That's a no-no. If a maintenance person works on the high-voltage line,
it will be live when it is expected that it is dead.
You need a transfer switch that ensures that your house circuits (more
likely a subset of them) are connected EITHER to the incoming utility
supply OR to the generator and that there is no connection between the
generator and the utility supply.
On 02/27/06 10:19 pm firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If you have no electricity how are you sending the message?
If your question is for real and not a toll, you need to learn a lot
about how to chose and use that generator. You need to know what its
capabilities are and what you load requirements are. You need to learn
about transfer switches and most of all you need to know that you never run
it inside your home.
!!!!!!!!!!NEVER DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!
I always find it interesting that so much is said about backfeeding the
utility company creating a hazard to linemen.
I do admit it might happen, but consider the average load on a line
with even a dozen homes. the load would be so great it would stall the
generator, or trip the generators breaker.
theres no way a 5 or 10K generator is going to power even a small
neighborhood espically with the high starting current load of motors.
Like I said DO EVER DO THIS but would appreciate others opinions on the
You don't know where the break is in the distribution line. Your
generator could be backfeeding a transformer with no load on it because
that's where the break is.
It's a remote possibility, and even so it should only affect a stupid or
momentarily careless lineman -- but I don't feel that I have a right to
take chances with his life because I want to do a half-assed
installation. (I also don't want to burn up my generator in the more
likely scenario that the backfed line looks like a dead short)
Yes, it is. So is pole climbing and crossing the street.
Regardless, there is NO excuse for using a generator improperly.
As someone else said: With the genset running outdoors, run a heavy extension
cord into the dwelling and branch-off other cords to vital equipment.
Unless a PROPERLY installed transfer switch is used, leave the house wiring
Common line safety practices include insulating gauntlets, commoning all
conductors and bonding them to ground.
Anyone that backfeeds to the grid during an outage DESERVES to have their
SUBJECT: Lineman Dies When He Contacts Energized
Power Line in Puerto Rico
SUMMARY: On September 29, 1989, a 42-year-old male lineman with 19 years
of experience was electrocuted while attaching a 2,400-volt power line
to a pole-mounted insulator. The power line had been de-energized two
days earlier and the supervisor assured the lineman that the power line
was still de-energized.
A construction crew consisting of a supervisor, three class A linemen
(including the victim), a first-class lineman, a groundman, and two
truck drivers were assigned the task of correcting a malfunction in a
de-energized three-phase power line. When the crew arrived at the work
site, they found that one of the three phases had broken and fallen to
the ground. The supervisor instructed the victim to relocate the damaged
phase on the cross-arm of the pole to better balance the load on the
cross-arm. As the victim began to climb the pole he was assured by the
supervisor that the power lines had been de-energized. When he attempted
to relocate the damaged line he contacted another phase, was shocked,
and slumped backwards, prevented from falling by his safety belt. The
power lines at the work site had been energized by backfeed electrical
energy from a portable gas generator being used on the circuit. "
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
Very sad someone died, BUT linemen are always SUPPOSED to assume all
lines are hot, since a energized line might drop across a denergized
line at any time.,
locally when a big outage occurs duquesne light installs intentional
shorts across lines to prevent accidents.
I found out about this when a friend had a firecall, for traffic
control. someone threw the wrong switch and the short exploded pushing
a lineman off a tower
And homeowners are supposed to get a permit before performing electrical
work. During storm recovery outside wiremen work twelve hour shifts.
They're human and they make mistakes. So cut them some slack and don't
try to jury rig back fed supply to any buildings wiring. Install listed
load transfer equipment or use extension cords directly from the
generators receptacles to supply the loads.
Tom of the sparks and arcs
"This alternating current thing is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
for general use." Thomas Alva Edison
I don't know how practical it would be with 2400V, but for home work I use
a voltmeter to make sure my line is dead, and as a final check I short the
line briefly. No sparks, line's dead.
The short might sound stupid, but (1) I know when my voltmeter is lying,
and (2) a live body can call the fire department, a dead one can't call
All relevant people are pertinent.
All rude people are impertinent.
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