CPAP and Generators

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CPAP and Generators

Postby Maria7 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:10 pm

I'm considering installing a generator. Being from the Northeast, we are subject to a lot of power outages during the winter. I have one question I'm hoping someone can answer.

If the power goes out during the night while you are asleep, does the machine automatically start running again if the power goes back on or does the CPAP have to be restarted manually?

It makes a difference to what sort of generator I would consider.
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Postby Bearded One » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:35 am

I believe that all of them do. You can test yours by turning it on, unplugging it, and then plugging it back in.

You might want to consider using a small UPS to power your CPAP machine, but not the humidifier, to power your machine before your power plant starts. A battery would be better than a UPS, but the UPS would be easier.
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Postby Okie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:42 am

Hi,
My electrical service is a rural electric cooperative, and we also find ourselves subject to prolonged weather related outages. We installed a whole house natural gas powered stand-by generator about one year ago, and have been very happy with it. It starts up automatically any time the regular power fails, and all household appliances,including our cpaps and humidifiers resume running after only about a 8-10 second delay.
I also manage three group homes for developmentally disabled adults, and was able to install standby generators in each of them, thanks to a generous donation. Our community had an F2 tornado last May, which took down many power lines, substations and damaged the local power generation plant leaving most of the town without power for several days. During this time, we had full power to cook, take showers do laundry and enjoy radio, computers and television. Many of our groups home residents also use cpap. I went to sleep each night knowing like me and my husband, they could sleep well with their cpaps and humidifiers.
Our electric cooperative offers year round discounted rates on electric power in exchange for a contract to allow them to switch our home to generator power on peak-load days during peak hours.
If you decide to install a generator, locate it as far as your lot will allow from the house. It does sound about like having a lawn mower running when in operation, so don't locate it near your sleeping area.
And get ready for lots of company during the next ice storm. Put on a big pot of stew because you will meet all your neighbors.
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Postby Maria7 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:57 am

Thank you Bearded One and Okie. You gave me exactly the information I was looking for. I will put in an automatic generator when finances allow. My son has one in Maine but it must be started manually. Being alone now I don't want to deal with that especially if it happened during sleeping hours when I would not even be aware of the outage. So far, the outages we got from the fierce winter we just had, happened during the day. But that may not always be the case.

Bearded one, I did as you suggested unplugged the CPAP then plugged it in again and it did go right back to where it was. I admit feeling a tad stupid for not thinking of that myself.
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Postby Okie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am

Another advantage of a generator that turns itself on and off automatically with power loss, is if you are traveling, and lose power, you will not come home to a house that has a refrigertor/freezer of spoiled food, frozen water pipes, etc. We can also turn it on manually.

Our electric coopertive has an incentive program for homeowners to install standby generators, which includes a financing plan at 5%, the monthly payment is on our electric bill, along with the discounts for peak-load contract..so the net montly cost is about $40.00 / month. Still costly, but easier than buying outright. They install and maintain the unit. It might be worth asking your electric supplier if they have any similar programs.
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Postby Bearded One » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:03 pm

Okie, do they provide a power plant that will also power central air? I am curious because $40 a month is a pretty good price to provide, install, and maintain a power plant that large.
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Postby Okie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:08 pm

Yes, my home is total electric, I can run the pool pump,. leave the a/c on 70 and bake a cake. do laundry and take a hot shower on generator power. Absolutely no difference in being on generator vs regular power supply- the unit installed was about 10,000...but I have lived in this house for twenty years, and will probably never move...if I do, perhaps it will be a good selling point. Of course, the 40.00 is only until the unit pays off...not forever.
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