Generator power cord

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Old 01-05-08, 09:19 AM
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Generator power cord

We have a 13 hp generator which makes 5500 watts/ 6500 watts max. We want to connect it to a manual transfer switch in our basement. The transfer switch and the generator both have 30 amp plug-ins. We want to keep the generator in the garage, which is about 50 feet from the transfer switch, so it is out of the elements and away from the house. My question is " Is a 50 foot power cord (10/4) to long? What kind of results might we expect?

Thanks much.
 
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Old 01-05-08, 10:13 AM
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Two things come to mind....

power CORD, and "in the garage".

First off , if the Trans switch is in the basement, It may be necessary to "Hardwire it" at least from switch to point of exit. If the length of wire has you concerned about voltage drop...Make a new one using 8/3wG and use the existing ends if possible.

"In the garage" is a problem waiting to happen. No exhaust ventilation, no heat dissipation..etc. I wold suggest STORING it in the garage by all means, But use should be OUTDOORS only.
 
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Old 01-05-08, 10:43 AM
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For a 50' run, running at 5500w (22A @ 240v) on 10ga wire, you have about 2.6v drop (1.1%). This is well within the tolerances of most equipment, so I wouldn't worry about upsizing the wire.

I certainly agree with Unclediezel's recommendations about running the generator outdoors and considering hardwiring the junction box to just outside the house so you don't need the extension cord snaking through a door, across the floor, etc.
 
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Old 01-05-08, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by clovell View Post
We have a 13 hp generator which makes 5500 watts/ 6500 watts max. We want to connect it to a manual transfer switch in our basement. The transfer switch and the generator both have 30 amp plug-ins. We want to keep the generator in the garage, which is about 50 feet from the transfer switch, so it is out of the elements and away from the house. My question is " Is a 50 foot power cord (10/4) to long? What kind of results might we expect? Thanks much.
Sounds like you want to install / connect a generator to your Home using its 120/240 30A outlet. From "the code" perspective, there is 2 different methods that can be used. They are:

A - Master Switch Method: Master Transfer switch between your home's Meter and your home's Main Panel. This manual "Y" switch can supply electricity from your Electric Company or from your attached generator. But not both - at the same time (which creates back feed). To me, building code must include a master transfer switch in all homes. Especially in remote or snow region homes. For a few pictures, surf: http://nooutage.com/GTL.HTM

Note: Using this method, only turn on the breakers / fuses that need to be turned on. Total "ON" device's cannot excceed the max input of the attached generator.


B - Sub Panel with mini-Master Switch: A special "generator" sub panel is installed and all critical circuits are moved to this special panel. A special "mini-transfer" switch allows these circuits to be fed from the Main Panel or from an attached generator. This special generator panel includes a master switch and sometimes has little guages or LED lights - showing if Main Panel is live, how much electricity one's generator is putting into this special sub panel and how much load is on these ON circuits. These sub panels can be bought in 6 - 12 circuit sizes (and some can be expanded to 16 circuits). For a pictures and more details, surf: http://nooutage.com/SWPNL1.HTM and http://nooutage.com/pdf/GenTran-MTSbrochure.pdf


Most Home Inspectors and Local Electricians allow above method B. Most often, method A is only allowed in farms, business and other non-residental setups. Do call around to determine which method is allowed in your specific region.


Personally, I would only store my generator in my attached garage. Every time I started my gas mower or snowblower, I'd start the generator (after pulling it outside). Let it run for up 5 minutes, test it onboard outlets, then put back into temp storage (inside the garage). When the generator needs to be used, I'd pull the generator outside (like at the back of the house) and plug its thick 120/240 30A cord into its out-door outlet. And, ensure its chassis ground wire is properly grounded as well (as per its Manual details). For example: http://www.emergencypower.com/resources/PB+Open.jpg


Again. Do check with your local building inspector to determine which preferred method is allowed in your spedific region.


Hope these details help as well....

.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 06:24 PM
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I don't know about the regional requirements that Spike mentions but it is a very common practice to install a 200 amp manual transfer switch on a residential service and then connect the generator side to a power inlet receptacle for connection of a portable generator.
This installation would include an interlock kit and generator breaker installed in the main panel.
The advantage of this setup is that it allows you to power your entire panel and have access to all the circuits.
The frame of a portable generator is not required to be connected to earth such as a ground rod or water pipe if the generator has receptacles mounted on the generator panel and the receptacles have equipment grounding terminals bonded to the generator frame.
 
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