Power Main Monitoring Question?

OK - living in the Northest USA is beginning to suck!!!
Given a standard SquareD main elec panel which include a main 200amp breaker with the breaker in the OFF position, is there anything/anyway to monitor the incoming line for energy?
Ideally one could install something across one or both of the lines that glows a neon or led when energized.
Of course I'm being lazy as I'm running on generator. But with all the outages this year I'm getting fed up with killing everything and retrying the main, back and forth, back and forth, etc.
Ideas? Thanks
Ed: you should go back to Tuscany. I bet they have power there!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@worthless.info wrote:

Voltmeter?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My transfer switch is a 12 switch panel that switches each (of 11) circuits separately. When using the generator, I can leave one circuit on the power grid with a light on. This will let me know when power has been restored.
---MIKE---
In the White Mountains of New Hampshire (44� 15' N - Elevation 1580')
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 2 Nov 2011 19:28:53 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@worthless.info wrote:

I have considered the same thing. I am going to guess you are back feeding the house and not using a transfer switch. I you want to pull the panel cover off then any DVM or non-contact volt meter will work. I'm sure none of the following is legal per the NEC, use at your own risk.
1. put LED or neon light across incoming mains. maybe using Pico fuses as lead wires to stuff in the main lugs. drill small hole for light to shine through cover.
2. Sonalert across incoming mains. maybe with a switch on it so you can leave it connected with panel cover on and just switch it on when you turn main breaker off.
To be sort of on the safe side since anything across the mains is totally unfused, use very small wire or pico fuses to make connections and keep all wires short. If they do go up in smoke you do not want enough insulated wire to start a fire. Maybe slide some of that nomex/asbestos insulation from stoves over your wires.
Remove 333 to reply. Randy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/4/2011 6:52 AM, Randy333 wrote:

The minor problem is that as the pico fuses and wire are vaporizing they form a "plasma" conductive path that can turn into a line-to-line arc flash.
There is a real good reason to leave the service conductors alone.
--
bud--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

240 don't arc that much. In my younger days I played with all kinds of stuff to blow it up. Pico fuses should not let anything arc or even get hot. Can you get a 240 volt pico fuse????
Remove 333 to reply. Randy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/8/2011 7:41 AM, Randy333 wrote:

I saw the remains of a 208V service that burned down. Some of the service wires burned back into the supply pipes.

Fuses for power circuits will have an "available fault current" rating. The available fault current for a residential service is likely 5,000 - 10,000A.
If you use an unrated fuse (which pico fuses will be) with 5,000 available fault amps the fuse can disappear in a flash. That flash will be conductive plasma, which can wind up line-to-line, an arc flash.
Meters used on high energy circuits should be "category" rated (3 or 4). The Fluke meter I use has fuses with 10,000 and 20,000A available fault current ratings.
--
bud--



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.