Off-grid Cabin Generator hook-up

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  #1  
Old 01-30-11, 09:10 PM
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Off-grid Cabin Generator hook-up

Hello all. I am building an off-grid cabin and it has been fun learning and expanding my basic building knowledge. I am now in the process of placing electrical outlets and lighting in the structure. I was planning on connecting a 3300 watt generator (Boliy) to the building to provide power. I the generator I have has an RV style 120 hook up. My friend, who is helping me with the electrical suggested I have a weather proof 120 RV receptacle, that will tie into the breaker panel I have installed inside of the cabin. I am concerned, however, that this will require me to make a extension cord with a male to the generator and a male to the cabin. I don't like this set up, for obvious safety reasons!

Is there a weather proof receptacle, that I can have on the electrical box side of the cabin that has a Male connection? I am looking for a connection that I can plug a female end on the extension cord into the cabin. I have spent a lot of time looking for a product that will work for my cabin on line and have not been able to find one thus far!

Also, should I place a ground rod for the panel or will grounding the generator work instead?

Thanks in advance!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-30-11, 10:24 PM
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You will need a weather proof inlet which is basically a male receptacle. Yes you need at least one ground rod and it needs to be bonded to the water pipes if metal. I'd suggest following NEC guidelines even if it is off the grid and may never be inspected.

240v breaker boxes are a lot more common then 120v breaker boxes so you may want to use a 240v breaker box and label it "120 volt only". You can either use just one half or pigtail the hot to both sides.



Not weather proof but an example of an inlet.
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-11, 12:05 AM
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Thanks for the info! I already have a weather proof inlet in place on the side of the building. And it looks like your example should fit. Do you have a link to a web site where I could order that particular item? I have two 8 foot ground rods in place on the oppisite side of the building from where my gen service is going into the building. Can I run a copper ground cable approx 50 feet from the ground rods or should I just put another ground rod in closer to my service box? Or would simply grounding the gen work?
 
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Old 01-31-11, 09:47 AM
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You should run a ground wire from the existing rods. I believe it should be #8 copper.

Here's one particular example, although there are a number of retailers local and online that stock stuff like this:

 
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Old 02-02-11, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for the info! Ray, do you have a link to a web site that I can find that inlet? Pooks, running #8 wire from the ground rods, 50 feet, to the panel should not be a problem? I was just worried about the length of the run!
 

Last edited by BullElk; 02-02-11 at 05:59 PM.
  #6  
Old 02-02-11, 07:25 PM
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If the ground rods are already there, you can only have one grounding system - and they have to be tied together. So 50' is what you'll have to do. Just be sure that the cable is well protected.

You can get the generator inlet at any electrical supply house, and often even at the big box stores.

To get you started:
generator inlet - Google Search
 
  #7  
Old 02-02-11, 07:34 PM
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Thanks! I was thinking about burying the #8 wire next to the building pad and making a sweeping turns around the corners...I do not need insulated copper wire, correct?
 
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Old 02-02-11, 08:20 PM
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The wire to the rods can be bare or insulated.
 
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