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Manual b/u generator: Safest way to alert that utilities are back on line?

981 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  480sparky
Hello. This is outside my usual work, but all the searching I've done hasn't helped.

Rural location with a correctly installed manual transfer switch immediately after the meter. When the bull is thrown to the generator side, both hot legs are totally disconnected from the pole and power is supplied by a ~40A gas powered portable generator. Problem is that, with no visible neighbors or streetlights, there's no good way to know if utility service is back.

I see Reliant has a device something like the bastard child of a sniffer pen and a smoke alarm (http://www.nooutage.com/thp108.htm), but the service from the utilities comes into an outbuilding (where all this occurs) which means I need something more than a beep. I'd like to wire a ringing bell, maybe with a second one in the house, which means some sort of relay that's sensing voltage ahead of the transfer switch. I don't want to compromise the separation between the utility and the genny, but the best solution I see is to wire a little relay to the utility side of that transfer switch that energizes a circuit whose load side is supplied by generator... but it reduces the gap between the two sources from a huge dead air gap in the transfer switch to just the body of that relay.

Thoughts? Better suggestions? Upgrading the genny to one capable of using an ATS, and installing an ATS, isn't going to fly.

Luke in NY
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