Extending a circuit from generator to building

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Old 11-27-15, 11:17 AM
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Extending a circuit from generator to building

Hello...

Please bear with me as this is my first attempt at posting something.

I'm a half mile from electrical service and anticipate installing a solar system in spring 2016.

I have a generator that is kept outside of a new pole building that is stored in a weather proof storage unit. The front doors swing open in the front; the roof raises up to about a 45 degree angle. This provided plenty of ventilation.

The generator has two 20 amp GFCI duplex outlets. The generator is also grounded using an 8' copper clad steel rod that is driven into the ground. The manual calls for an 8 gauge copper grounding wire.

I have buried (in conduit) a 12-2 wire with ground that runs from the generator (outside) to inside the steel building. The connection between the generator is a male 5-20R plug that is inserted into the duplex of the generator. The other end of the 12-2 wire goes into the building to a 20 amp duplex receptacle.

My original purpose what to leave the generator noise and exhaust outside the building and not having to get out an extension cord to run power tools, etc.

I'm comfortable with what I've mentioned so far.

Once I installed the duplex receptacle I decided to put in 4 lights fixtures (inexpensive porcelain w/pull chain). I connected a 14-2 w/ground jumper wire from duplex to a light switch. Then I continued with 14-2 w/ground from the switch to each of the 4 lights. I would use a max of 200w incandescent bulbs in each of the 4 light fixtures.

What are your views on what I've done.

If I were to do this over again I would have installed conduit that would have accommodated 2 or 3 wires and run the 12-2 wire from one of the generator outlets to the duplex outlet in the building. And run another 14-2 wire from another generator outlet to the lights.

Other than trenching in another wire (in conduit) from the generator to the building, what are your thoughts and/or suggestions please?

I'm outside city limits and ag buildings don't require inspections in Iowa... or at least in this county.

Thanks...

haeshep
 
  #2  
Old 11-27-15, 12:23 PM
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I have buried (in conduit) a 12-2 wire with ground that runs from the generator (outside) to inside the steel building. The connection between the generator is a male 5-20R plug that is inserted into the duplex of the generator.
The buried cable should be UF. You are not supposed to use plugs on cable. What you have done is okay if you used UF but you should have used a junction box at the gen shed to transition from service cord for the plug to UF cable to meet code. Did you? Note service cord (Example: SOW) is not intended for use in conduit or burial.
 
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Old 11-28-15, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for your response ray2047.

Yes, I used 12-2 w/ground UF cable to run from the generator shed to the pole building. No, I did not put cable in junction box in generator shed, but will certainly correct that thanks to your input. What is 'SOW'?

My primary concern was/is using 14-2 cable off the duplex outlet in the building that is serviced by the 12-2 cable from the generator. That 14-2 cable goes from the duplex outlet to an on/off switch and then services 4 individual porcelain light sockets using a maximum of a 200w bulb in each.

Thanks!
haeshep
 
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Old 11-28-15, 08:54 AM
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My primary concern was/is using 14-2 cable off the duplex outlet in the building that is serviced by the 12-2 cable from the generator. That 14-2 cable goes from the duplex outlet to an on/off switch and then services 4 individual porcelain light sockets using a maximum of a 200w bulb in each.
If the generator's circuit breaker is 15 amps or less, the 14-2 cable is Ok.
 
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Old 11-28-15, 10:39 AM
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Thanks CasualJoe...

The generator's breaker is 20 amp. I've seen a box that accommodates a single fuse with light switch (probably in line feeding a garbage disposal or something). Is there something similar (single 15 amp breaker/fuse) available that I could use between the 20 amp duplex that is fed by the 20 amp, 12-2 extension from the generator? I already have most of the wiring done as I described in my original post.

Thanks...
haeshep
 
  #6  
Old 11-28-15, 12:59 PM
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What is 'SOW'?
It is a type of cord used in such things as heavy duty extension cords. SOW is just a rating.

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I've seen a box that accommodates a single fuse with light switch (probably in line feeding a garbage disposal or something). Is there something similar (single 15 amp breaker/fuse)
Yes. You could probably rewire something like this to work for you http://www.sears.com/bussmann-fuses-...-SPM7558935603 or you can also use a keyless light fixture, an Edison base 15 amp fuse and a octagon ceiling box. The black of the UF is connected to brass screw of the lamp holder and black of the shed wiring to the silver screw. Whites are just connected to each other.
 
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Old 11-29-15, 12:35 PM
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Thanks again ray2047!

I found another thread that you also commented on and I'd like to make sure I understand what was said in that and also this reply.

From the generator to the shed is the 12-2 wiring. That 12-2 wire goes to a 20 amp duplex receptable in the shed. Within that same junction box is a switch in which I used 14-2 wire to "jump" from the duplex to the switch. Then from the switch I used 14-2 to wire the porcelain lights (with pull chains).

So, I'll go back to the duplex and disconnect the 14-2 jumper from the the duplex to the switch and eliminate them. Then I'll do one of the following:

1) I'll use the keyless light fixture and Edison base 15 amp fuse along with an octagon ceiling box. I'll run a wire from the 20 amp duplex receptacle to the keyless fixture. Should I use 14-2 or 12-2 wire? I'll run the black lead FROM the 20 amp duplex to the brass screw (via pigtail) on the keyless lamp holder; I'll then attach the black lead (14-2) to the silver-colored screw (via pigtail) on the keyless fixture. I'll wire nut the two white wires and the two ground wires.
 
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Old 11-29-15, 01:08 PM
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Shoot! I must have been 'timed out' as my entire post does not appear. In continuing...

Option #1 cont'd): Forget I said 'via pigtail''. If I replaced the 14-2 jumper wire with 12-2 between the duplex and switch (20 amp, I think), could/would I then wire in the keyless fixture/fuse and then the lighting? I was also thinking of adding a junction box at the end of the run of 4 lights and adding a 15 amp duplex receptacle and another 2 lights fixtures with pull chains. I realize the duplex would only be live when the switch is in the 'on' position.

Option #2): I have a 15 amp Buss Box Cover Unit Fuse with Switch that's from a remodel project (probably used for garbage disposer). If I used that would I go from the 20 amp duplex... and wire into this (using 12-2 or 14-2 wire ?????). With the black wire FROM the brass duplex screw to the brass screw on the Buss Box (switch)? And the black 14-2 wire feeding the lights to the silver-colored screw on the Buss Box (fuse holder)? And wire nut the 2 whites together and the 2 ground wires together.

Thanks...
haeshep
 
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Old 11-29-15, 01:50 PM
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I"m a little confused by what you wrote. Does it help you understand if I write wiring to the fuse holder must all be #12? After the fuse it can be #14.

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Note to meet code there would normally be a 20 amp switch before the fuse to act as a disconnect. National code requires a disconnect where the power enters the shed. In this case though the fuse acts as a disconnect.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-29-15 at 03:00 PM.
  #10  
Old 11-29-15, 03:06 PM
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Wow! Yes, the diagram and your comment were a tremendous help!! My posts today even confused me!!!

Thanks for sticking with me on this...
haeshep
 
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Old 11-29-15, 03:30 PM
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A quick question. Referring to your great diagram... the black wire going from the right side of the fuse to the top screw of the switch... should that be #12 or #14 or does it matter?

Thanks...
haeshep
 
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Old 11-29-15, 04:17 PM
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the black wire going from the right side of the fuse to the top screw of the switch... should that be #12 or #14 or does it matter?
It doesn't because it is protected by the fuse.

Another diagram if you don't want the receptacles switched.

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Last edited by ray2047; 11-29-15 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:19 PM
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Oh, oh... now I'm scratching my head again.

Referring back to your first diagram again. The #12 wire comes into the shed and goes directly to a 20 amp duplex receptacle and connected with the black to brass and white to silver on the bottom set of screws. I was then going to connect #12 wire black to brass and white wire to silver at the top set of screws -- with the #12 black continuing to the fuse and the #12 white wire nutted to the #14 white. The 20 amp duplex would be protected by the GFCI breaker on the generator. All else in your first diagram would remain the same with the #14 wire feeding 4 to 6 light fixtures across 40 feet of floor space. Sound O.K?

Once again... great diagrams!

Thanks...
haeshep
 
  #14  
Old 11-29-15, 10:44 PM
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Yes, You can put receptacle ahead of the fuse. It does not need to be a 20 amp receptacle. A 15 amp receptacle may be used as long as there are two places to plug in and a duplex receptacle counts as two places. If the receptacle on the generator is GFCI then it does not need to be GFCI.

The receptacle I showed would be on the #14 wiring of the shed.

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Old 11-30-15, 01:20 PM
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Hello ray2047:

I'm attempting to "fix" this by not completely redoing everything. Let's forget about the receptacle fed off the #14 wire.

Could you do this for me please... if what I suggest is permissible? Draw me a diagram with the #12 UF connected to the 20 amp receptacle using the bottom set of screws and ahead of the fuse. Then continue, using #12 wire from to top set of screws of that same receptacle to the fuse... and on to the switch and to the #14 NM-b with a single keyless light fixture with bulb.?

I was going to keep that receptacle in that single box.... go to the keyless fixture that will serve as the fuse.... then to the lights switch and juntion box... and then on to the wiring and lights.

So, in a nutshell... coming in to the shed directly to the receptacle... then to the fuse in a separate junction box and fixture.... then to the switch.... and out to a keyless light fixture with single bulb.

Thanks...
haeshep
 
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Old 11-30-15, 02:09 PM
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connected to the 20 amp receptacle using the bottom set of screws and ahead of the fuse.
Receptacles have no top or bottom. They can be oriented any way you want.

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Last edited by ray2047; 11-30-15 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 11-30-15, 06:58 PM
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Sweet!! This is exactly as I pictured it would be and I'm now confident of what I need to do.

And just to clarify -- the #14 black wire is connected to the silver-colored screw on the fuse... correct?

Thanks again ray2047. Hope I didn't drive you nuts!!

Regards,
haeshep
 
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Old 11-30-15, 07:32 PM
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And just to clarify -- the #14 black wire is connected to the silver-colored screw on the fuse... correct?
That is correct.

The reason is safety. The silver screw connects to the threaded shell of the holder. It is remotely possible to touch it when removing the fuse. If the #12 were connected to it and you were grounded you could get a shock but with the #14 connected it isn't live so you won't. (The brass screw connects to the tab at the bottom of the holder so the hot is somewhat protected.)

Note the diagram meets your specification but to meet code there should be a disconnect before the receptacle. In my first drawing I put everything after the fuse so it would act as a disconnect and meet national code.

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Old 11-30-15, 08:10 PM
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Thanks! And I do appreciate your explanation as it helps me to grasp the reasoning for what is being done.

Wouldn't the 20 amp breaker on the generator serve as the disconnect for the 20 amp receptacle? Just curious.

Thanks again...
haeshep
 
  #20  
Old 11-30-15, 08:15 PM
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Wouldn't the 20 amp breaker on the generator serve as the disconnect for the 20 amp receptacle?
We are in a gray area because it is a generator not a main panel at a house. If the source was your house even though a breaker was used at the main panel code would always require a disconnect at the shed. This is for safety.
 
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Old 11-30-15, 08:30 PM
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Gotcha!

I have one more thought. I have a 15 amp fuse box cover with switch (I think that's what it's referred to). Couldn't I replace the keyless fixture/fuse holder with that? I would connect that the same -- the #12 black to brass and the #14 black to silver. And then I could also eliminate the single pole switch too, couldn't I?

Thanks...
haeshep
 
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Old 11-30-15, 08:33 PM
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Please post a picture of the wiring on it.
 
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Old 11-30-15, 10:00 PM
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Sending these pictures will be a first for me! Let's see what happens...
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Old 11-30-15, 10:04 PM
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[ATTACH]59499[/Name:  FuseHolder#2.jpg
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Old 11-30-15, 10:08 PM
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The screw on the side of the switch is brass. The screw on the side of the fuse holder is silver. The single screw (on the opposite side of the unit) looks like it was prewired to that screw. I think this might have been installed on a furnace in my home at one time... or garbage disposer.

Thanks...
haeshep
 
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Old 11-30-15, 10:15 PM
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That would probably work but I'd like to see the wiring inside. While your inside look to see if there is an amp rating on the switch.
 
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Old 11-30-15, 10:22 PM
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The screw on the side of the switch is brass.
Both screws are brass indicating a "hot" wire connects to them.
 
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Old 11-30-15, 10:27 PM
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Both the fuse holder and switch have an amp rating of 15 amps (125V).

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Old 11-30-15, 10:43 PM
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This unit that I have says "BUSS" and "SSU" on it. It's just like this that I "Googled"...

Bussmann Plug Fuse Box, Switch, 2-1/4 in. Handy SSU | Zoro.com

Thanks...
 
  #30  
Old 11-30-15, 11:29 PM
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That should work but seems to be rated for 15 amps so you would want to wire the fuse ahead of the switch. If you did that you wouldn't need the switch.

<Opinion>You are overthinking this. There is no reason not to use my first diagram. Just substitute the fused switch.

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Last edited by ray2047; 11-30-15 at 11:55 PM.
  #31  
Old 12-01-15, 06:51 AM
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ray2047: I would not argue your opinion that I'm overthinking this.

I have a 60-acre get-a-way that's a half mile off the main road. Too costly to run electricity back there... plus it's a step toward development. As mentioned, I hope to install a solar system in the spring using a licensed electrician. In the meantime, I was simply going to weatherproof the generator on the outside of the shed and extend the receptacle into the shed, which I did. Plus I don't like the noise and exhaust in or near the building. I was going to use that as a means of powering tools - such as a table saw - that I probably would not power by solar.

Once I had the receptacle installed, I thought it would be nice to have some lighting so I could do other work in the shed (36' x 54') during the fall and winter months. I had second thoughts of what I was doing since I was using #14 to continue on from the receptacle that was fed with #12 from the generator. Thus, my visit to doityourself.com.

After solar is installed, I would maintain the generator to outlet set up. However, I would rework the switch and lighting (not using incandescent bulbs) and power it with the solar system. I'm also installing a shallow-well (sandpoint) system and I'm not sure what the requirements/costs would be to power that via solar. It could be that I merely power the shallow well pump with the generator... pump water to a series of 55 gallon barrels and use gravity or a 12 volt pump to supply the sink, etc. I don't have much invested (as far as $$) in this... it has challenged my thought processes... and I've learned a little along the way. I truly appreciate your help with this... and I even learned how to take a photo and post it to this site.

I'm probably going to stick with the keyless fuse holder since this is only going to be a temporary situation until the solar project is completed. I have a lot of respect for electricity and want to be sure that I'm not creating a hazard.

Again, I really appreciate all you've contributed to my project... and knowledge. Wish I were younger so I could expand upon it even more in the future.

Thanks...
haeshep
 
  #32  
Old 12-01-15, 09:55 AM
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What amps does the table saw draw? Does the generator have a four blade 240 connection?
 
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Old 12-01-15, 10:39 PM
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Hello ray2047...

Table saw draws 14 amps.

Generator has the following outlets: One 120/240 Volt, 20 amp NEMA L14-20R, locking type; one 120 volt, 30 amp, NEMA L5-30R, locking type; one 120 Volt, NEMA 5-20R duplex, GFCI protected; one 120 Volt, 20 amp, NEMA 5-20R, Duplex, GFCI protected by the aforementioned receptacle.

Thanks...
haeshep
 
  #34  
Old 12-01-15, 11:36 PM
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So the table saw is iffy at best even on a 15 amp circuit. My last diagram won't likely work for you. I would suggest using the NEMA L14-20R as a multi wire circuit. You would run 12-3 UF to the shed. That would be split into two 20 amp 120 volt circuit. One circuit would go to the circuit in my last diagram. The other circuit would be for tools.

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The reason the service cord is 12-4 is grounds are counted when describing cord but the UF is 12-3 because grounds are not included in the naming.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-02-15 at 12:05 AM.
  #35  
Old 12-02-15, 09:15 AM
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If I didn't already have what we've been discussing in place, I would certainly take this approach... and I still may. I'll be interesting to see how the solar system project pans out. The generator is in very close proximity to the building and I can run a heavy extension cord to the table saw, if and when needed.... or move the generator in closer proximity to the saw.

But now a question pops into my mind. Referring to the diagram you sent on 11/30/15 at 5:42 PM... The 120 volt, 20 Amp NEMA 5-20R, GFCI protected duplex on the generator feeds the 20 amp receptacle using #12 wire in the shed (and then goes to the 15 amp fuse in the keyless fixture, dah, dah). If I plug the table saw into that 20 amp outlet, aren't we just fine (assuming there's no load beyond the fuse)?

Thanks...
haeshep
 
  #36  
Old 12-02-15, 09:57 AM
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I did not read all the posts, but any metal box should be bonded by using a 10-32 ground screw connected to the grounding conductor.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 10:11 AM
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Yes, the saw pretty well maxes out the circuit.
 
 

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