Is There An Electrician in the House?

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Well, that one got by po' me. Shoulda thought about it longer.

So, for the safety interlock, I'd need to replace or rewire the existing main breaker to a "safety interlock" box or somesuch?
When you say "not legal", you refer to common bldg. codes?
Thx, P
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Puddin' Man wrote:

For a code approved (NEC and others) generator connection you need either an approved transfer switch or the more recent option of an approved interlock kit that is installed on your electrical panel.
One example of the interlock kits is one available for Square D panels which provides a mechanical interlock between the main breaker and a dedicated back feed breaker in the 2/4 position of the panel.
If you want an automatic generator system you will need an automatic transfer switch. For manual systems there are a number of options with the interlock kits being the most economical option in most cases.

National electrical code (NEC), other codes that reference it and similar codes.
Pete C.
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wrote:

I once considered doing that last thing (generator to dryer outlet), but changed my mind after reading here. One little mistake can have very serious consequences.
--
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Pete C. wrote:

The installation you describe is only lawful and safe if the interlock was installed pursuant to the local electrical code and the installation was checked very carefully with appropriate test equipment against the existence of sneak current paths back to the utility side of the main breaker such as a second meter or utility remote control for water heating or air conditioning.
--
Tom Horne

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"Thomas D. Horne, FF EMT" wrote:

There is no local electrical code, I'm outside city limits. I checked with the city building folks before my panel replacement project and they said essentially, have fun, be careful.
The interlock kit is manufactured by Square D and is rated and approved for the Square D panel it is installed in. There are no secondary meters or utility remotes anywhere around here and the same potential issues with them would apply regardless of whether a transfer switch or interlock kit were used.
Pete C.
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Pete C. wrote:

That's why the main breaker should be megged after the interlock is installed to check for sneak current paths.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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"Tom Horne, Electrician" wrote:

I think I'll just trust a brand new Square D 200A breaker. I have never, ever heard of anyone inspecting a residential electrical panel and testing breakers with a megger.
Pete C.
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Puddin' Man wrote:

There's a good chance you'll energize the whole house unless you're careful, which might very well overload your generator.
What you suggest is _very_ dangerous. You should have a proper transfer box.

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Suppose, in an emergency scenario, I pick a couple 15A circuits and switch all the other breakers off? Safe?
Thanks, P
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If someone gets hurt while you are doing something illegal you are in very deep trouble. Since a transfer switch costs maybe $150 and takes a couple hours to install, it is not a risk I am willing to take.
Its sort of like driving without your seat belt on. It is safe (after all, how often do you have a collision?) but it is just not smart.
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Toller wrote:

If you have a panel for which an approved interlock kit is available such as Square D it's even cheaper, around $50 between the kit and a dedicated breaker for the back feed.
Pete C.
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I have a 21 yr-old Cutler-Hammer panel that I installed myself back around 1984.
No doubt there's numerous houses in which an interlock kit would make sense. But there's nobody here but po' me, and, to my knowledge, I don't need to idiot-proof the damned thang. Before any gas generator were connected, the main breaker -would- be switched off. And it would stay off until the gen. was removed.
True or False: With the main breaker off, all I have to worry about is the in-house circuitry (which I'm pretty familiar with).
Cheers, Puddin'
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Puddin' Man wrote:

Electrically, yes. In reality you have to worry about how certain you are that you will remember the main breaker while fumbling in the dark of the outage and what your sentence will be for negligent homicide.
Pete C.
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But we all do stupid things. Forgetting to open the main breaker is not inconceivable. If you did forget, you would "probably" stall the generator as you tried to power the neighborhood; but you could also kill a lineman. You will not deserve any sympathy from the jury!
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Puddin' Man wrote:

It's your choice. With my electrical utility, if you "tickle" a lineman, they will stop work, trace down where the electricity is coming from, cut your lines off, and you will NEVER get electrical service again. It's a union thing. They will blacklist your address.
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snipped-for-privacy@teleport.com wrote:

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

It's not.
More than a union "thing" it's more of a "brotherhood" thing: You burned the crap outta (or killed) my buddy, yours is gonna be the LAST service restored.
You can then expect all manner of "fun and games" from the utility's legal department, just for starters. They WON'T, however, "never" reconnect the service. They'll just bury you in so much bullsh*t following the accident that you'll hire a licensed unionist electrician to install a transfer switch - and wish you had done so earlier.
I honestly believe that everyone participating in this contentious topic has the KNOWLEDGE and smarts enough to OPEN the main breaker or pull the meter. It's the plethora of clueless DIY'ers out there buying generators "just in case" that are cause for concern.
--
:)
JR

Climb poles and dig holes
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Jim Redelfs wrote:

Those are the clueless DIY'ers who are dropping like flies from CO for running their generators in their living rooms in the PNW...
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Pete C. wrote:

Illiteracy (or is it unwillingness to read instructions?) takes its toll ...
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wrote:

In THAT case, I'm a huge believer in Darwin's theory...
--
<sigh>
JR

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