View Full Version : power out---spokane

01/06/2007, 08:02 PM
12 hours with no power, all ok.

I had a uninterruptible power source rated for a computer for 3 hours on my main pump, two others of 2 hours standing by, when we lost power at 3am. By 5 am, I waked to a lot of beeping, got up and called the power company, who swore power would be back on by 6am. Wrong.
By 7, we were on the second backup, and cycling the pump only 5 minutes an hour. By 10 I go to the lfs with our defunct main backup and plug it in there, while we get some sportsman's hand warmers and a backup air pump with stone.

By 3pm the power was on, and we retrieved the main backup power unit and never did hook up the air stone.

FYI, I asked the lfs [a reef shop] what was the bottom end with the temperature, which had sunk to 68.8 degrees. They said it was ok until 62. And 5 min per hour was keeping my fish list and the corals ok.

The hand warmers in ziplocks were doing pretty well, still warm, but only able to get 1 degree betterment out of the temp.

We're ok, and I don't think I've lost anything.

Bri Guy
01/07/2007, 01:33 AM
Glad alls alright, and somebody might have thought that 2 back up power suplies would be going overboard.

01/07/2007, 04:04 AM
Waaaaah, was that from the wind storm last night?

Our lights flickered all night but we had no outages thankfully.

Did you go to Kevins? Hope everything is all right with his stuff, yikes.

The last outage we had was just over 12 hours too, from some drunken moron hitting a transformer with his car; I had good o2 exchange and some water movement, but no heat. Temp got down to around 66 degrees. I ended up losing 2 dispar anthias, and my corals were stressed for a few weeks. I lost some tissue on most my SPS, but they all recovered. I think the lower temp was definately the culprit. I was freakin'.

Glad you made it through.

There was a guy on the PSAS forum on another board who had the ingenious idea to use calcium chloride drive deicer to make a 'heat reactor' using a 2 liter bottle. He said it worked like a magic trick. Temp seems to be the biggest problem losing power at a cold time of year; even if on backup, heaters just can't keep up with cold house temps.

Good luck

01/07/2007, 09:04 AM
Kevin's ok---he's just across the I-90 bridge from me, but he didn't lose power. He let me plug in the big power backup at his place when it ran out---thank you, Kevin!

Mmmm---not just one computer backup unit, but 3, two little ones and the 3-hour backup. We have just the main pump connected to it.

What's this trick with the calcium chloride 'heat reactor'? Have you got the specs? How do you activate it? Water?

01/07/2007, 09:08 AM
You're just having all kinds of fun this winter aren't you? When we lose power for very long I heat water on a propane burner and float containers. I have air pumps, but I also take airline tubing and slowly siphon a couple gallons and then just dump it in.

01/07/2007, 11:26 AM
Big wind here again today, really whipping!

Apparently the guy took a 2 liter soda bottle, dumped a bunch of chloride in, added water, and floated it in the tank. It produces a reaction that creates alot of heat and lasts a long time. If you get one of those digital battery powered thermometers with the probe, it seems like it would be pretty safe.

How does your stuff look today?

01/07/2007, 12:22 PM
Man Sk8r,
Sounds like a close call hope verything is doing well. I live on Cape Cod and every winter we lose power. I was doing like you, had to computer UPS rated for 3hrs, the lst outage last year lasted 2 days after one of our NorEasters. This year I am ready, invested in a 15kw whole house genset that runs off of Natural Gas, plumbed right into the house supply. And go figure, this year we have not even had snow, but I am ready.

I found the investment to do this was not so bad, when you look at how much we all have invested into our systems. Something to consider, it runs the tanks like I am on the grid, heat, keeps the fridge running, lights, and other stuff, it equates to about 90Amps of power which is fine for most people.

BTW - I got mine from Sears - good warranty

01/07/2007, 12:29 PM
THank you, reefshadow!

Rreddick, I'm in a 3rd floor apt, hoping to rent a house one of these days, precisely for the reason of generators! But so far so good.

Thanks for all the sympathy, people---so far no coral losses, and the fish that have come out of the nice warm rockwork look ok. We're warmed back up to 77, but I'm not pushing the rewarming too hard, figuring that slow down, slow up is the best way.