Readers, thank you so much for some very helpful suggestions and information in response to my question yesterday: Do we need a generator for the Manse?
The question was prompted by Superstorm Sandy passing through the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, leaving millions of people without power. (Though I am pleased to say it’s all been very mild indeed – a bit of wind last night and some typical autumn rainfall today – in Montreal, and I hope the Queensborough area was spared too.)
Anyway, if you check the comments on yesterday’s post you’ll see some words of wisdom. I was interested to hear from Graham that we don’t necessarily need a great big generator, that a smaller portable one may be just fine. And Dave had some good advice on using propane, lower-maintenance and cleaner than gasoline. And my brother John reminded us all to Buy Canadian!
In late November Raymond and I will be in the small town of Stonington, a lovely little lobster-fishing town (which I have written about before, saying that it, like Queensborough, is one of the Good Places in the world) on the Maine coast – actually, off the coast, since it’s on an island. (An island connected to the mainland by none other than the Sedgwick Bridge!) Because of the high sea winds that knock out power with great regularity, pretty much every house and business in Stonington has a generator. If you’re out and about on a power-knocked-out night, the air is full of their humming sound. We will ask some questions of people there during our visit. Field research!
Meantime, I am interested in something Graham said, in that it sounds like a no-muss, no-fuss (if rather costly) solution: “Heavy-duty units are typically plugged directly into the household electrical system via a special adapter to your SmartMeter. This would require installation by an electrician. In such situations, there are generators available that will start automatically in the event of a power failure but these units do have a price premium.”
Starting automatically with no effort from us? Sounds great, especially given that we could be four and a half hours away at the time of the outage. But yes, they do seem to be expensive. Here’s one I found from all-Canadian Rona (are you happy, John?) that looks nice and sleek, runs on propane, but costs (gasp) $3,268:What do you think, folks? Worth it?