I live in north Missouri where ice storms can readily
happen..... and knock power out
I also live alone and in rented duplex....so my needs
for power are smaller and require more portability than
Having said that... I'm wondering if buying a small
Honda generator and 120 volt devices is better than say
getting jump start batteries and using them with 12volt
devices (lights, etc)
But would a 1000 watt Honda unit suffice? Its abt all I
could afford right now..... and also have good
Maybe a mix of BOTH would work best? The generator for
bigger devices and 12 volt jump battery for lighting,
1000 watts (8.3 amps) will run any refrigerator, freezer, but probably not a
furnace or boiler. Plenty of room for lighting, TV, cable box, computer,
and the like. If all you need is a reading light, batteries are OK. I have
a couple of kerosene lamps, but they can be a danger with pets or kids. In
my life, I've only ever had one power failure of any length, about 30 hours
after a hurricane. Given that record I've not justified a generator.
Been a while since I measured the amp draw of my furnace. The old one was
five or six amps, less than I'd expected. Gas valve, and third horse blower.
Not all that much. I'd figure the refrig as higher load, with the start
current needs of the compressor.
If you can use kerosene safely, it puts out heat. Which is useful in the
I'm not so sure. My refrigerator draws 4-500watts but the starting
surge is over 1100. My furnace is similar, but the initial surge
for the pump is about 1200--- when the fan kicks in it jumps to 1300
for a second. I have an energy star freezer that doesn't cool
food fast-- but it only draws 2-300 watts. [I couldn't catch it
starting- wish there was a high/low memory on the kil-o-watt meter]
All these were measured with a Kil-o-wat meter last week. [the
dishwasher comes in at 1200watts.<g>]
There's a wild-ass guess chart here-- your appliances are sure to be
And no matter how well you plan it- you'll be outside congratulating
yourself on how you switched off the furnace to run a load of dishes-
and come back inside to see your wife drying her hair with a hairdryer
while a pot of coffee runs through the electric drip machine. The
5500 watt generator was ok with it. [but not when I forgot and
tried to pop some popcorn in the microwave]
I wouldn't trade you my ice storms for your hurricanes-- but I've
managed to lose power for a week several times in my life. 2 days
used to be routine- but this past outage this week is the first time
we've lost power in some time.
But I'm old, and I could- so I bought a generator this time around.
It's 5500 watts- 8250 surge- so aside from the hum in the background
power outages don't change our routine much.
A 1000 watt generator could operate lighting but not much more. Forget
the refrigerator. Even a more powerful generator would use more gas to
keep food in the fridge than it would be worth. Better to get a couple
of plastic coolers and put the food outside during the outage. Consider
any frozen food as lost (unless it is below zero outside). For lights,
get an inverter and a couple of deep cycle batteries. This arrangement
would give you lights for almost a week if you are careful.
I havn't tried a fridge on 1000 watts. Might work, never know. For power
cuts in the winter, fuel based light is good, as it produces heat. Candles,
oil lamps, camping mantle lanterns, and so on. 1000 watts will run most
furnaces for heat. But not for AC. Food outside in the cold is good idea.
Use of resources.
And odorless,colorless,poinsonous CO gas.
In a winter situation,indoor use is not a good idea.
Use snow in a insulated cooler.don't just leave food outside to keep
cold;sunlight will heat it up.
one more thing to consider is carbon monoxide poisoning.You need a CO alarm
in your apartment,if you're going to be using a generator near it.
I used a 12V/20AH gel cell to power flourescent lights for 7 days back in
2004 after Hurricane Charley,but that was August and 90 degF temps.
I powered a 12V flourescent like they sell for closets,powered by 8 AA
cells,but has a jack for external power,I had made up a cable well before
the outage.I also powered a pair of 12V fans salvaged from PC power
supplies to keep a breeze going over me at night,so I could sleep in the
You can charge them from your car's system,and get a 12V cellphone
I have a 2 tube camping lantern that uses 4 D cells,runs 40hrs on one tube
or 20 on two. cost $12 about 4 yrs ago.
I also made up a 8 D cell battery pack with a 2.5mm power connector so it
can be used with either the closet fluorescent or the fans,as the alkalines
hold a charge for years.
email@example.com (David Combs) wrote in
sure the LED model will last longer,but the level of light is going to be
not as good as the fluorescent type.The LED model will let you get around a
room without bashing your shins,but I suspect you won't like reading a
book(or doing other tasks) with it.
LED lanterns can be found at Home Depot,Target,Wal-Mart,Lowes.
All of those places have a wide selection of battery-powered lights;
Target seems to have the best LED flashlight selection.
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