DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   "power back on" notification after an outage? (

tastyratz 10-30-2012 02:29 PM

"power back on" notification after an outage?
So hurricane Sandy has me thinking...
I am running on my generator right now racking up the gas bill. Typically I might let it run out of gas and then check if I have power.

Is there an easier product or way to see if we have power back yet without just constantly killing power to the house?

Maybe something that attaches to the main lug before the breaker which lights an LED on the panel when it's hot?

Speedy Petey 10-30-2012 02:54 PM

Reliance Controls makes a power back monitor

Speedy Petey 10-30-2012 02:56 PM

langless28 10-30-2012 03:11 PM

look at neighbors and/or street lights? its free.

Speedy Petey 10-30-2012 03:16 PM


Originally Posted by langless28 (Post 1041145)
look at neighbors and/or street lights? its free.

Not everybody has neighbors and/or street lights. :whistling2:

rjniles 10-30-2012 03:36 PM

If you have a digital meter (I speak of the POCO's electric meter), you can look to see if is working (showing numbers). Free

tastyratz 10-30-2012 07:36 PM

where I live all my neighbors have generators running all the time and you hear them in chorus singing the song of their people the moment power goes out.
The branch I am on splits off funny too so half my street can have power when we are out.
I wish I had a digital poco meter but no such luck
Thanks to the link to the reliance control! That might just work, although reviews are poor and it is not very loud. any alternatives out there?

Wildie 10-30-2012 08:07 PM

Connect a radio to the line side of the transfer switch! Leave it turned on and when you hear it playing, you know there's power!

AllanJ 10-31-2012 06:30 AM

It's tricky installing a receptacle on the utility line side of a whole house transfer switch because that would be upstream of the "main breaker." But if the transfer switch segregates a subpanel for generator power then you can plug in an indicator light to a receptacle on a different circuit, not receiving generator power.

Not saying you should do it but I would install a small light such as an LED as described in a prior post. This would be wired up using an in-line fuse for say, one ampere.

zappa 10-31-2012 07:46 AM

Interesting ideas. I like the device that Speedy mentioned because it solves the problem of hooking a small wire to large lugs not to mention safety and code. Along the same thoughts, how about a current transformer to light a LED or to provide a signal for a more substantial function. I know wood workers use these to automatically turn on saw dust vacs when they power the machines up.

This seems like a much needed item and it would be nice to see panel and transfer switch manufacturers offering notification as an option in their design.

tastyratz 10-31-2012 08:08 AM

It does surprise me that A SIMPLE "POWER ON" led is not standard and built into all new panels I agree.

I don't have a separate transfer switch, I have a panel that physically blocks the breaker on the generator unless the main is turned off. If I wanted to attach anything of this nature it would HAVE to be to the main feed lugs.

joed 10-31-2012 12:09 PM

It could be some sort of non contact type sensor. Think of those sticks you use to test receptacles.

DanS26 10-31-2012 01:30 PM

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Have the local POCO install a surge protector under the meter. Get the one that has a little LED light that says the SPD is working. LED will light when power is returned and you are somewhat protected from the voltage surges that go hand in hand with power outages.

Something like this:


Arnold Ziffel 10-31-2012 07:54 PM

My electrician tried to install the Reliance Controls device that Speedy Petey recommended, and it didn’t work. He said it did work at his house when he installed the same unit. It must vary depending on the wiring, somehow. It emits an ear-piercing screech when it does come on.

I use a $10 non-contact voltage detector (a sniffer): agpspn=pla&gclid=COXA3e3ErLMCFS-RPAodKHQA0Q

You can buy one of these at most hardware stores. I wave the voltage detector along my meters and the wiring from them and it tells me if power is back.

My electrician said he can install a red LED light that would be visible in my house when power returns. If I remember right, he said that it to comply, it had to be within 12 feet of the meter (you electricians, please correct me if this distance is incorrect).

Auger01 10-31-2012 09:56 PM

One oof these might work.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:44 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1