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Old 03-20-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Grid power loss indicator ?

I occasionally experience complete power loss at my house. When it is for an extended time, I turn off my main breaker, thereby disconnecting from the grid, and back feed my generator into my house.
This works fine, except I don't know when the grid comes back on. I have to test the grid side of the service line coming into my service panel, or disconnect my generator and turn my main back on to see if the lights work.
My question is this:
Is there an inexpensive way to make a sensor for the presence of grid power, whereby I can have a small light in my living room that will come on when the grid power is back?
It would have to be monitoring the grid side of my main breaker or maybe at my exterior meter. I've thought of a battery powered inductive (so that I am not electrically connected to the grid side) sensor that would power a low voltage bulb that I could monitor in my living room. When the bulb comes on, I would know that the power grid is back. Unfortunately, I cannot find anything like that at a reasonable cost.
I also thought of attaching a small AC adapter to the grid side, then running low voltage to my indicator bulb. This seems simple enough, but I want to avoid connecting anything to the grid side directly, if possible, for obvious reasons.
Maybe there is a better way. I would love to hear your ideas.
(Please donít bother to warn me about the dangers of back-feeding my power. I know the dangers and take the necessary precautions to insure I don't electrocute any linemen).
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Back feeding your house & possibly the grid (without proper safety devices) is dangerous & illegal
Fix that 1st

You need a breaker Interlock to prevent the Mainbreaker AND the backfeed breaker from being ON at the same time

OR you need a Generator Transfer switch

Switching off the Main breaker does not meet code
NEC section 702 outlines the requirements

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