Electricity as Usual

Electricity As Usual

Had a bit of time to spare this past evening and decided to have a coffee with my friend Wayne. During our usual conversation one topic led to another and soon we were discussing the merits of generators in being properly prepared. There can certainly be no doubt that when the power is removed from our homes life simply changes for each and every one of us. Wayne explained to me a simple method he had once employed to supply power to his home during one of those difficult times. I feel this information from Wayne would be important for any sort of survival plans.

To those people who are victims of Mother Nature’s cruel weather acts, those unnerving thunderstorms and other violent acts performed by weather related events which might be tossed upon you remember you can live your life close to how you normally would without the use of the power company. It isn’t magic in any sense of thinking and if you have some sort of generator and an outside outlet on your home, electricity is very near to you.

The first task you will have to complete is to fabricate a short cable to go from your generator’s output plug to your homes outside electrical outlet. This homemade cable must be capable of carrying about 20 Amps of current so you would want to use 12 gauge three connector wires. This is some pretty heavy cable but your local hardware store clerk can advise you properly. Make sure that the plugs you select for the ends of the wire are also rated for 20 Amps of service.

Once you have your cable created you will need to switch off your master circuit breaker so that no electricity could possibly enter your house from the grid should it come back on without your knowledge. In addition to turning the master breaker off you will need to switch off the individual breakers for your water heater, central air and your kitchen stove. Unplug your refrigerator and/or the freezer according to the size generator you are using.

You may now start your generator and after it has properly warmed up you can connect it to your outside house outlet. You are now generating your own power for your home. This should give you normal electricity service within your house. A small 2000 watt generator can easily supply 120 volt electricity for all your homes lights as necessary. You merely have to switch on the individual light switches as you would do normally. Be sure to check your appliances wattage rating to ensure that they do not overload your generator.

You can switch off occasionally from your freezer to your refrigerator to keep your food cool and safe to eat. A full freezer will hold the cold for a good three days at which time you could switch from refrigerator to freezer for several hours. If your water heater is gas driven you may not need to switch off the circuit breaker for that item. The same is for gas stoves. They should be perfectly safe to leave on. When considering whether to switch off the water heater check to see if you have city water. If you do it should run out of the facets without the need for electricity. If it does not come out I would advise turning off the water heater.

Be sure to unplug the generator when you plan to check to see if the power has been restored. These instructions should be carefully followed and in the event that you lack the skills to carry them out you would do best to employ the services of someone who is familiar with electricity.

Above all make sure that you turn off the master circuit breaker or you risk damaging your generator and possibly starting a fire. Good luck and keep prepping.

Copyright @2012 Joseph Parish

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Photo. Gerd Altmann

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