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generator wiring question(nema 14)?

rajung's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 138

09-21-04, 02:32 PM   #1  
generator wiring question(nema 14)?

I just picked up a 3550watt troy-bilt generator.
It has (4) 120v 20amp service plug ins and (1) 240v 20amp(L14) nema 4 lug twist lock recepticle and a cable plug in end .
My question is what is this for?
Do I use this plug end to attach to a extension cord and wire in to the house sub panel?
Cant seem to find out what I need to know on this

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Pilot Dane's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,683

09-22-04, 06:54 PM   #2  
You probably recognize the 120 volt receptacles, and if you look behind an electric stove or dryer you might see a plug similar to your 4 prong 240 volt. On the 120 volt plug one prong is the hot, one is neutral, and one is the ground. On the 240 volt plug you have two hot prongs, one neutral and one ground.

I recommend a purpose built transfer switch if you want to feed your house breaker panel. These are quite expensive for what they are (IMHO). Back feeding from your generator to the houses' breaker panel is easy, but if you ever do it wrong things can go BOOM and someone gets electrocuted. The transfer switch makes it much more idiot proof. I'm not trying to be an A-hole, but hooking everything up on a dark rainy night can be stressful and difficult.

If you only use your generator once in a while I'd run extension cords directly from the generator. It's cheap and easy. Make sure to keep the generator outside (not in the garage attached to your house) and hopefull downwind from your house (carbon monoxide).

If you are in one of the hurricane hit areas, keep your generator inside when not being used or put the biggest chain on it you can find. Some people tend to go crazy when the power is out for extended periods and they start to think that stealing is OK.

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