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Backup power prep

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The July/August 09 issue of Countryside has an article (#2 in a series) on backup power. One snippet that caught my attention was the suggestion to redirect essential juice-suckers from the main circuit panel to a "critical loads sub-panel." His suggestions for crucial loads include a furnace, well pump, a few lights, and a fridge. I thought I'd put fridge, deep freeze, septic pump and AC on mine, and that reminded me that while my AC and septic pump shared a circuit before the fire, I haven't even labelled my circuit breakers to show the current wiring.


I don't have the courage to fool with wiring, especially since they never did find out what caused our fire. (One guy guaranteed me it was the wiring in the ceiling above the laundry room. Another guy said he didn't think this fire started there, but that the melted/charred evidence showed I was about to have a fire there if it hadn't started elsewhere. Several of our neighbors have had electric fires, mostly in the kitchen.) However, we do have a friend who does wiring for a living, and I plan to approach him about a sub-panel next time he drops by. One question is whether this would entail re-allocating the circuits, or whether it's simply a matter of everything this circuit breaker controls will go on the sub-panel and everything that circuit breaker controls will not. If the latter is true, and the essential loads are scattered throughout my circuits, there wouldn't be a point to the exercise of determining which loads are critical.


Has anyone gone through this process? Got two cents to throw in?

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