Dealing with and planning for power outages. Not if, but WHEN. MERGED THREAD

Discussion in 'Equipment: Setup and Discussion' started by Screwtape, May 20, 2009.

  1. Screwtape

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    I really like the idea of battery backups and with the recent threads about power outages and disaster prevention I thought I'd start another thread so as to not derail the other discussions.

    I'm wondering what other people are using for battery backups, brands/models preferably and how long you expect them to run what equipment. So many battery backups I'm looking at look like they hold pretty pathetic charges and won't run for more than a couple hours under the load of like even a relatively efficient 80 watt return pump.

    For example the BRS ones say they'll run a Koralia 3 for 8 hours. A Koralia 3 only consumes something like 7 watts and the backup unit costs $180. That just doesn't seem very cost efficient.

    Icecap claims their battery backup for the vortechs will run one pump for 30+ hours and a vortech MP40 uses 12-40watts of power depending on the power level it's set at but it doesn't have an outlet for a regular power plug, just a connection to plug into the vortech driver.

    Does anyone know of good battery backup systems? I'd like to at least run my AC3, my network hub and my internet router for a while like David G mentioned in his response to disaster prevention, and it would be nice to have a battery option for my return pump too to run for a day or two but I don't know what can handle that load for 24-48 hours.

    Generators are not an option since I live in an apartment.
     
  2. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    To handle 24-48 hours with any real kind of electrical load ( 50w + ), your going something much bigger/better than a cheap $60 ups. Anything longer than about 24 hours particularly in winter time without heat, a generator is your only real viable option. I'm sure you have a terrace or something that you could run one during a long outage but can get expensive when you need a quiet one.

    Another real key is the sin wave ( I'm not an electrical guy ) but this is key if your wanting to run return pumps etc. Maxijets however are very resilient and can handle cheap UPS. Some return pumps aren't so forgiving and can burn up the pump. You will know, becuase when on UPS if the pump makes a whinning noise then it's likely not a very good.

    Do a search at our old forum on thereeftank for: Triplite ( which is a brandname ) which was created by Twins guy. It has the model numbers. You will need a marine battery ( or 2 as well ). When choosing a deep cell battery the key rating is "Reserve Capacity" the higher the number the better. Typical wet cell batteries last about 18-24months. Gell cells are much more expensive.

    Between battery and UPS expect to pay around $300+.
     
    #2 David Grigor, May 20, 2009
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  3. Fish'InMN

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    Xantrex Powersource 400 will run a Tunze Nanostream for two days, and only run about $160. But for any extended outage, or if you need heating or cooling, you need a generator.
     
  4. Chris Goetz

    Chris Goetz I contributed!
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    Where's the write-up on yours? Don't tell me you're not using it yet...;)
     
  5. OP
    Screwtape

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    Thanks for the replies. I have no balcony or anything either and I'm on the 7th floor so that rules out any generator I'm aware of.

    I'll look into the Triplite although I don't have $500 to throw into that right now.
    http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f58/ups-backup-46813.html?highlight=triplite

    I think I might forget about running the return pump for now, especially since thunderstorm season means warm weather and my apartment hasn't been under 75 degrees for the last couple weeks and that's with the AC running so I don't think I'll need to run a heater on battery if the power fails, and I have the battery backup for the vortech to help keep oxygen levels up for over a day.

    If I can just run my AC3 and internet connection long enough to be notified if anything goes awry while I'm at work or out for a few hours or something, that might have to do. That Xantrex might work, only $140 from amazon ($200+ from other places, wonder why).
     
  6. ShaneDolan

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    Also keep in mind deep cycle batteries gas as they expand and contract thru use and charging. Optima makes a deep cycle battery that doesnt gas and can be used indoors. just my two cents probably only worth one. I have built many battery back ups for sumps, tank and basement alike when I worked for Batteries Plus.
     
  7. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    I ran a triplite 500w for several years but when it crapped out, Frogbone tried to get parts for it but couldn't find any.

    I'm been running the one I got from you the triplite 750 since October. I wish I could recall what the reserve capacity of the battery but best I could find at a reasonable cost was around $80 per battery at FleetFarm.
     
  8. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    There is a better thread than the one your posted it was started from TwinsGuy where he documented it and was much cheaper since he didn't get from an aquarium related shop. I'm thinking it was something like a triplite 600 ?
     
  9. wkjames

    wkjames Former President: Now member in absentia
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    Dealing with and planning for power outages. Not if, but WHEN.

    Generators: While available both large and small, most of us cannot afford a large one, and even the mid-sized ones can be problematic to store.

    This is a new product to Harbor Freight, and in June will be on sale for $99.99 during their tent sale: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=66619

    It is VERY small, and should be powerful enough to run all of the pumps in all but the largest aquariums, as well as a heater and a few lights. 800w continuous delivery for 5 hours on 1.1 gallons of 50:1 gas at 50% load.

    This is not something for every day use, but for power outage protection, it should be plenty.

    A step up would be something like this from Northern Tool:
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200313480_200313480

    1000w continuous duty, runs 4.5 hours on 1 gallon of 50:1 gas Good if you run a tank with a larger heater, or a couple of halides.

    Moving into the $300 price range, gets you one of these: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200359066_200359066

    1650 continuous watts, with 8 hours of run time on 2 gallons of standard gasoline at a 50% load. (This one is really quiet too)

    or

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=97079
    1400 continuous watts 7 1/2 hour run time on just under 2 gallons of standard gasoline

    or, is size is less of a concern, then this may be the best option in the $300 category:
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200381775_200381775
    2850 continuous watts 11 hours of run time at 50% load on 3.8 hours of standard gasoline, and also fairly quiet. This one could run most any reef system in the club, with the exception of the few mega tanks. For most of us it probably also has enough power to run the fridge and freezer too. If you have a smaller tank, it could be big enough to run more of your house as well.


    There are other options, such as UPS systems that could work for outages of a couple of hours. I read on RC or TRT, someone went solar with deep cycle batteries and an inverter...

    I bring this topic up as a reminder of the importance of having 'a plan... any plan' to deal with these complications the world throws at us. It doesn't have to cost thou$and$ to be prepared, maybe just $100-$300 for a Generator, and 20-30 for a heavy duty extension cord.

    It happens nearly every year, someone posts with a frantic plea for help at 11:00pm, power out, no circulation, can anyone help??


    :biggrin:pREPARE:biggrin:
     
    #9 wkjames, May 20, 2009
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  10. mattb

    mattb I contributed!
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    Fwiw, the ice cap backup for vortechs is marginal at best. The duration they provide is based upon one pump and when an outage occurs, the vortech runs at significantly rduced output, Not even 50%....
     
  11. kpete4

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    this might be a stupid question: I'm guessing that these put off exhaust and need to be ran outside? With just an extension cord into the house?
     
  12. wkjames

    wkjames Former President: Now member in absentia
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    Threads MERGED

    These threads seemed to be spawned from similar concerns and issues, so I merged them.

    Dealing with and planning for power outages. Not if, but WHEN.

    and

    Battery Backups
     
  13. wkjames

    wkjames Former President: Now member in absentia
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    Yes, but a heavy guage cord, as short as possible to do the job safely is the best choice.
     
  14. OP
    Screwtape

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    That should be enough to keep things flowing in a 75 gallon tank though wouldn't it? I could even move the pump up higher on the wall to get more surface agitation if needed since I should be getting an alert from the controller.

    We're really talking emergency short term minimum to keep things alive, right?
     
  15. OP
    Screwtape

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    When I did a search on "triplite" it didn't come back with a thread started by Twins Guy, dunno what happened to it, or if the search function didn't pick it up somehow.
     
  16. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Yep. While I don't remember the price, there was a small compact one at FleetFarm rated at 1000w that looked nice.

    Mine is a small Honda made to be quiet and up to 2000w. Not a 2 cycle as the cheaper ones typically are. It ran about $1000 which is much more costly than others linked. It was a good purchase though and served us very well for the last 3-4years..... use for camping and power backup.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. dougers31

    dougers31 Senior Member
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    I think I can remember a thread started on here a while back about a generator for under $200.00 but don't remember what it was called.
     
  18. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Sorry looks like it has two Ps tripplite......

    http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f58/battery-backup-pictorial-87999.html?highlight=tripplite

    Also if you search tripplite here you will find some previous posts/polls on the topic that should still be relevant as well......
     
  19. OP
    Screwtape

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  20. mattb

    mattb I contributed!
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    I own it and am skeptical.... Short term, as in an hour or two, sure.
     

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