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Can I use a UPS on my pellet stove ?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by buildingmaint, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    My power went out last week , and I was wondering if a UPS would run the stove , and for how long. Long enough for the stove to expel its last smoke would work for me , so it would not come back into the house.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it will work - the bigger the better.
  3. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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  4. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    If it has an automatic ignition that will drain the battery down quick but from what I have read on here all the other normal operations use much less power. I have read about people putting a bypass switch in the igniter loop so they can disable it when running on backup power.
  5. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    It's been my experience with UPS"s running computer systems like the average ones like from your local computer place i.e. Staples, Best Buy, etc.. will only run a computer anywhere from 10 - 30 minutes, depending on the rated wattage of the UPS and what the computer consumes, long enough to allow you to save your work and properly shut down. So if you know the power your stove consumes you can calculate the approximate run time a given UPS will allow, watts per hour.

    At the very least if the given UPS will not run your stove for an extended period it will allow you to shut it down and avoid a smoke problem and along with the electronics in you stove you won't get a pulled plugged event, resetting it.

    Something I learned just a few days ago when the power dropped for about a minute. My stove was operating on low, 1 and was not able to recoup quick enough to keep it lit. I am guessing the power outage must have happen just before a load of pellets were about to be dumped into the burn pot and because it was on low there of course was not much of any flame, so just before the power came back on, the fire went out and when the pellets were dumped didn't do any good and the stove just shut down due to lack of flame. I now have one UPS less computer ;-)

    So like above post... "Bigger is Better" when it comes to a UPS.
  6. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Let me just give a dead horse one more kick....
    I purchased this one at the beginning of the year thinking it woulw give me a few minutes to shut down the stove in a power outage. My hope was that it would provide
    enough juice to run the exhaust blower for at least 10 minutes or so to solve the smoke back-up problem associated with my direct vent (no vert rise) set up.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842117005

    As it turns out this one is not big enough to do the job. I had a power outage 3 weeks ago and I was pretty disappointed with the results. I shut down the stove after about 30 seconds which was good, but the UPS gave me less than 2 minutes after that running the exhaust blower, then the battery died out. At that point, smoke billowed back into the house. Disappointing results, but if you read the reviews on UPS units you'll see tons of complaints on the companies overstating the capabilities of their units.
    I think this is the way to go
    http://www.butkus.org/ups/ups.htm
    Hire someone to do it if you're not comfortable.
  7. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Feeling the Heat

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    I use an APC Smart UPS. This is a UPS designed to keep servers running.

    I get about 5-6 hours of power from the unit when I lose electricity.

    It's about the size of a stereo receiver and about as heavy as a ton of bricks, but more than does the job for me.
  8. MButkus

    MButkus Member

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    Depends on how long you want to run it.
    A UPS that can handle the load, will run as long as the batteries last.
    My site shows the "more power" UPS, it runs some 12+ hours. With the new Optima car batteries, if you want to spend the money, would last longer.
    I am trying standard batteries and marine deep cell types. I have two UPS setups. One for the stove/TV and one for my PC/room light.
    If you are around when the power goes out, you can get the AC/DC converters that run off your car battery.
    Those don't show when the voltage is getting low and you should start and charge the battery.
    Since I use lighter sticks, my amp usage is not bad.
    If you get a UPS that last 20 min. to 1/2 hour, then get a car AC adapter, just unplug the UPS from the wall to the adapter. It won't miss a beat.
    I forget how old my UPS is. At least 12 years. It's been through a couple of sets of batteries.
  9. smg64ct

    smg64ct Member

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    If you lose power about how much smoke would come in the house? My stove is a direct vent.
  10. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    Mine went off at night, so I did not have the advantage of whole house lighting. But by flashlight I could see the smoke coming out of the stove . But I could not tell how much was acclimating in the house . I just pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep. The smell was gone by the time I got home from work.
  11. MButkus

    MButkus Member

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    Depends on what heat setting you have. On #1, not much. On #3 or #4, you are going to get a nice pile of smoke.
    Remember, smoke rises.. the chimney is low in the back.
    One thing with the UPS. If the power goes off... they will beep ! It should wake you and then you can shut off the stove if you think it's not coming back on after 5 min.
    Just the power going off for 1/5 of a second can shut off your stove. A $75 UPS would prevent that.
    Plus, as I say.. it protects your control panel. A power strip really doesn't do much. Check out the insides of a UPS. Lots of electrical protection, including LOW voltage.
  12. jamorris

    jamorris New Member

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    And nothing soaks up and filters out spikes and surges like a battery. Hopefully, the battery is inline, acting as a filter, on top of everything else. This is a trick I learned in HAM radio.

    Jerry
  13. MButkus

    MButkus Member

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    It's not the battery. It's all the electronics that keep the voltage at 120V. A power surge strip usually just has a small capacitor (they call it something else) between the lines. It only kicks in when voltage goes way up for a certain amount of time. A UPS will protect anything over 122V no matter how quick. We have a bad wire going to our house. We have 220V service, one line is 118 - 119 V and the one that goes to my wife's PC is 114 to 116. I tried a extension cord to a circuit on the better side. But it ran across the rug. This new UPS adjusts voltage by taking the 114 and kicking it up to 119. The old UPS I had would use the battery to kick it to 119V. So during the summer, when everyone on the street has their air on, the old UPS would drain the battery, and after 9 hours of 114 V, kick off. The new UPS (Ultra brand) is bigger and has a digital readout. Got it for $99 at www.tigerdirect.com last year or so with free shipping. Shipping is a cost you have to look at as these are very heavy and can cost $30+ for shipping.
    My UPS was a used one, it's now 13 years old. At that time the batteries cost just as much as a new one. At $45 per car battery, assuming you need two for a 24V input. You can pick up a used BIG UPS for dirt cheap on E-bay. Without batteries the things weight 15+ lbs. So shipping is dirt cheap. If you don't want to add water, get the $140 gel car batteries.

    UPDATE.. just check the water level (after 4 months) and that was not bad. BUT the metal push together connectors that join the battery wire and fuse, are corroded to the point that they split when I tugged on them. Will have to solder them, wire to wire. No bi-metal connections anymore.

    With 17 years with no replacement fans or board... what else can I say. It goes on 24/7 in Nov. and off in March. I just had to adjust the feed screw again. When it was on low, it was pumping too many pellets, then over flowing and not burning right and smoking up the glass every day. Must be that contact going.

    Interesting story. Last week the local paper reported a tree falling and taking out a transformer. Not quite. A power surge went through several houses. How bad, an outdoor meter exploded and was setting the side of the house on fire. All kinds of things in other houses caught fire, not smoked but went on fire. People reported hearing their outlets sizzling. If the 400V upper wires crossed the 120V. That would toast anything what was on or kicked on.
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