an extension cord into the house and plug it into the cycler.  It's very quiet.  My longest run time has been 4 1/2 hours.  I also carry it camping incase we lose power.  It will run off one of the trailers propane tanks.  Propane or natural gas is very clean, safe to store, and you have no shelf life like gasoline does.  There should be no issues with the new Baxter cycler with my unit.  There is a good thread in the forum titled Generators and RV's where we talk about generators more, along with some pictures.

Jack
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 07:16:35 PM by jcanavera » Logged
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2018, 02:34:15 PM »

Quote
I have a tri-fuel Yamaha 2000.  It runs on gasoline, natural gas, or propane.  It is a true inverter so it provides clean power to our Baxter Cycler. 

Thank you, Jack.  i'll look into it.  But one question.  You say that it goes for 4.5 hours.  My cycler program is over 10 hours.  Could this generator work for that?
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 06:59:51 AM »

For long run time and clean power look at the Honda EU7000is.   I got the predecessor model, the EU6500is, from electricgeneratorsdirect.com and have had great luck with it.     At less that full load (the cycler will be WAY less than full load), it goes 14 hours, so as long as you don't try to run the A/C, toaster, or electric drier you should be able to get one of your 10 hour treatments.
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jcanavera
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2018, 08:57:59 AM »

Quote
I have a tri-fuel Yamaha 2000.  It runs on gasoline, natural gas, or propane.  It is a true inverter so it provides clean power to our Baxter Cycler. 

Thank you, Jack.  i'll look into it.  But one question.  You say that it goes for 4.5 hours.  My cycler program is over 10 hours.  Could this generator work for that?

It runs much longer than that.  What I'm saying is that the longest I have had to use it was 4.5 hours.  We lost power in the middle of the night so my wife was just over half way through her 10 our cycle.  So the generator finished up the treatment cycle. 

The basics are our Baxter HomeChoice Pro needs about 380 watts of power with the bag heater on and with the cycler pump operating.  My 2000 watt portable Yamaha running at 50% power consumes 17.500 BTU's of power an hour.  A 20 lb propane gas bottle can hold the equivalent of 441,600 btu's of energy.  Considering my generator providing power for the cycler only will probably run at half load speed, the math says a 20 lb tank will last a little less than 25 hours or so.  I have two tanks in the garage for generator use only.  A typical full 20 lb tank holds about 4.8 gallons of propane.    Here's the link to the generator I bought and the vendor I bought it from.  https://www.motorsnorkel.com/ef20isv2-yamaha-generator.html They sell the generator and the conversion kit.  Once installed the generator will run gasoline, propane, or natural gas.  So once the kit is installed it will run any of the 3 fuels.  The key is gasoline will deteriorate over time in storage or within the fuel tank.  Propane and natural gas doesn't deteriorate and the engine burns clean without carbon deposits.  https://www.motorsnorkel.com/ef20isv2-yamaha-generator.html  Their is a supplier out there that builds propane conversion kits for the Honda for the 2000 watt Honda generator also.  But their kit requires the Honda to be run on propane only.  The vendor in the link I'm supplying provides that multiple fuel source capability, once the kit is installed. 

Let me know if you have further questions.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 09:01:31 AM by jcanavera » Logged
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2018, 09:31:59 AM »

Thank you, Jack and SD.
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
Began Hemo 11/15 @6%
Began PD 1/16 (manual)
Began PD (Cycler) 5/16
Simon Dog
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2018, 10:35:04 AM »

Quote
A typical full 20 lb tank holds about 4.8 gallons of propane
If you use Blue Rhino exchange tanks you only get a 15lb fill.    A few years ago it was 17lbs, but they hid a price increase (and settled a class action case because of it).  The "pay by the lb fill places" will fill to 20lb.
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jcanavera
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2018, 02:37:26 PM »

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A typical full 20 lb tank holds about 4.8 gallons of propane
If you use Blue Rhino exchange tanks you only get a 15lb fill.    A few years ago it was 17lbs, but they hid a price increase (and settled a class action case because of it).  The "pay by the lb fill places" will fill to 20lb.

Very much aware of that.  We have a tank exchange provider at the grocery store that I work at and those 20 lb tanks are not full.  I remind the customers that every time I do a tank exchange.  That's why I bought my tanks and take them to a refiner who puts the proper amount of liquid propane in them.  Personally I consider the tank exchange business a scam since nowhere do they post that the tanks aren't technically filled to their capacity.

Jack
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2018, 08:51:55 PM »

Personally I consider the tank exchange business a scam since nowhere do they post that the tanks aren't technically filled to their capacity.
Sure they do .... in fine print.  Just like the OJ containers at the supermarket did when they standardized on the 59oz half gallon.

Google "Blue Rhino Class Action" for details.   One of the few class actions I've seen that required the defendant to pay in dollars, rather than coupons applicable towards future product purchase.
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