To say it has been quite a winter for us in Ontario is quite an understatement. Week long power interruptions have been at the top of the news.
How did people cope with no power during these frigid temperatures?
I asked some of our clients what they did when the outage continued on: When home temperatures got more uncomfortable, people re-located to friends and family outside of the affected areas, and some closed up most of the house, put the fireplace on and attempted an urban approach to winter camping.
How many homeowners took action to protect their plumbing systems when their homes approached the freezing point?
People with a few more years notched into their belts, and those with older, draftier homes new they had to take steps to protect their plumbing:
Turning off the incoming water supply, opening the taps and flushing the toilets to allow for ice expansion is a great trick to lessen the chances that the pipes will split if the water inside freezes.
Frozen pipes (and no water) are a real inconvenience, but plumbing lines that have split from ice expansion can wreck a home and result in extensive flooding when they finally thaw. If you were away on vacation you had limited options to protect your home from freezing damage.
On the electrical side, people with an uninterrupted, backup power supply did not have these concerns.
Our customers who already had an autostart generator were laughing. The brains of the generator monitors the power supply coming in from the street. When the power stopped flowing, the generator signaled to start, and became the sole source of power until the street power was restored. Everything in their home continued to function without the support of the community’s power supply. The furnace, security system, sump pump, fridge and freezer all continued to work whether they were there or not! Our clients who had chosen a smaller generator may not have had their homes lit up like Vegas, but they still had all the circuits that they considered essential powered up and running.
Backup power in a sea of darkness
The most imperative reasons for needing emergency backup power is related to protecting our homes from freezing and flooding but other considerations are lifestyle, health challenges, vacancy during travel and security.