Just what we need

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
With all the power outages we have been having here in the North East lately ECs are doing a brisk generator business. I'm reading the paper yesterday and some cheap idiot writes in saying don't pay the rip-off electrical contractors to install a transfer switch, just plug your generator into your dryer receptacle. I can't believe the paper would be so irresponsible to print something like that but too late now.

-Hal
 

Barndog

Senior Member
With all the power outages we have been having here in the North East lately ECs are doing a brisk generator business. I'm reading the paper yesterday and some cheap idiot writes in saying don't pay the rip-off electrical contractors to install a transfer switch, just plug your generator into your dryer receptacle. I can't believe the paper would be so irresponsible to print something like that but too late now.

-Hal
The Paper may not know that this is a saftey issue remember they are not electrician's. I would post a letter to the editor of the paper explaining your reason not to do that.
 

kwired

Electron manager
The Paper may not know that this is a saftey issue remember they are not electrician's. I would post a letter to the editor of the paper explaining your reason not to do that.
Exactly. You have just as much right to speak your side of the story as the other guy did.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Good way to kill some poor lineman.
Most POCO have good safety practices and is not as big of a problem as many make it to be because they should isolate and/or ground the line they are working on if it is supposed to be a dead line, the generator then would be trying to supply the short circuit. It is still not a good reason to backfeed the utility and handymen and d-i-y don't need to know this anyway.

What happens if they turn utility power on (assuming it is restored) before disconnecting the generator? If they are lucky all that happens is a fuse or breaker opens.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Most POCO have good safety practices and is not as big of a problem as many make it to be because they should isolate and/or ground the line they are working on if it is supposed to be a dead line, the generator then would be trying to supply the short circuit. It is still not a good reason to backfeed the utility and handymen and d-i-y don't need to know this anyway.

What happens if they turn utility power on (assuming it is restored) before disconnecting the generator? If they are lucky all that happens is a fuse or breaker opens.
That's all true, but things happen when you're working in a hurry trying to get peoples lives back to normal. Most utilities ground out the lines on both sides of where they're working.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
Good way to kill some poor lineman.
john, if there is a sizable outage, he's a rich lineman..... that means he's
prolly on double time..... ;-)

as someone else mentioned..... there is a litany that goes like this
from the load dispatcher.....

"i understand that at this time, i have a clearance to apply personal shorts
and grounds on rack three, position fifteen......"

before a utility worker has clearance to work on anything, he must be issued
a clearance, that is traceable to the load dispatcher, perhaps handed thru a
line patrolman, and he must place personal shorts grounding all phases, and
shorting them together. overhead transmission must have them on both
sides of the clearance.

unless shorts and grounds are on stuff, it is considered hot, and is worked
as such.

and we all know that if you open the main, and lock the panel door so it can't
be reclosed, you can backfeed a house, and not put upstream people at risk.
and in an emergency, people have done things like that.

but an emergency isn't telling someone beforehand how to do something
they aren't qualified to do. that's just irresponsible.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
I have seen here locally folks that have a 30 or 50 amp plug so that they can plug in a portable generator No transfer switch. I brought it to the attention and I get " well a licensed EC installed it for us" the 30 amp plug is in the basement and the main is outside. You think that they coodinate this properly.... :rant:
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
I have seen here locally folks that have a 30 or 50 amp plug so that they can plug in a portable generator No transfer switch. I brought it to the attention and I get " well a licensed EC installed it for us" the 30 amp plug is in the basement and the main is outside. You think that they coodinate this properly.... :rant:
my house has an overhead feed.
ziptied to the riser is a T handle hex wrench, that fits the setscrews on the polaris connectors
on my service lateral. they are color coded.

we've had power outages up to about 4 hours here.... when that has happened, i pulled the
little generator out of the van, set it on the back patio, and drug a cord in to power what needed
powering. if it's gonna be a long time, i'll shut off the main, scooch up on the roof, and unhook
the service lateral at the weatherhead. it'll take ten minutes. then i'll take a cord cap made up for
the purpose, and hook it to my service entrance, and feed the whole house with 110.

i have an air gap between me and the poco. it's perfectly acceptable, if not convenient.

my backyard remodel includes moving the service to the side of the house.... at that time, i'll
put a transfer switch in... but we aren't there yet...
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
my house has an overhead feed.
ziptied to the riser is a T handle hex wrench, that fits the setscrews on the polaris connectors
on my service lateral. they are color coded.

we've had power outages up to about 4 hours here.... when that has happened, i pulled the
little generator out of the van, set it on the back patio, and drug a cord in to power what needed
powering. if it's gonna be a long time, i'll shut off the main, scooch up on the roof, and unhook
the service lateral at the weatherhead. it'll take ten minutes. then i'll take a cord cap made up for
the purpose, and hook it to my service entrance, and feed the whole house with 110.

i have an air gap between me and the poco. it's perfectly acceptable, if not convenient.

my backyard remodel includes moving the service to the side of the house.... at that time, i'll
put a transfer switch in... but we aren't there yet...
sorry but the word :dunce: comes to mind
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
sorry but the word :dunce: comes to mind
well, in the absence of a UL listed transfer switch, it's the only safe way
to feed an occupancy, that can't inadvertently backfeed the poco.

this forum offers blocking of members. to prevent the pain that
you must be feeling from reading comments from someone as
stupid as i, perhaps it would be in your best interest to block
my posts.

=================
?2940.9. Protection from Backfeed Voltages.

Before contacting the high voltage side of deenergized transformer(s),
or conductor(s) connected thereto, all possible sources of backfeed shall be eliminated by:

(a) disconnecting or grounding the high voltage side, or

(b) disconnecting or short circuiting the low voltage side.
=================
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
well, in the absence of a UL listed transfer switch, it's the only safe way
to feed an occupancy, that can't inadvertently backfeed the poco.
Not sure I would say :dunce:, after all, my detached garage is supplied with an extension cord.

But that does sound like a PITA.

http://www.interlockkit.com/ About $150 but if you can get one from your panel manufacturer for your panel model they are about $50
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
Not sure I would say :dunce:, after all, my detached garage is supplied with an extension cord.

But that does sound like a PITA.

http://www.interlockkit.com/ About $150 but if you can get one from your panel manufacturer for your panel model they are about $50
hm. never seen these before.... if i had a panel they make a fitment for, that'd work nicely....
but i want the panel off the back of the house, so it'll get moved, and i'll do a conventional
transfer switch....

i will keep this in mind, however.... i have been getting a bunch of
people wanting generators... it seems to be a bit of a fad... and
for the folks who aren't putting in something large, this might
be just about perfect.... thanks....
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
hm. never seen these before.... if i had a panel they make a fitment for, that'd work nicely....
but i want the panel off the back of the house, so it'll get moved, and i'll do a conventional
transfer switch....

i will keep this in mind, however.... i have been getting a bunch of
people wanting generators... it seems to be a bit of a fad... and
for the folks who aren't putting in something large, this might
be just about perfect.... thanks....
I installed a Square D one into one of their 200 amp single phase panelboards. It was a good kit, they actually send a metal template that fits into place perfectly and you drill your holes in the panel cover through this template.

I think three new holes, toss the template and install the part using the hardware provided. The kit also includes a part that locks the backfed generator breaker to the panelboard as required.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Just a personal preference, but ....

In the absence of a proper transfer / interlock arrangement ..... if I really had to have some power, I'd rather just run a spider box and extension cords .... and have the genny completely apart from the house wiring. Heck, I'd even install a doggie door to make it easier.
 

kwired

Electron manager
my house has an overhead feed.
ziptied to the riser is a T handle hex wrench, that fits the setscrews on the polaris connectors
on my service lateral. they are color coded.

we've had power outages up to about 4 hours here.... when that has happened, i pulled the
little generator out of the van, set it on the back patio, and drug a cord in to power what needed
powering. if it's gonna be a long time, i'll shut off the main, scooch up on the roof, and unhook
the service lateral at the weatherhead. it'll take ten minutes. then i'll take a cord cap made up for
the purpose, and hook it to my service entrance, and feed the whole house with 110.

i have an air gap between me and the poco. it's perfectly acceptable, if not convenient.

my backyard remodel includes moving the service to the side of the house.... at that time, i'll
put a transfer switch in... but we aren't there yet...
I'm sorry but 4 hours is not very long, unless you are a hospital or someplace with critical loads. The average residence - keep the refrigerator door shut - it will stay cold enough for that long. I have been out for a couple hours many times. It happens in rural areas. Four hours - I might get the generator out, if it is cold outside.

I do know where you are coming from though. A few years back we had a big ice storm and some people were without power for a few weeks. Those that were not already prepared with generator and transfer switch wanted something done now. There was no way to properly install correctly in a timely fashion. I temporarily connected many generators at that time. Every one of them had service physically disconnected somehow so they would have to call me back to reconnect to service when utility power was restored. It was either do that or let someone else help them, that someone else may or may not know what they are doing. Some had me come back when I could to put in proper transfer equipment, some did not.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I installed a Square D one into one of their 200 amp single phase panelboards. It was a good kit, they actually send a metal template that fits into place perfectly and you drill your holes in the panel cover through this template.

I think three new holes, toss the template and install the part using the hardware provided. The kit also includes a part that locks the backfed generator breaker to the panelboard as required.
Interlockit is good for some older panels. Many newer panels the manufacturer does have kits for this purpose.
 
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