Controls – Emergency Override Panel Protects Against Power Surge Damage


Several years ago, a hurricane came fairly close to the Vineyard and several parts of the island lost power for a few days.  As the high winds were sweeping across the island, various power lines were intermittently shorting out which wreaked havoc on power going into the nearby homes.

In this particular home, the emergency generator sensed the loss of power, turned on full speed, and then power would be restored only to lose power again.  This start stop start stop cycle continued for several hours until finally all power was lost and the generator met the load of the home.

Unfortunately, this start stop process was very destructive to the various control boards found in the heating and cooling equipment.  The boards lost their programs and memory and were no longer able to function reliably.   Because the electric utility could not guarantee that their power would be unaffected by high winds, and the backup generator was doing its best to seamlessly maintain voltage in the home, something had to be installed to protect the control boards during a storm.


We were asked to develop an override panel so that the house staff could switch from Auto and Emergency modes during inclement weather.  This would permit seamless operation of the heating and cooling equipment by removing the control boards from the damaging power supply.   All heating and cooling equipment in the override mode would be controlled by electro-mechanical switches, aquastats, and relays that were impervious to the unstable and erratic power supply.  When the inclement weather had passed and stable power was again available, the house staff could simply switch the override panel back to the “Auto” position and all equipment would again be controlled by their computerized control boards.

Our goal is to be Martha’s Vineyard’s premier plumbing and HVAC shop – we appreciate the opportunity to service and install your control system.