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Author Topic: X10 and Backup Generators  (Read 2968 times)

Noam

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X10 and Backup Generators
« on: January 31, 2011, 03:48:51 PM »

I am considering installing a whole-house (okay, part-house) backup generator, to help ease the pain of the numerous power outages we have had over the last few years.

However, I'm concerned about how the system would fare with that configuration.

The way I understand it, all of the circuits you want to run off the generator are moved to a sub-panel, and a transfer switch is installed between your main panel, the sub panel, and the generator.

My plan would be to move the refrigerators and freezer circuits, the FIOS ONT (which controls the phone/tv/Internet), the computers, and at least one TV. In addition, I would also move the circuits for the furnace and some of the lights over to the generator sub-panel.

Under "normal" operating conditions (utility power is ON), would I have trouble with X10 signals passing through the transfer switch to the sub panel? I have an XTB-IIR passing the signals to both phases right now.

Most of the X-10 controlled switches I have are Smarthome "relay" types. I'm not worried about X10 signals passing while the system is running off the generator (I can turn things on and off manually if I have to), but I'm worried that they will work at all. I've heard stories of "dirty" power causing the switches to behave strangely.

Is this something I need to be worried about?
Is anyone currently doing this, and what issues have you run into?
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dave w

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Re: X10 and Backup Generators
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 06:24:55 PM »

Under "normal" operating conditions (utility power is ON), would I have trouble with X10 signals passing through the transfer switch to the sub panel? I have an XTB-IIR passing the signals to both phases right now.

Most of the X-10 controlled switches I have are Smarthome "relay" types. I'm not worried about X10 signals passing while the system is running off the generator (I can turn things on and off manually if I have to), but I'm worried that they will work at all. I've heard stories of "dirty" power causing the switches to behave strangely.

Is this something I need to be worried about?
Is anyone currently doing this, and what issues have you run into?
I am not doing it, but:

There is more "stuff" for the signal to make its way through, hence, extra attenuation, but otherwise it should work fine.


FWIW I used X10 in a motorhome (yeah I know...how lazy can ya get) and X10 did work when the generator was running. The generator was a 8KW Onan. 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 08:54:21 PM by dave w »
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DeeJayT

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Re: X10 and Backup Generators
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 07:40:23 PM »

I have a 6 circuit transfer panel and as far as issues I don't know because I won't run electronics off of it such as my Home automation computer due to the fact that most generators don't provide clean regulated power. I run a few lighting circuits , the frig, freezer and furnace. This panel  http://cgi.ebay.com/Generator-Transfer-Switch-Panel-5000W-Power-Cord-End-/270697067558?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item3f06cd7426   and a generator is all you need.  I set my generator outside the basement door run the 30 amp 220v cord to the panel plug it in and flip the switches. Very easy to install, no big subpanel or transfer switch involved.
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 and Backup Generators
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 12:55:13 PM »

I had one of this backup generators installed at my off grid cottage.
Most of these newer hard wired Backup generators are designed with modern electronics in mind.
My setup is different as the generator runs into a inverter which charges up my battery bank when it drops to low.
I don't think you'd have a issue with getting x10 signals to devices past the transfer switch.
If you did you could always add another transceiver.
 >!
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