220Vac Generator 3 and 4 Prongs

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  #1  
Old 08-24-06, 05:27 PM
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220Vac Generator 3 and 4 Prongs

A fellow worker asked me for some advise, and I did not know a definitive answer, so here goes:
He has a 5 KW, 220Vac gas generator. He wants to backfeed his panel using the clothes dryer plug. I said it is not correct but he is going to do this, so I want to be sure he does not do something crazy.
He plans to shut off the main and then backfeed thru the clothes dryer plug after disconnecting the dryer from the receptacle..
Here's the problem.
The dryer is an older 3 prong plug. The new generator has the 4 prong plug. His plan is to use 4 conductor wire. He will wire the generator with the blk/red/white and green. At the end that plugs into the dryer plug, he plans to wire the blk/red and then connect the white and green into the same prong.
The dryer wires to the only panel in the home.
Any ideas what to advise him?
Thanks
 
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Old 08-24-06, 06:02 PM
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Advise him that what he is doing is -illegal- and -dangerous- to himself, his family, his neighbors, and utility workers.

The fact that he -doesn't even know how to do it- is evidence enough that he shouldn't even attempt it.

With that said, yes, he could bond the neutral and ground in the cable termination and plug it into the dryer outlet. It's going to be bonded a few feet down the wire run anyway.
 
  #3  
Old 08-24-06, 06:23 PM
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Tell your friend that what he wants to do is illegal, stupid, and dangerous. Tell him you don't want to be a party to the manslaughter charge he will face if his backfeed goes out onto the utility lines and kills someone. Further, tell him you will blow him in if he makes this illegal connection.

Friends don't let friends do illegal, stupid and dangerous things.
 
  #4  
Old 08-24-06, 06:41 PM
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"Further, tell him you will blow him in if he makes this illegal connection."

Do I even have to say it?
 
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Old 08-24-06, 06:48 PM
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OK. Sounds like it is a REAL stupid idea.
What should I advise him? Does he need to spend hundreds (I think) on a transfer switch? Is there another option that I could advise him.
 
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Old 08-24-06, 06:52 PM
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You can find inexpensive transfer switches with 6 or so circuits for around $100 at Home Depot or Lowes. If he wants to be able to run the entire house he could get an interlock kit for his main panel for about $150. Also, Square D makes interlock kits for some of their panels for even cheaper.
 
  #7  
Old 08-24-06, 06:52 PM
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n1ml, sorry, but you will not get any different answers from any of us.
There is absolutely no safe effective way to do what is proposed.
I don't care how careful anyone says they will be or whatever.

Doing this is stupid, dangerous, careless, and above all ILLEGAL.
And, doing this, after knowing all that, is above all stupid!
*edit- I see you get the idea. I was typing as you posted.*


Tell him to get a transfer switch, transfer panel, or main breaker interlock.
 
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Old 08-24-06, 07:45 PM
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I will convince him to get the interlock or an inexpensive transfer switch. He will listen.
Thanks for the great advice.
 
  #9  
Old 08-25-06, 03:33 AM
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http://www.interlockkit.com/
 
  #10  
Old 08-25-06, 05:37 AM
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As an aside, I believe current code now requires a 4 prong dryer connection.
 
  #11  
Old 08-25-06, 08:17 AM
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Another thing to consider is ......how big is the need to have generator back-up. By this I mean do you live in a area where power is out for days or weeks? Do you have frequent outages? Do you have equipment in the home that needs emergency back-up?

Case in point in my area we lose power for more than one day only on rare occassions, this usually follows an ice storm or other act of nature. We can go many months to years without extended power outages.

Many of my neigbors have installed back-up power, it has now been over 5 years since any of them have had a need to use those generators and transfer switches. Most of them installed the generators after an ice storm 6 or 7 years ago and we only lost power for 2 days. A little over reaction in my opinion.

Just another way to look at things....sometimes people worry too much.


Roger
 
  #12  
Old 08-25-06, 02:12 PM
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Roger, what you are saying is -more- of a reason for people to use a "Suicide cord" thru their dryer connection. It's a lot cheaper and easier, espcially when the generator (an inexpensive portable model) probably isn't going to be used very often since the power doesn't go out much.

Having a full (and legal) system installed is more justified in the areas that suffer from frequent power loss.
 
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