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Can anyone verify linemen getting hurt or other from backfed generators? They open lines and verify no voltage, from what I see.
 

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We always check Lines and ground them. Clamp on line to neutral.
Eventually you will have to work with it ungrounded.


I think the key here is that it is a big country and at any given time there are repairs from storm damage being done. With all this work being done at some point all the conditions needed come together and a lineman gets blasted.
 

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Isnt that the reason for a generator panel and transfer switch. The way i do it is put a 100 amp main lug and run fridges, furnaces, fireplaces, masterbedroom, bathroom, micro etc to it and the rest to the main panel with a transfer switch in between. I guess it would be easy to hook up wrong though when HOs can buy them at box stores and DIYers. Maybe we should find a video of the receptacle guy doing a generator
 

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It's perfectly safe if you have a transfer switch, or main interlock, or even just always shut off the main - but people forget or don't understand. The issue is a person going down to home depot, buying a generator, and having their brother-in-law "who knows about electricity" backfeed it into their dryer receptacle with a suicide cord. For some reason there is a perception just because it is not power coming from the utility that it is safe to play around with.

I'm sure there are electricians that have had to rig something up in a pinch, and that's different, it's the people who don't understand how electricity works who connect up some scary things.

http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen.html
http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen2.html
http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen3.html
 

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It's perfectly safe if you have a transfer switch, or main interlock, or even just always shut off the main - but people forget or don't understand. The issue is a person going down to home depot, buying a generator, and having their brother-in-law "who knows about electricity" backfeed it into their dryer receptacle with a suicide cord. For some reason there is a perception just because it is not power coming from the utility that it is safe to play around with.

I'm sure there are electricians that have had to rig something up in a pinch, and that's different, it's the people who don't understand how electricity works who connect up some scary things.

http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen.html
http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen2.html
http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen3.html

Even those who know what there doing have a member of the family who does not or will often sell their home to some one who doesn't. As long as no double taps are present the HI will like the fact the house has a generator hook up. HO will like the fact also, thinking all you have to do is plug the generator in.


Normally a back feeding generator will trip when it tries to back feed all the houses in the neighbor hood, however given the right conditions such as a broken conducer it will not but the voltage potential is there.

In all honesty the linemen are partly responsible. They should assume live with test and ground down followed by a test, including all lateral lines. Glove up or both. Im guessing they knew the feeder breaker in the substation was open or the branch cutouts were all open while the line was grounded down anticipating everything would be dead down stream. Not the best practice but often that's how its done.
 

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A POCO crew getting ready to do some storm damage work knocked on my door to make sure I wasn't backfeeding.
 

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I agree, even if not a generator backfeeding, there could be a wire down on the lines somewhere fed from another location. Just because a switch is open doesn't mean you should assume anything. Often the guys tying lines back together are subcontracted and are rushing to path stuff back together as fast as possible.
 

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A POCO crew getting ready to do some storm damage work knocked on my door to make sure I wasn't backfeeding.

:laughing:

POCO guys often aren't the brightest. Never ask or assume, test, test, test. Of course you would be honest but the average joe would have no clue.
 

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It's perfectly safe if you have a transfer switch, or main interlock, or even just always shut off the main - but people forget or don't understand. The issue is a person going down to home depot, buying a generator, and having their brother-in-law "who knows about electricity" backfeed it into their dryer receptacle with a suicide cord. For some reason there is a perception just because it is not power coming from the utility that it is safe to play around with.

I'm sure there are electricians that have had to rig something up in a pinch, and that's different, it's the people who don't understand how electricity works who connect up some scary things.

http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen.html
http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen2.html
http://members.rennlist.org/warren/badgen3.html
The first and third are freaking scary.

The second one should be ok as long as you know to shut off your main to prevent back feeding, right?
 

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:laughing:

POCO guys often aren't the brightest. Never ask or assume, test, test, test. Of course you would be honest but the average joe would have no clue.
This happened a long time ago before generators became popular. I think they were initially confused as to why one house was lit up in a sea of darkness. :laughing:
 

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Bilge Rat
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Nope. Just asking a question. I guess I missed something with the second one, but the first and third just seem dangerous.
The main issue with the second one is that you must remember to turn off the main first. There is a possibility that this step would be forgotten, even if it were printed on the panel.

I'm not sure if any code requires this, but the installation would be a LOT more safe if it was impossible to backfeed the utility.
 

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Bilge Rat
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:laughing:

POCO guys often aren't the brightest. Never ask or assume, test, test, test. Of course you would be honest but the average joe would have no clue.
Yes, linemen are often a bit less than brilliant.......lol.

But every lineman knows 'if it ain't grounded, it ain't dead.'

Some of them seem to forget this once in a while......
 

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The main issue with the second one is that you must remember to turn off the main first. There is a possibility that this step would be forgotten, even if it were printed on the panel.

I'm not sure if any code requires this, but the installation would be a LOT more safe if it was impossible to backfeed the utility.
I'm fairly certain that's what I said in my first post, but I guess identifying that means that I've lost my mind.

Chances are if you have to start your generator, you'll be out by the panel anyways. Capping neutrals and making a "shorting plug" sounds a lot more dangerous to me.
 

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Yes, linemen are often a bit less than brilliant.......lol.

But every lineman knows 'if it ain't grounded, it ain't dead.'

Some of them seem to forget this once in a while......

I agree. Sometimes they will just ground the main trunk line and assume everything branching off is dead. Poor assumption to make.
 

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We always check Lines and ground them. Clamp on line to neutral.
As I said in a previous post not all electricians can "KNOW IT ALL",so in my ignorance I have to ask...If a homeowner has attached a portable generator to his panel and the lineman connects HIS line to his neutral, and then connects his line to ground, where is the common reference to ground?
 

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Bilge Rat
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Around here, the primary of the POCO transformer is bonded to the secondary neutral/ground.

If the primary line if connected to the line neutral, it effectively shorts out the primary of the transformer.
 
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