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Best way to connect a tornado siren control circuit to a light switch?

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  • Best way to connect a tornado siren control circuit to a light switch?

    I "Bobtained" this abandoned Cold War era Federal Signal 2t22A siren from former Lowry Air Force Base.
    It is now a working tornado siren at my fire station and operated from a wall-mounted light switch.

    From the power pedestal 120 VAC source, is it best to run the black hot wire directly to the motor-starter solenoid IN terminal?
    Then black wire from the solenoid OUT terminal through 50 feet of 14-2 with ground cable to the light switch. (This way, the circuit amperage is limited by the solenoid coil.)

    Then white cable wire from light switch to the thermo-fuse circuit in the siren's three-phase motor, then to Neutral in the power pedestal?

    (Inside the 10-horsepower motor are three thermo-fuses, one in each coil.
    If any get too hot and open, the 120 VAC to the motor-starter solenoid is interrupted and the 240 V. three-phase power to the siren is turned off.)

    Motor is 15-minute duty cycle.
    A tornado warning is 5 minutes.
    Monthly test is 3 minutes.

    Thank you.


    (Lucky that I copied this text. When I edited, it appears that my entire text was deleted and I started out with a blank page. STUPID!)
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 04-30-2014, 10:46 PM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    control wiring/120 VAC comes into the switch box. Black is broken at the switch first, routes through the contactor coil, and back to the neutral at the box. (wiring it the other way leaves the siren live all the time). 3-phase power is routed one leg to each of the three fuses. make sure rotation is correct, else destruction of your siren might happen.

    everything has to be circuit protected. the control by the max draw rating of the coil, the drive by max draw rating of the motor. the motor should have a phase monitor installed. dropping one leg while running or having a bad connection can cause it to run hot or otherwise fail. you will have 2 breaker protected circuits.

    where are you getting 3-phase power from?

    edit: I found this: the original service and install manual. it has full specifications and instructions:

    http://ares.homeip.net/~bwillcox/sir.../2T22-3T22.pdf
    Last edited by Plumber Punky; 05-01-2014, 08:00 AM.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

    Comment


    • #3
      My entire post was deleted when I clicked edit to correct a mispelling!
      Last edited by Robert Gift; 05-01-2014, 09:30 AM.
      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you.
        Thank you, also, for the link to the Federal Signal 2t22 installation manual.

        So no need to limit the current coming to the switch? Thought it would be safer after the three-phase motor starter solenoid coil - located in the power pedestal which is also its 120 VAC source.

        The power pedestal is in a mobile home park's small sewage treatment plant. 240 three-phase is for Roots blowers which pump air into pipes with tiny holes at the bottom of the digester.

        The light toggle switch is on the wall in the sewage plant's laboratory. (Thought placing it just inside the door would be a "fun" location! But I didn't.)

        Unknown what amperage the motor starter coil is rated. It was already in place for another blower motor.

        The siren is protected by a three-phase circuit breaker. Now I forget its rating.
        No phase monitor.

        I do not have a siren controller (Federal Signal's AR timer). But am working on finding one. Apparently, the one on this siren's pole could be reached and was scrapped.
        I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
        It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
        "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

        Comment


        • #5
          The only limit I would place on the coil side of the contactor would be a 15 amp circuit breaker.

          IMHO I want a switch before the load. When the power goes to the load first and is broken after, if there is a failure of something the unit can become hot, with no indication until it kills someone.

          it sounds like they are pulling one leg of the circuit as control power. i dont know how safe that is. one of the sparkies here would know better. but, it's not much different than a 3 phase AC unit voltage and control-wise. the control side is protected by one breaker, the large load side by a 3 phase breaker, starter, motor monitor, and disconnect.
          ~~

          ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you.
            In 2007 I probably ran the black 120 VAC directly to the wall switch, then white to the solenoid coil, then black to the motor's thermo-fuse circuit and white return to neutral.
            But I do not know the rating for the 120 V. circuit breaker.
            I also do not remember how they derived the 120 VAC from the 240 three-phase from the three transformers. Must look for a Neutral.

            (A few years ago during a first Saturday of the month noon test, I discovered thathe used wall switch was making intermittant contact. Had never known of that to happen.
            Luckily I had a new light switch in my vehicle.)

            We could use a three-phase monitor, but my volunteer fire department won't have the money for one.
            There is no disconnect just for the siren circuit. Only the three-phase circuit breaker. The power pedestal door is closed but not padlocked.
            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

            Comment


            • #7
              think of this - if they dont have the cash for the monitor, they surely wont have the cash for a new siren. most decent monitors are under $500.

              if they want to provide audio safety notification with this siren perhaps they need to run a benefit campaign to raise funds for the necessities?

              wall switches are crap. it is best to buy a heavy duty 20 amp or hospital rated switch, even if it's orange. LOL

              if you are providing a service to the local populace you may want to consider speaking to the building dept and electrical dept. there may be very specific codes that have to be followed. especially when lives in the public service populace depend upon it.
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you.
                Since it is my siren, they don't want to spend any money on it.
                None of the other motors have phase monitors - unless one has been installed since I last inspected the power pedestal.
                (Can several motors operate off one phase monitor?)
                Other than that used switch, I have never seen a wall switch fail. With the little amperage of the solenoid coil, I can't image the new one failing.

                Back in 2007, thelectrical department said what I did was fine with them. We are in an unincorporated area of the county.
                I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                  Thank you.
                  Since it is my siren, they don't want to spend any money on it.
                  None of the other motors have phase monitors - unless one has been installed since I last inspected the power pedestal.
                  (Can several motors operate off one phase monitor?)
                  Other than that used switch, I have never seen a wall switch fail. With the little amperage of the solenoid coil, I can't image the new one failing.

                  Back in 2007, thelectrical department said what I did was fine with them. We are in an unincorporated area of the county.
                  There may be liabilities that you may not be prepared to handle in supplying a public service. I implore you to contact your insurance company regarding a privately owned public alarm. If someone dies and blames YOU for alarming or not alarming.... yuk...

                  several motors can physically be wired to one monitor but the monitor will not function as intended. I'd bet you dont have any. Wall switches are commonly used for furnaces and other low amperage appliances. I've had probably a dozen fail over the years - wont turn on, wont turn off, buzzes, the toggle falls out, gets hot, smokes, voltage drop...
                  ~~

                  ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks. We published that the siren will be sounded for tornadoes if possible. There could be situations where the department has responded to an emergency and no one is available to operate the siren.

                    I'd like to have a device connected to the sewage plant laboratory telephone where someone could call the telephone, enter a code and sound the siren.
                    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      all you need is a phone system capable of closing a dry contact.
                      ~~

                      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                        all you need is a phone system capable of closing a dry contact.
                        A complication is that the laboratory telephone is connected to a system which will dial out and report a malfunction/failure in the sewage treatment plant so that someone will correct the problem.

                        I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                        It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                        "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                        Comment

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