It should also be noted that
MORE PEOPLE DIED FROM GENERATORS THAN DIED IN THE "CHARLEY" STORM ITSELF!!
A lot more were injured.
** Run this thing OUTSIDE and away from windows and doors. CO was a big cause
of those dead/injured folks.
** Use good cords and use good practices. Don't pinch your cords, don't operate
in wet spots and generally be aware this is still line voltage.
** DO NOT attempt to connect this to your house wiring unless you have the
proper transfer equipment installed
(if the power company detects voltage on your service drop they will cut it and
be damn slow coming back to hook it up. This is from the lineman who lives
across the street from me)
Be careful out there. More people get killed after the storm than during the
storm. In the case of Charley it was at least 7 times as many.
Please cite an official source for that statement about generator deaths.
The latest data enumerates 25 deaths attributed to Hurricane Charley.
Your statement means that 13 or more people died from generators than
died from any other cause.
Reports indicate that deaths included traffic accidents, heart attacks,
crushing, drowning, falls, personal accidents, suicides, carbon monoxide
poisoning, and other causes occuring before, during, and after the
2 men were killed, and their deaths were attributed to carbon monoxide
poisoning from a portable generator running inside the house.
One person was killed because he went outside in the hurricane to smoke
a cigarette, so you could add that to a smoking death.
One 60 YO person, who had a pre-existing heart condition, died because
he had a heart attack after working on his generator and clearing debris
from his yard. Was that a generator death or a lawncare death?
An 86 YO male who evacuated the area, fell and hit his head in his
temporary hotel room and died, far from the hurricane.
Another 83 YO male committed suicide by hanging himself..
A woman stepped on a downed live power line and was killed.
Most deaths (estimates of 15 of the 25) truly were after the fact, but
the vast majority of these deaths had nothing to do with generators. As
a matter of fact, what determines a hurricane related death is not set
in stone. Not everyone who dies during a hurricane is an actual
hurricane related death, but since the deaths happened during the
hurricane, or shortly thereafter, they may be included.
Don't forget, a lot of the people living in the path of Charley were
elderly. Not too strong, not too quick, not too alert.
I don't think they have included murders that happen during a hurricane,
but that could change.
Only 4 people died in the storm itself and one of those was your "preexisting
condition" heart attack.
Our paper is saying 27 people total. Take a look at news-press.com. They had an
article that listed all the deaths about a week ago.
Please cite an official source for that statement about generator
deaths. A live link that shows that at least 14 deaths (you state 27
total deaths, and more than half would be at least 14 deaths) occurred
due to generators would be helpful.
Thanks for your contributions to urban legends.
Be sure generator itself is grounded with a rod if grounding tab is
suplied on generator
dont get the unit wet,
dont back feed,
ck voltage of unit first and full load voltage. Dont run circuits
unless unit is regulated voltage or proper range voltage is present.
dont let gen stop or run out of gas with power used. the drop can ruin
Capacitors and circuits.
I had the oil cap vibrate off at midnight and spill the oil. Fortunately
the genny had a low oil shut off. I spent the next two hours looking for an
open gas station that sold oil. I now have spare oil.
A spark plug? Seriously, do they go bad?
Ever had one foul out in your lawn mower, boat, chainsaw and played hell
getting it to crank ?
Depending on how much I use something, every season I start by changing oil
On a similer subject with sparkplugs, being a boater I once got stuck out in
the middle of a damn big lake with fouled plugs and like to have never got
the thing cranked, another time on a jet ski, flipped over, water in engine,
never cranked. lukily another jetskier in the area stopped to help. had dry
plugs and was same model ski as mine. At first seemed a little odd having
plugs with him on a jet ski but in five minutes had mine changed and cranked
right up (blowing water out of cylinders before installing new ones)
I always carry dry set in water proof bag with me from now on.
and if it doesn't start, make sure the helpful neighbor doesn't spray ether
in the spark plug hole. My Dad had his generator killed by a "helpful"
neighbor with a can of ether.
It's OK to spray ether on the air cleaner element, or into the air intake.
But in the spark hole will dry out the cylinder wall. The piston locks up,
and then throws a rod.
I know from family experience.
also make sure your main 100 amp breaker which lets electricity into
your house from the power company is turned off, then you can back
feed your generator into the clothes dryer electrical receptacle and
turn on a few circuits in your house. Just don't over load the output
wattage produced by your generator or brownout conditions may occur.
Another wonder kinder heard from that thinks it's OK to advise people to
use suicide cords and one mistake will kill a lineman practices for the
sake of their own convenience. If you cannot or will not install the
necessary transfer equipment to preclude the possibility of back feeding
the power lines you should not hook the generator up to the house
wiring. You can convert any appliance in your home to cord and plug
connection. During a power failure you just unplug from the outlet and
plug into the generator. That procedure is cheap and error proof since
the generator will not connect to the house wiring without a suicide
cord and the appliances cannot be plugged into two places at once.
If the utility workers even suspect a back feed they will disconnect you
from the utilities wiring and leave you off of the list for restoration
until all other service is restored.
I am a firefighter and I watched a supervisor who had not climbed a pole
in years strap on his climbing gaffs and drop a back fed service drop
off of the utilities pole into the yard. He then pulled the meter to
deenergize the drop and marked in red marker paint on the street the
code for safety disconnect. Until that premise was cleared by a master
electrician and the county electrical inspector they wouldn't even talk
to the occupants about restoring service. The lights still were not on
there fourteen calender days after hurricane Isabel.
I guess it's good they had that generator wired up so they would have
power for two weeks! Anybody who is too stupid to prevent backfeeding
power from his house circuits into the power company's lines should be
prosecuted for criminal negligence. If you are that stupid don't even
think about hooking up your own emergency power!
Regardless of transfer switch, I like a visual open, like when you
pull the meter. My reason is that transfer switches are mechanical
devices, and anything mechanical can fail. I expect it to fail in the
'worst case' scenario. So, for me, visual open. The power company,
being realists, said that they understood that after the cleanup they
might find many meter bases with the anti-tampering seal missing.. new
ones would be installed next time the meter was read. This was after
Hurricane Fran.. no power in our area for 12 days. In our area, no
power equals no water.
I'm not advocating using anything other than an approved, properly
installed transfer switch to power your whole house. I also understand
that even an approved, properly installed transfer switch can fail and
backfeed into the power grid (also, an energized phase could drop onto
an unenergized phase and energive the previously unenergized phase).
The local power company also understands this; their rule is that
unless the line is grounded and the lineman is working 'between the
grounds' the line is to be considered 'energized'.
In short, don't backfeed. On that same note however, if your
approved, properly installed transfer switch involves turning off your
main 200 amp breaker, and instead of the normal resistance against
movement and the healthy 'chuck' sound you expect when you move that
breaker, you get a small 'tink' and you can move the breaker with the
tip of one finger, don't continue with the transfer switch operation
thinking that all is OK because you've got an approved, properly
installed transfer switch.
Use common sense.
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