How to hook up generator?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Little Quacker in OR, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Hi! Robins post brought up a question I've been wanting to ask. I have a generator for when we lose power here way out in the country. However, to use it I must run an extention cord into the house and then plug in a light, TV or whatever. Of course that means that where ever the cord come in is a partially opened door which lets the heat out! This is just for short outages which is usually all we have.

    But, is there a way to have an electrical outlet on the front porch(8ft wide, 30 ft long, covered)where the generator is, so that the generator could plug into that outlet and carry on through the wall to an outlet indoors that something could be plugged into???

    There must be a way to do this?

    Thanks! LQ
     
  2. If you run it to a outdoor plug in you will be creating a hot circuit to everything in the house. Cause what you will be doing is back feeding the circuit all the way back through the panel box and back to all the circuits in the house. It will also back feed through your main feeder wires, through your meter, through your transformer, and eventually back to the men who are working on the high lines who are trying to get it back on. So, that method is a big no-no! Also, if the electricity came back on and their power meets your power, what will happen. A big BOOM! Maybe.

    What you need to do is have a qualified electrician place a transfer 3 way transfer switch and feed the power grid service and your service through it. This way if your power grid fails you can flip the transfer switch and be abe to start your generator up. No one will get hurt and maybe no big boom.
     

  3. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

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    Transfer switches are too expensive and usually don't let you run the entire house all at once. This is what I had my electrician put in. Parts total was about $50.00.

    It IS legal and cheap as well. There is an outlet for the plug from my generator in the bottom of my panel.

    http://members.cox.net/punkrockpilot/gen switch.JPG
     
  4. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .............rh , is exactly correct . You can check on these transfer switches at H.Depot , Lowes , etc . Depending on your genset and if it has an electrical starter the Transfer switch can automatically start the genset and when the power comes backon it will also shut the genset down and transfer your lectrical system back to grid power . They're not cheap but it's the only way to set it up and still be safe!! People , forget about what the sequence of steps should be to switch power back and forth and you can burn your house down if you screw....UP...fordy... :)
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    If your only goal is to have an outlet indoors without haveing an open door, its a simple matter of drilling through the wall, installing a special service outlet, suchas the insert and twist special applications type which would only activate that one outlet, this would be seperate of the rest of the homes electrical service. You would also need to purchase a cord plug to match the outlet.
     
  6. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Thanks so much everyone. I knew there was a name for what I had to use but didn't know what it was! LOL Now I know. A Transfer Switch! Also other good ideas that I will contemplate before taking the plunge.

    thanks again...LQ
     
  7. Punkrockpilot, I have never seen a breaker designed like that before. I can see how it would work and not be a danger to anyone or your house. Also should be much, much cheaper than the transfer switch, rerouteing the feeder wire, etc. that go along with all the labor you would have to pay for.

    Quacker you should check into what Prp has posted I think it would work just as good as expensive transfer switch and labor cost.
     
  8. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Even though that would be a good idea, Some panels are not designed like the one shown. You would have to look at your panel in order to see if that system would work.
     
  9. tiny

    tiny Member

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    You could put Outlwts back to back in the wall and use them for the Genertor only. that way the cord would not e going through a door that you do not want open.
     
  10. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) You guys have given me some great ideas and ways to go...I have printed out this whole thread and will show it to the electrician who is a friend.

    I don't want to power the whole house with the generator..just a lamp and the TV and maybe an electric blankie if it's quite cold! LOL

    Thanks again everyone...LQ
     
  11. aaatraker

    aaatraker Well-Known Member

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    Could you please explain how it works i see that you have a square d panel is it a square d part what is it called? how do you close the panel door , it looks like it would stop the door are you energizing your panel with it as a backfeed? if so what happens when the power comes on?

    thanks
    kurt
     
  12. aaatracker, the power would be backfed through the 30 amp breaker as seen in the panel box. What you would have to do is turn off the main breaker before you would be able to flip the emergency breaker on. Also, you would want to flip off any 2-pole breakers such as your water heater, clothes dryer, range, and anything else that runs on 240 volts. Unless you have a big cat deisel generator that could supply everything in your house. Other than that you would only want the bare necessities to be on.

    Also, it looks like the breaker is designed flat so as to not hinder the closing of the panel box door.