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Malsua

Isaias - Sump pumps ready?

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My side of the lake got it last night about 5pm.  This morning while walking Fitz, I could hear generators across the lake and see almost no lights.   

The traffic lights on 23 were out in a lot of places including through the main part of Butler/Riverdale.  Zoom zoom, no slowing down!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Malsua said:

The traffic lights on 23 were out in a lot of places

I'm surprised at the number of traffic lights that were not hooked up to gennys.  After Sandy, all but the most minor intersections had generators connected.  At least in Monmouth.

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About 20% of the homes in our town are without power.  Can't believe how many people now have generators!  Walking around some of the neighborhoods, it's hard to hear above the din of all of them.  Long lines at the gas stations that are open, as people scramble to fill gas cans.  Serious question to those of you with them:  Can people really not go a couple of days without power?

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16 minutes ago, Old Glock guy said:

About 20% of the homes in our town are without power.  Can't believe how many people now have generators!  Walking around some of the neighborhoods, it's hard to hear above the din of all of them.  Long lines at the gas stations that are open, as people scramble to fill gas cans.  Serious question to those of you with them:  Can people really not go a couple of days without power?

Too many variables to answer that question.  For me, it's mainly about the sump pump and keeping the basement dry.  Second tier is my well water and toilets, along with keeping the fridges running.  I can do without lights and air conditioning, but the other members of my household cannot.

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54 minutes ago, Old Glock guy said:

About 20% of the homes in our town are without power.  Can't believe how many people now have generators!  Walking around some of the neighborhoods, it's hard to hear above the din of all of them.  Long lines at the gas stations that are open, as people scramble to fill gas cans.  Serious question to those of you with them:  Can people really not go a couple of days without power?

If you are on a well and septic, as I am, when you are without power, it's sorta a big deal.   This is why I have a 14kw standby generator.

When Sandy hit, my basement would have flooded without the generator.

Some neighbors went 7+ days over a number of storms in the past 10 years.    Just throwing a bag of ice in your fridge doesn't cut it.    Putting it in a cooler with some, you can keep some stuff but after about day 5, it's a soggy mess.  You end up losing most of your frozen stuff and some of your refrigerated stuff.  In the winter, you can usually put food outside, but hurricanes and ice storms come in the fall and early winter(where it doesn't get freezer cold) tend to be what takes out the power

You can't flush the toilet.   I've collected water outside for a flush, but unless you have a direct source, it's an issue  You can't take a shower, even a cold shower. 

Eventually even your LED lantern's or coleman lanterns run out.

I have moved temporarily to a hotel for a few days, fortunately  the one time I did this I found one near work that had a generator(everywhere else was out).  That virtually guarantees you lose the entire fridge/freezer.

Yes, I will survive.  No I don't want to shit in the woods and not shower.    This is why I have a home.

 

 

 

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Pretty much the above. I have a generator for well water and heat... anything else is an extra like a warm shower.

We can use the stove top and keep some lights on. I shut the gen off at night and if we're not home. I still want to build a battery bank for my wood stove blower with an inverter. 

I found that on a 29 degree day. If i left my house for work at 7 and returned at 5ish,  the house dropped down to 59 degrees with everything off.  imagine what the temps would be after 4 days?

You can have unlimited Nat gas to your house, but no power no heat. Most people can sweat it out in the summer, a winter outage can be brutal on not just you but your home as well. 

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3 hours ago, CMJeepster said:

Too many variables to answer that question.  For me, it's mainly about the sump pump and keeping the basement dry.  Second tier is my well water and toilets, along with keeping the fridges running.  I can do without lights and air conditioning, but the other members of my household cannot.

For me it's the frozen food in my large freezer. Over $500.That and we have no water without power as we have a well. I only run the genny about 8 hours a day at two 4 hour intervals and that keeps the freezer in the low 20's at the highest. having electric to charge the phones and run the PC and get on the net is a bonus especially since my wife works from home.

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3 hours ago, JackDaWack said:

I shut the gen off at night and if we're not home. I still want to build a battery bank for my wood stove blower with an inverter. 

A battery bank is the way to go if you have a generator. There's no need to run the genny just to keep a few lights on. I have two battery banks and inverters. I fire up the genny for a hour or two, to get the fridges cold, and I charge the batteries at the same time.

Then, when the genny is off, we run off the batteries for lights, charging devices, running a stereo or TV, etc. Then, like every 4 - 5 hours, I'll fire up the genny again, and go through the cycle. During Sandy, we also did a load of laundry during that time and ran the furnace.

Running the genny on this cycle, I can go almost 3 days on one tank of fuel. And, I don't have to listen to the genny racket all day long.

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Annnnnd...... it's out again.  Went down around 1600.

I always wondered what it's like to live in Venezuela.  Now I don't have to wonder any more.

EDIT:  Just received an OEM robocall.  Power surge demand fried a substation which caused a chain reaction that killed several transformers, which in turn, fried some lines.  Was assured that "JCP&L is working feverishly" to restore power.

Fun.

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5 hours ago, JackDaWack said:

 I still want to build a battery bank for my wood stove blower with an inverter. 
 

Didn't see this earlier.  I used to use a Deep Cycle 12v battery and a 900watt inverter to run the fans on our insert.  Back then we didn't have a furnace, the insert was our primary heat source.  The deep cycle ran the fans about 12 hours.  That was the longest outage where we used it, it may have gone even longer, I dunno.

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6 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

Annnnnd...... it's out again.  Went down around 1600.

I always wondered what it's like to live in Venezuela.  Now I don't have to wonder any more.

EDIT:  Just received an OEM robocall.  Power surge demand fried a substation which caused a chain reaction that killed several transformers, which in turn, fried some lines.  Was assured that "JCP&L is working feverishly" to restore power.

Fun.

Just Can't Provide Light. I'm calling an electrical contractor tomorrow to make an appointment to size a nat gas standby generator. I've had enough. 

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4 hours ago, ChrisJM981 said:

Just Can't Provide Light. I'm calling an electrical contractor tomorrow to make an appointment to size a nat gas standby generator. I've had enough. 

I would  suggest you do the math on your house and find out what your Max amperage usage is then size your generator appropriately.

Also remember nat gas doesn't have as many BTU as propane, so the advertised rating of most standby gensets you see is the propane value.  The Nat gas number will be lower(14kw/13kw for example).   Most people are surprised at how little amperage they actually use so don't get a huge one.

You can also buy the generator yourself and do most of the install, leaving the transfer switch to an electrician.  You would need to get the permits yourself.   I did this, I bought mine on Amazon before they started taxing too!.  I poured the pad, got the generator onto the pad, dug the propane trench, got that inspected.  The gas company hooked up the last 3 inches of pipe and the electrician hooked up the transfer switch since they attach it right at your meter.

You may need a different gas regulator.

You could also look into generlink.   My electric company offers this.   It costs about a grand and you hook your portable generator umbilical right at the meter.  It handles the transfer.  The generlink runs about 1k.   You could get an 8-10k portable and go this route and get a tri-fuel kit that runs it off nat gas.   It won't be automatic, but you will be able to run pretty much everything, even small window shaker ACs.

 

 

 

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Fire in HL last night...came up cannistear around 6ish....HL was spooling up....  Mcaffe Chief was flying up breakneck...VERNON was spooling a truck up...

 

Wanna bet that someone backfed the panel via the drier feed?

When will they realize that the cable to those 220v feeds are not sized for genset operations...usually 10g at 30amps as i recall.

You would likely need a 220v 50amp on 6g cable to be effective

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29 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

You would likely need a 220v 50amp on 6g cable to be effective

But... but, those cables are expensive man.

A few years ago, I made a custom cable rated for 50A for a 30A power inlet split to two 15A outlets.  15' of cable, four prong female, four prong male.  I think it cost me about $60 to make it.  Store bought (good brand, not chinese generic off Amazon) was about 2X that price.

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Our neighborhood rarely loses power and we were fortunate not to lose power for more than 16 hours. My wife was looking at going to Home Depot and getting price gouged on a small generator. When we had our house built a few years ago, I had them build a gas outlet for a whole house generator. Starting to think this might be a good year to finally get one. Between that and solar, we should be good.

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2 hours ago, USRifle30Cal said:

Fire in HL last night...came up cannistear around 6ish....HL was spooling up....  Mcaffe Chief was flying up breakneck...VERNON was spooling a truck up...

 

Wanna bet that someone backfed the panel via the drier feed?

When will they realize that the cable to those 220v feeds are not sized for genset operations...usually 10g at 30amps as i recall.

You would likely need a 220v 50amp on 6g cable to be effective

Most portable generators only have a 220v 30amp output, theoretically they should be fine, and that's what breakers are for anyway. Unless of course the wrong gauge wire was paired with the wrong breaker amperage. 

 

 

 

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This storm has exposed issues that I should have been aware of, and a lack of proper situational planning and testing, specifically for my mom.  I'm hella pissed off at myself for letting this happen.  Fuck everything else: August is the month I do all the things I've said/planned/thought about doing, and do them right.

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So I got a manual transfer switch installed years ago (has 5 or 6 circuits running tru) with a 50A male plug installed outside. I'm borrowing a gen which I'm assuming will have a 30A 230 V outlet.

Forget about finding a premade extension cord

So the plan to not burn the house down is:

Get a female 50A plug

Get a male 30A plug

Get 12ft of 6 gauge wire.

Figure out how to wire together this mess and voila?

 

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8 minutes ago, WP22 said:

So I got a manual transfer switch installed years ago (has 5 or 6 circuits running tru) with a 50A male plug installed outside. I'm borrowing a gen which I'm assuming will have a 30A 230 V outlet.

Forget about finding a premade extension cord

So the plan to not burn the house down is:

Get a female 50A plug

Get a male 30A plug

Get 12ft of 6 gauge wire.

Figure out how to wire together this mess and voila?

 

Its 4 wires, and the connection ends are actually pretty easy to set up. Theyre usually labeled and color coded too. Hard to screw up. If you can find the parts that the hard part, the rest will take you 5 minutes. I beleive the terminals on the connectors just screw/clamp down, and there is a sleeve that covers it. 

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8 minutes ago, WP22 said:

So I got a manual transfer switch installed years ago (has 5 or 6 circuits running tru) with a 50A male plug installed outside. I'm borrowing a gen which I'm assuming will have a 30A 230 V outlet.

Forget about finding a premade extension cord

So the plan to not burn the house down is:

Get a female 50A plug

Get a male 30A plug

Get 12ft of 6 gauge wire.

Figure out how to wire together this mess and voila?

 

It depends on the generator.  Some generators are 110v only.  Bigger(most) ones are 110/220.

You really need to figure out if your generator is bonded neutral to ground because your panel is bonded.  If your generator is, the bonding should be split because there should only ever be one path to ground.   It's simply not possible in some generators but not the end of the world.  Just a bit more of an electrocution danger and you should probably drive a spike into the ground and ground your machine.

There are also different types of plugs, most are twistloks, but you need to examine both ends and get the NEMA description like (L14-30R) or such.  YOu need a L14-30P to go into an L14-30R.    Your transfer switch is similar.   L14-50P for example.

 

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It may be possible to replace the receptacle with a standard 30a Nema receptacle from Home Depot.

The plug for that one is not real common and expensive if you can find it.  I see it for $185 from Grainger.

McMaster has a 4 prong receptacle, 30A https://www.mcmaster.com/7164K74/  that might fit right in there, cheaper than the plug for that current one.   You might find a similar thing at Home Depot.

You might be better off just replacing the entire box. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

But... but, those cables are expensive man.

A few years ago, I made a custom cable rated for 50A for a 30A power inlet split to two 15A outlets.  15' of cable, four prong female, four prong male.  I think it cost me about $60 to make it.  Store bought (good brand, not chinese generic off Amazon) was about 2X that price.

What price is too much to carry a load and percentage of overage .....? 

I am not an electrician...but, I would rather oversize than be at the rated cable ampacity rating..

 

Some gennies, I would assume all - have a surge capacity - i think it would be prudent if you estimate you need 30A for essential services - size to at least 40A carrying capacity etc. if not more.  IMO

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

Some gennies, I would assume all - have a surge capacity - i think it would be prudent if you estimate you need 30A for essential services - size to at least 40A carrying capacity etc. if not more.  IMO

 

You really just need to match whatever it says on the generator.   If it's a 30a, then get 10ga wire.  If it's 50a, then get 6ga wire.  

The surge capacity is just built into the response of the breakers.  They can tolerate inrush surges for a X amount of milliseconds without tripping.

The rated amperage of the plug and wire is for 80% nominal load.   If your nominal load exceeds 80% of the rating, then you need some new equipment.    There are 100% continuous load breakers, but you won't see that in consumer grade equipment.  A standard breaker will ultimate overheat and trip at continuous(3 hours+) 100% load.  It will probably trip long before 3 hours.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Malsua said:

 

It may be possible to replace the receptacle with a standard 30a Nema receptacle from Home Depot.

The plug for that one is not real common and expensive if you can find it.  I see it for $185 from Grainger.

McMaster has a 4 prong receptacle, 30A https://www.mcmaster.com/7164K74/  that might fit right in there, cheaper than the plug for that current one.   You might find a similar thing at Home Depot.

You might be better off just replacing the entire box. 

 

 

 

yeah, it was a shocker when I saw the price of the plug; worse is how uncommon it is. but what's what came in the kit.

If I can find what I need, I'll probably just replace it with a 30A nema or replace the whole box. 

I don't need to run all circuits at the same time (well, heater, microwave,  lights/outlets in the kitchen and bathroom and an extra outlet at the panel)

 

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On 8/6/2020 at 6:02 PM, Sniper said:

A battery bank is the way to go if you have a generator.

I wonder if this guy was reading my post here? Oh, and I have a Generac....

........"Aaron Jagdfeld, CEO of Generac, in an appearance on “Closing Bell” said new battery technology has opened the door for households and businesses to become energy independent from the traditional electric grid and break away from centralized systems.

“We think that there is a massive change coming real soon in the grid,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot more decentralized, on-site power generation, from solar to wind. Batteries are a key component of that, of course, because you need to be able to store that energy so that you can use it and deploy it at different times during the day.”

Battery technology is a key component to power decentralized electrical systems, and Generac has made progress to gain exposure to the emerging segment of power generation, Jagdfeld said."

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/07/generac-ceo-anticipates-massive-change-coming-to-the-power-grid.html

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