Bring generator cord into basement?

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Old 04-19-14, 11:59 AM
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Bring generator cord into basement?

Cant do a transfer switch. I just need a way to get a extension cord into my basement to power a sump pump from a portable generator outside. Window or door wouldn't do... need to be able to sleep while its plugged in or leave with the house secure with it plugged in.

I was thinking of cutting a hole in the sill plate which would exit my siding. I would use a piece of 1" electrical pvc and a box mounted on the siding... in case of emergency, I remove box cover and push extension cord thru......

Then I think it should be sealed to the elements, should I use plumbing pvc and use a cleanout plug as the cover to the outside?

Any ideas (safe way) to get this done?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 01:13 PM
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Install an inlet with an in-use cover near where you will be running the generator. Run UF-b and or NM-b depending on locations from the inlet to a new receptacle near the sump pump not connected to house wiring. Use a distinctive color receptacle such as red. Label Independently derived power source. If your generator has the capacity for more than the pump install a two gang box and two duplex receptacles.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 02:24 PM
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I cant picture that Ray.... I thought that was a no-no?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 02:39 PM
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Ray is talking about using a listed "inlet box" which has a male connector (you can use either a regular 3 prong or a 4 prong generator twist-lock), which you will plug the female end of your generator cord into. On the inside, it will have female receptacles that you will plug your devices into. For all intents and purposes, what you are putting together IS an extension cord, and it's perfectly legal to do.

What you're thinking of is a 'suicide cord'.. That's an extension cord with two male ends, that people would plug into their dryer outlet in an attempt to feed their panel. This is both dangerous and illegal.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 02:52 PM
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Yeah that's what I was thinking about the suicide cord.

So you mount the inlet to the side of the house. Male connector is spliced in side the box like a standard junction box.... from the 1/2" knockout in back of box I would bring either 12/2 or 2 #12 in PVC. (grounding? to generator?) and then I would just wire to a standard junction box with 2, 20A outlets?

That's exactly what I always wanted to do but I thought that was illegal.

I like to find a 20A one locally, I see to many options online, I am unsure what I need to get this done.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 03:08 PM
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If you have an electrical supply house, or are lucky enough to have one of the real certified Pros at your local home center, just go in with the cord you have for your gennie, or a pic of the available outlets on it (if you don't have a cord) and explain what you want to do. They can set you up with all you need.

Maybe if one of the members has time they can provide links to the specific items required.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 03:33 PM
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I just have standard 3 prong 12 guage extension cords.... can I use these inlets with the 20A outlet on my generator or do I need to use the 4 prong outlet?

Is what I describe the way to wire them? Inlet box outside... spliced with 12/2 or #12 thhn thru1/2" knockout on back to standard junction box with 2 outlets? Generator is ungrounded (no ground rod etc connection) should I be running a ground too to connect to generator and to the metal box indoors? Or would I use PVC box as well for outlets inside?

If someone can point in the right direction with a photo Im sure I can purchase online if I cant find a quality one locally...
 
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Old 04-19-14, 03:44 PM
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You'd be better off using the big 4 pin plug I think, since that would allow you to run extension cords from the receptacles in the basement to power other things like fridge or furnace.

Whats the rating on that outlet? Prob 30A 240V?

And yes, I think thhn would be best since it's in the conduit.

Pro's will be back, hang loose.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 03:53 PM
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Here is an example. It would need to be used with an in use cover.

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Last edited by ray2047; 04-19-14 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 04-19-14, 03:58 PM
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That goes in a standard weather proof box? Mounted and wired just like an outlet?

What I as confused about was the "inlet box" they were like 60 bucks that I saw... I know I assume I use the one in the photo like a standard outlet in a standard weatherproof outlet box with the in use cover.

ive never seen the 4 prong extensions.... Do I have to fashion my own out of 10/2 or 10/3 outdoor cable?

I never used the 4 prong on the generator. I figured that was 240. and the two 120 were each one side of that 240.

So if my generator has to 20A outlets protected by 20 A breakers I would actually need two inlets to take advantage of both legs of the generator.

(you can tell I don't know very much about the generator in my garage!)
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:02 PM
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Inlets are not receptacles, so a bubble cover is not required.

Basically if you use the regular 3 prong inlet, you will be limited to 15A total (even though your cords may be #12, the inlet itself will only be rated for 15A). The 4 prong twist-lock will give you two separate 20A circuits (yes the twist-lock is normally 30A, but the genny's breakers will be less than that) allowing you to plug in more stuff if you need to.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Here is an example. It would need to be used with an in use cover.
Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Or: I have never been sure how these are really supposed to mount but I would modify a cover like this: and attach it to the cover plate part.

He'd be much better off just using a Leviton 4937 for a 15A solution. It's the same inlet already attached to an outdoor cover. They're used on ambulances and trucks for their permanently installed block heaters.. They're $10 on Amazon right now, and it'll mount to any standard flush or surface mount box.

Leviton 4937 Weatherproof Inlet on Flush Mount Wallplate with Aluminum Cover, Straight Blade Receptacle, Gray - Rv Receptacles - Amazon.com



For a 4-prong inlet, a standard PB-30 will work just fine.




4 prong cords are available anywhere that sells generators. It's a standard item, and they're available in #12 and #10.

As far as the voltage on the 4 prong, yes you can use it to supply a 240v appliance. But it also can be used to feed two 120v outlets because it has a neutral. The neutral and ground are connected to both outlets, and there are two separate hots.. Black goes to one outlet, and red goes to the other. It is simply accomplishing the same thing as two separate inlets.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:22 PM
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Awesome, that sure clarifies things.

So the 4 prong will have a pair of neutrals and I would wire two separate 20A circuits accordingly.

Since the generator isn't connected to a ground rod, I assume there is no provision here for running an EGC?

I assume emt or metal boxes are not to be used at the outlets indoors... however, the weatherproof boxes I am familiar with are all metal. I need PVC here correct?


Since I don't recall ever seeing a multigang weatherproof box, I assume its not possible to put multiple inlets in the same box?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:27 PM
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So the 4 prong will have a pair of neutrals
No. A pair of hots. It's wired like a multiwire circuit. Edit four prongs means two hots, one neutral, and ground from the generator. Ground is your EGC as in any circuit.

Name:  l14-30p.jpg
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X and Y = Hot
W = Neutral
G = Ground
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:37 PM
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No the 4 prong inlet has two hots, one neutral, and one ground. You will run your 12-3 from the inlet to the box inside. You will connect BOTH receptacles to the same neutral and ground wires. Then the red goes to one receptacle and black goes to the other.

 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:38 PM
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I don't understand ground from generator... its ground to the frame (and to the ground its sitting on)?

Metal boxs for inlet and outlet then bonded to frame of generator?

Thanks, everything is much clearer.... I was going to go to MENARDS or HD to get the inlet right now, but they are special orders unless I go with the 60 dollar 30A option then I would need to buy a generator cord so this will end up costing in the 100 dollar range that way

or the 20 dollar range for 20A option....

So do I need an inuse cover for the 20A?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:41 PM
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The generator has breakers. The ground goes to the metal of the generator the same as it goes to a breaker box case metal. It doesn't mater if the generator is setting on rubber it is a ground to the metal of the generator. Earth ground, GEC, is different and is usually not done.
So do I need an inuse cover for the 20A?
No, I was wrong when I wrote that.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:48 PM
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Got it. Should I use plastic or metal 4x4 box on inside with outlets? And if metal is ok, I assume I bond it to ground, the weatherproof box, the outlet (s) and the inlet?

Is there multigang box for two 20A inlets?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:49 PM
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Most portable generators have the ground and neutral prongs of their receptacles bonded internally. This provides a fault path that will allow the breaker to trip if something plugged into it shorts to its EGC. Ideally you would connect the generator to a ground rod while in use, but it's not a requirement for temporary (plug and cord) use.

No, the bubble cover is not required in any case. NEC 406.9(B)(1&2) do not apply to inlets.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:50 PM
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I'd use metal and you bond it. This is done just like any EGC.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:52 PM
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So I am only limited to one leg of 20A breaker (but inlet is 15).... I wondering how I can utilize that other leg.

Multigang weatherproof box?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zmike View Post

Is there multigang box for two 20A inlets?
No. When you have two circuits, you use a 4 prong inlet..
 
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Old 04-19-14, 05:12 PM
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Now its a matter of cost. I can get the 30A box local for about 60. But I need a 4 prong cord. 125 bucks or more total with supplies.

The Leviton 20A and weatherproof box, outlets, 1900 box etc all for under 25 bucks.

Can I used 12/4 cord with the 30A since its protected by 20 for each leg? And I assume all #12 for all of this is OK?

And if I push upwards of 20A with the 15A rated inlet, Im asking for trouble correct?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 06:00 PM
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You can put the inlet as close to the generator as possible making the generator cord cheaper because it is shorter. 12-3 UF-b run to a post close to the generator if it is some distance from the house would probably be cheaper than a cord of similar length.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 06:17 AM
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Ray- That was my plan, I just need to figure out where the generator sits best and the mount a 4x4 and put the inlet box and im thinking a switch to easily kill the loads inside and then turn off the generator (instead of going inside to unplug loads or turning off the generator with loads on).

and for the conductors.....

12/3 from inlet box like you mention.... again to clarify... if I run #12 (hot, hot, neutral) to junction box inside and split two circuits from there.... do I need to run a 4th ground wire? (the generator cords are all 12/4 10/4.)
 
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Old 04-20-14, 06:27 AM
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im thinking a switch to easily kill the loads inside and then turn off the generator (instead of going inside to unplug loads or turning off the generator with loads on)
Why? This was intended to be simple. I'd keep it simple. The plugs are your disconnect.
[12/3 from inlet box]if I run #12 (hot, hot, neutral) to junction box inside and split two circuits from there.... do I need to run a 4th ground wire
12-3 UF-b is 4-wire, White, red, black, bare.

When speaking of cable used for house wiring the ground is not counted in the labeling. When speaking of power cords it is included. More properly you could say 12-3/with ground UF-b but since it is not available without ground the "with ground" is often omitted.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 07:25 AM
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That's right, simplicity. I realize now I just pull the plug to disconnect. Thanks for clarify about the wire size. As for the generator cord itself that connects to the 30A 4 prong? Do I need a 10 guage cord or can I get a 12 (assuming they make them with the 4 prongs)??

Im going to way the cost between the UF you mention or run PVC about 6" underground to the 4x4 that will have the 30A inlet box attached. I would then enter the basement thru the siding and a pvc LB. From the inside will go to a junction box where I will split the two circuits and send one circuit to the sump pump and the other circuit to another part of the house of emergency lighting and a space heater and/or rotate between the space heater and the fridge.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 10:21 AM
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That sucks, I got a good deal on a 25' 12 guage generator cord....

I thought we established that 12 guage wire from the inlet box into the outlets was acceptable?

So the cord needs to be 10?... I have a 5500 watt generator.
 

Last edited by zmike; 04-20-14 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 04-20-14, 11:06 AM
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I bought the reliance L1430P inlet box.

I also bought this cord
RIDGID 25 ft. 12/4 Generator Cord-615-16046AB at The Home Depot

Not compatible...

I need a cord to fit the Reliance box. It would be nice to find one in the 3'-10' range.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 11:15 AM
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I assumed but unfortunately didn't write the generator would be within 5 feet of the inlet and you'd just make a short cord. You wrote the cord is incompatible so maybe you can return it and make one that is compatible for less.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 11:39 AM
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I would like to make a short cord but I don't think I can find NEMA L1430P male and female plugs locally.

So home depot sells a 25' 30A for around 70 bucks.
Theres a 10' on ebay, probably Chinese junk (isn't it all) that's around 30.

Might have to return the 30A stuff and go with dual 15A inlets but I am concerned about using those and approaching 20A.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 11:46 AM
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Home Depot carries the L1430P's. They're in the regular electrical section near the stove plugs. They also have the #12/3 SOOW cable by the foot on the big rack.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 12:25 PM
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I didn't see L1430-P at HD ... might be special order. Even if I would still need L1430-R to plug into inlet. And then I assume you mean 10/3 not 12/3 cable.....

I
 
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Old 04-20-14, 01:19 PM
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The male plug end of a 4wire dryer cord is the same as the inlet on the generator? L1430-R Im guessing no...

Those male and female plugs are expensive. However, dryer cord would be cheap if I only needed a female end....
 
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Old 04-20-14, 07:07 PM
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They're regular stock at every one I've ever been at - both plug and receptacle. They're packaged in boxes, they're not just loose in the bins. If worse comes to worse, since this isn't time critical, just order them online. You'd probably find them cheaper than in the store anyway.

12/3 is just fine for a 6ish foot cord. Remember you're using 12/3 on the inside too.

Ray I can't for the life of me figure out why you suggested a dryer cord. I've never seen a generator with a 30A straight blade receptacle. Only a 50A straight on 10kW and up.

And that price seems WAY high. I remember them being in the $10-12 apiece range.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 09:05 PM
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If you have the time, I bought a bunch of L14-20 and L14-30 plugs and receptacles from ebay for a fraction of the cost at Home Depot.



Mod note:
*** Removed e bay contact info. Against rules and policys of the forum.***
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 04-26-14 at 08:06 AM. Reason: e bay contact info removed.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:16 PM
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Ray I can't for the life of me figure out why you suggested a dryer cord. I've never seen a generator with a 30A straight blade receptacle. Only a 50A straight on 10kW and up.
And now you know I have no actual experience with what receptacles are on a generator. My post will be deleted. Thank you for the correction.
 
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Old 04-22-14, 05:17 PM
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So I went with the inlet box and got it wired today. To confirm the neutrals for both 20A circuits SHARE a neutral and the grounds (which are bonded to the emt I installed and the inlet box outside and the outlets). I used #12 from inlet to outlets and there is about 15'-20' between inlet box and outlet and I am using #10 patch cord @25'. Is there anything I missed here?

So is this considered dangerous running it like this? I ask since the instructions for the inlet box make no mention of simply wiring outlets off of it. Just for use with transfer switch?

Seeing I didn't use gfci's in unfinished basement and that the inlet isn't UL listed for us with recepticals, this would fail an inspection miserably I assume.
 
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Old 04-22-14, 05:31 PM
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As Matt wrote:
It's the same inlet already attached to an outdoor cover. They're used on ambulances and trucks for their permanently installed block heaters.
A use similar to what you are using it for. Just because the inlet instructions does not mention alternate uses doesn't mean it is unsafe. The receptacle on the generator is usually GFCI protected not no additional GFCI protection is needed.
 
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Old 04-22-14, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by zmike View Post
So I went with the inlet box and got it wired today. To confirm the neutrals for both 20A circuits SHARE a neutral and the grounds (which are bonded to the emt I installed and the inlet box outside and the outlets). I used #12 from inlet to outlets and there is about 15'-20' between inlet box and outlet and I am using #10 patch cord @25'. Is there anything I missed here?
Nope, that about covers it!

So is this considered dangerous running it like this? I ask since the instructions for the inlet box make no mention of simply wiring outlets off of it. Just for use with transfer switch?
Absolutely not. The inlet box is normally used for transfer switches, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with or dangerous about using it in this manner.

Seeing I didn't use gfci's in unfinished basement and that the inlet isn't UL listed for us with recepticals, this would fail an inspection miserably I assume.
This is a special-purpose configuration that is not connected to permanent power in any way. It is simply a pass-through, no different than running an extension cord through the window. All required overcurrent protection is included in the generator. The female end is not required to have GFCI. If As long as your receptacles are a distinctively different color and clearly identified as generator pass-thru, an inspector would probably not even question it.
 
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