Anyone have a favorite battery backup to run a gas forced
air heater's fan in an electrical power outage?
Been looking at the Xantrex 802-1500
(Amazon.com product link shortened)ªg_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m¡XLPXROIJMXI4
The above one is a three battery in parallel "A" series.
Don't like batteries in parallel. I am not finding the
newer single battery "B" series.
And something is not catching me as right over the
the riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped
Please do try it with the furnace. You may find
out that your battery and inverter either do not
work, or don't run very long. Nice to know before
the power goes off for a week that you need a
bigger power supply for the furnace.
There are also vented wall heaters for propane or
NG, you might be able to buy NOW before it gets
too much worse.
That looks like something I might be interested in. I've been watching
the news coverage of the electric power outages in Toronto and New
I'm concerned that if we got an ice storm here in Winnipeg, a power
outage wouldn't simply mean that we'd have no electricity for heat, it'd
be far worse than that. I have a hot water heating system in my
building, and in that situation, the water in the heating system could
freeze and cause a huge amount of damage with burst pipes and cracked
radiators. All I would need to prevent that damage is about a 1500 watt
power source to supply power the heating system for as long as the
conventional power is out.
I'm wondering if I could simply do that with car batteries and this
Xantrex inverter? Until now, I was thinking of just using a small
gasoline powered generator, but that's problematic with the noise and
keeping the generator outside, but still preventing it from being stolen
when everyone else needs electric power too. This Xantrex inverter
wouldn't need to be kept outside, and that greatly diminishes it's
likelyhood of being stolen.
(I'm aware that the problems that happened in Toronto as a result of the
ice storm wasn't siimply because the weight of the ice caused power
lines to break or transmission towers to come down. Most of the problem
was due to ice collecting on tree branches, and those tree branches
coming down and taking out aerial power lines when they did. So, how
likely an ice storm is to cause a power outage depends on many factors,
including what kinds of trees grow along the routes of power
distribution lines, and how diligently the utility prunes those trees so
as to prevent falling branches from taking out aerial power lines.)
On Tuesday, December 31, 2013 1:03:08 AM UTC-5, nestork wrote:
I don't know what kind of neighborhood you live in, but around
here, a heavy chain would be plenty of deterent to someone planning
on stealing a portable generator. there are plenty of unsecured ones,
so I don't think a thief is going to screw around with a chained one.
As for batteries and an inverter to get you through a power outage
in Canada, it wouldn't be my plan, because for short power outages
you don't need the heat and for long ones unless you have a hell
of a lot of batteries, it isn't going to last.
You can't prune back far enough to prevent a 120 foot tree from
hitting the power lines when it comes down. - and the xantrex would
need a huge battery to keep power on for 9 days - which is how long
some Torontonians were without power.
On my old (very simple) Miller furnace, I bought a
marine battery and a 750 watt inverter. It didn't
have enough power to run the blower motor. But, my
generator did the job.
The inverter draws power even when turned off, so
it killed the battery while I wasn't using it.
Necessary to actually try it out before depending
on it for power cut. Might not work. Regular testing
Even if you manage to find one big enough to run the
furnace the run time will probably be inadequate. If
the power outage is short enough to get through with a
battery powered system then you can probably get through
without getting too cold.
Checking on it my unit is rated at 9 Amps. To run for
10 hours that would require 9 * 120 * 10 about 12 kWh
of storage capacity. That is a pretty big battery,
especially since that disregards inefficiencies in the
system. Figure a safety factor of 50 percent and you
will be talking about 20 kWh (all rough figures). For
comparison my UPS' have ratings of something like 750 Watt
hours, or .75 kWH.
In fact of course you may not need to run the heater
that much, but if the power is going to be off for more
than one day you would really need a big one.
On Sunday, December 29, 2013 9:39:35 AM UTC-5, Bill Gill wrote:
IDK about the exact numbers, but agree with the overall principle.
He could put an amp meter on his system to get the actual numbers.
For the $425 you're in the range where you can get a generator.
A generator makes more sense to me. If you have nat gas available,
getting a generator that runs on it is perfect. There are conversion
kits available for many generator engines that allow you to use
nat gas, propane, or gas and switch between them.
On 12/29/2013 9:33 AM, email@example.com wrote:
IMHO you'd be much better off getting a small backup generator to power
your furnace fan and electronic ignition for the furnace. Even an el
cheapo from Harbor Fright or a small, used one from Craigslist will fit
A UPS will NOT economically deliver what you want. The run time would
be just too short. Likewise, you're really only going to need this in a
prolonged power outage. Unless you live in a tent in Maine, a two or
three hour outage is likely to have very little impact on your comfort.
OTOH, if you DID have a UPS in play, its energy would likely would be
depleted in that same period of time and you'd be...
The backup generator will allow you to prevent loss of food, etc. should
you lose power in the summer, etc.
On 12/29/2013 10:03 AM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:
A UPS will only run the furnace a relatively short time and if the power
is only out for a short time, the temperature in the house won't drop
much. A back up generator is the way to go and should be used with an
automatic transfer switch. A small UPS could be used to hold power until
the generator kicked in, but would not be necessary unless there is
medical life support equipment (which should be on a UPS anyway)
For anyone here who does have a UPS and the battery is on float charge,
it is important that you use the more expensive VRLA battery . (Valve
regulated Lead Acid)
It is designed to NOT emit hydrogen. If you use a standard "wet" type
car or marine battery indoors, there is a potential explosion hazard!
What are the actual odds? How many exploding
batteries really happen?
The only time in my life I've known of an exploding
battery was when an old farmer was using 12 volt
boost setting on a car battery. I could smell the
acid, and I was on the other side of the machine
from the battery. He leaned over and wiggled the
cable clamps on the post. It sounded a bit like a
short barrel revolver shot. "Get some water for my
eyes" he said.
If the batteries are in a house, there is definitely a chance of explosion.
I was in the business for 38 years and only blew up /one/ battery.
I ASSURE you, that was one battery too many! It caused $2000 in damage
and my ears did not stop ringing for over 24 hours.
Fortunately I was using all of my safety equipment and was not injured
BTW: Though you should always wear safety goggles when handing a
battery, if you do get acid in your eyes or skin do not panic.
The acid in a battery is not strong enough to "eat a hole through
you"...and if you neutralize the acid within a few minutes, you will be
For your skin: soap and water is fine. For your eyes, there is eye-wash
specifically made for such...but if none is avail, rinse them out for
ten minutes in running water.
For cotton clothes...forget it. Even if you neutralize the acid at
once...it will be too late.
Thanks for the field report. When Farmer Bob blew up
the battery, I grabbed hold of him, and we went into
the house to use the kitchen sink for eye wash. The
next day, much of the front of my cotton coat fell
out, looked really awful. I ended up throwing the
coat into the trash dumpster, some time later. I'd
wondered if I treated the coat with hot water and
baking soda if I could have saved it. Maybe not.
I phoned the pharmacy to ask what to be done.
They suggested water flush, ambulance, and
hospital emergency room. Farmer Bob wasn't
going with all that expense.
Rubber or plastic apron might have helped. I
don't remember if his clothes got acid eaten.
I don't recall that anyone ever needed to go to the emergency room for
battery acid in their eyes or skin but in factories, the eye wash
stations used cold water.
Only once did was I foolish enough to get acid in my eye by not using my
safety glasses. I just got a tiny drop in and it really stung. I used
eye wash and was ok in about five or ten minutes.
No. Happened to me in the lab. I immediately doused it with water and
sodium bicarbonate but lost the pants anyway. I went to medical and
they immediately put me in their shower. When I got out to dry off,
they had fresh pants and shoes for me as shoes had also been splattered.
My skin was perfectly OK.
We were doing a lot of work with sulfuric acid and operators had acid
resistant clothing but were complaining that they were losing their
underwear and wanted acid resistant underwear. Skin would have been
next so we put them in acid resistant, impermeable clothing.
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