Greenhouses forum: Ack! Power went out!

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 22, 2014 11:02 PM CST
Had a fright when the power went out. It's already in the upper 20's and with no power the GH heaters won't run. Thankfully it came back on in about 10 minutes but I watched both GH's drop 2 degrees (both were in the mid 40's) in that 10 minutes.

It got me to thinking, what would I do if it was a lengthy power failure with way below freezing weather?

I found is a Coleman ProCat Catalytic Heater that actually has a fan that runs off batteries! I'm thinking I may have to get me a couple of those - but you would definitely have to baby sit them all night since it doesn't have a thermostat. And the price really isn't all that bad!

http://www.coleman.com/product/5053A751

Anyone else have any suggestions for this potentially disastrous problem?
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 22, 2014 11:31 PM CST
We have a generator planned for use mostly in the summer. But if something were to happen in the winter to threaten my greenhouse plants, I wouldn't hesitate to start it up to save them. In fact, we have a window A/C unit for summers but we still need to get a heater for ourselves for that odd generator use in the winter.
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uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 22, 2014 11:32 PM CST
PS Stay warm. Something frigid is coming to South Texas tomorrow.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jan 23, 2014 6:08 AM CST
I have a 'Lil Sweetie' wood box heater. I use that and have a radiant electric heater that is thermostat controlled. When the wood heater burns down, the electric kicks in. And yes, we see power outages often enough that I learned to get up a few extra times at night to keep the wood heater going.

The problem with that is the wood heater is on one end of the (10 x 20) greenhouse and a fan circulates the warm air. The fan quits when the lights go out. I staged plants that don't mind the cooler temps at the far end of the greenhouse but...

I saw a fan that sits on the wood heater and uses convection to circulate the air. Am thinking I need one of them too.

And now, the weather says we have seen our high for the day. I believe I'm going to load the heater and the fireplace just to be ready. Stay warm.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Jan 23, 2014 7:56 AM CST
I have two propane heaters, running off those 5 gallon LPG tanks. They produce tons of heat and each would easily heat a 20x30' GH if necessary. Thank goodness I have never had to use them in a GH but just knowing I have them helps me sleep better.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
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Ursula
Jan 24, 2014 10:03 PM CST
Around here, losing power in Winter would be a nightmare! Temperatures are supposed to drop next week again down to single digits F.
We bought a few years ago a generator and had it integrated into the main electrical system of our house ( extra switch box), we need to throw some switches after starting up the generator. I was very glad to have power during and after Sandy, it took 10 days for my street to get everything fixed/new poles installed and downed trees removed. The contents of the greenhouse would have been toast by then without the generator.

Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
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Eric4home
Jan 28, 2014 10:52 AM CST
We have a problem with frequent outages, so I used a propane heaters that will work without power and they are affordable. These at Tractor Supply are like the one I use. I plumbed mine in with black iron pipe but tubing will work as well. We have a 100 gallon tank in the corner of the garden. Our's is like the second one.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Searc...
Ric of MAF @ DG
[Last edited by Eric4home - Jan 28, 2014 10:54 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jan 28, 2014 11:23 AM CST
Ric, that is just what I was looking for!
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Jan 28, 2014 1:28 PM CST
They sound great but do they have a thermostat?
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Holly
South Central Pa
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Region: Mid-Atlantic I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Tropicals
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HollyAnnS
Jan 28, 2014 4:56 PM CST
pod, My son has a small fan that sits on top of his wood stove not sure how it works but it just runs from the heat generated by the stove. Really moves some heat around and his is rather small and I think only has 2 blades. I know his friend has one with more blades but I'm not sure if it is bigger.
Something like this but I don't think he paid more than $90.
http://www.amazon.com/Caframo-Limited-812AM-KBX-Ecofan-Airma...
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jan 28, 2014 10:29 PM CST
Thanks Holly ~ that is exactly the one I was thinking of. My box heater is small and I keep a large tea kettle of water on it for humidity. I haven't figure out where this fan can sit. I do appreciate knowing that it works well. Thanks, Kristi

Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
Region: Pennsylvania Dog Lover Cottage Gardener Ponds Garden Art Seed Starter
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Butterflies Birds Greenhouse Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Eric4home
Jan 28, 2014 10:38 PM CST
Yes they do in fact have an adjustable thermostat. Right after I bought mine online from a greenhouse supply and paid the shipping, I found them at the local tractor supply. Whistling
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
Region: Pennsylvania Dog Lover Cottage Gardener Ponds Garden Art Seed Starter
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Butterflies Birds Greenhouse Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
Eric4home
Feb 9, 2014 9:28 AM CST
We just experienced a major outage here, about 3-4 days, and our heater preformed quite well. Since we had no power for fans, we had to use a little more heat to maintain an acceptable temp. throughout the GH. These record temps. are costing an arm and leg, but...
I've applied bubble wrap to most (2/3s) of the exposed vertical surface, and it seems to have little negative effect on the light available. Next year I hope to attach a solar blanket to the roof as well. If these temps continue to be a trend, we may have to opt out to a more protected area for winter use and let this house go dormant. We have an area behind the house facing SW and have considered a solarium there. With a Trombe wall and other solar features such as black drums behind the glass and under the (SW) bench it should be more cost effective. Our living room has 132sq' of glass facing SW with a 6-8" insulated concrete floor which helps quite a lot with heating and gives a lot of guest houseplant envy. Hilarious!
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
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Xeramtheum
Feb 9, 2014 9:35 AM CST
I've been looking into propane heaters and natural gas heaters for the greenhouse I'll be building when I move. Probably what's available will determine what I ultimately get. When I lived in England I used bubble wrap on the greenhouse and incurred a horrible algae growth between the polycarbonate panes and bubble wrap. Have you or anyone else had that problem using bubble wrap?
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
Region: Pennsylvania Dog Lover Cottage Gardener Ponds Garden Art Seed Starter
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Butterflies Birds Greenhouse Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Eric4home
Feb 17, 2014 8:55 AM CST
We haven't had any algae growth yet, other than a little directly on the polycarbonate, which is easy to clean off. I plan to pull the bubble wrap, dry it, and store it in the barn this summer.
Our current problem is getting propane, we've been waiting 3 weeks. The weather is interfering with transports and the demand is so high it is short in supply. We have been on the last 10% of our tank for days. We have 3 electric heaters set up to reduce the use of the gas heater and I have a 25# bottle in reserve. Deliveries are only being made to homes and businesses. I'm hoping we can get through this month, then I hope I can convince the gas co. to replace our 100 gallon tank with a 300 allowing me to schedule and pay for deliveries over the summer.
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 17, 2014 10:28 AM CST
So far I have not seen any algae at all. My solar blanket material, aka bubble-wrap, is on the outside, not the inside of the greenhouses. I have only had the solar blanket wrapping the greenhouses since November.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
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Joannabanana
Feb 17, 2014 10:34 AM CST
I used a propane heater in my greenhouse for years. The plants grow like crazy from all the CO & CO2 that the heater produces. Do take care that you have enough fresh air coming in the greenhouse when you are using a fuel heater and that you vent it properly. Before I had power in the greenhouse, I ran a little 24V fan off a motorcycle battery. Air moment is extremely important
[Last edited by Joannabanana - Feb 17, 2014 10:36 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 17, 2014 10:56 AM CST
I agree Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Feb 17, 2014 11:42 AM CST
Air movement is definitely a must! Ever since that massive algae bloom I had when I was in England, I never wanted to use the bubble wrap again though on the outside might be better. Depending on what's available when I buy my new house, I'll either go propane or natural gas for heat.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

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