I just got the deal of a lifetime today, I literally walked into this one,
Someone returned a generator to a local store, well the store was marking
things down to get rid of the returns as is. I asked how much for the
generator and the guy said, "I don't think it runs, so give me 50!" I
thought what the hell, I mean this thing looked just out of the box. I
bought it, turns out the people who bought it only got it to power their
house because of a prolonged outage due to storms. They just said it didn't
work right to get the money back. I got it home pulled the cord and it
purrred like a kitten, I plugged in a few things they too worked, then I put
the power demand to it and it still purred. SO I think this qualifies a a
high end gloat....
Great find, I've thought about getting a generator at times, but cannot
justify it from experience with power outages. For $50 I'd grab it.
But sad in a way.
Your good fortune is because of some low life twit that took advantage of
the generous return policy of the store.
Free rental army. It costs us all in the end. When there was a
tremendous rain storm in the Chicago area about nine years ago (17"
in 24 hours in my town), a lot of homes got flooded. A couple of Home
Depots wound up with dozens of wet/dry vacs that clearly had been used
once only to clean up a house and returned. To add insult to the
process, the (ab)users didn't even have the decency to clean them up.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
My next door neighbor had his sewer back up on him yesterday. The plumber
came today and fixed the problem. My neighbor wanted to borrow my wet vac
if I hade one. I though to my self, do I want to lend him my wet vac to
suck up sewerage from his floors? Noooo.. I only have a shop vac, I told
him. Go and rent one was my answer. He went to HD and bought a wet vac,
did his work and indicated that the shop/wet vac was not to expensive and he
would "probably" keep it. "PROBABLY KEEP IT"?????? I said to my self, you
"probably" deserve what you got, backed up sewerage in you house. I wonder
how many other times he has done this.
You know, if you put a Clothes dryer plug on the generator, plug it in where
the dryer would normally plug in, TURN OFF your main breakers, you have
power anywhere in your house if there is a power failure. Just be sure to
Turn OFF the main breaker.
There are a bunch of caveats:
1) it's *dangerous**BAD*THINGS* happen if the generator is plugged in
_and_ the utility power gets connected.
2) If you're inside any sort of 'civilization', it's probably contrary
to building/electrical code.
3) Unless it's a _honkin_big_ generator, it's way too easy to overload
it with the 'household' load. This can result in no power in the house
*and* a dead generator.
*IF* you're planning for 'house power', for extended utility outages,
invest some money, and 'do it right'. That means:
1) Run a sub-panel for the 'critical' circuits.
2) Feed the sub-panel from a single big breaker in the main panel.
3) Install a 'transfer switch' between the main panel and the sub-panel.
4) Connect the generator as the 'other' input to the transfer switch.
OTOH, for those who are the 'live dangerously' type, the following
sequence of steps should be followed _exactly_,*NO*EXCEPTIONS*. There
are multiple reasons why things are in the order they are -- ranging from
a danger of burning out the house wiring and blowing the generator, to
minimizing the instabilities resulting from abrupt load changes on the
Before starting, make sure that the outlet you intend to use for 'feeding'
power to the rest of the house is the _only_ thing on the associated
breaker. If not, *DON'T*USE*THAT*OUTLET* -- find a different one.
When the power goes out:
1) turn off the main breaker -- Note: chief city electrical inspector
here says that the 'normal' 100A/150A/200A breakers are _not_
intended to be used as 'switches'; that a relatively small number
of such cycles (like in the 'low tens' of times) can render it
ineffectual as a breaker.
2) turn off _all_ the individual circuit breakers
3) *PLUG*IN* the generator to the house wiring -- unplugging the
dryer, or other device, if necessary.
4) *START* the generator, and wait for it to stabilize.
5) turn _on_ the breaker feeding that outlet. This applies power to
the entire 'bus' in the panel.
6) turn _on_, *one*by*one*, and waiting at least 10-15 seconds between
each one, the *MINIMUM* number of 'critical' circuits you need
You have an upper-limit on the load capacity, set by the 'dryer
circuit' wiring, and breaker. If your generator has a lower
'steady load' output than that, then the generator is the
limiting factor. GENERALLY, it's a good idea to keep the total
rated capacity of the 'switched on' circuits under 150% of the
When 'utility' power is restored -- something you have *NO*WAY* of telling
about, "in house", then you:
1) turn -off- the 'critical' circuits, one by one, waiting several
seconds (3-5 is sufficient) between each one.
2) turn -off- the breaker feeding the outlet with the generator.
3) stop the generator.
4) DISCONNECT the generator from the house wiring.
5) turn -on- the main breaker.
6) turn -on- all the individual breakers, one-by-one, waiting 5 seconds
or so, between each one.
That is why I twice indicated to not forget to shut off the main circuit
breaker. If you don't the generator would probably quit running immediately
as the strain of trying to power the neighborhood would surely bring it to a
Perhaps but the use of an extension cord is against code in many cases.
As long as everything is turned off that would be a big drain there would be
The whole mention of this by me was to point out that it is more conveinent
to energize the whole house and not have to bring extension cords to the
generator to run things like the freezer and or refrigerator in the event of
a power failure plus a few lights.
Well, since my house was built in the 1800's, I don't think that I am going
to take the chance of just pluggin in my gen, Since power outages here are
few and far between and I can live without TV I will just run the gen to the
fridge and freezer and some lighting.Maybe one day I will go to the trouble
of putting in a transfer switch.
I think that has something to do with the ground. I could be wrong. IIRC
you do not see male polarized plugs if equipped with the 3rd ground prong.
I know that it does not matter how a switch or appliance operates even if
you "force" the incorrect union of this type of plug.
The idea of a polarized plug (and yes, even three prong are polarized, it is
just not necessary to use a wider blade since the plug can only be utilized
in a single manner) is so the device can distinguish reliably between the grounded,
grounding and current carrying conductors.
This is not generally for operational sake but rather for safety sake. Consider
older Television sets, for example, where the grounded (neutral) conductor is used as
a frame ground. If you plug it in backwards, the frame becomes energized. Note
that this configuration is no longer allowed, but older devices still exist.
Or look at a lamp socket. Typically the shell is connected to the grounded
conductor and the inner button connected to the current carrying conductor. Only
the conductor connected to the 'button' is switched, so if, for example, it
were plugged in backwards (or the outlet was miswired), the shell will be
energized all the time - be careful changing that light bulb......
Moral? Don't defeat the polarization and buy a $5.00 tester to check the
polarization of all the outlets in your home.
grounded conductor == neutral == white
grounding conductor == ground == bare/green
current carrying conductor == black/red/etc.
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