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Old 07-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #61
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On the subject of generators. The power at our restaurant went out yesterday. DO NOT.... DO NOT underestimate the stupidity of humanity. Things will go downhill FAST if a disaster strikes! People did not grasp the concept of us not being able to cook without power. People getting angry because their credit cards didn't work. Wow.

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Old 07-18-2012, 10:11 PM   #62
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their credit cards didn't work.

You should not have tried running the credit card over the candle......

and for folks that have to deal directly with the public, visit notalwaysright.com It is a "safe for work" sort of site- they publish 3 or 4 short tales a day from waiters, cashiers, help desk staff, librarians.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:05 PM   #63
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I know you have to have some sort of auto power transfer control unit to cut off from the main line
You only need one of those if you have a standby generator that runs itself. The Generac standbys come with one. What about your water? City or well? We pump our own water, and it's the biggest draw we planned on. We have 240V well pump, fridge, freezer, and propane HW heater. All that has to run at once. With our 8KW, I'm sure we can do it, and also some other stuff.

Also, sniper, be careful with propane. You are dependent on someone bringing it to you. Who says they will be able to/will? Unless you get a HUGE 1000 Gal tank. That kind of setup will cost you big $$$. And if you have a standby that runs itself, don't forget, with out your saying otherwise, it'll run the entire time the power's out. Major fuel usage.

My setup from soup to nuts cost me $2000 even. I plan on being plenty comfortable in an outage, albeit with a little work involved....but the power does not go out frequently here, either.

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but the plastic cam gives me too much concern to trust it with such an important job.
Vincent, I don't suppose you have some info to back that up, do you? Seems like making a camshaft out of plastic couldn't be done, not with it being a rotating part that has gears, and other parts that ride on it at high speed, ect.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:32 AM   #64
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i know this is late, but i always wondered why generators gave wattage and not amperage too................this is what information i need!!! but to over-simplify things just take the Wattage (W) and divide it by the Voltage (V) of output used (120V or 240V), that will tell you the actual Amperage output of your generator.

FOR 120V:
5000W (5kW) generator: 5000W/120V = 41.66 amps or 40 amps, subtract about 20% for safe operating usage (deviation) and now 41.66 amps x (0.20) = 8.33, 41.66 amps - 8.33 deviation = 33.33 safe amp draw @ 120 Volts

FOR 240V:
5000W (5kW) generator: 5000W/240V = 20.833 amps or 20 amps, subtract about 20% for safe operating usage (deviation) and now 20.833 amps x (0.20) = 4.166, 20.833 amps - 4.166 deviation = 16.667 safe amp draw @ 240 Volts.

when i refer to safe amperage, i am referrin to enough amperage to start a compressor motor (fridge, freezer, A/C, etc) from a dead stop.........the "safe" part of that is, not burnin your compressor motor, capacitor, or generator up.

find out how much your current draw (amperage) needs to be and then figure out the size kW generator to buy to suit your needs.

AS FOR THE WIRING ISSUE, SOME SORT OF DISCONNECT FROM THE TRANSFORMER IS THE SAFEST AND BEST WAY TO APPROACH THE SITUATION.

BACKFEEDIN IS A GREAT WAY TO GET SOMEONE KILLED!!!

BUT IF YOU "MUST" DO IT THAT WAY, GO TO YOUR METER PANEL AND PULL YOUR METER! YOU MAY JUST SAVE A LINEMAN'S LIFE!

my dad was a lineman for a rural electric company for 48 years. be safe people.

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Old 08-01-2012, 10:21 AM   #65
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Ummm, isn't fiddling with the meter a huge no-no? That means if the power is on, not only would it be a HUGE safety issue, but you could then by pass it & get electricity for free.

Also, generators DO come with a spec. for amps. Mine pushes 8K Watts, @ 30 amps. If I'm not mistaken, the plug on the generator actually says that....and the manual will for sure.

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:01 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by clr8ter View Post
Ummm, isn't fiddling with the meter a huge no-no? That means if the power is on, not only would it be a HUGE safety issue, but you could then by pass it & get electricity for free.

Also, generators DO come with a spec. for amps. Mine pushes 8K Watts, @ 30 amps. If I'm not mistaken, the plug on the generator actually says that....and the manual will for sure.
The meter belongs to the power company and they put a seal on it. Pulling it while the power is off is one thing…but plugging it back in after the power comes back on might be REALLY dangerous. My transformer is rated at 20 KW, so at least that amount is available before the circuit breaker out on the line opens. One consolation, if anything goes wrong you'll never know it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:48 PM   #67
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being a lineman's son helps tho...

yes it is illegal to pull the meter and "jump" across the contacts, but in that case, "stupid is as stupid does."

but in the case of an emergency you can call your power company to come and "re-install" the meter after the emergency is over..............BUUUTTTTT a meter is "NEVER REALLY PULLED UNLESS THERE IS DEFINITIVELY NO RESIDENTS LIVING AT THE LOCATION AND NOONE IS PAYING FOR ELECTRICITY AFTER SO MANY MONTHS." if a disconnection is arranged by the power company due to non-payment, all they do is come out, cut the wire lock, open the meter box, pull the meter, place two plastic covers over the two, lower male, metal insert contacts, and put the meter back from where it came in the meter box and a new wire lock is placed back on the meter panel. the meter still gets power from the transformer, but because of the plastic covers, it is not transferred through to your house. when a re-connect is arranged, the procedure is performed in reverse...........the wire lock is cut, the meter is pulled, the plastic covers are removed and the meter is put back. then the meter panel is closed and another wire lock is put on the panel.

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Old 08-01-2012, 09:01 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clr8ter View Post
Ummm, isn't fiddling with the meter a huge no-no? That means if the power is on, not only would it be a HUGE safety issue, but you could then by pass it & get electricity for free.

Also, generators DO come with a spec. for amps. Mine pushes 8K Watts, @ 30 amps. If I'm not mistaken, the plug on the generator actually says that....and the manual will for sure.
messing with the meter IS a no-no, but whatcha gonna do in an emergency??????? it's actually the safest way to connect your generator without getting someone down the line killed.

yes and no. the plug has a built in breaker if i'm not mistaken. the breaker is what is rated @ 30 amps...................actually the total amperage of an 8kW unit is

8000W/120V = 66.66 amps or about 60 amps (minus the 20% of course)

@ 240 volts your statement would be close to correct tho

8000W/240V = 33.33 amps or about 30 amps (minus the 20% of course)
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:34 PM   #69
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I wouldn't suggest anyone pull a meter, pulling it in the outage isn't hazardous but they may try to put it back in after power is restored and they could get hurt or killed if they don't know what they are doing, also our power company doesn't like it at all if you mess with the meter, as far as a safe method, I find switching off the main breaker to be a far easier and safer method of disconnecting from the power grid than pulling out a meter.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #70
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messing with the meter IS a no-no, but whatcha gonna do in an emergency??????? it's actually the safest way to connect your generator without getting someone down the line killed.
Are you kidding???? No it's not. There are 2 products that pass code, (transfer switch, Interlock switch), that to the best of my knowledge are the only 2 legal ways to do it. I would feed my panel back thru a breaker with no interlock switch before I EVER touched the meter. (Although I do have the interlock switch installed)

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@ 240 volts your statement would be close to correct tho
Well, yeah, why would I be talking 120? In order to feed both sides of the panel, you need 240. That plug on the generator is rated at 30 amps.

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I wouldn't suggest anyone pull a meter, pulling it in the outage isn't hazardous but they may try to put it back in after power is restored and they could get hurt or killed if they don't know what they are doing, also our power company doesn't like it at all if you mess with the meter, as far as a safe method, I find switching off the main breaker to be a far easier and safer method of disconnecting from the power grid than pulling out a meter.
Agreed
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