Furnace Power, from a Generator

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On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 12:58:40 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Who says you have to be limited to a 2500 watt generator? And even if you are, the work to install the breaker and interlock is the same, or less than installing a transfer switch at the furnace. And with the interlock at the panel, you can power anything you want in the house, within the 2500 watt limit, or whatever the generator capability is.
You can power up the commonly used outlets, so you can plug in your phone, watch TV. You can power up the bathrooms, so you can see to pee. You can power up all the light circuits in the whole house, and just turn the lights on that you need, when you're in that area. Power up the fridge, so your beer stays cold. Power up the garage doors, so you can open them. I'd say that beats just powering the furnace and screwing around with extension cords. One extension cord to an inlet at the panel, power anything you choose.
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On 01/27/2015 01:14 PM, trader_4 wrote:

#1 reason to install a power inlet and interlock breaker.
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There is nothing dangerous about using a cord, as long as the wire gauge are correct. (Usually 14ga.)

I'm not very familiar with these devices, but the cord method is probably only $10 if you DIY.
Code is code, but much of this code is written to create jobs for electricians and sell parts. I can understand using a device like this for swithcing the whole home, but it's overkill if all you want to do is use a generator to power a furnace, refrigerator and a couple trouble lights during an outage. Of course we all live in a time when it seems that everything has to be made as complicated and bloated as possible. (Newer computer operating systems surely prove that).
Sometimes we just need to use common sense and tell the code people where to shove their BS. And for many parts of the country, I bet the inspectors would not even be bothered by a cord on the furnace as long as it's not frayed and connected to a dedicated outlet.
Like everything else these days, the laws are designed to make money for someone. Their original intent was to prevent electrocution and fires, but once again, corruption and payoffs win!
Anyhow, a funace on a properly wired cord, plugged into an outlet will function exactly like one that is hard wired!
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On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 4:44:08 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

What exactly is so hard about installing an interlock slide, a breaker, and an inlet at the panel? It's about the same amount of work, very possibly less, than screwing around with a similar solution at the furnace. And done at the panel, you can then power whatever you want in the whole house with one extension cord, from generator to inlet. Your way you need multiple extension cords to each different area, which is not only a pain in the ass, but less safe too.

Please, stop with the nonsense. It's hard to see how a code prohibition against wiring cords to appliances that are not meant to be moved, don't come listed with cords, etc is about corruption and payoffs.

Yes, and for a similar amount of work, possibly less work, I can have an inlet at the main panel and power not only the furnace but anything else in the house, without running extension cords everywhere. Good grief.
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On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 10:03:57 AM UTC-6, Dave C wrote:

Let's keep it simple and not a bitch match...we want to keep the kids warm and the pipes from freezing, K? Put a salvaged power cord on your furnace...this is an emergency and you don't have time to wire the entire house!
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Dave C posted for all of us...

This is what; the fifth time this has been asked this month? DAGS
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Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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Per Tekkie®:

The thread-starter was on 1/26.... They could have that cutover switch installed by now.
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Pete Cresswell

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On 1/30/2015 4:01 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

mechanical interlock for your existing panel. It allows you to choose which circuits to power or not power. And, if you google "breaker panel transfer interlock" there seems to be others. Nice thing is that you don't have to rewire everything.
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On Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 1:32:42 PM UTC-5, Art Todesco wrote:

I suggested that from day one, but we never heard back from the OP. My first choice would be one from the panel manufacturer though, because there are no issues about it being listed, code compliant when used with that main panel, etc. If not available, then the Interlockit would be my second choice.
The key to the approach is exactly what you said, which is with the slide, an additional breaker and an inlet, you can power anything in the house, manage the loads from the main panel. It's not much different work than putting in a double throw switch arrangement at the furnace, but the resulting benefits sure are.
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Feeding the house is nice, with a safe interlock of course. The only down side i have seen is that it is hard to Know when the grid power comes back on. You have to keep an eye on the neighbors house. Anybody have a solution to that one?
Mark
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On 2/1/2015 8:16 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I have a transfer box which isolates my generator from grid power feed line and just feeds circuits on it. When grid power comes back on, lights or other stuff on lines not covered by the generator will come back on.
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On Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 8:16:38 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The power company here, when you call to report an outage, let's you put in a phone # or text where they will notify you when it's back on. Couple times I used it, it worked, and it's great because you can be anywhere, but I'm sure it's far from perfect. They also give estimates of how long until it's restored, and that's been in the ballpark too. I can also see a street light, have used that too, but you have to actively check.
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On Sun, 1 Feb 2015 05:16:34 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

electric "powerback" THP108. About $40 at Home Despot.
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On Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 3:32:16 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That looks like a great find. The only drawback I see is that to install it, you have to wrap the sensing wire around one of the hot legs which is right before the main breaker and always hot, unless you call the utility to cut off power at the meter.
One thing I don't understand. In the install instructions, after it's installed, it says to:
1 - Turn the PowerBack on/off switch to on, the alarm will sound
2 - Turn the main breaker to the off position, the alarm will cease.
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/16/169d467c-e0b0-45e3-bc8a-b1b1bda64a15.pdf
How is #2 possible? With the main breaker on or off, there is still voltage present on the service before the main breaker. I don't see why the main breaker would have an effect. And even more bizarre, the whole purpose of the alarm is to sound when power is present and the main breaker is off. Am I missing something or do they have something screwed up here?
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wrote:

Just be careful. Insulated wires are insulated.

"When the main circuit breaker in a generator-ready load center, manual transfer panel or other panel, must be turned OFF during a power outage, in order for a standby generator to supply power to emergency circuits, the PowerBACK will sound a 100dB audible alert as soon as utility power is restored." http://www.readbag.com/reliancecontrols-newsroom-powerback-sell-sheet-final
Poorly written, but they must mean turn off whatever removes utility power from your panel. I would think that would be the transfer switch. Or it could be a main switch/breaker that will not be fed by your generator.
I still like my solution better.
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On Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 6:20:11 PM UTC-5, Pico Rico wrote:

The main breaker does remove power, from the panel. But read #2 again. They are saying that opening the main breaker makes the alarm *stop*. Again, I don't see how turning off the main breaker affects power still being present at the incoming service wires that the sensor is wrapped around and the whole purpose of the alarm is for it to *sound* when utility power is removed. They are saying it has the opposite effect in that statement. Something there isn't right.

The problem I see with your solution is I don't think it's an easy install. To add another circuit before the main breaker, probably requires a lot more work and expense. To start with, I don't think most panels, if any are rated to double tap the service conductors? Meaning, from what I see, to add your alarm circuit, you'd have to have the service conductors come into a trough box or similar, split it into two, then one set of conductors to the main panel, one set to a breaker for the alarm circuit. How did the electrician do yours?
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wrote:

yes, and OP quoted some better language from the manufacturer.

it has been too long to remember exactly. I think there is a 400 amp main. my light tapped off of the switched side, the switched side feeds a transfer switch (as does the generator) and the transfer switch feeds the main panel.
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On Monday, February 2, 2015 at 10:01:44 AM UTC-5, Pico Rico wrote:

Some better language that said what?
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wrote:

Unquestionably Confused posted (why are you not following along here?):
Disregard my last. Went to Reliance's site and pulled their product sheet. See the following (and remember, this applies AFTER INSTALLATION when the unit is being used as intended)
To Activate: Switch the main breaker to the OFF position. Turn the PowerBACK switch to the ON position. The green "System Armed" light will illuminate. When power returns to the panelboard, a 100dB alert will sound. Return main breaker to ON position and switch the PowerBACK to the OFF position.
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On Monday, February 2, 2015 at 10:25:56 AM UTC-5, Pico Rico wrote:

You said the "OP" UC is not the "original poster", that's Dave C. I guess it's you who isn't following along.

So we now have two directly conflicting versions from the manufacturer of how it actually works. One that clearly says it sounds with the main breaker open and the other, the install instructions, that says opening the main breaker turns it off. Take your pick. In other words, we still don't know how it actually works.
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