Wiring a furnace to run off an extension cord.

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On Fri, 12 Dec 2008 17:01:25 -0800, James Sweet

I try to avoid things that use batteries, but I still have a bunch, and I've only had one or two alkalines leak, both in the same device at the same time. Carbon-zinc definitely leaked more often, but with flashlights I figured if I left the light on, I'd only waste cheaper batteries.
I've bought foreign batteries at hamfests, one batch so cheap they leaked within weeks of being put in something (without damage, somehow) so I threw them all away. (They were in the fridge until I used them. One gave hints of leaking, iirc, while still in the fridge, but theese were verrrry cheap.)
In another situation at a hamfest, the guy next to me noticed how light the "alkaline" batteries were, and he was right, they were too light to be alkaline.
Finally, in the past year, I bought some "Duracell"s at a price that seemed too low, and eventually noticed that the small circle that's supposed to have an R or TM inside had nothing but a dot inside. Maybe it t also didn't say "alkaline", which is what makes it a Duracell as opposed to some other type battery.

You have to get the batteries out? I don't know but isn't it more convincing when the batteries are stuck inside?
IIUC what it says on the batteries, they will pay for a flashlight of something of similar cost if flashlight batteries (carbon-zinc) leak, and they'll pay more money for something electronic if alkaline leak. And there are probably other rules for other kinds of batteries.
Makes sense to me.

I'm finally reading the manual for my fancy camera, and it gives several reasons why rechargeables won't have power as long as one would want. Not using them for a long time was one. (I can find the list if you want.) Maybe it's not true and they just don't want people complaining to them, the camera company, when it probably is either normal or a battery problem.

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I've seen pics of those, but so far mine have been real Duracells, and I've had them leak too.

Well if you can't get them out, you have to remember what brand they were to find out where to send them. Sometimes you can tell, sometimes it is not obvious.

Rechargeable batteries have a lower nominal voltage than alkalines, for some things this is a problem, for others it is not, and more things these days are made with rechargeable batteries in mind. In my own experience, they last longer in things like cameras, but it depends on the nature of the load. The big advantage is when they go dead, you pop them in the charger and use them again over and over, I'd be perfectly willing to sacrifice some run time for that. Environmentally better than tossing out piles of dead alkalines as well.
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On Fri, 12 Dec 2008 20:05:21 -0800, James Sweet

Oh, yeah. You're right.
They should mark the brand on the ends too. It's probably a sleezy trick by the makers to avoid paying out when they leak.

Yeah, the AA are 1.2 volts and the batteries-in-camera plug-in charger (not included) is supposed to be 5 volts for 4 of them. If I eventually try to use these in a penlight, I don't suppose they will work. Not enough voltage.
I don't remember how dead they were when I stopped using the camera last Jan. or Feb, but on election day, they were totally dead. They seemed to charge up fine but I haven't tried to use them or to measure their voltage.
The other set, in the fridge since last January, were still 1.24 or 1.26 volts when I took them out last week.
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wrote:

NiCads loose about 20%? charge per month - they are USELESS for standby power apps where they sit unused for months, and are then expected to work.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

They do, and so do conventional NiMH batteries, but there is a new breed that does not suffer from this problem. Look up Sanyo Eneloop, there are a number of clones, known as low self discharge, hybrid, etc. I've been using mostly Eneloops in my stuff and they live up to their claims, and will hold roughly 85% charge over a year of sitting. I've heard some others are about the same, only ones I've had any real negative experience with were Tenergy, they're cheap, but worthless.
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 14:51:49 -0800, James Sweet

I don't think that describes mine, even though mine kept their charge for 9 or 10 months in the fridge. I bought them a year ago. I don't know if that is older than the new breed. This is all it says on the label:
They are GP2000 series, made in Malaysia, product of Gold Peak Group, www.gpbatteries.com.hk
200AAHC, 1.2V typical 1950mAH
Standard charge 16 hours at 190ma.
I bought the camera and the batteries while traveling, not in America.

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mm wrote:

If they don't specifically say low self discharge, precharged, or hybrid, then they are conventional NiMH batteries. Storing them in the fridge will indeed reduce self discharge of either type.
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wrote:

And the only Gold Peak batteries I've ever owned were absolute trash. Mabee if they were kept in the fridge instead of used mine might have lasted longer??
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2008 00:00:02 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Maybe.
OTOH all I know is that they didn't lose a charge in the last 10 or 11 months.
I bought the camera about a year ago, and only used it daily for about 2 weeks, and then a day or two 2 weeks later. I'm not sure I ran this set of batteries down more than once. (Because when i bought a separate recharger, I ended up with two sets.
So I still don't know how many times I'll be able to recharge them, and I'll never know, because this is not the kind of thing I'll remember. And since I ended up buying a second smaller, cheaper digital camera, that I use far more often, with a different kind of battery, I may only charge these AA batteries once a year and if they only last say 4 charges, i won't know if that is because they weren't good batteries or because they're 4 years old.
Now if they take 10 full charges over ten years, I guess we'd all call them good, but I won't be able to tell you that for another 9 years.
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 17:33:16 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Mine were NiMH. That's what the camera shop was pushing.
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Unless he had a generator and a trouble light.<g>
Flashlights are still handy- but I was glad there was a plug in shoplight right by my panel when I jury rigged mine up last Saturday. Just got power back last night. Felt kinda weird working in the entrance panel box with 120 light from the generator.
Another caution that I might have skimmed over as I've read this thread--- [and why the double pole double throw switch is a good idea. Make damn sure you don't leave any connection back to the grid. Not only will it fry your generator if the power comes back- it creates a dangerous situation for the guys working on the lines.
Jim
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You could probably do that, but you seem to be saying you don't have a transfer switch, making such an arrangement against code because you don't mention anything about preventing backfeeds. What you might use safely would be a double pole, triple throw (off in center) switch for break-before-make connections. I think if you check with your local code enforcement office though you will find that only a transfer switch and probably a separate outdoor disconnect point is acceptable.
If you already have a transfer switch and the only problem is exactly as stated, then a switch as described would suffice nicely. They're also fairly common switches, especially if you live around any farmland. I picked one up from Agway in fact. Mostly you just need to be sure the switch goes through an open ckit on the way from one connection to the other. Most switches are of the make before break types, meaning they temporarily connect BOTH sources for an instant as the switch is thrown. Middle-off is an easy way to avoid that. Besides, you also need a disconnect method, and the middle off provides that, too.
HTH
Twayne
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 13:21:44 -0500, "Twayne"

Backfeeds?
How the heck do you get a backfeed when you unplug something from one power supply and plug it into another one? Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE.
What he has is a double pole, Infinite throw,break before make, manually operated switch. Can't get better backfeed protection than that.

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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 17:31:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I have been in discussions with inspectors about this and the only real NEC violation with a cord and plug connected furnace motor is the manufacturer's installation instructions don't say you can do it. On the other hand I have never seen instructions that specifically said you couldn't. If you said you were doing this to make the blower easier to service, THAT is legal. Considering the other alternatives I do not see this as the most unsafe option. Keep the pigtail with the cord and plug as short as possible to minimize the damage potential, use a good "hard service" cord with a proper cord grip on the blower end and a molded plug and "rock on" IMHO.
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Technicality, but the motor wiring is not touched, the main wiring (control) box is.
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wrote:

The code requires a manual disconnect within X feet of the furnace. This is USAUALLY assumed to be a switch. A plug serves the same function and is easier to tie down (disable for service)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Having a plug-and cord connected blower motor for servicing should be code compliant. I don't see how cord and plug connecting a fixed in place furnace (the OP's plan) is permitted.

Aside from the code, the plan sounds practical and safe.
--
bud--


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Impossible isn't what it's about. POSSIBLE is what it's about, and to use a generator, you need a transfer switch. What I think I left out is that his local code enforcement office is going to have the final word on the subject; that is where he has to check. If they allow it, it's legal. If not, it's not. It's easy to call & ask rather than put up with rhetoric in places like this. He's going to need a transfer switch that guarantees never backfeeding; nothing guarantess he won't hook it up in a manner that could backfeed, whether he intended to or not. Plus, he's not the only soul on earth that might use the generator - they don't accept taht as an arguement. Only positive situations are allowed, not promises.

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That would easily wire into a transfer switch no problem.
You really need to look at transfer switches.
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Twayne wrote:

If he already has the generator, a DPDT switch *is* a viable option, and a lot cheaper than a transfer switch.
nate
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replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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