Home programs and weather outages

Heard about a device today that might be useful in a power outage. It is called a UPS (forgot what the letters stand for). But supposedly it can provide 2-6 hrs of backup power depending upon the amperage of the machine. I don’t know for sure if it would work with dialysis machines. Maybe someone else can provide info. It is a black box and costs about $100 and can be purchased at computer or hardware stores.

A UPS is an uninterruptible power supply (sometimes called battery backup). I have one on each computer in my home office. They provide time for you to power down your computer normally rather than having it shut down and lose your data. I suspect that dialysis machines have too high wattage for a UPS or you’d have to have a whopping big UPS that would cost much more than $100. I think if you’re wanting to actually do a dialysis treatment (or complete one) during a power failure, a generator would be the way to go.

I wonder if a UPS would work with the NxStage since it uses a regular plug in? There are models for under $200 that provide up to 4 hrs back up.

I asked and got the following information on a UPS for the NxStage:

Any UPS should be able to handle the following power requirements:
– 100-120 or 230 VAC (Volts, Alternating Current)
– Frequency: 50 or 60 Hz
– Input Power: 600 watts

It might be worthwhile to compare prices between UPS and generators. Of course, doing dialysis daily (or 5 days a week) if you have bad weather, you can always discontinue dialysis today and do it a day that you hadn’t originally planned to do it.

To this point I haven’t used or planned yet on getting a UPS for power backup…perhaps would be a good investment to get one…but if power outages is a big problem in your area definately you should get one…

Does any one know if there is any insurance coverage for a generator for a home dialysis machine?

Medicare doesn’t pay for a generator or a UPS for a dialysis machine. I’d contact your commercial insurance to ask.

Do any of you have a generator for back up if the power goes out? Do you think it is important to have/would prefer or do you just end the tx and do it the next day?

It’s not needed. With daily hemo, you’re getting plenty of dialysis, way more than with conventional hemo, so having to cut one short is no big deal.

I live in the country and have very frequent power outages. I am looking at a generator for backup. Has anyone had any luck with personal insurances helping with the costs???

Re power outages, one could unhook and do the tx the next day. But when it comes to nocturnal txs, that would mean waking up in the middle of the night when half asleep to end the tx. Also, why carry extra fluid the next day with the discomfort that brings if one could elect to purchase a power backup?

If I were to do Nocturnal, definatley I would get a UPS in case power outages occur…

Panic? :o

No UPS or generater back up here. We have thought about it as we get some humdinger storms but you can always come off and go on the next day. We are getting enough dialysis so it’s no biggy. 8)

I actually had an outage a week or so ago…quite often we get a short drop-out around 03:00, when they are switching. Before nocturnal, it only meant resetting the oven & microwave clocks the following morning. But since going nocturnal, I have had 3 incidences. Since I work for them anyway, I rang to see if there was anything they could do & was curtly told “Get a UPS!!” …er…O.K., thanx :roll:
The wailing “Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” brings you immediately out of whatever depth of sleep you were in! Panic mode for a few secs. By the time you have the hand crank in your hand, the power is back on & so all the other alarms (arterial,b.p., conducitivity…) are all going off, until it all settles back down. Good fun really :roll:
Of course, if there were real, on-going outages, we would end up in-center at the Home Training Unit.

Nothing special here. Power failure = rinseback using hand crank. The local power company keeps our names on a notification list in case they have to cut power. It’s not really worth getting a big UPS, in my opinion. One treatment isn’t by itself that important, and part of a treatment even less so.

From what we heard, a UPS is not expensive like a generator. Maybe just a couple of hundred dollars. We spoke to the technical person at one of the machine companies and he said if it was him, he’d get one. We are concerned as we get quite a few power outages in our area. It could be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. We’re always getting up to find the clocks have lost time, so we know the electricty went out sometime during the night.

But don’t forget - a UPS is NOT like a generator. IT will smooth dips & spikes and it will run for a short while if the power drops out completely. But if this is the case, and it’s going to be off for a while, not just a switching problem, you’re going to want to return the blood & come off anyway, so all you save is a bit of ‘elbow grease’ in not having to manually crank the re-infuse.

Ya that’s true, UPS costs alot of money and if outages are not a problem in sucvh areas its not worth shelling out so much cash for those. In my area its quite rare for outages, but you’ll never know when a BIGGER distaster might hit and a UPS will not do the trick, I’d go with a generator…that will keep you going for over a week!

If anyone decides to go with a generator, think about it. We have a generator that runs on natural gas however it had to be started up meaning it had to be turned on. This took a few minutes and was inconvenient to do in the middle of the night. We now have a generator that will automatically come on in 1 min and 15 seconds after the power has gone out. It will stay on 30 minutes even if the power comes back on to insure electricity in an off and on again situation. If the power doesn’t come back on it will continue to run until such time as the electirc does come back on. The last time our electric went off the generator worked fine but the Fresenius blew a fuse do to low amps. I since purchased a surge protector for both high and low voltage. These generators are pricey but they do the whole house and I would have one even if we didn’t need to run the dialysis machine. Our winters are cold and even though we use gas for heat it takes the electric to run the thermostat. I can’t imagine where we would be without heat in the winter for more than a few hours.