Re: Electrical Question #2
- From: --D-y <dustoyevsky@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 14:43:08 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 28, 3:37 pm, JustWait <justwaitafrekinmin...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 12/28/2011 2:20 PM, --D-y wrote:
On Dec 27, 6:11 pm, "Steve Freides"<st...@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
An update - the electrician just left.
The Good News: my shortie, male-to-male cord was just fine.
The Bad News: we weren't tripping circuit breakers on the generator,
just the ground fault detector. I actually knew the difference and
should have said that - and should have thought about that, too, but I
The electrician ran a wire from a ground terminal on the generator to a
screw on a cover of an electrical box in the garage and thought that
would solve the problem, but it didn't.
Note that the test environment was what I did for my second try - all
individual breakers are turned off _and_ the mains are turned off, so
there's no load at all - at least in principle - on the generator.
The electrician's next suggestion was to again switch off the mains and
all the breakers, but instead of connecting to an outlet in the garage,
run an extension cord into the house and connect to something inside.
He said it could be that there's a ground problem of some sort in the
run from the house to the garage. If - the big "if" - it work when
connected in the house, then the solution would be to, during the next
storm, shut all the breakers to the garage because turning them on would
cause the same ground fault.
And if _that_ doesn't work, then we're back to just using extension
cords like we did last time, run from the generator in the garage into
the house, and not use the house wiring.
It's all very interesting and I'm enjoying the education.
To the people who suggested a transfer switch, it's been deemed
prohibitively expense. Requires a $200+ permit, plus hardware, plus
labor, plus there's no room where our main panel is, and the estimate
for the job was between $1000 and $1500 for parts, labor, and permits.
That's not going to happen.
Even the pros can't always know what's up without poking around.
I've had a licensed inspector (employed prior to selling a house) go
all ga-ga about a fire hazard with old wiring in a detached garage. If
he'd bothered to put a tester on there anyplace, he'd have seen the
wiring was "dead". One of the first things done before or shortly
after move-in was to have the real electrician pull those wires out of
the breaker box, and cut all "supply" up to the first fixture, so that
the bad stuff couldn't be readily hooked back up by anyone in the
Luckily I saw the exchange between the inspector and my prospective
buyer. I let the guy finish and got my buyer straightened out.
Whatever. I really wanted to tell the inspector to "leave the premises
right now before I call the cops" but I was trying to sell a house...
Moral of the story: don't believe anyone when it comes to touching
anything yourself, test test test and be safe!
I was trying not to get all preachy and shit but the danger in
backfeeding has not been addressed that I have seen in this thread and
it seems there a couple here that will back me up, hopefully...;)
Anyway, the fact is, simply turning off the breaker does not guarantee a
safe break from the main power at the pole or provide linemen total
safety. The ground back is not severed and if you have ground issues on
your end from a storm or whatever, technically power can go back and
kill someone working on the pole. Now, I know some folks say it can't
but ask the two guys doing time in CT for manslaughter and the families
of the two linemen that were killed when a tree branch came down and
connected them to a hot ground that was being fed by a generator backfed
into a business... Just sayin'.
Fact is, if you don't have a transfer switch, you shouldn't backfeed the
house... Granted, it's a very long shot that enough can go wrong to feed
the ground, but it can happen. Especially when you consider most times
when someone is using a generator it's because shit is going to shit
around them... If you are gonna' do it, make sure your homeowners is
paid up and you are free for say, uh, 15 to life...:/
Not "preachy", but shared experience posted as a warning.
Those "factors" have a way of adding up and overcoming "long shot"
I"ve read about airplane crashes; thanks to the FAA investigations,
those get pretty well figured out and there is usually a mounting pile
of "a little of this, a little of that" and then the plane falls out
of the sky or runs into something.
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