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Old 09-08-2010, 10:48 PM
 
549 posts, read 1,164,782 times
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With an oil/air furnace you lose your heat if the electric service goes down after a storm because it needs electricity to ignite, and run the fan. Is there any way to rig a backup to keep the furnace giving heat for a day or two until the electric is restored? Jumper to a car battery maybe?
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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$100 Harbor Freight 800 watt generator.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:44 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Generator is the only real way to do it right. It'll take more than an 800 watt generator to run the normal oil fired furnace because the burner and the blower will be running at the same time. The Burner has a motor to draw the oil out of the tank and a small pump to inject the oil past the ignitor. You'll have the ignitor to light the oil, then the blower to force the heated air out to the house. I wouldn't even consider trying to run an oil furnace in the North Country with anything less than a 2500 watt generator. The blowers usually draw 7 to 10 amps and the burner assembly usually around 2 amps, so together you are looking at a low of 9 amps and a high of 12 amps. At 120 volts that is a minimum draw of between 1080 and 1440 watts, if the furnace isn't brand spanking new and in perfect tune, it will draw more. I've hooked up hundreds and hundreds of generator transfer switches on oil fired furnaces over the time I've been an Electrician and they generally are easy to do and not that bad cost wise. Do it RIGHT, with a transfer switch so there is NO way you can backfeed through the transformer and kill/injure a lineman working on the power line somewhere down the road.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:03 AM
 
549 posts, read 1,164,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
....the burner and the blower will be running at the same time. The Burner has a motor to draw the oil out of the tank and a small pump to inject the oil past the ignitor. You'll have the ignitor to light the oil, then the blower to force the heated air out to the house.
If I bypass the blower and allow the heat to gravity feed up from the cellar, could I get by doing much less of something, jury rigged? The end goal is to keep the pipes from freezing and just survive after a winter storm electric outage, not maintain a normal living temperature at the cost of a $3k generator. I'm exploring this because I decided to take out my wood stove which would be my usual backup system. We're getting along in years and don't want to maintain a wood pile anymore.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Alaska
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A better alternative might be to get a kerosene or oil burning heater to supplement your furnace. I believe Monitor makes a heater that can run on backup batteries when the power is out.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:34 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,138 posts, read 22,089,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachertype View Post
If I bypass the blower and allow the heat to gravity feed up from the cellar, could I get by doing much less of something, jury rigged? The end goal is to keep the pipes from freezing and just survive after a winter storm electric outage, not maintain a normal living temperature at the cost of a $3k generator. I'm exploring this because I decided to take out my wood stove which would be my usual backup system. We're getting along in years and don't want to maintain a wood pile anymore.
You'll burn up your heat exchanger. Don't jury-rig anything that has to do with combustion in your home, you'll end up either killing someone or ruining your very expensive furnace to save a couple dollars. You can get a 8000 watt generator for less than $750.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:25 AM
 
29,990 posts, read 20,724,738 times
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The best way:
Generac Power Systems - Generator Sizer

But, since the OP stated he doesn't want an expensive generator can he replace the wood stove with an LP/natural gas stove/heater like this?
Cottage Franklin

Sale Prices
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:39 AM
 
148 posts, read 117,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Generator is the only real way to do it right. It'll take more than an 800 watt generator to run the normal oil fired furnace because the burner and the blower will be running at the same time. The Burner has a motor to draw the oil out of the tank and a small pump to inject the oil past the ignitor. You'll have the ignitor to light the oil, then the blower to force the heated air out to the house. I wouldn't even consider trying to run an oil furnace in the North Country with anything less than a 2500 watt generator. The blowers usually draw 7 to 10 amps and the burner assembly usually around 2 amps, so together you are looking at a low of 9 amps and a high of 12 amps. At 120 volts that is a minimum draw of between 1080 and 1440 watts, if the furnace isn't brand spanking new and in perfect tune, it will draw more. I've hooked up hundreds and hundreds of generator transfer switches on oil fired furnaces over the time I've been an Electrician and they generally are easy to do and not that bad cost wise. Do it RIGHT, with a transfer switch so there is NO way you can backfeed through the transformer and kill/injure a lineman working on the power line somewhere down the road.
I know this post is really old, but is this what I need to run an oil boiler?
Amazon.com : Reliance Controls TF151W Easy/Tran Single-Circuit 15 Amp Furnace Generator Transfer Switch For Up To 1875 Watt Generators : Outdoor Generator Transfer Switches : Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,819 posts, read 32,017,476 times
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You can get a gasoline generator with pull start for a few hundred $. You MUST keep it outside and away from the house. I bought an 8700 watt generator at Harbor Freight on sale for $335. We have used it on and off for seven years. We abuse that thing, but it just keeps on buzzing right along.


You can get a stand by generator for around $3000 (but ther is quite a bit of wiring which you can DIY or hire out. A stand by generator comes on autlmatically when the power goes off. It powers the whole house, not just the furnace. If you jst need to power the furnace, you can get a small generator for $100 - $150. Just do not run it inside your house. It seems like every year some dummy runs a gas generator inside his house and kills his family.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:48 AM
 
1,619 posts, read 1,881,209 times
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>If I bypass the blower and allow the heat to gravity feed up from the cellar, could I get by doing much less of something, jury rigged?

Systems designed for gravity feed have larger pipes and carefully designed slopes to the pipes. Unless your system was converted this may not work very well.

Had a gravity feed system once...it was totally quiet. Then the furnace died.

(I think you're talking hot AIR...I have seen a few of those...HUGE octopus-like ducts in the basement.)
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