Interlock locks to be used in lieu of transfer switch

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Automatic transfer switches are permitted. Otherwise, we'd not have automatic cutover generators, as sold at HD.

This device conceptually just makes the meter base larger, and has provisions for security sealing it too. Otherwise, FPL wouldn't permit it. Obviously they do.
But I would imagine that the local power authority has to approve of the device before they'd allow you to install one.
[I believe that contractors have to contact the power company to inform them that the meter base has been diddled with so they can come out to reseal the meter.]
If you were to somehow get a hold of one up here, you really should call the power company before installation.

Yes. Which means it's approved up here unless it runs afoul of something specific in the CEC, or Hydro throws a fit.
[Ontario Hydro has two separate "special" meter trial programmes going on, similarly restricted in region. "Smart meters" and something else I forget...]
To tell you the truth, I'm _very_ much surprised I haven't seen something like this before. It's the obvious place. It's just not something a homeowner is usually able to install themselves ....
An even simpler way would be to have some sort of object that "mimics" the back of the meter and has a plug for the generator. Power out, yank the meter, install the adapter, plugin the generator, and voila!
When power comes back, pull out the adapter and plug the meter back in.
Problem being that you'd have to get the power company back to reseal the meter after grid power is restored.
[I have some experience with our power company that indicates that they don't have too much trouble with things like this, especially during emergencies. But if everybody started doing it, they would change their minds pretty quick!]
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Chris Lewis,

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(Chris Lewis) writes:
| This device conceptually just makes the meter base larger, and has | provisions for security sealing it too. Otherwise, FPL wouldn't | permit it. Obviously they do. | | But I would imagine that the local power authority has to approve | of the device before they'd allow you to install one. | | [I believe that contractors have to contact the power | company to inform them that the meter base has been diddled | with so they can come out to reseal the meter.] | | If you were to somehow get a hold of one up here, you really should | call the power company before installation. | | > Is UL listed the same as UL approved? | | Yes. Which means it's approved up here unless it runs afoul of | something specific in the CEC, or Hydro throws a fit. | | [Ontario Hydro has two separate "special" meter trial programmes going | on, similarly restricted in region. "Smart meters" and something | else I forget...] | | To tell you the truth, I'm _very_ much surprised I haven't seen | something like this before. It's the obvious place. It's | just not something a homeowner is usually able to install | themselves ....
One concern I have is the neutral/ground connection between the base and meter. To the extent that it exists at all it is not intended to handle much current; most split-phase meters are 4-wire devices. I assume (hope?) that installation of the adapter involves some sort of jumper which in turn might require an additional lug to be added to the original base.
| An even simpler way would be to have some sort of object that "mimics" | the back of the meter and has a plug for the generator. Power out, yank | the meter, install the adapter, plugin the generator, and voila! | | When power comes back, pull out the adapter and plug the meter back | in. | | Problem being that you'd have to get the power company back to | reseal the meter after grid power is restored.
In addition to the neutral/ground problem, what if you accidentally install the adapter upside down? Around here bases are typically symmetrical so I'm not sure you could make the adapter failsafe against back-feeding without modifying the base. But then you'd want to arrange that the adapter couldn't be inserted into an unmodified base which would make the base incompatible with a normal meter...
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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You'd have to install a jumper on the neutral bar to the special generator plug I guess.

[Obviously it wouldn't work as stated, because the meter plug doesn't have a neutral.]

There's a patent on that:
http://www.okpatent.us/medicinal_dental_hand_instrument/electric_power_meter.html
If you can get past the patent idiocy of being able to unwind your power meter by rotating the meter 180 degrees ;-)
Note that if the generator doesn't bond ground and neutral, you apparently don't have to switch neutral.
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Chris Lewis,

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(Chris Lewis) writes:
| > snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) writes: | > | > | This device conceptually just makes the meter base larger, and has | > | provisions for security sealing it too. Otherwise, FPL wouldn't | > | permit it. Obviously they do. | > | | > | But I would imagine that the local power authority has to approve | > | of the device before they'd allow you to install one. | > | | > | [I believe that contractors have to contact the power | > | company to inform them that the meter base has been diddled | > | with so they can come out to reseal the meter.] | > | | > | If you were to somehow get a hold of one up here, you really should | > | call the power company before installation. | > | | > | > Is UL listed the same as UL approved? | > | | > | Yes. Which means it's approved up here unless it runs afoul of | > | something specific in the CEC, or Hydro throws a fit. | > | | > | [Ontario Hydro has two separate "special" meter trial programmes going | > | on, similarly restricted in region. "Smart meters" and something | > | else I forget...] | > | | > | To tell you the truth, I'm _very_ much surprised I haven't seen | > | something like this before. It's the obvious place. It's | > | just not something a homeowner is usually able to install | > | themselves .... | > | > One concern I have is the neutral/ground connection between the base | > and meter. To the extent that it exists at all it is not intended to | > handle much current; most split-phase meters are 4-wire devices. I | > assume (hope?) that installation of the adapter involves some sort of | > jumper which in turn might require an additional lug to be added to the | > original base. | | You'd have to install a jumper on the neutral bar to the special | generator plug I guess.
Right. And that of course might involve installing an extra lug or a different bar. (The typical meter base here has either two full- sized neutral lugs to join the incoming and outgoing feeds or that plus a smaller terminal for a local grounding electrode conductor.) It's too bad since it is so close to a plug-and-play solution... but not quite. :)
| > | An even simpler way would be to have some sort of object that "mimics" | > | the back of the meter and has a plug for the generator. Power out, yank | > | the meter, install the adapter, plugin the generator, and voila! | > | | > | When power comes back, pull out the adapter and plug the meter back | > | in. | > | | > | Problem being that you'd have to get the power company back to | > | reseal the meter after grid power is restored. | | [Obviously it wouldn't work as stated, because the meter plug doesn't have | a neutral.] | | > In addition to the neutral/ground problem, what if you accidentally | > install the adapter upside down? Around here bases are typically | > symmetrical so I'm not sure you could make the adapter failsafe | > against back-feeding without modifying the base. But then you'd | > want to arrange that the adapter couldn't be inserted into an | > unmodified base which would make the base incompatible with a | > normal meter... | | There's a patent on that: | | http://www.okpatent.us/medicinal_dental_hand_instrument/electric_power_meter.html
Yes, that solves the easy part. As I said, you can modify the base such that the adapter plugs in only the right way (and still support a normal meter or even one modified per that patent). But what you really need is to prevent the adapter from fitting an unmodified base at all--otherwise somebody is going to plug into the wrong base and back-feed. Once you've gone to all that trouble and added a neutral connection you might as well replace the entire base with one that includes a generator plug. Maybe that should become a standard product for new construction.
| Note that if the generator doesn't bond ground and neutral, you apparently | don't have to switch neutral.
Yes, the NEC recognizes generators connected not as separately derived systems. None of my transfer switches switch the neutral. Interesting thing about my transfer switches in connection with the original part of this thread: they are not DPDT knife switches but pairs of DPST knife switches with a mechanical interlink. I assume this is done to avoid making the boxes extremely deep. These are UL listed Cutler-Hammer units professionally installed and inspected.
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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Not on your life. This device has no lockable, visual, manual switch between the generator and the grid. "Automatic" is just not allowed for human protection.
There is a need for a lockable switch to isolate the device for linesman protection. The automatic portion is to eliminate backfeeds and/or other system protection/ convenience requirements. Never for human protection.

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Nonsense. Otherwise every large scale auto-start generator/UPS (including the _humungous_ ones we have) would be illegal.
Yes, they'll have manual switches as a disconnecting means, for test etc. But that doesn't mean that when the system is in normal operation it can't operate the transfer switch automatically.

Backfeed elimination is isolation for linesman protection. That's what transfer switches do.

Linesmen aren't human?
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You have a definite comprehension problem. How many time have I explained you have twisted the meaning to something that wasn't posted?
Read again and think. "where would I use this device in a large automotive plant?" and "when did manual become automatic?"

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Who is talking about large automotive plants?
You wouldn't use one of these in an automotive plant:
http://www.acroelectric.com/standby-generators/rsz-automatic-transfer-switch /
Note the CSA approval.

How is a plug and receptacle _not_ a manual disconnecting device?
CEC permits both manual and automatic transfer switches.
Or http://www.powertogo.ca/transfer_switches.htm
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Chris Lewis,

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Try to keep up with the thread.

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What you did was considerably more failure prone than an interlock arrangement.
i

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Ignoramus23720 wrote:

Before you invest allot of time and effort check with your local inspector as in the end he's the final authority. If he doesn't like it go with whatever he recommends, he's the one you need to keep happy. If he's OK with it you should be good. Kirk keys are a common interlocking means in power distribution schemes, and in settings other than the power company. You'd have a tough time duplicating the key as they are only available from Kirk, I don't know what they require before they sell you another. The only problems apparent are the presence of the second key, remove it from the premises to a safe deposit box or such, and the ultimate design of the locking mechanism that the locks are applied to.
Paul
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On May 7, 7:05 pm, Ignoramus23720 <ignoramus23...@NOSPAM. 23720.invalid> wrote:

Yeah, I don't think an inspector would go for it. The inspector would say "but if someone had the other key..." and you'd say "but it's in the safe" and the inspector would say "but if someone had the other key..." and out would come the [REJECTED] stamp.
That kind of stuff, the safety is in physical impossibility of linking sources, not the reliance on a meat puppet to do the right thing and not throw both switches at once.
In a restricted industrial setting, there can be different rules. Residential is another matter...
DJ
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Who will live there after you leave?

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wrote:

If your question is addressed to me, I am not going to leave this stuff to the next owners, I will remove it and take with me.
i

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Ignoramus17686 wrote:

Certainly not wishing anything but how could you know that? Anything can happen.
Part of the reason for doing a safe/standard installation is so that no "hocus pocus" is required so it will be safe if you aren't there or are incapacitated etc.
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wrote:

Why would you care? A few posts back you claimed that a generator backfeeding into the utility was only a safety issue if the lineman was retarded.

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On Tue, 08 May 2007 06:48:02 -0700, trader4 wrote:

Clowns like that guy have an emotional age of about 10.
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How are these two subject related or was no answer required?

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wrote:

I think it's pretty obvious how these subjects are related. You asked who was going to live there after hte OP has installed his key interlock system. From that, one would infer that you were questioning what would happen if a new owner took possession, who may not keep a key in a safe, or even know or care about the correct procedure to keep the generator from backfeeding the utility. But previously you had stated that only a retarded lineman could have a safety issue with a generator backfeeding the utility lines, that it was no big deal. That lead to my question, as to why you would then care about who takes over the house after the OP.

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Maybe the colour should be a factor too. I don't know why you make such silly statements when the text is black.

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