Circuit breaker went bad today. Secondary power suggestions?

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Ceez

Fish Crazy
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California
Feeling lucky.

30 year old 15 amp circuit breaker that operates my fishroom went bad today. I had just finished doing water changes and checking fry when I went to watch the Dodger game with my Dad. It was probably an hour to hour and a half that I was in there watching the game. I walked down the hall and noticed that the fishroom was completely dark. Upon entering I noticed there was no power, nothing was on at all. I immediately went to the garage and grabbed an extension chord so I could power my air pump.

Went outside to check the panel and one of the switches on the dual 15a circuit breaker wouldn't reset. Its never even tripped before and after talking to an electrician at Lowes they informed me that more than likely the breaker was old and just went bad since it's never tripped before due to amp overload with my current power draw.

Luckily I was home to catch it in time cuz that could have been a major disaster. We have chatted a bit about failsafe methods of protection before but this makes me want to retouch on the subject again. Do any of you have something in place to protect your fish in case of a power outage? What are you using? I've been contemplating getting a whole home generator for the last few months but I can't afford it right now. Really all I need is something to power my heaters and my linear piston pump and my fish will all be fine. Any suggestions?
 
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Feeling lucky.

30 year old 15 amp circuit breaker that operates my fishroom went bad today. I had just finished doing water changes and checking fry when I went to watch the Dodger game with my Dad. It was probably an hour to hour and a half that I was in there watching the game. I walked down the hall and noticed that the fishroom was completely dark. Upon entering I noticed there was no power, nothing was on at all. I immediately went to the garage and grabbed an extension chord so I could power my air pump.

Went outside to check the panel and one of the switches on the dual 15a circuit breaker wouldn't reset. Its never even tripped before and after talking to an electrician at Lowes they informed me that more than likely the breaker was old and just went bad since it's never tripped before due to amp overload with my current power draw.

Luckily I was home to catch it in time cuz that could have been a major disaster. We have chatted a bit before about failsafe methods of protection before but this makes me want to retouch on the subject again. Do any of you have something in place to protect your fish in case of a power outage? What are you using? I've been contemplating getting a whole home generator for the last few months but I can't afford it right now. Really all I need is something to power my heaters and my linear piston pump and my fish will all be fine. Any suggestions?
I saved for an entire year and just installed a generator. I am waiting for the county to come inspect it and then we will give it a test run.
 
I saved for an entire year and just installed a generator. I am waiting for the county to come inspect it and then we will give it a test sees?

What kind did you get and how much was it with installation?
 
What kind did you get and how much was it with installation?
Kohler 14RCA with 100A 16 circuit automatic transfer switch. Will give me enough juice for all my tanks, refrigerator, heating system, well pump, and lights in bedroom and office. We experience frequent blackouts. Some last for days. Generator and difficult installation ran me $9,000.
 
We put in a whole house back-up Generac generator between in about 2008. It kicks in automatically when the power is out for 20 seconds. This decision was based on two factors. The most important was we were caring for my mother who was in in her late 80s and suffereing from dementia. She needed close to round the clock home health aides. So we had to stay in the house, even during a power outage. Mom could not manage in the heat of summer without AC and the winter without heat.

The second reason was I have begun breeding zebra plecos in Apr. of 2006. I realized one day that i had well over $15,000 worth of zebras in addition to all the ther fish in my tanks. They need warm water- think in the 80sF. And I had about 15 tanks total. I had battery powered air pumps but thye don't help with heating the water or running other forms of filtration. So the obvious solution was the generator.

The initial installation required a 500 gal. propane tank and line, a concrete pad and a fair amount of ellectrical work. I think it all came to close to $23k. That generator was a life saver as in 2011 and 2012 hurricanes came up the East Coast and hit NY. Both years we had no utility supplied power for 13 days. The original generator fried the electricity creating part and these are not typically stocked as replacements. It needed to be ordered and the wait would be 2-4 weeks.

There was a severe snow storm warning for a week later so we had little choice but to replace the generator. That ran about $13k as everything else was in place. We were lucky we were able to afford them.

If you cannot afford a whole home unit and can work with just powering your fish room and maybe one or two other things, a small gas unit would work. But to keep it cheap means a lot of extension chords and keeping it fueled. The unit must also be outside. There are other alternatives which would do the trick for shorter term outages- those lasting a few hours.

I can make some suggestions if you need to do the gas powered or other types of power back-up. It depends on how long you need to make electricty. I have a unit for jumo starting cars which contains an air pump, and also let's one use it to provide electricity remotely for a limited number of hours. However, I contains a big battery which I charge by plugging into anywhere in the house the or plug ins for anything electrical. Over time, the battery in the unit drains, so I have to make sure to recharge it somewhat regularly.

The unit I have is not longer made by Black & Decker. But you can see the listing for out but Out of Stock here
https://www.homedepot.com/p/BLACK-D...ith-120psi-Compressor-AC-USB-PPRH5B/203613410
That should give you an idea of what sort of newer model capabilities to search for,
 
We have a couple outages each year. Usually a few hours but sometimes a few days, seventeen days after Sandy and eleven after an unarmed storm. Short outages are becoming more common up here as storm intensity is increasing.

We have used portable generators for years. Currently have two dual fuel units, 2250 watts each if I remember, or maybe one is 2500 watt.

It is a little inconvenient in a long outage but it works well. All normally hardwired appliances, water pump, boiler, kitchen water heater and such are wired with plugs into outlets so with a touch of work we live seamlessly.

A few years back we were going to go solar but a septic system failure followed by a boiler failure sucked that budget dry.

For a “normal” outage a portable is quite workable with some scheduling. I recommend a Westinghouse inverter that has dual fuel capability, lap gas and gasoline.
 
I'm unsure how a generator would have helped in your current situation... don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a generator, just in this situation, it would take some unusual wiring to get the generator to help...

I'd suggest, running a couple outlets into the room, on a 2nd breaker, so you could just move a cord to another outlet... this would also help, if you were running close to maximum amperage, by allowing you to split some power so that neither circuit is close to maximum...

BTW... I do all my own wiring, and all my outlet circuits are 20 amp... the only ones that are 15, are my overhead room lights...
 
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I would just switch the defective breaker for another one in the box from a less used part of the house.

Buy 2 replacement and have one on the shelf in case of emergency.

Also Check wire gauge to see if a stronger one could be installed at the same time. If you have 12 AWG wire you can install a 20 amp breaker on it.
 
I've got a battery backup for the heater and air stone in my tank. It will hold long enough for me to fire up my generator. I have a portable, but it is back fed into my panel. If you buy an Interlock kit, it will remain code compliant doing it that way.

 
we put a 3 way switch on our power pole...
 
It’s a switch at the top of our power pole, one line goes to our power line, another runs down a cord, down the pole, to a plug, or is hard wired to a permanent generator if uses some conduit as a connecting rod, that goes to a manual flip switch at the bottom of the pole, so you can, from the bottom of the pole, switch between the power line or you generator line, so there is no chance of feeding power from your generator, into the power line
 
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I have a 17500 watt Generac, with a custom 24.000 watt, 3 way, made from 2 crappy high power double throw safety transfer switch.

Never used any of this for an aquarium since installed. But it sure runs a small house without problems.

Edit: I have to put off the HVAC tough.
 
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Redundant power configurations are common in the telecom word but not priced to be consumer friendly.
You best bet is a self powered alarm that notifies you that you lost power ( along with the availability of a second separately fused outlet in the fishroom- as previously discussed)
 

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