Portable generator to power house

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Old 02-09-10, 06:56 PM
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Portable generator to power house

Hello, with the recent weekly blizzards here in the northeast I decided to buy a generator. I got a 5500/8250 watt troy bilt. I havent had to use it yet and had a neighbor electrician explain to me what all was needed to hook it up and it has gotten alot more expensive than what i had intended with transfer switches and labor.A friend of mine recomended this generator and he doesnt use a transfer switch. He uses a cord that connects the 30amp 120/240V plug to the 220V dryer plug in the house. He said this will work to feed the house but the most important step before you hook anything up or start the generator is too turn off the main disconnect breaker as this will prevent the generator from backfeeding into the local electric utility lines. If the main isnt disconnected when power is restored you risk damaging appliances and the generator but most importantly you risk injury or death to the unsuspecting utility worker who comes out to restore your power. He made me a cable and although I havent used it yet i am wondering, as long as I turn off the main breaker to the house is there any risk of the generator back feeding into the local utility lines. When i bought the generator I didnt realize I would need to permanently install anything to the house. I rent the house I'm in and i dont think my lease allows me to make any permanent additions, also I dont want to invest money in a house that i do not own.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:08 PM
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NO. DON'T DO IT. SUCH A CORD IS ILLEGAL.

Just use extension cords to run your essential appliances.
 

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Old 02-09-10, 07:26 PM
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What CaddyMac is correct. Just use extension cords for the time being. Keep an eye out for some used or discounted transfer switches for your future home of your own.

Another option would be a panel interlock. But again, since you do not own the place all electrical work must be done by a licensed electrician.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:53 PM
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I will make it clear in here due serious of nature of using the portable gennys.

Do NOT run the generator without a approved transfer switch { it can be manual or automatique }

or run extenison cord to the appalice you need to run..

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 02-11-10, 10:14 AM
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Clarification

If you are planning on running this generator, here is a simple and LEGAL way of doing so. First you need a heavy duty cord with twist lock plug ends on each end. Second. You need to install a twist lock recepticle on the outside of the house near where your generator will be located, make sure its in a weather proof enclosure and the cord and recept and wiring are all rated for the amps you are going to use. Thrid, the wire that runs from the recept to the panel will be landed on a 2 pole breaker and is rated at the proper amps, and should be located in the panel directly across from the MAIN breaker. You will need to buy and interlock clip. This installs across the main breaker and the new breaker you just installed. On a power failure, you head to the panel and switch off the main, by doing this in turns on the new breaker, thus eliminating any room for error. An extension cord that is properely rated for this use is perfectaly legal becuase it is a temporary installation and falls under the codes regarding temporary electric.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 11:10 AM
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When I was in the military we had occasion to rig double ended "extension" cords as jumpers during damage control emergencies. They were appropriately called "suicide" cables.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 08:44 PM
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"Thrid, the wire that runs from the recept to the panel will be landed on a 2 pole breaker and is rated at the proper amps, and should be located in the panel directly across from the MAIN breaker. You will need to buy and interlock clip. This installs across the main breaker and the new breaker you just installed. On a power failure, you head to the panel and switch off the main, by doing this in turns on the new breaker, thus eliminating any room for error."

Not all panels are manufactured in this configuration, but it may work on some lower amperage panels.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 10:10 PM
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It can not be stressed enough.. DO NOT use the dryer-outlet method. Wayne Mitchell isn't lying when he says the cords for this are called "Suicide Cords". It's a cord with male plugs at both ends.. Wonder what could go wrong there??

Being as you don't own the place, your best bet is to get one of these..



It's called a GenerLink. It is a UL Listed transfer switch that installs between your meter and the socket. It does not alter the electrical system of the property at all, and would not require landlord permission. They are available for purchase direct from the manufacturer, as well as other companies, for about $700. Your electric company may also sell them for a substantial discount. But remember, this is YOURS. When you move out of the property, you can take it with you and have it installed at your new place. So it's not like you would be forfeiting the money you spent on it to the landlord.

But this is the easiest, SAFE and LEGAL way to add a backup generator inlet to the house. Now also, just remember, you most likely aren't going to be able to just plug the generator in and power up your whole house. You will have to select the critical circuits and shut off the rest before you power up. Refrigerator, (gas) furnace, well pump, microwave, lights, and a couple outlets for like the TV, laptop (not a tower computer, gen output is too dirty), and other small stuff.. That's it. No electric range, no central A/C, no electric dryer, no electric water heater. Any of these will burn out your generator. If you have electric hot water and range, I would suggest buying one of those electric teakettles. That way if you are without power for an extended period, you'll at least have a meager source of hot water for cooking and cleaning.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 11:14 PM
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JerseyMatt.,

The photo you provide to us however some of the POCO { power company } will not allow to use that type of transfer switch at all I know in Wisconsin area my POCO's do not allow that type of transfer switch at all.

To other readers here that generator input meter socket you need to check with your POCO to see if they will allow it. otherwise a true transfer switch either manual type or automatic type.


O.P.

Senice you leasing the house why not talk to the landlord or someone in charge and expain the situation some case they will bend backward to suit your need plus future tenents.


Merci,Marc
 
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Old 02-12-10, 07:07 PM
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Confusion

Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
It can not be stressed enough.. DO NOT use the dryer-outlet method. Wayne Mitchell isn't lying when he says the cords for this are called "Suicide Cords". It's a cord with male plugs at both ends.. Wonder what could go wrong there??

Being as you don't own the place, your best bet is to get one of these..



It's called a GenerLink. It is a UL Listed transfer switch that installs between your meter and the socket. It does not alter the electrical system of the property at all, and would not require landlord permission. They are available for purchase direct from the manufacturer, as well as other companies, for about $700. Your electric company may also sell them for a substantial discount. But remember, this is YOURS. When you move out of the property, you can take it with you and have it installed at your new place. So it's not like you would be forfeiting the money you spent on it to the landlord.

But this is the easiest, SAFE and LEGAL way to add a backup generator inlet to the house. Now also, just remember, you most likely aren't going to be able to just plug the generator in and power up your whole house. You will have to select the critical circuits and shut off the rest before you power up. Refrigerator, (gas) furnace, well pump, microwave, lights, and a couple outlets for like the TV, laptop (not a tower computer, gen output is too dirty), and other small stuff.. That's it. No electric range, no central A/C, no electric dryer, no electric water heater. Any of these will burn out your generator. If you have electric hot water and range, I would suggest buying one of those electric teakettles. That way if you are without power for an extended period, you'll at least have a meager source of hot water for cooking and cleaning.
Who said anything about using a cord with 2 male ends.. Im not sure if youve ever seen the temporary electric spider boxes made by Hubbell used on jobs for temporary electric. These boxes are UL listed and CODE approved for temp electric. They are connected by using a CABLE that has a male plug on one end and a female plug on the other. Most of the better generators out there have a Pin and sleeve type twist lock recept on them. If you use this cord to connect to your home using the method i described i dont believe there is anything suicidal or dangerous about it. Ive installed this exact system on numerous occasions and have passed the same number of inspections.

Hubbell SCC50 Extension Cord 50 Feet 60 Amp and mates with PDC - Our Item #: 7395, Category: Power Distribution (PDU) : StayOnline.com
 
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Old 02-12-10, 07:10 PM
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JerseyMatt

That is a really neat system though. I think i may use that for myself soon Beer 4U2
 
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Old 02-12-10, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ElectricJoeNJ View Post
Who said anything about using a cord with 2 male ends.. Im not sure if youve ever seen the temporary electric spider boxes made by Hubbell used on jobs for temporary electric. These boxes are UL listed and CODE approved for temp electric. They are connected by using a CABLE that has a male plug on one end and a female plug on the other. Most of the better generators out there have a Pin and sleeve type twist lock recept on them. If you use this cord to connect to your home using the method i described i dont believe there is anything suicidal or dangerous about it. Ive installed this exact system on numerous occasions and have passed the same number of inspections.
If you read the OP, he is asking about using a 'suicide cord' (which is a male 30A twistlok plug on one end, and a male 30A dryer plug on the other) to backfeed his panel through the dryer outlet. Which is stupid, dangerous, and illegal. He wants to do this because it is a rental property, and he does not want to spend the money installing transfer equipment into a house he doesn't own (and I don't blame him, given the cost of the equipment and labor) because it would be forfeited to the landlord.

I just suggested a solution that is not permanently installed, and does not require landlord permission because it does not alter the electrical system. It also remains his, and he can take it with him when he moves, and install it on a new property.

Everyone else's solutions all involve some kind of permanent installation, which is what the OP is trying to avoid.
 
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Old 02-13-10, 06:43 AM
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gotcha

I understand you know. Just wanted to clarify that i wasnt recommending a suicide cord.
 
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Old 02-13-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
JerseyMatt.,

The photo you provide to us however some of the POCO { power company } will not allow to use that type of transfer switch at all I know in Wisconsin area my POCO's do not allow that type of transfer switch at all.

To other readers here that generator input meter socket you need to check with your POCO to see if they will allow it. otherwise a true transfer switch either manual type or automatic type.


O.P.

Senice you leasing the house why not talk to the landlord or someone in charge and expain the situation some case they will bend backward to suit your need plus future tenents.


Merci,Marc
I honestly don't see how a power company can really have a say in it. Would they also refuse to put a meter on a pan that has a transfer switch built in? Because it would amount to the same thing. The only thing they own is the meter.. I don't think they can dictate what they'll attach it to (as long it meets code). My power co doesnt charge you for the service call if you buy it from them.

However, I can pretty much guarantee that the landlord will NOT install transfer equipment at his expense. Especially without a history of unreliability on the power company's part. I can tell you from experience with multiple rental properties that even getting legit problems fixed can be a hassle if the landlord has to pay for it.
 
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Old 02-13-10, 11:57 AM
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To readers this will get off topic a second but this will related to this issue.

JerseyMatt.

I do not know which POCO you are on however if your POCO reguations book do stated in their book and have listing in there that fine and I did double checked with my POCO's in my area and they did stated very clear they do not want any non standard item attached to the meter socket.

I did asked about that gentrans meter socket attachment and they did look it up and they nixed the idea but they will do some more testing with this so I do not know if they did add it to the listing book to approve it.

To answer your last question about rental propertys yeah I can see where this going and I agree with ya with that part I know at least two rental property did installed the transfer switch due couple renters have some sort of life support so it need stand by power.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 02-13-10, 01:49 PM
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Ok, thats fair.. I'm not disputing that they won't allow it, I'm just having a hard time believing that they can refuse to install a meter for a reason like that.. So that means in a new construction with an approved inspection and cut in card, they can say "We're not installing a meter on this pan, you need to install THIS one."?

And the rental situation you describe isn't really normal. There is an extraordinary circumstance there, and there is a good possibility that the renter's health insurance actually paid the bill. From the OP, it sounds like he wants to simply be prepared for an outage. If that's the case, it's the personal preference of the tenant, and since it would not benefit him in any way, The landlord has no incentive to foot the bill for it.

Just so you know, I'm not arguing or fighting, just debating..
 
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