Notification of mains power returning





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  1. #1
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    Default Notification of mains power returning

    I have a standby diesel generator installation at home through a Mains / Generator changeover switch. This works perfectly, and has been a lifesaver on many occasions!

    We did a kitchen renovation which required the switch to be disconnected and then re-connected due to cupboards being in the way. Since then, there is no indicator when the mains comes back on, and I get an irate neighbour who lets me know to "shut my noisy contraption off" when the mains power comes on again.

    Is there a simple way of connecting either a light or a buzzer on the mains side to notify me when the mains comes on again? Any suggestions would save my neighbour some irritation!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Did it have an indicator light before or not before the switch was disconnected.

    I would utilize a contactor. A live wire via CB from generator switch gets fed into one side of contactor coil, other side of coil to neutral (230v AC system). One wire from incoming Mains via a CB gets connected to Normally closed auxiliary contactor then to a light ie indicates Mains from supply authority is on. Via same CB take another wire through the normally open auxiliary contact to a buzzer.

    When the generator runs the contactor will pull in, both light and buzzer will be off if incoming Mains is off. When supply authority supply comes on, the buzzer will sound(can also add a light in parallel to buzzer). When you switch over to Mains, the contactor will drop out when you kill the generator causing the supply authority light to illuminate.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Did it have an indicator light before or not before the switch was disconnected.

    I would utilize a contactor. A live wire via CB from generator switch gets fed into one side of contactor coil, other side of coil to neutral (230v AC system). One wire from incoming Mains via a CB gets connected to Normally closed auxiliary contactor then to a light ie indicates Mains from supply authority is on. Via same CB take another wire through the normally open auxiliary contact to a buzzer.

    When the generator runs the contactor will pull in, both light and buzzer will be off if incoming Mains is off. When supply authority supply comes on, the buzzer will sound(can also add a light in parallel to buzzer). When you switch over to Mains, the contactor will drop out when you kill the generator causing the supply authority light to illuminate.
    Thank you for the reply!

    Yes - the change over switch was an expensive one when I fitted it, and has a volt meter, buzzer and light.
    When they re-connected it however, I think they may have done something wrong, or blown a board or something that controls the buzzer and light. The electrician spent hours trying to get this to work again just before the lockdown, and eventually gave up suggesting that I buy a new transfer switch that will go into the DB Board. This also means I have a gaping hole in my new kitchen cupboard, and wiring that needs to be re-routed! [no,no,no!!!]

    If there is a neat box I can build with the appropriate light / buzzer then I would really like that. Even better would be a ready made item I can plug in. I wonder if there is something like that?

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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Quote Originally Posted by Photorer View Post
    Thank you for the reply!

    Yes - the change over switch was an expensive one when I fitted it, and has a volt meter, buzzer and light.
    When they re-connected it however, I think they may have done something wrong, or blown a board or something that controls the buzzer and light. The electrician spent hours trying to get this to work again just before the lockdown, and eventually gave up suggesting that I buy a new transfer switch that will go into the DB Board. This also means I have a gaping hole in my new kitchen cupboard, and wiring that needs to be re-routed! [no,no,no!!!]

    If there is a neat box I can build with the appropriate light / buzzer then I would really like that. Even better would be a ready made item I can plug in. I wonder if there is something like that?
    Who ever disconnected and reconnected the board etc should pay for a new one
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Who ever disconnected and reconnected the board etc should pay for a new one
    I've tried that........ Its the same sparky that installed it originally (same person!)

    He's just not that much of a bright spark!

    Now looking for something as an alternative.
    This is what my kitchen cupboard looks like at present:
    DB Board above the change over switch:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Open your DB's door and take a photo please. Then switch the main isolator switch off and open the change over switch box and take photos of the box innards and the back of the lid.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    I have a unit that sends an SMS's when Eskom is on or off.

    The unit happens to sit on my GSM gate opener. It is an old Centurion G22 GSM unit with two inputs and one output. The output relay contact is used to open and close the gate via die cellphone missed call function

    The GSM gate controller also has two inputs that is normally used with the gate beams. I removed the gate beams as I see it as a risk for hi-jackings.

    I reconfigured the available 2 x Inputs with an 5V, Normally closed, relay powered from a 220 V source( 220V -USB cellphone charger) to send an SMS to myself and the rest of family for "ESKOM ON" and "ESKOM OFF".

    This way we know when we can use high power devices of the solar system.

    The new Centurion GSM gate openers are the G Switch ultra and I think they have up to 8 inputs/outputs
    Last edited by vlakkie; 2020/05/22 at 12:00 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Quote Originally Posted by vlakkie View Post
    I have a unit that sends an SMS's when Eskom is on or off.

    The unit happens to sit on my GSM gate opener. It is an old Centurion G22 GSM unit with two inputs and one output. The output relay contact is used to open and close the gate via die cellphone missed call function

    The GSM gate controller also has two inputs that is normally used with the gate beams. I removed the gate beams as I see it as a risk for hi-jackings.

    I reconfigured the available 2 x Inputs with an 5V, Normally closed, relay powered from a 220 V source( 220V -USB cellphone charger) to send an SMS to myself and the rest of family for "ESKOM ON" and "ESKOM OFF".

    This way we know when we can use high power devices of the solar system.

    The new Centurion GSM gate openers are the G Switch ultra and I think they have up to 8 inputs/outputs
    That sounds like a very clever system!
    I am looking for a very basic one that allows me to see/hear when the power comes on again. I would have really loved for the original changeover switch to just work the way it is supposed to!

    If anyone knows where this one came from, I would be happy to get a replacement / refitment. / repair.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    My guess.

    You have a 3 phase change over switch.
    Two phases are used to switch either between Gen or mains(L and N).

    The 3rd phase in the switch is used to energize the pilot/beacon light. Having a feed from the main switch through the Gen position.

    So when mains come back on in Gen position light/buzzer will sound. When switched to mains light will be off.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    OK - so I'm guessing that what is wired into the Changeover Switch Box that I have is the following item:

    https://za.rs-online.com/web/p/pilot...-units/8352766

    If that is the case (and its working!), then I would just need to check the appropriate cabling is in place for it to work!

    I am one who has too much respect for electricity, so will probably want a qualified sparkie (not the original guy who installed it!) to look at the box and see what it includes.

    I guess I will need to get creative and do some testing!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    Quote Originally Posted by relec View Post
    My guess.

    You have a 3 phase change over switch.
    Two phases are used to switch either between Gen or mains(L and N).

    The 3rd phase in the switch is used to energize the pilot/beacon light. Having a feed from the main switch through the Gen position.

    So when mains come back on in Gen position light/buzzer will sound. When switched to mains light will be off.
    If it is not like this way the light can also be fed directly from the grid 220V and the pilot is then on at all times the Eskom is on. The switch could gave 6 connection point with 2 from the grid. 2 from genny and 2 feed the DB from either of the 2 sources.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2020/05/22 at 09:28 PM.

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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Notification of mains power returning

    I just added a big green panel light connected to incoming mains in the switch.
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    Last edited by faniedup; 2020/05/22 at 03:52 PM.

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