Portable Generator Hook-Up

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Old 07-28-03, 03:54 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Cool Portable Generator Hook-Up

I am planning to get a 5,000-or-so watt, 240v portable emergency generator, and I would like to connect an outside receptacle for it to a spare 30 amp breaker in my main 200 amp panel.
I have hooked-up borrowed generators in past years using a hot-wired round #8 stranded 3-wire cable to this 30 amp breaker(main breaker off, of course), and it worked fine for days, with one insulated wire to the ground bar and the two insulated hots to the 30 amp breaker.
I only run a few lights, a TV, a microwave, the refrigerator, an upright freezer and a small oscillating fan with it.
I would like to use this same wire to wire an outside receptacle to plug the generator into on my porch to the 30 amp breaker in the panel.
I've done a Search above on portable generators and have seen the other posts regarding different ways to wire portable generators.
I know that the hot-wire version works O.K., but do you have any comments about what I'm planning to do before I contact the local Building Inspector about a permit, and he tosses me out? I don't know electrical code.
Thanks. Mike
 
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Old 07-28-03, 05:59 AM
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The inspector will not allow you to install the generator as you plan, if he knows that you plan to put a generator on that receptacle.

Since you mention a 30A outside receptacle for connection to the cord from the generator, that would lead me to believe that the cord from the generator will be male (in style). You cannot have energized exposed prongs on the cord cap when the gen is on and you go to plug it into the 30A receptacle.

Your feeder circuit from the gen to the recept. to the panel, needs to have three insulated conductors and one ground (ground can be insulated or bare).

You need a method that includes a transfer switch. The code does not trust that you will remember to shut off the main breaker first. There must be a definite "break" of the service before "make" of the generator service. There are many types of transfer switches, including entire house type, or circuit by circuit.

and my last comment regard the neutral to ground bond internal to your generator. If I guess at the way you will make the transfer switch connections, it will only transfer the two hot poles, if so, then you need to un-bond the neutral and ground in the generator (unless it is unbonded already).

See the web site below
http://www.homewiringandmore.com/hom...generator.html

You method of connecting the generator in the past functionally worked (as you know), but it was not code compliant. If you will involve the local inspector, then you will have to do it differently.
 
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Old 07-28-03, 03:34 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Cool

Thank you, Ron.
I'll find out more and do it to local code.
Mike
 
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