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#99459 - 07/09/07 06:39 PM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: cfraser]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2810
I'm working on installing central air in my house now and was thinking about using an cord and plug in for the service disconnect at the furnace end so I could unplug it and plug in into a generator. But my electrician neighbor says that won't meet code so I have to put in a switch. he says a normal light switch is fine, which seems silly to me as that would be much easier to bump and turn on while working on the furnace than an unplugged cord. So much for code helping.
I think hooking up a power source to the furnace would be much safer than trying to light it manually. There are two valves at least in mine, the 24v one that turns on gas to the pilot then the pilot ignites and heats up the thermocouple which turns on the main burner. So if something should happen to put out the flame the thermocouple would shut the main off and the control is set up so any time the small valve is open it constantly fires the ignitor so eliminate any chance gas build up.
The bad thing with inverters is ac motors don't run real well from them and they are quite inefficient (under 80%)

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#99461 - 07/09/07 06:56 PM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: Eugene]
cfraser Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Toronto area, Ontario, Canada
^ The light switch for furnace power is typically installed near the ceiling, least around here, so it's pretty hard to accidentally flick it, I can't even reach mine without a step-stool. The furnace side of that switch wiring, once disconnected from the switch, is where I'd feed in the 110/120VAC power from the inverter or generator.

As far as the fan motor, it would suck a lot of power. That's why I wired mine so I could switch the fan right off, that is not the "normal" way to wire around here...normal here is so that the fan is always on, on "low speed" even when the thermo says it should be off. This was costing me too much, I estimated $25/month 20 years ago.

Also, I completely shut off the gas to my furnace during the warm season (saves about $60 a month from the stupid pilot and HIGH gas prices now), so I don't mind re-lighting it, it's not hard.

Are you getting the idea I'm a bit cheap here? smile Oh well, now we can call it my stylish contribution to reduce global warming...

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#99467 - 07/09/07 07:25 PM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: WillCAD]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4514
Loc: SOCAL
Quote:
What are your most likely SHTF situations, and what gear and supplies do you have in your various kits and BOBs to tailor them to those situations?
I'm in the southwest, but far enough into suburbia that wildfires will probably not be a direct threat. Wildfires usually start in the back-country here and give lots of warning so that I can repack the truck, fill the gas tank and basically take my time getting ready. I store lots of stuff in the back of my truck while wildfires threaten.

Earthquakes are what really have the potential to affect me IF it strikes close and is big. We feel small ones all the time. If it's big enough it has the potential to shut down highways and drop overpasses and bridges. There's been a program to reinforce the overpasses/bridges, but who's to say if they can really withstand the Big One. For that reason I continually have a 96 hour kit and camping gear in the back of my truck; I can hang out and wait for the situation to clear up no matter where I am when it hits. That said, the major faults are a good distance from here so for me the big issue is infrastructure -- water and electricity. We can go about a week with the water on hand. For electricity I'm looking at a small solar portable system to charge my laptop and batteries.

Terrorist: I work on what would be considered a hard-target so it's again a matter of infrastructure. See earthquakes.

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#99477 - 07/09/07 10:21 PM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: cfraser]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2810
Originally Posted By: cfraser
^ The light switch for furnace power is typically installed near the ceiling, least around here, so it's pretty hard to accidentally flick it, I can't even reach mine without a step-stool. The furnace side of that switch wiring, once disconnected from the switch, is where I'd feed in the 110/120VAC power from the inverter or generator.

As far as the fan motor, it would suck a lot of power. That's why I wired mine so I could switch the fan right off, that is not the "normal" way to wire around here...normal here is so that the fan is always on, on "low speed" even when the thermo says it should be off. This was costing me too much, I estimated $25/month 20 years ago.

Also, I completely shut off the gas to my furnace during the warm season (saves about $60 a month from the stupid pilot and HIGH gas prices now), so I don't mind re-lighting it, it's not hard.

Are you getting the idea I'm a bit cheap here? smile Oh well, now we can call it my stylish contribution to reduce global warming...


Sounds like an old furnace, mine the fan only runs when the furnace is in use and only draws a couple A, then the pilot is electrically lit each cycle. Only issue with mine is the previous owner hired a "professional" to install it and put one in that is about twice the size thats needed so it short cycles. I got it working better by adjusting the thermostat to widen the temperature range so it runs longer each cycle and waits longer to cycle so it compensates some.

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#99479 - 07/09/07 10:53 PM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: Eugene]
cfraser Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Toronto area, Ontario, Canada
They say running the fan continuously, here, gives the best year-round heating/cooling efficiency. I dunno, but it sure costs more.

Yeah you're right, it is a 20+ year old furnace, and does not have sensible things like the way your pilot works, mine is continuously lit. Generally though, in the heating season, the furnace isn't off for huge amounts of time when I'm at home, it's when the furnace is "off" that the pilot sucks a surprising amount of gas. I'm waiting for the furnace to die, but these dumb old simple beasts take a lot of killing.


One good thing about having nuke plants nearby is it's extremely unlikely to be bothered by an earthquake :), that's why they built them here. And the lake (for cooling) too. They say the exposed "dangerous" parts of the nuclear plants can withstand a direct hit by a 747. I don't recall reading about a test of that... There are 24/7 armed guards and SWAT teams. You'd almost have to be an insider/employee to do damage from inside. Nobody is allowed alone and unmonitored into a critical area. Which is not to say things still couldn't happen purposely...or accidentally. I have the suspicion we'll all be seeing more nuke plants in the near future.

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#99485 - 07/10/07 12:02 AM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: cfraser]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 966
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol

Have you considered a set of gas logs that don't need to be vented? It would eliminate any heat loss through the flue. They draw no power & will keep a good size house warm.

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#99486 - 07/10/07 12:04 AM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: WillCAD]
samhain Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Here in Baton Rouge the most likely SHTF level problems would be:

1) Hurricane -
Been there/Done that. Got the hurricane supplies pretty much stocked up and have a punchlist for when hurricane watches and warnings are issued. For my family, hurricane season is interwoven into how we live our daily lives. Though I would like to get a generator though (just in case Santa is listening).

2) Flooding -
My neighborhood is pretty high and dry but some of the area streets are prone to flooding with sudden heavy (4 + inches) in a short time. Fortunately I've lived here for a while so I know where the deep spots are and how to get around them. (Age and treachory always overcomes youth and skill).


3) Plant accident (chemical ones not the pretty ones with chlorophyl and flowers) -
We're far enough away that any gas release has plenty of time to disperse before getting to us so when one of the oodles of chem plants around our area has an accident with chemical release the most likely problem would be traffic getting home

4) Tornado -
Doesn't happen very often in my neck of the woods and there are enough trailer parks scattered far enough away from my house to draw the big twisties away from me.

Seriously though we would be screwed.



_________________________
peace,
samhain autumnwood

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#99492 - 07/10/07 01:18 AM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: WillCAD]
nouseforaname Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 76
i think a big one that you may have forgotten about is APG up in Harford County. being the #1 stockpiling site for all kinds of nasty-no-good chemicals and all the weapons testing being done here, it certainly poses a rather large threat.

i seem to remember hearing a while ago that APG would probably be the #2 target for nuclear attack back in the cold war days, with DC being #1. something tells me that probably hasnt changed much.

_________________________
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known" - A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

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#99512 - 07/10/07 04:45 AM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: WillCAD]
cedfire Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 659
Loc: Orygun
Primarily wildfires and earthquakes, with the potential for flooding in the winter thrown in, too. Any of the above three could lead to an extended power outage.

I try to keep lots of bottled water, canned goods, and long-lasting flashlights (w/lots of spare batteries) on hand.

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#99518 - 07/10/07 11:55 AM Re: What's your most likely SHTF situation? [Re: cedfire]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Earthquake.

I live in an apt. building built in the 1950's with an overhang parking garage (the worst design imaginable). I try and park on the street but most of the time there's no space so I have to park under my apt. (literally directly underneath my bedroom.) I keep water and a kit in the car and of course the usual home provisions but because earthquakes are so unpredictable I try to keep my plans flexible. I'm working off the premise that when TSHTF, if my apartment is still standing, the rest should be relatively easy.

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