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Posts Tagged ‘electrical’

Emergency Power for the Home Following a Storm or Other Natural Disaster

By On December 8, 2011 Comments Off on Emergency Power for the Home Following a Storm or Other Natural Disaster

There are many types of natural disasters that can cause long-term power outages in your home. Things like thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and flooding can knock the power out for hours or even days at a time. Even something as simple as a blown-out transformer or a vehicle slamming into a utility pole can kill the electricity supplying an entire neighborhood for many days.

Considering the fact that we are very dependent upon electricity, a power outage lasting more than a few minutes can become an emergency. The longer the power outage lasts, the more problems that can arise, which can cause things to become expensive or even dangerous. During the wintertime, a power failure normally disables your home’s heating system. As your home cools down, it can become necessary to vacate the premises, plus frozen pipes can result in hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

During a power failure, your refrigerator and freezer will stop running. Melting frozen foods can result in a big mess as well as cost you a lot of money in wasted food. If you happen to live in the country and depend upon well water, a power failure can cut off your water supply.

All of these scenarios can be avoided by buying an emergency power system to have on hand in case of an emergency. There are emergency engine-powered generators available that burn gasoline, propane or diesel. These generators come in different sizes which all handle different types of work loads. For example, if your main goal is to keep your refrigerator and/or freezer running as well as a few lights and small appliances, this can be accomplished wit a 2,500 to 3,500 watt generator that allows you to plug several extensions cords into it. If you would like the assurance of knowing you can power your well pump, furnace and water heater, this can be accomplished with a 5,000 watt generator that is wired into your home’s circuit panel.

Gasoline-powered generators are easy to use and a good way to supply your home with emergency power. A typical price for a 5,000 watt generator ranges between $500 and $1000 and it consumes about one gallon of gas every two hours or so at an 1,000 watt output. The disadvantages of gas-powered generators is the fact that they run loudly and that they require some routine engine maintenance.

You can get power from the generator to your home by running extension cords from the generator to your appliances. Or, as mentioned above, you can have an electrician wire the generator directly to your home’s circuit panel so you can easily switch the entire home over to the generator when needed. It will cost about two to three hundred dollars to have this done, but many homeowners find the convenience factor far outweighs the costs involved in hiring an electrician.