wiring a Honda 3000 to an electrical panel

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Old 09-18-11, 09:31 PM
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wiring a Honda 3000 to an electrical panel

Hello, this is my first post. I am wiring a 3000 watt 120 volt Honda generator to a cabin. The generator will NOT be moved around. I have a square d panel with a 100 amp main. The Honda has a 30 amp plug (turn type). I followed a discussion regarding wiring and I AM LOST. I have wired to breaker panels in a home before but this portable generator thing is new. I wired the home circuits as per standard. The panel has a 100 amp main breaker.
1. Do I need to change main breaker to 30 amp to match the generator amps?
2. Do I ground generator to a ground rod?
3. What size of ground wire?
4. The generator is 120 volt with a floating neutral (as stated on generator). Can I wire to the generator plug with the hot wire to hot bus on panel, neutral wire to the neutral bus bar on panel and run the ground wire to the earth ground bus bar on the panel?
5. What size of wire to use to run from generator to the panel?

Thank you for any assistance to be provided.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 12:26 AM
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Will the generator be the ONLY source of power to this panel? In other words, there will be NO utility power connection?
 
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Old 09-19-11, 08:36 AM
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wiring a Honda 3000 to an electrical panel

Yes, the generator is the ONLY source of power.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 10:43 AM
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It would be best to use a main lug panel. You will not use the 100 amp breaker and a main lug panel will probably be cheaper.

All of the common panels you find will be 120/240v panels. You have two options. Simplest is to feed just one of the hot buses. This will energize only half the slots in the panel so only half the slots can be used. In this case the panel would be back fed by a 30 amp single pole breaker. The original main breaker slot is not used. For safety the back fed breaker would have to have a hold down so it could not accidentally be removed.

The other option is to convert it to a 120v panel. Again it would be back fed by a 30a single pole breaker but a jumper would be installed between the main lugs. The jumper for mechanical reasons would have to be at least as large as the smallest wire the lugs are designed for or there would not be a good connection. For safety the back fed breaker would have to have a hold down so it could not accidentally be removed.

As this would be a main the ground bar if present and the neutral bar would both need to be bonded to the panel. Two grounds would be needed. Either a water pipe and 8" ground rod if metal water pipes or two ground rods if plumbing is plastic.

The use of a main breaker panel constitutes a potential safety problem because some may not realize it is not a cut off for the whole panel. The back fed breaker is your disconnect. Even with the main breaker off half the panel would be energized assuming the jumper was between the poles of the 100 amp breaker. Maybe you can return the panel you have. If your panel is a combo Main breaker/lugs just don't install the main breaker.

A back fed breaker is a regular breaker installed in a regular slot but instead of feeding power out power in is connected to it.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 10:45 AM
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Ray gave an excellent answer.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by carl109 View Post
1. Do I need to change main breaker to 30 amp to match the generator amps?
No.

2. Do I ground generator to a ground rod? 3. What size of ground wire?
You ground the panel to a ground rod, the generator will be grounded via that when it's connected to the panel. Use a piece of #6 copper.

4. The generator is 120 volt with a floating neutral (as stated on generator). Can I wire to the generator plug with the hot wire to hot bus on panel, neutral wire to the neutral bus bar on panel and run the ground wire to the earth ground bus bar on the panel?
Wire the panel to a NEMA 5-30 inlet, and use a generator cord to connect the generator to the panel. The generator should not be hardwired to the panel.

5. What size of wire to use to run from generator to the panel?
#10 copper

e: tag, you're it Ray.
 
  #7  
Old 09-19-11, 11:01 AM
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I assume the generator has a circuit breaker rated at 30 amps, so it will be that breaker which prevents overloading the generator. If that is true, there isn't a need to change out the main breaker in the panel.

I would be comfortable with #10/2 + gnd Romex running from the generator to the service panel. Yes, you want an earth, safety ground at the panel and connect the ground from the generator to that. Connect the hot and neutral leads as you describe.

Before you ever consider connecting to an electrical utility, you must invest in a transfer switch which is where Furd's question was leading and your answer suggests you understand.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 11:18 AM
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I assume the generator has a circuit breaker rated at 30 amps, so it will be that breaker which prevents overloading the generator. If that is true, there isn't a need to change out the main breaker in the panel.
The panel would be wired to the inlet with #10 wire. A 100 amp breaker is not designed to give a good connection on that size wire. You would have to splice the #10 to a larger wire so simpler to just back feed through a 30 amp breaker which is made for #10.

If you want to energize both busses and do not use a jumper as described elsewhere you would have to use two large wire (~#4) pigtails off your #10. One for each side of the 100 amp breaker.

Just my opinion but no 100 amp breaker and a back fed 30 amp breaker is a better solution.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 02:43 PM
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IIRC, the jumper can be as small as #8.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
IIRC, the jumper can be as small as #8.
It should be no smaller then the minimum size the lugs are designed for. It's a mechanical issue. You want good contact with the wire.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
It should be no smaller then the minimum size the lugs are designed for. It's a mechanical issue. You want good contact with the wire.
I just checked now. 40LBS for #8, 45LBS for 6-1
 
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Old 09-19-11, 06:42 PM
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I would be comfortable with #10/2 + gnd Romex running from the generator to the service panel
Assuming you want to plug the cord into your generator, I wouldn't use romex as the cord as it isn't approved to have a cord attached to it. I believe there are generator cords manufactured for this purpose.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 08:07 PM
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Wiring a Honda 3000 to an electrical panel

Thanks all. I am with you on the #10 wire from the generator to the panel (not Romex in Canada aka NM). I understand the grounding of the generator and the panel to earth ground (pilings). I am confused on the following:
1. I wired the panel with breakers in every other slot so that only one half of the panel is energized. The generator is 120 volt so it provides a hot, a floating neutral and a ground wire. Is this method OK?
2. The neutral bus is bonded to the ground bus in the panel so when I earth ground the panel, I will tie the floating neutral to earth ground. In Canada only one bonding point for neutral to earth ground. At the first panel in a home.
3. I am really lost on the backfed breaker concept. You are correct in that the generator has a 30 amp service (not your first picnic) and a breaker in the generator. I intend to leave the 100 amp main breaker in place. My understanding is that the two hot buses in this 240 panel are NOTcommon, so if I ignore one side of the panel all together then there is no power on that one of the bus with no power from the generator. Is this not correct?

Getting there. Thanks for all your help once again.

Carl
 
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Old 09-19-11, 09:15 PM
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I intend to leave the 100 amp main breaker in place. My understanding is that the two hot buses in this 240 panel are NOT common
That is correct if you mean they are separate buses.

so if I ignore one side of the panel all together then there is no power on that one of the bus with no power from the generator. Is this not correct?
Yes.

No back fed breaker needed. The 100 amp breaker will act as a cut off.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 10:51 PM
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Update post

Hello ray2047

I am learning the posting system. Thank you for your quick turnaround on the comments. I have everything in order except the issue of connecting a #10 wire to the lugs for ?? wire size. Any thoughts on how to ensure a good connection. The lugs are the type with a screw through a hole and screws down on the wire.
 

Last edited by carl109; 09-19-11 at 10:55 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-20-11, 05:59 AM
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Check the spec sheet that came with the panel for the smallest wire the lugs will accept. Connect a wire that size or larger to the # 10*. As Jason has suggested if you can find a torque sheet for the main breaker use the smallest size wire listed. My guess would be #6 because 100 amp panels are commonly used as subpanels on 60 amp feeds without increasing wire size..

I know you want to use only one side but if you ever wanted to use both sides you could connect two wires to the incoming #10 and put one on each side of the 100 amp breaker.

*Question for the pros: Could he just strip the #10 to about three times the needed length of bare wire, fold it over on itself three times, and twist to get adequate wire size for the 100 amp breaker lug?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-20-11 at 06:16 AM.
  #17  
Old 09-20-11, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by carl109 View Post
Thanks all. I am with you on the #10 wire from the generator to the panel (not Romex in Canada aka NM). I understand the grounding of the generator and the panel to earth ground (pilings). I am confused on the following:
1. I wired the panel with breakers in every other slot so that only one half of the panel is energized. The generator is 120 volt so it provides a hot, a floating neutral and a ground wire. Is this method OK?
2. The neutral bus is bonded to the ground bus in the panel so when I earth ground the panel, I will tie the floating neutral to earth ground. In Canada only one bonding point for neutral to earth ground. At the first panel in a home.
3. I am really lost on the backfed breaker concept. You are correct in that the generator has a 30 amp service (not your first picnic) and a breaker in the generator. I intend to leave the 100 amp main breaker in place. My understanding is that the two hot buses in this 240 panel are NOTcommon, so if I ignore one side of the panel all together then there is no power on that one of the bus with no power from the generator. Is this not correct?

Getting there. Thanks for all your help once again.

Carl
The pros can correct me if I am wrong but when you say that one half of the panel will be dead, are you referring to the two rows of breakers or to every other breaker slot?

On panels that are designed for 240V half of the breaker slots are on one bus and the other half are on the second bus. This is not split up between the two sides of the panel but between every other breaker slot on the panel. This means that that when you have two single pole breakers (120v) that one breaker will be on bus 1 and the second breaker will be on bus 2. Both of these breakers would be on the same side of the panel next to each other.

Just wanted to clarify as in one place you said every other slot and then in another place you said one half of the panel.
 
  #18  
Old 09-20-11, 06:59 PM
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Yes, I mean the breakers are not stacked but end to end
 
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