Power outage - what would you do?

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OrionN

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I do like it. Had it for 10 years. My tank crashed after the last prolong outage after hurricane Harvey because somebody turn off the gas to my generator. I added security camera pointing at the generator, and internet notification on generator status of my generator to prevent this from happen again.
it was heartbreaking. I did everything I could to disaster proof my system but I never, ever consider the generator was manually turn off.
 
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zzl630

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I do like it. Had it for 10 years. My tank crashed after the last prolong outage after hurricane Harvey because somebody turn off the gas to my generator. I added security camera pointing at the generator, and internet notification on generator status of my generator to prevent this from happen again.
it was heartbreaking. I did everything I could to disaster proof my system but I never, ever consider the generator was manually turn off.
Do you mind sharing how much it cost for the unit and installation? Seriously considering this time.
 

OrionN

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You can get the 22kW generator and switch box for about than 5000.00. Then you need installation cost. Need to have large enough natural gas source and hook up cost. It cost me less than 5000.00 10 years ago. For sure less than my tank many times over. Have power during outage like this is really nice. We hosted other families because we have power.
I remember my installation cost was about 1000.00
 

lapin

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My tank crashed after the last prolong outage after hurricane Harvey because somebody turn off the gas to my generator.
I remember reading that.
How much gas you think it uses per day - Winter Outage / Summer Outage
 

laverda

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Batteries are OK for tiny reef tank and short power outage. If we have to provide heat for a larger tank for any length of time, the energy use is too much for battery power. Continuous power from a running engine is needed, car engine with converter or generator is needed.
If we have to use 500 W heater, no battery can last too long.
The easiest solution is a transformer to convert 12 V dc to 120 volts AC. From a card to run a reef tank. You cannot draw that much power from a running car battery but it is workable for small tanks
You can buy a whole lot of batteries for the cost of your generator. While I would love to have one like yours, a lot of us just cannot install one for various reasons. Space being one of them.
I can keep flow going for 24 hours on my 300 gallon tank with batteries for less than $300. The 3 marine batteries shown above would easily provide a week of flow with 2 Tunze pumps. I do have a small generator if the power were to go out long term.
 
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Subsea

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I remember reading that.
How much gas you think it uses per day - Winter Outage / Summer Outage

I had a 14K Generac. After Hurricane Katrina, I ran two weeks on 250G propane tank and it used 150G. This was during the summertime in south Louisiana with a
5 ton heat pump and 3000sqft house to keep cool. The package < $4000 and I hooked it up myself.
 

OrionN

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I never tally that up. After Harvey we ran the generator for at least 10 days, and I never notice any large increase in natural gas consumption. I must admit that I don't pay attention to this much.
 

Subsea

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For heat in your home, consider using propane space heater. I was raised in a home with space heaters using natural gas.




 

OrionN

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You can buy a whole lot of batteries for the cost of your generator. While I would love to have one like yours, a lot of us just cannot install one for various reasons. Space being one of them.
I can keep flow going for 24 hours on my 300 gallon tank with batteries for less than $300. The 3 marine batteries shown above would easily provide a week of flow with 2 Tunze pumps. I do have a small generator if the power were to go out long term.
For a medium to larger size reef tank (120 or larger) and for black out of 72+ hrs with temperature differential of 40+ degree, which is exactly happened in South Texas to me this time, I don't see how the reef tank can survive on battery. You have to have some form of power generation of some kind. Battery power is not enough to keep our reef tank alive in this situation. In north Texas, the temperature differential is even much higher.
The killer here is the prolong temperature drop and it cost a lot of energy to keep the tank in the 70's when the room temperature is in the 30's. I have two 500W heater and this is barely able to keep my tank temperature up to 77F when the house in down to 60F. I know that if my house is totally wihtout power and the temp got down to the 30's, there is no way I can heat my tank up at 77F. I will need to add one or two 800 W heaters to my tank, but will set these at a few degree lower so if this happened again I have heating capacity to spare. I normally keep ny tank at 80F, but it is now at 77F
 

zzl630

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You can get the 22kW generator and switch box for about than 5000.00. Then you need installation cost. Need to have large enough natural gas source and hook up cost. It cost me less than 5000.00 10 years ago. For sure less than my tank many times over. Have power during outage like this is really nice. We hosted other families because we have power.
I remember my installation cost was about 1000.00
Did you need to get an HOA permit?
 
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Dub

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So I'm in Texas and as you all know the power went out... It stayed out for about 11 hours on Monday and that evening I was here on R2R scouring threads trying to figure out what I could do to keep my tank going when the power went out again. That was at 7:45pm and didn't come back on for 19 hours. As the temperature inside the house was dropping, I was heating pans of tank water on our gas stove and pouring them back into the tank one pan after another until 2pm the next day so the tank only dropped to about 72 degrees (until I went to Harbor Freight to hunt for an inverter and my husband let it get down to 70 degrees) while inside the house was down to 54 degrees. Everything looks ok now so I think I dodged a bullet there.

While I was at Harbor Freight looking at the inverters, I was reading the manual on the 1000w model and it said at so many amps it would last one hour and at another amp it would last 3 hours. How many deep cycle marine batteries do you need to power heaters and the pump for 19 (or more!) hours???? Plus, my buddy who was with me said if I got the battery right then it probably wouldn't be completely charged up. He said Auto Zone, etc trickle charge the batteries they sell and count on your car to finish charging them up. With no way to charge one up right then I was still screwed.

I think this ordeal finally persuaded my husband into getting a whole-house natural gas generator but part of the reason Texas went thru this power outage is because the natural gas pumps, etc were frozen so some people didn't even have gas, so that kind of generator may or may not work if/when this happens again.

So not only do I need a back-up plan, but I need a back-up plan for my back-up plan. So I need ideas.

We don't have a fireplace so we need a way to heat at the very least the area around the tank (which is in a pretty large space). I have one heater in the tank and to try to help it warm up the tank after the power was restored, I pulled the one out of my saltwater mixing tank and threw it in the overflow, but those 2 together wouldn't have made a dent when the house was 54 degrees. So I need to be able to keep that area around the tank warm when the power's out in the winter. Do I get a ventless gas space heater and a boatload of cans of the gas for it? A big enough Honda generator wired directly to the HVAC? [Let me mention that my car was out of gas and in case we were going to have to spend the night in the car with the heater going I had to go to 6 different gas stations before I found one that had power to run their gas pumps so I may not be able to get enough gasoline to run a generator for an extended period if/when this happens again]

Someone mentioned a single solar panel kit just for the tank - how many hours/days would that run the pump?

While we were driving I noted that houses with solar panels on the roofs were covered in 4 inches of snow so they were probably up the same creek I was.

What would you do if you were me?
I’m in Texas near Austin as well and lost all. I’ve emptied the tank and plan to sell it all.
 

Brian_68

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You realistically could not run a 500w heater off standard batteries, that would drain a single car battery within an hour or so, just think how many you would need. If you had a solar bank that would be another thing, but that is thousands. If you house drops 10 degrees or more the heaters will be useless as well in most cases and won't keep up.
 

reses12

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My generator absolutely saved me. Rolling outages for three days, THEN lost power completely for two days following. One heater and water mover/bubbler plugged in per aquarium for my three aquariums. Just had to keep the generator refilled with gas. Did not lose anything and I’ll never again yell at my husband for spending money on a generator! ☺
 

OrionN

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For heat in your home, consider using propane space heater. I was raised in a home with space heaters using natural gas.




Be careful on open flame heater in tightly enclosed space like our house. I worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. I think there are death in Texas this time from carbon monoxide poisoning, at least 1 family that I know off. Just be careful with makeshift heating. Heating in open space is one thing, heating in tight enclosed space is another. A whole new set of thing to worry about and consider.

Home gas furnace have outside air intake and vented to the outside, so is gas water heater.
 
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snorklr

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i have a 22k generac...i'm not home right now to look up exact figures but 2 yrs ago i believe the whole setup including installation was closer to 15k...its the water cooled version which cost much more but uses 1/2 the fuel of the air cooled one....i'm on propane and if enough trees were down and/or roads icy theres no way a propane truck would show up for a refill so my main concern was getting the longest run time on a 500 gal tank.....propane companies like to actually sell propane so they're not exactly thrilled to set you up with a huge tank that you may not use anything out of for a couple years and prefer if theres a gas stove, heater or fireplace involved
 
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Subsea

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Be careful on open flame heater in tightly enclosed space like our house. I worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. I think there are death in Texas this time from carbon monoxide poisoning, at least 1 family that I know off. Just be careful with makeshift heating. Heating in open space is one thing, heating in tight enclosed space is another. A whole new set of thing to worry about and consider.

Home gas furnace have outside air intake and vented to the outside, so is gas water heater.

I also suggest carbon monoxide alarm, which is very inexpensive.

PS: NOTE INDOOR SAFE HEAT IN PRODUCT DISCRIPTION. Not a lot of differrence than a gas range for cooking.

Product Overview​


North America's Most Popular Portable Propane Heater. This patented radiant 4,000-9,000 BTU Liquid Propane heater connects directly to a 1 lb. cylinder and is the perfect solution for heating enclosed spaces like large tents up to 200 sq. ft. The expertly engineered size to BTU ratio is augmented with a fold down handle to give this heater maximum output while retaining a minimalistic footprint. A swivel regulator gives you the ability to adapt usage from a disposable cylinder to a remote gas supply with the purchase of a hose and filter. To light the unit, simply rotate the knob to pilot and push. Then the integrated Piezo sparking mechanism will take care of the rest. With the Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off you can be sure that you will enjoy years of comfortable indoor safe heat.
  • 4,000 or 9,000 BTU per hour heats up to 200 sq. ft.
  • Use with propane gas
  • Single control start knob with hi-low heat settings
  • Includes swivel regulator, fold down handle, accidental tip-over safety shut-off and piezo igniter
  • Runs off a 1 lb. cylinder but connects directly to a 20 lb. cylinder with optional hose and filter
  • Swivel regulator
  • Fold down handle
  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
  • Includes piezo igniter
  • Runs off a 1 lb. cylinder
  • California residents see Prop 65 WARNINGS
 

14 foot reef

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I know not everyone can afford it, but I believe a solid back up emergency power plan is part of the budget once you invest in your pets. Without one, you are just rolling the dice.
 
RAP Orlando
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