No electric power gas furnace


Was talking to my relatives back east today. They are part of the 2,000,000 people with no electricity in MO and IL. 40 years ago when I lived there I had a gas furnace with a 2 stage thermostat that was thermocouple powered. It had instructions on how to operate the furnace with no electric power in an emergency. As I remember, you would remove the cover to the blower section, and leave the door to the basement open. The furnace would function as an old style gravity hot air gas unit. It only turned on part of the burner, but the high temp limit and thermostat still worked. Was wondering if any furnaces like that are available now? Tried googling every description I can think of and can't find anything.
Al
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look at grainger and johnstone supply for direct vented gas wall heaters and look for the millivolt thermostat ones with no cfm listed, with no electric blower on them. as we learned again in a 9 day electrical power failure in buffalo ny october 2006: if you can't open the kitchen window for ventilation and roast a turkey with your modern gas stove during an electrical power outage, your stove has too many electrical and electronic control gadgets on it. get a basic model natural gas stove. the stove always gets turned off at sleep time and is never operated with the oven door standing open. then, at least one room in the house should have a big warm natural gas wall heater which is direct vented, with a millivolt thermostat, and with a standing pilot light. if your home has a 100,000 btu forced air furnace then a 30,000 btu gas heater or larger will be a real comfort as a secondary heat source when the electricity is missing. and, a conventional natural gas water heater with a standing pilot which does not require any electricity will serve you very well in a blackout. if your basement requires a sump pump and you have city water not a well, be sure you have a secondary WATER POWERED sump pump not just an electrical one. wet parts of this city went crazy with flooded basements and buying generators to power the electrical sump pumps. we learned that c and d flashlight batteries sell out first, so have a variety of aaa and aa flashlights around the house also. we learned how to love local talk radio wben am 930 when they changed to 24 hours of local news and live local telephone call-in for the whole time [and suspended their national talk network format for the emergency].
Big Al wrote:

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So far, I've found millivolt thermostats, gas valves, all kinds of controls, and the thermopiles but no complete furnace. Guess a guy could just convert any furnace if it can gravity feed.
My "new" old house (circa 1949) has a double wall gas heater. It uses a mechanical thermostat built right in the gas valve. No electricity needed. The old timers were smarter than we are:)
Interesting what you said about gas ranges. Don't think the oven will work in my new one without electric. Need to try it. Never thought of that.
Al
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Big Al wrote:

You'll need a match.
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Our oven uses an electronic starter, as do most/all these days it seems like. A match will not start it -- it relies on (I think) measuring the current flow in the hot wire ignitor, and will not open the gas valve until it reaches proper temperature. Maybe a torch to the ignitor would get the resistance down ... but you still have to open the electrically-operated valve. So no, the oven will likely *not* work without electricity.
HeyBub wrote:

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testing your gas oven for a power failure: hold a flame to the oven safety pilot while calling for heat at the oven control. if it lights, run it at 200 degrees with oven door closed while you watch the pilot and burner from the lower broiler door. if it cycles and keeps its pilot lit until you turn it off you win. remember the main may have a 45-60 second delay after pilot is first lit.
Big Al wrote:

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In it's simplest form, modern day systems use electronic controls. No electricity, nothing to run the sequencer, open the draft regulator etcetera. Sorry.
Bill
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your better off buying a inverter, connect to car battery and get 120 volts electric to run all sorts of stuff. or a few thousand watt generator.
in a emergency a microwave can be wonderful, or charge your cell phone, or just a couple lights and a mini tv, or a small room AC in the summer so you get a good nites sleep
heard from a friend her mom lost power yesterday nite and had no heat.
i could of taken my generator and helped her out if I had known.
DONT backfeed the power grid, install a special lockout breaker or know what your doing!
but in advance you can make preparations.
we lost power once for 3 days, it was the pits, fortunately it was summer
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I tried a 700 watt inverter for my last furnace. Didn't have enough power to start the blower. My gas generator works fine, if a bit noisy.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Big Al wrote:

http://www.heatershop.com/natural_gas_radiant_heaters.html
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You can get wall mounted heaters from places like Harbor Freight.
I wouldn't want to run a furnace without electric if I could help it.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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