A Good Generator Made Better

When my daughter Ginger had her Type 1 diabetes onset last March, one of the first preps I put in place was getting a backup to our backup generator. Insulin is life, and the supply must be protected at all costs, and since insulin must be kept cold, refrigeration is crucial. I can’t allow any single points of failure in my insulin supply and delivery system, so we have multiple stashes of insulin in multiple fridges with multiple sources of electricity to power them, and deep backup cooling methods that don’t require electricity at all.

The backup generator I selected is a Honda EU2000i, one of their whisper-quiet inverter models. It’s a great generator, but it has its limits. It’s pretty low output, 2000 watts; compared to our main generator, which cranks out 13.5 kilowatts surge, it’s ridiculously small. Still, even if it can’t run the well, that’s plenty of power to run a fridge and some lights, and the quiet operation is a huge bonus compared to the roar of the Generac.

But after a recent power outage in the wee hours, I realized that stretching the extension cords needed to go from the Honda to the fridges was a serious obstacle to actually deploying the thing when it’s needed. What I needed was a way to patch the Honda into the transfer switch so that I’d be able to power select emergency circuits around the house, without the need to run extension cords into windows.

So I came up with a cordset that does just that. The video below illustrates how I built it, and how I put it to use in the house. I managed to test it successfully yesterday without releasing any Magic Blue Smoke or melting my fillings – speaking of which, please bone up on ourĀ disclaimer and don’t actually do what I did.

And how about that awesome bumper a the start of the video? Big thanks to Brother Harold for putting that together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *