I spoke with an insurance underwriter, their position is:
1. During a power outage, they prefer that you take reasonable steps to
keep your pipes from freezing and causing thousands in damage to your home.
2. They would rather have you run your gas or oil furnace off of an
extension cord and a genset than use one of those portable kerosene or
Absolutely, and this string is about how to do just that, properly, not
just in an emergency situation where you would just disconnect the
boiler from it's normal power supply and connect it to a cord and plug
for generator power.
This person is in Canada, and assumes you have a generator with a twist
lok outlet on it, and assumes that this wiring meets boiler code in your
particular area, which I can tell you unequivocally, it does not
On 2/6/2012 6:12 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Nec only plays one part in the central heating system safety. We have a
variety of fire safety and life safety codes.
In the area where the OP lives: all central heating systems need a
disconnect "within sight from" the unit. This is an Nec rule. It means
within sight of, and not more than 50 feet away. If the heating system
is sitting in an open basement, there must be an additional disconnect
at the top of the stairs to the basement. If there is a boiler room, the
additional disconnect can be outside of the boiler room The idea is that
the service man kills the switch that he can see, but if the unit
shouldmalfunction, it can be killed without going near it.
In my opinion, HF is a schlock merchant.
I would expect that extension cord to be a cheap piece of shit made from China's
finest toxic waste.
I'd also expect the cord to fail within the first few hours of use.
For just a few dollars more you can get a top-quality cord made in USA that will
last for decades.
Amazon has one for $44
US Wire 99050 12/3 50-Foot SJEOW TPE Cold Weather Extension Cord Blue with
On 2 Feb 2012 15:08:43 -0500, email@example.com (David Combs) wrote:
This solenoid is most likely operated by a transformer with a secondary
voltage of around 24 volts.
Working on low voltage wiring is easy to do and should not need to
follow a lot of codes. Therefore, the simple solution is to not touch
the AC supply voltage at all. Instead, buy an extra transformer to be
powered from the generator. Install a DPDT (Double pole double throw)
switch in a box, and connect this to secondary of both transformers.
When the switch is flipped in one direction, the furnace will run the
transformer from the power line. When flipped the other way, it will
run from the generator. Label the switch so you know which way to flip
You can buy a switch like this at Radio Shack. You can also buy small
aluminum boxes there to install it after drilling some holes in the box
for the switch and the wires. A DPDT switch has 6 terminals on the
back. The 2 middle ones go to the 2 wires going to the furnace. The 2
terminals on the left go to the transformer from the generator, the two
on the right go to the 2 wires from the line powered transformer.
Find a buddy who plays around with electronics to help if you need help.
There are ham radio guys and electronics experimenters all over the
country. Maybe the Radio Shack clerk knows of someone, or call a few
local TV repair shops.
Be sure to buy a transformer MADE for your furnace. Call a furnace
Thanks for mentioning that.
Well, right now that fan is not *in* the system -- it's directly
wired to the wall, and is on ALL THE TIME -- all four seasons.
(That was the strong advice of the plumber.)
Now, not only is having it running all the time going to
wear out a lot sooner, but motors take more than a few
watts. 24/7/52 can add up to a *LOT* of money.
(I just read an article somewhere that claimed that
running a not-too-big fan 100% of the time came
to $5,000 per year! Even if that's exaggerated, it's
still probably over $1,000. Should get close and see
if I can read the watts rating.)
Anyway, I think (unless you guys say not to) I'd like
that fan to run only when the furnace is "on" (burning
gas). Now, that would require some kind of solenoid-switch
controlled by the same circuit that controls the opening
of the gas-line into the burner, probably working at the
same voltage as THAT (gas) solenoid, with at 110v switch
open and closed by the new solenoid.
Hmmm. That controlled-switch would be inserted in
the middle of the current power-line going from the
wall to the fan.
So there'd *still* be no *electrical* connection between
the fan and the furnace.
Now, it'd sure be nice if the current "oompf" controlling
the gas-solenoid was strong enough to also control
the second one! Would make life a lot easier than it
might otherwise be.
(My "oompf" -- what's the correct terminology (or concept)
for that. I guess it would be a perfectly, infinitely
constant voltage source, regardless of the amps or load
put on it.)
So maybe the "above" response is NOT a moot point, after all!
Hey, thanks for making me think!
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.