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Using a Generator and Knowing When the Power Comes Back on

Using a Generator and Knowing When the Power Comes Back on

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Old 12-10-10, 12:21 PM
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Using a Generator and Knowing When the Power Comes Back on

I am connecting a generator up to our house and would like to know if there is an easy way to determine when the main power comes back on.

For understanding, the way I have it wired is that I have an inlet box on the outside of the house that goes directly into a 30 amp breaker in the main panel. When the power goes out, I turn off the main and all of the breakers. Then I start the generator and turn on the breaker in the panel that the generator is connected to. Then I am able to turn on whatever breaker I want to run off the generator.

And yeah, I realize that I should have used a transfer switch. Let's not get into that arguement. One will be installed when I am able. In the meantime I just need to know if there's a way to know when the power comes back on. Am I able to have the power company put some sort of indicator light or something on the meter so it lights up when the power comes back on? Anything else I can do.

Thanks,

Scott
 
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Old 12-10-10, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sday88 View Post
And yeah, I realize that I should have used a transfer switch. Let's not get into that arguement. One will be installed when I am able. In the meantime I just need to know if there's a way to know when the power comes back on. Am I able to have the power company put some sort of indicator light or something on the meter so it lights up when the power comes back on? Anything else I can do.
Sorry, but as you know, a transfer switch (or interlock. See below) is the ONLY safe way to do this. Doing it any other way will risk the life of you, your generator, and the lineman on the pole. You think you can switch it safely but in the dead of night, at 2am, mistakes happen. I even doubt the power company will install anything to do, what you want to do, because of the risk to their employees and equipment.

Do everybody a favor and just run cords until you can do this right.

Here is a fairly inexpensive kit to consider: Generator InterLock Kit
 
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Old 12-10-10, 04:45 PM
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After you've installed that interlock kit, use one of these: THP108

It's an alarm that will sound when power is restored.
 
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Old 12-10-10, 06:32 PM
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Another option would be to install a sub panel with a transfer lock kit on it. You could then transfer some of your critical loads to the sub. When you run the sub off the gen, the main panel would still be connected to the utility, and any lights or devices still connected would turn on to let you know the utility has returned.
 
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Old 12-10-10, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sped2001 View Post
After you've installed that interlock kit, use one of these: THP108

It's an alarm that will sound when power is restored.
This is perfect. Thanks.
 
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