Anyone out there have horror stories about generators? Here in NJ people are installing them everywhere. In one town alone, I have already inspected almost 60 gens. in just 2 months. That doesn't even count what we did last year. The poor EC's out there are getting different answers about the gens in different towns. Some EC's can't get past the permit stage in some towns. Keep in mind that these are just Optional stand by systems. Not required systems.
There is a North Carolina inspector on one of the other BBs (InspectPA) who makes a case that virtually none of these homeowner grade generator installations are legal. (No breaker interlocks, no unlisted generators etc) On the other hand he has no problem with just about anything you can do with cords (hot wiring the furnace fan etc)
We had an interesting discussion and just agreed to disagree
1 gen-set I had to straighten out was a generac 17kw unit an installer had placed 18inches from the dwelling...which is allowed with their listed unit...but he had the exhaust end pointing at the dwelling!
The gas was hard piped into the unit without the 12inch flex hose.
The SE rated transfer switch didn't have the GEC relocated to it.
The grounds and neutrals were not seperated at the now sub-panel.
They used 18-6 bell wire for the controll, utility sense wiring.
I have heard that one town here in my county won't allow the genset to be installed anymore. They claim that there is not enough gas pressure to go around. Another town did the same thing but only on 1 street.
Not enough gas? I never thought of that Harold. But if you think about it, all those generators add up to alot of fuel consumption.
But, would a property owner be able to hook up a gen-set to their own propane storage tank?
The natural gas issue is important. One case of a resi gen that started & ran, but...the neighbors standing pilot lights all went out resulting in a no heat issue, broken pipes & a damaged (water) basement as no one was in that home.
We have a 'load calc' that has to be submitted to PSE&G (Gas & Electric Utility) and another that goes to Elizabethtown Gas, depending on the area for gas utility.
Yes, whole house gens are plentiful. I don't have a count on the permit apps just for gens, but we are over 1000 for jan & Feb.
Another horror story I heard was an EC went to install a genset and the zoning officer wanted a survey of the property as to where the genset was going to be placed. OK, the EC said, I will draw up a plan. The Zoning officer said NO. He wanted a survey signed and sealed by a land surveyor. The EC said that it could cost over $1000, but the zoning officer didn't care. No survey, no genset.
FWIW, the first stop for anyone applying for a permanent gen install, is our Zoning Officers Office. A COPY of a survey is required, indicating the proposed gen location. This is required for setback dimensions.
After Zoning, they come to the Building (Construction) Dept for Fire, Elec, Plumb & Building Permit apps.
Will your town accept a hand drawn survey or do they require signed and sealed survey?
They want a plot plan here but not a stamped survey
A copy of the current survey works. On occasion, they may ask to 'see' an original.
Think about installing a shed, or a gen & having to fork over the going price for a new survey. I wonder how much they would charge to sign & seal copies that a HO brought to the surveyor, as long as it's the same guy.
I also heard that another town will not allow gensets because they genset will be louder than the noise ordinance will allow. So the zoning officer does not permit gens of any kind in his town.
I haven't heard that there is a 'noise' issue. There is concerns with the adequate supply of natural gas in some neighborhoods.
If you find one with a cut sheet that has a equal or lower noise level than the ordnance what would he do?
Might reach into his bag of reasons for another excuse.
Sounds to me like you are going to see a lot of generators running off cords and when the noise cops come, in the garage.
Are they as strict on manual generators?
The newer style panel covers are AWESOME they provide interlock protection between the utility and your standby, however a lot of people use those isolating type transfer switches around here(Washington State)I don't like them as much because you are set in stone as to which circuits will work during outage. The factory panel cover with interlock is great because you can use what ever circuits you want by simply flipping breakers.
Of course the gas generators have a major drawback(GAS) that limits them to 2-3 days of fuel and major storms out east seem to last WEEKS, but if natural gas pressure drops all those people who thought they were ready for the next storm might be pissed when their generator conks out.
I have to check with the EC who told me that story about the zoning officer to see which town it was. However you would be right to say that if the town just doesn't want gensets, they will make up any excuse that the can find.
The homeowner could always use a quiet indoor type generator.
I saw one at a homeshow. It is just a large UPS I think. Here is a link to one I searched...http://www.ussafetysolutions.com/mm5/pdf/VSP900AH.pdf
I don't know if it's on my end or not, but the link does not open, it only downloads?
I think its a file type with the latest version of adobe acrobat reader?
You beat me too it. Try updating you adobe reader
That looks like 4 golf cart batteries, a charger and a 6kw inverter.
If they want more than a grand for it they are just greedy.
They use so many terms incorrectly and in such an ambiguous way it is really hard to say what they have there.
It is off!