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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Generator test, one more time

Author  [Modern View]
Milan

07-10-2014 10:58:53
173.31.220.124



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Have been reading all the posts about generators and have been awaiting one subject area that is of special interest to me.

As of yet, I have not seen it discussed, so here is my question.

I have a generator that is 120 only. I wanted to do whatever was necessary to connect it to my house wiring.

My original idea was since the central air was the only thing needing 240, that I could connect both phases together and feed the both of them with 120.

I was looking for someone to wire up the appropriate transfer switch and so on, but no electrician I spoke with would touch the idea.

They all said that transferring individual circuits to a 120 volt generator would be fine, but that it is/was not fine to attempt to feed the whole house or even one phase with a 120 volt generator.

They said that feeding either one phase or especially both phases would overload the neutral.

They talked about balanced loads and no load being the result on the neutral.

They all used a phrase I had not heard before in describing the kind of neutral I probably had, one where there are likely not individual neutrals run to every outlet in the house.

So basically, they all said that it is not ok to attempt to run the whole house or even one complete phase with a 120 volt generator.

I only have a 2800 watt portable, I would not think it would be likely to overload any neutral, but they told me it does not matter how large the generator is, even if it was only a 500 watt generator, they would not touch my idea.

But, they said that if I ran extension cords from the generator to the refrigerator, freezer, furnace and whatever else I wanted to run, would be perfectly fine.

I need help understanding all of that.

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huntingreen2day2

07-10-2014 20:45:05
75.131.120.19



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
What you are talking about will work. You only have a generator putting out 20 amps so if your neutral is 12 or larger the unbalanced load should not exceed the wire capacity. Would I do it. Maybe. Also where are you putting the transfer switch and what size is it? I have wired hundred of houses and put power on everyone of them to check out the 120 volt circuits. I just had a breaker I installed in the panel for this and a jumper wire between the 2 lugs on the breaker. I used a breaker because I wanted to be able to disconnect the gen power if there was a problem. Of course there was no power on the house and not much of a load since it was an empty house. I would go ahead and put the transfer switch in and then install the jumper and if you go to a bigger generator later with 240 volts remove the jumper. As long as your cord is rated 25 amps or more the neutral should not be a factor on a 2500 watt generator. Unless you have multiwire circuits in the house then the neutral wire becomes a factor in the house wiring. With the panel cover off you might be able to determine if their are multiwire circuits. Real easy to do if it is wired with Romex. Romex multiwire circuits will be 4 wire cables entering the panelboard red, white, black and a bare ground.

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jeffcat

07-10-2014 20:32:39
75.151.154.114



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Just go to HF and get a gen set big enough to run your house. They are around $100.oo per thousand watts. They had the 6500 ones on special like one month ago and every so often they run specials. They now list a 15,ooo watt unit with a 20hp engine if I remember. Around 2300 dollars or a bit more, but LOADS of power. Do not play games with power pannels cause you have NO idea what 400 ++++ volts can do to your generator and fuse pannel, and wires etc. If the power comes on and you are still hooked, just add 240 and 240. Saw the results on a small 240 gen set and the generator itself was a charcoal can full of black smoked leftovers. My opinion.

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David G

07-10-2014 19:09:17
205.215.206.18



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
You CAN use a transfer switch.

It is easier to get a 240V generator with more wattage than a 120V generator. You could also hook the two phases together on the feed to the transfer switch and feed with 120V.



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old-9

07-10-2014 15:48:27
67.236.69.50



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
I am a "retired" electrician, and I would not hook you up like you want for ONE reason. I want to keep everything I own and do not want to go to court or JAIL..... For the same reason I try not to give free advice. I or anyone could tell you how to do something and the FIRST words would be "turn OFF all power" before you do whatever. You or Bubba doesen't turn power off and gets hurt or killed -- and INSTANT lawsuit. NOT ME

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Milan

07-10-2014 15:54:58
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to old-9, 07-10-2014 15:48:27  
Who said anything about not turning off the power?

A transfer switch would do that.

Why are you reading into this that there would be a possibility of not disconnecting the house from the mains?

Most definitely the house was disconnected from the mains when I used the generator, every time.

So, why so defensive?

It is just that when I decide to do things right, and use a transfer switch, I am being told that I can't.

That's where the frustration begins.

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old-9

07-11-2014 05:18:34
67.236.69.50



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 15:54:58  
Milan, My post above was NOT trying to single you out. I was just stateing the liabilty in giving advice/opinions anywhere, inperson or online, can cost one a lot of money. Everyone has a lawyer. Sorry if I offended you. joe



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JMOR

07-10-2014 17:32:11
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 15:54:58  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeGo to Rent-All? and get a 120/240 generator. Call the electrician, when job is finished, inspected & tested, return rental. After that, mate your gen output to his installed plug, add single jumper in the transfer switch & you will have what you want. There is no magic here! I don't even see any danger or safety issues, beyond you trashing you little generator, so long as you remove the aforementioned jumper when you sell/depart the place. OH Sheet! Wait, better yet forget the transfer switch jumper! Don't alter anything he installed. Just the output of your gen needs a cable that splits into both L1 & L2 of the certified/licensed/installed/inspected/tested set up. If you or anyone else comes along later with a 120/240 generator, simply plug it into the same installed socket & go! :idea:

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buickanddeere

07-11-2014 05:43:22
184.151.36.218



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-10-2014 17:32:11  

JMOR said: (quoted from post at 20:32:11 07/10/14)
Milan said: (quoted from post at 18:54:58 07/10/14) Who said anything about not turning off the power?

A transfer switch would do that.

Why are you reading into this that there would be a possibility of not disconnecting the house from the mains?

Most definitely the house was disconnected from the mains when I used the generator, every time.

So, why so defensive?

It is just that when I decide to do things right, and use a transfer switch, I am being told that I can't.

That's where the frustration begins.
Go to Rent-All? and get a 120/240 generator. Call the electrician, when job is finished, inspected & tested, return rental. After that, mate your gen output to his installed plug, add single jumper in the transfer switch & you will have what you want. There is no magic here! I don't even see any danger or safety issues, beyond you trashing you little generator, so long as you remove the aforementioned jumper when you sell/depart the place. OH Sheet! Wait, better yet forget the transfer switch jumper! Don't alter anything he installed. Just the output of your gen needs a cable that splits into both L1 & L2 of the certified/licensed/installed/inspected/tested set up. If you or anyone else comes along later with a 120/240 generator, simply plug it into the same installed socket & go! :idea:


Install the jumper between Line 1 and Line 2 inside the transfer switch ??? You did not think this one through did you.
Later you are either dead or gone and some unsuspecting person plugs in a 120/240 generator and BOOM.
Put your jackleg jumper in the patch cord between your 120V genset and the transfer switch .
Rest assured you will still be able to overheat the neutral on a split receptacle with 2500watts.
Generators are cheap now. Just install a Generlink transfer switch in the meter base and purchase a 8,000-10,000 watt 120/240V generator .
Tell your friends , family and neighbours you could addord to do it right . Instead of a dangerous cob job around your home and family.
This post was edited by buickanddeere at 05:50:35 07/11/14.

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JMOR

07-11-2014 09:19:27
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to buickanddeere, 07-11-2014 05:43:22  

buickanddeere said: (quoted from post at 08:43:22 07/11/14)
JMOR said: (quoted from post at 20:32:11 07/10/14)
Milan said: (quoted from post at 18:54:58 07/10/14) Who said anything about not turning off the power?

A transfer switch would do that.

Why are you reading into this that there would be a possibility of not disconnecting the house from the mains?

Most definitely the house was disconnected from the mains when I used the generator, every time.

So, why so defensive?

It is just that when I decide to do things right, and use a transfer switch, I am being told that I can't.

That's where the frustration begins.
Go to Rent-All? and get a 120/240 generator. Call the electrician, when job is finished, inspected & tested, return rental. After that, mate your gen output to his installed plug, add single jumper in the transfer switch & you will have what you want. There is no magic here! I don't even see any danger or safety issues, beyond you trashing you little generator, so long as you remove the aforementioned jumper when you sell/depart the place. OH Sheet! Wait, better yet forget the transfer switch jumper! Don't alter anything he installed. Just the output of your gen needs a cable that splits into both L1 & L2 of the certified/licensed/installed/inspected/tested set up. If you or anyone else comes along later with a 120/240 generator, simply plug it into the same installed socket & go! :idea:


Install the jumper between Line 1 and Line 2 inside the transfer switch ??? You did not think this one through did you.
Later you are either dead or gone and some unsuspecting person plugs in a 120/240 generator and BOOM.
Put your jackleg jumper in the patch cord between your 120V genset and the transfer switch .
Rest assured you will still be able to overheat the neutral on a split receptacle with 2500watts.
Generators are cheap now. Just install a Generlink transfer switch in the meter base and purchase a 8,000-10,000 watt 120/240V generator .
Tell your friends , family and neighbours you could addord to do it right . Instead of a dangerous cob job around your home and family.


Why don't you read as much or more than you type?....The last 2 -3 sentences of my post negated the idea of transfer switch jumper. I said, "Just the output of your gen needs a cable that splits into both L1 & L2 of the certified/licensed/installed/inspected/tested set up. You said the same thing, "Put your jackleg jumper in the patch cord between your 120V genset and the transfer switch ."
Overheating neutral with 2500 watts? OK, you design me a 100amp service for a house, sizes the wires & show me where/how 2500 watts overheats that neutral. Remembering that he has only 20.8 amps (2500W) to push in there. And do you know that his home is wired with split receptacles? Let us all see the calculations. I'm not to old to learn!
This post was edited by JMOR at 10:10:03 07/11/14.

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buickanddeere

07-11-2014 11:09:57
184.151.36.218



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-11-2014 09:19:27  

JMOR said: (quoted from post at 12:19:27 07/11/14)
buickanddeere said: (quoted from post at 08:43:22 07/11/14)
JMOR said: (quoted from post at 20:32:11 07/10/14)
Milan said: (quoted from post at 18:54:58 07/10/14) Who said anything about not turning off the power?

A transfer switch would do that.

Why are you reading into this that there would be a possibility of not disconnecting the house from the mains?

Most definitely the house was disconnected from the mains when I used the generator, every time.

So, why so defensive?

M

It is just that when I decide to do things right, and use a transfer switch, I am being told that I can't.

That's where the frustration begins.
Go to Rent-All? and get a 120/240 generator. Call the electrician, when job is finished, inspected & tested, return rental. After that, mate your gen output to his installed plug, add single jumper in the transfer switch & you will have what you want. There is no magic here! I don't even see any danger or safety issues, beyond you trashing you little generator, so long as you remove the aforementioned jumper when you sell/depart the place. OH Sheet! Wait, better yet forget the transfer switch jumper! Don't alter anything he installed. Just the output of your gen needs a cable that splits into both L1 & L2 of the certified/licensed/installed/inspected/tested set up. If you or anyone else comes along later with a 120/240 generator, simply plug it into the same installed socket & go! :idea:


Install the jumper between Line 1 and Line 2 inside the transfer switch ??? You did not think this one through did you.
Later you are either dead or gone and some unsuspecting person plugs in a 120/240 generator and BOOM.
Put your jackleg jumper in the patch cord between your 120V genset and the transfer switch .
Rest assured you will still be able to overheat the neutral on a split receptacle with 2500watts.
Generators are cheap now. Just install a Generlink transfer switch in the meter base and purchase a 8,000-10,000 watt 120/240V generator .
Tell your friends , family and neighbours you could afford to do it right . Instead of a dangerous cob job around your home and family.


Why don't you read as much or more than you type?....The last 2 -3 sentences of my post negated the idea of transfer switch jumper. I said, "Just the output of your gen needs a cable that splits into both L1 & L2 of the certified/licensed/installed/inspected/tested set up. You said the same thing, "Put your jackleg jumper in the patch cord between your 120V genset and the transfer switch ."
Overheating neutral with 2500 watts? OK, you design me a 100amp service for a house, sizes the wires & show me where/how 2500 watts overheats that neutral. Remembering that he has only 20.8 amps (2500W) to push in there. And do you know that his home is wired with split receptacles? Let us all see the calculations. I'm not to old to learn!


You can be assured that the wife or kids will home in on and plug two 1200W loads into a split receptacle on the kitchen counter. 10amps on L1 , 10 amps on L2 and 20amp on the neutral of the 14/3 cable. 2X15amp = 30amp protection on that neutral.
Don't waste your time telling me you will be careful and never let that happen. The connection and use of equipment has to be foolproof.
This post was edited by buickanddeere at 11:12:44 07/11/14.

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JMOR

07-11-2014 11:34:10
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to buickanddeere, 07-11-2014 11:09:57  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeI understand what you are saying, BUT he has only 20.8 amps available....

#14 good for 20 or more depending on insulation type. YES, I know to be breaker'd for 15. It won't overheat at 20.8amps. Furthermore, we don't even know that he has split outlets. Many local jurisdictions have outlawed the use of them. But, it is certainly a point to consider, when making deviations from the norm. I've now considered it & would be happy with it, but others won't. Choice. Happy days!

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buickanddeere

07-11-2014 13:28:11
216.183.139.40



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-11-2014 11:34:10  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see
Somebody with a 4000W 120V genset will sooner or later have 25-30 amps on the neutral of the 14/3.



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JMOR

07-12-2014 01:00:37
66.87.102.190



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to buickanddeere, 07-11-2014 13:28:11  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeNo he won't, unless he makes up his own "jack leg patch cable"!



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buickanddeere

07-12-2014 04:47:39
184.151.36.218



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-12-2014 01:00:37  
???

The patch cord from a 120V 4000W generator that supplies line 1 and line 2 with the same potential . A split receptacle will overload the neutral. We still have the issue of the blatantly illegal and dangerous patch cord with live male prongs .
Also the lack of interlock protection on the main breaker to ensure isolation.



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JMOR

07-12-2014 11:27:52
66.87.102.190



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to buickanddeere, 07-12-2014 04:47:39  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seedense or obtuse? The discussion has been for days about a completely NEC code, licensed & inspected installation of a transfer switch, receptacle with genset input to the transfer switch via a receptacle. Therefore the poster only needs to mAke up the jake leg patch cord to accomplish his desires. Next owner will have no problems when he comes along with his BIG generator. If the interface to his generator doesn't match the receptacle , which it won't' the new user simply calls you to wire his gen to transfer switch! Easy peasy. P.s. You can what if any problem to death and never accomplish anything.

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Milan

07-12-2014 17:08:08
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-12-2014 11:27:52  
JMOR, you are exactly right.

I must not have explained it very well but you just explained the situation in about half as many words as I did.

So, any electrician would come and install a transfer switch but in talking to them, my problem is that I went ahead and told them what my plan was, with a 120 volt generator and that stopped everything.

That was my point in telling the group, that it boiled down to electricians telling me that they wanted no part of enabling anyone to connect a 120 volt generator of "any" capacity to house wiring. That was why I emphasized the "smallness" of my generator.

Thank you for reducing it to fewer words.

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ss55

07-13-2014 10:34:05
50.81.112.224



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-12-2014 17:08:08  
It's possible that the electricians don't want you to overload your generator. If your air conditioner or electric clothes dryer were to accidentally kick in, either one would severely overload your generator within milliseconds. You would either: blow the circuit breaker on the generator, shutting off all your power until you turn things off and reset the circuit breaker; or jerk the generator to a stop in a few revolutions, possibly damaging it, especially after repeated "panic shutdowns".

I can see why it would be better to only connect a few smaller loads to the generator, that always total less than the capacity of the generator. That would actually be more reliable, safer and less expensive for you than connecting to your whole house through a transfer switch.

Think "Fail-safe" rather than "Just enough to get by".

Good luck.

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buickanddeere

07-13-2014 15:29:15
209.240.125.149



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to ss55, 07-13-2014 10:34:05  
Non of that as the 240V equipment won't do anything even through it energized because both lines are energized to the same potential.
Jerked to a halt ?
The problem is over loading the neutral on any branch circuit that uses a shared neutral in a 14/3 or 12/3 cable.



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Milan

07-13-2014 12:43:04
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to ss55, 07-13-2014 10:34:05  
Nope that's not it, not at all.

I got a nice long explanation from each of them, it has to do with the fact that all of the generator's output would be being carried by the neutral.

That, they say, is not legal.

They say that part of the load must be carried by some load on the other side.

If the loads on both sides were equal, the load on the neutral would be zero, you see.

They said size of the generator did not matter, even if it was a tiny little 500 watt generator, it is the fact that all of the generator's output would be being carried by the neutral.

By the way, I have never seen a generator that could be jerked to a stop by an overload, that is a new one on me.

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JMOR

07-13-2014 17:54:28
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-13-2014 12:43:04  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeDo you even have any of these in your home?

IF you do, the kitchen is most likely, but could be others. You can look in your panel to see if you find any 12Ga/14Ga cables leaving that have 4 wires (red, black, white, grounded/bare or green). You may find 8Ga/10Ga, but don't worry about those as those will be on larger 30A and up breakers for clothes dryer, cook-top, etc. If you do not then all this is irrelevant.

[URL=http://s192.photobucket.com/user/JMOR_photo/media/Other/split_receptacle.jpg.html][/URL]

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buickanddeere

07-13-2014 18:48:44
209.240.113.162



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-13-2014 17:54:28  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

With the exception close loads such as the garage light, outside receptacle and the the room with the electrical panel. The person wiring my house used two pole breakers and 14/3 to supply all light and receptacle loads in the house. He took the 14/3 from the panel to the general vicinity of the 120V loads. Then ran 14/2 from there on in.

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JMOR

07-13-2014 19:21:07
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to buickanddeere, 07-13-2014 18:48:44  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeI would NOT have accepted the job or paid him, myself. Code I reckon, but also a chincey job in my opinion. I have two panels with 40 breakers each & neither have wiring like you described. Only "sorta" split receptacle does not have any problem, since top is always hot & bottom is switched (Christmas tree, vac, etc.) & table lamp (no overhead light in entry) both off same leg. Hellofalot of copper though! I don't think the city code here allows that, by their additions/amendments to the NEC and I know my builder wouldn't allow it.

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buickanddeere

07-14-2014 19:53:11
209.240.113.162



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-13-2014 19:21:07  
The wiring was done in 1977. I bought the house and farm in 2003. I don't see any way of holding payment.
I have a 309A Inter Provincial and several pages of extra qualifications from work. I wouldn't let Bubba wire my new house.



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JMOR

07-14-2014 20:06:39
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to buickanddeere, 07-14-2014 19:53:11  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeAre you saying that it was Bubba that wired it in 1977?



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Bob Jhans NJ

07-14-2014 18:24:48
66.87.3.14



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-13-2014 19:21:07  
I wouldn't pay for that multiple-wire split receptacle crap either, even if perfectly legitimate.



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Milan

07-10-2014 17:42:59
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-10-2014 17:32:11  
Wow, what a thought.

I could not have done better, myself.

It sounds like you have done this, Mr. JMOR.

I like it.

Let's not let some of the others here read your message though, they might not understand.



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JMOR

07-10-2014 18:08:58
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 17:42:59  
No, haven't done that, I just like to solve puzzles. Don't let that give you any doubt that it won't do what you are asking for. It will.



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mazemeister

07-10-2014 15:07:13
173.3.255.19



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
if i understand correctly the original post, he is proposing to, for example, install a two pole, double throw switch between the meter and the breaker panel. feed one side from the grid, load to panel, and feed the other side with the 120 generator, tying the two legs together.

as long as you make sure all two-pole (240V) circuits in the whole house are turned OFF, i don't see why this shouldn't work to power any 120V load.

i'm assuming here that the house wiring is up to code, and that this 120V only genny is relatively small- small enough that full load of the gen still does not overload the house Neutral wiring.

So as long as you don't overload the N and make sure to only power 120V loads, don't see why it wouldn't work to set up your busses in parallel instead of series.

complying with code, that's a whole other can of worms.

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Milan

07-10-2014 15:51:29
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to mazemeister, 07-10-2014 15:07:13  
Well, Mr Mazemaeister, you are correct.

I know it can be done, I have done it, for years, and the 2800 watt 120 volt generator can handle the load just fine.

I can run 3TV's, two computers, the refrigerator, a chest freezer and the furnace in the winter, just fine with that generator.

But, they are not all on the same line. That is why I connected the two lines together.

I did it by artificially connecting the two lines together, and backfeeding into a single outlet.

I am not looking to be told that it is not to code and all that, I am very well aware of that.

That is why I went to the electricians looking for a solution.

I even had one tell me that I should have just told him I wanted an outside transfer switch installed and told him that I was going to "buy a new generator next week".

But, since I was honest and above-board and told him what I planned on doing, it was a no-go.

Like I said in one of my other posts here, they all say it matters not what size generator, if it is only 120 volts they will not install the transfer switch.

A couple of them told me that part of the installation would be to hook it all up and make sure it all works, that would be the giveaway.

As far as the concept though, I seriously doubt a 2800 watt peak, 2500 watt continuous generator would overload the neutrals in the house. Like I said, I have done it many times.

It is just that it is frustrating to be wanting to do it right, and find that I can't, because it is only a 120 volt generator.

I asked several electricians if there is anyone, anywhere, who is powering their (whole) house with a 120 volt generator, the answer is "only individual circuits each with it's own transfer switch".

Interestingly, they say the reason is because of the possibility of overloading the neutral.

However, in actuality, transferring each circuit individually does the same thing.

That's why I just do not understand.

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buickanddeere

07-10-2014 15:40:21
216.183.139.40



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to mazemeister, 07-10-2014 15:07:13  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see



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Mark - IN.

07-10-2014 14:42:28
76.16.22.126



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Good luck. You tried taking the proper route, unsuccessfully. I would be very careful in what you are asking for because from at least one of the posts that I read yesterday, at least one "holier than thou" know it all about everything in at least AD, and perhaps BC is likely to tear into you and start calling you belittling names like happened at least yesterday, as opposed to trying to be human and not god like in his own mind. Seems to me that that fella knows so much that he could move hear and be our president's twin brother.

You did the correct thing in approaching an electrician because you really want to be code compliant and safe. If the sparkies that you reached out to give you good reason to go another route, and they did, my advice, work with them and take their advice. You are a little under generatored for what you want to do.

Much good luck, and be safe and effective.

Mark

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ss55

07-10-2014 13:18:45
50.81.112.224



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Maybe talk to your local building inspector about what you are trying to do? Eventually you will need him to approve it anyway. If he has inspected and signed off on what you have done so far, it will likely go smoothly.



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wilson ind

07-10-2014 12:52:10
162.235.98.33



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
If your main breaker is OFF theres no backfeed to outside. Should you forget to unhook when power is back on in addition to backfeeding the two busses tied together will be a real problem. Unless its just too much trouble just run cords to what you really need.



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El Toro

07-10-2014 12:36:00
96.244.7.206



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  

You can buy a 14kw Kohler generator for about $3700.00 and that includes the transfer switch. You can run 15 separate circuits for the house and one separate circuit for charging the battery on the generator. There's free shipping and no sales tax unless you live in AZ.

Have a licensed master electrician to wire it. Also have it inspected. You would also need to have the generator programmed by a Kohler rep. The generator would run for 20 minutes once a week automatically. It will run on LP or NG gas. You need a licensed plumber to run the gas line they used Wardflex on mine. It's the yellow flex piping.

When you lose house power the generator will start
automatically. When your house power is restored
your Kohler will quit running. It makes a good selling point if you ever decide to sell. Hal

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John T

07-10-2014 12:18:38
216.249.72.121



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Okay, I have an 83 yr old farmer friend that has done what you do and yes it works but Im NOT a fan lol. To do it right a person could install a small 120 volt sub panel. Sounds like all youre doing is connecting the two busses together and its still 120 volts from them to Neutral. I doubt any electrician or inspector will sing off but I have no idea whose in charge where youre at. But like I say below do as you please lol

John T

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Milan

07-10-2014 11:56:29
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Gosh, guys, I am sorry, I apologize, I did not make myself clear.

I am not touting the wisdom of connecting the phases together, not at all.

I did mention that I have done this several times, and it works quite well, but, that is not the point of my original post.

I thank each of you who have responded so far, and I know each of you are right and correct in everything said so far.

But, you are all missing my point.

My point is, I want to get away from backfeeding like this, and want to connect my 120 volt generator to the house with a transfer switch in such a way that I can feed the entire house.

I am just stating that I have effectively done this many times by the method I described, so I know my 2800 watt generator can power up everything I need in an emergency power out situation.

I just want to do it legally and properly with a transfer switch and not switch individual circuits.

That is my only point and several electricians say it cannot be done, that they want no part of connecting a 120 volt generator to house wiring.

That's my only point. I was just soliciting comments on using a single transfer switch with a 120 volt generator.

They would not install one to even power up one side.

So, am I to assume that a guy with a 120 volt generator is limited to transfer switches for individual circuits or using extension cords?

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Paul

07-10-2014 13:26:32
76.77.203.247



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 11:56:29  
It just does not work to safely and nicely connect a 120 generator to both sides of a 240 house and make that work safely. 240v is a single phase, the 120 we use for smaller items is split off of that; it is not a phase of its own. So you are trying to join 2 things that already are just one thing, it gets real messy real soon.

If this were your plumbing, all your water supply comes in on one pipe. Some goes through the water heater, and some just goes on a parrallel path. Same water, but down the line one side is hot, one side is cold, and you can no longer interchange them or you have a mess.....


Your question on powering one side of the house, one of the 120v sides with a transfer switch is an interesting one. I don't understand why that wouldn't work, but I never really gave it much thought. Something to think on while on the tractor again.... Off the top of my head, wouldn't any 220v items flow the 120 across to the other side, creating problems? Hum.

Paul

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JMOR

07-10-2014 11:43:33
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see[/b] [b:dfbd8f9c5d][/b:dfbd8f9c5d][u:dfbd8f9c5d][/u:dfbd8f9c5d]



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buickanddeere

07-10-2014 11:19:17
184.151.36.125



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
Single phase is single phase.it"s line 1 and line 2 as they are 180 degrees out of phase. Three phase uses the term phases as each line is120 degrees out of phase. It"s just the terminology to try and keep things understandable. Many countries use the term "earth" instead of "ground". In particular if speaking to somebody with an accent . The situation can be confusing. I wish the term " ground" for the chassis return on mobile Equipment had never got started. #1 your tractor has no ground rod. #2 bubba tinkerer electrician is now working on an AC system and thinks it"s ok to run return current through the ground system. . Using the same Line 1 together on a 240v four wire system requires a funky non standard plug with the two lines shorted together. Sooner or later it will be powered up by two line lines and go Ka boom. Imagine a 60 amp 120V generator on a 30 amp 240V service wired with line 1 and line 2 together. At full load the neutral will be melting with 60 amp while the lines are fine at 30. A 30 amp 240V generator on a 30 amp four wire service at full load .will have 30amp on the lines and no current in the neutral.

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David G

07-10-2014 11:07:10
12.130.116.70



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 10:58:53  
A 120V generator will not work with 240V by hooking the phases together, it will feed all 120V circuits, but not 240.

240VAC is 2 120VAC circuits 180 degrees out of phase.



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Milan

07-10-2014 11:12:42
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to David G, 07-10-2014 11:07:10  
I realize that, I guess I did not make myself clear, I can easily do without the air conditioner, it would effectively see "0" volts seeing as both lines would be connected together.

But, everything else in the house would still see 120.

I will admit, I have done this many times, connect both phases together, then feed them both with the same one 120 volt hot lead from the generator and connect the other wire from the generator to neutral.

Works. But, I want to get away from backfeeding and do things legal and proper.

Basically, they are saying that there is no legal way to connect to the house wiring with a 120 volt generator.

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Ken Macfarlane

07-10-2014 11:29:11
142.166.168.2



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 11:12:42  
Yes there is, move your 120 V loads to a small transfer switch/generator subpanel. You can't move all of them, just important ones. When power is out it will let you switch those loads over to your generator.

If you move too many, on regular power your L1 L2 would be out of balance which is not good. Happens by chance in some panels by nature of North American power setup so there is some tolerance.

Shouldn't be backfeeding your panel really, especially if asking basic questions about how 120/240 works.

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Milan

07-10-2014 11:57:26
173.31.220.124



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 07-10-2014 11:29:11  
Gosh, guys, I am sorry, I apologize, I did not make myself clear.

I am not touting the wisdom of connecting the phases together, not at all.

I did mention that I have done this several times, and it works quite well, but, that is not the point of my original post.

I thank each of you who have responded so far, and I know each of you are right and correct in everything said so far.

But, you are all missing my point.

My point is, I want to get away from backfeeding like this, and want to connect my 120 volt generator to the house with a transfer switch in such a way that I can feed the entire house.

I am just stating that I have effectively done this many times by the method I described, so I know my 2800 watt generator can power up everything I need in an emergency power out situation.

I just want to do it legally and properly with a transfer switch and not switch individual circuits.

That is my only point and several electricians say it cannot be done, that they want no part of connecting a 120 volt generator to house wiring.

That's my only point. I was just soliciting comments on using a single transfer switch with a 120 volt generator.

They would not install one to even power up one side.

So, am I to assume that a guy with a 120 volt generator is limited to transfer switches for individual circuits or using extension cords?

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JMOR

07-10-2014 12:09:03
72.181.173.171



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to Milan, 07-10-2014 11:57:26  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeSee my other post. For reasons given there, I understand why they won't do it. You don't sound like an electrical do-it-yourself'er, but the diagramming is simple, however, there is a lot of work to install & if you are in some jurisdiction that does not allow such & must have an electrician perform the work, then you are probably SOL unless you can show/convince/otherwise to get him to sign on.

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Billy Shafer

07-10-2014 14:15:21
173.184.21.29



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 Re: Generator test, one more time in reply to JMOR, 07-10-2014 12:09:03  
I am staying out of this one.



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