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  #81  
Old 11 October 2018, 05:32 PM
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When I last had a gas hot water heater, which was, admittedly a while ago, the gas caught fire because there was already a fire in the form of a pilot light. It would surprise me a little to have a gas hot water heater not working in a power outage.

It did not surprise me that our gas furnace does not work with the power out because it has several electrical/electronic parts, not least of which is the fan that forces the air through the ducts.

ETA: spanked!
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  #82  
Old 11 October 2018, 05:36 PM
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I grew up with a water heater and stove that both relied on pilot lights, and encountered a gas stove that required electricity to ignite for the first time in college when I moved in to my first apartment. It was a bit of a head-scratcher when that circuit went out during the day (so I didn't even realize I'd lost power) and I couldn't light the burner. My dad helped me troubleshoot over the phone and we eventually figured it out.
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  #83  
Old 11 October 2018, 05:38 PM
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I'm not sure that there are any modern central heating systems that wouldn't depend on electricity in some form or another. Other than a coal-fired steam radiator, most of them are going to need electricity to pump/control the fuel and electricity to circulate the heating medium.
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  #84  
Old 11 October 2018, 06:01 PM
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I think you are correct. When I lost power after the ice storm, my furnace did not work although both my gas range and hot water heater did.

I have a forced air, gas furnace that is rather old. Clearly the blower can't work without power, but they mechanism that kicks the gas on and then 'decides' to start the blower would not work either as this is electrical in nature.

I think that very old furnaces which rely on confection to heat the house might also work
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  #85  
Old 11 October 2018, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I think that very old furnaces which rely on confection to heat the house might also work
Don't mean to pick on a typo, but I think only a German witch could use a confection-based heating system.
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  #86  
Old 11 October 2018, 07:15 PM
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That's how you heat ginger-bread houses, right? If its a two story ginger-bread house they might need to use convection heat though.
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  #87  
Old 11 October 2018, 07:19 PM
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The gas might heat the water, but don't a lot of water heaters rely on a pump to get water in and out of the tank?

The furnace depends on an electric fan to distribute the heat through the house. In my case, it also needs a pump to push the waste water out the side of the house

Seaboe
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  #88  
Old 11 October 2018, 07:25 PM
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Unless the mains water pressure is extremely low, the hot water is pushed out of the hot water heater by the incoming cold water.
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  #89  
Old 11 October 2018, 07:32 PM
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There is no electrical connection to my hot water heater.
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  #90  
Old 11 October 2018, 08:01 PM
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Depending on how the water system is set up, if the power's out, the water may be out also.

A water heater that kept right on running when no more water was coming into it would be a hazard. So I would expect at least some water heaters to have safety systems that prevent them from running if there's no power -- though having the ignition be electric would take care of that in itself, of course; you'd just need whatever system shuts down the gas if there's no ignition. As that system may itself require electricity, I'd expect the failure mode to be that the gas won't flow if there's no power.

ETA: Beachlife!, does your water source keep running if there's no power? (Some do, of course.)
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  #91  
Old 11 October 2018, 08:24 PM
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My water heater uses a thermocouple to shut the gas off if the pilot goes out.

The water will stop coming through if the cold water going in is shut off, for whatever reason, once the tank level falls. The hot water outlet is near the top of the tank so this will happen long before the tank runs dry.

The tank won't actually run dry either because the cold water inlet doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the tank. Worst case scenario the tank will have enough water at the bottom to keep bad things from happening if it is not shut off.

I have city water. We get our water pressure from pumps downtown. If the entire city lost power, which has never happened, the pumps would eventually stop (they have backup generators) and we would all lose water pressure.
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  #92  
Old 13 October 2018, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Heck, they had indoor plumbing
Good point. My mom's family had a privy (outhouse) and bathed in a tin tub in the kitchen until her father installed a toilet and shower in the basement when she was in high school (mid 1930s). That remained the only "bathroom" in the house until Mom's stepfather built one in the mid-60s.
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  #93  
Old 13 October 2018, 02:35 AM
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My grandparents had an outhouse until the mid-1980s. In other words, recently enough for me to remember using it when I was really young. At that age I thought it was kind of cool that their "bathroom" was outside. Prior to them adding a bathroom to the house, their only indoor plumbing was a kitchen sink, and I recently learned that they didn't even have that when my mom was young, in the 1950s.
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  #94  
Old 13 October 2018, 02:42 AM
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But did any of them walk around with an onion tied to their belt?
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  #95  
Old 15 October 2018, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
And I haven't heard that earthquakes will be made worse by climate change (please, if they will be, don't tell me until next week -- this one has been rough enough as it is)
Well... How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes.

Maybe not worse, but more frequent.
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  #96  
Old 15 October 2018, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
My grandparents had an outhouse until the mid-1980s. In other words, recently enough for me to remember using it when I was really young. At that age I thought it was kind of cool that their "bathroom" was outside. Prior to them adding a bathroom to the house, their only indoor plumbing was a kitchen sink, and I recently learned that they didn't even have that when my mom was young, in the 1950s.
Same here : both my pair of grandparents had an outhouse way into the sixties. Which reminds me of a thing Giovanni Guareschi wrote in one of his Don Camillo short stories : "In the city, they put the toilet at the end of the corridor and call it progress. In the country, they put the toilet at the end of the garden, and call it civilization."
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  #97  
Old 15 October 2018, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Good point. My mom's family had a privy (outhouse) and bathed in a tin tub in the kitchen until her father installed a toilet and shower in the basement when she was in high school (mid 1930s). That remained the only "bathroom" in the house until Mom's stepfather built one in the mid-60s.
I should also mention that this was the basement of a house built around 1910. It was partially dirt-floored (not the part with the "bathroom"), and the stairs were steep and poorly lit.
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  #98  
Old 16 October 2018, 02:47 PM
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It reminds me a bit of the Transendentalism movement.
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  #99  
Old 16 October 2018, 03:13 PM
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I was thinking about this thread this morning, as I passed two people (who were both, individually and some distance apart, standing still), concentrating on their phones. One appeared to be getting ready to listen to music, and the other trying to get directions.

Seeing them led to thoughts of long distance communication, and Morse Code, and whether something new, resembling Morse, would be developed in the event of an electromagnetic burst severe enough to take out the power grid (that's part of the plot of Dark Angel).

Seaboe
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