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Refrigerator During Blackouts...

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Crossbreed, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    I don't consider myself to be a full-blown prepper, but we had three blackouts this month that turned off our refrigerator.
    We lost some food on the first one, which was overnight.
    In the 18 years we have been here, we have never had this many so close together.

    There are more storms coming.

    After the last blackout, my wife & I decided to freeze five one-gallon jugs of water in the freezer. If we get another summertime blackout, we will move two of them over to the refrigerator side for use as an impromptu icebox.

    We have ordered a back-up generator that runs on our natural gas supply,* but it won't arrive until December. We're getting the smallest capacity one to keep the furnace going in the winter** and the fridge going in the summer.

    *Its fuel costs too much to replace the conventional electric service, but to date, there has never been a loss of gas service.
    **We were looking at a gas-only (no electricity) back-up furnace, in the event of a winter blackout. It was much less expensive to install & operate and would have heated the basement, plumbing and some of our first floor, but we needed electricity for some medical equipment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  2. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    In less developed parts of Europe, they have buckets full of water that they keep their veggies and dairy products in. Cover it up and keep it in a shady place. It's not as good as a fridge, but it'll do in a pinch.
     
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  3. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    And nothing beats canning and pickling!
     
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  4. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    Do you know how to can in an oven?
     
  5. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    No, we buy pretty routine foods.
     
  6. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    It's pretty humid here.
    We can do dark, but not cold (in the summer).
     
  7. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    My power went out for a few minutes about a half hour ago!!! eek!
     
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  8. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    In July, we had a 12-hour incident and two 7(ish)-hour incidents.
    Our ordered back-up generator won't back-up the A/C, washer/dryer nor microwave,* but we can do without those in that short span.

    The minimum generator will keep the furnace & fridge going and all of the low-power items in the house like lights, fans, phones, TV, computer, etc.

    *That size generator would cost $1.5K more and be more expensive to operate.
     
  9. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Dealing with the heat is a bigger problem here than the cold. We have a gas generator for power outages. We use heavy duty extension cords that plug into the generator to provide power to refrigerators, freezers, televisions and whatever else we want. During the summer, we can quickly install two A/C window units which we connect to the generator. In the winter, we can plug in a couple of space heaters but mainly rely on the fireplace to stay warm.

    I bought the generator after eight days with no power following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The heat and humidity after a major hurricane are intense and our brick home became a brick oven very quickly, even with all the windows open. Having the generator, plenty of gasoline and the A/C window units brings me great peace of mind during hurricane season. I know that I can survive a power outage in relative comfort.
     
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  10. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    We are in a wood frame house.
    The humidity here is worse than where I grew up (southern California), but not as bad as Memphis, Tennessee (where I was once stationed).
     
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  11. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You can get a gas fridge, people in offgrid/remote locations use gas fridges but they're very pricey, maybe just get a small one as a backup.

    The amount of power needed to run heating/cooling/water pump from a generator, yeah, I think you're looking at a lot of money, so a small gas fridge might work out about the same, as for freezer uh, it can seem like a good idea to have a lot of food in a chest freezer but when the power fails, it's all wasted. If you like to have suppllies on hand for emergencies, it's probably stuff like dried chick peas/cans etc.

    When I used to live in the country we had the power go out for 5 days, so all frozen food was pointless, I was on an electric water pump, so had to buy water, the light I could do! So.. I only use a fridge freezer now (like one normal fridge with a decent size freezer inbuilt). For emergency whatever I keep some cans and chickpeas. The upside of it was, in this country the power supplier has to pay YOU for whatever amount of time they've failed to guarantee electricity to your place, so I got a cheque, twas about thirty dollars a day or something (was 8 years ago), so...better than nothing.
     
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  12. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    I didn't realize that they were still available.
    When it comes to price, it seems cheaper just to take the hit for replacing the lost groceries.
    I was willing to do that, but I have medical equipment and my biggest concern was heat during winter blackouts.
     
  13. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    ok, medical equipment yeah, probably a generator. Heat, you can still buy kerosene heaters, or get a wood fire, but then you gotta lug the stuff in/buy it.
     
  14. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    Power outages are of great concern for me because I don't can I freeze my food (because canning is time consuming and uses a lot of energy) and most of my house is electric. When I was on the farm nearly everything was gas and I had a small generator and a wood stove for heat. I am much more vulnerable now.
    What I have done here with short term power outages was take all the perishiables out of my small freezer over the fridge and put them in my large freezer and keep the door shut. The perishable stuff in the fridge I put in the small freezer. I only open it when necessary. So far so good. I keep cereal on hand when I can't cook and there is always peanut butter sandwiches, etc. I don't know what I would do with an extended outage though. I would probably lose a lot of food.
    Another generator is not in my budget. I did consider natural gas options or propane for cooking and heating and a manual pump for my well. Heating is my main concern because even though the furnace is natural gas the blower is not. Kerosene is very bad for the lungs so that is not an option.
     
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  15. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    Before considering the generator, we looked at gas-only back-up furnaces. Without a blower, it won't heat the second floor, but it will work as good as a wood stove. No wood/no ash.
     
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  16. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    A wood stove is better than anything because if the power goes out and there are no utilities, there's always something to burn. Plus you can cook on one in a pinch.
     
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  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Best to be aware of how problematic the exposure of a wood stove may be to you- and your insurer.

    When I was an underwriter some years ago, wood stoves were essentially the "kiss of death" for tenants and homeowners policies. If we found them, we cancelled or non-renewed coverage accordingly.

    Though many companies will take them on if there is sufficient documentation citing they are properly inspected and maintained. Such acceptable exposures generally carry an additional surcharge.

    How a wood-burning stove affects your home insurance | Ratehub.ca
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
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  18. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I know that our homeowners premiums are a little higher because we have a fireplace, even though it has an "insert" in it which greatly reduces fire risk and makes it more heat efficient.

    Plus, wood stoves pollute the air inside the house and increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. And the idea of cooking on a wood stove when the heat index is 114 degrees F, as it was two days ago here, is not ideal. :rolleyes:
     
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  19. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    yuh if you're not prepared to get up on the roof with a chimney brush once a year, maybe don't get a wood fire.
     
  20. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    At least you can hire a certified chimney sweep for a fireplace. (We do). Not sure a chimney sweep would be of much use for a stove pipe.