Emergency power system for one perosn: Generator or battery system?

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On Dec 20, 8:22 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Yes. Run the furnace. A gas furnace produces heat by burning natural gas. The only thing that requires electricity is the sparker to light the flame (negligible), and the blower (usually a small 1/3-1/2HP motor).

Forget the microwave. I have a Honda 1000 and a SMALL microwave. Startup current is over 1000W even on a small microwave. The Honda will run my window unit AC, though.
Have you got a gas cooktop/oven in your apartment? All those require is a tiny amount of electricity to run the sparker and hold the safety shutoff valve open.
These people that say you can't run anything off a 1000W generator have no clue about electricity. Few if any of your true "critical" systems at home require more than a few hundred Watts. It's when you try to run them all simultaneously that you run into trouble.
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On Dec 20, 3:28 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Where would you run a gen that is at least 15 feet away, where hopefully no Co enters your home and it wouldnt get stolen at the complex. Neighbors might just say fumes bother them since they are out of power. The quiet Honda inverter is expensive, if you have a porch it might work, but it could easily poison you even with windows and doors closed.
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Hmmmm... agree
That's kind of why I didn't want a gas engine powered solution.... the potential CO problem
But..... what abt deep discharge batteries? Wont they give off fumes if in the house as well? Must they be outside as well?
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 19:20:40 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

If you use batteries, use "starved electrolyte" or "AGM" batteries. No gassing. Optima YellowTops are a good reasonable solution - or go with Hawker Genesis EPs if your budget stretches that far (they are PRICEY, but excellent batteries)
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On Dec 20, 10:22 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Optima batteries are GARBAGE. Everyone I know who's tried them has been sadly disappointed with their performance.
Those so-called "deep cycle" batteries are also GARBAGE. They don't last.
The only lead-acid batteries that are any good these days are true golf cart batteries.
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On Dec 22, 12:45�pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

yeah no batteries last long, your far better off using a inverter connected to your vehicles battery.
deep cycle batteries have just a one year warranty and their capacity decreases fast over a period of a few years
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On Mon, 22 Dec 2008 09:45:56 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

And those can be crap too - I would NOT recommend flooded cell batteries for the average user.
Optimas are top notch if properly used.
The Hawkers are WAY better, but at a much higher price.
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On Mon, 22 Dec 2008 09:45:56 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Well, that may or may not be true, but I will agree that a couple of people I've known who bought them and who were disappointed had known electrical problems with their vehicles they chose to address by buying the Optima battery rather than fix the electrical problems. Idiots. So maybe the problem with Optima batteries is the people who buy them.
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On Dec 20, 7:20 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Batteries would be good for 12v RV flourescent lights and thats about it, unless you spend 1-2000, now figure the cost to maintain them, maybe 20-40 a month, and an inverter. If its just lights ok
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

How are you going to run the furnace since you rent? It's not like you can rewire it for operation from an extension cord. Or are you going to use the kitchen stove for heat? (hopefully it's gas)
I just tried out my little Yamaha generator (inverter, 2000W continuous) today for the first time feeding the house. It will power my fridge and furnace and a few lights all at once with no problems -- but it will not power the fridge and both freezers at once if they are all starting at the same time.
I actually replaced a few of the compact fluorescents with 100W incandescent bulbs because the generator was not happy with all the inductive loads I had initially. It kept idling down and then surging. The Honda EU2000i might have handled everything better even though it's only rated 1600W because you can disable the "Smart Throttle" on it. (It's on all the time on the Yamaha) OTOH, maybe I just need to set the idle a little faster on the Yamaha.
But I don't need to run both freezers at the same time, and in an emergency in the winter, could just put all the food in big cardboard boxes out in the garage and leave the freezers unplugged (and open so they don't stink.)
Bob
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I don't know
The more advice I get about this the more I'm starting to think that "bugging out" is better option..... that is to pick a predetermined place to go and stay till electricity comes back up
Maybe I should forget abt buying gear for staying put (generator, etc)..... and instead buy gear for packing up and hiking out (backpack, clothing, camp gear, etc)??
What say?
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On Dec 20, 8:13 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Gas light, camping stove, battery tv.
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Why not if you rent? Give me five minutes and the furnace will be running. When power comes back, another five minutes and it is back on the grid. It is a simple two wire setup. Google "wirenuts"
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Sure, *you* can, you're old. ;-) The OP sounded kind of young to me; not much experience.
Bob
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a cheap harbor freight 2500 watt generator is probably best bet for cheap infrequent use
batteries dont last but a few years.:(
A 1000 watt 1500 surge inverter with jumper cable connection to the gals car would provide a rotating power source in a emergency. no fuel storage, no noisey generator, useful on trips. cost around a 100 bucks:)
I have 3 generators, a 800 watt one, a 2500 watt one and a 4000 watt fuel piggie.
but mostly we have used the 1000 watt inverter........
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run off you vehicle with it idiling, provides power, no fuel storage, no cranky hard to start infrequently used generator. inverters have lots of advantages, just piuck the size you want. add jumper cables for quick connection.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber“280
We have used our inverter for trips, picnics where there is no power etc.
had wonderful time with sno cone machine at a picnic grove with no power. kids loved making sno cones
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At an apartment complex leave the keys in a running motor? Maybe in a gated, guarded complex. What about alternator life, or the car looses coolant. I would not do it for more than a few minutes to get heat with my car.
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Some people lack horse sense. Or, have no concept of how wiring works. I've met a LOT of people who don't know much about wiring. I make a living doing wiring for them.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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I'd recommend the generator option but you must address several issues:
First you must isolate your electric system from other tenants in the building, and from the local utility while you're generating. If you don't do this the best case is that the generator will trip out from overload. worse case, you will electrocute some poor lineman trying to restore your service. Usually this isolation is done by installing a transfer switch at your service inlet. This switch allows you to power your house from the electric line or your generator, but not from both at the same time.
List all the devices that you intend to power and find out how much power they consume.
Develop a plan about how you will dispatch the devices. To size the generator you need to decide which devices you need to run, and which devices you will run at the same time. After you have done this you can then size the generator based on the maximum load. For example if the refrigerator and furnace (running at the same time) would overload the generator you can shut one off while the other is running. By developing a load management strategy you can get by with a much smaller generator.
Locate the generator in a well ventilated area outside your residence where the exhaust and noise will not bother you or the neighbors.
Keep a reasonable amount of fuel on hand, in a safe place.
Locate fire suppression (extinguishers) equipment in an area that you can get to if the fuel supply or the generator should catch fire.
Finally have the whole system inspected by a capable electrician before you turn it on.
HTH EJ in NJ
snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

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Wow; a lot of responses, some good, some well, not so.
Basically IMO it depends on what you need and how long an outage you want to plan for. As long as it's only a little light, the radio & maybe small TV, you would be fine with 12V devices. If you need to continue life as though the power weren't out, neither solutio would help unless it was a good sized genset.
If you have to provide heat (freezing weather or colder) or air conditioning, use anything that draws substantial current (any large item; refrigerator, freezer full of meat, microwave, toaster, lots of lights and gosh knows what, you should work out the wattage you need by adding those all up according to what's on the nameplates, and get a generator of at least that much capability, which may top 3,000 watts worse case. In a way, living alone adds additional btu requirements since there aren't others there to contribute body heat either.
IMO if you don't have to worry about refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, you'd be fine with batteries; just check how long they last at the loads you'll place on them and go from there. Oh, and if you have well water, you'd have something else to power, too.
We have a 5,000 Wat generator and it will run our well pump, fridge and freezer and a few lights all at once. But usually we kill the regrigerator/freezer to run the well pump just to keep the generator from being overly taxed; everything on makes it work really hard should they all demand power at the same time. There's a transfer switch: Start the genset and flick the switch, and it turns on the house power thru its own set of breakers. So be sure to add a Transfer Switch to the cost if you fo the generator route. They're arond $100 plus installation which you'd need permission from the owner to do. In the overall, batteriy power it best if it can give you enough to do the things you need to do for as long as the longest period of time you think you'll need it. Hmm, maybe a battery system and a small genset to charge the battery system if it's needed? Nothing to install that way; just plug the battery chargers nto the genset when you need to charge it. No transwer switch, no installation.
HTH
Twayne
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