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Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 08, 2020 09:28AM
Power restored at home. Moral of this story: invest in quality emergency gear

Hi everyone,

Power restored at home. Only took PSEG three days to do it.

We lost power at my office, my home and my parent’s house on Tuesday afternoon due to damage from Tropical Storm Isaias. The damage in my areas of Long Island was far more extensive than anyone anticipated. Not as much as from Hurricane Sandy (which was astronicmal) but more than I’ve seen from any storm since and definitely enough to create a tremendous amount of problems. PSEG was inadequately prepared for the storm. Woefully inadequately prepared for the storm.

Power and access to the Internet and phone service (Optimum) were restored to my office a couple of hours after the outage began. Power and TV Service Internet access and phone service (FIOS) were restored to my building yesterday afternoon. Neighbors with Optimum for TV/Internet/Phone are remain SOL.

My parents still have no power. No surprise. There have been power issues from storms on their block for decades. Losing electricity wasn’t a surprise at all. Thank goodness they had the foresight to invest in a whole house generator. They have FIOS and have retained TV/Internet/Phone. Internet access has been a bit flaky but that is due to the outage within the immediate area. Anyone with Optimum in the area, even if they have a generator, remains SOL.

I was at my office when one of my neighbors at home let me know PSEG restored power to my apartment building. The first thing I did to confirm was to power up the Wyze app on my phone and check to see if I could turn on the Wyze Bulb in my foyer and view the cam we have in Little M’s bedroom. I knew all was back to normal if they worked. And, they worked! I powered up the Wyze Bulb in the foyer a few minutes before my wife, Little M and I returned home.

Aside from the usual preparedness steps you ought to take, definitely make sure the emergency gear you purchase is high quality and, except for maybe one or two flashlights do not leave batteries installed in the gear. Last year, after another power outage, I finally invested in some high quality lighting gear based on recommendations made by Wirecutter. Although the old lighting gear was getting the job done I wanted better equipment for the next outage. It proved _very_ worthwhile.

This is what I had on hand:

1 qty UST 60-day Duro LED lantern
2 qty UST 30-day Duro Lantern
1 qty ThruNite Archer LED 2A V3 Cool White flashlight
1 qty Coleman 5315 series Florescent lantern (15 to 20 years old!)
1 qty Eddie Bauer LED lantern
4 cheapie mass market AA and AAA powered flashlights

The UST 60-day, 30-day Duro lantens, Eddie Bauer lantern and ThruNite Archer 2A V3 Cool White flashlight performed beautifully. Grateful I had the foresight to invest in better gear. The Coleman lantern was rock solid, too. Not up to the same level as the UST lanterns but very well considering its tech and age. If you need lanterns and flashlights, don’t be afraid to spend on the bucks on quality gear. It’s worth it. I can recommend wholeartedly the products from UST and ThruNite. I’ve standardized on them. Can’t complain about the Eddie Bauer lantern and Coleman products either. Both are good brands. Crazy as it sounds, I can still get replacement parts for that old Coleman lantern and it’d be cost effective to do it.

The mass market flashlights failed. I’d just recently replaced the batteries in them and in two cases the flashlights simply didn’t work. The batteries in the other two corroded despite being the the flashlights for just a couple of months and skewed them. Too much of a pain to try and clean the flashlights in the midst of a power outage. Ended up using the Coleman lantern give me the light I need to install batteries into the UST lanterns and ThruNite flashlight. And, yes, it is recommended by UST to only install batteries in their lanterns when you plan to use them.

We used the Eddie Bauer lanten and ThruNite flashlight when navigating the hallways of the building and to get to and from my car. At home, we left the 60-day Duro in the foyer (which covers part of the kitchen, the foyer and the hallway leading to our bedrooms and main bathroom), a 30-day Duro in our kitchen (which also covered a portion of the living room), another 30-day Duro in our bedroom, the Coleman lantern in the master bathroom and the Eddie Bauer lantern in Little M’s room. Between them, we had more than sufficient lighting all-around.

As we came home from my parent’s house, Little M’s job was to lead the way from my car, through the lobby up the stairs and through the hallway of our bulding with the Eddie Baur lantern. I bolstered the Eddie Bauer lanten with the ThruNite flashlight.

Robert
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: d4
Date: August 08, 2020 09:37AM
The worst offending flashlights are the HomeDepot "doorbusters" on Black Friday. The 10pack of mini LED flashlights with AAA batteries for like$10(?). I have them and they are somewhat working so it's a waste to just throw them out. Everytime I use them or give them to the kids to find something under the couch, it reminds me what a sht decision it was to buy them.



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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 08, 2020 09:45AM
.....get some glow sticks too.....you never know if you run out of batteries or they don't work......you can get light with no batteries....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 08, 2020 09:51AM
d4,

Those and the Micro Center doorbusters. Probably the same OEM. 'course, in this case, two failures were due to shoddy batteries. Those flashlights had the last of my Duracell AA batteries in them. The other two were simply due to them being crappytacular at best. I also have a few wind-up flashlights. They work but only as a last resort. Use them if and only if your other flashlights/lanterns fail and/or you run out of batteries.

And, for general use at home, lanterns are the bomb. Flashlights are great for navigating a hallway or for any task where you need a beam in front of you but for lighting an area, you need lanterns. No doubt about it. The UST lanterns exceeded my expectations. The little Eddie Bauer led lantern performed well. And, the Coleman lantern? Solid performance.

My parents have some old Coleman propane lanterns in their basement somewhere packed with our family camping gear. We're talking from the 70s. It wouldn't surprise me if they still worked as well today as they did back when I was a kid. Fortunately, with the advent of high quality LED lanterns, the old propane models seem outdated and unnecessary.

Robert
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 08, 2020 10:08AM
To the list I'd add an inverter to run chargers off the car and/or 12v interfaces for phones and lights.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2020 10:10AM by Acer.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 08, 2020 10:14AM
Acer,

Definitely. At some point, maybe a group of us in the forum should put together a tally of gear to have on hand chosen from personal experience, not just based on reviews.

Robert
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 08, 2020 10:24AM
Solar pathway lights are cheap and great. just put them outside during the day and you'll have light all night. Those have proved invaluable through three hurricanes.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 08, 2020 10:27AM
I no longer buy Duracell, even did not bother to call on the last batch that leaked in storage completely unused as that would just get me a coupon to get more Duracell batteries. Their quality went to cr@p starting about 15 years ago. That even applies to their "Industrial" line, they just didn't go as far down the slope.

As or the Coleman lantern, if it has been in storage for 40 years, it probably will need the valve gaskets refurbished. Also new mantles will probably be needed.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: d4
Date: August 08, 2020 10:30AM
I still have a box (10pack?) of government issued MREs distributed after Hurricane Sandy. It never got to the point of my family desperate enough to eat them in the aftermath. I am thankful the town gave them out for free. It was good to know we had the MRE packs to fall back on. I think there's a suggested eat by date printed on the box. Now, 8 years later, in a pinch if we were desperate and hungry, the old MREs are better than nothing.



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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: August West
Date: August 08, 2020 11:09AM
Paging Paul F on Aisle d4.



“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in."
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 08, 2020 11:19AM
I actually splurged on 3 AA to D adapters for my LED lanterns and have LSD NiMH batteries in them. Top them off every year, or when used. Only way to get non-leaking batteries these days are rechargeables. Ikea high output relabled Eneeloops are $7 for 4. I can use 1-3 AA batteries in those adapters.

We camp enough so we don't waste money on D alkalines. On longer trips I have chargers that run off 12v.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: LyleH
Date: August 08, 2020 11:47AM
For anyone who has 9-volt batteries in their smoke detectors that they change annually, here's a way to save some bucks by reusing these 9-volt batteries. These have quite a bit of juice left after one year's use in a smoke detector. A 9-volt battery snaps onto a mini-led flashlight (some have 2 led's and some have up to 6 led's). I left a 2-led flashlight like this turned on continuously for 5 days and it was still bright after 5 days - using one of my used batteries.

I have 3 of these just laying around in various places for daily use. The only issue I have read about is that some batteries don't snap on tight on some of these units. I've included a link to one that will turn on either 2 or all 6 led's. I have not tried this particular unit. LyleH

[www.amazon.com]
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: kurtzie
Date: August 08, 2020 11:54AM
Quote
Racer X
I actually splurged on 3 AA to D adapters for my LED lanterns and have LSD NiMH batteries in them. Top them off every year, or when used. Only way to get non-leaking batteries these days are rechargeables. Ikea high output relabled Eneeloops are $7 for 4. I can use 1-3 AA batteries in those adapters.

We camp enough so we don't waste money on D alkalines. On longer trips I have chargers that run off 12v.

Can you recommend any of the adapters?
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 08, 2020 11:58AM
Quote
kurtzie
Quote
Racer X
I actually splurged on 3 AA to D adapters for my LED lanterns and have LSD NiMH batteries in them. Top them off every year, or when used. Only way to get non-leaking batteries these days are rechargeables. Ikea high output relabled Eneeloops are $7 for 4. I can use 1-3 AA batteries in those adapters.

We camp enough so we don't waste money on D alkalines. On longer trips I have chargers that run off 12v.

Can you recommend any of the adapters?

[www.ebay.com]

can use 1, 2 or 3 AA batteries.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: kurtzie
Date: August 08, 2020 12:08PM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
kurtzie
Quote
Racer X
I actually splurged on 3 AA to D adapters for my LED lanterns and have LSD NiMH batteries in them. Top them off every year, or when used. Only way to get non-leaking batteries these days are rechargeables. Ikea high output relabled Eneeloops are $7 for 4. I can use 1-3 AA batteries in those adapters.

We camp enough so we don't waste money on D alkalines. On longer trips I have chargers that run off 12v.

Can you recommend any of the adapters?

[www.ebay.com]

can use 1, 2 or 3 AA batteries.

THANKS!!
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: davemchine
Date: August 08, 2020 12:17PM
My wife enjoys those battery powered candles and they proved surprisingly useful during a power outage. Perfect for providing light to walkways.

Lanterns and flashlights are a given. I also use rechargeable but keep a box of batteries on a shelf as well. I ONLY buy AA and D lights as I don't want to stock a variety of batteries.

I have not found the car inverter to be terribly useful during a power outage. In order to provide a decent amount of power they need to be wired to the battery and of course it's got to be the least efficient way to produce power.

My biggest need is to power my CPAP machine which I do using a UPS. It is good enough for a single night but after that I'd have a problem. Thankfully power outages are usually short here.

Glad you did so well Robert.



Ukulele music I couldn't find anywhere else.
[colquhoun.info]
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Ammo
Date: August 08, 2020 12:28PM
Some brands of rechargeable power tools also have bright LED attachment lights that work with the batteries. I have one for my old Craftsman tools that lasts quite awhile.



Where is there dignity unless there is also honesty? - Cicero

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. —Wendy Mass

A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Vladimir Lenin
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 08, 2020 12:57PM
My main worry when it comes to an emergency is being without power for my freezers as they often have over a grand of meat and smaller amounts of frozen food.

That said, the primary threat in my area are tornados. They're destructive but they tend to have a small path.

My plan for a sustained electrical outage is to buy a small generator when the incident occurs. Which is a lot like not having a plan.



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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 08, 2020 01:07PM
You and everyone else will be fighting over the same 10 generators.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 08, 2020 01:21PM
I have 5 BioLites that recharge via USB or the small solar panel on the back. They've been rock solid throughout the power outages.

Also have a 3000 watt generator that will handle to 2 refrigerators and freezer or the furnace.

I have a DeWalt power station that uses 4 20 volt or FlexVolt batteries to provide a 120 volt AC supply (1800 watt capacity). Downside is that you need all 4 batteries for it to operate. When the weakest dies, no more power.

Also have 2 Anker folding solar panels for phones, usb power packs, etc.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Michael
Date: August 08, 2020 02:57PM
I bought a cheap Sportsman 4000 watt generator from HD when they went on sale for somewhere in the $225 range 6-8 years ago. We've had 2 multi-day power outages in the last several years and I was able to run the refrig and freezer and a bunch of lights with the generator. I bought it when it was gasoline only. I have a 5 gal and 2 x 2 gal gas cans that kept it running for a couple of days. As I recall, I'd run the generator for several hours and then turn it off for a couple of hours. The refrig and freezer stayed fine doing that. I never tried starting them both at the same moment because of the starting watts needed. I'd plug one in and let it start and then plug the other one in. Each time I used it, I'd run it dry when we got power back and then just put it away. It started without any problems each time. Sportsman now has gas/LP generators and I occasionally consider buying a new one and several LP tanks. One thing--the thing is pretty loud. It says 69 db and maybe--but it sounded louder to me when I used it. But, it has easily paid for itself by protecting the freezer.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 08, 2020 02:58PM
Just get the generator now and keep it stored (no fuel or oil in it) until you need it. Once you use it, then it will new fuel stabilizer and be run once a year.

When you get the generator, buy 3-4 five gallon gas cans with it. Fill and store them, use the gas in your car or mower so you replace it all every 4-6 months. You do not want to be standing in line to buy either (and finding gas cans is near impossible once disaster hits).

I also suggest a Coleman X-treme cooler. They are nearly as good as Yetis but at less than 1/4th the price.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 08, 2020 03:56PM
I have a half dozen small LED flashlights that run on AAs and two larger flashlights that use my cordless tool batteries. The latter can last for over a day on a small tool battery and for two days on a large battery. The only downside is I don't have a way to charge those batteries when they run down.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 08, 2020 04:18PM
Hmmmm, all this talk has me thinking about hurricane season yet again. I have most of the emergency supplies I would need, EXCEPT for a generator. I've thought about turning the Prius into a generator, but the problem there is that the Prius would be parked out front, whereas most of what I would need to power is in the far back of the house (the house is a double shotgun, so that's some distance).

For awhile, I was thinking of one of the Honda portables that have been discussed here previously, like an EU2000i, but they're pretty pricey. Also, where to put the generator that: A) it wouldn't get stolen; AND B) the emissions it puts off wouldn't be toxic. I've had neighbors where, when they were running their generator, my CO alarm went off.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2020 04:19PM by PeterB.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 08, 2020 05:41PM
UST Duro lights are nice, but expensive...Sportsman lantern is not as bright, but under $20:

[www.amazon.com]

IMHO, AAA should be avoided since it has only 1/3 the capacity of AA.

AA/AAA batteries should be eneloop rechargeable or lithium (Energizer branded for those here in the USA) to avoid alkaline leakage which will render your device useless just when you need it the most...you can buy adapters to use AA batteries in devices taking C and D-size batteries.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 08, 2020 06:05PM
Bill,

The Rayovac is less than half the price but also produces less than half the amount of light and uses the same number of D batteries. That doesn’t make it much of a savings. The Rayovac is more competitive with the 7day Duro, which produces a little more light, uses AA batteries and costs just a little more. I’d take the Duro over the Rayovac.

[www.amazon.com]

Robert
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 08, 2020 09:36PM
Quote
PeterB
I've had neighbors where, when they were running their generator, my CO alarm went off.

We nearly lost a crew of photographers during Katrina. They were camped out in the upstairs of a garage when someone started a generator in the garage. Luckily one staffer came in later and immediately saw the issue. He put a CO2 alarm on the table and it started screaming. He dragged a bunch of loopy journalists outside until the room was vented and the generator moved.

We would have likely lost 5-7 staffers if it wouldn't have been caught.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 08, 2020 11:03PM
Quote
Ombligo
Quote
PeterB
I've had neighbors where, when they were running their generator, my CO alarm went off.

We nearly lost a crew of photographers during Katrina. They were camped out in the upstairs of a garage when someone started a generator in the garage. Luckily one staffer came in later and immediately saw the issue. He put a CO2 alarm on the table and it started screaming. He dragged a bunch of loopy journalists outside until the room was vented and the generator moved.

We would have likely lost 5-7 staffers if it wouldn't have been caught.

Ombligo, the crazy thing in my case: the neighbors were running their generator in their backyard, which happened to be relatively close to my kitchen, which is where the CO detector was. So essentially their generator was putting off so much CO that it was getting into my apartment through the (closed) kitchen windows! Crazy! (I would have gone and told them what was happening, but between the terrible weather outside, and the likelihood that they would have ignored me, I just gave up on it.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: pqrst
Date: August 09, 2020 02:28AM
‘I’d add a small am fm radio especially one with a hand crank or solar panels. Amazing how few radios people have now days.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: d4
Date: August 09, 2020 06:10AM
Sadly, a quick Google News search yielded many recent results.

Search Results

WABC-TV
Isaias aftermath: Generator causes carbon monoxide poisoning at Long Island home
MASTIC, Long Island
1 day ago

NBC New York
NJ Woman, Granddaughter Sickened By Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Running Generator
3 days ago

WABC-TV
Generator causes 'fatal levels' of carbon monoxide inside South Brunswick, New Jersey home. SOUTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey
2 days ago

Brownsville Herald
4 die from carbon monoxide poisoning
1 week ago

WBRZ
Texas family found dead in home due to carbon monoxide. HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas
1 week ago

HollandSentinel.com
Boat passengers rescued from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning
1 week ago

INSIDER
Texas family of 4 dead after carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
2 weeks ago



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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 09, 2020 07:45AM
I do not have an inverter. I have 2 nice UPS units 1500VA/900W but those take 24V. I ended up connecting a simulated sine wave 825VA unit to my 12V battery Chevy volt and I ran the fridge and some LED lights for a while. eventually the UPS got really really hot and I shut it off.

I am planning on getting a 1500W power inverter, probably this model or similar

[www.amazon.com]
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 09, 2020 04:20PM
I guess part of me is happy I live in a place without natural disasters. havent had the power go off (for longer than 10 mintues) in years and years and years. I never think about these things...

There are 3+ of everything withing a 5 minute drive -- target, walmart, safeway, gas, starbucks, sams, costco, restaurants, tons of fast food. Expand to 10 minutes and triple it again.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 09, 2020 08:17PM
Aren’t you in California? How is the fire and earthquake situation?
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Re: Power restored at home. Invest in quality emergency gear
Posted by: freeradical
Date: August 09, 2020 10:47PM
Quote
space-time
Aren’t you in California? How is the fire and earthquake situation?


Earthquakes in Sacramento?


smiley-laughing001
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