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.
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
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
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
Big Al wrote:
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.
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
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
Big Al wrote:
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
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
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