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#185312 - 10/14/09 08:47 PM Re: No power [Re: Desperado]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Electric company updated messages.

Be prepared for an extended power outage.
What is extended 1 day 10 days?
They should just say we don't know!
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#185314 - 10/14/09 08:57 PM Re: No power [Re: Desperado]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2767
Loc: Alberta, Canada
<< "How long should the avg fridge / freezer (top and bottom) last before needing to get cooled again?" >>

In my experience, 6 hours is the best you can get. After that, you should view highly perishable items with a skeptical eye.

When you get power again, fill every nook and cranny with water jugs. Cover the exterior with a blanket when the power is off.


<< "Ice Cream never melts here when the power dies." >>

Correct. The calories don't count either. It's an emergency.


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#185322 - 10/14/09 09:40 PM Re: No power [Re: dougwalkabout]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Calories quit counting a long time ago I am afraid.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#185331 - 10/14/09 10:37 PM Re: No power [Re: Desperado]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
So generator working again... air filter was SOAKED and dripping fuel...

I have not been workin gon it this entire time either was working on RV genset which decided it wnats to non-stop surge.

Prepared couple months ago for winter and got genny parts so I had a spare filter and it worked like a charm.

Fridge is running first time since 9:45! Was trying to run it around 2.

Hope it cools down enough.
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#185332 - 10/14/09 10:41 PM Re: No power [Re: dougwalkabout]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 830
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
<< "How long should the avg fridge / freezer (top and bottom) last before needing to get cooled again?" >>

In my experience, 6 hours is the best you can get. After that, you should view highly perishable items with a skeptical eye.

When you get power again, fill every nook and cranny with water jugs. Cover the exterior with a blanket when the power is off


I don't let mine go more than 4-5 hours. At 4 hours, I'm rigging then generator, then go 4 on 4 off if I can't keep it on the generator continually. I keep the freezer spare space filled with those packs of waterless ice, and swap them in and out as space is needed on a day to day basis. That way, when the power goes out, we have some extra time.

Don't know about the blanket trick; never tried it, but even more important is keeping the door CLOSED. When you open the door (freezer or fridge), all the cold air drops out: it is heavier then the warm air in the room, which rushes in to replace the cold air. The new warm air now warms everything as it cools down.

Also we have a 2nd generator for back up. They tend to fail when you need them.

A local supermarket now carries dry ice on a continuing basis, so this is another option.

Did I mention we frequently lose power?
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#185337 - 10/14/09 11:28 PM Re: No power [Re: bws48]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Good info thanks!
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#185355 - 10/15/09 02:18 AM Re: No power [Re: Todd W]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Generator output at wrong frequency... around 52hz and voltage around 109. Not good for electronics.

Adjusted in the dark to 63hz and 125v unloaded, seems to be it will work for computers and other electronics but when the fridge or other large item is started it DROPS severely. I`m not sure if htis temp dip will harm things or not.. advice?
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#185362 - 10/15/09 03:03 AM Re: No power [Re: Todd W]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Researched more, computers have new power supplies (ANTEC are the ones I like) that can accept 47 to 62hz and 100 to 240v!!

Wahoo!

Now they are like laptop PSU and can easily handle generators.

Time to check my monitors next smile

Power just came back on as I was reading about the new PSU.
My existing one is 50 or 60hz.

I've been wanting a new computer with i7 processor looks like a new PSU will be needed.

Complete report tomorrow after I catch-up on work bills, etc.

I learned a TON!!

-Todd
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#185369 - 10/15/09 05:14 AM Re: No power [Re: Todd W]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
- Do not leave extension cords out to get rained or snowed on they are no fun to clean up when it's raining, cold and your hands are wet through the gloves.

- Do not store generator supplies all the way across the yard from the generator walking through 40mph wind and rain is no fun, and snow probably wouldn't be fun either.

- Do not keep spare gas far from genny (see above).

- Always bring paper towels with you in your pocket when working on something in the rain, snow, wind you will need them for something.

- Always carry a leathermen. (See above reasons why walking around sucks.)

- If you plan to use a generator have "inside only" extension cords so that your entire house does not get covered in garage nasties or outside mud and muck.

- Have your generator "power strip" ready and not in the basement requiring you to look through the dark basement with a flash light.

- Expect to get the floor dirty if you are constnatly going in and out working on something in a storm. Remove shoes when you get in the house. We use the indoor/outdoor entry rugs from Home Depot they are GREAT at catching dirt before it goes too far.

- Newer style power supplies (and most laptops) work just fine on a generator as do monitors.

- Putting anything on a fridge circuit is a BAD BAD idea due to the fridge requiring lots of power at start-up causing SEVERE voltage and frequency spikes on that circuit.

- Duracell jumper, 600w inverter, radio, light, 12v charger combo is awesome! It ran my router for nearly the whole 24 hours we had no power, re-charged my cell phone, and showed no usage. (Which was expected the router <6w) But it worked, and it had been setting for 2 months or so since I got it and charged it.

- Get a duracell all in one 600w instead of another PC UPS system as it serves MANY MORE purposes and cost the same amount of money and will probably run the computer longer too.

- Tripp Lite 600w line conditioners are NOT as sensitive as the 1200w model. Spend $25 more and get the 1200w model to correct voltage that the 600w does NOT. (Note that neither correct frequency.)

- APC UPS units do NOT like generator power for some reason, even through the tripp lite they were not accepting power. This is important if you think you can charge them while running your fridge and want to utilize the extra power so you can use something later from it. (I am going to test more of this tomorrow because these things are just good to save and shut down then frown )

- My RV generator (ONAN) has a severe surging problem. However, it can run the AC, 1000w halogon work lights, the microwave and a 1200 watt fan w/out blowing any fuses.. oh and then it surges in 10 seconds!! Grr I need to get this baby fixed, 1800rpm gas generator will last a life time and is a huge asset.

- A transfer switch is only $249 and CAN be hard wired to a generator plug someplace else via a 220v line. This is for an 8 outlet manual model.

- Running sensitive electronics like computers or TVs on the same generator as your fridge, well, microwave, or other high-draw appliance is probably a BAD idea unless your generator is over sized by a good % to accommodate this. IE: Your gen is 10kW but idles at 2.5kW that will help absorb the start/stop and peaks a lot better than one that maxes out at 5kW and idles at 1kW. The more the motor has to work to make power the harder its going to be on the appliances and the spikes it seems.

- If I did not work from the PC the only important things to run the generator for are the fridge, and getting well water (to shower). Obviously it would be nice to use the microwave but I did everything on our gas stove I could have done in the microwave. Other than hair dryer, mini-oven, microwave, dryer, and other appliances rarely used the lights are really the only other thing that need to run on the generator.

- Transfer switch + 6-8kW generator will run my whole house and well just not together. (including all electronics).

- I`ll probably get a new Honda Inverter generator to run my office since I work from home and being able to "work" is pretty important. (They can also be used for camping! Or if I wanted I can run them for the fridge at a later time.)

- Running extension cords through your house is no fun.

- Pulling out the fridge to get to the cord is no fun.

- $250 transfer switch will save a lot of head aches, and time. And if I have 2x220v in my pumphouse/gen room I can wire it up in NO TIME!

- The wrong frequency can cause your equipment to over heat, fry, and catch fire..

- A multi-meter is priceless tool when using the generators.

- Tarp Covered Car Ports do not like 40mph even when anchored with rope multiple times to heavy objects inside. I lost a leg, it was metal and it ripped off. The whole thing was shaking and moving side to side violently even though it was tied down extremely well inside with rope. Exterior anchors are probably a must but make it pretty useless already having tons of rope IN IT.

- Aluminum carport is in my future for storing stuff outside.

_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#185373 - 10/15/09 05:28 AM Re: No power [Re: Todd W]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Originally Posted By: Todd W
I`m not sure if htis temp dip will harm things or not.. advice?


Don't worry, it's Okay with modern laptops (after approx. 2003). In worst case (high voltage spike when the fridge motor shuts off) only the power supply brick may be damaged.

I see you're also running desktops? Instead of a new PSU it's better to invest into a good UPS unit with large capacity battery. APC has SmartUPS series which provides pure sine wave output your PC's are expecting.

A lot of great info, though! Thanks for sharing!



Edited by Alex (10/15/09 05:49 AM)

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