Generac Running, But No Power in House

   / Generac Running, But No Power in House #31  

Diggin It

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I went with one of these:

http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/th/aplus/siemens/siemens-QSA2020SPD-main-lg.jpg


Plugs directly into the panel and gives you the use of the two breakers. Cost me around $80 and was a 10 minute installation.

Problems with all of these types of devices:

. You don't know if it worked, or if you just didn't get hit and would have survived without it.
. You don't know if it failed, or if it tried to protect you but the surge was over the capabilities.
 
   / Generac Running, But No Power in House
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drssg

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There are lots of cheap and not so cheap ethernet surge suppressors that aren't super effective. You want one that has both gas discharge tubes, and preferably "diodes"/MOV. You want one that will attenuate both line to line (across the Ethernet signal wires) and lines to ground.
I used these;
https://www.amazon.com/Tupavco-Ethernet-Protector-Gigabit-1000Mbs/dp/B00805VUD8/
the ground wire is way too short and I ended up creating a ground bus for a couple of ethernet cables entering the house at the same point, and then a heavy ground wire back to the main electrical panel.
Downstream, I added an MOV based unit.
Like this one;
(I am amused at the "thunder" protection, but it does contain diodes for fast clamping.)

All of the units that I looked inside had thin little PCB traces to carry the lightning surge, which is pretty pathetic in my opinion, but again, these gizmos are to take the edge off a surge, not stop a nearby strike. If you have a close hit, lots of things are going to vaporize.

You can get "outdoor" versions that are helpful to put on Ethernet cameras and WiFi access points/antennas. They have varying degrees of water resistance, but I use them as well to provide voltage clamping on both ends of every ethernet cable entering or leaving the house to keep any transient voltage surge as small as possible.

Like @grsthegreat, I put in the Siemens 140; cheap insurance in my book. I do have another half a dozen outlet surge suppression strips scattered around the house. Each one of them helps attenuate surge as well. (Each is another 4,000J, supposedly.)

All the best,

Peter

Thank you for all the information. I'm hoping to get someone out this week to check things out, and I'll also request some assistance with the ethernet surge protectors. I don't know how to properly handle the grounding wire connections.

I'll post an update when I find something out.

Thanks again for everyone's assistance. There is a wealth of experience on this forum.
 
   / Generac Running, But No Power in House
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drssg

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Just a minor update, a guy came out today that is more of a mechanic, not an electrician. He confirmed that the switch over problem still exists and wasn't a one-time fluke. He confirmed that it was something he can't fix, and an electrician will be out at a later date.
 
   / Generac Running, But No Power in House #34  

grsthegreat

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Really need a generator service tech to look at it, especially if its a warranty repair.
 
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drssg

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Really need a generator service tech to look at it, especially if its a warranty repair.
I think it's out of warranty, but I agree. The guy they sent out today does annual servicing, but he wasn't familiar with the inner workings of the transfer switch, which is where he suspects the issue is. He happens to live right down the street from me, and he was available sooner. He will pass on information, and another guy is now scheduled to come out this Friday. We'll see.
 
   / Generac Running, But No Power in House #36  

grsthegreat

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But having issues with both transfer switches at same time seems weird. May be issue with wire #23 not going to ground. Thats handled thru the controller
 
   / Generac Running, But No Power in House #37  

ROUSTABOUT

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We recently had a short power outage for about ten minutes. Our Generac whole house generator kicked on, but we still had no power in the house.

I removed the cover from the transfer switch, and there is a manual switch that requires a tool (which is provided) to manually switch the house load between the utility and the generator. This switch was in the "up" position, which I believe means the house is still trying to get power from the utility.

I was inclined to manually flip the switch to provide power to the house, but I wasn't sure if there were other steps that I should take. I don't want to damage anything or injure a lineman.

I plan to have it checked by a professional next week, but in the meantime, is it safe to just manually operate that switch, if needed?
I've had ants get into transfer switches. They'll cause 150,000 watt generator to do exactly what yours is doing. But you may not have ants where you live.
 
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drssg

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But having issues with both transfer switches at same time seems weird. May be issue with wire #23 not going to ground. Thats handled thru the controller

That's a good point. Hopefully, I'll get a better answer tomorrow.
 
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drssg

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I've had ants get into transfer switches. They'll cause 150,000 watt generator to do exactly what yours is doing. But you may not have ants where you live.

We definitely have ants, and I've had them destroy an outdoor GFCI plug multiple times, but the generator looked clean.

I will be glad to get whole house surge protectors installed. In addition to lightning issues, the cutover to generator power seems to generate some dirty electricity. I've used surge protectors around the house to protect my more expensive and sensitive electronics, but after the guy tested the cutover, I noticed that my clock radio is now dead. It's not a big deal, but I'm getting sick of replacing stuff.
 
   / Generac Running, But No Power in House #40  

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A whole house surge protector should really help. As unclean as the switch over may be, I am a little bit skeptical that the voltage would be extreme enough to kill your appliances. Generators by design don't much over 240 by design, unless they fail. I would put my money on the lightning storm for that.

On the whole house surge protector, I would try to make sure that you set up the wiring to be covered by both grid power and generator power. The general advice is to put the surge protector as close to the meter as possible, but that is likely to isolate it if the transfer switch for the generator kicks in, so you might want a second one at the generator. I would file it under cheap insurance.

If you are having power quality issues, there are ferrorresonant/autotransformers that can "smooth" the power, but they are pricey.

I saw someone who did the math for his power issue and built a homemade toroid for power smoothing;
1656001263935.jpeg

That is a single conductor, so you need two for 240=2*120. But, no, I am not seriously suggesting that you make one.

All the best,

Peter
 
 
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