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How Will Power Blackout Affect My House? - Page 5

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Posted by Jay Chan on October 1, 2003, 4:06 pm

Your cost sounds low to me. I would think a backup generator will set
me back for $00 at least, and I will need to hire an electrician to
connect it to the main panel for ... let's say $00. This means I
would have spent close to $000 already without a second generator and
without the solar thing. You must have got a very good deal, or you
must have done the electrician job yourself, or both.

Jay Chan

Posted by No One on October 1, 2003, 12:05 pm

I live in the boonies.  When we first moved in here the power would go out
quite often.  Sometimes for a few mins, sometimes for a few hours and
sometimes for a long time.  One of the things I used to do was set up a 4
man dome tent in the living room.  It was big enough we could play board and
card games but small enough that our body heat would keep it 'warm'.  Its
fairly amazing how much body heat will warm up a small space!

If you had to you could add VERY CAREFULLY a heat source.  Once I did put a
colman lantern in there with us to warm it up but I also had a fire
extinguisher as well as placing the lantern opposite the door.

If you are really worried you can just pour a little antifreeze (either the
stuff made for RV's or even car antifreeze in an emergency) in the sink
drain.  In a true emergency, meaning you don't have any antifreeze, you
could try pouring alcohol (rubbing or any 80+ proof booze you have on hand)
or even table salt.  Should buy a few more degrees.

Also don't forget the toilet bowl.  I had a friend who went home for
Christmas break and forgot to treat the toilet and when he came back he had
a cracked toilet.

Remember the old advice about assuming?  It makes an ass out of you and me
(ass-u-me).  If you think the power is going to be off that long make a plan
to drain these as well.  Also shut the water off at the meter/pump.

Get a AC/DC TV and video player and a small inverter.  The TV and player can
be used around the house when things are normal and when the power goes out
you can lug a battery in and have something to amuse yourself.  And you can
use your car to recharge the battery.

The inverter will come in handy if you have a true need to run something.
We have a 500W that we picked up that will run most things but you can get a
little one from walmart that would probably handle anything you'd need.  We
got the 500W because I found that the little one I had would not run my 1/2"

Posted by Jay Chan on October 1, 2003, 7:48 pm
Thanks for the suggestion of using a tent to keep warm. This idea is
good because I have a little baby. He can move around inside the tent
and still can be away from the cold. Good thing I have a small tent

I will probably not feel safe of using this type of heat source inside
my house with my little baby running around inside the tent.

Sound good! I already have a bottle of car anti-freeze in my garage.
This means I don't need to get anything extra. I just need to remember
using it in a power blackout.

This means I will need to disconnect the water hoses behind the
utility sink in my basement in order to drain the water inside the
house. No big deal. I just need to remember doing this.

I assume you mean using an inverter to use the car battery to power a
household appliance. How long will a car battery last just to power an
average furnace for a 4-bedroom house? Do I need to keep the car
running to keep the battery rechanged? Thanks for any info.

Jay Chan

Posted by No One on October 2, 2003, 2:39 am


It won't.  You'd need a major inverter to run that.  A 500W inverter will
run things like a small water pump (say like in a yard pond), a grinder,
power drill, circular saw and the like.  So if the power's out because of an
ice storm and a limb comes through a window you'd have power to cut a piece
of plywood to cover the hole.

Posted by Vaughn on October 1, 2003, 11:14 pm

     As one who once stupidly set a tent on fire with a Coleman lantern and
nearly killed himself, I think this is a highly questionable idea.  Good
thing I made the right choice and made my exit through the wall that was
already on fire!  No time for fire extinguishers and no time for unzipping


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