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Old Generator power low

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Soloboss, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Sounds like a good and safe plan to me. :)

    I am half tempted to wander out to the shed and drag my unit out and give it a run. Then too, that would involve putting down my Sunday afternoon beer and actually some work. I must give this some thought. :)

    Ron
     
  2. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    If you are back feeding the house correctly the lines in the house themselves all ready have the nessisary ground point installed. The only time I would ever concern myself with an actual ground rod for a portable gen set is if I was installing it to no longer be portable.

    I have yet to ever see anyone actually drive a ground rod in when using a portable gen set for any reason. Its a pointless waste of time and effort. Just have a honest look around at any camp site or at any portable power system being used during an emergency or simply for remote power for what ever reason and you will likely not see anyone ever putting a ground rod in prior to or during the use of the generator. ;)

    This is one of the irritations I have with the over cautious under educated and under experienced people, those ones who wear the Styrofoam safety hats while riding a bicycle or horse or going on a hike on uneven ground, who go off on a safety crusade over anything for any reason. :mad:
     
  3. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    Don't you be makin' fun of my hat! LOL - I wear a motorcycle helmet always. I wear a bicycle helmet never. We do what we do.
    Anyhow, here's where the question comes from. I dropped the generator at my parent's house and we didn't have time to do any wiring. When I left we decided to just use extension cords if they do have an outage. As you said, most generators are just used to plug in stuff and run it - like at a camp ground. In the house some of the devices are not grounded (ordinary lamps and little stuff) while other stuff is grounded (major appliances). When I pull the plug from the wall and plug into a 12-2 w/ground extension cord nothing is grounded - - - - hang on, it's coming to me. When I plug into a cord with a ground wire connected back to the generator, all of the 3 wire corded appliances attached to the extension cords become common. Of course they aren't common with the other stuff still plugged into the house, but that stuff doesn't work anyhow because the power is out. The lamps and stuff that are 2 wire cords don't matter. IF that's what your saying it really is that simple.
    It's still chilly outside and I'm bored so answer me this if you would. If I don't need to bother with the ground to the genny, how come the instruction book and everything published recommends that I ground it. They just covering their butts?
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    The grounding recommendation is basic butt covering 101 in regards to all electrical appliances and or devices.
    Its the easiest legal way of making sure you are responsible for yourself and not them.
    If you get hurt or killed and someone tries suing the manufacture and they ask if the device was properly grounded and it was not then its not their fault. Plain and simple.
     
  6. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    Ooh - that's a tough call. good luck with that.
     
  7. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    While I agree with tcmtech that the grounding point on the generator is more for show than for go and likely liability reasons I figure it this way. If the generator is always going to be used in the same location during a power outage it won't hurt to ground it. The cost is not much and the effort of pounding it into the ground isn't that bad (unless several feet down you find a large rock). Honestly, before the permanent generator I didn't bother but I just feel I should suggest it to others. Ah yes, the old do as I say and not as I do. :)

    Motorcycle: Nope, never in my younger years but now more of a yes. Hell I trust me but other drivers, even with defensive bike driving I don't trust. Then too, maybe getting old plays into it.

    Bicycle: Don't ride one and haven't in years. Makes me wonder how as kids we ever survived all those crashes? Nope, never wore one.

    Ron
     
  8. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    On another note I did drag my ass out to the shed. Started on second pull. So I let it run a 1500 watt heater.

    Trips out there are infrequent but this one paid off as in getting to the generator and moving a ton of junk I had a great find. Actually several finds. I found a box of old electronic junk with a Fluke counter in it. It's an old Fluke 7520A covered in dust and dirt. LMAO, 5 HZ to 80 MHz. One of these. I also found a box of assorted new Newport panel meters. I can't remember when or where I got that stuff from but it was many years ago. Now I have two 7520A counters. Like those are useful right! :)

    Generator ran great for the 30 min of fuel I gave it. I guess if needed this summer it is there. Thanks for the motivation.

    Ron
     
  9. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    If you got motivated, don't blame me. I had nothing in that one. Great find in the generator building! Ya s'pose leprechauns stole that stuff and hid it in your building? Ya don't want to make those little people mad - they'll get even.
    My little genset lit right up. That's the 2.4k Generac I sent home with Dad, then traded him for the 4kw on wheels. I like this one and I'm glad I got it back before my Uncle talked him out of it. It's just right for electric trimmers and stuff at the far end of the lot. Easier to pull a rope twice than roll out cord and then put it all back.
    Wife made chocolate chip cookies and I gotta take a picture so I can sell a sandbox on craigslist. Busy busy . . . cookies first.
    Later
     
  10. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    I finally came up with a way to make a very low cost interlock. Since an interlock isn't a game of brute strength, it doesn't need to be extremely robust. It does need to prevent the accidental dum bass attack - you know, the maneuver that nearly lets us energize the mains with the genny still plugged in. Or energizing the genny with the mains ON.
    Nuts - the photos loaded backwards.
    In photo 3 the main is UP (on) and the rotating bar is blocking the genny breaker. In Photo 2 the main is down (off) and the genny breaker can be ON. In photo 1 the genny breaker is ON and the rotating bar is locking the mains from being flipped UP. I'll make it and see if it works. The rotating bar is sheet metal and made with a hacksaw and drill. The clamp around the bar in the center of the mains is just a cable clamp. The rod that connects the two is a bicycle spoke or metal rod or flat rod or whatever. You guys know whats in the junk drawer in your shop.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  11. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Very creative. :)

    Junk drawer in my shop? What junk draw? My junk collection extends to all corners of the house including attic and crawl spaces. Oh yeah, and the shed in the yard also. I know no limits. The wife would provide a sworn statement to that effect.

    Again, the approach looks quite good on the breaker panel. I like it.

    Ron
     
  12. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    I looked carefully at what I had done and realized that it's a good plan, but not for me. The breaker that I was going to lock-out is feeding a 15 amp 220 feed in the garage. It's tapped from an electric dryer outlet. Locking out that one will lock out my 220 outlet in the garage. That's also my back-feed connection point. On to the next plan. I do have a 30 amp double breaker in the panel that used to feed an electric baseboard heater. The heater is gone, but the breaker is there and the heavy cable is in the attic. Excellent place for a connection to make a dedicated generator input with the interlock on that breaker. All I need is a source for electric cable at an affordable price.
     
  13. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    Well, the pretty little Powermate is gone. The best I could do was to minimize my loss at this point. It went to a farmer who sprays trees and he fills his 300 gallon tank from the irrigation ditch. I know that the genny puts out up to 10 amps with no apparent strain. At 15 to 17 she's still solid but running a bit rich. By the book a 1/2 hp sump pump (his fill pump) draws 2100 watts at start-up then 825 watts running. Running I assume is lifting from a basement to an outside drain. This guy is lifting from a ditch to the top of his tank. I think that I should let him know that he needs to test his setup. Even a new 2000 watt generator may not provide the power for that lift. Anybody got any thoughts on this? I'll take the genny back if it isn't suitable and he hasn't damaged it.
     
  14. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    It should work oput just fine for his application. May it run forever. :)

    Ron
     
  15. Soloboss

    Soloboss New Member

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    Thanks Ron. I didn't figure the generator part was all that smart. If the answer had been NO, the I'd have a problem because there's no way the engine is gonna run backwards. It's way to smart for that.
    Harbor Freight has a heck of a price on a fresh engine. Their 6.5hp is on sale for $129. It's an absolute clone of the Honda 6.5 hp. If it was a tapered shaft engine, I'd probably replace the old Briggs engine. But nobody makes an adapter to attach a keyed straight shaft to a tapered generator. That was the big driver for the belt drive. Then I got thinking that some of the older 10 - 12 hp engines would run the little 2400 watt generator at a lazy pace, and that would be fairly quiet. I could calculate the rpm and belt drive it, then tune it in with the throttle / governor adjustment.
    Too late to think. I'm tired.
    Mark
     

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