View Full Version : NW utility.....lock box at condenser??
08-31-2004, 11:38 AM
I meant to ask yinz guys. I was visiting my son a couple weeks ago and doing some stuff for him and chekcing out his hvac at the house he rents in North Dakota. I noticed at the condenser outside there is a box supplied by the power company that seems to be able to lock out the condesner. It is locked with those special ties or clamps that assure if you get into it, they will know, like a phone or cable tv thingy. Seems to be a contactor that breaks power to it with a shielded control cable going to the street as well. It is labled "north west power".
So they can lock out the a/c, monitor it, or it locks out when it gets cold out?
08-31-2004, 12:27 PM
that why you've been so quiet laterly your on vacation up north, or one heck of a service call. here in jersey the local utility has a similar setup it turns the condenser off for so long during periods of peak demand, used to be you would get something taken off your bill for this gadget, this summer ive had several service call, house was hot ac not working, and it turned to the boxes not allowing the condenser to cycle on, told the ho's abouth the gizmo and they replied that they have never seen any discount on their electric bill and remove that box
08-31-2004, 12:31 PM
I figgered it might be something like that, but in ND?
May also have something to do with the large AF base there.
08-31-2004, 02:06 PM
are they heatpumps, maybe in the winter the demand would be like peak summer also? whats the base minot afb ?
We have them here too. Commonwealth Edison will selectively turn off a condenser during peak hours. If we get a service call where it has the condenser turned off we can not remove the box or even bypass it (it interrupts the 24VAC to the condenser). The customer must call ComEd to remove it.
08-31-2004, 02:23 PM
thats what i was told here, what i've been doing is bypassing the box and tell the ho to call the electric co to remove it, so far haven't had the police knock at my door yet.
08-31-2004, 04:22 PM
Yep, Minot, my kid is stationed there. It is not a HP, thank God, nice gas furnace inside, I checked it all out and got him a CO detector as well.
What good is the box if ya can yank em out?
08-31-2004, 04:56 PM
Here they are radio controlled boxes-shut you off at peak times(5pm till 8pm)or pretty much when they feel like it.They either have a seperate electric meter entirely just for the condensor and/or electric hot water heaters on off peak electric and give you a cheaper rate of power for this,or give you a break on your total electric bill.Lotta off peak water heaters lately since MN new building codes went into effect.
08-31-2004, 05:22 PM
I need a gizmo like that attached to customers units that won't pay up on time!
08-31-2004, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by honglo
I need a gizmo like that attached to customers units that won't pay up on time! Wouldn't that be nice?Just wait patiently till its gonna be 95 in the shade out and flip the switch.
08-31-2004, 10:45 PM
Had a few of'm here, used a universal key (crowbar), and they live no more.
08-31-2004, 11:06 PM
Here they get a discount also on these boxes. I bypass everyone i see. With the ones around here they have a time delay on any interruption in power. So when you pull the disconnect or turn off the breaker to condenser to make a repair you have to wait 13.5 - 16.5 minutes till the box lets power back thru. Its ridiculous IMO
08-31-2004, 11:07 PM
We use to have the PLC model (power line carrier) and now the VHF ( radio ferquency controlled) models. New ones have a tamper tell on them so the power co. knows if someone have been messing with it. They cycle through units in place to shead during peak load. Takes you off line for about 15 mins. here. If it causes a problem ( doesn't work correctly) and the home owner calls HVAC contractor out due to no AC and the controll is found to be at fault, power co. pays the service call.
09-01-2004, 06:15 PM
They give you a one time $39 credit on your bill to put one of these on your unit. They install it and control it. They just break one side of the contactor with it around here. I cant imagine the $39 being worth the discomfort the thing causes.
09-01-2004, 06:28 PM
Here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota they are called saver switches. Homeowner asks them to be put on in return for a percentage credit on their electric bill.
Yes they interrupt the low voltage to the contactor.
Yes if you pull the breaker there is a delay before high voltage is returned to contactor. Used to be around 15 minutes but the newer boxes are more like 5-7 min. Time enough to pack up tools, wax the condensor, or pick your whatever. Hell, write up your ticket. Homeowner is paying by the minute.
Yes, they are easy to bypass and access into the low voltage control section.
No big deal. Once you do a high volt repair just remember to insert the trip the breaker ahead of the testing.
With newer equipment, I don't see the need. 15 min off/ 15 min on is standard here when the temps are in the high 90's at peak hours. None have been activated more than once here I'll bet for this season anyway.
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