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#112425 - 11/14/07 12:47 AM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: DrmstrSpoodle]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1007
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
Wouldn't it be possible to divert power FROM a car battery, and not just charge it with one of those things? Just curious.


Probably not. There's probably a current direction circuit built into the charger. Go for either an inverter or cigarette lighter socket with a couple of clip connectors (like small jumper cable ends). I used to have one of those where the inverter could be removed from the main unit & had connector wires for just that set-up.

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#112470 - 11/14/07 12:08 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: ]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Well, this isn't exactly Kosher, but...

You could go even easier and just switch off your main at the panel altogether. You could then run an HD extension cord from your generator to an outlet, you'd have to replace the female end on the cord with another male end to get it to plug into both the generator output and any wall receptacle. At only 900w, you wouldn't need to worry about overloading any of the household circuit, as the outlets themselves should easily handle 1300w. Then just switch out the circuits you don't need on the circuit breaker panel until you are left with just the essentials for lighting. It is a simple fix that doesn't require rewiring your lighting fixture circuits.

Of course, you might have to guess at when the utiltiy power comes back on, but if you live in a neighborhood you will know soon enough.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#112476 - 11/14/07 01:38 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: benjammin]
norad45 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
Just so I understand, will switching off the main guarantee that you won't be zapping some poor linesman somewhere trying to make a repair? If so it sounds like a handy thing to know.

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#112480 - 11/14/07 02:09 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: norad45]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


Actually that makes sense...I think. There's even an outlet on my patio.

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#112492 - 11/14/07 04:28 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: benjammin]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Hi Benjammin,

Quote:
You could go even easier and just switch off your main at the panel altogether. You could then run an HD extension cord from your generator to an outlet, you'd have to replace the female end on the cord with another male end to get it to plug into both the generator output and any wall receptacle. At only 900w, you wouldn't need to worry about overloading any of the household circuit, as the outlets themselves should easily handle 1300w. Then just switch out the circuits you don't need on the circuit breaker panel until you are left with just the essentials for lighting. It is a simple fix that doesn't require rewiring your lighting fixture circuits.

Of course, you might have to guess at when the utiltiy power comes back on, but if you live in a neighborhood you will know soon enough.


Excellent idea, do you know if this will work with a combined RCD/fuse circuit breaker box? Or would you have the replace the RCD/fuse circuit breaker on the ring main the generator is connected to with just a simple fuse.

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#113122 - 11/21/07 12:43 AM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: benjammin]
ReadyForIt Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 7
Loc: AL
Not kosher meaning not legal...and possibly deadly to power company workers if you don't kill the main.

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#113129 - 11/21/07 01:08 AM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: benjammin]
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi benjammin,

This reverse double male-ended plug technique is how we power our remote hunt camp. The generator (1400watt Honda) is behind the camp and a heavy duty power cord goes from it to the building. A one foot long double male connector then attaches the power cord to a plug-in on the outside wall and into the camp wiring. We have also run the camp lights for a short time off a rechargable power box using this short adaptor by pluging it into the inside plug.

The camp is like an old shed and was wired by a camp member (4 lights and 2 plug-ins), we only use the electricity in the early morning and evening, never at night when people are sleeping. The camp also has propane gas lights and portable gas/battery lights for when we do not bring a generator.

The area is off the grid so no chance of any power company workers getting hurt.

The camp is one room heated by a wood stove and has no inside plumbing, we (the men in the family) love it there.

Mike

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#113167 - 11/21/07 10:23 AM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: SwampDonkey]
ame Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
Originally Posted By: SwampDonkey
This reverse double male-ended plug technique is how we power our remote hunt camp. The generator (1400watt Honda) is behind the camp and a heavy duty power cord goes from it to the building. A one foot long double male connector then attaches the power cord to a plug-in on the outside wall and into the camp wiring.


That is an extremely dangerous thing to do. The reason that power sources are fitted with a socket (female) is to make the live conductor inaccessible. Your male-male cord bypasses that inherent safety. Imagine you plug the cord into the generator then take the free end (male plug) to the building and the generator starts up before you plug it in. You now have a live and accessible conductor in your hand, which is dangerous.

Imagine the plug comes out during the night, and someone has to root around to find it (without turning of the generator). You'll know when they've found it!

Imagine someone wants to plug a power tool in to work outside. They see a socket, but it is occupied by the male-male cord. They unplug the cord so they can plug the power tool in, not realising it is live.

You should have a permanently wired flying lead from the building to the generator, or a male plug attached to the building in the same way as an RV receptacle. This would allow you to plug a male plug into the generator and carry the (potentially live but safe) female end to the building.

Sorry to be such a pedant, but it's so easy to do this safely.

A

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#113181 - 11/21/07 02:50 PM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: ame]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Well, like I said, it ain't kosher, but it will work.

If you switch out the main, there may still be an issue with neutral ground loop current being generated, but any lineman worth his salt is going to take appropriate steps to safegaurd against such stray currents anyways, or they ought not be doing that sort of work. I am no lineman, but I do know to check any circuit and isolate it before working on exposed leads. I am pretty sure that is something not only taught to but required of anyone who intends to earn a living working on electrical supply systems in this country. If the lineman do not take such precautions, well, I won't go so far as to say they deserve what they get, but they will get to learn the lesson the hard way I suppose.

There may be some issue with certain control/safety devices in the wiring that might not like all that AC load, but I can't think of any configuration that will trip unless the power limit is exceeded, which based on the initial criteria ought not occur. If it were a DC circuit, I would worry about diode isolation or maybe a crowbar SCR circuit protection or some such, but about the only things you can do to protect AC circuits is GFCI or current overload vis-a-vis fuses and circuit breakers, which don't care which direction the source comes from. What little resistance/inductance coupling might be in the wiring between the generator and the ground retrun is probably insufficient to establish stray ground loop or voltage division anyways, unless you are running an extension cord more than 30 feet away from the gen to the outlet.

There are inherent hazards in using my suggestion. It is a survival technique in case you find you have not prepared in advance by adding the hard wiring to your household circuit for such an event. It is easy to do it the right way if you have the materials, equipment, knowledge, and time to do so. If not, then the extension cord method is as simple and easy as it gets, and can be deployed in less than a minute.

If you are concerned about frying the lineman, make a checklist and make the first step switching out the main before lighting off the gen, and the last step switching the main in after shutting the gen off AND uplugging the stub.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#113222 - 11/22/07 01:43 AM Re: Power outage turns on the lights... [Re: ame]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1007
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
male plug attached to the building in the same way as an RV receptacle


Wouldn't this result in the male plug being hot when operating with mains power?

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