Adding a generator.

My sister lives in an area where the power goes out frequently. She has asked me more than once to "just" come out and add a plug for her so she can use a generator to keep her food from going bad. This is never going to happen. Not so much because I would not do it for her, it is more because after the first season or two of no maintenance on her generator, it would not crank anyway. I know this from listening to the kids complain about the four wheelers not working or the lawnmower is "broke"
If I were to set her up with a generator, I think I would add a lock out switch to her existing panel. This way, she could use anything in her house. The only bad thing about doing this would be if she could not use self control and try to overload the circuit. Having the breaker trip a few times might give her the message.
When the power goes off, just turn the breakers off to the bedrooms and huddle in the den with TV and gas heat.
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On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 11:11:24 -0700, Smitty Two

I have suggested that to her. Use a cooler for sandwich meat/milk and leave the door to the fridge shut.
She lives in Alabama so it doesn't get really cold, but suggested that she try to put a couple of those cooler ice packs outside and see if they refreeze. (winter time outages, of course)
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On 7/15/2011 1:56 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

refrigerator, well and furnace, few lights and TV. Since not everything runs or turns on at once, the generator can handle everything it is connected to. It does not include big ticket items like electric range, microwave, air conditioner or electric hot water heater.
If all your sister needs is to control refrigerator, a small generator plugged into an extension cord would do. It is a PITA to make sure gasoline is fresh and run every now and then to make sure lines are clean and it works. My wife and I are getting older and I doubt if she could handle it herself.
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I start my generator on the first weekend of every month and let it run for five or ten minutes.
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Metspitzer wrote:

Sounds like a case for one of the relatively inexpensive nat/lp gas fueled automatic backup generator packages. Automatic transfer switch for the loads it can handle, automatic exerciser, nat/lp fuel so no gasoline going stale, etc. If you can make sure it gets an oil change each year with good synthetic oil it should do just fine.
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