Connecting my generator to my hot water heater receptacle


Old 08-15-09, 01:31 PM
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Connecting my generator to my hot water heater receptacle

I realize this may not be the safest route to go, but I would a few opinions on connecting a power cord from my 5.5 kW generator to the wall receptacle used for my hot water heater. I'm in the process of buying the power cord listed here , but I can't seem to find an apater that would allow for me to connect the cable to the receptacle. I need a male to male, 3 prong to 4 prong plug adapter. The hot water heater receptacle and plug is the standard 3 prong, 220v, 30A type . Any and all help is appreciated.

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Old 08-15-09, 01:36 PM
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jbg...welcome to the forums...but sorry...not safe...not allowed to answer per the rules here.....just not gonna happen.

Theres a reason they don't sell cords or adapters to make cords with male both ends...they aren't called mankillers for no reason.

Not being rude...just the way we operate here.
Old 08-15-09, 01:51 PM
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Gunguy is correct, lots of people here to help you do it the correct way but nobody is going to help you do it the wrong way.

BTW, connecting a generator without an intervening transfer switch is most likely unlawful in your area. If it isn't, it should be because you could be putting other people's lives in danger.
Old 08-15-09, 03:14 PM
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One more point, water heaters are not listed for use with flexible cords.

Also the cords and plugs are specific as to ampacity ratings and voltage. Adapters are not made to avoid supplying the wrong ampacity or voltages.
Old 08-15-09, 07:27 PM
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Do a search for generators in this forum and you'll see many good discussions about the right way to set up a generator and why you shouldn't just connect it to an individual appliance.

Using a generator transfer switch is pretty cheap, reasonably easy to install, and the right way to go.

Gentran Corporation: Generator Transfer switches for home & business
Old 08-15-09, 07:38 PM
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Just keep in mind along what the others have already stated.....trying to backfeed through the wall outlets or whichever you will be putting the load of the generator on those wires which have no circuit breaker until it reaches the panel....opposite the way your home runs.

No telling what condition the wires are in or if someone used the wrong wire (unlikely) but you get my point.
Old 08-15-09, 09:29 PM
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There are several reasons why double male cables are not allowed and why transfer switches are required. All of them have to do with personal safety, the safety of utility workers and the protection of the auxiliary generator and all the premise wiring. People always say that they will be careful to use their unlawful connection is a "safe" manner but all it takes is one mistake and someone can end up dead. It's just not worth the risk.
Old 08-16-09, 01:54 AM
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You will have to understand we have certen area we have strict policy with safety issue and double male ended cord / adaptors are not allowed in any electrical code and they are what we called them " suidce cord or wildow maker" etc etc .,

Now one of our members suggest a good wise idea about useing a transfer switch and they are not that expensive at all if done right.

And there are few diffrent size of transfer switch you can use so you can able get one to suit your needs.

One transfer switch I know I do sell from time to time it is a 6 circuit transfer switch panel and you can able slect what load you want to run from the generator power like example one circuit will handle water heater run that for short while then turn it off then switch over to furnace or lights or frezzer as need to and yes some transfer switch do have wattmeter or ampmeter to watch the load you can use before you overload the generator.

( 99% of small generators do have " main " breaker there so if too much load it will trip the breaker but some case it will stall the generator espcally if you have pretty big motor load to start up Central A/C is one of few items it may put a pretty hevey load if you have 5.5 KW or smaller generator )

My house/shop have two perment mounted diesel generators and yes I have three transfer switches in there.

To all readers here.,

We do have strict safety policy here and we WILL NOT advise anything if not safe at all this issue did come up from time to time so please heed our warning here our task is keep it safe for everyone here.

Old 12-08-09, 01:02 PM
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Generator Through Your Heater

WOW. Even if it were ok to do it that way, you need four wires, not three. In simple terms, you have two hot leads, a neutral, and a ground and they all need to be kept separate. Most generators have a 4 wire outlet on them that is labled L14-20 or L14-30. Look closely at the round outlet, the numbers are normally molded into the outlet. You then buy a special extension cord and a generator convenience outlet based on it being 20 amp or 30 amp. A big box store or Northern Tool are good places to look. This convenience outlet then connects to a transfer switch that feeds a new panel where you put your emergency circuits or you can use an interlock kit (google interlock kit) on the front of your existing panel. Either way, it is not safe to backfeed into an existing outlet. On the web sites, they have simple diagrams that show the circuits or look at the installation instructions to get a better idea how these tings work. Keep it safe.

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