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Old 08-26-2008, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,975 posts, read 17,567,553 times
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So okay, while at work today, people were on the phones to their kids in light of a tornado warning. I was talking to one lady who lived in Lanscaster, SC all her life. She said that during Hugo, they lost power for 2 weeks so they scrambled to get generators after the outage. As was expected, as the supply of generators dwindled, price gouging became the norm. She then said it is probably a good idea to have even a small generator for events like these. Hubby and I are discussing the need, and then the size that is warranted. While we have no trees around us and no wires above ground, lines could still go down on the delivery system. If they are recommended, what is the optimal size? Any brands better than others? I'm looking to hear from those who have been here for quite a bit.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:49 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
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The need is up to you to decide how prepared you want to be, but the last time it was needed in the Charlotte area was during the ice storm of 2002 and Hurricane Hugo occured in 1989.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:53 PM
 
Location: State of Being
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Bibit, we say every Fall we are gonna buy one. For us, having one would take care of two major things - our freezer and being able to continue working, since we are both at home and depend on our computers to work.

We have looked at many sizes. I will be interested in knowing what others have chosen as well. We had a discussion on the forum some time in the past - I will see if I can find the thread for you, as people shared their experiences.

There is also a worksheet I had downloaded that helps you estimate your needs and make a decision about the size you would need. I will see if I can locate that, too.

I think we had decided we could probably get by on something above 5000 watts. We would be plugging different appliances in for several hours at a time, rather than using it continuously.

One of our neighbors has a huge one (fixed, not portable) that literally furnishes power to their entire home.
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Any recommendations for someone renting in an apt complex?
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
116 posts, read 299,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyKayak View Post
The need is up to you to decide how prepared you want to be, but the last time it was needed in the Charlotte area was during the ice storm of 2002 and Hurricane Hugo occured in 1989.
x2, I've toyed with the idea on and off for years but haven't quite been able to balance the ROI in my own mind.

I was one of the lucky ones who had power all through the ice storm and immediatley afterwards....in any case, had I lost power isn't that what friends are for?


H/Hugo, cant comment I wasn't here

So that said IF I was to lose power:
Cost possibly a $1000 +/- for a generator v finding out who my real friends are when I'm in a pinch and replacing the cost of frozen goods out of the freezer maybe a $100.00

I'll take the latter options every time....

Ooo, and that being said I'm also not one of those who will deplete the entire bread section at Harris Teeter and relieve them of 20 gallons of milk on a 30% chance of snow for the following day in our 'Charlotte winter'
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:50 PM
 
Location: CLT native
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I can't see the expense for a good unit, and IMHO the cheap stuff is not worth the effort (I am a EE/ECE).
In 40 years my area has lost power once (long term) for 7 days.

In the last 10 years I have had one power outage that lasted for 45 minutes.

We also do not have a huge freezer although I know people who love them.
I prefer cooking fresh meat (shop every other day) and if I could not get meat for a few weeks would just eat something else.
I will take my chances...

We have gas logs in the fireplaces which can heat most of the house (nice sets are so convenient and warm), gas water heaters, and usually have 2-3 propane tanks (for the grill) in reserve. Unless an earthquake disrupts the gas lines, I figure we could last a solid 3 weeks in moderate comfort in the winter without power - but that seems like an apocalyptic vision.

Last edited by mullman; 08-26-2008 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
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So far, more for not necessary. We talked and talked about this when we were in CT, but never quite got around to doing it. A client of DH had one put in at a cost of $3k thereabouts, which was directly wired to his breaker. I don't know how many times he had had to use it. I think we were more at risk up there with wires above ground and trees breaking on us due to heavy icing. I'm still waiting for a good argument for it vs cost, ROI, etc. I don't believe any of our neighbors are equipped with it just yet, but what do we all know in our 'hood...we're all transplants! The other less expensive option is just having a spare propane tank to cook on the grille with, but that still leaves no hot water for showers. We could wing a couple of days, but 2 weeks is a bit much. I know food spoiling is the least of our worries. It's probably more living without electricity for that long.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,817 posts, read 55,847,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibit612 View Post
So far, more for not necessary. We talked and talked about this when we were in CT, but never quite got around to doing it. A client of DH had one put in at a cost of $3k thereabouts, which was directly wired to his breaker. I don't know how many times he had had to use it. I think we were more at risk up there with wires above ground and trees breaking on us due to heavy icing. I'm still waiting for a good argument for it vs cost, ROI, etc. I don't believe any of our neighbors are equipped with it just yet, but what do we all know in our 'hood...we're all transplants! The other less expensive option is just having a spare propane tank to cook on the grille with, but that still leaves no hot water for showers. We could wing a couple of days, but 2 weeks is a bit much. I know food spoiling is the least of our worries. It's probably more living without electricity for that long.
I have always had a gas BBQ, hooked up to the gas line of the house, and a gas fireplace. I lost power in Miss. for about 3 days during an ice storm and the gas logs kept me warm enough. The gas BBQ let me heat up stuff. I have not lost power longer than that. I would be worried about heating the house in the winter and cooking more than anything else.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,901 posts, read 27,179,065 times
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I've seen instructions for solar generators that look simple enough to build. They won't run a household, but if there's no electrcity, a little is better than none.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:53 PM
 
Location: CLT native
4,280 posts, read 10,039,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I've seen instructions for solar generators that look simple enough to build. They won't run a household, but if there's no electrcity, a little is better than none.
If you just want to cook and do not want to spend much money, invest in a solar cooker. I have used them on multi-day camping trips and they work great (when the sun shining).
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