Backup Inverter Generator for Home


Old 01-26-19, 06:08 PM
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Backup Inverter Generator for Home

Hello all,
I have a Champion inverter generator that I got for my travel trailer but also use for the house during power outages (I live in hurricane country). I've used it a few times during blackouts and it does fine for powering the basics, but stringing out extension cords is a pain and not the safest thing going. I'd like to install a circuit breaker generator lockout kit on my main panel. This is a device that uses an external receptacle and dedicated breaker for the generator and a special sliding bracket that requires switching off the main breaker before the genny's breaker can be energized, then the breakers that aren't to be powered by the generator can also be turned off. This is an obvious safety measure that prevents dangerous and illegal back-feeding from the generator.
My question is that every video and diagram I've seen of this setup requires a double-pole breaker fed by the 220V output from the generator. The problem I have is that my inverter generator only has 120V output - two 20A standard receptacles and a 30A RV outlet which is the one I want to use. Is it possible to use a single-pole 30A breaker in the main panel for this? Will only one leg of the panel's breakers receive power?
I'm no electrician, but I've done work like this before and I know the basics, I'm just a bit flummoxed on this one. Any advice is highly appreciated.
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Old 01-26-19, 06:33 PM
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Is it possible to use a single-pole 30A breaker in the main panel for this? Will only one leg of the panel's breakers receive power?
A single 30A breaker will allow you to power one leg of the panel. That would be one half of the breakers. Is that what you want ?

A 120/240v generator would be more effective.
Old 01-26-19, 06:50 PM
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You should also know that one half of a panel is not one side. The legs alternate down each side.
Old 01-27-19, 06:37 AM
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I just got a dual-fuel Champion generator and hope to wire it to my home panel next spring. I just thought that using a transfer switch I could power a few selected single phase breakers to the switch?
Old 01-27-19, 06:44 AM
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Use the lockout kit and install it as directed.

Use a standard inlet connector, 4 pin, such as an L14-30.

Make up an interface cord that will jump the two "HOT" wires so that you can now power both legs of your main panel from your inverter generator.

You'll also now be ready if you ever need a bigger generator with 240v outputs. Just don't use the interface cord.

Old 01-27-19, 07:36 AM
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Your first generator to house interface cord will have one hot wire (black), the neutral wire, and the equipment grounding conductor. The plug will have 3 prongs for hot, neutral, and ground.

The female end (receptacle will have two hot slots as well as neutral slot and ground slot. Have the hot wire from the cord loop around both hot slot terminals inside to jump them.

This first interface cord plug may fit a 120 volts only receptacle of a new 120/240 volt generator. Here there is no advantage continuing to use it.

The 120/240 volt interface cord for a new generator can be purchased fully assembled.

... using a transfer switch I could power a few selected single phase breakers to the switch?
As an alternative to a panel interlock slider you can buy a transfer switch unit with several (usually 6 to 12) little toggles inside that you mount next to the breaker panel to do what you said. It requires a large (1 inch to 1-1/2 inch) vacant knockout hole in your panel to connect the cable. Check your panel and the specs of the transfer switch unit to verify the size required.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-27-19 at 07:56 AM.
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