I wasn’t sure where to classify this…

So this isn’t specifically audio focused, but people here understand things like

power management, THD and so on.


I moved from So-Cal where all I had to worry about was having a UPS for a 30 second or less power outage.  Now I live in So-Alabama where hurricanes could potentially take power out for up to 2 weeks!

in said situation, whole house backup generators are extremely

pricey!  I have a regular construction generator I want to use as an emergency backup, as well as a battery backup UPS on my computer.

this is a non-inverter generator, so it’s dirty power.  lol my

UPS protect my computer etc, and regulate the large THD issues, or do I need something to help adapt?  Since this is for backup, and I don’t plan to run my high end theater equipment on it, it’s merely asking advise on equipment that would help me not fry my computer in a 5-10 day power outage with dirty power.  Is the UPC enough?  Do I need more?




  I have a regular construction generator I want to use as an emergency backup, as well as a battery backup UPS on my computer.

 what good is the generator or battery backup going to do for your computer when there has been a hurricane and more than likely the cable or whatever you use to get internet is down and probably will be for a while?

the small generator that you have now is used to power small things......lights, fridge, freezer, fans stuff like that.    

when a hurricane comes, you could care less about if the computer is up and running.         you will now have to deal with hot much hot water do we have left ?   what you wouldnt give to have ac right now.   running out of clean clothes.    cant cook on the stove as the small generator cant power that up, so have to use the grill.......and hope we have enough gas to cook with.                  do you have a well for water ?   if so, how are you going to get water ?

so , as you see.......a computer will be the last thing you will need to worry about.

i sent you a pm also....and feel free to contact me as i have plenty  of info i can pass on to you since you are new to this .


As one living in the South myself, I understand your concerns. I use laptop computers and keep a couple of batteries charged up. I can charge my cell phone through the PC USB and use it as a hotspot for internet access. Problem solved. 

@riley804 When you are home for 10 days with no power, you get bored.  The generator I have is a large construction generator that will power my minisplit AC I have for my gaming room/office, which is where I’d be living in the event of a hurricane power outage.  It will also power my chest freezer, and my refrigerator, as well as power for my computer.  I have quite a few VR games I can play without internet, as well as a movie server with tons of movies and TV shows.  I just want to make sure I don’t smoke my gaming rig with dirty power.

My generator running on propane will kick out 6800W nominal.  My minisplit AC runs on a 15 amp circuit, so even if I dedicate the full capacity of that circuit in power (accounting for the start up draw etc), that’s only 1800W.  I still have 4000 to play with.  So yes, my generator is powerful enough to do more than just the “small stuff”



I just want to make sure I don’t smoke my gaming rig with dirty power.

your not.


i had a mini split at  our other house for that same reason also.

For your computer, a standard UPS would work fine. Don't forget to put your cable modem and wifi router on an appropriate UPS as well. 

For your audio/video gear get Furman with SMP and LiFT. They’ll keep your gear safe through over/undervoltages and surges.

If you are also looking at long periods of time with varying voltages consider a more advanced Furman with voltage regulation.

Also, the NEC as of 2020 requires whole house surge suppressors. They’ll help keep your magor appliances, HVAC and home automation gear safer. Not a substitute for your PC’s UPS but a beneficial add-on.

Look at the higher end Honda generators, or similar. They producer clean enough power for sensitive electronics.

Moved from SoCal?

Why leave  this expensive, traffic ridden, over crowed, polluted paradise?

Guess being a native, I'm a little over nostalgic and defensive of my constantly getting weirder state.

@tablejockey Ha!  I went from owing 50% of the value of my home and needing about $70k/year income to survive, to selling that house and with the proceeds, buying a house twice the size, cash.  Once my car is paid off, I can survive off of $15k/year including all utilities, insurance, property tax, and a $300/month food budget for just myself, which may have to go up with food prices these days!



Also, the NEC as of 2020 requires whole house surge suppressors. 

but doesnt that only apply with new service, service upgrade, or service replacement ?

@erik_squires My house was built in 88, so I don’t have a whole home surge suppressor.  My AV gear runs on the non battery back up side of my UPS for surge protection, and my networking gear is on the battery backup side.  If there is a power outage, I don’t plan to use my AV gear as it’s in a room that would need to be cooled with my 3.5ton HVAC which is more than my generator can handle.  I have a 3 story house with my office being 11x18 room on the first floor that’s half buried (my house is on a slope so the front of the house looks like a 2 story) as well as my 2 car garage.  I have the top end insulated Hurricane garage doors, so the combination of insulated, half underground, and having a dedicated 12000 BTU mini split, I can setup a mattress on the floor in there and live comfortable.

I have my gaming rig, VR, and a 48” monitor in the office, so TV and Movies from my server is no big deal as well.  I have butane burners for cooking food, and fully stocked chest freezer.  I’m just getting it all put together and trying to plan ahead.  The last hurricane knocked power out for 10 days here according to my neighbor.


Congrats for making it to the "finish line."

Looks like you're locked and loaded for some reasonably comfy listening sessions in peace.


I'm in Long Beach, and gonna check out  The Show today and listen to unobtanium setups I wish to own for my retirement setup.


@riley804 - You are absolutely right. I bring this up because it is a good recommendation to consider one. The NEC has recognized our reliance on automation and more electronics. Washers, which used to use mechanical timers for instance now use CPUs to manage the wash cycle. The main panel is also the IDEAL place to put a shunt style surge device.

There’s a Wired or Wirecutter article on surge suppressors and they recommended Furman with LiFT / SMP as being the best at protecting sensitive gear. Of course, I use both, as recommended in the NEC and the whole house manufacturer and because I live in South Carolina.

As an audiophile I try to keep my PC and high noise digital devices away from my stereo. 



reason i ask this as don’t want members to think that they have to have this done, which they don’t unless one of those three things has been done and then it’s required.

because I live in South Carolina.

i thought you were west coast?

@riley804 You are absolutely correct, you aren't forced to retrofit an old home with a whole house surge suppressor, but they are inexpensive and worthwhile.  Mine was ~ $150  

If you absolutely refuse to plug your amps into anything but the wall this is the least you should do.

maverick, you asked about temporary power for sensitive electronics, or so it seemed to me. The Honda EU series are inverter generators that will provide clean power for those items.

@builder3 ET AL

A good alternative to the Honda is the Predator inverter generator at a lot lesser price. They are sold by Harbor Freight. But I must say that HF has greatly improved the quality of their tools with their store brand higher priced items. I have a 3500 watt inverter generator which has a 56db noise level from the motor. Outside the front door, I can barely hear it. Now the bigger ones do have more DB ratings. But still around 70 for the 9500 watt that they have just came out with which is their biggest IG.I can highly recommend them from my experience. I am considering another one to go with the 3500 I already own

I have an inverter generator but it’s only 3000w and it’s gas only.  An inverter generator that will kick out 6000+ watts would cost thousands of dollars.  If I could afford to go that route, I might as well install a permanent whole home backup generator.

the point is, I already have a generator that will do 6800w running on propane, so rather than spend thousands of dollars on a different generator, it makes

more sense to spend a few hundred on something that will filter the noise and balance the voltage.  If a UPS does that, then I’m set, but if it doesn’t, I need a solution that doesn’t involve replacing my perfectly good existing $1000 generator with a new $3000 generator.

Eaton brand Pure Sinewave re-generators are all over eBay used. they will take the 120VAC 60hz from the generator, turn it into DC, and then back into perfectly regulated 120VAC at 60Hz.

they can also be used on your audio system, all day long, every day. that is what they are for. they are back up generators, industrial, commercial, bullet proof..designed to recreate the 120VAC all day long and switch to making it off a battery supply if the power goes out.


Thus they are perfect for multi use. For cleaning up emergency generator power and for cleaning up your regular AC coming from the power company, and for blackouts/flicker/etc via their own internal battery systems, which can be expanded. Or run off of battery-solar combos.

I prefer to leave "regenerators" alone. 

The tech reviews of the audiophile grade units are worse than previous generations, and the UPS kind seem to have a lot more reliability issues than non-sine wave UPS units.

Oh my you move from Southern  Cal to South Alabama.Forgetabout your power backup you need a reality check there is more at stake than listening to music get back to Southern Cal.lol

@scott22 You obviously have never lived outside of Cali. The beaches near me have softer sand, water that is so clear that I can see the ground at 6ft deep, you don’t need a suit or to swim in the ocean comfortably.  If it rains, I can go in the water immediately after vs. San Diego where you should wait 24-48 hours for the contamination runoff to pass…. And you can talk to random women and men, without worrying about getting pepper sprayed for saying “Hello”. Yup 

You don't mention whether you have a switch that takes you off the utility company's power while connecting to your generator.  This is a critical piece of equipment for many reasons.  You should have a licensed electrician do the connecting with permits to avoid issues unless you are going to run long extension cords to the generator and plug everything in directly to it.  If the latter, make sure they can carry the load and are rated for the power they will be delivering.

I lived in Pensacola for 16 years. Went through 3 major hurricanes. Did not even keep track of the others. Swore to never EVER live on the gulf coast again. Problem with generators is you need gas. Stock it up in cans big time ahead of major storms because power will be out everywhere, including gas stations. So no gas. They will reopen some strategically after 2 or 3 days but the lines will be 6 hours long and they only allow 3 cans per car. And that's just a small part of dealing with this crap. 10 days without power in your home for a major would be correct. Hopefully you will be luckier than us. 

That’s why it behooves you to get a dual fuel generator.

Get a big propane tank and you’re in a much better position to ’weather’ the storm!

Hurricane Michael did it in for a lot of folks. That was a real nasty one. And they’re only going to get worse.

@baylinor my generator is dual fuel and will run off propane.  I have 5 propane tanks full atm, which would get me through a few days, and to my understanding, propane is easier to get after a storm than gas.

@thecarpathian my generator is dual fuel.

@barjohn of course I’d have a service disconnect.  Would never want to be responsible for injuring a lineman!  That said, I’m very capable of installing it myself :). I’ve replaced commercial panels myself and wired up 90% of those 200 amp 3 phase panels while hot.  I know my way around electricity :)

A few years back, we lost power in a small village in NY less than an hour fron NYC. My parents home was out for 11 Days. My brother set up his diesel arc welder that had a 50A 120/240V output to power the main house, garage, and tenants house. It ran fine, except needing to shut down for 100 hour maintenance including oil changes. Your generator sounds plenty big enough for your needs. The power is "dirty" because the frequency isn't stable. This won't make a difference to switch mode power supplies. But, get UPS units that will run on, and clean up, the dirty generator power so you can keep them on-line and get the batteries charged right away. You can put your entertainment system on an appropriate sized UPS to run that as well. My system has 2 x ARC D200, a Parasound A21 and a Kenwood M1 as the major power users. I figure a single 3KVA or 3 x 1500VA would suffice to power the entire system.

@maverick3n1 ​​@tablejockey ....as a SoCA expat (born ’51) who left ’90...

Haven’t regretted that call at all...even after some 15 yr in the Bay area when it was ’pre-digited’ and still pleasant to live within.

Paused in Houston for 15 for it’s ’bounce-back’ from that crunch, where the humidity was one’s worst enemy for half of the year.

We visit periodically...that’s enough for ’verification’ of a good idea taken twice.

15+ in West NC allowed us to grow a reasonably successful business in a city that is ’booming’ yet again. A substantial improvement over our previous locales....

Back-up power in hand (shop generators); worst issue becomes flooding but we’re above 100 yr. zones but fuel will be the crux for us as for all....

You couldn’t drag us back. ;)

Computer use during a natural catastrophe would be a luxury for anyone, more so use of one’s audio gear. One ought to be up to one’s keister in dealing with the potential damage ’n chaos, rather than ’I haven’t listened to a LP/CD/Stream in days’ concern....

...I would think. I realize That (thinking) might a source of disillusionment on my part and a given Fail by some others but they’re subject to that from my POV as well... *L*

Happy Stunday, J

Been through 3 hurricane evacuations. Never left myself as I work in a hospital and my obligations were to the care of my patients but my family evacuated with each of them  Lost 850 foot dock in one of them. House never got damaged. It gets really freaking hot in a house in the South within 24 hours of no central air. Gaming and music will be the last thing on one's mind. As others have already stated, you have no idea what kind of damage exists around you until it ends and the sun comes up. You wake up from a terrible night's sleep, if you slept, and look around and sometimes the devastation is jaw dropping. Sometimes it is better than predicted.  My advice is to evacuate when told to do so. Either leave days before everyone evacuated or set off in the middle of the night. 

@asvjerry -- It sounds like you are thriving in or around Asheville, North Carolina.  I grew up in East Tennessee and have lived in Central NC since 1985.  Fantastic part of the Country.  If I'm correct about Asheville...indeed it is booming!

@allenf1963 ...Read btwn lines, you have... ;)

The natives aren't thrilled 'bout the growth, since rents and home prices have ballooned like most elsewhere.  Spouse & self passed this way some 30 yrs. ago after SF, her family ended up at Winston/Salem....it became the next 'go towards'...

Audio here is Best Buy, Guitar Center, and various AV install firms....a.k.a, a desert.  If there's better, it's a well-kept secret....
Yes, there's Atlanta.  Overnights for audio v. ATL traffic have little appeal, but combat traffic after L.A. only makes me brush up on driving skills best left there. ;)

What desires I have fill fine with the 'net...SOTA I'll leave to y'all to enjoy with the thinner wallet. *G*  I've gotten good at blood from stone....*L*

...at least the kind I thrive on....*meh heh heh* 😏

Central NC...*hmmm* Charlotte, Greenville, Triad....

Ready for our summer T-storms, humids, 'n heat? 

Thought so....after HOU, learned to cope.... *L*

Jerry and/or Allen,

If you’re a wine sipper, I suggest a trip up north to Shelton Vineyards in Dobson.

Just beautiful! And you’ll be only ten miles from Mount Airy, for all things Mayberry.

They actually have a Mayberry store in Dobson. It’s where I load up on my Barney Fife coffee mugs.

@ricmci This house was built in 1988 and still standing.  I’ve never experienced a hurricane, so it’s going to be an interesting experience the first time.  That said, as I stated previously, I have a 3 story house on the top of a hill on a slope.  From the front of the house, it’s 2 stories, but from the back, it’s 3 stories.  The bottom floor is a 2 car garage, and some storage, with 50% underground, and cinder block walls, as well as a 11’x18’ office.  That floor has it’s own dedicated sub panel, and it’s what will be powered with my generator in the event of a hurricane knocking out the power.

A 1 ton mini split is far more than a room that size needs, however, I can open the solid core door from the office into the garage and let the cool air reduce the temp of the garage as well.  I just put in top of the line insulated Hurricane rated garage doors (the 2 car garage has 2 single car doors).  This means I have additional space to help neighbors as well if they don’t have backup power.  They can bring mattresses or sleeping bags, and sleep in a comfortable temperature.

The mini split I’m putting in, also has a stand alone dehumidifier mode as well.  Since it’s so oversized for the room, a mini split without this option would cool the room quickly, but not have enough time to properly dehumidify it before shutting off.  With this dehumidify mode, I can run it when I’m not cooling the room to pull the excess humidity out.

Lastly, there are no windows on the first floor to be broken.  I have a large chest freezer in there with a few hundred pounds of froze meat, and multiple butane burners with at least 10 spare butane canisters, so I have food heating covered.  I have 2 cases of bottled water, plus a water dispenser that I keep a backup 5 gallon jug for, so I should have enough potable water to last me as well.  The only luxury I would be without during such a time would be internet (assuming it’s out, and cell towers are down), and hot water, so cold showers it is.

Let me paint a worst case hurricane picture based upon my experience of living in south Florida for 20 years (yes, through Andrew), and my "cat duty" with my then employer, an insurance company. The means I got to exist in an area devastated by a natural disaster and process insurance claims.

Your 1988 house is not built to the current hurricane building code written after Andrew showed how weak the pre-1992 building codes were. Since you are on the top of a hill, storm surge may not get you, but winds can peel your roof like a grape. And if the roof is gone and the windows on the top two floors are blown out, water will be everywhere in the lower floors from the windblown 12" of rain. Hurricanes also spawn tornados, so you want to be able to access that below ground portion of the lowest level.

Internet for your computer? Try no cell service either. Water & sewer will be off line. Two cases of water? Think 20. Freezer full of food, eh. Are you going to feed all the neighbors you let into the garage who no longer have a home?

Where are your valuable papers (birth certificates, passport, bank records, insurance policy), inventory of the household goods for an insurance claim? How much cash is on hand? Banks and ATMs will not be working and neither will any online payment systems. No cash-no gas/food/water. Got flashlights, batteries and a radio? How about a gun? You may be the only lights for miles and bad guys roam after natural disasters. There was a great Twilight Zone episode about this...

Pop the $10,000 for a 27.5 KVA automatic generator and a 500 gallon propane tank (you can bury it it you don’t like the looks). Stock up on water and seriously consider evacuating if a hurricane is coming.It’s just stuff.

If you are in an area hit by a hurricane and remain in place, realize your goal will be survival, not whether your internet or cable comes on and what frozen steak you’ll prepare.

@asvjerry ​​​​and @thecarpathian ,


I’m in Winston-Salem, or "The Dash" as we locals call it. Shelton Vineyards, along with Raylens Vineyards are wonderful places to visit, along with the multitude of Breweries that have opened up in the Triad. Nowhere near the explosion of Suds in the Asheville area -- last count there were almost 70 breweries in Western North Carolina, rivaling Portland, Oregon, as the new Brewery Capital in the U.S.


Jerry, you should check out the two fine Audio stores we have here in Winston-Salem now -- Ember Audio + Design and Custom Home Hi-Fi. Ember carries Wilson Audio, Dynaudio, KEF, Naim, Vinnie Rossi, Octave, Rega, Clearaudio, SME, and Dr. Feickert. Custom Home reps Rega, Pro-Ject, Marantz, PrimaLuna, EAT, Focal, Wharfdale, and Paradigm. I know both owners, let me know if you make a trip down and I’ll introduce you.

@mwjones I have no doubts that what you are stating is true, and I can’t imagine dealing with all of what you listed.  I have a few advantages (assuming they were done right).  My roof is 3 years old (I’m assuming it was damaged and replaced due to Sally).  I’m near the top of a hill, but I’m an hour drive from the beach, and I have a metric ton of trees between myself and the coast.  They are my best friend and worst nightmare of course, as a tree coming down could take out the roof and part of the house.  That said, once again, all the trees that are still standing, withstood the constant pounding of Sally, and while it was only a Cat 2 hurricane, it was slow moving and sat for 24 hours which is why it did so much damage.

all of that said, you are right.  Newer homes are built to higher standards.  In addition to the new roof, I have the advantage that I’m in a very hilly area that helps break up the wind, which also reduces risk of tornado.

lastly, any kin I have is in San Diego, CA, so evacuating and trying to find somewhere that I and my dogs can stay, at an exorbitantly higher price, combined with not knowing if the hotel I stay at also gets a good hit, or even hit harder from where I left, doesn’t really seem feasible.  I have just as much chance that the storm ends up passing me and hitting someone else, as I do, leaving and going somewhere that ends up getting hit harder by the storm as it avoids where I’m at.

in the end, there is no right answer.  At least I know, standing my ground means I have resources at my availability.  I have all needed supplies for

myself and some to help my neighbors.  My goal isn’t to take care of all of my neighbors, but if I can offer some respite and share some resources, so be it.

Post removed 

I said worse case scenario. Please understand  I was not referring to your shingles; I meant losing the entire roof down to the rafter. 

And you are correct; storms miss most people. But you cannot prepare after the storm.

I hate to sound too cynical, but a cat two; who cares unless you live in a mobile home? It's a cat 3 and above. In Tennesse where I now live, we're had remnants of of hurricane wash out the interstate between Tennessee and North Carolina merely from the rain .It looks months to repair. And those trees are not your friend; for as you have noted they fall on houses. Distance from the storm is your friend.

Standing your ground is great... if you are prepared. But please do three things; get more water, realize trees do not break up 150 mile per hour winds and you are in Alabama, not California. Like Florida, the rules are different.

Good luck.


@ebm , just trading survival notes without going off into deep end of the pool....

We will return to the regularly scheduled postings soon enough... ;)

@allenf1963 , thanks for the invite.  When I might get around to taking up on that is another moving target among many, since the business still takes priority.  Spouse is making moves to 'retire' me from the day2day, but there's aspects of my 'talents' that are still hard to replace currently.  Mind melds were never one of those... *G*

However, if the mountains call to you, feel free to roll up hill and pay a visit.  Can't say I'll create a sea change re audiophilia but there's more quaint breweries in AVL than any one human can withstand in a weekend. *L*

Half mile off 40, wrong side of the tracks from the Biltmore...and yes, we've done work for them....commercially and residentially.... *S*

So far, no 'canes in our time here.  The occasional flood events from heavy rains is another thing, but withstood enough back in HOU to be hip to what Not to do...

Always one idiot that'll drive into high water.  I did once after watching a Toy p/u plow through some....no rational reason why an engineer would put the air intake for the carbs low in the chassis, but they did.... 😖

Best advice for now: Check your insurance policy, and be of a mind to hold a huge BBQ if the freezer fails.  SOP in HOU when all went south....or came from it. ;)

Cheers, and back into Monday mode, J

As you suggested, I will get more water.  It’s cheap, easy to store, and a lot better to get now than to try and get after a disaster.  Thanks for the advice!

Another quick question.  When hooking up a portable generator with a bonded neutral, should the service transfer switch for the sub panel I plan to power, include just the two hots and neutral, but use the house’s ground, or should I also transfer the ground to the generator?  If I do so, how will this effect any GFI protected circuits that may be on this sub panel?