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Lights Out

The odds are if the power is out, you’re not reading this now.  Either that our your laptop battery might well be preserved for something else.  Regardless, what happens when the power goes out?  For some, it’s an excuse to cuddle up in front of the fire and light some candles.  For others, it can become a serious and expensive matter.

For better or worse, we have a sump pump in the basement.  When we bought the house, the basement was unfinished and it would be fair to say that a river ran through it; entering in the southwest corner and exiting through the northeast corner.  The installation of the Water Guard system stopped the flow but a sump pump is required to pump the water out. I lost my spousal battle over the additional cost of a battery backup system if the power goes out.  She rightly points out, “when was the last time the power went out?”

Regardless, its caused at least a few minutes of lost sleep thinking about how much water it ejects during a storm.  No power means no pump and we’ll get back to lake basement.  That’s had me thinking about generators for awhile.  Starting at $200 for around 1500 watts,  I’ve found whole house systems on costco.com that break the $20,000 mark!  I’ve figured that my sump pump probably has a peak draw around 1200 watts and that if I want to power my freezer at the same time I probably need a 3000W machine that will cost between $400-$800.  I could easily spend more.  Onan’s Guide to Home Preparedness (the link goes to costco) has a long list of appliances and their peak and running energy consumptions as well as an emergency kit list.  Appliances, such as pumps and compressors found in refridgerators and freezers, draw more power when they turn on than when they are running.

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