generators

mirime

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Being on TEG and here, I haven't come across any posts (though I'm sure I miss more than my share of posts) about generators.

I don't have an extra freezer because we don't have a generator, and since we live in Ohio, there are power outages. I would like to try my hand at freezing veggies and fruits, though.

So my question is twofold: how many of you have generators, and 2) what is a good one to get to power a small home (our home is 1100 sf)
 

patandchickens

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You do know that a filled chest freezer will hold its food frozen for at least 24 hrs without power, yes? Can be significantly longer depending on the temperature of the room it's in, etcetera. And of course in winter longer outages are not such a problem b/c you can just put the food outdoors (well you know what I mean, in secure containers in unheated garage or whatever).

I wouldn't worry about it unless you get >1 day power outages most years, and/or would keep the freezer in a warm place (which is not a great idea anyhow).

FWIW, we don't have a generator... I have thought about it from time to time but honestly the only two things we really "need" power for are the furnace (it's oil but of course the fan is electric so without electricity it won't go) and the well pump. Someday we may have a giant days-long outage from winter weather that leaves us regretting no generator for the furnace -- BUT we have a fireplace (albeit one whose chimney has not been checked since we bought the house and we have no idea if it's safe to use), want to buy a woodburning insert in the next few years, and the only SERIOUS hardship if we were waterless would be for the animals but they could drink water from our basement sump which conveniently is perpetually filled :p during wintertime.

My feeling about stuff in the fridge is that on the rare occasions we have a looong power outage, if some of the fridge stuff spoils then Oh Well; we don't actually have *that* much spoilable stuff in the fridge at any one time anyhow and have never had to throw everything out.

I think a generator is not really necessary *for us* and just buys into the notion that we would all curl up and die if we did not have all the electrical conveniences of life ;)

I think you have to look at your personal situation and ask, what would we do in a major long power outage if we did not have a generator, and does it make sense to incur the expense and aggravation of a generator just to avoid that? (Be aware that if you want the generator to kick on automatically when grid power fails, the generator must be permanently housed outdoors and you will need multiple hundreds of dollars' worth of electrician time to get it wired in properly. Do-it-yourself wiring in of generators can kill electrical linesmen working to repair downed power lines :/) For some people a generator is good sense; for others, maybe not so much.

JMO,

Pat
 

heatherv

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Nice post Pat! Thanks for mentioning about the food keeping for 24 hrs.

If the power outage happens to go longer than that, you can just have a cooking fest, and cook up what needs to be. And eat those things for the next couple days. I've done that if meats start thawing... but fruit and veggies I just leave in there, they've made out fine.

You could always go to the store and buy ice and keep it in there if it looks like it'll be longer.

You could also go out and purchase a generator if it looks like it's going to be even longer.

I'd say you don't need one at all, just to have an extra freezer. Esp. if you're only doing fruits and veggies, they don't spoil like meat and dairy. They have a few more days.

We have a gas stove, so we can still cook in power outages. Though in the past when we had electric, we'd just cook on the grill during power outages.
 

hoosier

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I don't think you have to have a generator to have a freezer, but if you have a long power outrage, you can't depend on being able to go out and buy one - the stores run out of them.

Pat - If you don't have eleectricity, I don't think your sump pump will be working! My brother's basement flooded because of a power outage and he couldn't find a generator.

We do have a generator. You might try buying one slightly used. Often times people purchase them during an outage then get tired of storing them and sell them.
 

patandchickens

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hoosier said:
Pat - If you don't have eleectricity, I don't think your sump pump will be working! My brother's basement flooded because of a power outage and he couldn't find a generator.
Ah, but we have a battery backup system. It is good for about a day and a half at LEAST at the rate our pump typically fires, and if we have a longer outage it can be connected to a car battery or anything like that to keep it going longer.

We *have* thought about this (and do have multiple occasions per year when we are glad of the battery backup sump pump)

;)

Pat
 

patandchickens

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heatherv said:
You could always go to the store and buy ice and keep it in there if it looks like it'll be longer.

You could also go out and purchase a generator if it looks like it's going to be even longer.
Which of course is why generators and ice are the first things to disappear from store shelves in the event of a long power outage... ;)

(Also toiletpaper. I have never understood that. Are there really THAT many people out there who do not have a week or two's supply of toilet paper at any one time? :p)

Pat
 

Colored Egg Farmer

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We have a generator for out house. Never had to use it though. We also have a generator in our moterhome so if we ever needed to keep the whole place lite we just stay in the moterhome. also we have huge industrial generators that run all the fans at or farm.
 

enjoy the ride

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Well here the longest I have been without power is two weeks. I missed the six weeks one which was a couple of years before I moved here. Usually the power is out for a week or more at least one time during the winter. I have a Generac 8000 kw (wish I got one size bigger,) that has an automatic transfer switch that is tied into my oversized propane tank.
It has worked faithfully for me. But propane is expensive to run (as I imagine everything else is now too) so I usually run it a couple of hours morning an night to keep the freezer, fridge and septic pump working.
If I had it to do over again, I would get a larger size, and one with those remote controls so you can turn it off and on from inside the house. Nothing like tramping out in a snow storm to turn it off at 11 pm.- in a place with mountain lions and bears- scarey and uncomfortable.
If you need it to run pumps you need to check your start load on the pump- a pump uses a good draw to start but when its running not so much.
Lights are not an issue really, heat may be but it's really a matter of the freezer (I raise my own meat,) and septic that makes it something I really want to have - along with keeping in touch with computer info.
Also I have one old fashioned dial up phone so it is still OK in most power outages. Sometimes the phone lines go out with the power lines but surprisingly the phone goes out a lot lest frequently.
I think power outages are going to be more common as fuel costs cause power companies to cut back on maintenance.
 

miss_thenorth

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We have a generator, bought it shortly after Y2K, at as really good price. Originally we bought it b/c our cottage was not connected to the grid, but found we still didn't use it. We have kept it all these years, mainly b/c we had a place to store it, and you just never know when you might need it.

We have used it on occasion, and I do think it is a handy thing to have, but as to necessary? you'd have to look at your situation... gas stove? gas fireplace... etc etc.
 

hoosier

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Pat - Glad to hear that. I guess I was thinking of those horrendous, week-long outages that got my brother.

I hadn't noticed the TP situation. I will have to observe next time! :D
 
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