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Appliantology Newsletter, August 2011: Appliances and Disasters

Appliantology Newsletter, August 2011: Appliances and Disasters

0. Introduction
1. Can I use my appliances during a disaster?
2. Does it hurt my appliances to run them or have them plugged in while the power is blinking on and off?
3. Can running my appliances off a generator damage them?
4. What about water?
5. How do I store food safely while the power is out?
6. Epilogue

### ### ### ###

0. Introduction

With Hurricane Irene rampaging up the East Coast and record-breaking earthquakes off the coast of Virginia (or a nuclear detonation in a sea bed bunker, depending on who you're listening to), disaster prep seemed like the obvious topic du jour for this Special Irene Edition of *Appliantology*.

### ### ### ###

1. Can I use my appliances during a disaster?

Using appliances during a storm or other disaster can be risky to the appliance because of the power going on and off, voltage spikes (more on that below), trees falling on power lines, etc.

Even most gas appliances need electricity. For example, the spark module for your gas stove burners won't work though the burners are still usable by manually lighting the gas, which is perfectly fine; it's safe and doesn't hurt the appliance. Just don't use the gas stove to heat your house!

Most modern gas ovens with hot surface ignition require 120vac to heat up the ignitor and there's no manual bypass for that so, without a power source, you won't have an oven.

### ### ### ###

2. Does it hurt my appliances to run them or have them plugged in while the power is blinking on and off?

Absolutely! Every time that power blinks off and goes back on, it slams your appliances with transient voltage spikes. Depending on the severity of the spikes, these can fry control boards right away or slowly degrade them over time through a process called electronic rust. After getting slammed with a finite number of such spikes, the electronic control board(s) will eventually fail (at great expense and inconvenience to you).

To prevent this unhappy and completely avoidable scenario, any appliance with an electronic control board in it-- which is most of 'em today-- should be plugged into a surge suppressor, not directly into the wall. Surge suppressors for common household 120vac outlets are inexpensive and you can get 'em at your local hardware store. This will provide reasonable protection for all your 120vac appliances. Read more about surge protection for your appliances here... http://fixitnow.com/?p=1523

To protect your 240vac appliances with fancy control boards during a storm, such as an electric range with a digital display, you should switch off the circuit breaker to that appliance until the coast is clear.

### ### ### ###

3. Can running my appliances off a generator damage them?

If you haven't purchased a generator by now, it's probably too late for the Irene event. But in case you can (or already have a generator you're planning to use), here are some fun facts to know and tell about using generators with appliances.

For appliances with electronic control boards-- which is most appliances today-- you should only use generators that produce a pure sine wave output.

Most generators produce a modified sine wave output, which is not a pure sine wave but more of a stylized square wave. This is fine for motors but not good for the AC-to-DC rectifiers in appliances. The modified sine wave messes with the rectifier, making it overheat and crank out off-spec voltages for the control board. The result is often burned out rectifiers and fried control boards.

Producing a pure sine wave output requires much more sophisticated circuitry in the inverter and usually only comes with more expensive, higher-end generators. It's a big selling point, too, so if a generator doesn't specifically say it's a pure sine wave generator, then it's safest to assume that it only puts out a modified sine wave.

So, if you do not have a generator that produces a pure sine wave output, be careful to only run appliances that do not have electronic control boards.

Oh, and one point of safety: don't run your generator inside the house. I know, it sounds crazy to even say it but there are knuckleheads out there who do that kind of thing. Like this guy... http://fixitnow.com/?p=693

### ### ### ###

4. What about water?

Flood waters in urban areas are a lethal cocktail of sewage, petroleum products, and just about every kind of chemical you can imagine. Simple disinfection (e.g., boiling, chlorine drops, iodine drops, etc.) is woefully inadequate for this water. You can treat the water so it's safe from pathogens and it can still be lethal because of the gasoline, mercury, or any one of thousands of other contaminants commonly found in urban Ameedika.

The other problem is that coastal flood waters will also be either salty or brackish which, in itself, renders the water undrinkable.

The best treatment for making flood waters potable is distillation. Reverse osmosis is the next best thing. If you can't treat flood waters using either of these two methods, don't drink it at all!

Bottled water is the best bet but there are logistical limitations on how much you can store.

### ### ### ###

5. How do I store food safely while the power is out?

I posted some information on food preservation and safety during disasters. You can read it here: http://fixitnow.com/?p=6515.

### ### ### ###

6. Epilogue

As we say in Fukushima, "Rots of ruck, GI!"

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

The Samurai School of Appliantology

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Radiation Exposure Dose Chart

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Surfing the Apocalypse 13 April 2011 · 940 views

Here's a handy and easy-to-use radiation dose chart that shows the radiation exposure from various activities and events ranging from mundane activities to catastrophic scenarios. Go ahead and download it and keep it handy.

Posted Image
(click for larger view)

Queen dissolves Canadian Parliament for third time in 3 years

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Surfing the Apocalypse 03 April 2011 · 572 views

Since we have many Brethren in The Craft here from North of the Border, I thought folks might be interested in this widely-unreported bit of Stephen Harper's latest chicanery...

April 3, 2011

In news that was alarmingly under-reported even in the alternative media, Queen Elizabeth’s Governor General David Johnston approved Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request to dissolve Parliament on March 26 for the third time in 3 years. The move came after Parliament’s first ever vote of no confidence against Stephen Harper. Elections have been scheduled for May 2.

As the Times Columnist wrote on March 26:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit the Governor General today to dissolve Parliament, setting the stage for a federal election in early May.

The Harper government was defeated in the House of Commons on Friday on a non-confidence motion declaring the government in contempt of Parliament.

It is the first time in Canadian history that a government has been found in contempt.

From Wikipedia:
The governor general alone is also constitutionally mandated to summon parliament. Beyond that, the viceroy carries out the other conventional parliamentary duties in the sovereign’s absence, including reading the Speech From the Throne and proroguing and dissolving parliament.

For those in denial of the Queen’s power over her colony-states, here are previous occurrences:

Canadian PM wins suspension of Parliament

Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren
Dec 4, 2008

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a rare suspension of Parliament on Thursday, managing to avoid being ousted by opposition parties angry over the minority Conservative government’s economic plans and an attempt to cut off party financing.

Governor General Michaelle Jean — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state — agreed to Harper’s request to shut down Parliament until Jan 26. Parliament was reconvened just weeks ago after the October 14 election.

Proroguing Parliament is ‘routine,’ Tories say

CTV News
Dec. 31 2009

While opposition parties accuse the Conservative government of avoiding accountability by successfully requesting Parliament be prorogued for the second time in a year, Tory observers insist it’s nothing more than a routine procedure — and that the move will allow the government to return refreshed and re-focused on the economy in 2010.

The last time he asked Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to prorogue Parliament was in December 2008 when he faced the threat of a coalition forming among opposition parties.

Canada’s Rogue Conservatives Prorogue Parliament

This is the second time the ruling party wants to shut down democracy

Michael Werbowski
Global Research
January 5, 2010

This week during the year’s slowest news period, startling reports from Ottawa have revealed that the Canadian conservative Prime Minster, Stephen Harper has prorogued or postponed the opening of parliament for at least a month. With the governor general’s blessings (who according to parliamentary procedure the authority to close down the legislature) he plans to proceed with this scurrilous plot and thereby undermine parliamentary democracy. If all goes according to Harper’s plan, then the House of Commons which is due to resume its New Year’s session on January 23rd will not sit until March 3rd or after the winter Olympics games to be held in February in Vancouver , B.C.

This Machiavellian move is designed to stave off opposition parties’ call for a full public inquiry, which would centre on the allegations of torture implicating the Canadian military, which surfaced during the last session of the House. On the home front, the prorogation of the legislature would also quell growing discontent in the country with the almost despotic tendencies of the current government. This is not the first time parliament has been shut down either. Back in December, 2008, Canada ’s Governor General Michaelle Jean granted the prime minister’s holiday wish and closed down the house just as the opposition sought to bring down the minority government with a non –confidence vote.


Prior occasions of note:

In 1926, Liberal prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, facing a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons over a scandal in his party, requested that Governor General the Lord Byng of Vimy dissolve parliament and call an election. Byng, however, refused his Canadian prime minister’s advice, citing both the facts that King held the minority of seats in the house and that a general election had been held only months earlier; he thus called on Arthur Meighen to form a government. Within a week however, Meighen’s Conservative government lost its own non-confidence vote, forcing the Governor General to dissolve parliament and call elections that saw Mackenzie King returned to power

In Australia, the House of Representatives was dissolved and the Parliament prorogued on 19 July 2010.

Also in Australia: Although Parliament was regularly prorogued in the past, it has been prorogued without an accompanying dissolution on only four occasions since 1961. Two of these, in 1974 and 1977, were for the purpose of allowing openings of Parliament by the monarch during visits to Australia. On another occasion, in February 1968, Parliament was prorogued following the disappearance in the sea of Prime Minister Harold Holt in December 1967. On the fourth occasion, Parliament met for one day in November 1969 following an election for the House of Representatives on 25 October and was prorogued until the following March.

In March 1993 the government restored the practice, not followed since the 1920s, of proroguing the Parliament before dissolving the House of Representatives for the purpose of a general election.

Source: http://www.infowars....ime-in-3-years/

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