View Full Version : Lost electric how do you tell?

River Runner
05-03-2017, 05:27 AM
I have a 47' houseboat. The dock power is sometimes flaky. How do you tell when the power has gone out and come back later while you were gone. The reason I am asking is that I will have a freezer stocked with food and don't want to lose it all or want to know if the freezer has thawed and refrozen while I was away. I was thinking of freezing a vial that was half full of clear water. Then after frozen fill it the rest of the way with water with red food dye and freeze again. If I come back to a completely red.. or red on the bottom after settling, I know the freezer has thawed. Easier ways?

05-03-2017, 05:59 AM
Put a couple ice cubes in a jar or baggie. As long as they stay cubes, you're good.

05-03-2017, 06:09 AM
Place a small bowl of water in the freezer. When it freezes place a coin on the ice. If you find the coin on the bottom of the bowl it has thaw out and re-frozen.

05-03-2017, 06:11 AM
After losing two refrigerators full of food, I never keep that much food at the boat anymore. The monetary cost is the least of it. Trying to get the smell of rotted food out of your boat is what gets you.

River Runner
05-03-2017, 01:11 PM
Good well thought out ideas guys thanks! I guess I was just trying to get too Rube Goldberg on it all.

Frantically Relaxing
05-07-2017, 11:21 AM
I like the coin on the ice idea :) -- My way of telling if the power went out is the microwave- if it shows a clock, power's been on. If the demo screen's on, power's been out. For how long is the question.

Easiest solution I can think of for knowing exactly how long the power's been out is to buy a good old fashioned plug-in electric not-digital clock...

05-07-2017, 12:40 PM
Do they still exist?

River Runner
05-08-2017, 05:31 AM
In my old house I would lose power for hours at a time. As long as I didn't keep opening the door, the stuff in the freezer would stay frozen for a day with no problems. While I understand it is usually warmer inside of a closed houseboat in the summer, you never really know how cold everything stayed. I think the coin idea is the easiest to tell how efficient the insulation in the refrigerator is.

05-09-2017, 11:51 AM
Do they still exist?

Right here:


05-09-2017, 02:57 PM
Was just being silly. I'm told that some kids can't even read 'em.

05-10-2017, 02:17 AM
we have a digital clock that flashes when power is lost.

River Runner
05-10-2017, 07:38 AM
But the real question is, for how long? The digitals usually flash 12:00 until you reset them not telling you how long it was out. Which is why the analog clock is a good idea. Plus.. with digital clocks I have to reset them every time I go from shore power to generator.

Additionally, that still does not answer how efficient your refrigerator insulation is and whether the contents thawed and refroze.

05-12-2017, 05:37 AM
Here's the best way


06-02-2017, 12:31 PM
I took the geek approach to that issue, which you can do also IF you have decent internet service at your marina. This is an inexpensive temperature monitoring system that connects to the web. The sensor is wireless and can monitor 2 places at once, so I put one part of it in the fridge and one in the freezer. It has an Apple/Android app and you can set low and high temp alerts.


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06-10-2017, 08:11 PM
just go look at the watches for sale in you local department stores. They are mostly analog. old fashion clocks are suddenly in vogue. Why? who knows? But I use the microwave trick. If the LED is flashing, the power has been off.

06-11-2017, 05:59 AM
But as River Runner says, the question is for how long? The microwave can't tell you that.

It could go off for a few seconds, or a few days. Comparing a plug-in clock with a battery-powered one (or your watch) is a good idea, but I still like the ice tricks...