Temporary Emergency Backup Power


Old 05-02-11, 11:13 AM
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Question Temporary Emergency Backup Power

I've got a diesel Ford truck with dual batteries and a 1500w (2500 surge) inverter. If I were to loose power at my house, is it possible to disconnect the power to the house (cutting off the main breaker) and backfeeding power into my garage power circuit? I'm thinking of cutting off all the other breakers in the house with exception to the garage circuit (letting the power in) and maybe my kitchen circuit (to power a lamp and fridge).

I'm trying to make sure that cutting the main house breaker will prevent backfeeding into the grid, and will allow me to send that 1500w around for minimal power requirements... Suggestions?
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Old 05-02-11, 11:18 AM
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Yes, cutting the main breaker will prevent the backfeed, BUT it is almost universally discouraged due to the risk factors to power company workers of not having a positive-control cutoff of the circuit. Install an approved switching box to do the job properly and safely. Also a 1500w inverter isn't going to power very much.
Old 05-02-11, 11:20 AM
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Better you should run an extension cord from the inverter in the truck into the house and plug the required appliance(s) into it. Then you can avoid messing with the circuit breaker panel and completely eliminate the opportunity to feed power into the grid while it's being worked on which could injure or kill someone.
Old 05-02-11, 12:02 PM
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I'm only mainly interested in powering (occassionally) the fridge and some CFL lights. The bulbs are mostly 13w each. Am I very very underpowered with a 1500w inverter?
Old 05-02-11, 12:14 PM
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No Pro...but I'd also be concerned about the quality of the power from the inverter. "Dirty" power from cheap inverters can do a number on electronics...which most fridges have nowadays.
Old 05-02-11, 01:15 PM
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1500W inverter should just barely run the fridge and few lamps and a TV/radio. I'd do it with an extension cord, don't bother with the home wiring at all. It's illegal to do a backfeed hookup and you don't gain anything by doing it.
Old 05-02-11, 04:44 PM
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I have a 1500W inverter that I mainly use for only a parade float. It powers C9 lights, floodlights and a fog machine. It could probably power a fridge, but I have never tried it. The hardest part is feeding the thing power as fully loaded it sucks 150A and I got a of SE cable pretty warm doing so. I would reccomend just using a 14 or 12 awg extension cord to power stuff and skip the transfer switch unless you plan on getting a gennie. Also, do not use plug strips on the inverters as movs do not like them. I killed 2 inverters using plug strips.
Old 05-05-11, 12:14 PM
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Not to be negative, but I doubt if the inverter would even run the fridge....those compressors will pull a lot of power on startup and most likely kick off your inverter breaker. I have a 2000W that I used to use and it would not handle my sump pump and barely would run my fridge. I no longer use it. Bought a generator instead. And the power quality is a potential problem. Try running a cord to test this out first, and if it works then continue to use the cord when needed.

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