Generator extension cords

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  #1  
Old 06-16-04, 07:03 AM
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Question Generator extension cords

I have a Coleman Powermate generator which has two 120 receptacles and a 240. Can I make an extension cord for the 240 that will enable me to use 120 from it? It seems to have a "floating" neutral.(?)
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-04, 07:27 AM
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No. Why would you want to? A pure 240-volt circuit doesn't have a floating neutral--it has no neutral at all.
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-04, 10:07 AM
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Gen

Sorry - the receptacle is a 120/240 that requires a twist lock plug, not a pure 240.
 
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Old 06-16-04, 10:33 AM
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Well, it sounds like you CAN. but it doesn't mean you should. If you're only wanting to use 120, why not just use a normal extension cord with the 120 receptacle. It sounds like they are the same connections inside the generator anyway.
 
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Old 06-16-04, 01:02 PM
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Yes, you most likely can do what you want.

This may or may not be useful. It is useful if the 120 receptacles are current limited, and you need twice the current.

For example, my generator has three connections.

I have a 240 volt 20 amp round twistlock, two hots, one neutral, one ground.

I have a 30 amp 120 volt round twistlock, one hot, one neutral, one ground.

I have a 20 amp 120 volt regular duplex receptacle.

The generator is 5000 Watt, so I am limited to what I can plug in.

If I want to use ordinary household devices, I am limited to 20 amps, unless I use the 240 volt receptacle. So I fashioned an electrical box containing two 120 volt 20 amp duplex receptacles. This box is fed by a piece of 12/3 with ground that attaches to the 240 volt twistlock connector on the generator.
 
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Old 06-17-04, 09:17 AM
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When you said "This box is fed by a piece of 12/3 with ground that attaches to the 240 volt twistlock connector on the generator.", did you use a twistlock and hook the 12/3 to it, using just one of the hot terminals in the twistlock? If so, that would solve my problem!
 
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Old 06-17-04, 09:20 AM
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No, I connect all four wires. Each hot wire is connected to a different duplex receptacle in the box, the neutral is ahared between the receptacles and the ground is the ground.

I essentially have a multiwire circuit serving two duplex receptacles. Each receptacle can supply 20 amps total.
 
  #8  
Old 06-18-04, 04:46 AM
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Smile Solved

Great! That will work for me and give me another two circuits.

Thanks for the advice!
 
  #9  
Old 06-18-04, 05:42 AM
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No, it will give you another ONE circuit, for a total of 2. No matter which connections on your generator you use you cannot use more than one at a time with most generators.

The generator supplies a certain power. It can supply it as 220 volts or as 120 volts, but you cannot run three circuits.
 
  #10  
Old 06-18-04, 12:42 PM
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This concept sounds like a great idea. I've always felt like I was unable to use the full capacity of the generator on the one provided 120V 20A duplex recepticle. Did you use romex or SO cord? If SO, did you have any problem finding 12/3 (with ground) cord?
I think I'm going to make one of these asap.
Thanks!
 
  #11  
Old 06-18-04, 03:33 PM
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It is SO cord. Romex would not be appropriate for this type of setup.
 
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