Portable backup generator code questions

 
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wilder11354
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Post by wilder11354 » Sun. Jan. 19, 2020 2:40 pm

disconnect boxes, be it automatic using self starting generators, or manual start is the way to go. Two reasons, no burning up your generator when out line power comes back on. Second reason, you select what circuits you need.

 
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joethemechanic
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Post by joethemechanic » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 3:32 pm

I've repaired a lot of big backup generators, and transfer switches. We used to have the Philadelphia Police, Fire, and Communications contract. Everything from little 2 cylinder natural gas Onans to a 900KW 16v92 Detroit Diesel powered Spectrum at the Roundhouse (Police HQ). All were installed by Local 98 guys working for big electrical contractors.

Sounds like your contractor is a Romex Roper

BTW, when testing that 900KW if you were in the enclosure, it made your teeth itch

 
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Post by BigBarney » Fri. Feb. 07, 2020 3:01 pm

wilder11354 wrote:
Sun. Jan. 19, 2020 2:40 pm
disconnect boxes, be it automatic using self starting generators, or manual start is the way to go. Two reasons, no burning up your generator when out line power comes back on. Second reason, you select what circuits you need.
With the proper ATS you will never have any problems. You can wire to specific

circuits or the whole box with enough generator power.

Never anything to burn up.

BigBarney

 
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Post by NoSmoke » Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 5:09 am

I just back-feed through my power panel too, and throw the main breaker so it does not go out on the grid.

Someone said that Maine passed a law where doing that is illegal, but who knows? Maine has a law about leaving Christmas lights up after January 15th too, and that is another law they do not enforce.

I do not think it is a huge safety concern with utility workers because by protocol they are supposed to ground the lines where they are working. They are supposed to assume all lines are generator back-fed and thus ground them.

 
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Post by freetown fred » Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 7:37 am

When I was line trampin--(Kohler elec) my crew leader lost both his legs in Fl. when Andrew blew through--cause of people stupidity, assumption & iffiness==just sayin!


 
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Post by sciteach » Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 12:31 pm

I know this post has been up for a while but I thought I would weigh in. I used to back feed through the panel also but their was no way I wanted my wife messing with it and I did not want to inadvertently hurt a lineman doing repair work.

I had my electrician install a small transfer switch a few months ago. I wanted something simple and inexpensive my wife could operate in case of power going out while I was away. I have a small propane powered 3500 watt generac portable generator which will handle a few of the critical circuits in the house. Heat, refrigerator, freezer, a few lights and computer.
Installation took about an hour, its safe and it was installed to code.

Transfer switch will handle 6 circuits and includes two, watt meters (one for each 110 volt leg.)
The transfer switch is fed from an outdoor weather resistant 220 v plug.
When power goes out I start up the generator and using the 220 outlet on the generator I plug into outside receptacle. Then going inside I switch each circuit from LINE to GEN that I need to power up.
When power comes back on it does not effect the circuits being powered by the generator, I manually switch them from GEN to LINE (It is impossible to back feed the line from my transfer switch)
Then I switch off the generator and put it away.
System works great. Transfer switch (protran brand) and dedicated heavy duty extension cord cost about $300 install wasn't much.

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Post by McGiever » Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 1:38 pm

Nice!!!...

 
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Post by joethemechanic » Mon. Feb. 17, 2020 11:49 pm

I was at a municipal auction a few years back and bid 10 bucks on a big pile of old breaker panels and boxes on a pallet. There was a 100 amp single phase transfer switch on the bottom that was new. Some scratches but never installed. I have 3 phase here but there is a single phase panel for the office, my apartment, the heat, and some minimal lighting in the shop. I run everything on an older Kohler 4 cylinder 1800RPM 7.5 KW generator. Flathead engine, magneto ignition, all simple reliable manual stuff. The only thing I'd like to change is from gasoline to propane. Propane lasts forever in storage

 
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Post by McGiever » Tue. Feb. 18, 2020 2:30 am

I have 2 of the Vintage Kohler 10kW gen-sets with 4 cylinder @1800 rpm Waukesha engine w/ magneto plus they're already set up for propane...they didn't even bother to remove the gasoline carb...just mount a big adjustable brass jet into the elbow between the air cleaner and the choke side of carb and govenor works carb thottle the same. The motor oil never even gets dark...no fuel stabilizer ever...The starter is built into the generator rotor...24 volt battery spins whole generator and the propain lights right up quick...
Dang dem old boys were smart!!!

 
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Post by NoSmoke » Tue. Feb. 18, 2020 4:00 am

McGiever wrote:
Tue. Feb. 18, 2020 2:30 am
I have 2 of the Vintage Kohler 10kW gen-sets with 4 cylinder @1800 rpm Waukesha engine w/ magneto plus they're already set up for propane...they didn't even bother to remove the gasoline carb...just mount a big adjustable brass jet into the elbow between the air cleaner and the choke side of carb and govenor works carb thottle the same. The motor oil never even gets dark...no fuel stabilizer ever...The starter is built into the generator rotor...24 volt battery spins whole generator and the propain lights right up quick...
Dang dem old boys were smart!!!
I got one of those as well! Mine is a little different in that it is a 12 volt start. Can yours change from single to 3 phase power too?

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Post by NoSmoke » Tue. Feb. 18, 2020 4:02 am

joethemechanic wrote:
Mon. Feb. 17, 2020 11:49 pm
I was at a municipal auction a few years back and bid 10 bucks on a big pile of old breaker panels and boxes on a pallet. There was a 100 amp single phase transfer switch on the bottom that was new. Some scratches but never installed. I have 3 phase here but there is a single phase panel for the office, my apartment, the heat, and some minimal lighting in the shop. I run everything on an older Kohler 4 cylinder 1800RPM 7.5 KW generator. Flathead engine, magneto ignition, all simple reliable manual stuff. The only thing I'd like to change is from gasoline to propane. Propane lasts forever in storage
If the breaker panels had breaks in them, then that would have been a nice score unto its own. We got old breaker boxes here, but they no longer make breakers to fit inside them, so it means adding a circuit can get expensive and complicated fast. Just having an old breaker that fits would save a lot of work.

 
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Post by McGiever » Tue. Feb. 18, 2020 7:15 pm

NoSmoke wrote:
Tue. Feb. 18, 2020 4:00 am
I got one of those as well! Mine is a little different in that it is a 12 volt start. Can yours change from single to 3 phase power too?

I am familiar with such generators however mine is straight 240/120 volt single phase.

 
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Post by franpipeman » Tue. Mar. 24, 2020 8:18 am

Here is my generator story not mine at my house but at a public school i was working at. We were working on a renovation at the school and they had a generator but old and small. A power failure occurred the generator tried to start but just cranked for 15 seconds never started, the grid power returned, generator stopped trying then tried dropped out again after 10 seconds the old generator tried to start again it didnt . The power returned and shut off again and the generators battery eventually failed...... no grid power , no generator power . I guess they didnt exercise their system, i think it was natural gas fuel but obvious no exercise this was 1979 no digital solid sate controller for automatic exercise .

 
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Post by McGiever » Tue. Mar. 24, 2020 9:49 am

Thanks for sharing Fran, you reminded me that I need to replace my 2 batteries for my 24 volt starter on my old generator. Got it while working renovations at a public school in 1999.
Replaced those included battries in 2007 and now they're due again. It is a vintage tri-fuel Kohler genset, I run it off 2-100 gallon propane tanks, and it serves me well ;).

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