Couple of good pages on lineman safety, and home owner safety. During the
recent storms, at least one lineman was killed by a home owner wtih a
generator. Please, folks, don't be responsible for the death of the guys who
are trying to help you.
I just bought a generator after 3 power outages in a week.
Have yet to call electrician but know better than to directly wire in
without transfer box.
If power company here, Delmarva Power, had not let service deteriorate
and done proper tree trimming, their employees would not be exposed as
much. Because of unreliable service in past few years, at least half
my neighbors own generators.
Pity the poor linemen, yes, but I've lost food, appliances, a computer
and have scorch marks on my walls caused by power companies neglect of
Neighbor who is handier than I put in transfer panel and said it took
He did not want to help me - I'll hire electrician.
You missread me on lineman comment. I'm saying that Delmarva put
linemen in more potential danger by letting system deteriorate. They
admittedly said they saved $MM by cutting back tree trimming.
Retired lineman told old neighbor that if he did what company does
today, he would have been fired.
While the information is correct, appropriate and needed. The one of the
articles has the taste of a carefully put together press release disguised
as a genuine safety article but created by the generator manufacturer,
Pepco. This is a common practice by many companies and accepted by many
publications when they are short of real articles. It then becomes very
cheap advertising for the company that creates the press release.
I must have been a huge generator. The load created by backfeeding a system
would be enormous. A homeowners generator is not likely to have the power
to manage this. However, when I use my 5500w, I always disconnect the main
No, not necessarily. A blown fuse further down the line, or on the
transformer, would result in many kilovolts on the feeder line. The
transformer would be running "backwards", stepping up the generator's 240
VAC to 13 kV or 26 kV (whatever they use in that area). The upstream loads
would be disconnected due to the blown fuse.
The story is a little disingenuous, since proper procedure does not expose
the lineman in such situations. The problem was more than just the
What is it with you guys. A lineman got electricuted by a backfeeding
generator. It can happen to you also. Sure, you open the main breaker; so
did this guy. It is just a crappy way to run a generator when transfer
switches are $150.
And yeh, the lineman is supposed to test the wire before working on it, and
he is supposed to be insulated so a hot wire won't hurt him; but these
things happen. You want it to happen to you?
It if was the only way to use a generator it might be a reasonable thing to
do, but it isn't.
You're either sarcastic or mistaken.
The point is merely that the dead lineman contributed to his own demise by
failing to protect himself from a live wire. It could have been live from
any number of legal causes, so the illegal cause loses some of its gravity.
On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 16:59:24 -0600, Richard J Kinch
A 240V 5500W generator can put out 22.9A. That transformer (26KV to
240V) has a ratio of 108:1. Current is changed according to the
inverse of that ratio, so the output would be 26KV at 212mA (actually
somewhat less, since no transformer is 100% efficient). Still enough
to be dangerous.
There is an opportunity here for someone to make a cheap and easy to
install safety device. Some sort of a main breaker that requires a keypin
of some sort to hold closed and stays open without it. This same keypin
would be needed for the generator to energize its own outlets. If this
could be designed as some sort of overlay device for both then even better.
Safety would be assured. Both can't be on at the same time.
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