OMG power outage! - NM we cool ;)

BRS

Kongar

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While I may be a reefing noob, as an engineer - I got this power outage thing covered. Life advice for anyone, and it goes beyond reef tanks.

Step 1 store bought ups (the ones for computers). They work, but don’t last forever. Everyone should have them on their computers anyway.

Step 2 a marine battery, a battery tender, and a power inverter. Seriously, it’s not as scary as it sounds and it has got to be the most useful thing in the world. Marine batteries are the ones that look like car batteries - but they are for boats. Specifically for trolling motors. They are designed to run a long time whereas your car battery is designed to output high amps for a short time. You buy a marine battery and keep it in your basement on a battery tender. Then you spend $40 on a power inverter - I have a potek 500w from Amazon. Power goes out, you clip on the red and black cables, and you’ve got power for a very long time for like 1 min of work. Here’s my tank right now - flow and heat. Could do lights too, but they’ll be ok for today.

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Step 3 you could buy the packaged power backups for your pumps and stuff say from eco tech. But honestly I wouldn’t. Expensive compared to step 2, and doesn’t last as long.

Step 4 the old generator. Now not everyone can do this, but there are a lot of options here. There are small little portable buggers made for camping that for sure could keep your tank going, as well as power phones and whatnot. There’s super options like the permanent natural gas ones that auto test and switch on. These are nice but very expensive. Me however, I like the old cheap generac Home Depot portable generator. A 7500 unit can do most houses - and all houses if you turn some stuff off. A lot of people think you have to have a fancy electronic switch and that’s not true. If you’re ok maintaining and starting a gas engine, you can usually have an electrician install a manual switch plate and a receptacle outside to plug your generator into. My electrician did both for just over $500. Coupled with a sub $1000 generator, I can do my whole house (heat included for $1500. 5 gallons of gas will go a whole day, so a few cans stored in the shed with some stabilizer will cover you through the worst storms. Here’s a picture of my manual switch.
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It doesn’t have to be super expensive to be effective. It can for sure be done for less money than you spend on your tanks ;) You guys teach me about reef tanks and I’ll help you cover power outages for your tanks and other things. Hit me up if you want more details, parts numbers, general help and advice.
 
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Gedxin

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To be fair to the people buying ecotech battery backups...those are install and forget pieces of hardware. They run flawlessly when you aren't around to manage the 3+ step process you need to manually do each time power goes out.

Not knocking your solution, just a very different kind of mitigation strategy. I personally have a battery inverter as well, I'll hook it up to my car battery when I need power.
 
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Kongar

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I'll stick with my 20kW Generac standby generator. I will never own another house without a backup generator. They're not cheap, but worth every penny.
For sure! Not knocking that solution at all - they are fantastic! Just so expensive :)
 
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Kongar

Kongar

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To be fair to the people buying ecotech battery backups...those are install and forget pieces of hardware. They run flawlessly when you aren't around to manage the 3+ step process you need to manually do each time power goes out.

Not knocking your solution, just a very different kind of mitigation strategy. I personally have a battery inverter as well, I'll hook it up to my car battery when I need power.
I do get that. I guess my point is that an inverter is easier than most people think. Even my wife who was petrified at first was like “wait I just clip red to + and black to - and I can power my phone or whatever else? That’s so easy! And it lasts forever!”

Yes, yes it is. And as you said - there’s car batteries you can tap too ;)
 
BRS

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