But for the purpose, and the uninitiated, it should be edited to read - Purchase several 12ga extention cords and run them out the window to your undersized generator - when it bogs down or shuts off - unplug a few.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
I view this thread with rather mixed feelings. Reality is that during an extended emergency, people are going to get their hands on generators, and they are going to find ways to jury-rig connections into their electrical systems. Is it better to blow them off by telling them, "Too late--you should have hired a pro to put in a transfer switch long before the emergency came," and thus leaving them to their own devices, or is it better to try to improve the situation by telling them where the risks are, and how to make an emergency hookup in a reasonably safe manner?
On the other hand, there really is no "reasonably safe" way to do this without at least one of those sliding interlocks that interlock the main breaker and the upper-right-hand breaker in the panel, because it is otherwise just too easy to cross-connect the generator with the grid. So all you can really do is bring them from "extraordinarily dangerous" down to "extremely dangerous."
This is rather like being caught between Scylla and Charybdis.
[This message has been edited by SolarPowered (edited 12-30-2006).]
If they can get online to look at Wikipedia for advice, things must not be all that bad at the moment....
I agree though for the most part Solar, and I hate to admit I have done one of these tie in's before for a girlfriends mom back in the day when they were without power for about 4 days.. But I actually pulled the meter out of the socket and set a blank, along with disconnecting the main C/B. I had 2 air-breaks from the utility. Would I ever do it again? Likely not...
But people who aren't electricians or at least from an electrical background will attempt crazy things in periods of desperation... But things like this wikipedia page just plant dangerous ideas in peoples heads from the start... I'd much rather tell people to run a generator with a couple extension cords and maybe a power strip for TV or radio and keeping the fridge going, than trying to show a DIY how to goof up his panel...
That is really not true. There are plenty of people with laptops and the phone is usually the last utility to go. I have never been totally offline after a hurricane but the cable is always out for weeks. Last time I just ran an orange cord to the inverters in my cars and we had TV and the computer. I usually get power back in a day but I have a major substation at the end of my street and the FPL guy for our area lives across the street.