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Mike Schneider
Electricity Outage

From time to time the electricity goes out in our neighborhood, lasting from a few minutes to a day or two. With a very elderly in-law living with us, we need continuous heat. Our gas furnace is electrically operated. Does anyone know of a constantly chargeable battery that could automatically switch on the furnace in such a ***** outage? And lasting more than a day or two? Our stairlifts have batteries that will work for three days. We can do without electricity if need be for the rest of house, despite some food loss. We're looking for an option to a major external gas generator.

Re: Electricity Outage

This may be something to look into but I imagine the cost may be prohibitive for a new unit. I work in IT and would suggest a heavy duty UPS. These Uninterruptible Power Supplies will basically power several servers in an outage. The bigger the unit you get, the more stuff it will run, and/or the longer the runtime on battery power.

I wonder if you could get a reconditioned one from someones server room as it would not need any fancy features, then assuming your furnace uses regular 110v power (like mine a lennox G61) you would put an outlet on the feed from the furnace and run it permanently through the UPS. The UPS would then ideally be plugged in to an outlet that is used just for that purpose, i.e. it has its own dedicated breaker in the breaker panel. The UPS when not connected to a machine will just provide battery power whenever the main power goes out, and then stay on until it dies (or hopefully the power comes back on). Once power is restored it will start charging up the battery again.

This is just an idea and I am not a licensed electrican, so please check your local codes to make sure this is allowed, if it is you should probably have a licensed electrician wire it up.

The low runtime of small UPS's is mentioned in a post is saw on hvac-talk dot com and they suggest using a regular generator for the extended run time.

Re: Electricity Outage

A UPS system to do what you want would cost far more than a small generator. I would recomend a 5kw generator and a Reliant switch. It's not automatic but will operate necessary circuits in your home when the electricity is out.


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