Connecting generator to garage wiring.

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Old 12-17-05, 12:15 PM
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Connecting generator to garage wiring.

I have a detached garage with a small sub panel, and the 3 separate wires feeding it were detached from the house and pulled back into the garage. Previously I asked if I could just connect a male plug to the end of these wires and just plug it in to the generator but was told not to do that with this type of individual wires.

This garage has a dozen or so outlets around the perimeter and a dozen overhead fluorescent light fixtures controlled by 4 switches. I thought I can make an extension cord with male plugs on both ends and connect one end to the generator outlet and the other end to any of the garage outlets. This way all the other outlets would be energized as well as having power to the lights through the switches. This would in effect reverse the normal power supply which normally goes from the sub panel out to the outlets and lights, and instead have the power going from an outlet back to the sub panel and then out to the other circuits. Would this cause any problems?
 
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Old 12-17-05, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by atikovi
..... I thought I can make an extension cord with male plugs on both ends and connect one end to the generator outlet and the other end to any of the garage outlets. ......... Would this cause any problems?
Yes, some VERY BIG probelms!
This is one of the most unsafe and foolish things one can do...seriously.

You CANNOT hook your generator to this detached garage, no matter how you try and make it work. You need a MAIN breaker transfer switch, transfer panel, or main breaker interlock device in order to supply your house safely from a generator. This MUST be done at the MAIN panel.

Please don't take this criticism lightly. This is an issue that could injure or kill a utility worker and if found using this type of setup you could face some serious legal trouble. If someone is hurt due to this, you can and will go to jail.

Here is a good page explaining it a little better:
http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homew...ator/index.htm
 
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Old 12-17-05, 02:16 PM
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I understand how the power would flow back into the lines on the street and possibly harm utility workers but as I mentioned, the garage is completely disconnected from any outside power source. That is the reason for the generator in the first place.
 
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Old 12-17-05, 02:29 PM
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Oh man! I totally mis-read that. I was wondering what "pulled back" meant. I guess I read through it too fast concerned with the situation. Seeing the mention of a male-to-male cord gets me dizzy.
My apologies.


What I would do is install a cord lead off the panel with the male plug on the end. You should use "SO" cord. This is heavy usage cord and can withstand some abuse.
Just match the cord cap to the rectacle on the genertor.
I would also sink a ground rod at the garage and bond the generator to it. Keep the grounds and neutrals separate in the sub-panel.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 02:32 PM
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In that case, the only safety issue would be the male-male plug. Connect the male cord to the main breaker instead of the old service feeders.
 
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