Is There An Electrician in the House?

Page 5 of 8  

Doug Miller wrote:

I was there. I was in the Air Force assigned to Keesler Air Force Base in Beloxi, Mississippi when Hurricane Camille struck. I was detailed to graves registration for three weeks after the storm. I was one of the Airmen who transported the lineman's body to the temporary morgue after the incident. The guys from the Air Force base power production shop told me that is what caused the guys death. They were all very grateful that it wasn't one of their generators that produced the fatal shock. I was nineteen at that time and that was before the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation(FACE)Program existed so I cannot provide you with a link to a report. I do know that how the power production lads kept the medical equipment dependent couple in the home was they pulled both meters, opened the off peak service switch, and removed the fuses from it. The main fuse pullout had already been pulled by the relatives that first set up the generator and if it had not been for the faulted heater element melting insulation on the two circuits wires that would have been enough to separate the house from the outside lines. When you spend three weeks washing off bodies with garden hoses that sort of detail tends to stay with you. People had held hurricane parties in beach front vacation cottages and the storm was so powerful it stripped steal framed buildings to the frame. Residents of second floor apartments had been swept out of their homes by storm surge. I have worked as a volunteer in fire and rescue since I left the Air Force in 1972. I've seen a fairly large number of traumatic deaths over the years but I'm still a sore looser about each one.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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I wasn't. You have a citation for that story somewhere?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

He just told you he knew from personal experience. What do you want -- an affidavit?
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Just some independent corroboration, other than asking me to just take his word for it. I don't know him. I have no way of judging whether his report is accurate or not.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Given his words,a verification of his service record, to some degree a matter of PUBLIC record, would convince a reasonable person of his veracity.
Of course, I am convinced that no manner or degree of corroboration and/or authentic documentation would shake your stance. For you, I could probably not produce adequate proof that the earth is not flat. Yours is an unfortunate demeanor.
--
:(
JR

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Yes, reference please. I'll say it outright. I don't believe you
--
Steve Barker


"Member, Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department"
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Doug Miller wrote:

Doug doesn't understand that not every home is wired the same as his because if he did he would have to admit that he is giving dangerous deadly advice. And since Doug's absolute perfection would prevent him from forgetting to turn off the main breaker it follows that his absolutely perfect advice applies universally, will never be misunderstood, and that no one following that advice will ever be impaired by alcohol, drugs, or even Over The Counter (OTC) cold medication. You see Doug, and therefor everyone who follows his advice is much too perfect to ever under any circumstances commit a human error like a mere mortal such as myself. We should all be awed to be in the presence of such brilliance.
--
Tom Horne

Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com says...

Geez.... Did somebody piss in your Cheerios this morning, Tom, or is the stress of the holiday season starting to get to you?
I never claimed to be perfect, or incapable of committing an error. And in fact, if you had bothered to read the entire thread, you would have seen that I stated at least once that a transfer switch is the right way to do this.
My gripe is with the people who imagine hazards that do not exist: for example, there being enough light to connect a generator to a panel, but not enough light to see which breaker is the main. That's just absurd.
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Doug Miller wrote:

You are still ASS/U/Ming Doug. There are thousands of panels in service in this country that have more than one main breaker. There are thousands of meters in service supplying residential and farm properties in this country that are of the sampling variety were the electricity will flow merrily on even if the meter is completely removed from it's socket. There are thousands of meter enclosures in use on residential properties that have multi barreled lugs on the load side of the meter socket to feed multiple buildings such as barns, stables, and detached garages. Many of those outbuildings were once supplied by feeders or branch circuits but are now supplied by service laterals without necessarily removing the old branch circuit or feeder. I've been wiring buildings for forty years and I've no were near seen it all. Each one of these situations represents a possibility for a sneak current path. In over a million homes in the US today the dryer breaker is a main breaker. It and five or so of it's cousins must be opened in order to cut power to the building. In such split buss panels there is no other switch of any kind between the main buss and the service drop or lateral. If we leave the advice that you and others offer on back feeding receptacle outlets to power a building unchallenged we end up with other newsgroup readers attempting a similar connection with the attendant possibility of killing an outside wireman or other recovery worker.
If the only person at risk was yourself I would happily leave you to it because I do believe that you have the right to take risk that only affect you. Since the risk taking you advocate is not limited to you I think you are being wantonly reckless in offering it here. I was the first due Emergency Medical Technician at an electrocution of a tree worker that was caused by a generator back feed. We waited for PEPCO while the worker's father was restrained by two police officers while he begged us to get his boy down. If we had known the source of the current we would have cut the drip loops to the home it was coming from and then opened the fuse serving that homes transformer thus permitting defibrillation and CPR to be undertaken sooner. Since there were dozens of generators operating in that neighborhood it took some skilled trouble shooting on the part of the outside wiremen to locate the offending home. I was totally surprised when one of the employees of that family owned tree trimming business went right back to work after his boyhood friend and that friends father had left for the hospital. His motivation became clear when he felled the entire tree they were supposed to trim onto the now silent generator and the garage in front of which it sat. I've never, even in six years of fighting wildland fires and working with over a hundred sawyers, seen a more accurate felling job. I don't know if the home owner had the audacity to try to recover for the damage. He probably just called it secondary storm damage and charged it off to his insurance carrier.
--
Tom Horne

Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
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And you are still reading things I didn't write. Please read the two paragraphs immediately previous. I won't say "please read them again" because it's apparent you didn't read them the first time.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sun, 24 Dec 2006 21:47:57 GMT, "Thomas D. Horne, FF EMT"

How can any of the extra connections you list be affected by a panel with the main turned off, and feed through one of it's load side breakers (dryer) with a generator?
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Terry wrote:

Terry Is it really that hard to figure out. Panels with two main breakers mean that under the stress of a power failure you might not turn the correct one off. Turn off both you reply but one goes off to the left and one to the right and you are working in the dark or with a dying flashlight which you've been meaning to get batteries for. Sampling meters can be removed without opening the service conductor connection to the service equipment. Meters that supply multiple out buildings that were once supplied from the panel in a single building may have wiring that is supplied by feeder or direct branch circuit from the main buildings power mingled with wiring supplied from the outbuildings new service equipment. Were the dryer breaker is one of six or fewer main breakers in a split buss panel any current supplied through the dryer circuit must traverse the main buss in order to supply other loads in the home. Since the service entry conductors are directly attached to the main buss that leaves no means of disconnecting the service entry conductors from the generator power.
Many of the utilities have begun the process of substituting locks for seals on metering enclosures which makes removing the meter very difficult. In my forty years of electric work I have seen three way switching circuits that take power from two different branch circuits, circuits were two breakers are feeding the same load, and the list goes on. If the generator connection is properly installed than the installer will use a megohmmeter and a circuit tracer to test for sneak current paths. The electrical inspector will check for proper separation of emergency circuits from all other circuits. They will also red tag the job if a separate off peak meter is present until the utility has rung out the metering to assure that no cross connection exist. They may require a drop out relay in the hot water heaters normal meter supply to prevent that circuit from closing when public power is not present on the line side of the meter. Such steps are necessary in any installation were there is more than one service disconnecting means no matter what form or forms those multiple disconnects may take.
The point is that not all homes are wired the same. The people who champion these suicide cord connections make assumptions based on the wiring practices that they are familiar with. If another reader of these Usenet groups tries to take their advice they then have a suicide cord in their home and a real possibility that they can feed more than the thirty milliamperes that it takes to disorganize a human heart out on to the utility's lines.
--
Tom Horne

Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
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On Mon, 25 Dec 2006 19:53:20 GMT, "Thomas D. Horne, FF EMT"
wrote:

Jeez. It's amazing how far, far afield these things can get ...
I proposed a very particular action for a very particular circumstance as related to a very particular dwelling and electrical configuration. (See Scenario after sig). The details were scattered over 3 or 4 posts, but they were/are there.
My proposal and speculations were directed to noone but myself in the indicated Scenario. I recommend them to noone in -any- circumstance, including Mr. Horne, because I cannot speak to anyone's individual abilities (other than my own) in controlling their electrical environment.
I have never owned an elec. generator. Due to numerous long-lived power outages in recent times, my speculation is that I *may* be forced to buy one before long.
Elec. power in the modern era is addictive. We rely on it, and much of our lives can be turned upside-down in long outages. Many utilities have serious problems with their contract to supply power. Most residential and other systems are not amenable to emergency configurations. Mr Horne is correct: "not every home is wired the same". Hence "Don't Try This At Your Home!". My little Scenario may be the simplest possible: 3 wires in (2 @ 120v, 1 "neutral"), 1 Main Breaker in 1 (only) Service Panel. The owner chose/installed eqpt. for precisely such simplicity.
I can't imagine any homeowner that would knowingly be negligent re lineman safety. I can't imagine any homeowner that wouldn't cooperate 100% with any reasonable request from linemen, etc working on the lines. I can't imagine any responsible linemen, etc who would, during a major outage, act without regard to the fact that the emergency was attributable to their company's actions, past and present.
There are now numerous folks that scour the net, looking for controversies. They spot a issue, perhaps note that some respondents are already taking someone's position out-of-context, seize on an invented and related but irrelevant issue as "The Crusade", and author numerous posts designed to sound very authoritative. Typically ignore details of past posts and authors specific positions on the issues. Such behavior is considered by some to be a form of non-sexual masturbation. Seems they always have alleged certifications or somesuch after their names ...
Mr Hornes reference to "suicide cord" and such have nothing to do with the Scenario or orig. sub-thread, but are consistent with a desire for "The Crusade", and are possibly relevant to "The Domain of Trolldom".
Now. Who is this thread recommends installation of all manner of safety interlocks, etc without reference to:
a.) The precise elec. configurations and circumstances in which they would be properly needed. b.) The cost and timeliness (relative to an emergency). c.) The inability of some folks to afford such eqpt. even in ordinary times. d.) Etc, etc ad nauseum
???
I shouldn't be too hard on Mr. Horne as regards his unreasonable positions on a.), b.) etc. There are others taking similar positions, possibly including, occasionally, the NEC folks. It is simply "Industry Bias".
Mr Horne now has the field in this thread: I have nothing more to say.
Skoal, Puddin'
Scenario:
Tiny house with obviously minimal standard residential power lines, single 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.
Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold, Pease pudding in the pot Nine days old ...
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Puddin' Man wrote:

So you "Back feeds svc. panel via 40A socket on elec. dryer" your words not mine. But you have not made up a suicide cord. Now of course you will make up some ghost story about having opened the socket and spliced in the cord from the generator. Puddin the clue phone is ringing and it's for you. That cord that you plug into the dryer outlet and into the generator has two male ends. That IS a suicide cord.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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Not to support the other "side" but, once tested and found safe, power guys bond-to-ground the stuff on which they're working.
--
:)
JR

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On Fri, 22 Dec 2006 17:42:57 -0600, Jim Redelfs

Usually. But Linemen make mistakes, too. And the time they're most likely to make mistakes is during the Nth day of a long term outage, which is conveniently also the time when people are most likely to (A) be running generators, and (B) be getting sloppy about it.
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On Fri, 22 Dec 2006 17:42:57 -0600, Jim Redelfs

And all storms fully respect bonding-to-ground.
--
2 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Puddin' Man wrote:
<snip>

We don't have to speculate. It has happened.

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Gmail Dot Com wrote:

Believe it. Why do you suppose ground-fault circuit interrupters have a trip threshold of five *milli* amperes?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Puddin' Man wrote:

<http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face/In-house/full9005.html
--
Tom Horne

Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
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