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Re: Google Wiki-How #73561 12/31/06 01:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,432
Lostazhell Offline
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.

You must have a better designed phone system in FLA.. Not to mention the new hype of "internet phone service". The phone co (SBC) has had capacity problems here keeping up with all the new construction, but the cable co was on the ready with internet phone and is plucking off SBC business bigtime.
As I remember as well, when the power was out, the local ISP phone numbers didn't pick up (assuming the UPS batteries had exhausted themselves someplace)... Not that you couldn't connect to one out of the area though...
I see your point though Greg... I just can't picture losing power and half my yard being blown 4 blocks away.. then thinking, "Hey I'm gonna google a way to get a gennie going on the house.." It just seems more like someone looking for a weekend "preparedness" project kinda thing..

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Google Wiki-How #73562 12/31/06 12:42 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 167
brianl703 Offline
All of the telephone "remotes" (small slave switches connected via fiber to the master CO downtown--they are in single-story buildings about 20 feet by 20 feet) here are backed up with a diesel generator. They of course also have battery backup.

Several years ago, many smaller ISPs did not have diesel generators or sometimes even adequate UPS capacity. They were too busy spending the money on wall-mount plasma displays, conference room interior decorating, and Aeron office chairs to be concerned about such mundane things.

Now most ISPs outsource their dialup access to companies that specialize in this. They do a much better job of it.

Re: Google Wiki-How #73563 01/02/07 02:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 176
PEdoubleNIZZLE Offline
Honestly, I feel chances are if someone has to go online to figure out how to connect a generator to the house wiring, they don't know enough to do it to code. The new article should just read "Call an electrician."

A lot of people turn to the net with good intentions to learn how to do stuff, but electricity isn't for the weekend warrior. They don't have enough knowledge of code, and more importantly, they don't have the experience to know what could go wrong and plan around it.

When I put a generator in my old house, I made sure to do stuff like torque the lugs properly, deal with box and conduit fill, and bending EMT. Most people who read the article probably wouldn't know the difference between the black wire and white wire.

Although the new version does look tons better than the old version. Kudos to yaktx!

Re: Google Wiki-How #73564 01/02/07 11:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,496
gfretwell Online Content
AOL has actually done very well in the hurricanes here. I have always been able to get one of the dial in lines to work. In the 22 years I have been here I don't think my phone has ever really been out. Power has gone a few times and the cable is out once a month. That is one reason why I will never get cable based phone service. After Charlie we even lost NexTel fort a day but I still had dial tone on my landline.
I got online, just to tell folks I was OK but since the cable was out I ended up doing my regular online stuff to keep amused. We really only get one snowy channel over the air and they were "all storm all of the time". You can only watch so much of twisted up pan roof and flooded streets you have no intention of driving on.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Google Wiki-How #73565 01/02/07 02:12 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
ghost307 Offline
I usually get a laugh out of the DIY shows on cable TV; since they always take illegal short cuts and then show a disclaimer when coming back from the commercials to "consult your local Codes".
Yesterday one of them was showing how to finish a basement using furring strips glued to the basement cement block wall.
They notched the 'studs' and festooned the Romex from one to another (no fasteners) saying that "It doesn't look too nice, but no one will ever see it".
They then pointed out that this was the preferred way to do this, since "if you want to add a cable, there's plenty of room left in the notch".
I always knew that they considered the Codes an impediment to their half-vast ideas, but I now have to wonder how you add a cable to the notched studs...once the drywall is in place??

Re: Google Wiki-How #73566 01/02/07 04:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 152
Ann Brush Offline
This is an interesting discussion. Here is the crux of the matter:
John Doe and family, having just survived an ice storm (together with 10 000 others) have decided they need to repower the house, specifically the furnace and the well pump - because right now there is no heat and no water and nowhere else to go (all hotels within 100 mi are all full if you could get there anyway) and the kids are cold and where will they sleep.

The priorities are as follows:
1) Get generator and by association get heat and water
2) Dig out from storm
3) EVERYTHING else can wait

Things like code, linemen saftey and electrician don't enter the picture, they can't be had for love or money right now. In any case it's kind of the lineman's / electricians / POCO fault because the wires weren't strong enough to withstand the storm etc etc

There are two types of folk with regard to the generator wiring. Those who will wire it up (regardless of weather they know how or not) and those who wouldn't dare. The latter we don't need to worry about, but the former are a real problem.

For the electrical pioneers out there they are going to connect it up one way or the other - with or without Wiki-how, blown TV's or not, they dont care or don't know enough to know they should care. They will be connecting the INTERNAL wiring of the house to a generator because simply running extension cords to specific items does not solve either of their two biggest (only?) issues: HEAT and WATER.

The new reworded Wiki-how does nothing for John Doe in this situation - he needs the information now. It's kind of like saying to someone who's leg has been severed and is in the middle of the jungle - I'm terribly sorry I can't inject the morphine, I am not a doctor and you don't have a prescription. What you should have done is have a physician write one out for you before you needed it. For John Doe "Code" doesn't enter into the equation here - he couldn't care two hoots about the code - plus the fact that live 7.2kV lines are across his yard makes cable support intervals seem a little trivial.

So the question is: Do we as electricians provide reliable information in good faith that it is not used as a substitute for our services or do we say "You should have got an electrician" and allow them to soldier on ingnorance to their and possibly our detriment?

Edited for typo

[This message has been edited by Ann Brush (edited 01-02-2007).]

Re: Google Wiki-How #73567 01/02/07 07:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 109
Grover Offline
While I agree with most of the sentiments expressed here, there is another dimension to the problem.

Recently, in Windham, Maine, a father and son lost their lives due to carbon monixide poisioning (I'd post the article, by my newspaper charges me to access archived stories).

The long and short of it was that, the POCO shut off their power for non payment sometime before Thanksgiving. (there is a block on this kind of shutoff here betweeen mid-November and mid-April - I don't know the details). At any rate, they connected a generator, and had it running in the basement. Somehow, after several weeks, the door that was providing ventiliation blew shut. It took over an hour before anyone was allowed in the building due to CO levels.

I don't know about the code compliance in this case, but when I install a genset and hookup, I spend a bit of time educating the homeowner on the other aspects of a safe genset installation. I make sure the cord is long enough to reach outside the garage, shed or barn. I tell them how to protect the running generator from ice and snow - DON'T PUT IT INSIDE! - and usually go back for a no-charge visit if the generator is not already on site when I do my hookup - surprising the number of calls I get via word-of-mouth....

My 2 cents........

Re: Google Wiki-How #73568 01/02/07 07:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 214
Elviscat Offline
We recently had a wind storm here in the NW that kocked out power all around, a bunch of people, especially people for whom english was no their first language, died by running gennie inside the house, I think in one apartment building the death toll was over a dozen, hyperbaric chambers (needed for severe cases) were full in all regional hospitals... so I would have to agree that CO warnings are, ultimately, more important than electrical ones, in the short term

Re: Google Wiki-How #73569 01/02/07 08:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 109
Grover Offline
Did some poking around - if you're interested, Google Windham, ME carbon monoxide

Perhaps more detail than you want.......


Re: Google Wiki-How #73570 01/02/07 11:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,496
gfretwell Online Content
CO poisoning is the biggest single cause of death from hurricanes, even worse than electricution, which is up on the list. Actually getting killed in the storm is fairly rare. Most storm related death happens after the storm when the generators and orange cords come out.

I just put in a 150 gallon propane tank for my pool heater. That 15-20kva genny is looking a little more attractive now. [Linked Image]

Greg Fretwell
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