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Thread: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

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    Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    And would you consider yourself prepared for a blackout?
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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    Six days. Showering by candlelight was nice though.

    Prepared for a blackout? Yes, as long as I have fuel in the car.

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    It's been a long, long time and no, I will never be prepared (until I have my own generator!)

    The worrying thing is, our government spent too long authorising the new nuclear generators we needed (I'm sure they thought if they kept holding out someone would magic up some renewable energy) and we are projected to start having blackouts soon because of it.....which would probably not be an issue if they legalised cannabis and the houses on almost every UK street growing it under high-wattage lights shut up shop....but that's another topic
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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    I would be ok

    My 7ft Marine fish tank, not so much

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    which would probably not be an issue if they legalised cannabis and the houses on almost every UK street growing it under high-wattage lights shut up shop....but that's another topic
    Smart meters ought to be able to pinpoint such abusers though. And then it's just a matter of searching the premises, reinstating public beheading for offenders, and handing their properties off to next of kin. Problem solved.

    Edit: Sorry, that was harsh. Disregard for the law is a touchy subject for me lol

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    I think I recall about 3 power cuts. First when I was fairly young and I don't remember much about it other than it being a bit 'exciting', lasted maybe 7 hours I think.

    Second, it was exam time in secondary school, and due to exams being held in a purely artificially lit hall, they were cancelled. When power returned the voltage started out low, and the fluorescent lights kept flickering, the inductive kick from the ballast was igniting them normally but not enough voltage to sustain the arc. I remember our form teacher joking saying if one stayed on for longer than a few seconds we'd have to do the exam. He made out as though it was his call, so we all watched anxiously.

    Last time was just a few weeks ago, right in the middle of having a shower, but our gas cooker enabled me to heat some water and finish off comfortably. I discovered a few things though - first, VM's access network doesn't appear to be battery-backed at all, even their phone service. Mobile networks seemed OK though, but AFAIK some smaller 'filler' cells are not necessarily backed up, hence the OP's problems?
    The battery on my phone was on the low side so I connected it to a laptop and checked the provider's website while I was at it, turns out they're about the only one *not* to have some sort of live status update/problem reporting service!

    I started preparing a backup power supply for my phone from a spare DC-DC board, some USB adapters and some charged random batteries. The power came back on before I needed to use them though. It did get me thinking about it though. A generator is probably not a brilliant solution considering how often it would likely get used (gas powered units are probably better for home standby use than petrol ones because of problems with stale fuel etc), but I'll still consider some form of generation, and maybe some floating batteries for basic lighting + communication. Oh and powering the gas boiler might be worthwhile in case of any lengthy winter cuts, provided the gas supply remains...
    Last edited by watercooled; 02-08-2013 at 05:14 PM.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    Problem we have now is that we're quite reliant on connectivity and because of this we've forgotten some of the social arts that we had 'pre-technology'.

    I am not prepared for a powercut beyond having the candles, it would not be a comfortable situation if it was for more than a few hours - unless it was countywide, I'd probably invade a friends house that remained furnished with power and technology

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    The cut also got me thinking more about data loss/corruption on PCs, especially when it comes to SSDs and unexpected power loss. That's one advantage having a laptop I suppose, for its battery; it would be nice if we could get some PSUs with a built-in UPS battery, rather than needing unnecessarily large and heavy off-the-shelf UPSes to turn power from LVDC to AC so it can be turned back to LVDC inside the PC! It's something I've been considering trying myself, but my monitor is AC fed so it could be a pain to power.

    I'd probably consider investing in one of those methane/propane powered generators and mains switching gear but I'd like to run it occasionally to test etc and it would probably (understandably) annoy neighbours. Solar would be essentially useless if the power cut happened to be during a cloudy winter day i.e. when you'd want power the most. Like I say I'll have to give it some thought!

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    According to my UPS, I've only had one 8 minute run without power in the last three years.

    Services in London are very secure and reliable but I'd say I'm quite well prepared for any outage, to what extent I'd best keep quiet about

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    About 12 hours when I was staying in the middle of nowhere in the Kruger National Park in South Africa about 6 years ago when the generator (the only source of electricity where I was) died as the fuel pump gave up the ghost.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    Great timing. I couldn't have answered this thread when it was posted .... I had a power cut. Honest.

    Longest time? We had about 18 houes a year or so back .... but I still have candles and parafin lamp I acquired during the 70's oil embargo power cuts.
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    we had 2 days without power since the wire in the ground was bust that was spring this year, it was ours and a few others on the street without power since it was only 1 phase that was faulty, talk about annoying seeing the neighbour have power and you don't
    Last edited by hellig; 02-08-2013 at 06:50 PM.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    At home a couple of hours, have done a couple of weeks camping without electricity. Pretty well kitted out if we did have a severe power cut, my camping kit includes plenty of gas, would be OK for a couple of days. After that would relocate to my parents (2 miles away). They have a massive wood pile, and a pond with springs in the garden, I have a mill spec water purifier.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    Well, chances that if you end up living in a country with frequent blackouts, you would have access to a generator. Though as the above, it could run out. I am pretty sure done 12 hours blackouts, also in Africa. But then, it was in the evening so it's just we just went to bed a bit earlier, and we weren't completely without electricity since we still had working flashlights.

    To be pedantic, the longest without electricity *at all*, might well be never (e.g. before mobile phones, I wore watches - and I usually have batteries for the torch etc. meaning that I don't think I've never had to resort to candles other than because I felt like it). The longest off the grid would probably be 2-3 days (short trek). I'd still have head-lamp, and batteries to have my mobile/camera to last that long (the mobile is usually out of range, so everything is switched off save the GPS).

    In Japan, you are supposed to keep a pack in case in case you encounter a serious earthquake: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12759840 ()

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    When I was living on Roatan Island (Honduras) in 2011/2012 we used to have frequent power outages for couple days at a time (whole island powered by diesel generators) and to be honest we didn't really notice it all that much. The Air Compressor at work was backup diesel powered so we could keep the shop running and oh no we couldn't charge phone or watch TV at home.

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    Re: Features - QOTW: What's the longest you've gone without electricity?

    The longest was about 18 hours and am I prepared? Never lol

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