hot water furnace circulator backup

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Old 11-11-16, 07:40 AM
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hot water furnace circulator backup

Hi, I have a hot water furnace. I was wondering if there is anything I can buy for a backup to run my circulator in the event of a power failure.

I was king of thinking of something thats plugs in and holds a charge then if the power goes out I can just hook it on the my circulator wires to keep it going so the water in the furnace does not get to hot and of coarse I have heat.

I have no interest in getting a generator as it would be a nuisance to get the wires to the furnace. Also not to interested in a 12volt battery and inverter as the 12volt battery would have to be charging all the time.

Does anyone have any idea as to what I can get to do this? thanks
 
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Old 11-11-16, 07:55 AM
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You listed the only two practical options. A lead-acid battery and inverter (ideally packaged as a UPS) or a generator are really the only two things that have a chance of working. The UPS would provide power for maybe a couple hours max. The generator could provide power for days or weeks running only a small circ pump. You could just put a single circuit transfer switch on the boiler system and run a standard extension cord to the generator outside. It doesn't have to be that complicated. A small Honda 1-2kW generator would be plenty to keep the heat on and those will run a day on a gallon of gas.
 
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Old 11-11-16, 07:55 AM
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You have eliminated both the practical, a generator, and the not practical, a 12 volt battery. Tell us why you can't just run an extension cord to a generator?
 
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Old 11-11-16, 08:22 AM
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I can run an extension cord to a generator but I would have to run it out a window which I was hoping I would not have to do.I was hoping there was a better setup out there just to run a circulator.

So really my best and only feasible option is a generator?
 
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Old 11-11-16, 09:05 AM
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For anything more than a couple hours use, a generator is the only option. For a few hours use, a lead-acid battery and inverter (or UPS) will do. There are small 12V circulation pumps that could run directly off a battery, but I'm not sure there are any with enough head to run whole house hydronic loops.

To avoid running the cord out the window, you can mount the generator inlet on the exterior wall of the house and run standard NMD cable to the furnace transfer switch. This leaves the house sealed up, and you only have to run your extension cord from the generator to the inlet box.
 
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Old 11-11-16, 10:12 AM
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In addition, unless your boiler is gas-fired with a constant pilot and millivolt system, the burner requires 120 volts AC anyway. Or do you have a manually-fired boiler using wood or coal for fuel?
 
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Old 11-11-16, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for the help. Yes it is manually fired boil using wood for fuel.
 
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Old 11-11-16, 11:24 AM
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Depending on how it is piped you MAY be able to manually open zone valves and flow control valves and get a gently thermosyphon action. This would give you some heat, albeit uncontrolled, during power outages. This works best if the boiler is located in a basement with the living quarters being on upper levels.
 
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Old 11-13-16, 08:44 AM
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The wood or coal fired boilers I've seen use zone valves which default to the open position when there is a loss of electrical power. This allows you to still have some heat, not as much as with the circulator, but enough to keep the house from freezing.
 
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