Electric Power Cutoff System for Flooded Spaces

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We have occurrences of weather in various parts of the country where flooding occurs. The Midwest has basements that can flood. The South and East have whole communities that flood from storms and hurricanes. Conditions are unsafe for the occupants and any rescue workers. Electrocution is possible for anyone touching or walking in water flooding a basement or building. Access to the main electric circuit breaker panel is normally away from the basement steps or located in a garage.

This design prevents potential electrocution by using a water sensor at the floor level to shut off the main utility power coming into the building.

It consists of an electrical switch gear connected to the existing circuit breaker panel and is controlled by the Power Control Unit housing the battery that activates the switch gear. The main utility power feed is moved from the circuit breaker panel and rerouted to the switch gear. From the switch gear it is routed back into the circuit breaker panel.

The water sensor located near the floor is either electronic or a simple ball float switch version found on sump pumps. When water is sensed by the switch, it activates the circuits in the power system controls in the Power Control Unit to activate the power switch gear to disconnect the main utility power to the circuit breaker panel.

The Power Control Unit has an alarm system that consists of a flashing led light and an audible sound generator that turn on when flooding is sensed. We also have a 120V GFI outlet and a 240V outlet active for the emergency. Additional connections can be made to the Power Control Unit to run 120V and 240V outlets to safe areas outside of the flooded area. The battery for activating the switch gear is housed in the Power Control Unit and is trickle charged in standby mode.

When the system is activated, a message is sent to any programmed cell phone number, especially to the power utility company.

The system can only be reset manually to ensure that the flooded areas have been fully dried and a safety inspection has been performed.

The expanded version of the system has an auxiliary circuit breaker panel where selected circuits outside of the flooded area are still energized when the main circuit breaker panel has been de-activated.

Commercial manufacturers of circuit breaker panels can build into their panels the electric power cutoff system for new home and business installations.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    John Ochab
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    5
  • John is inspired by:
    All designs are to help poor or technically disadvantaged people by creating simple solutions for their needs at a low cost. I wish to have others that have the ability to take these ideas and build them for the benefit of others.
  • Software used for this entry:
    None
  • Patent status:
    none