An emergency bodge is to use a nasty 'live plug' wired in backwards to
your ring main, and use th consumer unit to select which circuits are
activated. DO switch the main circuit breaker off tho. Your generator is
not equipped to feed the national grid if power is restored ...or the
neighbours lights if it isn't :-)
NOTE: This is thoroughly bad practice, probably illegal, and extremely
dangerous if you don't understand what I said.
However, it may prove useful in an emergency.
If you want to go this route, you must have much better interlocks
to ensure there's no way you can feed electricity back out of your
supply and electrocute someone working on the supply line.
This is normally done with a transfer switch.
Also, some circuit breakers may not be designed to stay live on the
load side when switched off.
On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 19:08:09 +0100, Tony Hayes wrote:
If you decide to go down that line, wire it in permanently. Somewhere
along the line *someone* will decide to try and use a lead with two plug
tops back to back to feed into a ring main, and that's lethal.
Generators must have their neutral separately earthed, unless the
incoming supply is pme, when you are allowed to bond the earth of the
generator to the earth terminal at the meter position. Don't neglect to
make proper provision for protection against overcurrent and earth
leakage faults. Most users of stand by generators don't give a second
thought as to whether or not they are using a safe arrangement, in fact
I'd go so far as to say that most generators are used in a positively
unsafe manner when used as an emergency domestic supply.
You will need a two pole break before make changeover switch, so that
the generator cannot run in parallel with the main supply. Your local
distribution company will advise on the current requirements for using a
All I am going to do, is make a cable up with a plug on each end, fitted
with a 3 Amp fuse, fasten it to the generator so that it wont get separated.
Then switch off the mains at the fuse box and plug the genny into the
nearest 13 amp socket. I bought the genny for just this reason, after seeing
that the possibility of power cuts may take away our use of the central
heating. Its gas powered, but as you know, the pump hast to run and the gas
control valve needs power. After this, all the rest is a bonus. We don't
have a large freezer, so the contents can be a total loss if power is off
for more than a couple of days.
OK I'll lose the RCD system, but at least I will be able to run the central
heating and a couple of lights, possibly even the TV. The house is PME by
the way, so I might have to hook up an earth to my earth rod.
All that remains, is to open a curtain to see when the power comes back on
again and reverse the connections.
On Fri, 5 Sep 2003 22:30:43 +0000 (UTC), Dave wrote:
PLEASE, PLEASE don't. One some one *will* leave that plugged into a
live socket and catch hold of the now live and lethal pins at the
Also take serious note about the lack of N E bonding on a generator
and the earthing requirement of the generator.
The other thing to bear in mind is that some one is also bound to turn
on something that is far to large a load for your generator. What
happens then is unpredicatable, it may simply stall, it may stuggle
badly with the volts and current going all over the place causeing
damage to it or other connected equipment, or it might appear to cope
but burst into flame a short while latter.
How does that show the power is back on during the day? It wouldn't
work up here anyway, nearest street light is 1 1/2 miles away fed off
a different 11kV line.
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
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