Convert generator 240 outlet to 120v


Old 06-15-05, 10:24 AM
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Convert generator 240 outlet to 120v

I've just purchased a generator in preparation for the Florida hurricane season. The generator has one 120 V outlet and one 240 V outlet. I don't need the 240 V outlet. How do I get 120V out of this 240 V outlet? Included with the generator is a NEMA L 14-30 plug with 4 prong. Thanks. oldson
Old 06-15-05, 10:37 AM
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Getting 120 volts is not the problem. The problem will be limiting that 120 volts to 20 amps.

Your 240 volt plug has two hot wires, one neutral and one ground. There are 120 volts between each hot leg and the neutral.

What you should do is have a transfer switch installed near or at your main panel. This way you will be able to run some or all of your house circuits from your generator, up to what the generator can supply.

For something portable, you will need to fashion a distribution box that provides over current protection (circuit breakers or fuses) as well as distribution.
Old 06-15-05, 06:59 PM
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Generator 240 outlet to 120 V

I should have been more specific. The generator is small. 3500 surge, 3000 run. It wouldn't power anything thru the main breaker box.

I understand there is an extension cord made for this purpose ( 240V plug with four outlet sockets of 120 v each on the other end, but sold out here with no promise of future delivery. Somehow that must meet the amp requirement. Anyone know where that type of cord could be ordered. Not at Home Depot or Lowes in west central Florida. Thanks
Old 06-16-05, 04:56 AM
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I guarantee your 3000 watt generator does NOT have an L14-30 receptacle. It may have an L14-20 though, which is a 120/240 receptacle as Bob described. In this case you still can purchase/make a lead cord with two receptacles, each on their own circuit.
If the receptacle is only 240, and not 120/240, then this lead cord is not possible at all.
Old 06-16-05, 08:56 PM
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Generator 240 outlet to 120v

Thanks for the replies. Guess it's apparent I'm pretty uninformed in electrical matters. I need to be more careful in my description.

I've gone back to the brochure that came with the generator so I can qoute veratim. The receptacle on the generator is a "120/240 volt AC run 120 and/or 240 volt 60 cycle single phase AC current."

The plug I previously tried to describe is a seperate item included in the box along with a spark plug wrench, a 120v 3-prong plug and some 12v wiring. This separate plug ( no cord ) is described as a "NEMA L14-30 plug for connecting 240 v electrical devices". It has 4 prongs, each 90 degrees apart around the perimeter of the plug. I'm told the longest prong, with the irregular "L" shape is the ground.

Hope this clarifies things and makes it easier for anyone to help me solve my problem of getting 120 volts from this 120/240 receptacle.

Thanks, oldson

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