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Steam Boiler UnInterrupted Power Source

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I have a rental unit and, due to a change in circumstance, now live about 65 miles away. The building has a gas fired steam boiler (so I don't have to worry about pumping oil). The Texas power blackout in 2021 has got me thinking. How big of a UPS would I need to run a gas fired steam boiler in the event of a freezing winter blackout? My true goal is to prevent pipe freezing.

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  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    Is it atmospheric, or does it have a blower?

    If it's atmospheric you could run quite a while on a UPS. If it's a blower, not very long at all.

    You can hook up a kill-a-watt or other meter to your boiler to see how much it draws and do the math. There are several threads from the last few years here you might search for also.

    But 65 miles isn't very far. You might consider an internet temperature device so you can monitor the temp or get notified if it drops. You'll have many many hours or days before the pipes freeze. Will they even freeze in Texas?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    You would want a small ups with a large external battery. A ups with a high power rating also uses a lot of power just to run the inverter so it may only run 6 hours on its internal battery with almost all the power consumed going to losses in the inverter switching circuit.
    pecmsg
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,852
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    For anything over a few hours you're going to need a generator with automatic switch over.
    LS123
  • Peter Rozano
    Peter Rozano Member Posts: 17
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    Thank you all for your advice. The meter may be the way to go to get started. For the record, there is no blower. My electric draw should be the pressuretrol, automatic water feed and the automatic vent dampner, none of which seem like heavy draw items to me. Perhaps I am wrong...
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    Plus the gas valve don't forget :sweat_smile:

    But yeah it won't be much of a draw, but most UPS's don't run very long.

    Is this property vacant? Won't the tenants call you when they don't have heat?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    You can disable the vent damper (at least that's what one of my friends told me🤫🤫).
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,007
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    Look into a small permanently installed natural gas automatic generator. No power means just that and internet may not be available (no modem, no router) other than through cell phone data capability.


    LS123
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    edited February 2022
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    if its atmospheric you could put a standing pilot millvolt valve and it runs with no house electricity. now i see your second post with more info on the system. you'd need a float style low water cut off. You could still run an electric auto feeder separately which wouldn't fill during outages and I'm pretty sure that some dampers spring open on power failure.