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How do you have your setup in the event of a power loss?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by RDabate, Dec 18, 2010.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Regarding knowing when the power comes back, there is a device called the PowerBack by Reliance Controls I got that alarms when the power comes back. If you're not there to turn it off, however, the 9 volt battery will discharge. We had a short power outage the other night and we just hung around in lamplight, but I turned off the main breaker so that power surge, etc, wouldn't hurt anything when the power came back. The siren wailed and I knew the power came back.

    [​IMG]

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  2. Trzebs13

    Trzebs13 Member

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    I'm suprised that all of the talk has been about using power. Not to say that there is anything wrong with some kind of back up power unit, I do like that idea. But I still like the idea of using gravity. No matter what happens it will always be there. By using some kind of thermosyphen type set up the only thing you are relying on is the spring in your normaly open valve. If your only looking for protection I believe it is the easyiest and least expensive option. Now if your looking to heat your house in the event of a longer outage then that is a different issue.
  3. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

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    alaska
    Good thread to keep near the top. Just setup by backup system: Odyssey group 31 battery, 5W Battery Tender, 1500W inverter. Honda EU2000i to keep things going after I realize the power is out.
  4. b33p3r

    b33p3r Feeling the Heat

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    NE Pa
    Automag normally open valve which allows heat to transfer to 32' baseboard fins mounted above woodboiler.
  5. dogwood

    dogwood Minister of Fire

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    I particularly like the idea Pybyr got from HR about utilizing a (marine) deep cycle battery. Any idea approximately how many hours one of these may be able to power
    a DC circ pump. I assume you turn on your trickle charger the next day to recharge the battery. Do those trickle chargers need to be turned off when they are done charging or do they turn themselves off? I am not sure how they function. I know we used them on my Dad's used car lot when I was a kid, but I haven't touched one since.

    Mike
  6. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I send my wife shopping.

    That way she forgets about the generator that isn't running yet. Hopefully :red:
  7. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    I have a garden hose right by the unit. Since the firebox does not hold too much, I just kill the fire by spraying it down. It might
    percolate a bit but since it is unpressurized, it is not a problem.

    Have a Jotul woodstove if the power is out for a long time.

    Candles, wine and just me and my wife. Oh, power outage, where is thy sting!
  8. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    I have a 7550 watt generator and 750 watt inverter and multiple batteries. I keep the generator dry, once every 3 months or so I'll pour a quart in and run it under load until it runs out again. I keep 3 to 8 jerry cans of gas with stablx in it, and rotate them through the tractor and snowblower.

    Its a production to dig out the generator, gas it up and unplug the sensitive equipment. So if the power goes out I'll just plug into the inverter to keep things going. If it looks like its going to be an extended outage then I would drag out the genset. I have an interlock that disconnects the line feed from the street before the generator can feed in.
    I wouldn't want to run the genset 24/7 so I still like the inverter, to run the boiler when the genset is off.

    All this planning aside I haven't had an outage of more than 5 minutes since I bought the generator, (4-5 years), but when it does I'm ready.
  9. 91220da

    91220da Member

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    This is a video of my system on youtube. If you skip to 1:40 it shows the simple power back up I have. It is now hooked to 2 deep cycle batteries that should run close to 14 hours. I would like to wire my oil boiler to a similar set up so everything would operate as normal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V98CutTE6is
  10. SnowTraveler

    SnowTraveler New Member

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    my setup was fairly expensive compared to a battery backup for just the boiler, but runs the whole house and boiler system. We have had two weather events here the past two years that have made it worth the effort.

    Attached Files:

  11. 91220da

    91220da Member

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    Awesome set up Snowtraveler. Your set up is on my list of things to buy/do it just happens to be item no. 3317 I see the yellow feed line to the Generac is it Propane fired?
  12. SnowTraveler

    SnowTraveler New Member

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    yes, propane. thank you.
  13. bigburner

    bigburner Feeling the Heat

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    SnowTraveler - hate guys like you that keep stuff that clean, looks great. Noticed the magic heat on the stack, Farm Bureau insurance here won't insure if you use those things. Ya, I know in your case most of the tars etc. are burned up in the furnace and cooling the stack won't be much of an issue here. "Just saying"
  14. Huskurdu

    Huskurdu Member

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    I measured the watt usage on my Econoburn 150 and it was running @ 850 watts. That's the boiler, fan, and one circ. Is this reasonable? I've got a 5500 watt B&S Generator for backup.
  15. SnowTraveler

    SnowTraveler New Member

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    bigburner, I get a lot of extra heat from the magic-heat when it is gassifying, I consider it "free" heat that would otherwise have gone up the chimney. I have absolutely no issue with creosote in the chimney or the turbs, as I run full bore most of the time and use very dry wood. I am able to keep about 1.5 cord stacked in the boiler room, so I essentially kiln dry my firewood before it goes into the eburn. I got my 12KW guardian on sale summer of 2007 for $ 2900, including the ATS, so it was a great deal, plus I do all of my own labor. thanks for the comments.
  16. SnowTraveler

    SnowTraveler New Member

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    Norm, your 5500 is certainly big enough to run the boiler, but you might want to have the power quality checked before using it, as the temperature controller and Nimbus board on the 150 are all electronic.
    As stated earlier, generators make a modified sine wave, some are ok, some make some pretty dirty power.
  17. Mcbride

    Mcbride New Member

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    SnowTraveler, beautiful installation job, I wish I had that in my place.
  18. sweetheat

    sweetheat Member

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    1 1/4" overheat loop with fins plus can plug in stand by generator to existing electrical circuits for circulators and fan. sweetheat
  19. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Central Ma
    With your background SnowTraveler, perhaps you can answer a question related to this post. I installed a transfer sub-panel, and picked up a B&S 6500 for backup. When I tested, everything appeared to be running ok, except the EB150 fan was oscillating - not much, but enough for me to take it as a warning. The plan right now is to run the OB during a power-out because I'm too queasy about killing the EB controller. I've been looking for something reasonably priced to put between the EB and the panel. I've searched UPS and Voltage regulators, but most of what I see is commercial, megabucks stuff. Do you know of anything in the range of, let's say, $200 or less that would work well? One alternative of course is springing for a better genset. But I also have a feeling that the infamous EB "humming" fan is primarily caused by line voltage variances; and if that's true, a go-between might take care of that issue as well. Any opinion (+ or -) on this would be appreciated. And also, VERY nice setup you have there!
  20. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    You might want to consider spending $20 on an ABC fire extinguisher to replace your hose. Ice cold water vs. hot boiler = bad things (warped firebox, flash boil, steam in the face/arms). Just a thought...and a cheap remedy at that.
  21. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the suggestion. There is nothing in the boiler that will be damaged. There might be some steam (Yes, I have tried it! 3X!!) but I can quench the fire with no bad effects.
  22. SnowTraveler

    SnowTraveler New Member

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    willworkforwood,

    Before I put my Guardian in, I had a roll-around 5500 watt Generac, B&S powered, that I used for the house. I live in the Helderberg mtns. in southern Albany County, and we have a lot of weather events here that are elevation related and lose power frequently enough that I decided to upgrade after I put the econoburn in.
    When I used the older Generac, I noticed that the motors in the house sounded different (furnace, refrigerator, etc) but never burned anything up. We had an Ice storm December 2008 and I was out of power for six days (pics attached). The harmonics and modified sine wave of lower priced generators sometimes aren't good for appliances and electronics though. I would be very wary of anything made in China, which is just about everything these days. When I first tested the Guardian, I noticed the house motors ran quieter and the Econoburn did not seem to notice the difference from commercial power. I am not aware of a low cost power conditioner. The electronics required to clean up a sine wave and scrub harmonics make them pricey. You may be able to find a decent sized UPS on ebay that needs new batteries for a good price. I measured my econoburn 150 at only 4 amps. I find that if you are patient with ebay, good deals can be had. Watch craigslist too. Others may chime in here though, hopefully.

    Attached Files:

  23. SnowTraveler

    SnowTraveler New Member

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    while on the subject of weather events, we had a snowstorm this past February that lasted six days, two nor'easters that dumped mostly rain everywhere else. We had six feet by the time it ended, the first time ever in my twenty years in my house that I couldn't keep up with the snow. The snow was actually blue because it had so much moisture content. As much as I like snow, I don't ever want to see that again.

    Attached Files:

  24. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Roll around inverter generators are available. Cost more than standard but less than a Guardian. Yamaha makes a nice one. Google inverter generators.
  25. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Central Ma
    Thanks for the info - I'll continue to research. No need to rush anything on this, especially since by installing the switch and genset, I practically guaranteed that we'll get no more power outages :lol:
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