are pushmatics a problem for home resale?

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  #1  
Old 08-27-20, 02:56 PM
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are pushmatics a problem for home resale?

1950s house. we've been losing power a lot lately so i began looking into portable generators and then called a recommended electrician. at first he said recommded and interlock because it was cheaper than a transfer switch and then when i said pushmatics, he said no way. cannot do that. they dont work right. i also realize i can just run extension cords and that option still is on the table for me for what i want to run.

he also told me that id need a 240 portable gennie and 120 would only give me half my panel. well the fun thing is i have 2 panels. the main leads into a long box underneath 2 panels then goes up into each of them and i have 2 main switches on the panels

he said people have not been able to buy houses because of old pushmatics or sometimes banks wont let them. is this true? i do realize a new box will be safer and add resale value but i hadnt planned on doing it . i asked him to guesstimate and of course he hasnt seen my setup yet. but he said 1500 to maybe 2000 depending. he will come out and look. also the breakers arent even half marked. i never did it. gotta click thru them when i want to kill something to replace a light etc.

then the only gennie i can find locally is 800 bucks so then we are up to 2800 lol. more than i wanted to spend but the idea of a new panel does sound good. i def dont want a whole house gennie and rather spend the money on a new box and portable.

so just wondering your opinions on what he has told me so far. he told me regardles there are no parts and would be till nov. for the box etc. so id just buy the gennie now and use extensions if need be
 
  #2  
Old 08-27-20, 03:10 PM
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There are no interlock for pushmatic as far as I know.
So, if you want to keep pushmatic and be able to transfer power to generator instead of using extension cords, you will need a transfer switch.

Pushmatic them selves are not fire hazard, but they are thermal breaker only and sometimes hard to know if the breaker is off or not. Also, often they get stuck. Some insurance companies does not like that and will not insure and if not insured banks won't lend.

It will be much safer to replace the panel.

There is a way to feed 120V to both legs of your panel, but 240V equipment will not work. 120V only generators probably won't have enough power to feed entire panel anyway.
 
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Old 08-27-20, 04:17 PM
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Last edited by Norm201; 08-27-20 at 04:26 PM. Reason: removed comment
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Old 08-27-20, 05:34 PM
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just realized something. can they even put in a new panel since at least half the house has no grounded wiring?
 
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Old 08-27-20, 06:45 PM
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Yes the panel can still be replaced. GFCI breakers can be used on the ungrounded circuits. I don''t know if they are required.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 04:49 AM
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so that would legitimize the 3 prongs that in installed after i painted then
 
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Old 08-28-20, 05:34 AM
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Three prong receptacle are permitted on a two wire circuit is protected by a GFCI. They should have the stickers "GFCI protected no ground".
 
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Old 08-28-20, 05:42 AM
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those have to be installed at a particular position though dont they? plus the fact that my circuits arent marked makes it more challenging.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 09:29 AM
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so the one electrician came out today. He’s been in the biz over 20 years and was referred by a larger company that subs their smaller jobs out. He said they split my main line in 2 to 100 amp boxes and he took the 2 boxes apart and also the long box that’s running under them both, where the main feeds in. he is worried that the lines coming into the back of the one box are not long enough so he will have to put junction boxes above the new panel to connect and lengthen the wires. It's a utility room so I don't care what it looks like. He also said I get a new line from the electric meter to the main panel but if they take the electric meter apart and there are issues I will have to spend $700 for a whole new set up leading to the roof. The minimum to install the interlock etc was 1500 and the maximum is 2000 if he runs into the problems with a junction boxes and it takes a day. Basically the outside of the panels is relatively clean because they just ran everything in through the back into the wall so the lines are all short with likely no slack. All id have to do is make sure the hot tub is off when i used the generator.

He discussed the minimum I need is a 240 twist 30 amp and I can choose whatever generator I want whether it's propane or gas or both and he said anything with a 240 is going to be at least 6,000 Watts anyway. But he agreed that my boiler has low electric usage with the 5 amps and I showed him my readings from the power company and he said I probably could get away with 4,000 but I will not find a 240 in anything less than 6000. He does not recommend inverter. He said he would not buy one as the other ones are new technology and they are fine and it is not necessary to get inverter especially because I have a UPS on my electronics setup.

As far as more noise from non inverter I'm not worried about it because where the generator would be is not near my living room or bedroom which is the only two places I would be in an emergency trying to sleep or something. He said he has enough room to install the new panel but in a brand new houses would never pass because the boiler pipes are very close but I would be grandfathered in because it is the way it is. There's nothing I can do about it. We also discussed the two prong versus three prong outlet situation I have and he agreed it's best I just put two prong Outlets back in where I changed them because trying to ground the entire house would cost of Fortune. So now all I need to do is think about if I want to spend $2,000 plus the cost of a generator and go from there
 
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Old 08-28-20, 10:00 AM
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He does not recommend inverter. He said he would not buy one as the other ones are new technology and they are fine and it is not necessary to get inverter especially because I have a UPS on my electronics setup.
That's interesting. Some UPS will not go online if the line power isn't within spec, so having a UPS doesn't mean you can feed it any quality juice.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 10:24 AM
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he said anything with a 240 is going to be at least 6,000 Watts anyway
Not true. 240V is available for most 3500W and up generators.
If he was referring to inverter generators, then may be..

Most UPS dose not like power from portable generators. They don't produce clean enough power for UPS and UPS will keep switch back and forth until the battery drains. I would get a small inverter generator for things connected to UPS as a large inverter generators are quiet expensive. Another option would be just removing UPS when running on generator. Most will run just fine.

I would install a GFCI breaker or receptacle at upstream even if keeping 2 prong receptacles. That way you are better protected from possible electrocution and you can replace 2 prong with 3 prong where you need to plug 3 prong plug.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 11:27 AM
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i expressed that id pay for inverter gen but he said no need. i admit i didnt wanna spend 1000 bucks for one. ill hvae to search for the 240 lower wattage, not a lot of selection these days anyway on anything. and yes i was telling him i wanted inverter and he said u cannot get lower watt anyway with 240. one thing i forgot to ask him about was brand. sigh.

it would be a nightmare to unplug from UPS. you do NOT wanna know how much i have spaghetti'd in there. in theory i could put the necessities on an unsurged strip though and work around it somehow if i had to. could just redesign the setup. this is one reason i thought maybe inverter would be better, to guarantee my UPS would run and save my 2000 dollar tv and other electronics such as my server. iwould hate to have a generator supply a surge or something that hit my stuff. or can that not happen since its just a generator and not the grid? does the box have the ability to have a surge protector of some kind on it.

edit: went back and read some things. so would me spending more on inverter gen. mean my UPS would 100% work with the gen?
 

Last edited by luckydriver; 08-28-20 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:12 PM
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over half the breakers arent marked. he said id need a box with 40 for my new panel. of course they wont all be used but he counted over 30 so rounded up.

i mentioned i always wanted to actually go mark everything for my own sanity. but i neglected to ask him if thats part of the job or extra. id imagine extra because basically you are starting from scratch and would take all day even with a team of 2 working on what is what. when i need to do something i pretty much just hit each one till i got lucky but i dont need to do that often so it never bothered me much.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 03:42 PM
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Making a power map of one's house is a very good idea. I have all my power outlets and lights marked on both the circuit box and and separate sheet indicating each part of the house. It;s especially useful if your home is not section off power wise. In my house one outlet could be at opposite ends of the house but on the same breaker.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 03:45 PM
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I have found that by adding more load to my generator made it acceptable to the UPS I have. The load was very light. A couple of TV and lights.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 03:53 PM
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Inverter generator will work with most UPS. Inverter generators output a clean 120V 60Hz (or whatever the generator is built for). I say most because there may be unforeseen issue, but it should work mostly fine.
Output from inverter generators are usually much cleaner than what comes from the grid because it generates DC, then convert it to AC using inverter.

If you don't need 240V, you can get away with 120V by connecting both pole of feed to same hot wire.

i mentioned i always wanted to actually go mark everything for my own sanity.
The electrician probably will do that at no extra charge. This is required to pass inspection and sometimes it is difficult to mark existing wire and easier to just find circuit later.
 
 

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