When Things Go Wrong: What’s At The Heart of Your Emergency Power?

What does a Sears brand refrigerator have to do with a generator?  I think a bunch. In 2009, we bought a new fridge from Sears. Due to a sticky crisper drawer and carelessness, I cracked the front of the plastic drawer when I was in a hurry and closed the fridge door with the drawer partially open.. I immediately called my wife and warned that I had just broke her fridge.  She said, “You get to order the new drawer.” :-)  I was shocked to find the part would cost me $112 delivered, as I’m not sure the drawer weighs even a pound. But there is more to the story. Sears said the drawer may not be an exact match, but they would send a “suitable replacement that fits”. What I received for $112 was a sub-assembly. Thank goodness I didn’t break the trim and decor on the front of the drawer or the little adjustable vent that adjusts air flow into the crisper drawer. We were able to remove the pieces and build a complete drawer.

In my mind, this is equivalent to a dead canary found in the cage. I am seeing other signs of stress where companies look to see what corners they can cut, and vestments in spares is an area where cuts can be made. I am left wondering what would have happened if I had asked for the replacement after two years of ownership?

People who take the time to research generators have likely suffered outages in the past.  They may have suffered through a hurricane with no power after losing a modern disposable wonder they eventually threw away because the parts were either so costly or the parts were not available at all.

A KISS engineered two bearing generator/alternator should be the heart of your emergency power. Many of us are or have been active in armature radio, we know we are now coming out of a very quiet period as per solar activity, and we expect a lot more Solar Flares and even a return to some of the bands that worked so well in the past. Along with this activity is uncertainty. We now have so much riding on a digital network, when major elements lose timing, there’s going to be problems.  In today’s world, if the data link fails at the gas pump, you don’t pump gas.  What happens at the bank? What happens at the grocery store? Over the last few years you have seen things happen you never expected, you’ve learned how vulnerable you are, and how empty the promises are that your elected officials made to you. Will you do nothing? It might be time to invest in durable goods.

Here’s an example of a pump house powered by a KISS and EMP proof generator. This one will work and it will even run on highly filtered used motor oil if it is the only fuel you can find.

Here’s our newest DIYer in training, my grandson, Zach.  Basics first.  He already has more DIYer skills that some of the posters on forums. :-)

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2 Responses to When Things Go Wrong: What’s At The Heart of Your Emergency Power?

  1. Daniel says:

    I am having trouble figuring out why one would have trouble finding parts for a lower end modern generator.
    Possibly the more specialized computer controlled units, upwards in $500 new, like the inverter knock offs or when the unit is made of specialized components.

    I currently own 5 portable generators, and my favorite ones are of the 6.5 hp Honda clone variety. The parts are crazy cheap and are usually of decent quality. Once you have figured out the problems they are easy to prevent or fix. I feel very comfortable abusing my $300 Champion.
    I own two Honda generators, they are rarely used as the electronics are far more complicated then they need to be. They are something I wouldn’t want to fix without several hours in a dry shop and the right OEM parts.
    I absolutely hate my Briggs and Stratton powered generator. It is in general unreliable and difficult to maintain. Parts are hard to come by as this engine was only used on generators apparently.

    I know I am late to the party, but I think complexity is far more a problem over apparent quality.

    • George B. says:

      There are a lot of people who have found the cost of a part for their Honda is more than the cost of a new Champion generator. I found out first hand why this is sometimes the case. When you are building thousands of things, they are often cheap, and of course your design is based on cost effective parts at the time you design. Take a FET for instance, it can be pennies at the time of design, and dollars WHEN you attempt to create more spares down the road. In addition, parts on the shelf rack up expenses, in my State, they demanded you pay them 5% of the value of the part for what you have in inventory in the state, that’s just one of many expenses a company has in stocking spares..

      The answer is likely to make the same generator year after year with zero changes, but now we have an EPA who might demand it be different from year to year?

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