Dedicated Generator Circuit

Old 09-09-03, 04:10 PM
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Dedicated Generator Circuit

The Great Blackout of '03 got me thinking.
My neighbor was kind enough to supply his portable generator for a few hours at a time to keep my refrigerator from spoiling during the blackout. A 12 ga extention cord was run into the house from the generator.
I'm now in the market for a portable generator of my own for the next human, or, forces of nature electrical event.
Here's my idea...
I want to install a dedicated generator circuit -with one outlet per floor to power: the furnace, the refrigerator, and small light bulbs on each floor.
The romex circuit would originate in the basement in a 1900 box connected to a length of SJ cord long enough to run out the basement window to plug into the portable generator.
I would have to modify the permanent circuit to the furnace with a switch to allow connection to utility power or the generator circuit.
Any problems with this idea???
Old 09-09-03, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
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Consider a flanged inlet.

Let me suggest that you use a flanged inlet mounted in that 1900 box [4"X2&1/8 deep] through which you then supply the circuit. Fire departments sometimes call the circuit arrangement you are talking about a dry electrical standpipe. This avoids the problems associated with having a flexible cable as a permanent part of the homes wiring. Any compatible extension cord can be used between the source of power and the inlet. If you mount the inlet in a weather proof box with an in use cover it can be outside so that you need not run a cord through a window in inclement weather.

SquareD has a generator interlock kit available for their panels. This allows you to interlock the main breaker with a double pole breaker mounted in position 2-4. Since the interlock prevents the two breakers from being closed at the same time there is no danger of back feeding the power companies outside lines. That arrangement allows you to operate anything in your home that the generator has the capacity to supply. The total cost of the weather proof inlet box, supply cable to the panel, generator breaker, and interlock kit is less than $150US.

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