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Discussion Starter #1
Well, the ice storm was yesterday, the power stayed on,,
today (at 6:00am) the wind knocked down a tree that took out two main feeders,,
I guess we will be without power for a while,,,:dunno:

I have propane gas logs,, and a propane stove,, we are good for heat,,

My $39 Harbor Freight inverter is powering the internet stuff perfectly,, and several LED room lamps,,

so,, I am good until we need water, or a couple hours go by, and the fridge needs run,,,

I may invest in another AGM battery and a larger inverter,, to power the fridge,,,

I hate running a generator for the little electricity that we need,,,

So, tell us your power outage story,,, :bigthumb:
 

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We have a whole house generator. Too much beef in freezer and gets to cold here in the winter to chance a power outage for to long. We’ve been out 5 days a couple of times. Last ice storm was 2015 if I remember right and we were out 5 days then.
We also have to have water for cattle also.
 

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We got 4 inches of the sleet/snow/freezing rain stuff up here in Front Royal. Power still on, no issues there.

Aren't LED light great, very low power consumption means you can run more or if you forget to turn off the lights in the basement or garage it's not gonna break the bank on your electric bill.

I have always told people that when the power goes out, if your electric needs are low, spend $50-100 bucks on an inverter for your car. That will keep all your stuff charged and with LEDs you can have lights. As you mentioned, why fire up the genny when you only need a few hundred watts of power.
 

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If you think power will be out a while usually that happens in cold weather which means perishable food could be put outside in a box.
We used to do that years ago, part of the roof is easy to get to from an upstairs window, food in large box with lid.
Ever since I bought a large generator I've either never used it or by the time I get everything ready power is restored.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As you mentioned, why fire up the genny when you only need a few hundred watts of power.
I am amazed,, the 750 watt HF inverter has been running almost 3 hours,,
and the cooling fan in the inverter has only come on twice,, each time for less than a minute,,

It is running the internet stuff, charging two laptops,, several LED lamps,

I plugged in a 9 inch fan about an hour ago,,, to try to move some heat further to the back of the house (from the gas logs)

Well,, that fan did not like the modified sine wave when on low speed,,
I changed it to high speed, and the fan is running perfectly!! :good2:

I feel like Lisa on Green Acres,,,

 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you think power will be out a while usually that happens in cold weather which means perishable food could be put outside in a box.

We used to do that years ago, part of the roof is easy to get to from an upstairs window, food in large box with lid.
My mother told me about living in Pittsburgh in the 1930's,,,

They had a window that faced north,, in the winter, they had a "window fridge" that they would install.
It would keep stuff cold all winter, no ice needed,,

Then they got the natural gas powered fridge,, it worked even when the electricity went out,,

Mom had the gas fridge removed in 1965,, and got a self-defrost electric fridge,,,
the electricity bill went up 25%,, and the gas bill did not go down one cent,,,

Boy,, was mom mad about that,,, :nunu:

That gas fridge was really cool,, underneath, there was a panel you could open,
when the fridge needed to cool more, a small burner would come on, similar in size to a Bernzomatic propane torch,, but quiet,,,

The burner would run for a while,, and the fridge would be cool,,
there was even several ice cube trays,,,
I guess it was about a 12 cubic foot fridge,,,

Ahhhh,,, the "good" old days,,, :laugh:
 

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First thing I did when I bought my house was install a whole home generator. I have yet to lose power since for a real test. :dunno:

I hope you get your power back soon.
 

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My mother told me about living in Pittsburgh in the 1930's,,,

They had a window that faced north,, in the winter, they had a "window fridge" that they would install.
It would keep stuff cold all winter, no ice needed,,

Then they got the natural gas powered fridge,, it worked even when the electricity went out,,

Mom had the gas fridge removed in 1965,, and got a self-defrost electric fridge,,,
the electricity bill went up 25%,, and the gas bill did not go down one cent,,,

Boy,, was mom mad about that,,, :nunu:

That gas fridge was really cool,, underneath, there was a panel you could open,
when the fridge needed to cool more, a small burner would come on, similar in size to a Bernzomatic propane torch,, but quiet,,,

The burner would run for a while,, and the fridge would be cool,,
there was even several ice cube trays,,,
I guess it was about a 12 cubic foot fridge,,,

Ahhhh,,, the "good" old days,,, :laugh:

My Grandmother had a kerosene refrigerator; I believe it was a "Servell". My Mother cooked on a kerosene cook stove; still seems strange to me. Each burner had a round wick like in the old kerosene lamp; smokey, but it worked. Yeah, those were the days. Electricity, but no running water and therefore we heated our water on the stove and bathed in a wash tub. Outdoor facilities, including the water pump outside of the kitchen door.

We had a pot belly wood burning heating stove in the kitchen and a kerosene heating stove in the living room. Hitting that old cold linoleum floor in the morning was a real experience...as was dipping the ice crystals out of the water bucket!
M
 

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Most folks seems to need a generator in the winter. I only need one in the summer to run the A/C.

In the winter we have a wood stove and 3 cord of wood stored. For light we have a couple Aladdin lamps. Water - our spring is literally 10 steps from the front porch.

Our power does off much more in the summer than winter. It can be as calm a day as can be and it will go off. Even though we are very rural the power company is great. The power will be off for either 2 hours or 24 hours it seems. It usually goes off on those stifling humid days hence the need for A/C.

I bought a cheap Champion 3500W generator a few years ago for around $400. I am surprised at how quiet it is. The generator sits on the front porch which is open and a 15’ generator cord running in through a window. 2 A/C units plugged unto that and one 20’ 12/3 cord run to the kitchen for the refrigerator. I alternate between the refrigerator and freezer if the power is out for a long time.

My biggest issue is notifying the power company of an outage. Our house is the only permanent residence on our line. There is no cell service and our internet is dependent on power. If the power goes out so does the internet as there are power boosters every mile on the cable line that power from the same power lines.

I have plans to wire in a proper generator setup to my breaker box. Just that there is always something else that is needed and have never been able to afford the setup.
 

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Power outages

We live literally almost at the end of a power line that has only one feed and no loop. If we have any weather, I'm always surprised if our power DOESN'T go out. I can usually even tell where the issue is as there are several stretches of the line that go through tall trees and usually a limb or a tree is on the line. Usually if we lose power it's for 3-4 hours unless a pole is broken. Then it's 3-4 for the first crew to come and realize they need a pole and pole setting truck and another 2-3 before the right equipment is on site.

What's the worst we've had? Hmmm, ice storm in 1994- we were out for I think 10 or 11 days. Hurricane Isabell- 12 days, other tropical storms- anywhere from a week to 10 days. The ice storm caused me to buy a portable generator, Isabell prompted a whole house unit.

The best line I remember was my wife talking to the power company, (Dominion Battery and Candle) after Isabell. The crew had been working in our area and left before we got power back. My wife calls and the person on the other end asked her if we were sure the power was out- did she flip a switch? I thought my wife was going to crawl through the phone and strangle someone but her reply was measured- "I'm looking a a power pole, wires and the transformer lying on the ground. I can flip a switch but I can tell you no matter how many times I flip that switch nothing is going to happen until they fix those wires." It took another day or so before we got power back. There are several of us in the little subdivision with whole house generators. I think we are the only ones who shut down the generator at night.

Treefarmer
 

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Have a 5500 Watt, (6250 surge Watt) I bought 13 years ago.
10 HP Briggs OHV engine, pretty easy on gas.

Think I paid around $300 for it back then.

Maintenance is check it out once a year before hurricane season, put a load on it with two 1600 Watt
electric heaters and check frequency with DVM.
Change out the 2 gallons of gas I keep in it with Stabil treatment added.
Tank holds 7 gallons.

Only bad thing, engine doesn't have an oil filter which means the oil has to be changed out every
24 hours of run time (about 1 quart).

Never had a problem with it, one or two cranks with choke on, starts up, un-choke and ready to go.

Have 250 run hours on it those 13 years, when you need it, you need it, wouldn't be without it.
 

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Our power does off much more in the summer than winter. It can be as calm a day as can be and it will go off. Even though we are very rural the power company is great. The power will be off for either 2 hours or 24 hours it seems. It usually goes off on those stifling humid days hence the need for A/C.
Same here. I have 120 hrs. on the generator so far and most of that time has been on clear blue sky days.

My biggest issue is notifying the power company of an outage. Our house is the only permanent residence on our line. There is no cell service and our internet is dependent on power. If the power goes out so does the internet as there are power boosters every mile on the cable line that power from the same power lines.
You could always send the power company a postcard. :)

Don't laugh but maybe you should consider getting a beginners ham radio license. You could easily radio someone nearby to report the outage for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have a 5500 Watt, (6250 surge Watt) I bought 13 years ago.
10 HP Briggs OHV engine, pretty easy on gas.

Think I paid around $300 for it back then.
My SIL ordered a similar generator today, watt-wise,, maybe 6,000 run,,,
BUT it is dual fuel,, it will run on propane,,, :yahoo:

It cost him $600,, and will be delivered Tuesday,,,

He could not get the 8HP Briggs powered 4KW generator to run,,
I told him I wanted it,, and it should be an easy fix,,
the old one has less than 100 hours,, I am sure it just needs a carb cleaning,,,
It is even electric start,, we have always hand cranked it because it has been that easy to start,,
No battery to maintain was good,,,

That generator will probably be the Christmas gift for my other daughter that does not have one,,,:good2:
She just got a freezer this year,, so now a generator is pretty much a necessity,,,
 

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You could always send the power company a postcard. :)

Don't laugh but maybe you should consider getting a beginners ham radio license.

You could easily radio someone nearby to report the outage for you.
CT is in rural Pennsylvania,, I would bet a simple CB radio would be enough to get the message out,,

there are L O T S of CB radios still being used in PA,,, :good2:
 

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The issue that prompted me to buy a generator was a mid summer storm that knocked out power for 14 hours.
Thats not a lot, but at the time, we had no idea how long it would be. There were no estimates available back then, and some areas were without power for days.
After that I bought a 5500W (running) generator and didnt have need of it for quite a while, until last Spring when we had bad storms and tornados come through.
We were again only down for about 14 hours, which was amazing considering several areas in town were without power for over a week, and we are not in town, or even close.

During that time, I ran the freezer and fridge, alternating between the two every hour, a window AC unit and one light in the house.

That one got us thinking a bit more about our situation.
If we had needed water, we had no way to easily hook up the generator to the well. We also need a way to charge or use electronic devices, which means an inverter is needed too.
Hopefully soon I can get a real transfer switch installed so that I can run what needs run when the power goes out.

Now, this certainly isnt on the level of some of you, but with the local history with tornados, and the massive damage they can cause, and power outages that go along with them, one never knows if it will be a few hours without power, or a week or more.
As I learned in the Scouts, Be Prepared, and so far, Im not as prepared as I feel like I should be.
 

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The issue that prompted me to buy a generator was a mid summer storm that knocked out power for 14 hours.
Thats not a lot, but at the time, we had no idea how long it would be. There were no estimates available back then, and some areas were without power for days.
My compelling event was a few years ago when there was a big summer storm and we were without power for 3 1/2 days. Fortunately a neighbor shared his 8KW generator and we ran long extension cords to our house and another house to power the refrigerators and freezers. Without it we would have lost all our perishable food. After that I had a spare breaker installed with an interlock and an outside receptacle so I can power the whole house. I also marked the breakers that need to be turned off (water heater and central air) with bright orange stickers and I keep a magnetic flashlight stuck to the front of the breaker panel. I also keep a "generator box" in the closet with my main feed cable, a can of starting fluid and anything else I might need to get the generator cabled up and running. It takes less than 10-mins from lights out to lights back on.

We've had several substantial outages since getting the generator. The most recent was a 6+ hour outage last winter on a 0-degree morning.

As I learned in the Scouts, Be Prepared, and so far, Im not as prepared as I feel like I should be.
I try to keep at least 10-15 gallons of gas on hand at all times (plus a full generator tank). That certainly won't last forever but running in a true power conservation mode it should last quite a while.
 

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Same here. I have 120 hrs. on the generator so far and most of that time has been on clear blue sky days.



You could always send the power company a postcard. :)

Don't laugh but maybe you should consider getting a beginners ham radio license. You could easily radio someone nearby to report the outage for you.
When we lived in our previous place over 20 years ago we were off grid (meaning no utilities) I did start studying for my license but never followed through with it.

CT is in rural Pennsylvania,, I would bet a simple CB radio would be enough to get the message out,,

there are L O T S of CB radios still being used in PA,,, :good2:
A CB signal won’t get out of my hollow - cell signals, radio, and TV won’t get in either.

—————-

I’ve made the trip to town before to call the power company. I now have a tracfone to keep in the truck for emergencies when we are traveling outside our area. I found a couple places up and down the road about 2 miles from the house where I can get a signal to call.

Funny thing is - and I know nothing about these cell or smart phones - the last time we had a power outage I tried something different. I found where you can text the power company. I printed the instruction page out and tried it from my deck the last time and it worked! I showed no cell signal but it went through. I then tried some different places in the house to set the phone and found a sweet spot I think - the phone received texts from them every so often with updates.
 

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Texts in emergencies

When we lived in our previous place over 20 years ago we were off grid (meaning no utilities) I did start studying for my license but never followed through with it.



A CB signal won’t get out of my hollow - cell signals, radio, and TV won’t get in either.

—————-

I’ve made the trip to town before to call the power company. I now have a tracfone to keep in the truck for emergencies when we are traveling outside our area. I found a couple places up and down the road about 2 miles from the house where I can get a signal to call.

Funny thing is - and I know nothing about these cell or smart phones - the last time we had a power outage I tried something different. I found where you can text the power company. I printed the instruction page out and tried it from my deck the last time and it worked! I showed no cell signal but it went through. I then tried some different places in the house to set the phone and found a sweet spot I think - the phone received texts from them every so often with updates.
Text is the way to go in low signal or jammed signal situations. Voice takes a lot more bandwidth and texts can be sent through the system in short bursts where a voice link fails. In areas with severe damage, it's almost impossible to get a voice call through as too many people overload a damaged system but texts will sometimes sneak through.

Treefarmer
 

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Text is the way to go in low signal or jammed signal situations. Voice takes a lot more bandwidth and texts can be sent through the system in short bursts where a voice link fails. In areas with severe damage, it's almost impossible to get a voice call through as too many people overload a damaged system but texts will sometimes sneak through.

Treefarmer
Luckily they make it easy - I just have to enter “out” then send to the certain number. After that if they want a response it is either “yes” or “no”. First and only time I ever used text.
 
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