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Old 10-18-2004, 01:11 PM   #1
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Electrical: Frequent Power Outages

I happen to live in a specific neighborhood that seems to experience more than its fair share of short duration power outages. The outages last anywhere from 5 seconds to 5 minutes and this occurs close to once a week, on average. Other than plumbing the system so that the sump does not overflow during an outage, can anyone offer advice on how to handle or mitigate the impact(s)? What equipment can I expect to just kick on when power is restored and what will cause problems? TIA.
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:16 PM   #2
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Buy a good quality UPS. As I understand it, you'll need one that outputs a true sine wave. Figure out your total wattage you need to maintain. maybe your skimmer and sump pump only at a minimum.
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:21 PM   #3
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For the hurricanes, I have been using an APC 500VA UPS and connected it to one powerhead. It gave plenty of circulation for the tank during the power outages and lasts nearly forever since the powerhead uses less than 1 watt. I didn't run anything else other than the powerhead. Since it was so hot, I didn't need to worry about a heater either.

If I were you, I would do the same thing I did, except you may want to power the heater since you live in PA and it gets cold in the winter. Since the outages are only lasting 5 minutes at the longest, this should be fine.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:33 PM   #4
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I think the UPS on a PH for oxygen is a great idea. Other than that, just a generall comment, try and stay away from syphon systems. If you have a sump, try and use a drilled system to replace any hang-on overflows you might have. This will minimize the threat of one of your syphons not restarting if it builds up air after some many starts and stops. Other than that, pay for quality in your PHs and pumps. Make sure you get things aren't "known" for not restarting. I had on filter that on ocassion just wouldn't start up until I went over and hit it ) You wouldn't want something like that happening when you're not home and it perhaps over heating... heating your tank or worse, catching on fire.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
I had on filter that on ocassion just wouldn't start up until I went over and hit it
That is just funny, Billy!!

I am sure it wasn't funny for you, however.

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Old 10-18-2004, 02:45 PM   #6
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You can build a sump system so that the 2 failure modes don't result in a spill:

mode 1) overflow stops, sump pump fills tank
mode 2) pump stops, overflow drains and fills sump

if the appropriate levels are OK, neither condition will cause a spill.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:46 PM   #7
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very interesting topic as this is one thing (power outage) that scares me more than anything else b/c i have a syphon system . if i'm gone and my power goes out, i will lose my syphon and when my power comes back on so will my pump down in my sump. well i'm going to have one big mess.

any suggestions?

this is probably a very stupid question but can you get tanked drilled while they are full and stocked?
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:47 PM   #8
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sorry.. i meant to say can you get "tanks drilled"
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50 gal
20 g sump
2 "nemo" Clowns
1 regal tang
1 pink spotted goby
40 pds lr
cleaners: 2 cleaner schrimp, 7 blue hermitts
7 scarlett hermitts,2 american star snails
1 brittle serpent star,
20-25 snails
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:56 PM   #9
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I, too, have a siphon overflow (i.e. CPR overflow). I have never had a problem with it not restarting after I turn the sump pump back on. I do it everyday as well, since I shut down the entire system when I feed so that food doesn't blow everywhere.

But, there is a possibility that it won't restart. I agree with Billy that it would be much safer to use a drilled overflow than either my overflow or a U-type overflow, however.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:58 PM   #10
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Woops, I missed your drilled question.

I have never seen anyone do or attempt what you are asking. Typically when drilling glass, equal pressure has to be put on each side of the glass to keep it from breaking. I am not sure how you would do this with water in the tank. Also, if one should break the glass when drilling a full tank...

...well I don't think I have to tell you what would happen next.
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