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Link Posted: 7/21/2013 9:46:20 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

the new service panel (Square-D QO series) has an OEM interlock setup such that we can power ANY branch circuit from the generator.  this is/will be very handy.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Surf:
Suggest when the rewire the furnace, you make it so an external generator can power it directly as well.

the new service panel (Square-D QO series) has an OEM interlock setup such that we can power ANY branch circuit from the generator.  this is/will be very handy.





ar-jedi
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 10:38:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/4/2014 10:04:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/5/2014 9:07:56 AM EDT by ar-jedi]

in light of the onset of the 2014 hurricane season (welcome to the east coast, Arthur) i thought that i would make an update post about a simple post-hurricane issue which surprised me -- and which in hindsight should be planned for, and is relatively easy to plan for.

the issue is washing clothes.  

in
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/672608__ARCHIVED_THREAD____Is_a_method_of_showering_that_important_.html

i wrote,

for me, a hot shower fixes a lot of things. it's a psychological boost, and if you have been working in a SHTF environment which is "dirty" it is both a physical and mental "upper" to rinse that crap off. after Sandy i spent a long time, too long perhaps, in my mom's flooded basement cleaning up ripping out stuff like the furnace and washer/dryer. the basement was previously filled with seawater and diesel and some other stuff i won't mention. it got to the point that every day when i got home i would take all my clothes off in our detached garage, pull on a pair of old overalls, start the tractor (to power the PTO generator to power the well pump), and take a hot shower in the house. after a week i had a pile of wet, very dirty/smelly clothes in the garage. it was a nice separation of issues to be able to wash those days off and have dinner with my wife, nice and clean.

this, incidentally, led to doing about 5 loads of wash -- with the utility power still off -- a week after Sandy. this "cost" me about a gallon and a half or so of diesel fuel but was very much needed. i keep this issue in mind every storm now -- make sure that everything possible is washed beforehand, because doing wash during SHTF is "expensive" one way or another.
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as i noted above, i know it sounds really trivial but having all the wash done BEFORE the storm is one way of "prepping" for these sorts of short term, weather-induced problems.  moreover, having some supplementary means of doing the wash (or approximating the same, in a clear water creek or similar) is really useful.  notwithstanding that, i have a big plastic tub in the garage now where i plan to stage my old, worn out jeans (and even khaki workpants) prior to donating them to the clothes drive box at the supermarket.  having some "throwaway clothes" post-storm comes in really handy, especially when you are working in a flooded basement or similar containing a lot of unwanted pathogens.  that week-old pile of dirty clothes i described above was pretty nasty.

there was a thread here a bit ago which provided some detail after a tornado strike -- i wish i could find it but the author noted that after a week he "was out of anything resembling clean clothes" and it was a bit of an issue.  i thought to myself, been there/done that.

so now, to prep for a storm (Nor'Easter or hurricane or snow or whatever) i run the dishwasher and get all my clothes through the washing machine.  

like i said, it doesn't sound very "tacticool" -- but trust me, when you don't have ANY clean underwear nor a clean pair of pants, you will know the suck...

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 7/4/2014 10:15:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/4/2014 10:38:20 AM EDT by ar-jedi]

also wanted to include a link to this excellent post-storm writeup:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/670903_SHTF_lessons_from_the_recent_Midwest__Icepacalypse_.html&page=1

and this
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1566446__ARCHIVED_THREAD____Some_thoughts_after_having_my_first_real_blackout__and_using_my_generator_for_60_hours_.html&page=1

psuedo-martial law is discussed here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1486303__ARCHIVED_THREAD____Question_regarding_post_disaster_curfews___blockades_.html

here is another writeup:
http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=253126&page=all

AND I KNOW THIS IS A LITTLE MORBID, BUT LOOK THROUGH THE CAUSES OF DEATH BELOW AND CONSIDER HOW YOU MIGHT AVOID SUCH:
http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/10/us/sandy-casualties/

i find the number of COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE carbon monoxide poisoning deaths quite distressing.
example:

-- Tammy Kerosetz, 48.The Lower Macungie Township resident was overcome with exhaust fumes from a portable gas generator that was running in her garage. The coroner said the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.
--Rafael Reyes, 55. Police found a generator running in the New Brunswick home of Reyes, leading them to believe he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
--Robert "Wally" Walsh, 61.Walsh, a retired Edison County fire fighter, died on October 30 after running a generator in his garage, police say.
--Mark Riffle, 51.Riffle was found dead in his Upshur County home on Tuesday. Local police say he was operating a generator in his closed garage.
View Quote


ar-jedi
Link Posted: 7/5/2014 3:01:33 AM EDT
Beautiful home and property!  I am very envious of your shop.

Great post and thanks for the information.  You are extremely smart in your preparations.  I have followed your post and your responses to others, as well as myself, but this is the first time I have seen and read this specific post.  I appreciate your responses regarding "electrical", which I know nothing about but learn from what you state.

I read this in its entirety and maybe I missed it, but what about garbage?  Can you burn in your area under these circumstances?  What about garbage you cannot burn?  How long before your services resumed, etc.??

Thanks in advance for your response.
Link Posted: 2/5/2015 2:48:18 PM EDT



Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
hurricane Sandy visited us and left behind a mess.  not but a week later a Nor'easter visited and caused more issues.  the result was 12 days without utility power.  i thought that it would be useful to document some of the successes and failures of dealing with this short term outage.  
preface:



i live with my wife in a semi-rural community approximately 15 miles inland.  my immediate family members live either very near the water (mom) or just a few miles in from the shore (brother and sister).  i work about 35 minutes north of home.  
constraints:



our house has a well, 220 feet deep with a 0.75HP submersible pump at the bottom of the hole.  it requires 240Vac at 8A running current, with an inrush of about 40A.  aside, everyone in my town is on well water –– but this is not the norm for the county, where municipal water is most common.
build up:



the NE (specifically, the mid-Atlantic coast) does not get frequent hurricanes; our worry is generally about Nor'easters –– which can carry a lot of rain (>8" in 24 hours) or alternatively a lot of snow (>24" in 24 hours).  hurricane Irene passed over last year, leaving most folks in our area without power for 2-4 days.  Sandy first appeared on our collective radar about a week before landfall, although at the time the projected tracks were all over the map.  some models had the eye going north of us, some south, some showed it veering out to sea, etc.  one note –– the NE area is structured primarily atop rock and clay-based soil; ergo, unlike areas with sandy soil it does not absorb water and then drain all that easily.  frankly, with a storm of this size i was more worried about the quantity of rain versus the wind.  
common preps:



my wife and i live fairly simply and have on-hand at all times enough for about a month of "no societal contact" living.  we keep our food, water, and other staples maintained.  from this perspective, if Sandy had just "shown up" i don't think we would have had much of a problem overall.  for example, in the basement are 24 cases of bottled water, qty 4 NATO type 5 gal water cans, and upstairs there is plenty of stored pasta, rice, soup and other.  in addition i have a modest store of freeze dried food as well.  there is a shallow creek out behind the house and this non-potable water could be used for flushing toilets, for example.  it is relatively high in iron and so it's not a great input to a portable water filter.  
event preps:



i anticipated Irene again, and there would no power for 2-4 days.  nevertheless on thursday (5 days before the storm arrived) i topped my available fuel stores to the maximum: 25 gallons of gas (5 x 5 gal NATO cans), and 16 gallons of diesel (2 x 5 gal NoSpill cans + 6 in the tractor tank itself).  so i believed from the outset that we were "covered" in terms of fuel stocks, and of course these stocks could be prolonged by changing usage.  fuel tanks in my truck and my wife's car were also filled.
worries:



my primary concern was the safety of my family, including my mom and siblings.  at my home, my worry was structure penetration or damage from trees.  while i have culled some trees away from the house over the years, there are one or two that could give the house or the detached garage a good sized headache.  the other concern was of course power –– for water, heat, and comfort.
power:



i have two conflicting needs/wants, and therefore two generators.
from strictly an electrical connectivity standpoint, the 50A capacity generator power inlet (4 prong: L1/L2/N/GND) is located at my detached workshop, some 50 feet from the house. underground conduit with wire connects the two structures. the wiring terminates on a transfer switch adjacent to the service panel. from there i have a variety of branch circuits split out, including the refrigerator and so on. in addition to the 120Vac branch circuits, the transfer switch can also be used to direct power to a single 240Vac load –– namely the well pump.
hence, any type (120Vac only, or 120Vac/240Vac split phase) or capacity (2KW, 10KW, etc) generator can be employed at the workshop end –– it is just a question of how much stuff in the house you want to power.
the approach i have taken is really designed to minimize fuel storage needs, to minimize fuel consumption, and to minimize noise. the tradeoff is that my wife and i don't have "perfect lifestyle continuance" during a power outage. such a degree of "continuance" requires a whole-house sized generator ($$$) and in addition consumes a lot of fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, or natgas = $).
the start point then is a relatively small generator (Honda EU2000i), which makes 2KW peak. hence, during an outage we will be more or less "camping" in the house versus having the ability to use any and all appliances concurrently. for example, making coffee will require some degree of load management to ensure the generator capacity is not exceeded. hair dryers are right out.
the trouble starts because our drinking water comes from 220' below the house. and the little Honda has neither the correct voltage nor sufficient current capability to run the well pump. one option is just to store lots of drinking water; in fact, as noted above i do so to the tune of at least two dozen cases of bottled water on hand at all times. but for bathing, sanitation, etc there is a definite need for water, and ideally hot water. fortunately the water heater is powered by natural gas.
for this reason i purchased a used PTO generator which would power the well pump. while the PTO generator could in fact be run 24x7 or some fraction thereof, in my mind the minimal fuel consumption, reduced noise signature, and overall convenience of a small generator outweighed the desire/need to have 10KW on tap at all times.  i had no real 'long term' experience with this setup.  during Irene, i used the EU2000i for two days and ran the PTO generator once during that same period.  
from a transfer switch perspective, in addition to the well pump  i could power the fridge, furnace, family room (lights and receptacles), and sump pump (incl. basement receptacles).  because of the older wiring in my house, the fridge circuit includes a pair of counter height kitchen receptacles.  this is no longer permitted by code and in a modern house the fridge will have a dedicated circuit without a GFCI.  in my case this was a "helpful" issue as it expanded the number of receptacles supplied with generator power –– and in a very convenient location.
technical note:



bonding L1 and L2 at the end of the EU2000i's cordset means that the single phase output of the EU2000i powers both halves of the "E's" in the transfer switch panel. hence there is no net reduction in the number of branch circuit loads when using the EU2000i. do not bond L1 and L2 anywhere else other than the EU2000i's cord, otherwise you'll have a lot of excitement when you plug in a split-phase generator which makes 240Vac.  (ps: of course with both L1 and L2 in phase, there *should* be 0Vac across the 240Vac dual pole breakers but i keep these switched off when using the single phase input just in case.)
psychology:



mindset is important and both my wife and i have a positive but not happy-go-lucky worldview.  i have a high panic threshold.  my wife is well acclimated to off-the-beaten-track situations.  she has traveled to places without sanitation, and where folks live in squalor like we can't even imagine living here in the USA.
48 hours prior:



double checked the sump pump float operation, and also the adjacent 12Vdc-powered backup sump pump.  the deep cycle marine battery for the latter was fully charged via the attention of an attached Battery Tender Jr.  changed the oil in the EU2000i, and checked the engine oil and hydrostatic fluid levels in the tractor.  
foreplay:



the sunday before the hurricane made landfall we went to Home Depot.  this was not borne of panic buying but instead served three purposes: return a bulb which didn't fit into a special kitchen light, take a gander at some inexpensive ceramic/porcelain tiles for a future mudroom application, and finally just get out of the house since we would be locked up the next day plus some.  i bring up the light bulb because it comes with a story.  
we arrived at the HD and it was (predictably) a bit of a madhouse.  this particular HD is located just a few miles inland and as you can imagine the place was like an ant farm with folks scurrying about.  there was a line starting at the front of the store, extending way into the back, of folks waiting on a pending generator shipment which according to a lady next to me was evidently supposed to arrive in short order.  we got into the customer service line.  
in front of me a guy leans forward a bit towards the service manager, opens his billfold showing some credentials, and quietly says, "i'm the guy from the FBI, we called about a generator –– i'm here to pick it up."   the service guy nods his head, says "oh, right..." –– and then looks about 20 feet away to another guy, and yells loudly, "hey bob, the federal agent is here to pick up his generator, can you put it on a cart and bring it out?"
well, about 100 people turn to look at who exactly is getting a generator right now when there are apparently none in the store and many waiting in line.  the guy in front of me was completely red-faced and simply looked down in disgust.  i LoL'd, and i didn't feel like asking him whether the generator was for his field location or actually for him because i think i knew the answer.  we continued with our non-purposeful HD mission and what i did notice was that the electrical aisle was holding a makeshift "how to build a suicide cord" class given not by HD staff but by customers.   the shelves containing plugs and extension cords were stripped bare.
on the way home we stopped at the deli and bought a dozen bagels.  my wife commented that i would get fat if i ate 12 bagels in 2 days.  i was hoping that would be the biggest problem.
24 hours prior:



started up the Honda EU2000i, made sure it made power.  filled the tank, and positioned the interconnect cable.  i didn't attach the PTO genset at this point to the tractor (FYI to non-tractor owners: it takes about 3-5 minutes to get a three point hitch attachment connected up and aligned) because i wanted to be able to (easily) use the tractor's FEL (front end loader) post storm.  hence, i didn't want to drag around the PTO generator if i had to use the tractor to drag a tree out of the way or clear something up.
i turned the fridge and freezer settings down as low as they could go.  i put the little digital thermometer we use to tell us the inside/outside temperature into the fridge section, and brought the remote sensor in from outside and put that into the freezer section.  i turned off the 2 pole breakers to the central A/C compressor units.  i positioned flashlights in places that would be useful, e.g. just inside the door to the detached garage.  i cycled batteries through the charger for the Makita cordless tools i have, incl flashlight, driver/drill, and trim saw.  i checked my inventory of lithium AAs, AAA's, and CR123's and determined i had enough for a couple of years.  i cycled a dozen Sanyo NiMH 2700's through the AA charger and determined they were topped as well.
everything outside that could fall over or become a projectile was secured or moved into the garage.  i got the extension ladder out and cleaned the gutters of the fall leaves.  there were still a lot of leaves on the trees, and this was a worry since they presented an appreciable wind load.  i left the walk-out door to the basement unlocked, the shop door unlocked, and the back door to the garage unlocked.  if we had to get out of the house during the night ASAP (fire or structural problem) i didn't need to be fumbling around in the dark with the 2x4 castle bar i have across the basement door to get out, or fumbling with keys in the wind driven rain to get into the garage or workshop.  
forecast:



NHC/NWS nailed it. unfortunately we would be on the "windward side" –– since northern hemisphere tropical storms rotate counter-clockwise, the storm surge and wind speed above the eye are both higher than below the eye.  so, more water, higher waves, and stiffer wind.
onset:



usually a good time to watch a movie.  during the afternoon hours the power blinked and browned.  i turned off the breakers for expensive things with motors, like the fridge.  at 6pm, around dusk with the wind howling through the trees like a freight train, the power went away for good.  i checked the sump pump DC side again.  the rain was light and i didn't expect any problems with the basement.  the wind was sustained 75MPH and some big ass gusts.  with the power now off i put a handheld ham radio in the living room which allowed us to listen to ABC news out of NYC simulcast on FM, and my wife read a book by LED light.  i had another radio tuned to the local LE frequency which made for some amusement: "hey capt, so many trees down –– i'm, like, running out of ways to get back to HQ...".  at around 11pm we hit the sack.
first light:



around 5AM, got the EU2000i started, warmed up, and powering the fridge.  made coffee for the two of us via the Keurig (yeah, i know –– you hardcore SF people, it's my life not yours!).  did a good walk around of the property, talked with the neighbors, everyone was ok.  daylight temperature was around 50'F.   i experimented a bit and discovered that FIOS worked all the way around: we had POTS, internet, and HDTV.  nice.  for this reason i would say we were not really "roughing it", since if you can make coffee and surf the internet you are not that bad off.  but this is also a result of planning and organization, not just serendipity.
local aftermath:



no trees down on the house, some in the yard.  nothing blocking egress from our driveway or street.  texted with my sister (my mom had been evac'd to her house the day before the storm) and my brother.  all OK, no power, some trees down.   texted with a friend of mine who is an OEM (office of emergency management) coordinator in a coastal town about 10 miles away.  he told me that the SHTF there and the seawater was a 1/2 mile into the town (!), many homes simply gone, and thousands of folks displaced.  one evacuation shelter at a middle school had flooded during the storm, so the 250 folks there were moved (via bus, during the storm) farther inland into the municipal building that includes the police station.  that building then flooded with seawater.  my OEM buddy had his car on "high ground" at the PD, and it drowned in 3 feet of water.  there is no historical record of the water EVER coming that high and that far into town.
the outside world speaks:



we got a "reverse-911" call, a text, and an email from our township folks that carried a simple message: no non-essential / non-emergency vehicles out on the roads.  "too many trees, too many wires, too much damage".  OK, not a big deal.  i guess you could call it martial law, but i see the intent from the PD/FD/EMS perspective.  they got enough issues, folks wandering around playing look-see with 6KV feeders on the ground just creates one more set of problems.  
so on day 1 we stayed at home, made hot soup, cleaned up the yard, and prepared for a couple of days of no power.  
thereafter, the following process (mostly) would be repeated day after day:



first light: start EU2000i, power fridge.



((do stuff outside or at mom's house))



an hour before sundown: start tractor, engage PTO generator, run well pump, take showers, refill water stocks.



darkness: run EU2000i for fridge, lights, TV, and internet until 11pm or whenever.



overnight: nothing.  everything locked up.
each time, i manually topped off the water level in the well pressure tank before shutting down the PTO generator.  this allowed for about 10-15 flushes and some convenience water (for brushing teeth etc) while the well pump was not powered.
for the following 12 days which we had no utility power, the typical day consisted of about 8-20 hours of EU2000i run time and about 20-45 minutes of PTO generator run time.  this approach was "costing" us, per day, about 2 gals of gasoline plus about a quart-ish of diesel.  any downtime on the EU2000i was used to refuel, check the oil, and of course swap the interconnect cords between the EU2000i and PTO generator. once the tractor was powering the well pump, we would shower, refill water stocks, and take care of anything else that required more power than the EU2000i could provide. once the tractor started up, my neighbors quickly arrived to fill wash buckets for flushing their toilets.   a couple of days into the outage the overnight temps were dropping into the low 30's high 20's, so i would run the EU2000i overnight to keep the heat on.
interesting:



NOAA weather radio frequencies (aka "all hazards radio") were silent.  at first i thought the antenna was off my truck.  checked my handhelds.  nope.  no signal on ANY NOAA frequency, and i can usually hear two or three of the seven.  one of the two local amateur radio repeaters was non-operational, reason at that time unknown.  
fuel:



after a couple of days it was obvious that there were structural issues with fuel.  first, the obvious lack of power.  the storm disrupted the entire fuel supply and distribution chain –– from ship offload to refining to OTR (over the road) trucking to gas station dispensing. in this case there wasn't one problem that could be worked around, there were many that compounded each other. i had not been driving much, just to my mom's/sister's mostly (about 20mi round trip) and to a few other places with 10 miles but we saw some silly ass lines like a mile long waiting for gas.
things that were going well:



–– fuel consumption: about 2 gal gasoline per day, about 1/4 gal of diesel per day.  at this rate we were good on gasoline for roughly 14 days, and longer if we cut back on some things.



–– hot showers (<–– huge psychological boost for me personally)



–– hot food from gas stove (match lit)



–– heat.



–– Verizon FIOS was working (POTS, internet, and HDTV as long as the ONT unit and router had power –– this is about 40W total)



–– Verizon cellular service was working 100% (AT&T was horrible, as were others).
things that were inconvenient/awkward:



–– refueling the EU2000i in the dark holding a flashlight in my teeth.



–– "operational overhead" related to the dual generator setup.



–– "tactical" flashlights are useless for 99.9% of illumination needs.  you need a floodlight that lasts for several days, and not 87000 candlepower that lasts a half hour.



–– i should have connected the lights and fan in the master bath to the generator.  



–– my brother had 140 gallons of gas in the 30' boat on blocks in his driveway yet we could not get the siphon going.
things that were not going well:



–– my mom's basement was flooded up to the joists with seawater, diesel, and random pieces of the neighborhood.



–– my friend the OEM coordinator was coming unglued.



–– on our couch was a friend of mine from a nearby shore community... there was still deep water on his street and the damage situation there was far, far worse than where we lived.
after a couple of days i began "hot-fueling" the EU2000i and it is sorta-effective, but can get messy.  if you have tried this you will know what i mean.  the running generator aerates the fuel in the tank pretty effectively –– surprising me at first but i guess it is to be expected to some extent.  this makes hot-fueling cumbersome because you can get some of the aired-up gas froth spilling out the top of the generator VERY EASILY if you are not careful with both the rate you introduce new fuel and the level of the tank.  and once the tank is nearing full the gas will literally percolate up and out, forcing you to make quick work of getting the fuel cap on otherwise you'll have gas all over the generator.  it's not a great situation.
on sunday, 6 days after the hurricane, we "splurged" and with the tractor running we did 2 full loads of wash (we have a natural gas dryer but needs the grunt of the PTO generator to start up as the EU2000i was not interested at all in getting it going.) in total this day cost us about 1.5 gallons of diesel.
from a WAF (wife acceptance factor) standpoint, the setup i arranged is not great. while we can shower (with the PTO generator running) and live fairly normally (with the EU2000i running), the backup power system is not "self administering" in terms of refueling, power-vs-load management, and so on. there is some work on my end to configure things and keep the system operational, and some aspects of this process may not be obvious to a layperson. a natural gas-fueled generator would win in this aspect. moreover, the little Honda requires a bit of household discipline otherwise you'll pop the breaker on the unit. so, making a cup of coffee in the Keurig or using other "high power" loads has be done with some appreciation of what else is currently being powered and what the downstream effects might be.
the upside of this approach, however, is that i know some folks who were going through 8-12 gallons of gas PER DAY, and we were using just a quarter to a sixth of that. this would become VERY important a few days later when it became VERY apparent that getting more fuel was going to very difficult and/or time-consuming. very early that sunday(?) morning after the hurricane, still in the dark, i spent about 40 minutes waiting to get my truck topped off and put 10 gallons of gas in the cans. this brought us back to 25 gallons of gasoline on hand –– so i was never in any sort of "fuel crisis" during the outage. i knew some people who were very low/out of gas, and with nighttime temps going down into the high 20's that condition was a pain in the ass. the other problem was gas cans –– no one had enough, and the typical stores that had power and were open were sold out.
security:



having no flood/landscape lights powered was a bit disconcerting at times.  i may work on this going forward.  my home alarm system backup battery lasted about 3 days, then it switched off.   my EU2000i was secured to the workshop foundation via aircraft cable lock.  the tractor was back in the locked shop when not being used.  at no time were there uninvited folks seen in my little corner of the neighborhood.  on many (>5) occasions i left the house for the day (to work at my mom's place) with the EU2000i running.  
societal observations:



no issues in my town except for 1) folks complaining to the mayor about why the power isn't on (i'm always amused by this), and 2) while my neighbor and i were standing talking in the street one day this woman comes up alongside of us in an SUV.  there are two kids in the car.  she asks us when the power will come back on.  i reply with a friendly smile, "in 10 –– 10 minutes, 10 hours, or 10 days –– no one really knows."  she smirks and tells us that she drove 2 hrs to check on her cousin's house but she only has the electric garage door opener –– which doesn't work –– and no key.  then she asks, "do you know if there is any way to get the garage door open right now so we can go inside?"   i say with a smile, "yes, of course there is, but in most states it's referred to as burglary ..."  anyway, she drove off.
another observation which is now a sore point for me....
my family, coworkers, and friends live here.  i have walked through their wet, damaged houses and seen their flooded cars parked where no water has even been before.  none of them fit the ARFCOM GD model of a lazy FSA northeasterner.   for that matter i know two women who lost their home to the storm and a day later they were staffing the OEM/FEMA food distribution location and driving folks to get minor medical aid (i think i have to agree with my wife here that this is a coping mechanism).  
but one thing i have absolutely positively noticed is that loudmouthed idiots attract the attention of the media like no other.  there could be 10,000 people toiling away, diligently cleaning out their flooded basements and generally helping one another and their community get back to normal BUT there will be that one person who ends up with a microphone in front of them and this is what the media loves to run with.  8.7 million people can stand in line and get rationed gas in a cooperative manner but that's not a story.  the BIG story is the one person who has 7 kids including 3 useless teenagers and no water and no food and no preps and is blaming FEMA for not making her warm.  in summary, the media presentation of an event and it's affectees is a matter of "drama selection" by the producers.  
the other issue is that all of the preps in the world don't matter much if your house is destroyed.   the GD horde simply enjoys seeing other people suffer, and jumps to baseless conclusions about how this might have occurred.
but wait, there is more:



a week after the hurricane, we got a winter Nor'easter and 9" of wet, sticky snow and ice.  this set things back.  a group of guys from Alabama power ultimately restored my corner of the grid.
finally:



prepare for common things, and roll with the extraordinary things.
ar-jedi
View Quote






 









I was one of the power crews from Texas sent up there to work. I was 22 days out.



























 
 
Link Posted: 4/13/2015 7:15:32 AM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 10:28:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2015 10:30:26 PM EDT by danpass]
Excellent write up, thanks.  

I read all the stuff about the eu2000i genny and still don't understand fully.

2gal/24hr fuel consumption is VERY appealing ........... but I have to be able to hook it up to my four prong receptacle.

I will not go through the visual and physical tragedy that is extension cords and power strips through the house.
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 12:15:32 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By danpass:
Excellent write up, thanks.  

I read all the stuff about the eu2000i genny and still don't understand fully.

2gal/24hr fuel consumption is VERY appealing ........... but I have to be able to hook it up to my four prong receptacle.

I will not go through the visual and physical tragedy that is extension cords and power strips through the house.
View Quote



Buy 2 eu2000s with the parallel kit.

http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-parallel-capability
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 2:21:32 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By danpass:
I read all the stuff about the eu2000i genny and still don't understand fully.
2gal/24hr fuel consumption is VERY appealing ........... but I have to be able to hook it up to my four prong receptacle.
View Quote


http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/661411_Sandy____12_days_without_power__what_worked__what_didn_t____.html&page=6#i11303530

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 2:38:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2015 2:40:06 AM EDT by ar-jedi]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 2tired2run:


Buy 2 eu2000s with the parallel kit.

http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-parallel-capability
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Originally Posted By 2tired2run:
Originally Posted By danpass:
Excellent write up, thanks.  
I read all the stuff about the eu2000i genny and still don't understand fully.
2gal/24hr fuel consumption is VERY appealing ........... but I have to be able to hook it up to my four prong receptacle.
I will not go through the visual and physical tragedy that is extension cords and power strips through the house.


Buy 2 eu2000s with the parallel kit.

http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-parallel-capability


no.

the Honda EU2000i parallel kit does not result in a split phase (120/240Vac) configuration.  the Honda EU2000i parallel kit results double the current capacity at 120Vac on a single phase.  

the typical 4 wire generator inlet is set up for split phase -- that is, L1/L2/N/GND.   the Honda EU2000i parallel kit does not give you L2, it just gives you twice the current at L1.

assuming you have (a) an EU2000i (whether you have 1 or 2 EU2000i's, it matters not), (b) a 4 wire generator inlet connection, and (c) an interlock... there are a couple of options:  (*)
1) live with only power to every other breaker in your service panel.
2) opportunistically move a breaker or three to get everything critical on the same phase; this can be an "easy" solution.
3) bond L1 and L2 such that every breaker in your service panel is powered by the single phase provided by the  generator(s).  

regarding item 3 above, this should ONLY ever be done in the generator cordset, and ONLY ever done when used in conjunction with a transfer switch or interlock setup.
bridging the L1 and L2 phases anywhere else but in the generator cordset is an invitation to trouble, and that trouble could be VERY expensive and VERY hazardous.

see this excellent thread, specifically
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/644329__ARCHIVED_THREAD____DIY_Generator_Power_Cables_and_Install.html&page=8#i11046514
and
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/644329__ARCHIVED_THREAD____DIY_Generator_Power_Cables_and_Install.html&page=9#i11070418
and
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/644329__ARCHIVED_THREAD____DIY_Generator_Power_Cables_and_Install.html&page=9#i11092568

in fact, that thread is a VERY worthwhile end-to-end read.

ar-jedi

(*)
the above is true for any non-split phase generator, not just the Honda EU2000i.  it so happens that practically every small/portable inverter-type generator provides only 120Vac; Honda, Yamaha, Champion, etc.
yet most larger traditional direct-coupled generators generally provide split phase output capability (120Vac/240Vac).    example --> link


Link Posted: 9/1/2015 9:11:28 AM EDT
All good information listed there by ar-jedi, and should be required reading.  I'm one of the folks that has used option #3, but only for 110V circuits and carefully connected to an EU2000i.  For my setup, the only 220V connection on my transfer panel is for our well, so I just do without it if I want to connect the Honda to the house.  It will still power the fridge/freezers, and other important circuits up to its capacity, and when I want water, I can fire up the bigger generator.  Good to have options, but be very careful, make sure you read all of the reference info, and understand anything you are doing.
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 10:54:36 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

View Quote

Awesome, thanks.

Here is my setup now.  I shut off the mains, shut off all the breakers, plug the genny into the receptacle at the panel, turn on the receptacle breaker and then selectively turn on other breakers.


Coleman Powermate 6875 surge, 5500 steady by Dan Passaro, on Flickr


Coleman Powermate 6875 240v outlet by Dan Passaro, on Flickr
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 2:10:44 PM EDT
so it sounds like the natural gas /LP combo fuel generator is a good option fir a event like this.
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 10:06:03 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Roger_C:
All good information listed there by ar-jedi, and should be required reading.  I'm one of the folks that has used option #3, but only for 110V circuits and carefully connected to an EU2000i.  For my setup, the only 220V connection on my transfer panel is for our well, so I just do without it if I want to connect the Honda to the house.  It will still power the fridge/freezers, and other important circuits up to its capacity, and when I want water, I can fire up the bigger generator.  Good to have options, but be very careful, make sure you read all of the reference info, and understand anything you are doing.
View Quote


that's correct, with qty 1 or 2 EU2000i's there is still only 120Vac available.  with the "phase bridge" in place in the generator cordset, both the L1 and L2 blades on the backup power inlet see 120Vac, and therefore all breakers in the service panel have 120Vac power.   unplug the "phase bridge" cordset, plug a 4 wire cordset it, and then plug that into a 120/240Vac split phase generator, and you will have 120Vac on all breakers PLUS 240Vac between adjacent breakers.  this is due to the fact that in a split phase configuration, L1 and L2 are 180 degrees out of phase -- this is exactly how your local power company delivers you electricity via the service drop from the utility pole.  3 wires come off the secondary of the pole transformer: L1, L2, and N.  the 4th wire GND is via a set of rods or similar.

ps
the reason for the split phase approach used in the USA is simple: it allows delivery of 2 times the power with only 1.5 times the conductor cost.  in a large, geographically-expansive power distribution network, this saves a shit-ton of copper and aluminum (=money).

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 9/5/2015 6:41:50 AM EDT
both legs coming from transformer to your house are not 180 degrees out of phase
one transformer from one leg on the primary, two seperate taps on the secondary side of the windings

even on a 4s CT meter service they are the same just higher voltage

Link Posted: 9/5/2015 9:07:07 AM EDT
the eneergizer weather ready lantern also comes in a solar charged version:

energizer solar weather ready light
Link Posted: 9/5/2015 9:43:51 AM EDT
the eneergizer weather ready lantern also comes in a solar charged version:

energizer solar weather ready light
Link Posted: 9/5/2015 11:36:25 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dunragit:
both legs coming from transformer to your house are not 180 degrees out of phase
one transformer from one leg on the primary, two seperate taps on the secondary side of the windings
even on a 4s CT meter service they are the same just higher voltage
View Quote


no.

your POCO service drop consists of three wires: L1, L2, and N.  

L1 and L2 are tapped from opposite ends of the center tapped secondary winding on the line transformer (pole pig).
N is the center tap.
by definition, coming from opposite ends of a center tapped secondary winding, L1 and L2 are 180 degrees out of phase.

the results of this arrangement are as follows:

L1 -> N = 120Vac
L2 -> N = 120Vac
L1 -> L2 = 240Vac

informational notes:
-- if there was not a 180 degree phase angle between L1 and L2, then L1 -> L2 = 0Vac.  
-- there is no way to build a center-tapped transformer where the opposite ends are not 180 degrees out of phase.

hence, any single pole breaker (L1 OR L2)  in your service panel has 120Vac referenced to neutral (N).  
and furthermore, any two pole breaker (L1 AND L2) has 240Vac between the two legs.  

an important engineering benefit of such a split-phase power arrangement is that it reduces the amount of copper (or aluminum) needed in the POCO service drop.  this is due to the fact that with L1 and L2 180 degrees out of phase, the N only has to carry the difference between L1 and L2 currents.  were L1 and L2 in-phase, the N would have to carry the sum of L1 and L2 currents.   and, as you can see from inspection of the service drop and panel in your house, the N conductor is sized EXACTLY the same as the L1 and L2 conductors.  again, this is a direct benefit of having L1 and L2 180 degrees out of phase.  the result is that with split phase power you can deliver 2X the power with only a 50% increase in the amount of conductor material needed.

if you are going to tell us again that L1 and L2 are in phase, then you need to tell us how 240Vac is arrived at AND furthermore why in the current residential distribution topology the neutral conductor is the same gauge as the L1 and L2 conductors. the reason it can be, as i explained above, is because split phase topology (i.e., the 180 degree difference) saves a buttload of copper in the physical plant.

more info here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1406758_.html

ar-jedi











Link Posted: 9/5/2015 11:47:30 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:


no.

your POCO service drop consists of three wires: L1, L2, and N.  

L1 and L2 are tapped from opposite ends of the center tapped secondary winding on the line transformer (pole pig).
N is the center tap.
by definition, coming from opposite ends of a center tapped secondary winding, L1 and L2 are 180 degrees out of phase.

the results of this arrangement are as follows:

L1 -> N = 120Vac
L2 -> N = 120Vac
L1 -> L2 = 240Vac

informational notes:
-- if there was not a 180 degree phase angle between L1 and L2, then L1 -> L2 = 0Vac.  
-- there is no way to build a center-tapped transformer where the opposite ends are not 180 degrees out of phase.

hence, any single pole breaker (L1 OR L2)  in your service panel has 120Vac referenced to neutral (N).  
and furthermore, any two pole breaker (L1 AND L2) has 240Vac between the two legs.  

an important engineering benefit of such a split-phase power arrangement is that it reduces the amount of copper (or aluminum) needed in the POCO service drop.  this is due to the fact that with L1 and L2 180 degrees out of phase, the N only has to carry the difference between L1 and L2 currents.  were L1 and L2 in-phase, the N would have to carry the sum of L1 and L2 currents.   and, as you can see from inspection of the service drop and panel in your house, the N conductor is sized EXACTLY the same as the L1 and L2 conductors.  again, this is a direct benefit of having L1 and L2 180 degrees out of phase.  the result is that with split phase power you can deliver 2X the power with only a 50% increase in the amount of conductor material needed.

if you are going to tell us again that L1 and L2 are in phase, then you need to tell us how 240Vac is arrived at AND furthermore why in the current residential distribution topology the neutral conductor is the same gauge as the L1 and L2 conductors. the reason it can be, as i explained above, is because split phase topology (i.e., the 180 degree difference) saves a buttload of copper in the physical plant.

more info here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1406758_.html

ar-jedi

http://i.stack.imgur.com/HdUzm.gif

http://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/02177.png

http://engineering.electrical-equipment.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Centre-Tapped-Transformer.jpg

http://www.utterpower.com/images/househ2.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1a/Splitphase.gif

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Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Dunragit:
both legs coming from transformer to your house are not 180 degrees out of phase
one transformer from one leg on the primary, two seperate taps on the secondary side of the windings
even on a 4s CT meter service they are the same just higher voltage


no.

your POCO service drop consists of three wires: L1, L2, and N.  

L1 and L2 are tapped from opposite ends of the center tapped secondary winding on the line transformer (pole pig).
N is the center tap.
by definition, coming from opposite ends of a center tapped secondary winding, L1 and L2 are 180 degrees out of phase.

the results of this arrangement are as follows:

L1 -> N = 120Vac
L2 -> N = 120Vac
L1 -> L2 = 240Vac

informational notes:
-- if there was not a 180 degree phase angle between L1 and L2, then L1 -> L2 = 0Vac.  
-- there is no way to build a center-tapped transformer where the opposite ends are not 180 degrees out of phase.

hence, any single pole breaker (L1 OR L2)  in your service panel has 120Vac referenced to neutral (N).  
and furthermore, any two pole breaker (L1 AND L2) has 240Vac between the two legs.  

an important engineering benefit of such a split-phase power arrangement is that it reduces the amount of copper (or aluminum) needed in the POCO service drop.  this is due to the fact that with L1 and L2 180 degrees out of phase, the N only has to carry the difference between L1 and L2 currents.  were L1 and L2 in-phase, the N would have to carry the sum of L1 and L2 currents.   and, as you can see from inspection of the service drop and panel in your house, the N conductor is sized EXACTLY the same as the L1 and L2 conductors.  again, this is a direct benefit of having L1 and L2 180 degrees out of phase.  the result is that with split phase power you can deliver 2X the power with only a 50% increase in the amount of conductor material needed.

if you are going to tell us again that L1 and L2 are in phase, then you need to tell us how 240Vac is arrived at AND furthermore why in the current residential distribution topology the neutral conductor is the same gauge as the L1 and L2 conductors. the reason it can be, as i explained above, is because split phase topology (i.e., the 180 degree difference) saves a buttload of copper in the physical plant.

more info here:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1406758_.html

ar-jedi

http://i.stack.imgur.com/HdUzm.gif

http://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/02177.png

http://engineering.electrical-equipment.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Centre-Tapped-Transformer.jpg

http://www.utterpower.com/images/househ2.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1a/Splitphase.gif


Allow me a moment to touch on this.

We had an odd situation one day about two months ago.  One of The Really Thick Wires on the little keg hanging at the top of the power pole in the back came loose and eventually fell off.

It was just like what I'm reading here.  

Half the house went down, along with all the 240V stuff, you know, like the central A/C on a 95F day.

It was really odd that some wall outlets worked and some not at all.  The microwave worked but the refrigerator did not.

If I were to get a smaller genny that only put out TT-30R power, and I were to adapt it to L14-20 outlet, how would I avoid having a room with only half the outlets working?
Link Posted: 9/5/2015 12:16:18 PM EDT
the eneergizer weather ready lantern also comes in a solar charged version:

energizer solar weather ready light
Link Posted: 9/5/2015 5:34:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2015 5:35:44 PM EDT by ar-jedi]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By danpass:
Allow me a moment to touch on this. We had an odd situation one day about two months ago.  One of The Really Thick Wires on the little keg hanging at the top of the power pole in the back came loose and eventually fell off. It was just like what I'm reading here.   Half the house went down, along with all the 240V stuff, you know, like the central A/C on a 95F day.  It was really odd that some wall outlets worked and some not at all.  The microwave worked but the refrigerator did not.
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Originally Posted By danpass:
Allow me a moment to touch on this. We had an odd situation one day about two months ago.  One of The Really Thick Wires on the little keg hanging at the top of the power pole in the back came loose and eventually fell off. It was just like what I'm reading here.   Half the house went down, along with all the 240V stuff, you know, like the central A/C on a 95F day.  It was really odd that some wall outlets worked and some not at all.  The microwave worked but the refrigerator did not.


that's a good observation.  when either one of the two POCO service drop legs is cut, only half of the single pole breakers on the service panel will receive power.   moreover, any 240Vac loads will not see voltage at all.  in the service panel, btw... it's not "breakers on the right vs breakers on the left"; instead it's every other breaker on the left and right.  recall that to pick up 240Vac on the service panel you need vertically adjacent breaker positions.  a double pole breaker inserted thus connects to L1 and L2, providing 240Vac to the load.    below, a picture of a modern panel with the cover removed.  in the "empty locations" you see a metallic "flag" or "tab" sticking up.  vertically, every other one of those is on the other leg.  so moving vertically on the left side, L1 L2 L1L2 L1 L2 ... etc, and the same on the right.  

Originally Posted By danpass:
If I were to get a smaller genny that only put out TT-30R power, and I were to adapt it to L14-20 outlet, how would I avoid having a room with only half the outlets working?


one approach to solving this described several times in this thread, and again referenced on this page in the following link,
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/661411_Sandy____12_days_without_power__what_worked__what_didn_t____.html&page=7#i11676711
there is a ton of useful info in the links within that post.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY THAT YOU HAVE A MEANS OF ISOLATION BETWEEN THE POCO SERVICE DROP AND THE GENERATOR IF YOU TAKE AN APPROACH WHICH INVOLVES BRIDGING L1 AND L2.  

for your options on isolation, see
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1782712_Backfeeding_your_house_with_a_generator_and_a_dryer_outlet_.html&page=1#i55379439

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 9/5/2015 6:59:01 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:


that's a good observation.  when either one of the two POCO service drop legs is cut, only half of the single pole breakers on the service panel will receive power.   moreover, any 240Vac loads will not see voltage at all.  in the service panel, btw... it's not "breakers on the right vs breakers on the left"; instead it's every other breaker on the left and right.  recall that to pick up 240Vac on the service panel you need vertically adjacent breaker positions.  a double pole breaker inserted thus connects to L1 and L2, providing 240Vac to the load.    below, a picture of a modern panel with the cover removed.  in the "empty locations" you see a metallic "flag" or "tab" sticking up.  vertically, every other one of those is on the other leg.  so moving vertically on the left side, L1 L2 L1L2 L1 L2 ... etc, and the same on the right.  



one approach to solving this described several times in this thread, and again referenced on this page in the following link,
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/661411_Sandy____12_days_without_power__what_worked__what_didn_t____.html&page=7#i11676711
there is a ton of useful info in the links within that post.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY THAT YOU HAVE A MEANS OF ISOLATION BETWEEN THE POCO SERVICE DROP AND THE GENERATOR IF YOU TAKE AN APPROACH WHICH INVOLVES BRIDGING L1 AND L2.  

for your options on isolation, see
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1782712_Backfeeding_your_house_with_a_generator_and_a_dryer_outlet_.html&page=1#i55379439

ar-jedi

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/48031-2/IMG_1652.jpg

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Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By danpass:
Allow me a moment to touch on this. We had an odd situation one day about two months ago.  One of The Really Thick Wires on the little keg hanging at the top of the power pole in the back came loose and eventually fell off. It was just like what I'm reading here.   Half the house went down, along with all the 240V stuff, you know, like the central A/C on a 95F day.  It was really odd that some wall outlets worked and some not at all.  The microwave worked but the refrigerator did not.


that's a good observation.  when either one of the two POCO service drop legs is cut, only half of the single pole breakers on the service panel will receive power.   moreover, any 240Vac loads will not see voltage at all.  in the service panel, btw... it's not "breakers on the right vs breakers on the left"; instead it's every other breaker on the left and right.  recall that to pick up 240Vac on the service panel you need vertically adjacent breaker positions.  a double pole breaker inserted thus connects to L1 and L2, providing 240Vac to the load.    below, a picture of a modern panel with the cover removed.  in the "empty locations" you see a metallic "flag" or "tab" sticking up.  vertically, every other one of those is on the other leg.  so moving vertically on the left side, L1 L2 L1L2 L1 L2 ... etc, and the same on the right.  

Originally Posted By danpass:
If I were to get a smaller genny that only put out TT-30R power, and I were to adapt it to L14-20 outlet, how would I avoid having a room with only half the outlets working?


one approach to solving this described several times in this thread, and again referenced on this page in the following link,
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/661411_Sandy____12_days_without_power__what_worked__what_didn_t____.html&page=7#i11676711
there is a ton of useful info in the links within that post.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY THAT YOU HAVE A MEANS OF ISOLATION BETWEEN THE POCO SERVICE DROP AND THE GENERATOR IF YOU TAKE AN APPROACH WHICH INVOLVES BRIDGING L1 AND L2.  

for your options on isolation, see
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1782712_Backfeeding_your_house_with_a_generator_and_a_dryer_outlet_.html&page=1#i55379439

ar-jedi

http://wopr.losdos.dyndns.org/gallery2/d/48031-2/IMG_1652.jpg


Thanks.  I'm not a fan though of the backfeed thing.  As far as I'm concerned there's only two ways to power your stuff: genny transfer switch or multiple extension cords throughout the house.


Link Posted: 9/5/2015 8:58:25 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By danpass:

Thanks.  I'm not a fan though of the backfeed thing.  As far as I'm concerned there's only two ways to power your stuff: genny transfer switch or multiple extension cords throughout the house.
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Originally Posted By danpass:

Thanks.  I'm not a fan though of the backfeed thing.  As far as I'm concerned there's only two ways to power your stuff: genny transfer switch or multiple extension cords throughout the house.


click the link above.

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 1/22/2016 4:06:19 PM EDT
Thanx for all the info given on here.
I finally pick up my 9000watt tri fuel generator the other day.
Now I am starting to gather the parts to set this all up. Mainly on NG.

Here is what I did for security during Sandy.
I picked up a few of these from Harbor Freight. I picked up three with the same channels (there is a little stick on the box next to the UPC that indicates what channel that particular one is).
Another on a different channel. The one with the same channels, the three senors will ring on one. This way I set up the reliever throughout the house.

Harbor Freight Drive way Sensor

These can be picked up for $10-$12 with the coupons.
I also painted the sensor black and also cover the red LED light as not to give away the sensor location in the dark.
I put two on stakes so I can move them around.
The receiver takes 3 C batteries each. It can also take a 6v DC plug which is sold separately, which I picked up in TJ Maxx for a gameboy that works in the receiver for $1.50 on clearance. Again what good is it if the light is out.
The sensor takes a 9v battery.
They both run for several months on batteries.

So I have my perimeter for my property all covered incase someone wants to try.
Hope this info helps someone out there.

On a stake



Channel Indication on unit (same stick will be on the box)


Receiver with AC plug

Link Posted: 6/11/2017 10:51:42 PM EDT
Just seeing this thread now....excellent work ARJ.....thanks for this chronicle. Very informative 
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 4:58:43 PM EDT
With what's going on in TX, good time to bump this.
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 6:16:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 10:44:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2017 11:14:02 PM EDT by MochaJava]
Because of this thread I had an electrician install an interlock and an outside 240 volt outlet (inlet?) in my new home last year and it sure came in handy when we lost power for five days in July (a tree went down on electric wires along the road in a summer thunderstorm, pushing over the poles and pulling out the feeder line to my meter and some other damage).
Happened early on a Friday and the electric company didn't tell me it was my responsibility till late Friday night.  Naturally, couldn't get an electrician til Monday and and it inspected til Tues.
Fortunately it was just our house and I had no problem getting gas for the generator.
6000/7000 watt generator worked everything without a hiccup, including the well pump (but not the heat pump), so no air, which we could live with.
Were it winter my Jotul wood stove would have made the house livable.
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 11:02:07 PM EDT
Awesome info thank you
Link Posted: 9/3/2017 5:17:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TheGrayMan:
and Photobucket has wreaked havoc on this thread, like so many others...
View Quote
Yeah, it sucks.
Hopefully some of the posters who put up photos can go back through and re-post their pictures using another host....
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 11:41:59 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
the cordset connecting the EU2000i to the Reliance PB50 power inlet is SOOW 12/3 (n.b.: cordset nomenclature includes the ground wire, whereas Romex does not: 12/2 w/GND is 3 wires).  at one end of the cordset is a NEMA 5-15P (standard household 2 wire w/ground).  at the other end is a "special" 4 wire (L1/L2/N/Gnd) female connector receptacle called type CS6364.  this is not a NEMA type but is in widespread use within the backup power community. the Reliance PB50 has the mating (male) CS6375 end.

as noted above, in the EU2000i's cordset there is a jumper from L1 to L2 at the CS6364.  this bridges the feeds to the transfer switch and therefore powers both 'phases' of the switch.

ar-jedi


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/CAROL-Cord-1YPW9

http://images.drillspot.com/pimages/6822/682263_300.jpg

http://www.tuffrhino.com/v/vspfiles/photos/RA-EZ-5-15P-2T.jpg

http://www.marinco.com/files/img_main/products/CS6364N_1.jpg

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/reliance-controls-50-amp-power-inlet-box-pb50.html

http://www.transferswitchplace.com/20-68-thickbox/reliance-controls-pb50-50-amp-power-inlet-box.jpg
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Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By A6BN:
Can you explain more about the cord you used to connect your EU2000 to your power inlet?  Did you make a cable to connect your 3 prong 110V generator outlet to your 4 wire power inlet?  Was it a 4 wire cable that you connected the two hots together at the 3 prong plug?
the cordset connecting the EU2000i to the Reliance PB50 power inlet is SOOW 12/3 (n.b.: cordset nomenclature includes the ground wire, whereas Romex does not: 12/2 w/GND is 3 wires).  at one end of the cordset is a NEMA 5-15P (standard household 2 wire w/ground).  at the other end is a "special" 4 wire (L1/L2/N/Gnd) female connector receptacle called type CS6364.  this is not a NEMA type but is in widespread use within the backup power community. the Reliance PB50 has the mating (male) CS6375 end.

as noted above, in the EU2000i's cordset there is a jumper from L1 to L2 at the CS6364.  this bridges the feeds to the transfer switch and therefore powers both 'phases' of the switch.

ar-jedi


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/CAROL-Cord-1YPW9

http://images.drillspot.com/pimages/6822/682263_300.jpg

http://www.tuffrhino.com/v/vspfiles/photos/RA-EZ-5-15P-2T.jpg

http://www.marinco.com/files/img_main/products/CS6364N_1.jpg

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/reliance-controls-50-amp-power-inlet-box-pb50.html

http://www.transferswitchplace.com/20-68-thickbox/reliance-controls-pb50-50-amp-power-inlet-box.jpg
I want to make one of these cords but I'm not understanding something.

You mention using SOOW 12/3 which has 4 wires as opposed to romex 12/2 that has 3 wires. If you have a jumper from L1 to L2 why do you need the 4 wires? I'm imagining running the hot from the 5-15p to L1 and jumping L1 to L2. Then the neutral and ground do their thing as normal. Does this not work properly or is it less safe in some way?

In your 4 wire setup does the 5-15p have two hot connections leading to L1 and L2 separately then L1 and L2 are jumped together?

I really like this. I have a eu2000i and a 7500w Champion. My house is pretty similar in that I don't need lots of watts a big majority of the time. I could get by most of the time running it off the Honda and save a lot of gas. I have a transfer switch with a L14-30 inlet that I could further restrict the load through.
Link Posted: 9/9/2017 12:08:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2017 12:13:06 AM EDT by Desert_AIP]
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Originally Posted By Gixxersixxer:


I want to make one of these cords but I'm not understanding something.

You mention using SOOW 12/3 which has 4 wires as opposed to romex 12/2 that has 3 wires. If you have a jumper from L1 to L2 why do you need the 4 wires? I'm imagining running the hot from the 5-15p to L1 and jumping L1 to L2. Then the neutral and ground do their thing as normal. Does this not work properly or is it less safe in some way?
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SOOW 12/3 has three wires - black, white, green.

Attachment Attached File


Attachment Attached File


You jumper L1 and L2 with a short piece of 12 AWG in the plug,
Link Posted: 9/9/2017 1:38:58 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Desert_AIP:


SOOW 12/3 has three wires - black, white, green.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/71432/soow3-302711.JPG

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/71432/3_con_SOOW-302715.JPG

You jumper L1 and L2 with a short piece of 12 AWG in the plug,
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Thanks. As I reread AR-Jedi's post I see where I misunderstood there to be 4 wires.
Link Posted: 9/9/2017 1:55:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2017 1:57:56 AM EDT by ar-jedi]
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Originally Posted By Gixxersixxer:
I want to make one of these cords but I'm not understanding something.

You mention using SOOW 12/3 which has 4 wires as opposed to romex 12/2 that has 3 wires. If you have a jumper from L1 to L2 why do you need the 4 wires? I'm imagining running the hot from the 5-15p to L1 and jumping L1 to L2. Then the neutral and ground do their thing as normal. Does this not work properly or is it less safe in some way?

In your 4 wire setup does the 5-15p have two hot connections leading to L1 and L2 separately then L1 and L2 are jumped together?
I really like this. I have a eu2000i and a 7500w Champion. My house is pretty similar in that I don't need lots of watts a big majority of the time. I could get by most of the time running it off the Honda and save a lot of gas. I have a transfer switch with a L14-30 inlet that I could further restrict the load through.
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ok you are in over the target area, let's just clean up a few details.

you likely already have a 4 wire cordset which interconnects your big 7.5KW champion generator with the house inlet.  in this case there is a 1:1 correspondence between the 4 wire receptacle on the generator and the 4 wire inlet on the house.  in this case, the split phase 120Vac/240Vac from the generator powers both "sides" of your house service panel (it's actually every other breaker appearance, but you get the idea).

now then, with a 120Vac-only generator like the EU2000i, you've got 3 wires (L1, N, GND). if you wire up a cable and connect *only* L1 to the 4 wire connector which mates with the house inlet, half the breakers in the service panel get no power.  if you opportunistically arrange the breakers in the service panel, you can in fact let this situation stay as it is.   simply move all of the "important stuff" breakers to feed from L1.  this might include the fridge, sump pump, kitchen light, etc.


if you want to get a little clever without having to move or rewire the breaker positions, you can introduce a "bridge" between L1 and L2 IN THE GENERATOR CONNECTION CORDSET AND ONLY IN THE GENERATOR CONNECTION CORDSET.  DO NOT BRIDGE L1 and L2 IN ANY OTHER PLACE BESIDES THE GENERATOR CONNECTION CORDSET.  THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SAFETY.  

so, for the specific "120Vac-only" special cordset:


SOOW 12/3 cordage has three wires: L1 (black), N (white), GND (green).

generator end: attach NEMA 5-15P (which interfaces to a 120Vac-only generator like your [and my] EU2000i), and all three wires are accounted for.

inlet end: (some 4 blade female connector).  (see wiring details below***)

house-mounted inlet: (some 4 blade male connector, which carries L1, L2, N, and GND back to your transfer switch or interlocked service panel)



(***) in the backshell of this 4 wire connector, connect up the three wires, and then use a short piece of #12AWG (minimum) wire to bridge L1 and L2.  this wire will be about 1.5" long.  the plastic backshell may be marked "X" and "Y" for the positions you are bridging.  

so
1. wire L1 (black insulation) from generator to L1/X on 4 wire connector.
2. wire N (white insulation) from generator to N on 4 wire connector.
3. wire GND (green insulation) from generator to GND on 4 wire connector.
4. bridge L1 and L2 in connector backshell using a short length of #12AWG min wire (stranded or solid is OK).  i would use black or red colored wire for this purpose.
(note: this does mean there are qty 2 wires in the L1 contact position; ensure they are well secured by the clamping mechanism.)
5. mark the end of the cable with a label/tag denoting what you have done.

your cable will look something like what is shown below.

see also
https://www.ar15.com/forums/outdoors/SAFELY-power-both-legs-with-a-120V-generator-/17-690289/&page=1#i11811813

ar-jedi


Link Posted: 9/11/2018 1:17:23 PM EDT
Bumping this outstanding thread for the folks nervously watching hurricane Florence coming towards the Carolinas with a current projection of Category 3/4 strength at landfall on Sept 13/14, 2018.

Be safe!
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 2:02:46 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:
Bumping this outstanding thread for the folks nervously watching hurricane Florence coming towards the Carolinas with a current projection of Category 3/4 strength at landfall on Sept 13/14, 2018.

Be safe!
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Team Members may also find this related thread informative.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/outdoors/SAFELY-power-both-legs-with-a-120V-generator-Instructions-in-OP-Also-convert-water-heater-to-120v-/17-690289/
Link Posted: 10/4/2018 8:26:11 PM EDT
Irene really hit my AO bad. Sandy not so much and the October storm got up pretty good. The biggest problem was fuel and the horde of NY and NJ critters that swarmed into lower CT for said fuel. Thankfully I put up enough before the storms that we could go get more to bolster our supply vs desperately look for fuel because we had none. My gas generator runs of a large (20-25 gallon) marine fuel tank
Link Posted: 10/5/2018 2:30:04 AM EDT
I have a shit ton of flash lights but my favorite when it comes to getting work done is this one...

Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II

One of the best things is that it will run on a CR123 or a AA battery..
Link Posted: 12/27/2019 8:59:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:

each time, i manually topped off the water level in the well pressure tank before shutting down the PTO generator.  this allowed for about 10-15 flushes and some convenience water (for brushing teeth etc) while the well pump was not powered.
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Please explain your procedure to top off the well water pressure.
Link Posted: 12/28/2019 8:40:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2019 8:42:42 AM EDT by NHGUNNER]
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Originally Posted By Katahdin:

Please explain your procedure to top off the well water pressure.
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@Katahdin

Not sure how he does it, but in the past I have left a faucet running (filling water containers) until the well pump kicked on. Then I shut off the generator once the tank got to its full pressure. That ensures I can flush the toilets a few times.
Link Posted: 12/28/2019 9:01:39 AM EDT
The other thing you can do is to manually trip the pressure switch near the bottom of the pressure tank. This will kick the well pump on and fill the pressure tank. The switch will automatically turn off when the pressure hits the setpoint.

Don’t hold the switch in position, just push it to activate it then let it alone.
Link Posted: 12/28/2019 9:44:13 AM EDT
Did not know that! Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/28/2019 3:56:44 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NHGUNNER:
Not sure how he does it, but in the past I have left a faucet running (filling water containers) until the well pump kicked on. Then I shut off the generator once the tank got to its full pressure. That ensures I can flush the toilets a few times.
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Originally Posted By NHGUNNER:
Not sure how he does it, but in the past I have left a faucet running (filling water containers) until the well pump kicked on. Then I shut off the generator once the tank got to its full pressure. That ensures I can flush the toilets a few times.
you can do that ^^^.

Originally Posted By 98Redline:
The other thing you can do is to manually trip the pressure switch near the bottom of the pressure tank. This will kick the well pump on and fill the pressure tank. The switch will automatically turn off when the pressure hits the setpoint.  Don’t hold the switch in position, just push it to activate it then let it alone.
or you can do this ^^^.

NOTE ON THE LATTER PROCESS: IF MANUALLY ACTIVATING THE WELL PUMP DO NOT EXCEED NORMAL SYSTEM OPERATING PRESSURE.  

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 12/29/2019 12:56:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2019 5:09:38 PM EDT by NotUrLawyer]
Any reason I shouldn't use 10ga. copper for a 240 V / 50 amp / 9000W 9500 W / 11,000W 12,500 W surge generator?
I've already made up the cord with the appropriate 50 amp ends -- I'm pretty sure it'll work.

ETA: length is probably around 15'.
Edit2: updated to correct generator ratings.
Link Posted: 12/29/2019 9:53:16 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By NotUrLawyer:
Any reason I shouldn't use 10ga. copper for a 240 V / 50 amp / 9000W / 11,000W surge generator?
I've already made up the cord with the appropriate 50 amp ends -- I'm pretty sure it'll work.

ETA: length is probably around 15'.
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10 gauge AWG copper is rated for 30 amps.    I wouldn't run more than that through it.    11,000 watts is 45 amps.   I would run 6 gauge.

If it was my house and the loads that we run, yeah you would probably get away with it.   We rarely pulled over 80% from our 8KW so the wire would rarely run "near capacity" but the problem would occur IF YOU DID.    And then what?   If you are running in a power outage then emergency services may already have their hands full.   911 services may already be routed through other counties, and Fire/Rescue response times may already be longer than you want.   Do you want to risk burning your house down over fifteen feet of wire?   Running on a generator is the time to "do it right" and not push the limits of what you can do.  My opinion only.

2Hut8
Link Posted: 12/29/2019 10:51:51 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By NotUrLawyer:
Any reason I shouldn't use 10ga. copper for a 240 V / 50 amp / 9000W / 11,000W surge generator?
I've already made up the cord with the appropriate 50 amp ends -- I'm pretty sure it'll work.
ETA: length is probably around 15'.
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will it work, yes -- for loads less than 7200W (=30A).
at high loads in high ambient temperatures, the temperature rating of the insulation may be exceeded which can result in degradation of the insulation and subsequent risk of fire and/or shock.  
the breaker on the generator (similarly, on your household service panel etc) is there to protect the wiring; a 50A breaker is oversized by 20A for the attached 10AWG cable.

fyi

9000W/240V = 37.5A
11000W/240V = 45.8A

in general, for copper conductors,
10AWG ampacity is 30A.
8AWG ampacity is 40A.
6AWG ampacity is 50A.

by strict definition, 6AWG SOOW cord ampacity is 45A (see NEC Table 400.5(A)(1), "Allowable Ampacity for Flexible Cords and Cables", specifically Condition A) but i would not worry about that as your generator can not produce 11,000W for more than a few seconds.

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 12/29/2019 12:44:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2019 12:44:43 PM EDT by Desert_AIP]
I drew around 18A on a 100ft 14AWG extension cord plugged into a 20A circuit for a few hours.
The heat generated melted the outlet and plug together and charred the 12AWG wire in the wall to the point the insulation sloughed off as dust.
It was probably close to igniting.
The breaker never tripped.

I have the melted outlet and charred wiring hung above my circuit breaker panel as a reminder.

I'll never use undersized wiring or cords ever again, I was lucky.
Link Posted: 12/29/2019 1:55:34 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Desert_AIP:
I drew around 18A on a 100ft 14AWG extension cord plugged into a 20A circuit for a few hours.
The heat generated melted the outlet and plug together and charred the 12AWG wire in the wall to the point the insulation sloughed off as dust.
It was probably close to igniting.
The breaker never tripped.

I have the melted outlet and charred wiring hung above my circuit breaker panel as a reminder.

I'll never use undersized wiring or cords ever again, I was lucky.
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This is good advice,spend a few extra bucks and do the job right the first time.  
Rule of thumb
14awg—15a
12awg—20a
10awg—30a
8awg —40a
6awg—50a

Surges or startup load can be much more as it only lasts seconds
Running 20a continuous load on 12 will heat it up and you should step up 1 size.
Ymmv
Link Posted: 12/29/2019 2:26:03 PM EDT
Hmmm.
Thanks for the feedback.
I think I do have a 30 amp male end that I could put on the cord which would keep me in spec. (and protected by the generators 30 amp breaker). The transfer breaker and receptacle are 50 amps.
Nominal use case is running the generator in cold weather (below 40F) plugged into the outdoor breaker box. Zero risk of a house fire. Only real risk is melting the cord, damaging my plugin(s), and being without power.

I should probably spend the $80 and get this if I want to run at 100%.
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  • ?NEMA 14-50P?- Plug (Male): 14-50P with handle, elbow plug style for strain-relief. An easy grip handle that makes unplugging the cord easier; straight blade male plug body with grounding pin.

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