kind of in a little bit of a panic mode - power has been off for 24 hours

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,474
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Necessity is the mother of invention? I believe this current cold-snap is a record for Texas in the multiple day "hard freeze" department. They simply have never had this kind of event and therefore were not prepared for it. They'll learn from it and move forward with more robust infrastructure. You can bet more people will be winterizing their pools! But I also see them re-designing their windmills to handle the cold and taking other power infrastructure steps to avoid outages. It is different in the North where Windmills are largely "feel good" projects that provide nothing substantial to the power grid and could stop producing without anyone even noticing. In TX Wind power is 24% of their power. They cannot afford to lose 1/2 of that generation.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,054
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
It is different in the North where Windmills are largely "feel good" projects that provide nothing substantial to the power grid and could stop producing without anyone even noticing. In TX Wind power is 24% of their power. They cannot afford to lose 1/2 of that generation.

Windmills in the north have heaters to prevent freezing. Powers that be in Texas did not think the expense of heaters for windmills was necessary. That will likely change in new windmill installs.
 

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
208
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
You could have the house "converted" for a plug in generator, ours is like that. I have a portable 7500/9500w generator that will run almost everything in our home with no issue (no HVAC and either the water heater OR the well pump, but not both at the same time). All the lights, fridge, freezer, well pump. While it doesn't help w/ heat, we have a NG fireplace, so that's our heating source when power is out. I don't know the cost for the conversion (we bought the house and it was built like that) but the generator was less than $1,000. If and when our area is approved for FEMA individual assistance, we will be able to get a grant for about $700 of that cost.

The transfer switch and installation isn't cheap, but I already had the 7000 watt generator so it was definitely the more economical route (and I'm not doing what my neighbor suggested and plugging it in to an outlet without a transfer switch- I don't want to be responsible for killing some line worker).

I'll be able to run my gas furnace, but let's face it- I'm installing this for hurricanes. I have a couple of 5000 BTU window units ready to go.

I priced whole house and it was $15K plus. Not to mention the cost of natural gas when you run it for a long time. As long as I can keep a room reasonably cool and run my fridge enough to save my food, I'm happy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HeyEng

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
208
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I had this done at my last house. The transfer switch (16 circuit) was $450 and installation by an electrician was another $500. This was years ago I think you can double this cost.

I can verify that it's more than double now. And took a while to get the transfer switch. Electrician is literally installing it as I type this.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,474
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I can verify that it's more than double now. And took a while to get the transfer switch. Electrician is literally installing it as I type this.

FYI: I had the "pick a circuit" type installed so I had to select 16 circuits from my main panel that would be routed through the transfer switch and powered by the generator when it was active. If I had to do it again, I would do the kind of transfer switch where your entire panel is covered and you turn on/off circuits as needed. This allows MUCH greater flexibility in an outage.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
and I'm not doing what my neighbor suggested and plugging it in to an outlet without a transfer switch- I don't want to be responsible for killing some line worker).
If one knew what they were doing they could easily be their own transfer switch and flip the main breaker off. The problem is the average wahoo homeowner does *not* have a clue and backfeeds the grid. Our new to us house has the hookup for a portable generator (we bought a 7k unit that should feed most of the house but haven’t needed to test it yet). It plugs in outside with a 30A connection and my main breaker has a little plastic doohickey that I have to move in order to reset the main breaker to on. It does nothing but make me think before I flip the breaker and a wahoo would probably still ignorantly flip it.
 

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
208
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
FYI: I had the "pick a circuit" type installed so I had to select 16 circuits from my main panel that would be routed through the transfer switch and powered by the generator when it was active. If I had to do it again, I would do the kind of transfer switch where your entire panel is covered and you turn on/off circuits as needed. This allows MUCH greater flexibility in an outage.

That was presented as an option, albeit a pricier one that I really couldn't (or didn't want to) justify. I'll be in survival mode when this is used, so I'm 100% good with the limited circuits. I'll have easy access to power to my fridge, freezer, water heater (gas, but tankless so needs electricity), and bedroom (which will be the only room with AC). If I were planning to retire in this house, I might have chosen differently! LOL
 

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
208
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
If one knew what they were doing they could easily be their own transfer switch and flip the main breaker off. The problem is the average wahoo homeowner does *not* have a clue and backfeeds the grid. Our new to us house has the hookup for a portable generator (we bought a 7k unit that should feed most of the house but haven’t needed to test it yet). It plugs in outside with a 30A connection and my main breaker has a little plastic doohickey that I have to move in order to reset the main breaker to on. It does nothing but make me think before I flip the breaker and a wahoo would probably still ignorantly flip it.

Fair enough. But my dad worked as a lineman before he got his electrical engineering degree. He would emerge from his grave and strangle me if I did something at all sketchy or not up to code. YMMV. LOL
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
Fair enough. But my dad worked as a lineman before he got his electrical engineering degree. He would emerge from his grave and strangle me if I did something at all sketchy or not up to code. YMMV. LOL
Please continue. Coming from somebody hanging off said poles !!! I meet the general public daily and I could tell you some whoppers. I wouldn’t trust the average person to hold my lunch much less not kill me.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,474
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Fair enough. But my dad worked as a lineman before he got his electrical engineering degree. He would emerge from his grave and strangle me if I did something at all sketchy or not up to code. YMMV. LOL

Realistically, you could turn off your main breaker and plug your generator into a 220 volt dryer outlet and power whatever you wanted in the house. There is no "code" involved with this and it is not "illegal". However, if someone were to get injured by you doing this, you'd be responsible, and possibly criminally responsible. All that said about lineman getting electrocuted I have heard many times (I was in the power industry - PG&E - for 10 years) I have never actually heard of anyone getting hurt. I suspect they take safety precautions for this exact thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
208
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Realistically, you could turn off your main breaker and plug your generator into a 220 volt dryer outlet and power whatever you wanted in the house. There is no "code" involved with this and it is not "illegal". However, if someone were to get injured by you doing this, you'd be responsible, and possibly criminally responsible. All that said about lineman getting electrocuted I have heard many times (I was in the power industry - PG&E - for 10 years) I have never actually heard of anyone getting hurt. I suspect they take safety precautions for this exact thing.

Yeah, but this is for emergency use only. I'm not firing it up for a random outage that might only be 4 hours or so- Most likely, it'll be from a hurricane or an exceptionally bad storm. After such an event, will I have other electrical damages which I don't know about (bad power surge or lightning strike, perhaps)? Realistically, yeah- I could "plug and play." But I personally prefer to take all available measures to not hurt myself or someone else, or set my house on fire during a time when emergency services are already overwhelmed.
 

HeyEng

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
847
Oklahoma City, OK
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
FYI: I had the "pick a circuit" type installed so I had to select 16 circuits from my main panel that would be routed through the transfer switch and powered by the generator when it was active. If I had to do it again, I would do the kind of transfer switch where your entire panel is covered and you turn on/off circuits as needed. This allows MUCH greater flexibility in an outage.
Ours is similar to this. We have two panels (three if you were to include the pool subpanel) and the transfer switch will "knock out" one of the panels that has the non-essential items on it (like septic, some interior lights, exterior soffit outlets/lights, etc.). The panel that is powered includes the well *and* the water heater which cannot be run with the generator we have now. Before I turn it on, I simple shed one or the other to keep the generator happy.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,474
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Ours is similar to this. We have two panels (three if you were to include the pool subpanel) and the transfer switch will "knock out" one of the panels that has the non-essential items on it (like septic, some interior lights, exterior soffit outlets/lights, etc.). The panel that is powered includes the well *and* the water heater which cannot be run with the generator we have now. Before I turn it on, I simple shed one or the other to keep the generator happy.

Yeah that is the problem with my current home. I have 2 150 amp panels both almost totally full probably 40 breakers in each. I would need a "whole panel" solution. And 2 of those! I need where I could either run 2 generators or swap the generator from one panel to the other as needed. The good news is the 12 years I have lived here I have never had an outage lasting longer than 5 minutes.
 

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
208
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Yeah that is the problem with my current home. I have 2 150 amp panels both almost totally full probably 40 breakers in each. I would need a "whole panel" solution. And 2 of those! I need where I could either run 2 generators or swap the generator from one panel to the other as needed. The good news is the 12 years I have lived here I have never had an outage lasting longer than 5 minutes.

Yeah, I only have the one 200 amp panel, plus the sub-panel for the pool and gate opener. If I had 2, I can easily see that I might make much different choices!
 
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread