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.
Ed: you should go back to Tuscany. I bet they have power there!!!
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
In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
(44� 15' N - Elevation 1580')
On Wed, 2 Nov 2011 19:28:53 +0000 (UTC), email@example.com 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
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.
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.
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.
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 -
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
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