Is There An Electrician in the House?

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Doug Miller wrote:

I was there in Silver Spring, MD during the late nineties ice storm when the outside superintendent took a climbing harness out of the trunk of his sedan and climbed a pole in order to drop the service drop for an offending house into the front yard. They could not get power back until a master electrician certified that their property was free of any uncontrolled energy source connected to it's wiring. The home is now powered through an manual transfer switch which the owner had to install at his own expense.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com wrote:

Makes perfect sense to me... but it's not quite the same situation as the "you will never get service again" claim that I said sounded like an urban legend.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

They get really upset when they see a pair of jumper cables clamped to the (hopefully correct) set of lugs in the open meter box.

Agreed. But, like I said, if someone's backfeeding hink injures a lineman, their service will be the VERY LAST to be restored - and then only after a proper transfer switch has been installed, inspected and approved. Depending on how badly the lineman was injured, that approval process could take DAYS.
--
:)
JR

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On Sat, 23 Dec 2006 19:49:47 GMT, "Tom Horne, Electrician"

I can't speak to either of these. If either actually occurred, p'raps there was some justification, p'raps not.
How-sum-ever ...
Scenario:
Tiny house with obviously minimal standard residential power lines, main breaker svc. panel in good condition. Single occupant, who wired the panel, installed pigtails, etc. Lives like a hermit, no non-service folks are allowed on property.
Elec. utility fails contract to supply power, massive outage ensues. Temp. is "Nine Below Zero" (which is also the title of an old blues tune ...). Obvious emergency.
Hermit determines (via past experience) that power could be out for many days. Situates little 40A gas generator in back yard. Switches main breaker off. Clips seal, removes meter, stores such inside house.
Back feeds svc. panel via 40A socket on elec. dryer. Does "the arithmetic of amperage" quite handily. Generally runs only 'fridge, furnace blower and a few lights.
Utility supervisor arrives. Hermit offers to do anything in short-term: allow inspection of svc. panel, shut down generator, hand over meter, etc.
Utility supervisor disconnects power line from house, nominally because hermit is in possession of generator which could, if not properly used, endanger linemen. Sez $1000+ of work must be done on hermits eqpt (knowing noone is available to do it).
How to explain such action:
A.) Action was valid. No homeowner can be trusted in any circumstance (potentially including the linemen and supv., as most of them are homeowners).
B.) 'Tis simply customer abuse. We see it in both the public and private sectors. The problem is on their side of the fence, the emergency is obvious, but they, with monopoly power, refuse to even talk to the folks that they purportedly serve.
You be the judge!
Glad to note that I've not heard of any such insanities hereabouts.
Salud, Puddin'
"Every generator sold to a residential customer is another testament to the inedequacy of one or more electrical utilities."
Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold, Pease pudding in the pot Nine days old ...
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Hah! That's the best one I've read today!
Thanks
--
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Puddin' Man wrote:
<snip>

Perhaps it would seem so, but I'd personally opt for extension cords. There's too great a danger of somebody who is not fully aware of what's going on flipping a breaker. I'd hate to be the guy responsible for electrocuting a power company lineman working to restore power.

--
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Jeez, whotta mess ...

That's a multi-occupant thingy. I shoulda stated there's noone here 'cept me and my Crazy Birddawg.

This would be possible given the main breaker in my house is switched off? No comprendere, senor.
Thx, Puddin'
Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold, Pease pudding in the pot Nine days old ...
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Puddin' Man wrote:

All it takes is a momentary lapse of attentiveness or (particularly since we're talking about emergency conditions) somebody new on the scene.
At any rate, I believe it violates code, is illegal, and is dangerous. I understand all that might not stop you doing it, but I would advise against it.

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It's gotta be the Crazy Birddawg ('cause it couldn't be me). The Crazy Birddawg is gonna flip the switch ... :-)

Taken under advisement.
Thanks, P

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"Flipping A breaker" isn't going to do any harm at all unless it's the MAIN breaker.

Keep the main breaker off, and that won't happen.

Flipping the main breaker from off to on isn't the sort of thing that's going to happen due to a "momentary lapse of attentiveness".

Yes, it's a Code violation. Yes, it's illegal. In an emergency, so what?
As for dangerous -- only if the main breaker is on.

Are you a lawyer?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 22 Dec 2006 11:43:23 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
[snip]

Like the one time you forgot to turn it off before starting the generator.

--
3 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Doug Miller wrote:

--
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--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 22 Dec 2006 19:30:09 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Realize that you can never do that 100% of the time, with exactly 0% chance of error. More simply: perfection isn't.
--
3 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Puddin' Man wrote:

To render it safe would take a double block and break consisting of opening the main breaker followed by a utility person removing your meter and locking the meter enclosure to prevent the installation of meter shunts. That way both parties would have to make the same mistake in order to jeopardize the outside wiremen who are working to restore the power.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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Dead linemen?
Yeah, yeah... You switched off the main breaker, but, in your urgency and in the dark, flipped the WRONG breaker.
Properly install and use a transfer switch or just run some extension cords to essential appliances during the outage.
--
:)
JR

Climb poles and dig holes
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Oh, puhleeeze... don't be ridiculous.
If he has enough light (from a flashlight, candle, oil lamp, moonlight, sunlight, cig lighter, Coleman lantern, jar full of fireflies, or whatever) to connect the generator, how do you imagine that he can't see which breaker is the main?
For that matter, even in the dark, how does he not *feel* which breaker is the main?
And of course it should be obvious that, once the generator is on, there *will* be lights available to check to make *sure* that the main is off.

Or be aware of the difference between real and imagined hazards, take steps to prevent the real ones (such as making sure the main breaker is off), and ignore the imagined ones. Yes, a transfer switch is the right way to do it. No, you can't just run an extension cord to a furnace or a well pump. In an emergency, you do what you have to do.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 22 Dec 2006 14:23:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Thanks, Doug.
I purchased/installed/wired the svc. panel 21 years ago. Chose it for it's simplicity. One huge 200A main breaker in the top, well segregated from smaller breakers.
The entire planet could be plunged into eternal darkness at the same time that gremlins from outer space put out my eyes. I could -still- find my way downstairs and identify the main breaker and switch off with no difficulty.
And if there were any doubt, I'd go outside, snip the seal, pull the meter, and plop the damned thang down on my workbench in the basement.
In an emergency, is a no-brainer.
Cheers, Puddin'
PS: Who believes that linesmen just *grab* conductors without testing for voltage, etc? Who believes that 30A, 'tho admittedly dangerous, is really likely to result in a fatality?
Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold, Pease pudding in the pot Nine days old ...
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Your logic is impeccapble, but linemen have indeed died that way, which is why the ones that live get so grumpy about it when they find you with a non-compliant setup.
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Well, maybe so, maybe not. I have very recent experience with that: three weeks ago exactly, a tree limb fell on my service drop during a windstorm. When the linemen came out to re-string the service, I asked them if they wanted me to shut off my generator. Crew boss asked if the main breaker was open (i.e., off). Told him it was. He said I could leave the genny running.
I'm sure they checked, first, before touching anything... but they did the entire repair with the generator up.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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