wiring a backup generator cord

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-26-09, 01:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
wiring a backup generator cord

I'm attempting to build a cord for my home backup generator. I have 10/3 wire, a heavy duty angle ground 3 prong plug (for the outlet), and a Locking Plug NEMA L14-30 (for the gen connection). The wire colors don't match between the plugs and the wire.

The angle plug has connections for a green, white, and black wire but no ground wire connection. The 10/3 wires are red, white, black (could be considered grey), and bare ground.
1-Is green the same as red? I thought green was a ground.
2-Where do I connect the bare ground wire? To the metal clip that holds the wire casing?

The NEMA plug has G (ground), W (white or grey), X & Y (black or red) connections.
1-do I put the green wire (per instructions) or the bare ground wire in the G? Where do I put the other one?
2-Is one of the standard wire colors for 10/3 black or grey?

Help, the ice storm is coming! thanks.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-26-09, 01:37 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,943
Received 30 Votes on 26 Posts
Your generator puts out 240 volts on 2 hot legs. The cord you bought will not support 240 volt circuits. You only have 1 hot leg instead of two.

The correct cord would be 10-4. In flexible cord the grounding wire is counted differently than in common non-metallic cable.

Green is not the same as the red and should never be used to carry current. It is there in the event of a fault.

With all that said unless you have to use a properly wired transfer switch. You will need to plug in your appliances with extension cords.

Be sure to keep your exhaust away from windows and doors. You don't need carbon monoxide poisoning.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 01-26-09 at 02:14 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-26-09, 01:38 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,490
Received 32 Votes on 24 Posts
The way I read your post makes me believe that you are attempting to build a "suicide" cable. No one here is going to help you if this is what you are trying.

If you can't install a legal transfer switch, transfer panel or circuit breaker interlock then just run extension cords from the generator to the individual appliances.
 
  #4  
Old 01-26-09, 01:44 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I'm attempting to build a cord for my home backup generator. I have 10/3 wire, a heavy duty angle ground 3 prong plug (for the outlet), and a Locking Plug NEMA L14-30 (for the gen connection).
STOP! Using a suicide cord set and an outlet is illegal and can get you killed. You must use an inlet at the house. If you are planning to tie into the house the law requires you use a transfer switch or panel interlock. Post back exactly what you want to power and the make, model, and size of your generator. The experts here can help you do it safely.
 
  #5  
Old 01-26-09, 02:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Don't know what a suicide cord is but maybe I didn't explain it correctly. I have a new Troy-Bilt rated at 6200 watts, 51.6-A (120 volts) 25.8-A (240 volts). It does not come with a connection cord. The transfer switch was professionally installed and I have one 50-A 250V outlet inside the garage and another outside next to the fuse box. I'm trying to make a coord to connect the generator to my transfer switch.
 
  #6  
Old 01-26-09, 03:53 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I think what you are calling an outlet is an inlet. An "outlet" is a female receptacle. An inlet is male. The device that feeds the transfer switch must be male, an inlet.

A suicide cord has a male plug on both ends. It is called a suicide plug because if the end opposite source become unplugged the exposed prongs can be lethal if touched.
I have one 50-A 250V outlet inside the garage and another outside next to the fuse box.
If they are female they can not be used. If it was professionally installed there should be a (male) inlet. That is where you plug in. If not you need to get the electrician back to install one.

P.S. Yes, pros I know that the NEC definition for outlet is different but to keep confusion to a minimum I'm using the lay definition.
 
  #7  
Old 01-26-09, 05:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the education. I've owned the house for only a year so it was the previous owner who had the work done. How difficult is it to convert one of my inlets to an outlet? any recommendations on where to look for reference? Thanks.
 
  #8  
Old 01-26-09, 06:23 PM
ARC-N-SPARK's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 93
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Krusty View Post
Thanks for the education. I've owned the house for only a year so it was the previous owner who had the work done. How difficult is it to convert one of my inlets to an outlet? any recommendations on where to look for reference? Thanks.

I will make it simple and to the point. You already have the NEMA 14-30P to attach to the genset. The other end of the cord needs to have a 14-30 connector (female end). The "inlet", as it's called, is a recessed version of the 14-30P, mounted into the bottom of a 3R (raintight) enclosure, which should be hardwired into either the load center with an approved interlocking mechanism, or an approved transfer switch. If you have an actual receptacle that will accept any type of male plug, this is neither a safe nor proper installation, and you will receive no information to facilitate a connection.
 
  #9  
Old 01-26-09, 07:11 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
This is not the correct type for your needs but it shows you what an inlet looks like.



This is closer to what you need but not as easy to see. The inlet is on the left. Does the receptacle on your generator look like the picture on the right?

 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-26-09 at 07:36 PM.
  #10  
Old 01-28-09, 07:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, that's what my gen outlet looks like. How do I convert my inlet to an outlet? Thank you again.
 
  #11  
Old 01-28-09, 08:11 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,943
Received 30 Votes on 26 Posts
You do not want an outlet. An inlet is the proper fitting.

An outlet at the generator and the house would require a cord with male blades on each end. This could electrocute someone. You were told this before but seemed to ignore the seriousness of a suicide cord.

Please do not attempt to create a death trap.
 
  #12  
Old 01-28-09, 10:27 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Check the transfer switch. The inlet is sometimes built into the transfer switch.
 
  #13  
Old 01-28-09, 11:38 AM
Pendragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,851
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
And BTW, once you get the connector situation in order, the type of cable you are looking for is called "SO", it's flexible with a black casing that feels rubbery. You only have a 30 amp generator, so make sure you are using the proper 30 amp connectors. 10-4 SO cable is all you need, providing the run isn't more than about 15 feet or so. Past that I would go to 1 size larger on the cable.
 
  #14  
Old 01-28-09, 07:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I''m not ignoring safety concerns but just mistyped. I have two outlets and don't have an inlet. I'm looking for help on how to convert my outlet (female) to an inlet (male) to make it safe. Can anyone help? Thank you.
 
  #15  
Old 01-28-09, 07:57 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I'm looking for help on how to convert my outlet (female) to an inlet (male) to make it safe. Can anyone help?
You can not turn them into inlets if they are connected to the breaker box. The inlet must be connected to the transfer switch.

If I am wrong and one of them is connected to the transfer switch the they can be converted if they are 4-wire. What is the normal use for each of these receptacles?
 
  #16  
Old 02-02-09, 03:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I haven't used them for anything. The previous owner had a sticky note taped to the fuse box explaining how to get the backup gen working. It's duplicate to the instructions included with my gen. Unfortunately, it appears that he might have used the suicide coord unless other gens come with an inlet. I'm assuming that they don't. I do have a shed outside that's wired for 110 & 220.
 
  #17  
Old 02-02-09, 03:53 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I haven't used them for anything.
Are they on breakers in the breaker box? If so you can not use them. Simplest is to just run 4 # 10 in conduit from the transfer switch to near the generator and install an inlet there. You have checked the transfer switch foe an inlet haven't you?

It may be time to call an electrician to figure out what you have.
 
  #18  
Old 02-05-09, 07:07 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
follow this link to watch a video explaining how to hook up generator transfer switches. Chapter 12 deals specificly with the inlet. I think you will have a better understanding after watching this. Click here l

Hope this helps.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: