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View Full Version : OT: Major Power and Internet Outage on East Coast



3 Phase Lightbulb
03-10-2018, 01:06 PM
We lost power and Internet early Thursday morning. Power was finally restored late last night and Internet just restored now. We've been running on a generator but there was nothing we could do about loosing internet. Even 4G/3G/LTE was almost unusable during the power outage.

Gad to be fully back online :)

Anyone else on the east coast loose power or Internet for a significant amount of time?

01-7700
03-10-2018, 01:47 PM
Not this time but I lost power for a week last October / November - and before that in 1998 - seems to take 10 years for the trees to regain their power outaging ability. I've been thinking lately that an inverter would work better than the generator for the next outage, quieter and more convenient. I used a small inverter and 2 loose deep cycle batteries in November to power my pc and internet. Switching the batteries and charging the other one. Using a watt meter I measured the power needs of all necessary appliances. I would use the bigger inverter to run the refridge, big charger, and furnace for an hour twice a day. Continue to use the smaller inverter for internet and pc. I have a wood stove and oil lamps to provide heat and light.


TV & DVD player - 60 W
Internet Router - 8 W
iPad charger - 8 W
PC & Monitor - 72 W
Refridge - 135 W
20 Amp charger - 150 W
Furnace w/ 1 zone - 350 W
Sewer Lift Pump - 950 W



Towards the end of the week I ran the sewer pump to drain the lift station - it ran for about 60 seconds.

JRouche
03-10-2018, 03:33 PM
Do you have overhead lines? All of or lines are buried so no service outages due to snow loads. Wait!! Snow? What the heck is that??? JR

alanganes
03-10-2018, 03:57 PM
Yeah, lost power here. I'm only a few towns over from you, the whole area got hit pretty hard. Not a ton of snow buy heavy, wet and stuck to everything. Wiped out trees all over the place around here. Our power went down about 10PM Wednesday, it just came on today, about 2 hours ago. 93% of our town had no power, some parts won't have power until tomorrow night. I read that 3 substations in the area were damaged and a bunch of mid-voltage transmission lines were damaged. Quite a mess.

Still no internet here, but tethering to my cellphone has been working great. We have a woodstove to keep warm and a generator that while not huge, runs all of the critical systems so it's easy to be comfortable. I don't break out my generator very often, but every time I use it I'm glad I coughed up the money for it.

KJ1I
03-10-2018, 04:04 PM
Since this was one of those rare times we didn't lose power, I get to rub it in. Not even a flicker and 100% internet up time, even with 14 inches of snow. And we're just 20 miles from Alan.

Mark Rand
03-10-2018, 04:44 PM
Totally unrelatedm but we lost our Internet connection briefly, yesterday, probably due to an HV breaker re-closing somewhere within 50 miles of us. Lights flickered twice, which is usually a sign of a re-close after a lightning strike. Checked and the router, firewall, servers and switches in the house were all happy, hadn't rebooted or anything. The problem seems to have been the cabinet in the street :-(.

fjk
03-10-2018, 05:46 PM
All good here in Medford, and Cambridge yesterday, at work (inner Boston suburbs for those from away), not even a flicker

garyhlucas
03-10-2018, 06:14 PM
So I have good little story about these power outages. 35 years ago I was an electrical contractor and often worked with JCP&L power in NJ. About 10 years later I was working for a manufacturing company and in the span of one year we three outages that lasted all day forcing us to close down. Then we had an issue with our pole transformer and a line crew came out and I knew some of them. I asked about the outages. For each one they knew what caused it, and the cause each time was many miles from us!

I asked how this was possible, the local fuses should have cleared the fault? They told me it was simple. Management had them remove all local fuses and let the breakers with automatic reclosers in the substation trip and reset. Then they wouldn’t have to send out a truck unless it failed three times and stayed off! So management was okay with outages to thousands of people rather than the people in one small area. They went further. Because the outage area was so big they couldn’t find the trouble until someone that actually saw the problem called in. In the case of storms with multiple faults all of them had to be repaired before even one customer got power!

I was shocked so I called an old friend who was working for Atlantic City power. His job there was circuit breaker coordination engineer. He calculated the setting of all breakers and fuses on their whole system to minimize outages to the smallest possible area. So he really knows this stuff. He told me this was really serious. It could bring down the entire power grid of multiple power companies in a cascade failure.

So I wrote a letter to the Public Utilities Commission reporting this. One of the commisioners called me and said he would look into it. A few weeks later he called me back and said he had talked to the power company and they assured him this couldn’t happen. I said “So no one went out in a bucket truck to see if my allegations about pulling the fuses was true?” Nope no one did that.

About two years later there was a cascade failure that started in JCP&L territory taking down their entire grid, most of Public Services grid, a large part of Pennsylvania, New York, Conneticut, and all of New York city for about 8 hours! Hurricane Sandy put the power out for 8 days over nearly all of NJ and especially JCP&L territory. So in the Noreaster this past week 400,000 customers out of 1 million JCP&L have been without power for days and some are still out.

Would it be asking too much if we gathered up the executives of these companies during a power failure and kept them safe in a dank dark jail cell until every customer has power?

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-11-2018, 12:13 PM
Yeah, lost power here. I'm only a few towns over from you, the whole area got hit pretty hard. Not a ton of snow buy heavy, wet and stuck to everything. Wiped out trees all over the place around here. Our power went down about 10PM Wednesday, it just came on today, about 2 hours ago. 93% of our town had no power, some parts won't have power until tomorrow night. I read that 3 substations in the area were damaged and a bunch of mid-voltage transmission lines were damaged. Quite a mess.

Still no internet here, but tethering to my cellphone has been working great. We have a woodstove to keep warm and a generator that while not huge, runs all of the critical systems so it's easy to be comfortable. I don't break out my generator very often, but every time I use it I'm glad I coughed up the money for it.

I've been planning on getting a standby generator installed but we loose power so infrequently and when we do loose it, it's usually back on within minutes. I have a large UPS for my home office which keeps me up for several hours so it's never really been a high priority on getting the standby generator. I did have a HF Predator 8750 (brand new, never used, but bought ~3 years ago) waiting to be needed and I finally put oil (Mobil 1 fully synthetic) and gas into it and it fired right up with the electric start. I had no idea I would be running it non-stop for ~2.5 days. I did stop it periodically to check the oil level which was always fine. I just manually disconnect the mains, back-feed one of my 50A 4-wire receptacles in the garage and it powers the entire house just fine. We just avoided using the oven or the electric dryer as that might have loaded it down too much.

I was very impressed with the performance and how quickly it starts right up with the electric start. Even after adding fuel for the first time, it was like it was already primed as it fired right up. I wonder if they do in fact prime the carb with something that doesn't go bad?

https://shop.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/6/3/63086_zzz_500.jpg

alanganes
03-11-2018, 12:30 PM
I've been planning on getting a standby generator installed but we loose power so infrequently and when we do loose it, it's usually back on within minutes. I have a large UPS for my home office which keeps me up for several hours so it's never really been a high priority on getting the standby generator. I did have a HF Predator 8750 (brand new, never used, but bought ~3 years ago) waiting to be needed and I finally put oil (Mobil 1 fully synthetic) and gas into it and it fired right up with the electric start. I had no idea I would be running it non-stop for ~2.5 days. I did stop it periodically to check the oil level which was always fine. I just manually disconnect the mains, back-feed one of my 50A 4-wire receptacles in the garage and it powers the entire house just fine. We just avoided using the oven or the electric dryer as that might have loaded it down too much.

I was very impressed with the performance and how quickly it starts right up with the electric start. Even after adding fuel for the first time, it was like it was already primed as it fired right up. I wonder if they do in fact prime the carb with something that doesn't go bad?



No idea how they get prepped for shipping and storage, but good that it fired right up for you. I have a hook-up installed for mine, a recessed male connection on the outside wall that feeds to a transfer sub-panel that swaps over 8 circuits. I'm thinking of switching to one of those main breaker transfer lockout bar setups so that I can have power to the whole house, and then just manage what gets turned on to limit the load.

My generator is a bit smaller than yours (a 5.5KW Generac I think, with an OHV B&S engine) though I opted to not have the electric start as I figured it was just another battery to maintain that would not likely work when I needed it as I use it so infrequently.

After I use it, I will do an oil change, drain/run all of the gas out of it, and then put in a bit of the 4 cycle version of that canned fuel (like Trufuel, forget what the brand I have is. I get it at the local NAPA place) and run it on that for a few minutes. Then I shut down and put it away. I had not used this in close to a year, and it started on the first pull of the rope.

When we first move here we lost power frequently, but it been pretty rare the last 7 or 8 years due to upgrades to the lines in the area and aggressive clearing of tree limbs over the last ten years or so.

garyhlucas
03-11-2018, 06:06 PM
My father-in-law had a generator like the one pictured. During hurricane Sandy he was without power for 10 days. I worked in an area that still had power. Had to bring him two 5 gallon containers of gas every day at a cost of about $30 a day. One tipped over in my car and spilled a couple gallons in the spare tire well! Took me six months to get rid of the smell and stop driving with the windows open.

After the previous hurricane where we didn't lose power Tractor Supply had 2000 watt Champion Inverter generators for $390. I bought one and stuck it in the shed. My wife was really pissed that I wasted money on that. Sandy came along three years later and our power went out for 8 days. I jumpered the A & B phases together in the power panel (I was an electrician so I knew what I was doing) and hooked up the little generator. It ran nearly the whole house, not the electric stove, nor the air conditioning (winter) but the heat, TV, satellite, refrigerator and large freezer ($600 in frozen food in there) alternately for 18 hours a day for 8 days. It made so little noise you could not hear it running outside in the yard. One gallon of gas in the morning, nine hours later my wife filled it and easily pull started it. It ran until about 11 pm and we were in bed when it quit each night. Life was nearly normal. We even gave the neighbor with two young children an LED light from our generator so they didn't have to huddle in the dark every night.

A 3500 watt inverter would have been absolutely ideal for my whole house, and they use only as much fuel as the actual load requires.

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-12-2018, 09:44 PM
Looks like we're going to get a 1-2 punch tomorrow. Hopefully all of trees that would fall tomorrow have already fallen :)

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-13-2018, 09:13 PM
Wow, we got ~20 inches of snow today. It's definitely a white winter wonderland outside now. Luckily no power or internet outages over here. New England, YEAH!!!