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Personally electricity scares the @#$t out of me. If you @#&k up you will DIE!!!!!

I would like to know what you electricians think about the practice of back feeding electricity into a home from a portable generator through an outlet or service/sub panel. I have used this method to supply power to my home in emergency situations but have ALWAYS informed my utility provider that we are on bu generator.
 

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I believe they call that a suicide cord...

The poco allows that?
 

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'Round here, if the POCO knows you're on a genny without a proper transfer switch, they'll cut you off from the grid and will not reconnect until they inspect said required transfer switch.

Doing what you're doing is an invitation to get sued.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Back feeding like that will be just fine during the nuclear winter after all power companies are offline until civilization rebuilds. Any other time, not such a good idea. :thumbsup:
 

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Personally electricity scares the @#$t out of me. If you @#&k up you will DIE!!!!!

I would like to know what you electricians think about the practice of back feeding electricity into a home from a portable generator through an outlet or service/sub panel. I have used this method to supply power to my home in emergency situations but have ALWAYS informed my utility provider that we are on bu generator.
It scares the crap out of you, yet you use a suicide cord with no transfer device??????

Think about that as you re-read 480's and Tin's replies. :whistling
 

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'

Round here, if the POCO knows you're on a genny without a proper transfer switch, they'll cut you off from the grid and will not reconnect until they inspect said required transfer switch.

Doing what you're doing is an invitation to get sued.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to call B.S. on this one.

It's hard to believe they would have that kind of authority. I can understand it maybe if it was an automatic switchover setup. I have done it on several occasions during extended outages. I work with those guys all the time and have never heard of any such restrictions. As a state licensed master electrician and former electric utility distribution operations person, I certainly know to open my main breaker to isolate from the grid but I have no plans to install a "proper transfer switch" for such an infrequent event. Hell, when the power comes back on my generator would probably be smoked before the 50 amp breaker I have for my mig welder (which is where I plug in) cleared the flash. And I don't live on some podunk rural cooperative. I'm on the largest electric delivery company in the state. If you're feeding back into the grid, you'll almost immediately overload your generator. Utility personnel will either work it as if were hot or they will short circuit (if open-wye or three phase) and ground anything they don't want to work hot. The last ice storm we had my power was out for almost four days. There were generators all over the place.
 

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I'm afraid I'm going to have to call B.S. on this one............

Then you'd be flat-out wrong.

Line crews may work on line hot..... only if they have to. Just because they're line crews doesn't mean they always work hot.

They have every right to assume that when THEY turn the power off, some doofus backfeeding their panel with a generator isn't hooked up to THEIR lines, thereby creating a shock hazard for the line crew.

POCOs here HAVE and WILL CONTINUE to disconnect people who don't have the proper setups to run gennys. If they're running a cord in through the window to fire up the fridge, that's fine.... but if it's hooked up the the house wiring, they'll cut you off.

Believe it or not. I could not care any less if you don't. You don't live here. I do.

If you want proof, click here and go to page 35.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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It's hard to believe they would have that kind of authority.
Whaddaya do in Tx, shoot 'em if they cut you off? Most places I"m aware of, the POCO has the final say on whether they are willing to sell you their product. Possible exception being a life-threatening situation.
 

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Whaddaya do in Tx, shoot 'em if they cut you off? ...........
That's Texas all the time, isn't it? They never changed their calendars after Judge Roy Bean sat on the bench. :laughing:
 

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...They have every right to assume that when THEY turn the power off, some doofus backfeeding their panel with a generator isn't hooked up to THEIR lines, thereby creating a shock hazard for the line crew.
The operating and safety rules for electric utility workers are pretty much the same all over the U.S.. No one assumes a line is dead even if they can see a physical break in the conductor or an open fused cutout or disconnect. Even if they can see both ends of a line, they are required to install grounds if they want to work it with work gloves - otherwise they work it as if it were energized.

POCOs here HAVE and WILL CONTINUE to disconnect people who don't have the proper setups to run gennys. If they're running a cord in through the window to fire up the fridge, that's fine.... but if it's hooked up the the house wiring, they'll cut you off.
How would they know?

So if they discovered that you were backfeeding the panel with a portable generator you would have to install a "proper transfer switch" even if you signed an agreement promising not to do it again? I don't think so.
 

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The operating and safety rules for electric utility workers are pretty much the same all over the U.S.. No one assumes a line is dead even if they can see a physical break in the conductor or an open fused cutout or disconnect. Even if they can see both ends of a line, they are required to install grounds if they want to work it with work gloves - otherwise they work it as if it were energized.
Well, I hate to tell you, but not every POCO is cut from the same mold. What MAE does here isn't a carbon copy of what TXU does. They are businesses, and they can make up whatever rules they want to (within the law) in order to run their business.


How would they know?
Uh, line crews have ears, don't they? They can also detect the energized lines, can't they? It's not like they drive up and down the roads doing nothing but looking for generators, but if they find one operating like the OPs set-up, they are well within their legal rights to maintain the safety of their people.

So if they discovered that you were backfeeding the panel with a portable generator you would have to install a "proper transfer switch" even if you signed an agreement promising not to do it again? I don't think so.
Obviously you didn't click on the link. No, the line crews don't deal with paperwork like that. Nor would the office. Their legal department would never have a customer sign an agreement like that.

They would simply cut you off (whether you're energized from the utility or not), and you would not get hooked back up until a licensed electrician obtained a permit, installed a proper transfer switch, both the POCO and AHJ inspects & passes the install, and then a line crew would return to hook you back up.
 

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Yes, I did click on the link and read page 35 (and a little bit on page 36) earlier.

TXU doesn't have anything to do with the delivery of electricity in Texas.

The company to which I originally referred is ONCOR. There service regs do not address portable or standby generators. See for yourself:

http://www.oncor.com/pdf/construct/guidelines/ESGJuly2010.pdf

For the electric delivery company serving my "farm". See page 17 in the following:

https://www.swepco.com/global/utilities/lib/docs/service/Meter/SWEPCoElectricServiceHandbook.pdf

They discuss it and say "should" but nothing like the bureaucratic B.S. you guys have to put up with.

I will agree that if they discovered a backfeed they would certainly have the right to pull your meter or disconnect the service at the pole, handhole or at the pad transformer. But if all they have to go on is the drone of a portable generator.... How is it that they would know the difference from a cord feeding the refrigerator, TV and some lights and backfeeding the panel? Seems like they could pull the meter and check for voltage if they heard one. When they did and determined that there was no voltage at the meter, what are they going to do? Demand to enter your home to investigate? Get real.
 

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..............I will agree that if they discovered a backfeed they would certainly have the right to pull your meter or disconnect the service at the pole, handhole or at the pad transformer. But if all they have to go on is the drone of a portable generator.... How is it that they would know the difference from a cord feeding the refrigerator, TV and some lights and backfeeding the panel? Seems like they could pull the meter and check for voltage if they heard one. When they did and determined that there was no voltage at the meter, what are they going to do? Demand to enter your home to investigate? Get real.

Here, I'll get real for you.... I can't answer on their behalf.

Their number is 800-799-4443. If you have a problem with the way they run their business, I'll let you take it up with them.
 

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I'm tempted to move up there and test the legality of that policy. I'm sure if I did, I could become a pretty large stakeholder in that company if I wanted. What a ridiculous indefensible bunch of crap!
 

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Years ago a I had a towable generator. During extended power outages I would go to friends homes & charge up their refers/freezers/water htrs. & what ever. It was a big generator. If I tied into the main service the breaker was open. Usually I just hooked up to the item being charged up. More than once the POCO stopped to check how I was connected. But I knew a lot of them fellas & never put them in danger.
 

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I'm tempted to move up there and test the legality of that policy. I'm sure if I did, I could become a pretty large stakeholder in that company if I wanted. What a ridiculous indefensible bunch of crap!

All you'd do is make the lawyers rich.
 

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All you'd do is make the lawyers rich.
I doubt it. They're not very big but they'd probably settle out of court for a couple million (if one of their linemen forced his way into my house).

Gee, what is the source of your fear of those guys?
 

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I doubt it. They're not very big but they'd probably settle out of court for a couple million (if one of their linemen forced his way into my house).

Gee, what is the source of your fear of those guys?
I don't fear them. I simply comply with their rules. BTW, the lineman don't come into your house. They simply cut your service off at the pole.

BTW, if you got $2mil, your lawyer would be quick to take his $1.333mil cut.
 

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This seems to come down to
putting linemen in slightly more than normal danger from a homeowner energizing a line
vs.
a homeowner's inconvenience or expense.

Regardless of what's written on paper, I can't imagine a jury not passing judgement in favor of a widow whose husband was killed because a homeowner didn't know about this hazard, was not curious enough to inquire, or didn't want to spend $[fill in this amount] to prevent some lineman from taking on additional, and presumably unwanted, risk.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_person
 
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