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Problems with Gas equipment in Electricity Power Cuts
How GAS appliances can be affected if there is an electrical power outage


It might be easy to assume that the gas will be unaffected in an electric power cut, but this often isn't so!

On a gas cooker, the oven light isn't a gaslight, and the ignition might be mains electric rather than piezoelectric. Do you have a box of matches? If so, you're still cooking with gas, but what about the gas central heating?

Curious as it may seem, gas central heating boilers often have at their heart a weakness, as the circulator pump is mains AC electric. An odd choice.

Typically it's a mains induction motor, and requires AC. If it were a 12 volt DC motor it wouldn't be quite so bad, as you could power it off a 12v supply such as a car battery, or an inbuilt battery backup, but no, it's an AC-only mains motor. See AC and DC devices

Having your gas central heating boiler inoperable because of electricity failure is silly! Surely it could be designed differently. Even if the motor had an external shaft which could have a pulley wheel attached, you could arrange some external mechanical arrangement to keep it going.

Other types of gas installation that are vulnerable to electric power outage include those which have sophisticated electronics, unless they have battery backup. Battery backups for such things should be relatively easy, provided considerate design, as the power requirements are minimal, and the electronics runs off low voltage DC.

Powergen, who are in the electricity and gas business, probably have a special take on this with their Central Heating Maintenance

As a side point to all this, although you occasionally see electricity failures, you almost never see a gas failure. Well done to the gas companies! Apparently, if the gas system ever failed or had to be cut off, it would be a big problem! All the pilot lights would go out, and then when the gas came back on again they would leak out gas. This would then require a huge surveying operation to check every gas pilot light in the area.

Also see problems with the phone if the electricity fails - what about emergency calls?


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