Without power for 36 hours

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Without power for 36 hours

Unread postby Terry » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:36 pm

We were surprisingly without power for 36 hours at the house. Since I host my websites from home, this was somewhat of an issue. The server farm ran on battery for about 7 hours then dropped dead. I decided to use the RV genset and gave her an oil change and then booted her up for work. The thing successfully ran the following 24 hours powering my server farm, the fridge, a few lights, laptops and phone chargers and I occasionally made a hot cup of coffee. The only problem is that my old house breaker panel does not have a master disconnect, so I was unable to use the generator to power our gas furnace. So we have been pretty cold for a bit.

The passive fiber that gives us Internet stayed up the entire time but local cable tv did not. Their distribution boxes need power apparently.

So all is well finally and we're back to normal. I'd like to thank my Lesharo 3500 watt genset for keeping my sites up and running. Didnt even take 1/4 tank of gas from the rig.

I need to add a main disconnect/manual transfer switch to the front of our old Federal breaker panel so I can do some useful stuff next time. Anyone up for some a house wiring party in Texas? :) I need to figure out the best way to go about pulling our power meter so I can do the addition.
1984 Lesharo, 3.8 Chrysler, Plano, Texas, USA
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Re: Without power for 36 hours

Unread postby mloganusda » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:49 pm

Terry, you might call a local electrical contractor or the power company to come out and pull the electric meter for you to replace the whole electrical panel. If you do not have a main disconnect on your electrical panel, I think this is not up to code anywhere. If you do not want to replace your electrical panel, you will need to wire in a disconnect switch between your meter and inside panel. It may take paying an electrician to do the work as when I had a bad main breaker go bad, the electrician call the power company to let them know they were breaking the seal to the electric meter to make repairs. After repairs, they replaced the meter and the electric company sent out a worker to reseal the meter. This is so you do not steal power without paying for it. I have relatives in Frisco, Texas but do not know if they lost power. Keep warm.
Mike Logan
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Smyrna, TN
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Re: Without power for 36 hours

Unread postby Rick H » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:54 pm

Terry,
I'm sure the rules are similar in your country as it is in ours. The power company will remove the meter under the conditions of a permit, usually taken out by the electrical contractor, then the work can be completed and depending on your local rules, the meter can be installed then or after an inspection by the state, ( provincial), inspector.
When we had ours done the local contractor was approved to complete the work, then the local utility installed the meter and the inspector came by a week or two later.
And like Mike said there is a seal on the meter that needs to be intact, usually installed by the local utility.
Hope it helps,
Rick
Rick and Cathy from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
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Re: Without power for 36 hours

Unread postby populuxe » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:02 pm

It's kinda weird how you can sell power to the utility (with a permitted interconnection done by an electrician) but during an outage, you'd be attempting to power up the whole neighborhood and your generator would fail.
I think what your talking about is an automatic transfer switch, and the price is very reasonable.
Chris Christensen Wisconsin, USA
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Re: Without power for 36 hours

Unread postby Rick H » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:19 am

Chris,
If the unit is installed properly, it will not try to power up the main incoming line during an outage.
We had an unfortunate incident locally when someone incorrectly connected a generator to their house and when the linesmen were doing repairs due to fallen tree branches, one of the men was electrocuted and died. Very sad and shows just how important it is to make sure the hookups are correct.
This also applies to wind and solar power systems.
Rick
Rick and Cathy from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
88 LeSharo 2.2L gas auto

We drive in 'NANAZBUS'.
Our grandchildren love it.
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Re: Without power for 36 hours

Unread postby Ray Charbonneau » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:52 am

To all,
As a licensed electrician and a Floridian, I can attest to what Rick cautions about.
It's very important to have the mains disconnected when using a generator to power a house during an outage.
That very same thing happened during the Charley, Francis, Jean hurricanes that criss-crossed Florida during 2005.
I have done many generator plug installs on homes since then and have printed explicit instructions so that someones life, a homeowner or power lineman, may not be cut short due to electrocution. Please use a transfer switch when using a generator.
Always use a licensed electrician!!!
Ray
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