On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 12:58:40 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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!
On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 4:44:08 PM UTC-5, email@example.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.
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!
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.
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?
On 2/1/2015 8:16 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
On Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 8:16:38 AM UTC-5, email@example.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.
On Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 3:32:16 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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?
"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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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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