Workshop generator wiring


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Old 05-22-09, 07:51 AM
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Workshop generator wiring

I am converting my detached garage to a workshop, but discovered that running electricity from the house would be extremely expensive (involving long distance trench-digging and structural damage to the house interior). I'm thinking now about getting a diesel generator to supply power to the shop for some lighting and intermittent use of several power tools (table saw, jointer, planer...) and a small space heater in the winter. The generator I'm looking at is a 6000 Watt silent diesel, it has two 120 v @ 20 amps and one 120/240 v @ 30 amps outlets. First, is a generator capable of supplying this kind of power? Is it required that I bring power from the generator to a main panel inside the garage and then run wiring from the panel, or is it possible to connect the male end of cords (appropriate gauge) from the receptacles on the generator and create separate circuits, say have one circuit wiring a shop receptacle and two lights, and another circuit (plugged into the second 120 v outlet in generator) going to a couple of additional receptacles? Also, can a 30 amp generator plug adaptor cord be wired to end at a couple of 15 amp receptacles in the shop? One more thing...is the ground protection in a generator reliable?

Thanks for any enlightenment on this complicated issue.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 08:02 AM
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I am sure others will contribute, but the most bothersome thing in your post is the thought of using a cord with 2 male ends to backfeed into your system. These are called suicide cords for a reason. If the end were plugged into a running generator you could have exposed live ends that someone could touch and get electrocuted.

A male flanged inlet is the proper fitting to use.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 08:10 AM
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Hi pcboss,

I think you misunderstood my configuration. Not two male ends...I know that's a killer! What I mean is, one male end which would be plugged into the generator's receptacle, and the other end (inside the shop) would be a receptacle (female). Basically just extending the generator receptacle.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 08:43 AM
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Yes that is the correct cord. You can actually wire a male "inlet" on the outside of the structure which the generator cord plugs in to and feeds the building's interior panel. This allows you to keep the generator outside without needing to run a cord through an open door or window.



BTW, a propane or kerosene heater will be a lot cheaper to operate than an electric heater w/ diesel generator.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DaniG View Post
Hi pcboss,

I think you misunderstood my configuration. Not two male ends...I know that's a killer! What I mean is, one male end which would be plugged into the generator's receptacle, and the other end (inside the shop) would be a receptacle (female). Basically just extending the generator receptacle.
Sorry,
I misunderstood what you were proposing. Too many have thought that the dopuble male cord was OK to backfeed a circuit, especially during a power outtage.

To add to your original post, I think you may want to consider a small panel fed from your generator instead of having cords running everywhere.

At least in the US you cannot supply receptacles and lights with greater than a 20 amp circuit. Your idea about the 30 amp into 2 duplexes would not be code compliant here.
 
 

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