Getting rid of KESC woes…

As Karachi Metblog readers may know, the summer is here and we are all facing relentless loadshedding from the KESC. In our flat, we typically have an outage of 1 hour in the morning and an outage of 1 hour ni the evening. Besides this, there are sometimes outages of 15 minutes to 2 hours whenever they feel like it. An outage at 3am in the morning of course means another sleepy day at the office. Even then, I am luckier than the people who are facing 5-6 hours of loadshedding every day.

So in the end I took matters in my own hand and went out to buy a UPS + inverter. Some of you may not know what this device does so I’ll give a brief explanation. What you have is a single box which acts as a UPS (an Uninterruptible Power Supply, which switches your power from the mains to the battery when the mains goes out) and an inverter (which converts DC from a battery source into AC which can be used to power the home). This device cost me 6,000rs for a 1.5KVA unit. I also bought a 140A, 12V battery which cost me 4,000rs. For a grand total of 10,000rs, I no longer have to worry about the shenanigans of KESC. During loadshedding, selected lights and fans in the house switch over to power from the UPS and I can continue doing my work happily.

In my opinion, this is a must buy for all Karachiites. There are cheaper versions available. You can buy a UPS which has less power, or is of some other cheaper company for around 3,000rs also. Mileage may vary, but it’s better than sitting in the dark.

Moral: It is better to buy a UPS, than to curse the darkness ;)

19 Comments so far

  1. Kashif (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    Nice. I am planning to get one next month. There’s a company in Gulshan who are selling a UPS + Battery + Installation + 1 year warranty for Rs. 11K – The contact info is:

    Ansari Electronics
    4812580, 4990654

    (I am planning to buy from them. So if somebody has already used their services or does in future, please keep me updated)

  2. redsnapper (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 12:05 am

    Don’t you have to have separate wiring for the “selected lights and fans” ?

    And you must have heard the latest power breakdown in large parts of the city. They say the power will not be restored before 48 hours.

    That said, the KESC staff in our area PECHS/Bahadurabad has been extremely polite and cooperative. No sarcasm here. Several electricity problems in our area were local and they sent their team to fix them promptly on a single phone call.

    If any of you have had a positive experience with these guys, the least we can do is to write a brief letter of appreciation to their management. It does work to their advantage. I did that yesterday and the KESC guy who I mentioned specifically in the letter came after duty to my home to thank me. Really genuine young guy.

  3. karachi4eva (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 12:43 am

    ….but the question is why do you all have to pay for a device to get electricity when ya’all already pay some awful amount of money to KESC…shouldnt they be doing that for you…?

  4. redsnapper (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 1:04 am

    There is no limit to these organizations’ ineptitude.

    Several years ago I was in Lahore for work. The local electricity company frequently advertised in every newspaper to “reduce consumption” in evenings to “avoid load shedding”.

    What struck me was not the civic side of it. I was stunned by its absurdity. Hear this …

    WAPDA was spending money on ads asking people not to use its product !!!! Which company in the world does that ! The most twisted business logic.

  5. Khurram Farooq (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 1:32 am

    Kashif :I suggest you take a trip down to Regal Chowk first and look at the different varieties of UPS before going to that shop. The price is OK if the UPS is of 1.5 KVA or greater, and has all the features like Overcharging protection, surge protection, etc. At that price point, it is likely locally manufactured, like mine is.

    Redsnapper: Yes you are supposed to have separate wiring for both. Usually it’s done externally, but since I was renovating my house, I got all the wiring done internally. Clean and simple!

    Karachi4Eva: Come on we all know the answer to that! We all know Karachi has problems. Either you live with them, or you try to solve them. No use waiting for someone else to come along and solve them.

  6. MB (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 5:23 am

    I just cannot stop praising Khurram for writing and providing a temporary solution to such serious problem in KHI mini Land.

    Frankly you steal my idea dude. I was for sometime asking my friends about a possible solution but never tried it seriously. Now that you have pumped me up so i will do something.

    Alright this is a bit personal. Can I contact you anyhow just to get a bit more idea? As I am a bit nalaaiq regarding such things?

    @Redsnapper : Dude that was great one.

  7. expat (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 7:37 am

    How much do UPS systems cost there?

  8. expat (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 7:38 am

    never mind – didn’t read the posting carefully — my bad.

  9. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 10:01 am

    I have TCM UPS,its nice and yet working fine.

    @redsnapper:the KESC guys in my area(Block-H,North Nazimabad)are also effficient and polite.

  10. khanana (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 10:25 am

    wow.. great solution.. i’ll check that out..

  11. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    @Khurram: According to the vendor, it’s japan assembled. They have a local version which comes for Rs 8500.

    I have been to the place opposite Aaram Bagh masjid and have seen UPS there. It seems that the price is same but this shop in gulshan offers one year support which others (atleast the inexpensive ones) don’t.

  12. Khurram Farooq (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    @MB: Sure dude, I will email you my contact details.

    @Kashif Aziz: The shop where I bought it from also offered me one year warranty. If it’s Japan assembled, then I doubt that the price (11k) includes the battery. Double check it. My UPS cost me 6,000rs without the battery.

  13. Hasan Atizaz (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

    its impossible for every 1 to buy ups since its quite expensive….

  14. mansoor (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

    Good suggestion! We recently went for a UPS for our office, since the daily outtages meant anywhere from 2 to 6 hours of lost work. But instead of an inverter, we went for a generator solution.

    Before all of you start going on the UPS solution, i’d like to point out one fact. When placing a UPS, especially the car (liquid) battery, make sure its in an airy place. Not somewhere closed like a room. I repeat, make sure the battery is located in an airy place. The electrolysis process (mayb i’ve got the name wrong) inside the battery also produces fumes which are harmful for humans in the long run, and can cause cancer.

    In our office, we went for a more expensive (but health conscious) solution of getting a dry-state UPS, since ours is placed inside.

    Just puttin in my 2 rs. worth. Hopefully it’ll help out someone.

    P.S. If keeping it inside is inevitable, put balloons on the tops of the screws on the battery, since that is the only place the fumes escape from. Then every month (or whenever the balloon fills up) take it off, and release it outside, and replace it. May sound like extra work, but believe me, its better than even the *possibility* of cancer.

  15. DaMan (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

    How many appliances can you power with a 1.5 KVA unit and for how long? Can you power a couple of air conditionars and a couple of lights for lets say 4 hours?

  16. Sooban (unregistered) on April 24th, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

    a couple of airconditioners??

    tht was sarcasm, rght

  17. nina (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 1:22 am

    @ redsnapper …. I agree 100%…:)i also live in pechs i think they are Mehurbaan on our area… MashaAllah:)

  18. MB (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 7:28 am

    @KHURRAM: Still waiting for your email dear

  19. Khurram Farooq (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    Hey MB, emailing you at your hotmail address, but it says mailbox unavailable. Gimme some other email address.

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