Dedicated electrical circuit for generator?


Old 10-10-16, 08:50 AM
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Dedicated electrical circuit for generator?


Fair warning...I am a total noob at electrical work so bare with me.

I have a new construction house. While building the house with the builder he sold me on making a dedicated circuit for a generator and I said sure.

At the final walkthrough he showed me the outlet for the dedicated circuit, but it looks like a normal outlet. Me being a total moron with all things electrical I was like "ok cool".

Now that I have had time to think about it...I have no idea how I would connect a generator to this thing, and it seems like it should have a different type of outlet (or inlet I should say).

Can someone just walk me through how I would connect a generator to a dedicated circuit in my house? I really need to know now vs trying to figure it out after a hurricane rolls through and there is no power.
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Old 10-10-16, 09:34 AM
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If it is a dedicated receptacle designed to be fed from a generator you would move the appliance cord over to it. Then you would need to connect the generator to an inlet with a cord. What was the receptacle designed to power?
Old 10-10-16, 03:22 PM
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A typical dedicated circuit for a generator would have an inlet (male receptacle) on an outside wall near the generator and a regular (female) duplex receptacle (or maybe 2 or 3) on an inside wall. There would be no connection between this and any other wiring in the house. You would use extension cords to plug in lights and appliances during a power failure. Outside you would plug into one of the "regular" (15 or 20 amp) receptacles on the generator.

To use higher amperage (more than 20 amp) terminals or receptacle of the generator your dedicated circuit must go from the outdoor inlet to a panel on the inside wall with breakers wired to the receptacles on the inside. Again, none of this would be shared with or connected to circuits or panels powered by the utility company.
Old 10-10-16, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys....I knew something was off.

There is no male receptacle anywhere. The outlet that he pointed to claiming it was the dedicated circuit had nothing more than a regular house hold outlet (it is located in the garage).

He did leave me instructions saying if I hooked a generator up to it....I would need to go outside and turn off the utility power first before powering the dedicated circuit.

There is a label on the main breaker box noting the dedicated circuit.

I guess I should be yelling at him for not giving me a male receptacle?
Old 10-10-16, 04:28 PM
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I guess I should be yelling at him for not giving me a male receptacle?
And a whole lot more than just that. What you received was nothing more than a single receptacle "dedicated" circuit to the garage. It has NOTHING to do with connecting a generator although it is possible it could be retrofitted to be used as a generator connection. I suspect what the contractor would suggest is that you would first turn off the main circuit breaker and then use a "suicide cord", a portable cord with male plugs on each end, to connect the generator to the dedicated circuit. This is absolutely the WORST possible method to connect a generator and it is UNLAWFUL to use in any jurisdiction having any kind of electrical codes.
Old 10-10-16, 04:45 PM
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I am surprised that passed inspection if you don't have a transfer switch but I suppose it passed because it is just a normal outlet circuit. You have something that can work or can go horribly wrong and possibly kill someone or do serious damage to your home or it's contents.

Your instructions were to first "turn of the utility power". Do you know how to do that?

How will you get power from your generator to that outlet? You'll need a power cord with a male plug on both ends. Care to guess how that might be dangerous?

What happens if the power goes out and you hook up the generator and forget to turn off the feed to your home? You may electrocute the linemen working to restore your power.

What happens if you forgot to disconnect the feed to your home, your running the generator and the power comes back on? Want to place a bet on what will go "POOF"?

If done properly EVERY TIME your system can be made to work. There are no safeties and the system is inherently unsafe. How well you follow the proper procedure in the dark, soaking wet during a storm will determine if things go OK or horribly wrong.
Old 10-10-16, 05:23 PM
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It sounds to me like AllanJ's description (post #3) is what you have. Do you have some receptacles that do not work in the garage or elsewhere? The builder (or really the electrician, if there was one) should have provided you an inlet as everybody mentioned.
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