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#28303 - 08/15/03 07:35 PM The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
A little blurb on Channel 5 TV about portable generators selling out just sparked this thought in my head (uh ohh).

I'm guessing a lot of people buy these gennies with the two-cycle gas engines and hook them via jumpercables with alligator clips directly up to the panel bus bars in the house.

I'm thinking this is EXTREMELY dangerous because when you hook these things up you're also sending current back out the main, to the pole pig, etc. etc. You get the idea.

This would be extremely dangerous to the lineys working to resolve the power outage.

Comments? Corrections?

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 08-18-2003).]

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#28304 - 08/15/03 07:59 PM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
targetshootr Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 55
Loc: nc
i think most people know to turn the main off but not always. a lineman here died a couple of years ago and it probably happens every year across the country.

maybe they should be sold like heating/ac equipment; only to licensed contractors.

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#28305 - 08/15/03 08:45 PM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
well i see alot of place includeing my shop i do sell the generators and by the state law i have to put a waring sign on it to let other peoples know that when run portable generators and stronly advise them to use the transfer switch to advoid some probem and i know few peoples did jerryrigged somekind of connetion and i told them they have to remove it and use the proper transfer switch for the house or commercal bulding and there are few manufacters can make transfer switch for proper useage

if need more question just ask me


merci marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#28306 - 08/15/03 08:52 PM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
classicsat Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
http://www.haywired.com/generator/pageindex.htm

'Nuff said.

Read the forum and the furnace hitch up scheme.

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#28307 - 08/15/03 09:09 PM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
Spark Master Flash Offline
Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 145
Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Just so you know...generators have four stroke engines, not two stroke.
_________________________
"When in doubt, short it out"

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#28308 - 08/15/03 09:13 PM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
George Corron Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 728
Loc: Lorton, Va USA
Sven,
I was involved in several areas during Y2K. One article I wrote and handed out to lots of strange groups was on generator safety. Then got involved with a ham on Channel 4 news who also spread the word.

Most homeowners would not consider the jumper cable routine, but will not hesitate to proclaim themselves geniuses when they think of installing 2 male cord caps and backfeeding their dryer/welder/A/C outlet. They do not think about turning off their mains, and this is VERY dangerous to lineys. I warned all my guys at the time, and sent up the red flag to all in the area through Civil Defense type organizations (they were taken over by Hams years ago as RACES [Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service] or ARES {Amateur Radio Emergency Service}, in some states they perform seperate functions, in VA they are one and the same.

It is something that cannot be said enough though, so sing out proudly.

The only consolation is the thought of some genius trying to feed an entire circuit with a 5 KW Coleman he bought at the big orange box.... Let's face it, it ain't gonna last long.

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#28309 - 08/15/03 11:30 PM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Guys,
I would have thought that a Transfer Switch or a Contactor would be mandatory for ANY stand-by power system?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#28310 - 08/16/03 01:57 AM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
This is another good reason for securely grounding a circuit before working on it.

Generators aren't all that common in my area, but those who have considered one have often tried to go down the "just connect it to the nearest wall socket" route.

The price of a transfer switch and proper installation has deterred quite a few, although I don't doubt they've gone with the exdtension cord route.

I bet that Haywired Tom was really pleased with that pass-thru idea!

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#28311 - 08/16/03 03:52 AM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
walrus Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 671
Loc: Bangor Me. USA
During the ice storm in 98 many homes in Maine went without power for a week, others for more than 2 weeks, Generators were everywhere. The funny thing is, I don't remember any line workers getting hurt but several people died from carbon monoxide poisoning when they put the generator in their basement

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#28312 - 08/16/03 05:46 AM Re: The danger of using portable generators during a power outage...
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Sven, targetshootr,
The only situation where a Liney would get a shock off the lines fed by one of these Genny's is if they were STUPID enough to touch Lines that they knew COULD be live.
Most Liney's carry non-contact Voltage testers for LV work and Insulated Gloves, although all the stupid ones DON'T wear them!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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