Generator Safety

http://www.ucnsb.net/news/ucnsb_news_071905.html http://www.lineman.com/about_articles4.cfm
Couple of good pages on lineman safety, and home owner safety. During the recent storms, at least one lineman was killed by a home owner wtih a generator. Please, folks, don't be responsible for the death of the guys who are trying to help you.
--

Christopher A. Young
Do good work.
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I just bought a generator after 3 power outages in a week. Have yet to call electrician but know better than to directly wire in without transfer box.
If power company here, Delmarva Power, had not let service deteriorate and done proper tree trimming, their employees would not be exposed as much. Because of unreliable service in past few years, at least half my neighbors own generators.
Pity the poor linemen, yes, but I've lost food, appliances, a computer and have scorch marks on my walls caused by power companies neglect of tree trimming.
Frank
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You make it sound like the linemen get what they deserve for giving you poor service.
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Neighbor who is handier than I put in transfer panel and said it took all day. He did not want to help me - I'll hire electrician.
You missread me on lineman comment. I'm saying that Delmarva put linemen in more potential danger by letting system deteriorate. They admittedly said they saved $MM by cutting back tree trimming.
Retired lineman told old neighbor that if he did what company does today, he would have been fired.
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of the rest was rewiring the switch from plug in to direct wire. Actually connecting the switch was maybe 30 minutes.
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While the information is correct, appropriate and needed. The one of the articles has the taste of a carefully put together press release disguised as a genuine safety article but created by the generator manufacturer, Pepco. This is a common practice by many companies and accepted by many publications when they are short of real articles. It then becomes very cheap advertising for the company that creates the press release.

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EXT wrote:

PEPCO is not a generator manufacturer. It is the Potomac Electric Power Company and possibly other utilities with the same initials.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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would be enormous. A homeowners generator is not likely to have the power to manage this. However, when I use my 5500w, I always disconnect the main breaker first.
Dave
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Teamcasa writes:

No, not necessarily. A blown fuse further down the line, or on the transformer, would result in many kilovolts on the feeder line. The transformer would be running "backwards", stepping up the generator's 240 VAC to 13 kV or 26 kV (whatever they use in that area). The upstream loads would be disconnected due to the blown fuse.
The story is a little disingenuous, since proper procedure does not expose the lineman in such situations. The problem was more than just the backfeed.
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What is it with you guys. A lineman got electricuted by a backfeeding generator. It can happen to you also. Sure, you open the main breaker; so did this guy. It is just a crappy way to run a generator when transfer switches are $150.
And yeh, the lineman is supposed to test the wire before working on it, and he is supposed to be insulated so a hot wire won't hurt him; but these things happen. You want it to happen to you?
It if was the only way to use a generator it might be a reasonable thing to do, but it isn't.
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Toller writes:

You're either sarcastic or mistaken.
The point is merely that the dead lineman contributed to his own demise by failing to protect himself from a live wire. It could have been live from any number of legal causes, so the illegal cause loses some of its gravity.
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On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 16:59:24 -0600, Richard J Kinch

A 240V 5500W generator can put out 22.9A. That transformer (26KV to 240V) has a ratio of 108:1. Current is changed according to the inverse of that ratio, so the output would be 26KV at 212mA (actually somewhat less, since no transformer is 100% efficient). Still enough to be dangerous.

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There is an opportunity here for someone to make a cheap and easy to install safety device. Some sort of a main breaker that requires a keypin of some sort to hold closed and stays open without it. This same keypin would be needed for the generator to energize its own outlets. If this could be designed as some sort of overlay device for both then even better. Safety would be assured. Both can't be on at the same time.
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Steve Kraus writes:

Old idea. See http://www.grainger.com/ and keyword search "lockout".
I just use a little black electrical tape, myself.
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