Generator Question

Old 12-08-14, 05:47 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Generator Question

I have a 220 outlet in my garage that is fed from a sub-panel in the garage. Can I (Following all other safety precautions for back feeding my house, can I back feed to the main panel and power the rest of the house from the garage.

I have a transfer switch already waiting to be installed, but we have bad weather headed this way and I have already lost power on sunny days.
Old 12-08-14, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 16,321
Received 39 Upvotes on 31 Posts
Single word answer is no.

Longer answer is that IF you install an approved interlock device to the circuit breaker feeding the sub-panel then yes, you could use that feeder. Downside would be that the sub-panel would then ONLY be powered by the generator.
Old 12-08-14, 06:00 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,399
Received 893 Upvotes on 754 Posts
Welcome to the forums!

Not installing the transfer switch is not an option so back feeding it from the garage is not going to work. You can kill a line worker!

Either install the transfer switch properly, or use extension cords to run your items to want to keep going during the outage.
Old 12-08-14, 06:14 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13,988
Received 201 Upvotes on 176 Posts
The issue is the interlock on the sub would not assure utility power was off before the generator power was supplied.
Old 12-09-14, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,560
Upvotes: 0
Received 285 Upvotes on 260 Posts
deleted sgagh An interlock

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-09-14 at 06:29 AM.
Old 12-09-14, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,560
Upvotes: 0
Received 285 Upvotes on 260 Posts
An interlock on the subpanel, properly installed, must block the feed from the supra-panel when the generator breaker is enabled. (That subpanel must have a "master" breaker controlling its feed.)

This will make only the circuits in the subpanel eligible to receive generator power.

Don't forget that the generator cord must be connected to a "male receptacle" and not an existing (female) dryer or stove or tool receptacle. A cord with two (male) plugs must never be constructed or allowed to exist. Before a male receptacle is installed, that circuit cable or conductors must be unhooked from its breaker and rewired only to a transfer switch or to a backfeed breaker with appropriate interlock installed.

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-09-14 at 06:45 AM.
Old 12-09-14, 06:20 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 9,785
Upvotes: 0
Received 45 Upvotes on 43 Posts
The big problem with backfeeding is that it is so easy and cheap to "just make it work", but it is not legal or safe to do it. Some jurisdictions the homeowner would even be criminally liable for injuries caused by a backfed generator. You'd be better off just using extension cords for the critical loads until you can get the proper switch installed.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: