Generator for Water Pump

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  #1  
Old 11-04-12, 01:07 PM
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Generator for Water Pump

I'd like to provide power to my water pump in the case of an electrical outage. I know that the standard way to do that is with a transfer switch. However, I read one forum post where the person simply put a plug/socket in the line between his panel and the pump. In the case of an outage, he simply disconnects from the panel and plugs the pump into his generator.

I would guess this is not code compliant, but surely must be the simplest and least costly solution.

Comments?

Thanks!
Optiker
 
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  #2  
Old 11-04-12, 01:55 PM
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Do you have a 120v pump or 240v pump?
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-12, 02:40 PM
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I have a 240V pump. During the outage I installed a twist lock plug on the pump side and a socket on the SEP side. I plugged my generator into the pump.

After power was restored I simply reconnected the pump to the SEP. I did the same thing with my water heater. I filled my pressure tank and water heater, disconnected from the pump and then heated the water. A semi PITA but once I got the connectors made up it was pretty easy. Other than those two hard wired circuits, extension cords are fine during an emergency.

I have no idea if that meets code requirements but it worked great and I'll probably leave it that way.
 
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Old 11-05-12, 05:45 AM
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lawrosa....230 v (?), 1 hp, but haven"t dug up the other specs yet.
 
  #5  
Old 11-05-12, 05:52 AM
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Wayne...thanks! That's encouraging. I'm still concerned about satisfying code, so hope others might have some input.
 
  #6  
Old 11-05-12, 06:04 AM
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You would use one of these.

Gentran Corporation: Generator Transfer switches for home & business


But why not just get a 6 or 8 circuit transfer switch and power 4 other 120v appliances in the home, including the 240v well pump?

Gentran Corporation: Generator Transfer switches for home & business
 
  #7  
Old 11-05-12, 06:57 AM
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Mike - for me the answer is simple. I can spend $200 or more for switches or $30 for some plugs. A generator transfer switch installed may be as much as $600 or more. All for something I may never use again.

I am interested to find out if the use of twist lock plugs meet code. I tried to find the answer on the internet without any luck.
 
  #8  
Old 11-05-12, 11:14 AM
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Wayne, all code is local. If it really bothers you I would suggest an anonymous call to your local electrical inspection agency and ask to speak to an electrical inspector. Tell him/her NOT what you have done, but describe it as something you want to do but first want know if it is allowable. First thing in the morning is usually best to catch the inspector in the office as they are often in the field in the late morning until early afternoon. Best not to call in the late afternoon because they can be testy after seeing all the violations during their field time.
 
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Old 11-05-12, 02:47 PM
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Furd,

I live in a small town. We have one general purpose inspector that does it all. He sometimes joins us for coffee at the local diner. I'll run it by him but he sometimes gets testy if we pester him with too many "code" questions.

I'll probably leave it as is unless we sell.
 
  #10  
Old 11-05-12, 04:30 PM
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I'll probably leave it as is unless we sell.
That would be my suggestion. While it might be a code violation, it is a minor one in my opinion.
 
  #11  
Old 11-06-12, 05:45 AM
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Thanks all for your comments. I will probably call and talk to an inspector as suggested. However, my experience with both building inspectors and electrical inspectors is that they have - or at least exercise - considerable discretion to the extent that in one case, I received contradictory guidance from two different building inspectors. Being as the more lenient guidance came from the higher supervisory level inspector, guess whose information I followed? I also had one electrical inspector unofficially advise me regarding my complaint of the required GFI outlet for my garage door opener, that once I pass the inspection, change it out for a non-GFI - as many people do, according to him, for circuits that freezers are plugged into so that when the family is away, they don't lose $$$ worth of frozen food for a GFI trip. Unfortunately, that inspector has transferred to a different city.

Thanks again!
 
  #12  
Old 11-06-12, 07:31 AM
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When I built my garage the local inspector told me I could ignore the GFI requirement for the GDOs if I plugged them into simplex outlets. I don't know if that's changed.
 
  #13  
Old 11-06-12, 03:12 PM
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According to the NEC ALL receptacles in a garage are now required to be GFCI protected. This may be overridden on the LOCAL level. If you are concerned about resetting a tripped GFCI receptacle in the ceiling the easiest fix is to install a regular receptacle fed from the LOAD terminals of a GFCI receptacle installed where it is readily accessible.
 
  #14  
Old 11-06-12, 06:08 PM
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When I built my garage the local inspector told me I could ignore the GFI requirement for the GDOs if I plugged them into simplex outlets. I don't know if that's changed.
Refrigerators and freezers in a garage used to be exempted from the GFCI requirement when using a simplex receptacle too, but like Furd said, ALL receptacles in a garage are now required to be GFCI protected. The code changes every 3 years and I don't always agree with all of the changes.
 
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