Author Topic: Power Outage.  (Read 29713 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Power Outage.
« on: July 29, 2014, 02:55:33 PM »
Anyone else besides me still without power?

It went down Sunday around 4pm, and not expected back up until WEDNESDAY at 11:30pm.

It's not so bad for me now that I have a generator backfeeding the house but I still have to fuel it back up every 3 hours.  For whatever reason I have internet.  But not cable TV haha.  Stupid high frequency/low frequency mumbo jumbo.

Offline SD40VE

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 04:54:45 PM »
Anyone else besides me still without power?

It went down Sunday around 4pm, and not expected back up until WEDNESDAY at 11:30pm.

It's not so bad for me now that I have a generator backfeeding the house but I still have to fuel it back up every 3 hours.  For whatever reason I have internet.  But not cable TV haha.  Stupid high frequency/low frequency mumbo jumbo.

i didnt lose power in new haven

Offline linux203

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Power Outage.
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 06:11:41 PM »
I have a standby generator at my new house in Lansing.  I wired a portable at my old house in Waterford.  Transfer switch into the panel.  (The correct way :))

When I sold my old house, I told the new owner about it.  I suggested he pick up a portable generator.  He kind of ignored me, said he wouldn't need one.  Now, every time there's a storm, I check DTEEnergy's outage map.  Sold the house in November 2013.  There's been six extended power outages.  Ha ha.


« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 06:28:02 PM by linux203 »
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. Luke 11:21

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."  Luke 22:36

Offline Golden Eagle

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 09:30:30 AM »
I have a standby generator at my new house in Lansing.  I wired a portable at my old house in Waterford.  Transfer switch into the panel.  (The correct way :))

thax for the pics I've always wondered what the correct way was. :D
Were those the breakers with the notches in the back? I have those they're like $80 apiece refurbished.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 06:24:49 PM by Golden Eagle »
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Offline linux203

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 08:34:48 PM »
I didn't have to replace any breakers.  The load center and breakers were Eaton.  They run about $5 for a 20 amp breaker.

I bought a Reliance Controls Transfer Switch from Amazon.

You identify the circuits you want power with the generator.  This works well  Then disconnect the wire from the circuit and tie it to the black wire going to the transfer(tx) switch.  The corresponding red wire from the tx switch goes back into the breaker.  The switch is a break-before-make that toggles from generator, off, and line.  (Read that as "Not possible to shock a lineman or blow up your generator.")  It took me about 6 hours total to identify circuits, calculate circuit load, balance load across power rails, watch YouTube videos, mount the outlet outside and the tx switch to the wall, and finally wire the load center.

It's a safe way to quickly power your house in an outage and perform regular testing.  No hassle with exention cords, main breakers, or leaving your door or window open to run wires.  Plus, when utility power is restored, the non-generator backed circuits energize normally.  At your convienence, flip the switches back to line and power down the generator.  You can also safely load test the generator with utility power present.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. Luke 11:21

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."  Luke 22:36

Offline gryphon

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 09:17:17 PM »
  This works well 

That's what a wife is for (among other things).

Offline linux203

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 09:27:46 PM »
That's what a wife is for (among other things).

I had my wife plugging it into outlets all over the house.  I stayed in one spot and scanned the breakers.  I'm lazy...
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. Luke 11:21

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."  Luke 22:36

Offline part deux

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 09:14:36 PM »
I have the same unit, most of the way installed.  Last time we lost power, it became obvious that my wife would struggle if I was ever out of town and needed to power up the house.

Been dragging my feet, because I also need to run three new circuits.

Offline linux203

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 09:47:48 PM »
I have the same unit, most of the way installed.  Last time we lost power, it became obvious that my wife would struggle if I was ever out of town and needed to power up the house.

Been dragging my feet, because I also need to run three new circuits.

I had a really good relationship with my neighbors at the old place.  He would have fired up the generator and plugged it in, the wife knew how to flip the switches.  If I was at work when power came back, the wife would flip back and turn the generator off.  I put it away when I got home.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. Luke 11:21

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."  Luke 22:36

Offline TheQ

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Power Outage.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 03:26:46 AM »

I had a really good relationship with my neighbors at the old place.  He would have fired up the generator and plugged it in, the wife knew how to flip the switches.  If I was at work when power came back, the wife would flip back and turn the generator off.  I put it away when I got home.

Hopefully she'd turn it off and THEN flip back...?
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Offline part deux

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 08:31:15 AM »
Hopefully she'd turn it off and THEN flip back...?
That's the beauty of the switch panel he had and why I choose it.  It doesn't matter, and you can't screw it up.

Offline linux203

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 06:02:55 PM »
Hopefully she'd turn it off and THEN flip back...?

Other way around.  You flip the transfer switch from gen to line.  It disconnects the generator, then attaches the utility.  They are engineered to never allow current to travel from utility to generator and vice versa.  That's why they are the only way to wire a generator and be within electrical code.

The generator continues to run without load from the house.  Most manufacturers recommend a cool down period where the generator continues to run without power being drawn from it.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. Luke 11:21

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."  Luke 22:36

Offline Jeff

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 07:10:29 PM »
Well mine is wired up the WRONG way.  I just have to be careful not to accidentally turn the main on in the house before turning OFF and disconnecting the generator in the garage.  And make sure I have the Generator unhooked before turning the main back on in the house.  I'm pretty OCD and check my work 50 times so I don't see me ever screwing that up.

Offline part deux

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2014, 12:41:42 AM »
Well mine is wired up the WRONG way.  I just have to be careful not to accidentally turn the main on in the house before turning OFF and disconnecting the generator in the garage.  And make sure I have the Generator unhooked before turning the main back on in the house.  I'm pretty OCD and check my work 50 times so I don't see me ever screwing that up.

Either install an interlock switch, or a generator panel like shown above.  You do it wrong, you can cause an electrical fire, or even kill a lineman.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2014, 01:50:02 PM »
Either install an interlock switch, or a generator panel like shown above.  You do it wrong, you can cause an electrical fire, or even kill a lineman.

 :yikes: WOA!!, I knew about a possible fire, but I didn't know it could cause someones death.  I believe my generator has breakers on it too that would cut it off.  I will look into it more.


Offline gryphon

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2014, 02:24:38 PM »
If you backfeed a line from your house, and a lineman is working on what he thinks is a dead line, there could be problems.  Not only for him, but for you.  If he has grounded/shorted the lines for safety while he works and you put power on them, what do you think might happen?  And if he doesn't have grounded/shorted lines (or maybe he did and he's just removing the ground straps), what do you think might happen?

Offline Jeff

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2014, 02:57:49 PM »
If you backfeed a line from your house, and a lineman is working on what he thinks is a dead line, there could be problems.  Not only for him, but for you.  If he has grounded/shorted the lines for safety while he works and you put power on them, what do you think might happen?  And if he doesn't have grounded/shorted lines (or maybe he did and he's just removing the ground straps), what do you think might happen?

Well, that's why I turn the main off in the house, the flow of electricity will not reach a DTE worker while they are doing repair work on a line somewhere.

DTE <---> Box in basement <---> box in garage.

Main off in basement. no back flow to DTE.

Offline CV67PAT

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2014, 07:26:45 PM »
Well, that's why I turn the main off in the house, the flow of electricity will not reach a DTE worker while they are doing repair work on a line somewhere.

DTE <---> Box in basement <---> box in garage.

Main off in basement. no back flow to DTE.
Are you sure about that? And Just how do you test that circuit breaker to ensure that all of the contacts are open?

The primary voltage is 13,200 volts before it goes through the transformer that feeds your house and is reduced to 208 volts. Going backwards from your generator it starts out as 208 volts before it backfeeds through the transformer and becomes 13,200 volts on the line that the lineman is repairing.

Linemen get killed by people like you that backfeed with a generator during power outages. And the people that cause the deaths are charged criminally. Is that a risk you are willing to take? Not only with your freedom. But with the life of another?

For about $150 you can get a cover for your electrical service that has a manual interlock that is suitable and rated for use as a generator/line disconnect.
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Offline jgillmanjr

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2014, 08:04:37 PM »
I would think you would treat a line as live unless proven otherwise? :shrug:
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Power Outage.
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2014, 08:53:23 PM »
How is electricity going to flow through a circuit that is disconnected.  The breaker was off so it can't go through.  I can test this by turning off the main and I will have no power, therefore no power flow, so it's not getting out of the house to go into electrical lines outside.  In the case that it was backfeeding DTE, it would trip the breaker on the generator instantly because it couldn't handle that kind of load.

But main OFF, no power is getting in or out, to or from the lines.

So NO people like me who have the main off are not killing linemen.