How to get 120/240v from generator into my house

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Old 01-06-21, 04:50 PM
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How to get 120/240v from generator into my house

I have an older Devilbiss generator model GT5000

Hello I'm new here

I want to be able to run a furnace (120v) and a well pump (240v) in the event of a power outage

It has a regular duplex 120v outlet and a duplex 240v. The 240v is a 620R type. Both are 20 amp fused.

How can I get both 120 and 240 into my house? Can I change one or both of the outlets to a 4 prong type?

The generator has 4 wires. Black Red Green and Orange. I think the orange is the neutral. Green ground and the red and black are each 120v but not sure.
 

Last edited by Richard O; 01-06-21 at 04:51 PM. Reason: left something out
  #2  
Old 01-06-21, 05:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A 620R is a 20A 240v only receptacle.
The generator has 4 wires.
Four wires where ?

Technically you need a wiring diagram for that generator to see if you can change to a four wire system.

 
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Old 01-06-21, 05:33 PM
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I went searching and found a wiring diagram. You are correct in wiring colors. You would need to install a four prong receptacle..... typically an L14-30R in place of that three prong 240v receptacle. You currently have a bonded neutral generator. When connecting to a home that bond needs to be opened. The orange and green coming from the generator head are both neutral and remain connected. Although it's green.... it is not ground.


 
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Old 01-07-21, 05:56 AM
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Thanks for that info.

So I could wire my 4 wires to an L14-30R outlet just as your diagram shows? Just replace my 620R? Or does keeping the 120V outlet cause a problem? It would be nice to keep it but don't have to. I am confused about having 2 20 amp outlets. Does that mean my generator puts out 40 amps total?

I intend to keep everything in the house to 20 amps. Not sure yet how I will do things there. Have looked at EZ Gen switch but pretty expensive for what I want to accomplish.

Will my generator handle both the pump and the furnace running at once, or will I have to monitor and run them separately?

 
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Old 01-07-21, 06:07 AM
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No problem keeping the 120 volt receptacle.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 06:24 AM
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It can output 40A at 120V because the two 120V outlets are on opposite sides of the phase. It can only do 20A at 240V. The watts generated is 4800 either way. You can't load both the 120V and 240V at the same time with more than 4800 watts. I assume this is around a 5000 watt gen.
Oh, I see in first post it is 5000W.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 09:03 AM
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It should work with the pump connected to 240 volts, the furnace connected to 120 volts on one side and the refrigerator connected to 120 volts on the other side. It is an open question whether the generator breaker could trip if the pump and something else start up at the same time.

While you can draw up to 40 amps at 120 volts, if you happen to be drawing 10 amps from one side then you are still limited to 20 amps from the other side.

It is straightforward if you make the connections to the new 120/240 volt receptacle at the 120 volt duplex.

Remove the double green from the side terminal of the duplex and connect them to the bent prong contact of the new receptacle.

Connect the neutral (here only, the vacated terminal) of the duplex to the contact of the new receptacle opposite the bent contact, using white or white taped wire.

Connect the two hots, call them black and red, of the duplex one at a time to the two other contacts of the new receptacle.

If two wires want to go under one screw, cut a short length (as a pigtail) of the same color (can mix red and black) and connect that to the screw. Connect the other end of the pigtail to the two (or three) wires in question.

For good measure start up the generator without plugging anything in. Verify that you measure 0 volts from the bent prong hole to the opposite hole of the new receptacle, measure 120 volts from the bent hole to either adjacent hole, measure 120 volts from the hole opposite the bent hole to either adjacent hole, and 240 volts between the two holes adjacent to the bent hole.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-07-21 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 01-07-21, 09:19 AM
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Just to make sure.

I can replace the 620R with a L1430R using the existing wires keeping the 120V duplex for other purposes.

Then put an L1430 inlet box on the house and get an L1430 generator cord to hook up to the house.

Then I have to think about what to do in the basement to connect to the pump and furnace. My electrical service is in the opposite side of the basement so I'd like to avoid going over there and keep the generator stuff separate.

Any suggestions appreciated.
 

Last edited by Richard O; 01-07-21 at 09:20 AM. Reason: left out a digit
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Old 01-07-21, 10:49 AM
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The 120 volt duplex can remain in use.

The double green was unhooked from the 120 volt duplex to unbond neutral and ground (frame) within the generator to work better when plugged into the house electrical system.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AllanJ
It should work with the pump connected to 240 volts, the furnace connected to 120 volts on one side and the refrigerator connected to 120 volts on the other side.
What I have done when running the house on a generator is put the well pump on a 240v timer so that everybody showers in the morning, then fill the tub, the clothes washer, a big kitchen stock pot, a couple of five gallon buckets and a couple of pitchers so there's plenty of water around.
Buckets are used for #2 flushing (disconnect the handle chain so there's "one last flush" in the toilet) and the water in the tub refills the buckets & hand washing pitchers.
That generally leaves enough water for several hours, especially now that everybody has hand sanitizer
 
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Old 01-07-21, 03:23 PM
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Allenj

I must have been typing the same time you were.

I think I understand and will do it the way you said.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 03:26 PM
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Reliance makes a 6 circuit transfer box that I think I will go with. Home Depot sells a kit that includes a generator cord and an inlet box that is pretty affordable. I could even add a circuit of 2 for lights, refrigerator or whatever.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 05:29 PM
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Just so you understand clearly...... you have an upper and lower 120v receptacle.
Each one can deliver 20A maximum. That's 2400w per receptacle or 4800w total.

If you are using a 240v device.... like your well pump..... you would deduct that from available 120v power. Typically a well pump uses 10A @ 240v or 2400w in running mode.

So you would deduct the 2400w for the well pump from the total which leaves you 2400w @ 120v or 1200w per receptacle which is 10A.

My point being..... I would highly recommend running just your well OR everything else.
Running something like the furnace and turning on the well could damage the furnace.

Your well pump may not even start on your generator. Be sure to test it before relying on it.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PJmax
My point being..... I would highly recommend running just your well OR everything else. Running something like the furnace and turning on the well could damage the furnace.
FYI, during the East coast Halloween blizzard, I found my furnace would NOT run on generator power.
I had to use a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) to clean up the power signal so the furnace would run.
They're cheap IF you can find them in a local thrift shop, likely that the battery is gone (which is why people discard them) but the voltage control circuitry is worth adding to any consumer grade generator.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 05:53 AM
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I had to use a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) to clean up the power signal so the furnace would run.
Which UPS did you use? In my experience, UPS does not like generator input and the UPS kept switching between battery and line power. Eventually, battery ran out and the UPS turned it self off.

I haven't had chance to try, but On-line UPS might work better since it converts AC to DC than back to AC all the time.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 06:29 AM
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Which UPS did you use? In my experience, UPS does not like generator input and the UPS kept switching between battery and line power. Eventually, battery ran out and the UPS turned it self off.
I had the same issue until I added some some load to the generator. As soon as I put a 500 watt heater on the generator, it stabilized enough for the UPS to stop switching.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 06:29 AM
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Note: If you use one of those transfer switch boxes or modules with several small toggles inside, it must have a 240 volt toggle for you to wire in the pump circuit. That is, the pump must be switched from utility power to generator power using just one finger press (for both legs of the 240 volt branch circuit).. Using two (separate) 120 volt toggles in the transfer switch unit for a 240 volt branch circuit could allow generator power to leak into the utility power lines which is an absolute no-no.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 06:29 AM
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Re: Furnace not running on generator. How would I know if it won't work? Simply that it doesn't come on? I don't want to damage it.

Plan B we have a 40,000 BTU gas fireplace that would heat the whole house, but during a recent outage we ran it and it got too hot. The mantel and the floor in front of the fireplace were so hot that you couldn't touch them. This was due to the interior fan not having power to run and circulate the heat.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 06:51 AM
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If your gas fireplace overheats if its built in fan stops then it is inherently unsafe. If the fireplace needs the fan running then it must have an automatic burner shutdown if it overheats.

No sure fire way to quickly tell if bad power will damage the furnace or other appliance. Best to just be observant and vigilant to abnormal sounds or smells as well as behavior that does not seem right.

Non-electronic (usually older) furnaces should not have problems with generator power except for insufficient voltage from generator overload. Modern furnaces with electronic circuit boards and/or digital readouts might not work correctly with generators that do not output a reasonably pure 60 Hz AC. A pure frequency is represented mathematically as a sine wave, a simple repeating up and down with rounded peaks and valleys. :"Dirty" power means that other, higher, frequencies are mixed in and the waveform if drawn on graph paper has other smaller squiggles within the overall up and down. Incorrect frequency or spurious frequencies mixed in may cause clocks to run fast or slow.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 06:52 AM
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I am looking at a Reliance 3006HDK.
 
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Old 01-08-21, 06:56 AM
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The furnace and the whole house is 2 years old. The fireplace has a battery box that you can batteries in so it can be used during a power failure. That's pretty nifty but it just got to hot in my opinion. I will be calling the installer about it.

JUst don't want to damage the furnace. Will it just not start if power is not sufficient?
 
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Old 01-08-21, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by joed
Which UPS did you use?
The Halloween blizzard was using an uncle's 20 year old generator and a basic computer UPS from Staples, so probably CyberPower.
We got a newer, but still cheap, generator from HF, which now runs on the overhang under the barn and connects through the barn subpanel which is 140' away from the main panel/disconnect.
I'm not sure whether it's the newer generator, the 140' run, or having 240v connection, but with the new configuration the furnace runs fine.
Post script- Hadn't thought of this before, but after the Halloween storm, I DID upgrade the old furnace controller to a newer model that supported a C-wire and fan control.
 
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Old 01-09-21, 08:32 AM
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AllanJ

Sorry I don't know how to maneuver very well on this site.

I am confused about how to change the outlet on my generator and I sent you a private message.
 
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Old 01-09-21, 12:17 PM
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I modified my original diagram. Technically.... the wire in blue is called the neutral bond. That connects the neutral to the ground. That needs to be open or non existent when using the generator for the house.


The top two wires are green and brown. That green is NOT a ground wire.
 
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Old 01-10-21, 07:37 AM
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I talked to AllanJ and I think I am all set. My thanks for all of the information.

2 questions just to be sure.

1. Is there any reason I can't feed the red to the 120v first and then to the 240v outlet? (like the black does)

2. I am using the generator for the house. Instead of the blue wire going to ground should I run a white wire from the 120v where the blue was to the W post on the 240v outlet?
 
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Old 01-10-21, 12:28 PM
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We know you are using the generator for your house. That was the point of this thread.
My point is that there should be NO connection to ground where the blue wire is shown.
The blue wire was there as an example only.
You can run a white wire from the duplex receptacle neutral to the W terminal.
The connection order does not matter. I only modified an existing diagram for you.
 
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Old 01-11-21, 05:43 AM
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I wired the new outlet just like your diagram except instead of the bonding wire (blue in the diagram) I ran a white wire from the neutral side of the 120v outlet (where the green/oranges wires are connected) to the W post on the new 240v outlet.
 
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Old 01-11-21, 06:47 AM
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I ran a white wire from the neutral side of the 120v outlet (where the green/oranges wires are connected) to the W post
That does nothing. It only connects the neutrals together. That does not bond the ground/neutral. You would need to run it to the G terminal.
 
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Old 01-11-21, 11:26 AM
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Are things getting confused? You don't want the neutral bonded in a gen connected to a house electrical system.
 
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Old 01-11-21, 01:50 PM
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The final neutral should have only the following elements connected together: the orange and green wires going away to approximately the same place, the neutral side of the existing 120 volt receptacle, and the neutral post of the new 120/240 volt receptacle.
 
 

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