OT: Hot Water Heating

I've got in floor radiant heating in the garshop, and have been thinking... If the power goes out, so goes the circulation pump and the heat. However, were a propane (already there) generator installed, the circulation pump would be all that's necessary to keep the heat going at its normal setting, right?
Has anyone done anything like this? It seems to be almost too easy to not do it.
Puckdropper
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

I once lived in a hot water heated house and lost power a few times, so can relate to above.
Also considered what you are thinking about, but didn't act.
You need to isolate three (3) circuits, the recirc pump, the gas valve, and the thermostat.
None of these draw much power.
The pump is probably 1/15-1/20 HP max.
Rather than a generator, might consider a wet cell battery and an inverter.
A couple of T-105 golf cart batteries in series gives you 12VDC and 200+ AH capacity which along with a 500W sine wave inverter gives you the package for maybe $500-$600.
The rewiring will be the biggest PITA part of the job.
Have fun.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

As Lew said:
I picked up two golf cart 6V batteries at Lowes for less than $70 a pop and a 1000 watt inverter at Costco for $50. This was all for a 5th wheel, but it would do the job for you.
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"Doug Winterburn" wrote:

At $50, sounds like it might be a modified square wave inverter.
AC motors are not real happy being fed modified square wave which is why modified full sine wave was suggested.
Yes it's more expensive than modified square wave inverter.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Could be, but it has worked well for me with motors:
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/23/p/1/pt/29/product.asp
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"Doug Winterburn" wrote:
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/23/p/1/pt/29/product.asp
Not enough info to tell; however, I'm on a sailing list with one of their design/application engineers.
I ask him.
Seems llike a winner for your 5th wheel.
Does it affect the TV in any way? Snow, hum, etc.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Everything works great with one little exception. I changed all the 120V night lites for electronic led night lights, and they seem to "buzz" slightly. If they fry, I'll go back to the "Non-green" and power sucking 4W 120V nite lites. I have already changed out all the 120V incandescent bulbs for the curly green florescent crap - the light isn't the same, but it extends dry camping time on batteries.
What's cool about the inverter is that I can run everything except the AC and when the batteries get low, I can plug the converter (120V to 12V charger) into the the generator (Honda 2000W) without missing a beat.
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"Doug Winterburn" wrote:

That tells me it is not pure sine wave.

If you are interested, there is a national parks ranger in Montana who developed a high efficiency, 12 VDC fluorescent. fixture to be used in a cabin in the boonies.
I was thinking about putting them on the boat at one time.
Maybe I can still chase him down.
Lew
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Probably, Costco has sold Xantrex XPower 1000's off and on for $40 or $50, depending on when you buy. Even though not sine wave, a terrific buy for a 1KW sustained, 2KW surge inverter.
TrippLite makes some very nice units that are "UPS/inverters". It's essentially an inverter with built-in charge control, you supply the batteries. Add the two golf-cart batteries, and you're set. The low- end ones aren't true sine waves, but I believe that their higher-end ones are.
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Be sure to plug a charger for the batteries into the inverter to assure a constant supply of power.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The old perpetual motion machine :-)
I do plug the converter (120V -> 12V) into the generator and the shore power into the inverter (12V -> 120V). Fire up the generator when the batteries get a little low.
Also run the fridge and water heater on propane to keep the electrical load as low as possible.
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Mmmmmm....dunno. I'd think a little heavier than that, but almost certainly not over 1/6 HP. Still not much more power draw than a couple of light bulbs.

Yabbut -- he already has the generator.
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I forgot about the gas valve... it makes sense that it'd be electrically operated. The thermostat seems to be a simple on-off switch, so it shouldn't need anything special.

It looks like propane generators start at that price point and go up. The only advantage to a generator would be extra power to run things like tools.

Wouldn't it be as simple as moving the 120V connection from the breaker box over to the alternate energy source? It wouldn't be auto switch over, but the thermal capacitor (concrete) would keep the garshop warm for several hours.

I'm curious now if someone's thought about integrating a small generator into a boiler to solve this problem...
Puckdropper
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"Puckdropper" wrote:

You need a manual transfer switch (DPDT) aand have it handle all the emergency circuits.
It is either in "Normal" or "Standby" mode.

Not only that, there are combustion air as well as flue gas issues.

Want to run a table saw? You need a 10HP-5KW gasoline powered contractor garade generator.
BTDT.

No, see above comment.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Lew
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Puckdropper wrote:

I got my Honda 2KW pure sine wave generator for $875 on Al Gore's internet. It uses about 1 gal of gasoline for 8 hours at low load.

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Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:
<...snipped...>

Better yet, how about a propane or NG fuel cell?
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Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

See:
http://www.whispergen.com /
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Stuart Winsor

For Barn dances and folk evenings in the Coventry and Warwickshire area
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<puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

Close, but not quite. You also need to power the ignition system on the boiler, and the aquastat. Couple hundred watts, tops, though, including the circulator.

My entire house has hot water radiant heat: four loops (hence four circulators), ten zone valves, ten thermostats, four transformers, and an array of relays controlling it all. You better believe I power those from a genset when the utility power goes away. And you're right, it's too easy to not do it.
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On Dec 17, 7:36pm, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote: And, then, he called his HVAC guy to as how to hand cut dove tails . . . Go Figure
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