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#253641 - 11/22/12 03:06 AM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: bws48]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Originally Posted By: bws48
Originally Posted By: ILBob
Re: electrical inspectors and generators

There are specific ways that loads are to be calculated according to the NEC. You have to use a NEC approved way when you install a generator.

In neither case are you required to consider every circuit that has a 15A outlet on it as a 15A load. If I recall correctly, they are generally calculated at 180VA per receptacle. Some of them don't have to be counted at all, while those dedicated to a specific purpose have to be considered at full load.

The calculations are fairly straightforward if you are used to them but are often daunting for the uninitiated.

No doubt.

I wonder if these calculations require actually looking at what is on each circuit?

Our inspector came in, looked at: 1) the amps of each of the circuits going to the sub-panel, 2) the size of the breaker sending the power to the sub-panel, 3) the sub-panel, and 4) the size of the generator.

I'm happy we passed. smile

I've often found that, in theory, theory and practice are the same, but that in practice, they are not. grin

None of the stuff mentioned matters much as far as the code goes for sizing the generator. Some of it matters for other things though.

The size of the CB on the branch circuits has close to nothing to do with sizing any feeder, including generators.

The only outlets where an actual load is considered are those dedicated to a specific item such as a refrigerator. If it is a dedicated circuit the actual load is taken into consideration.

It is possible that he looked at it and realized that your generator was more than adequately sized and just never looked any farther. Most likely the contractor supplied load calculations so he never looked at the actual load.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#253896 - 11/27/12 02:52 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
Horus Offline

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
Hi Paul--

This is John Galvin (Horus). I'm a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics, and I'm doing a post-Sandy report. I sent you a PM with my contact info. I found your post very interesting, but I had some questions I would appreciate asking you. Can you check your messages and let me know if you'd be willing to talk with me about your experiences/insights?


#253898 - 11/27/12 02:58 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Lono]
Horus Offline

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 53
Loc: MA

Thanks for this post. I've heard similar stories with similar disasters. I'm working on a post-Sandy story for Popular Mechanics. I sent you an private message. If you would be willing, I'd like to talk to you a little more about this. My contact info is in the message. I look forward to hearing from you.


#254321 - 12/05/12 03:46 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
Still_Alive Offline
Finally, I am a

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Utah
Great writeup Paul. Even though we're not likely to experience a Hurricane anytime soon here in Utah, many of the lessons are applicable to us because of snow storms, earthquake threats, etc.

Thanks again for spending the time to educate us.
“Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.”
W. Edwards Deming

#254482 - 12/10/12 04:35 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
chowhound Offline

Registered: 12/08/12
Posts: 1
Paul810, good post. I would like to add a few thing I learned. I live 5 miles from the ocean and was without power for 10 days. I have a gen and all is ok on that end. Lessons learned. 1. Head lamp with push button was indispensable, for chores around the house when not using gen. I do not run it for long periods of time. 2. Several small lights to hang around neck of Wife Daughter and Mother. They called them their storm jewelry. Put them on at 4:30 and kept on person till morning. 3. And this is the big one, a network. I do alot of fishing for striped bass. (surf casting) along the costal NJ waters. A fishing buddy lives in So. Western NJ and was not affected nearly as much as I was. We were on the phone and he could lock in supplies that were in very high demand here and kept me posted of situation in the rest of the state. While there were long, long, long, .............. long lines for gas. I drove to the west side of the state, had a nice hot meal at a restaurant, filled my truck and lots of gas cans with no lines. This was not a "hope it works out" trip. My buddies intell was trusted and spot on. Net result, Wife and I got out of dodge for a spell, got some supplies at a slower pace, filled gas and was back home using only about 2 gal of a 30 gal tank in my truck.

#254574 - 12/12/12 03:24 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Thanks chowhound for the positive results of networking for intel.Shows how important communications are,and points out how lacking many of us are.....good to have friends with the capability to transmit.

#255476 - 01/14/13 07:05 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Lono]
Horus Offline

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
Hi Lono. Can I talk to you about your experience with the line crews for a Popular Mechanics story? It's a great reminder that being decent can go a long way in an emergency.

You can reach me at JohnGalvinMail@gmail.com

#255743 - 01/22/13 08:35 AM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
JohnPatrick Offline

Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 1
Regarding the recent Sandy storm, I wanted to share some ideas that worked well for us and may help others.
We lost power for 5 days and ended up doing all our cooking outside since our stove is electric. Last year my wife bought me for Christmas the Cabela's camp kitchen. We set it up outside under an easy-up canopy. I set up my 3 burner stove which runs off a BBQ grill propane bottle. (available at Sportsmans Guide). We used the outside stove for 5 days and did not deplete the propane bottle although it would be a good idea to have an extra bottle in case the power is out longer. This setup was simple and only required a little extra work than normal. This is a good time to have disposable plates, bowls and cups to cut down on cleanup since we were without water from our electric well pump. We filled our 7 gallon water jugs before the storm hit so we had enough water to keep us going. I keep extra water in milk jugs in the spare refrigerator which cuts down on how often the refrigerator cycles and means I always have potable water available when we loose power.

Regarding home defense during power outage. The threat to us came from an unexpected source. An individual near us raises Hybrid Wolves. When trees started falling during the storm, the fence retaining the wolves was breached and the wolves escaped. 3 dogs/pets were attacked and one owner walking his dog was attacked. Having a shotgun nearby while cooking outside provided peace of mind, especially with small children running around.

Lastly, regarding generator use. If you are like many people, when the power comes back on, the generator is put away and forgotten about until the next storm. If you leave gas in your generator while stored, it may not work properly next time due to built up deposits in the carb. This happened to a friend during the storm. His generator would only run on high idle even without a demand. When he switched to the economy mode it would die. He purchased a product called Mechanic in a Bottle and added it to his gas following the directions on the bottle. Within a couple hours his generator was running better and the economy mode started working again reducing the amount of gas he was using. Important when you have to wait on line for gas.

A little preparation goes a long way towards surviving a power outage. Hope this info is helpful.

#255748 - 01/22/13 01:16 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
Very helpful tips. Thanks for sharing. Welcome aboard!

#255749 - 01/22/13 01:53 PM Re: Notes from Sandy [Re: Paul810]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1680
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
JohnPatrick... a comment.. most recommend that you not use actual milk jugs to store water as there is a potential for contamination.. of course some bleach could be used if they were the only storage source...

for those without a generator to keep the refrigerator up... the 5 and 7 day coolers with multiple frozen gallon jugs of water work well...

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