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Old 02-07-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
9,409 posts, read 5,202,941 times
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I wanted to bump this thread because I am now in the market and found this via a search. I do not understand that last post, pardon my electrical ignorance. My well is 150 feet deep, have no idea if that means I have a strong pump or not. And it uses 220 for sure. I plan on back feeding the line into my panel to run the house, do I need to switch to 220 when the well pump kicks on? And how in the world am I to know when that will be, other than water use obviously.

 
Old 02-07-2014, 03:58 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,134,753 times
Reputation: 11850
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
I wanted to bump this thread because I am now in the market and found this via a search. I do not understand that last post, pardon my electrical ignorance. My well is 150 feet deep, have no idea if that means I have a strong pump or not. And it uses 220 for sure. I plan on back feeding the line into my panel to run the house, do I need to switch to 220 when the well pump kicks on? And how in the world am I to know when that will be, other than water use obviously.
I can tell by your post that you are not knowledgeable about Back up Generator installations. I am but I am not going to bore you with details.
You will need a licensed/knowledgeable electrician to do a proper installation so I suggest you call one in your area and let him guide you through the process.

Any detailed advice you might get here is worth exactly what you pay for it so just do the right thing and be done with it.

I have installed many BU Generators but I have no idea what your needs are or what your existing system looks like so how could I or anybody else tell you what you need?
 
Old 02-08-2014, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,484 posts, read 14,283,094 times
Reputation: 8892
Your well is 150 feet deep. That's nice. You probably have a good reservoir of water there. The depth of a well has no relationship to the power needs of starting a pump. The critical fact you need to know is how far down the water level is. My well is about 100 feet deep, but the water level is about 14 feet down, year round. While pumping, the level drops, but when the pump shuts off it comes right back up to about 14 feet down. My pump is 75 feet down so there is a 60 foot head helping to start my pump. If my water level was 60 feet down and I had a 60 foot head on the discharge side of the pump it would take a lot more power to pump water from my well.

Make sense? Most newer wells have an aluminum cap and on the underside there is a place for the well driller to show the date, depth and GPM. I had to bleach a well once and the GPM showed 100+. That well recharged itself at more than 100 gallons a minute.
 
Old 02-08-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Vermont
959 posts, read 1,327,884 times
Reputation: 1807
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
I wanted to bump this thread because I am now in the market and found this via a search. I do not understand that last post, pardon my electrical ignorance. My well is 150 feet deep, have no idea if that means I have a strong pump or not. And it uses 220 for sure. I plan on back feeding the line into my panel to run the house, do I need to switch to 220 when the well pump kicks on? And how in the world am I to know when that will be, other than water use obviously.
I agree with you needing a pro. The safest way is to add a transfer switch to isolate your house. You certainly don't want to run the risk of backfeeding out to the powerlines where some poor lineman is working.
 
Old 02-08-2014, 11:09 AM
 
3,442 posts, read 4,469,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harpoonalt View Post
I agree with you needing a pro. The safest way is to add a transfer switch to isolate your house. You certainly don't want to run the risk of backfeeding out to the powerlines where some poor lineman is working.

I have a question...................since it seems there are all kinds of generators being run during power outages, how come we don't read about linemen getting killed or seriously injured during huge power outages?

I know the danger is there, but I would think there are so many careless home owners out there, it would be common to be hearing about deaths and injuries.
 
Old 02-08-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,129,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
I have a question...................since it seems there are all kinds of generators being run during power outages, how come we don't read about linemen getting killed or seriously injured during huge power outages?

I know the danger is there, but I would think there are so many careless home owners out there, it would be common to be hearing about deaths and injuries.
Because linemen are trained to deal with high voltage and expect the unexpected. Most will automatically assume that there is an Idiot somewhere down the line trying to backfeed their house for lights and heat. 1st order of business is to actually check the lines for voltage before doing ANYTHING to them, then most line crews I have witnessed will bond all lines together to make all lines the same potential before working on them. If you are backfeeding your panel when they do that, it can burn out your generator head, but they are safe. When they have a section repaired they remove all bonding between wires, and move on to the next section where they repeat the process.

Ever want to see a line crew come undone and start driving house to house looking for someone to take their wrath out on... backfeed your panel so there IS voltage on a line that should be totally dead. I have seen crews slowly cruising down a road with their windows open listening for the sound of a running genset because they have voltage on the lines. As an Electrician I work around line crews on a regular basis, amazing how many of them have stories of finding a line powered up and tracking down the homeowner. Most just inform the homeowner of what they are doing wrong and WHY they can't do it that way. Some power companies have a policy of cutting the connection between the drop to the house and the main lines and let the homeowner contact them when all the neighbors lights come on, but theirs is still off. The power company then informs them of WHY they were disconnected and how much it will be to re-connect.
 
Old 02-08-2014, 12:22 PM
 
3,442 posts, read 4,469,478 times
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Thanks, Bydand...............a very informative post and it answered something that puzzled me for a long time.

I can honestly say I learned something new today.
 
Old 02-08-2014, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Vermont
959 posts, read 1,327,884 times
Reputation: 1807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Because linemen are trained to deal with high voltage and expect the unexpected. Most will automatically assume that there is an Idiot somewhere down the line trying to backfeed their house for lights and heat. 1st order of business is to actually check the lines for voltage before doing ANYTHING to them, then most line crews I have witnessed will bond all lines together to make all lines the same potential before working on them. If you are backfeeding your panel when they do that, it can burn out your generator head, but they are safe. When they have a section repaired they remove all bonding between wires, and move on to the next section where they repeat the process.

Ever want to see a line crew come undone and start driving house to house looking for someone to take their wrath out on... backfeed your panel so there IS voltage on a line that should be totally dead. I have seen crews slowly cruising down a road with their windows open listening for the sound of a running genset because they have voltage on the lines. As an Electrician I work around line crews on a regular basis, amazing how many of them have stories of finding a line powered up and tracking down the homeowner. Most just inform the homeowner of what they are doing wrong and WHY they can't do it that way. Some power companies have a policy of cutting the connection between the drop to the house and the main lines and let the homeowner contact them when all the neighbors lights come on, but theirs is still off. The power company then informs them of WHY they were disconnected and how much it will be to re-connect.
Right on! My neighbor is a line crew foreman. Safety is their number one concern and should be yours too. Point is, if you're not sure, hire a pro. Electricity can kill you or someone else dead in an instant. A transfer switch, a properly sized generator for your needs, and the know how to use it is money well spent. And watch where you place a running generator. Carbon monoxide is funny stuff.
 
Old 02-11-2014, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
9,409 posts, read 5,202,941 times
Reputation: 14190
OK let me try to elaborate a bit. I am not installing a permanent backup system. I am considering purchasing a portable generator. I have borrowed one in the past and have shut off my main breaker, then fed a plug with 2 male ends with one feeding into the generator and the other feeding into the panel box. This has worked in the past, is this unsafe?

So back to my original question it appears as if I need a generator with a high surge to kick in when the well pump does. I'm currently looking at this 3,500 watt Briggs and Stratton. My goal is to run the fridge, the thermostat (oil burner) a tv, and a few lights with the surge power to kick in the water pump when needed.

http://www.sears.com/briggs-stratton...&blockType=G11
 
Old 02-11-2014, 01:05 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,129,150 times
Reputation: 16733
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
OK let me try to elaborate a bit. I am not installing a permanent backup system. I am considering purchasing a portable generator. I have borrowed one in the past and have shut off my main breaker, then fed a plug with 2 male ends with one feeding into the generator and the other feeding into the panel box. This has worked in the past, is this unsafe?
Unsafe AND illegal. DON'T do this. As a licensed Electrician for the last 30+ years I have seen exactly what you want to do several times. Usually, when the boob who thinks using this set-up is a good idea, forgets to turn off the main and bad things happen. Plus to run all that you are going to need a very heavy duty cord, not some little 14/3 or 12/3 sized extension cord from HD or Lowes. Just do it right, get the right stuff. From what it sounds like in this thread, that means hiring someone to hook it up for you. To get 240v from your generator you will need to use the 4 prong twist-lock outlet on the genset, minimum a 10/4 cord long enough to reach from outside to the transfer switch... if it is too far you need to go up to 8/4. By the time you spend all that, why cheap out and use something too small as well as illegal for the final connection.

Quote:
So back to my original question it appears as if I need a generator with a high surge to kick in when the well pump does. I'm currently looking at this 3,500 watt Briggs and Stratton. My goal is to run the fridge, the thermostat (oil burner) a tv, and a few lights with the surge power to kick in the water pump when needed.

Sears.com
Forced hot air or boiler? If forced hot air then the oil burner also has a blower. 3500 would be at the extreme bottom for size. Without the actual ratings of each thing you want to run no matter what you list it is going to be a guess.
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