|Dawn's morning light revealed a 120' tree|
had come down across the power lines at
the front of our property.
A storm knocked out power. I have a generator that will run my Ark apartment. Instead of just running the apartment I went ahead and turned off the breaker to my water heater - which freed up about 4 kilowatts of potential power - and by managing breakers in different breaker boxes on the farm I pushed power back through the system to the house. This allowed two air conditioners and some lights to operate in the house along with most of my Ark.
I turned off the main breaker that feeds power from the utility line so that no power would go back into the lines potentially hurting a line worker.
Originally I set up my 6500 watt generator to just power the Ark. But I felt bad for the kids in the house, so I re-jiggered how the breakers were switched and ran power to the house as well.
This, of course, all happened at midnight in a rainstorm.
Step 1: Have battery powered light available where I can find them in the dark 100% of the time.
Step 2: Go to the candle storage area and put out candles in key areas - living areas and bathrooms. Plus put out extras for use as needed.
Step 3: Switch the breakers into ARK mode and get the generator running.
Step 4: Look at what could be done to push power back into the trailer house.
Step 5: Shut off the main breaker between the trailer and the utility lines and then push power back up the system to the trailer.
Step 6: Turn off or unplug anything in the trailer that does not need to run - particularly the refrigerator - so they could have AC and get a decent night's sleep. The fridge can go without power for 5-6 hours.
Both my son and my wife have to be on the road early and stay on the road all day today. So letting them get a good nights sleep is important.
In order to do this I have to have a good understanding of what breakers control what. To be honest I could have a better power map of what runs off what breaker outside. That sounds like a good project for this week. Then I can mark all the most important breakers with green marker and all the breakers that draw lots of power but aren't necessary (like water heaters) in red marker. This will help make this process much easier next time.
Estimated return of power by the electric company in at 4:30 am (another 90 minutes or so). I can go look at my meter (which is a smart meter) and tell whether power has been restored to my pole. If it has then I can shut off the generator and go back to utility power.
What Made This Easy?
1. I always know where battery powered flashlights are located.
2. I keep candles in a known location (I need to put a couple lighters there as well).
3. I understand how power is distributed on my homestead.
4. I keep a 5 gallon can of gasoline near my generator. I keep fuel in it as well. But before I started it I checked it and it was only half full. Having the gas nearby makes it easy to top it off in a rainstorm. The generator is under cover, so it doesn't get rained on.
This was a good live-fire exercise of the system. Some good notes, some notes that require improvement.
P.S. Around 9 AM the power trucks left the dirt road after repairing the line. Short emergency, but fun one.