Newbie Question about correct battery backup terminology and

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    Off-Grid Pros,

    I am interested in creating a battery backup system that I can use for short term (under 2 day) power outages for critical circuits in my home, while I’m pretty experienced at most things DIY, I’m at a loss for correct terminology all around, so I am posting this using “normal” language in the hopes that someone more seasoned may point me to a site with appropriate links, information and illustrations.

    Basically, what I’m thinking is that I would build a 2-3 deep-cycle battery bank near my main circuit breaker in my unfinished basement. I understand the basics of how to create a basic battery bank with charger, batteries and inverter, (similar to something like, but I’d like to take it one step further. I’d like to add a manual transfer switch to the mix, so that in the event of a power outage, I could:

    1) Unplug the battery charger from the wall
    2) Turn OFF ALL electrical circuits in my house
    3) Flip the manual transfer switch so my main panel pulls from the batter bank.
    4) Turn ON SELECT electrical circuits in my house.. those that are necessary, like the boiler (that has low wattage (<34w) circulator pumps), general lighting circuits (that use 9w LED bulbs), and maybe the refrigerator circuit occasionally (if possible). Probably only 3-4 circuits of low-draw..

    When power is restored, I would simple reverse the steps above to get back on the grid.

    A few notes/thoughts:

    1) There are NO Solar panels at this time, and quite possibly never will be, I just want emergency power for a few days with a few switches – no messy gas and something the entire family could easily get going.

    2) I’m planning on AGM Deep cycle battery similar to ( – I’m under the impression these do not need to be vented in any way, require no maintenance and generally preferable to other types of batteries.

    3) Current load I’m trying to accommodate:
    a) Boiler – 3 pumps and power exhaust fan ~ 200w = 1.6A
    b) General lighting circuit – total of 8x 9w LED bulbs = 72w = .6A
    c) Refrigerator as needed to keep cool – 600w running (900w start) = 5A
    d) Media outlet to power wireless router, internet and charge some phones/etc = 4A

    With that total of about 11.2A, I’m under the impression that battery above with 125ah would power the load safely (without going below 50%) for a bit over 5.5 hours if everything was running all the time (which the boiler and fridge wouldn’t be)… Adding another battery of the same in parallel would double the runtime.

    I’m VERY new to this, so I’m sure I got some things wrong in my assumptions.. As I mentioned, my goal here is to not ask all of you for your precious time, but maybe just explain my situation and have you pros point me to some places that might teach me more.

    THank you all in advance very much,


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