Our engineers at 50five, have worked with us to prepare a handy guide, explaining what to do in a power outage and determine if you really have one.
How do I check if there is a power cut in my area?
On the off chance you do experience a power cut – it might not be your whole area, just your home! Looking outside, you can see if streetlamps are on around you (if it is dark outside), or if your neighbours have power. If the answer to the points mentioned are ‘yes’, the problem (and solution) is most likely just in your home – check your fuse box to ensure all switches are on.
If you find all trip switches are on, or once you flip them back to working and nothing happens – please call a qualified electrician and don’t attempt to investigate any wiring yourself. You may cause more harm than good!
Electricity power cut
When the electricity cuts out, you need to consider more than the television and lighting not working. All electrical appliances which shouldn’t be left unattended when usually working, should be turned off at the switch – for example, cookers, hair straighteners and electric fires. If you leave at least one light on in the house, you will know when the power comes back. Although foods in the fridge and freezer will be good for a few hours, leave the doors closed to protect the contents and throw over a blanket for extra insulation.
During a power cut, your gas central heating system won’t work – although gas is used to heat water for the taps and radiators, the boiler still requires electricity to run. When the power does come back, be sure to check your thermostat and timer clock – the power cut will most likely revert the system back to its original factory settings, not your specific settings.
Running a boiler during power outages
Power cuts are also more common than we realise – often happening throughout the day while we are at work, and when we get home, everything is back up and running. The only way we realise something has happened, is if the thermostat and timer clocks have reset to their original settings causing the heating to not kick in.
As previously mentioned, boilers and other heating systems require electricity to function. On most occasions, power cuts only last for around thirty minutes, but what happens if they are lasting more than that – on a regular basis or for a couple hours at a time?
Battery backup systems are a sure-fire way to ensure boilers, and other big electrical appliances, continue to function throughout a power cut to your home. Becoming increasingly popular throughout homes across the UK, battery backup solutions are providing additional support throughout power cuts enabling homes to function ‘off grid’ and also provide an outlet to sell unused power back to the grid.
Home batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall, store excess electricity readily available for use on demand – such as in the instance of a power cut. Using solar power, electricity is sent to all necessary outlets and appliances, with the remainder being used to the charge the battery. During a power cut (or just your typical evening at home), the electricity is released to provide power where required, as if nothing has changed. Running a boiler from a battery backup system, will enable households to continue to heat water and radiators at a time of need.
To find out more about running boilers during power outages, battery backup systems, or even alternative heating methods, check out our articles below or give the 50five experts a call on 0800 612 5050