California's electric grid shutdown - welcome 21st Century technology

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    My 25-year-0ld garage door opener gave up the ghost a few months ago. I replaced it with a new one with the required battery backup. I haven't had to use it yet. I can still open the garage manually, if necessary, but my wife cannot. I am not too concerned about fires but am concerned with possible power outages.
  2. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    There's been a lot of discussion both on the news and on our local Facebook community page about the power outage the past few days - many complaining, of course. Some point out that we did get plenty of warning, so except for those in Sonoma County who were evacuated and could not run their generators the complainers failed to get prepared.

    The battery backup for a garage door opener seems like a modest outlay for prep. But for some it's an unexpected expense that is not easily affordable.

    A generator is a different story. We had a good Honda propane generator for 17 years. It quit producing power so I went to the Honda dealer. Honda doesn't make a propane or even dual fuel generator any more. And they struggled with the idea of fixing ours. So I ordered a Champion 7500 Watt Dual Fuel through Amazon which with shipping and taxes cost $970. Even though we already had our wiring system, I did replace the connector cord. And even though we already had the connection setup for our house propane I did replace the valve and fittings. I also bought a cover. So that brought the cost up to $1,000.00.

    It did the job well over four days 12-hours per day running our three refrigerators and furnace, plus the Dish Wally and TV, computer and odds and ends. Didn't even have to add oil. And the local deal finally fixed the Honda, but I don't have a place to hook up a second generator, so for now its our "backup" to our "backup."

    We could afford this. But for the average working class family a thousand bucks isn't feasible. There are smaller cheaper generators that can keep one refrigerator going and let you make some coffee. But the truth is the generator uses fuel, needs oil and routine maintenance. You're not going to use it in your apartment building.

    So really being prepared for multi-day power outages is not some simple task.
    P Smith likes this.
  3. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz New Texan

    Mar 23, 2002
    Isn't that the truth? I know that when I purchased my home in Texas, I had a list of things that I knew need to be fixed or at least budgeted for. If a sky window gets broken by hail, the plan is to replace it with a bullet-resistant type plastic. But that costs $100 more. I'd rather pay more if it means it last longer. Some folks, however, only look at the short term costs.
  4. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    There's no choice in California. Battery backup is required.
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    To be clear, existing openers do not need to be replaced. The extra cost would be incurred when a new opener was needed (or other major work).

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