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22

ABSOLUTELY NOT!! This is NEVER an option. You MUST use some form of transfer switch or interlock, along with the proper male inlet. Also, a male-to-male cord is called a "suicide cord" for a reason.


11

You should hire an electrician to help you with this, since you don't sound qualified to wire up a generator properly. She can help you figure out the right way to do this. However, it's good for you to be well-informed going in to this. So: Generators are rated in several ways: Peak load. Starting a motor (like a pump or fridge compressor) draws a lot of ...


10

NO. What you are describing could potentially kill the folks that are trying to help restore power to your home. You're also creating a situation where you could easily overload your generator. To do this the right way, you'll need to install a transfer switch. Transfer switches allow you to switch between two source of electricity, while mitigating any ...


10

I live in southern New England, where we can usually see our natural disasters coming a few days in advance (snowstorms, hurricanes, etc.), so your considerations will be different, but I'll share what I do and what I've learned in three 5+ day outages over the past two years; it may give you some reference points. Fuel reserves I have a gasoline-powered ...


9

The transfer switch that MUST be used - as pointed out by Speedy - is essential that it be properly installed in conjunction with how the utility / house wiring is installed. The transfer switch and interlock mechanism is essential for the safety of both you and for the utility folks that may be working on downed utility lines. With out a proper interlock ...


9

A generator would probably be a better choice. You haven't given us a lot of details, so I'm going to assume that you live in norther US, Canada, or the UK, that you live in a middle-class detached house with a yard, and that you're faced with winter storms taking out your power for a day or two, and you want to keep the fridge cold and run a few lights ...


7

Here are a few tips that I haven't seen shared yet... Food: When a storm is approaching you know may cut out power then turn your freezer down to as cold as it will go and the refrigerator down as far as it will go without freezing items. (Test before storms and mark the indicator, so you know the setting. Also mark the 'normal' settings.) Put the items ...


6

There's a few considerations based on the time of year -- when it's cold enough outside, saving the stuff in your fridge isn't as big a deal, as you can just put it outside (although, you might need to pack it in some critter-proof containers). Good insulation can help in the colder months; Good tree planting and possibly some awnings on the windows or a ...


5

For these with well water, the list is bigger than most. Something that we do is we have about 10 of those big pretzel plastic containers filled with water saved. If something is coming, we usually fill the bathtubs with water as well. Both are not used for eating / drinking / bathing, but to flush the toilets.


4

Pulling the plug is quick, easy check if you have the right socket. Should be fairly clean, with a gap. BTW, my Gen has a separate on/off switch, yours? Next up would be some carb cleaner (after pulling air cleaner) Remove and clean carb bowl, float and orifice. Would also drain gas, put in car day after fillup, refill with new gas and treatment Next ...


4

Great idea! It's actually a fairly simple setup and not all that complex. Normally you want to use multiple power sources to attempt to charge your backup battery. Here's a simple diagram that helps explain a solar/wind power system: You can build inexpensive small turbines for the wind portion but the battery tends to be the expensive part of the setup. ...


4

Buy candles, flashlight and batteries. If you have a fireplace buy logs. You could also buy or rent a generator.


4

The preparation seems to be covered fairly well by others, but for the 2nd part of the question, you want to make sure that you're ready for the power to come back on. I used to live in an area with frequent blackouts, and often when the power first came back on it would be a bit unstable, with brownouts and frequent on/off cycles. Any electronic devices ...


3

I’m a proponent of portable generators. I have a gasoline unit though I’ll consider a propane unit when this one finally croaks. Permanent generators are great – if your structure is still standing when the disaster is over. The primary disadvantage of portable generators is they are subject to theft when you need them the most. A couple of fellows ...


3

I know this is an old question, but I wanted to mention another option if your main concern is the sump: a Sump Bump Battery Backup System. This is a system with a battery (about the size of a car battery) that charges off your AC power, and when main power goes off, the sump pump can run off of the battery. The model I have says that it can power a sump ...


3

Chemical glow sticks are great for emergency lighting, and have a decent shelf life. One in a central area on each floor of a house can provide enough light to move around without banging into stuff. One just over your shoulder is enough light to read by. Unlike candles, they are safe around kids, too, and aren't a problem when sleeping.


3

Put your power company's phone number into your cellphone or write it on the refrigerator.


3

Make sure you know where your flashlight is (keep it in a single location) and that the batteries are good. I have stubbed my toes (or bruised my knee/shin) many times fumbling around in the dark for the last place my flashlight was put.


3

Assuming you just want to use a router, some light and charge your lap top. Can your router run on DC, most of the DC input? 12v lights are common for caravans and there are some laptop chargers for caravans that run on 12v (I don’t know if there will be one for your laptop) If the above is true, a cheap “low teck” solution will be to use a 12 volt ...


2

Practice living without connected utilities. Do it periodically. You will discover what your real needs are and you'll learn how to meet them in an emergency. How much water do you really need? Do MREs make you sick? Do you know how use your fireplace? Are the batteries in your flashlight still good? Answer these questions by practicing. Remember that ...


2

One thing I do when the power flickers is to shutoff the HVAC system. Frequent power cycles can be bad for compressors. And while the gas furnace should be fine, I don't want to risk any carbon monoxide poisoning. I'd also do this for my fridge if it was easy for me to access. Just make sure to turn them back on when it looks like power is going to stay on.


2

If you are testing continuity at the generator inlet plug with the transfer switch in the GEN. position, you will be measuring continuity throughout the entire circuit. If you look at this image, you should see why you're getting the readings you are. The light blue box on the left, represents the main service panel. The light blue box on the right, ...


2

I would replace the spark plug and remove the air filter to make sure it isn't plugged up. Then, while the air filter is still removed, spray a little starting fluid into the carb through the hole under the air filter and start it up. If it runs for just a couple seconds and dies, that means the gas in your carb was probably bad. Starting it with the ...


2

I worked as a high voltage lineman for 30 years and have seen all kinds of squirrelly generator set ups. It is never a good idea to plug your generator into your home's wiring even if your turn your main off. NEC requires that a transfer switch be used. I have seen more than a few main breakers that had failed and were still on when they showed off. If you ...


2

I was told by an electrician that the mains breaker does not disconnect the neutral line, only the two halves of the 240 volt feed. Thus you are still connected to the grid. A transfer switch will isolate everything.


2

Can you? yes it is possible, it will probably even work. Is it a really bad idea, yes. Is it criminally illegal, probably not as long as you are sure to flip the breaker. Is it against code, yes. As others have said use an interlock, or if you need to do it cheaper, buy extension chords for your 3-4 critical appliances and use them.


1

No one mentioned running out of oil. Our generator ran out of oil and totally stopped. When new oil was put in the generator started right up again.


1

In my experience, they will rely on the evaluation of the service person that comes out to perform the work. In most cases it's pretty obvious that something was a pre-existing condition or now. If you read the conditions more carefully, it probably says something along the lines of the problem must be apparent to a regular user in the course of normal ...


1

First measure across the window, door, vent from the inside of the exterior trim to the outside of the exterior trim on the other side. Do this vertically and horizontally. Then add 6-8 inches to BOTH measurements, this is the size of plywood you need. You add length and width because you don't want the plywood pushing on the glass. The thickness of the ...


1

Just think about emergency lighting. Do you have to light up the whole house or just what is in front of you. The most versatile and economical solution is to use an LED head light. You can get them at most sporting goods stores. You will look like a couple of miners walking around in the dark, but it is very practical. You will get many hours on a few ...



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