*Backup Power on the Freezer & Heat Tape*


By Jaden

29 September 2004


Today I hooked the freezer and heat tape up to backup power. The well is in the back room that is unheated. Last winter the heat tape croaked the part of the pipe froze. Biggest problem was it was inside a big hunk of cement. It took a l-o-n-g time to thaw it out. I got thinking this year. "What if the power goes out and I’m not here to plug the heat tape into the inverter?" Bad scene. The chest freezer is also in the backroom so with it being cold out there it doesn’t run much. Anywhoo, I also wanted it on backup juice.

I couldn’t find a way to get a wire out through the wall. I finally decided to rewire the existing power out there.

I traced the wire back to here. This sub panel is in the basement next to the main panel.

The red handled breaker is the one.

It was…key word "was" wired for 220 volts. The other end has a fuse box and each leg was hot. 110 volts each. Well, I only wanted 110 volts out there. Both the black & white wires in the above pic are HOT. I could have just wirenutted them together, but I didn’t have big enuff wire nuts. So, I disconnected the black, white & ground and yanked them out of the sub panel and put them into a junction box. There was only 2 wires so I just used a regular switchbox. Connect black to black, white to white and bare to bare…to make it simple.

Yellow wire comes from UPS, white goes out back.

On the other end of the yellow wire I installed a plug. This plugs into the 1000 watt "Tank" UPS. Not yet tho….

Next I went out back and rewired the fuse box.


See the black & white wires above the fuses? That comes from the basement. It provides 110 volts on each leg. Connect onto both legs and you get 220 volts. That worked fine the way it used to be wired inside. It won’t work now. So..

I removed the white wire and put it on the ground buss. It’s no longer HOT. Then I took a short piece of black wire and connected the 2 legs together. Do you see the difference? Now there’s 110 volts all the way around.


Ok, the wiring is done.

I plugged the heat tape into the outlet along with the freezer.

Next stop was the UPS. It was operating on grid. I plugged the wire in and then went out back. The heat tape & freezer were running. Then I yanked the plug on the UPS and allowed the batteries to run it. Everything was still running.

Heat tape & well is in the wooden box

I checked the draw of the UPS. With both items running it only drew 3 amps. Not bad. With both computers running at the same time it drew 5.5 amps…still not too bad.

Next project is getting the refrigerator swapped over.

Then I won’t have to worry if the power goes out. The vital things will run until I get home.


All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright (c) 1996-2004 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.