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Old 06-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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Auxillary Electricity


Due to the fact that the apt. complex that I live in put out a notice that the electricity will be totally off all day Wednesday, I'm thinking about buying some kind of auxillary power, like a small generator on sale at Harbor Freight. The only drawback to that is the amount of noise that it makes, which I suspect will get complaints from the neighbors, if not from the apt. management. It would be nice if it were possible to add a muffler that would make it quiet, but I don't know of anything like that available.

The only other alternative that I can think of is using an inverter along with some batteries. The inverter itself isn't too expensive, but I imagine that it would take several batteries to power it, and the total cost would be more than I would want to spend, not to mention finding a place to store all of those batteries.

The generator and other items needed to use it would only cost about $135...it there anything else in that price range that would serve the purpose more quietly?

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Old 06-02-2013, 08:09 PM   #2
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Do you work from home?
Do you have an elderly person that has needs?

Just curious as to why you cannot go one day without power.

Personally I would not waste a dime on some cheap Chinese piece of crap generator.
You definitely get what you pay for, and $135 is about as good as $.05 in this regard.

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Old 06-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Do you work from home?
Do you have an elderly person that has needs?

Just curious as to why you cannot go one day without power.
Yes, I have a medical need for cooling. It should be via an air conditioner, but I think it would tax the generator too much to run that, so I will have to settle for a fan.
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Personally I would not waste a dime on some cheap Chinese piece of crap generator.
You definitely get what you pay for, and $135 is about as good as $.05 in this regard.
On this point, you may well be right. I had a generator years ago about this size that held up pretty well, but I can't remember now what brand it was.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Get a motel room for the day.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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If I wanted to do that, then I wouldn't be considering the generator and I wouldn't have posted this question.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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Notify management of your medical requirement. They should provide a solution, generator or motel room.
They will likely have a generator on site for their tools anyway.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #7
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I wouldn't be worried as much about the noise as I would finding a place to run it that wouldn't put CO into your unit or a neighbors. The motel is probably the safest and cheapest.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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I've been Googling this particular generator and so far what I've read and seen in videos hasn't been all that bad, despite the fact that it is made in China. I doubt that it would hold up as well as a better generator, but then it isn't designed for continous use. Even after the immediate need, it would still be nice to have just in case, and maybe to take along on a camping/fishing trip.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Notify management of your medical requirement. They should provide a solution, generator or motel room.
They will likely have a generator on site for their tools anyway.
The apt management already knows about my requirements, as well as a number of other residents, because the complex is for the elderly and disabled. The notice said nothing about any provision for alternative power, only suggested visiting family or friends for the day, of which I have neither.

Even if they had a generator for working purposes, it would belong to the contractor, and I'm certain they wouldn't want a bunch of extension cords running to it from all different directions.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebierley View Post
I wouldn't be worried as much about the noise as I would finding a place to run it that wouldn't put CO into your unit or a neighbors. The motel is probably the safest and cheapest.
The CO is a valid point, not so much for me, because it would be on the balcony with the door to it shut. However depending on the wind direction, it could pose a problem for a neighbor on one side or the other from me...if they remained home with their door and windows open.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #11
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Auxillary Electricity


Considering the type of facility this seems to be (sounds like assisted living), I suspect it's probably illegal for the landlord to turn off the power for a whole day without providing an alternate supply or somewhere else to stay. Such places are licensed by the state, and have strict requirements of care they must follow. I'd be calling whatever agency in your State licenses such places. Here, it's called the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

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Old 06-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #12
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Bear in mind the small generators are not designed for constant, continuous use. They have a tiny gas tank for this reason. Once that tank runs out you're supposed to let the unit cool down fully before adding any more fuel and running it again. Otherwise you run the risk of FIRE when fuel spills onto the hot engine surfaces if you attempt to refill it, ESPECIALLY when it's already running.

Even a cheap motel has got to be cheaper than the cost and risk of running a generator on your balcony.

That and you'll need a bigger one than you think if you expect to run an air conditioner. The startup (or in-rush current) drain from them is a lot more than what it takes to just run. And it kicks this back up close to this level when the compressor is engaged for more cooling.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seekermeister

The CO is a valid point, not so much for me, because it would be on the balcony with the door to it shut. However depending on the wind direction, it could pose a problem for a neighbor on one side or the other from me...if they remained home with their door and windows open.
Don't know where you live but most apartment leases i have seen prohibit running any sort of gas operated device on your balcony and you aren't going to fly under the radar with a generator.

You need to shift the burden from trying to solve this problem yourself and looking for some help from either the apartment manager or your local/county/state resources for senior citizens. In our area on hots days towns all operate cooling centers for seniors. No reason why they couldn't spin one up for a day to accommodate a group of affected citizens. You also need to press management very hard. Most likely they take money from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and putting the elderly and disabled on the street for a day isn't kosher. Of course I expect the apartment management to not advertise and or give in easily but ultimately they have to do something.
These apartments have a wide variety of seniors some that are very healthy, still drive, maybe have local family while others may not have, nor are expected to have those same resources.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Considering the type of facility this seems to be (sounds like assisted living), I suspect it's probably illegal for the landlord to turn off the power for a whole day without providing an alternate supply or somewhere else to stay. Such places are licensed by the state, and have strict requirements of care they must follow. I'd be calling whatever agency in your State licenses such places. Here, it's called the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
This may be true, but I do not want the hassle of getting the government involved. The reason for the outage given is for the purpose of repairing the a/c to this building, but that doesn't make any sense to me, because I would think that the a/c has a circuit all it's own, that shouldn't have anything to do with the rest of the circuits. The a/c is currently working, though it may not be at full performance, because I had to set the thermostat somewhat lower than I normally do to keep the room temperature where it should be.

EDIT: Technically, I suppose they could defend their action by the fact that the complex is composed of two separate buildings, and only mine will be blacked out. They did say that we could go to the other building, but spending the entire day walking the halls over there doesn't agree with me at all.

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Old 06-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #15
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While you don't "want the hassle" I'm sure they don't want the hassle of a resident setting himself on fire or causing others to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Get a motel room. Don't pursue the generator plan at all.

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