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Three power cuts so far this week.

(27 Posts)
Boonducks Fri 04-Dec-15 19:21:33

Perhaps I should be on here?
Sunday's high winds knocked it out for a couple of hours. Then at 6pm it went off again until 3am. Today it went of again for a few hours.
We used to get power cuts week in week out when I first moved here nearly 30 years ago. Things have been better in recent years but there is always at least one every winter.

zombiesarecoming Fri 04-Dec-15 19:45:04

Welcome, maybe time to think about a UPS for any computers or sensitive electrical equipment, stash of batteries and decent torches and lanterns of possibly a back up generator and changeover switch to connect it to the house

howtorebuild Fri 04-Dec-15 20:36:27

I understand to cut costs many trees have not been trimmed as they would normally be.

zombiesarecoming Fri 04-Dec-15 20:50:39

Was talking about the lack of tree trimming to my BIL last week and he mentioned they had been having power cuts over the last couple of weeks more often than usual

Doesn't take a genius to work out the lack of line clearance and the winds are going to result in branches brushing live wires and causing power outs, think he may be starting to see the sense in prepping for things now

Stratter5 Fri 04-Dec-15 21:35:53

Yep, we had power out day before yesterday. Drove up the hill today, and a bloody great tree had obviously come down across the road as bits of it were piled up either side. The road runs through a wood, and the trees are usuall checked yearly, but they've not been done this year, or last year (they close the road whilst they're working)

Am expecting more outages. Have put generator on Christmas list. Am not expecting to get it sad

Boonducks Fri 04-Dec-15 22:24:04

I have a "power cut kit" in the garage because we are used to it. An old fashioned telephone is useful - we live in a mobile blackspot at the best of times. Also wind up torches, lamps, candles, a battery radio and batteries. Unfortunately DC had raided the stash of batteries and they had gone.
We have a multi fuel stove with back boiler and I have a one ring camping gas thing. Didn't realise I shouldn't use it indoors though until now.
Have now stocked up on batteries and bought some new wind up torches as the old ones are very old.

cozietoesie Fri 04-Dec-15 23:15:56

We now have a decent personal supply of Dynamo lanterns. The light is a bit cold for my entire satisfaction but they're certainly efficient - and I like that the ones we have can be fully charged by mains electricity when we have it so they can always be ready to go.

Boonducks Sat 05-Dec-15 10:43:35

cozietoesie Are the lanterns charged by mains? Where were they from? All the ones I can find are wind up. We have one of those and it lasts about 30 seconds.

cozietoesie Sat 05-Dec-15 11:06:42

I just bought from Amazon - they weren't too badly priced at all. All the ones I have have Dynamo, mains (through some method - direct or USB) and solar powered options. Although that last is a joke in the current weather here and I haven't tested their capabilities on that yet.

cozietoesie Sat 05-Dec-15 11:08:24

PS - I'll put them through their paces properly this weekend and report back.

cozietoesie Sat 05-Dec-15 13:30:02

Well I'm trying to run down one of each of the two main types and not doing very well so far. (Prior to timing a recharge.) Pshaw to your 30 seconds, I'm afraid.

cozietoesie Sat 05-Dec-15 15:12:52

They're both still going - what with a couple of shut offs for a cup of tea and making lunch, that's coming up to 3.5 hours. I know they're fairly new and rechargeable batteries tend to be real Kick Ass at the beginning but still........

Castrovalva Sat 05-Dec-15 16:03:59

A Ups is fab, we can watch TV by candlelight in a power cut.

Boonducks Sat 05-Dec-15 16:33:36

I think maybe all our stuff is pretty old. We used to get more power cuts than we do now and bought all our rechargeable torches etc when they first came on the market. Time to replace them I think.
Never heard of UPS, but then I'm here under false pretences as I'm not a prepper, just subject to power cuts and being cut off by snow and flood.

zombiesarecoming Sat 05-Dec-15 18:14:12

A UPS is an Uninterruptible Power Supply, originally designed (I think) for computers to give you time to finish work and shut them down properly in a power cut

Depending upon the size of UPS they can give a short time or a long time once the power goes, it depends upon the size of battery inside them and there rating

Stratter5 Sat 05-Dec-15 20:32:59

Cooo where do I get a UPS?

zombiesarecoming Sat 05-Dec-15 20:46:18

Ebay is where 2 of mine came from, ebuyer also does them

You will need to look at what you want to power and how much it needs and get one big enough to both run it in power output and run it for however long you want in battery capacity

Prices range from £50 for basic upto thousands for a high spec system

cozietoesie Sat 05-Dec-15 20:46:59

I think you may be right, Boonducks - the technology has probably advanced a lot if you bought some while back. I've given up on the experiment, I fear - the lantern was still going strong when I stopped but I found a box for one and it said that it went for 12 hours on full brightness (20 on half brightness) so I thought Blow This for a Lark. I believe them.

This is the main one I'm using and you'll see that there's a video demonstrating it in the user review that's listed. The review is American and I can tell you that I received a UK plugged charging adapter with the lantern.

PigletJohn Sat 05-Dec-15 21:24:11

you can get a UPS for your computer, to keep it running for a while. They generally have the facility to send a "safe shut down" command to the machine so it will not crash and lose or damage your work. I'd recommend a trusted local supplier with a good returns policy. For example here

In the UK it is unusual to have a power cut that lasts as long as a day, and the operators ship in engineers from all over the country, and beyond, when a major problem occurs.

For lighting, the LED camping lanterns last much longer, and/or are much brighter, than old ones with torch bulbs. They are a few pounds in Aldi or supermarts in the camping/festival season. If you have urchins who may run down the batteries, get the wind-up ones.

I would avoid candles because they start fires, especially when you might be carrying them about and have no lantern.

You also need a battery radio, and a simple corded phone. Telephone exchanges have back-up power for this very reason.

Cordless phones will not work at all, and mobile phones will probably lose signal quickly.

Boonducks Sat 05-Dec-15 22:36:41

Ha ha yes I have a corded phone in my power cut box, very retro. It doesn't store all my numbers of course. It was about £6 from Argos. Will order that lamp cozie. Amazed the power still on here, listening to the wind.....

cozietoesie Sun 06-Dec-15 01:21:42

We have a temporary respite here. The quiet is almost unnerving.

cozietoesie Sun 06-Dec-15 01:32:18

I think that a thing to remember is that forms of artificial light such as candles, lamps, lanterns etc etc are very much a sort of 'keeping some things going' item. You're not really going to be able to sit down comfortably and read a book with them I reckon. ( And our forebears largely didn't - they usually went to bed at sunset if they weren't wealthy enough to afford lots of candles. Or at any rate, only did those things which were strictly necessary.) Radios are going to be a lifeline for many, I suspect.

Boonducks Sun 06-Dec-15 09:55:58

DS2 (17) was not impressed with the battery radio last Sunday when the power was out all afternoon and eveninggrin. Fortunately his phone, laptop, and tablets were all charged, albeit with no wifi or 4G, plus we have several of these ankers. Those are great little gifts for a teenager by the way. Hold loads of charge, don't leak it and can charge phones etc. as well as having a torch facility. DS used his on a 24 hour coach journey and charged his friends' phones as well.

PigletJohn Sun 06-Dec-15 17:52:39

he might prefer the wide range of stations available on a DAB radio, though the sound quality is nowhere near as good as FM.

I used to travel a lot, and have multiband small portable radios with FM, LW, MW and 4 x SW bands. As you progress through that lot, you can pick up stations that are further and further away. For example in most parts of the world you can pick up BBC World Service, various other countries' broadcasts, in a wide variety of languages. From here I can pick up French and Dutch LW stations. Digital presets make tuning in easy.

Dowser Mon 07-Dec-15 14:58:54

I have the bayliss wind up radio...and I'm not parting with it either.

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