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Guest Message by DevFuse

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DirecTV with a Generator


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368 replies to this topic

#51 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:26 PM

Our military has some of the best pilots in the world, and they have checklists for everything. There are times that even they miss things... No doubt most don't have problems backfeeding a panel, but the potential is there for a serious issue.


Even with the appropriate panel installed, there is potential for a serious issue if it is not done correctly. After all, the electrician is following a mental checklist of his own when he installs it. But as long as you turn off the main breaker before you do anything, that'll eliminate the most serious issue in backfeeding.

Is backfeeding against code? Sure. So are most of the Christmas lights I see people put up. You're not going to find an inspector in all of New Jersey right now to cite you with a backfeeding violation, and one that is temporary at that. Note that in most states it's against code to wire your furnace so it plugs into an outlet, even if the outlet is on its own dedicated circuit. There are several how-to's on the Internet on how to do this very thing so you can plug it directly into your portable generator. Yet I think over half the houses in the U.S. have their furnaces wired like that.

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#52 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

You don't have problems if you prepare everything ahead of time, research and know what you are doing, ...

Perhaps, but what if someone else ends up trying to undo it after you've done it?

And how else are you going to power your furnace?


Well, I've got a gas furnace that uses 110V for ignitor and blower. I put a regular 120V AC power plug on the wire that feeds the furnace, and an outlet from the AC mains which it stays plugged into. When I lose power, I simply run an extension cord in from the generator and plug in the furnace. Simple, easy, and safe.

#53 OFFLINE   dsw2112

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

Perhaps, but what if someone else ends up trying to undo it after you've done it?


That's the part I'd worry about. Having two AC sources in parallel (mains & generator) isn't like running two DC sources in parallel. Something is gonna give...

While it's possible that an electrician can miswire a transfer switch; I'd think that would be hard to do (and easy to check.) Once installed, there's not much room for error with a transfer switch. On the other hand, the error potential exists each and every time for those that backfeed a panel. I'm not judging, but I just can't imagine doing that in my home (even if I'm the only one completing the process each time.)
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#54 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

All it takes is one mistake and you can cause permanent damage. Backfeeding is NOT a good idea. If you did it, you would absolutely need to make sure your mains feed was OFF at any time the generator was connected. Transfer switches do this by making sure only one input can be on at the same time. No "oops" unless the transfer switch is broken.

I wired my house with additional separate wiring for the generator. NO connection to the main service. I crank up the generator and unplug stuff from the mains outlets to connect it to the generator powered outlets. Sometimes inconvenient but no chance for an oops.

And the few times the power fails and the power company comes around to check houses before restoring power I tell them that I am NOT backfed. They like that.

Your house, your responsibility ... but for me and my house, I will never backfeed.

#55 OFFLINE   palmgrower

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:20 AM

As a backfeeder for Frances & Jean and the two resulting fires and explosions in my neighborhoof after FPL (Florida Plunder & Loot) restored power to homes who didn't disconnect main when back feeding, we decided to do it right
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When Katrina & Wilma hit, we rolled out the Kubota 12kw surge 10KW continuous diesel generator on to the back porch, ran the 6 gauge 4 wire to the transfer switch and let'r rip.
Best investment we ever made.
Our DTV is on UPS backups which seem to clean up the electricity from the grid and the generator.
If you want the Hurricanes to stay away, buy the best hurricane panels, a metal roof and a generator, haven't been hit since, lol

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#56 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:31 PM

While they're supposed to comply with OSHA, the military often has added "quirks" to throw at a problem. :lol:


OSHA makes their rules. If the rules laid forth by a manufacturer or the Navy (I guess) are more stringent than OSHA's rules, those are the rules OSHA goes by.

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#57 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:34 PM

You don't have problems if you prepare everything ahead of time, research and know what you are doing, and make a check list of things you have to do in order (and another check list of how to tear it down safely). You don't want to be making this list for the first time in the dark and bitter cold after you haven't slept for a few days.

I lose power maybe once every 5 years, so a professional hookup for me is just silly. And how else are you going to power your furnace?


With a genny? What's special about a furnace? Serious question, I don't see any reason a genny can't be used to provide the power for a furnace.

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#58 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

Perhaps, but what if someone else ends up trying to undo it after you've done it?


That's hard. As I said earlier, you can't see electricity and you can't read the previous electrician's mind. That's why you're better off using the same electrician for connecting and disconnecting things such as backfed CB boxes.


Well, I've got a gas furnace that uses 110V for ignitor and blower. I put a regular 120V AC power plug on the wire that feeds the furnace, and an outlet from the AC mains which it stays plugged into. When I lose power, I simply run an extension cord in from the generator and plug in the furnace. Simple, easy, and safe.


Yeah, I didn't get that one either.

Rich

#59 OFFLINE   dsw2112

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

OSHA makes their rules. If the rules laid forth by a manufacturer or the Navy (I guess) are more stringent than OSHA's rules, those are the rules OSHA goes by.

Rich


For clarity; my mention of "manning the watch" in addition to the standard tag out/lock out wasn't anything that was really official policy (at least not when I was in.) I had a Division officer that used E-nothings for furniture (when they pissed him off.) He'd make them get down on all fours and use them as a table; placing a picture, candy bowl, etc on their back. We'd also draw a chalk circle on the flight deck (for the guys that couldn't resist crossing in front of landing aircraft.) They were to stand inside the tiny circle to ensure they didn't kill themselves.

All of this is pretty far off topic so I apologize. There's many things we used to do (mostly to prevent stupid people from killing themselves or others) while at sea. Most of which would not be considered standard "policy" or be anything that would translate to OSHA.
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#60 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:57 PM

Especially since OSHA's authority doesn't extend to military/combat related equipment or operations.

#61 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

Especially since OSHA's authority doesn't extend to military/combat related equipment or operations.


Take you a long time to root thru the Net to figure that out? OSHA doesn't even cover federal buildings.

#62 OFFLINE   Joe C

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

If you are going to backfeed your panel, use an interlock kit so you can't goof up while running the genny. Pretty simple. http://www.interlockkit.com/

#63 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

I can't believe customers are so addicted to TV, they insist on running TV/IRD's/SWM off a generator. How pathetic is that?

Nothing pathetic or addictive about that. If you have a whole house or a large KW generator, to heat or cool your home when the power is out, it will power everything in your home.

#64 OFFLINE   BlackDynamite

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

I can't believe customers are so addicted to TV, they insist on running TV/IRD's/SWM off a generator. How pathetic is that?


Is it really any worse than putting Directv in a motor home?

I have Directv in my motor home, and I love it. I have been following this thread so I can hopefully learn how to use a generator to power my house (including Directv) during a power outage.

It may be pathetic, I guess, but I think it's pretty awesome that people have figured out how to do it and they are willing to share that knowledge.

I look forward to setting it up myself someday when I can afford it.

#65 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

The generator, no. But TV isn't essential. Generators are meant for essential functions. I got so many calls this past week from Sandy idiots, and they all whined about their boxes not working on generator. What spoiled boobs.

That is true, it is not essential, but when I lived in Florida and we lost power for 10 days, due to a hurricane, and it sure was nice to be able to watch TV using the generator. All my non generator neighbors were over at our house at night. I made them bring the popcorn and beer.

#66 OFFLINE   Vin

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

That is true, it is not essential, but when I lived in Florida and we lost power for 10 days, due to a hurricane, and it sure was nice to be able to watch TV using the generator. All my non generator neighbors were over at our house at night. I made them bring the popcorn and beer.


I bet! My power has been out since last Monday...no heat, no lights, no internet (I'm at my MIL house right now) and NO TV! We were supposed to be back up and running on Saturday but like a lot of other people, our estimated restoration date has come and gone and we are freeeeeeeeezing! And bored! :) Never experienced anything like this....will be prepared for the next time!
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#67 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:28 PM

Is TV an essential? That depends on the person, and on what you want to watch. Personally, TV is pretty important if for no other reason than to watch the news and get important information from local authorities. Beyond that, some recreation in a time of emergency can be a huge stress reliever, and that too is important. So while on one hand I want to agree with the sentiment that television isn't or shouldn't be an essential, on the other hand there is no denying there is some important use for it. For those who are able to keep their systems going, more power to them (no pun intended).

#68 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:15 PM

OSHA doesn't even cover federal buildings.

Actually, it does, with some exceptions.

#69 OFFLINE   Mark40930

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:31 PM

Watch these cheap China made generators as they produce what is called "dirty power" (high voltage spikes), due to loads swtiching in and out, such as, refridgerators, pumps, etc. You can fry you DVR's, TV's and other sensitive electronics (Cell phones, computers, etc.).

The better Honda converter type generators have much better control over voltage spikes.

Call the generator tech support and ask about this, most of the time they reply with good luck.


Check out Hardy Diesel, they stock a wide variety of diesel and NG generators. The Perkins units are very decent quality.

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#70 OFFLINE   palmgrower

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

Check out Hardy Diesel, they stock a wide variety of diesel and NG generators. The Perkins units are very decent quality.


Excellent quality but not as fuel efficient as the Kubotas.
In a ten day cycle we measured a one day fuel advantage with the Kubota powered diesels over JD, CAT, Perkins, and Onan with the same load.
This experience is with the 40KW units only. I have no data from other sizes.

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#71 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

Aye, they do, but still incredibly dumb.

Amazing :eek2:

Do they at least kill the main breaker to the panel (to isolate from the grid) when they do that?


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#72 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

Eh. Get an electrician to properly wire a transfer switch for you, then it is quite a simple matter for Joe Homeowner to plug in his portable genny. This is how a lot of folks here in FL handle hurricane prep. Not all of us can afford the initial and ongoing cost of a permanent whole home genny.

I would recommend having any generator installed professionally. DIY is OK for some home project, but not for a generator install.

The best way to do it is go to a company that sells and installs generators. It may cost a few dollars more initially but will make your home a lot safer than you trying to figure out instructions for a DIY project.


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#73 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

You're trying extra hard to make enemies up here.....

I've long taken the stance up here that TV isn't a life changing thing, or even necessary, and in fact, some folks up here just blow my mind with their apparently TV-centric lives. That being said - I once went without power (hurricane Wilma) for 6 weeks. TV certainly wasn't essential, but when your life is disrupted to that degree, for that length of time, it is certainly a nice to have distraction. Especially during football season.

I tried early on to help you out, and in fact I love your twitter feed, but your ongoing and relentless animosity is unsettling.

The generator, no. But TV isn't essential. Generators are meant for essential functions. I got so many calls this past week from Sandy idiots, and they all whined about their boxes not working on generator. What spoiled boobs.


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#74 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:20 AM

Is TV an essential?

I suspect that if we were thrust into a situation the likes of Sandra, a modicum of understanding that the whole World has not come to a grizzly end is pretty important. I still can't explain the tailgating thing.
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#75 OFFLINE   Tom_S

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:29 PM

TV is essential during a disaster like this. I had no phone or internet. What if there was an emergency evac or something? That's why I needed it. I have no cell service here either. Don't just assume everybody is just whining brats.
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