Using a dryer plug to power my house off a generator


Old 01-03-11, 01:40 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 21
Using a dryer plug to power my house off a generator

Is it ok to do it this way for power outages? A friend of mine told me it was ok as long as I turn the main switch on the breaker panel off & to unplug the generator before I turn the main switch back on when the power comes back on.
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Old 01-03-11, 03:07 AM
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Location: Maryland
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No it is not ok. A mechanism to prevent the backflow of electricity unto the power lines is required by the electrical code. What your friend has proposed is illegal and possibly criminal should an accident occur.

Contact an electrician and have a transfer switch installed.
Old 01-03-11, 03:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
First thing first .,



There is a major issue and we don't call this set up for nothing it called suidice cord / plug set up that is complety illegal.

You will have to find other means to get the generator hook up which we will recomend a transfer switch or sliding interlock plate { this part you may want to run by the inspection dept due some may not approve this }

Old 01-03-11, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 323
No it's not ok for a number of reasons, hook your generator up correctly or don't hook it up. This will not only save the life of a linesman, but possibly yours.

One thing is, when you feed the panel through the dryer plug, you have alot of wire from the plug to the main panel that is not protected in your walls. Meaning, there is a breaker for your dryer at the panel, going backwards the only breaker is at your generator. You can overload the wires from the dryer plug because they are carrying all the current to feed your main panel..this is how fires start.

What happens when the house burns and the insurance figures out you hooked it up this way? You can bet they will not pay for your loss.
Old 01-03-11, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 243
We hear of people doing it around here during emergency where the power is off, but we absolutely discourage it. Last year a local resident forgot to unplug his generator(was switched off) and the main was on. When power came on the generator exploded and took part of this man's house with it. We sold him a proper generator panel after his house was repaired. He was lucky.... he could have lost it all.
You can get a generator panel for a couple hundred bucks and up. Fairly easy to install. Beats a new house.

Last edited by JimElectric; 01-03-11 at 09:07 AM. Reason: spelling
Old 01-03-11, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 243
Take a look at this company. They offer a variety of panels, some of which you can find locally or on Ebay.
Reliance Controls Corporation The World's Leading Manufacturer of Transfer Switches for Portable Generators
Old 01-03-11, 03:11 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
A transfer switch with a male plug outside is safe, legal, and won't use a suicide cord.
Old 01-03-11, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 21
Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm really not interested in killing someone or burning my house down so I guess the dryer plug thing is out. I will check out the link to the transfer switch asap.

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