How to power you house without a transfer boxgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
On your 220 volt plug from your generator run a ten gauge cord to your dryer outlet. Make sure you have turned off the main breaker switch FIRST. This will backfeed your entire electrical panel. Turn on your generator and you will have powered your whole house. Best to use a 5000 watt or higer generator. We were told to do this by 2 master electricans and save the $500.00 for a transfer box. Tried it today and it worked great.
-- (email@example.com), October 31, 1999
BIG PROBLEM HERE...Forget to throw the main breaker (maybe you're not home or unavailable) and you can backfeed through the power companies lines and KILL the poor lineman who's trying to get your power back on. I don't think I'd be a lineman after rollover. Ace
-- Ace (Ace@nospam.com), October 31, 1999.
THE ONLY WAY THIS WORKS IS IF YOU FIRST DISCONNECT THE MAIN BREAKERS AND MAIN SWITCH. ANYONE WHO FORGETS TO DO THE DISCONNECT MAY BE LIABLE FOR BOTH CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CHARGES IF A POWER WORKER IS INJURED WORKING ON THE LINES. (I'm sure if it were ME or my family member as the power worker I'D certainly sue!!!)
and, no, O DO know where the capslock key is.
-- Chuck, a night driver (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 31, 1999.
If you want to be extra safe, pull your meter.
-- a (email@example.com), October 31, 1999.
There's a better way to do this which is a kind of failsafe method. I added an 80 amp double pole breaker to my box, and ran 2/0 wire to a female 100 amp Hubble plug attached to the outside wall of my house. Then I bring the JD trailer mounted genset from the farm buildings to the house with the male Hubble plug and plug and play. The key is, you MUST throw your added breaker to get power, and this will remind you to cut the main off first before cranking up. I have drilled my wife repeatedly on the proceedure in case I'm unavailable when she needs power. Just be damn sure you throw that main breaker off!
-- doktorbob (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 31, 1999.
Linemen aren't the only concern. If you're not disconnected, and power does come back on, all sorts of "interesting" things will happen to your generator, and the area around it!
Don't ignore the safety factor by trying to save a few buck. DO IT THE CORRECT WAY!!!!!
Tick... Tock... <:00=
-- Sysman (email@example.com), October 31, 1999.
There are boxes with dual, interconnected main breakers available for under $100. When you throw one of the on, the other is thrown off first.
(Lowe's has them -- and the box allows you to put a few normal breakers in the box if you want to set up just a few subcircuits that run off emergency power.)
-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 31, 1999.
The suggestion in the initial question that backfeeding is OK is DEAD wrong. If would NOT pass an inspection, Sysman is correct, the "master electricians" have NO business telling you or anyone else how to do electrical work. There are so many code violations here, that I can't list them all, but you can kill someone, you can ruin your generator, and other appiances in the home.
Do it the right way for a few hundred bucks and have some peace of mind. And get a permit too - it varies from place to place.
Bob P lic #11234
-- Bob P (Rpilc99206@aol.com), October 31, 1999.
The man that said to get a permit is right! Suppose this is a temporary problem, and "something" happens, either in your house, or somewhere else...you are not only liable, but your sweet insurance company is not going to pay up when they discover that you have violated the law by having an illegal installation. And the nice man that sold you the pretty policy is not going to be doing the inspection. Some guy in a suit and a hard hat will.
If you don't want to go the right way, long way around, consider this: Unplug whatever it is you want to use from the wall plug, and power it by the generator directly, with extension cords and a fused strip. Most houses exceed the limitations of the average small generator anyhow.
We are 24 years without commercial power, and have done everything from kerosene lamps to solar photovoltaic. For the really heavy stuff we have a selection of generators, the largest being a Kohler 8 kw that runs on propane. If you have questions, I'll try to get back to this post.
-- Mary (CAgdma@nothome.com), October 31, 1999.
And remember, down the line (pun), if and after Y2K is history and you have sold your house with a generator included as part of the property, if something bad happens due to your dangerous wiring, YOU CAN AND PROBABLY WILL GET SUED!!! Please, please, don't take shortcuts on this kind of stuff!
Mary: Do you like to mudwrestle?
-- King of Spain (email@example.com), October 31, 1999.
YEP and not only will youget sued by the person damamged, but by whoever bought the house from you.
-- Chuck, a night driver (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 1999.
OK, OK, You convinced me. I'll buy the transfer box.
Actually my neighbor convinced me. He jury rigged his generator to his dryer connection this weekend. Fried part of his house. His genset takes a male 4-connector twist on plug. He got a nice fat 4 wire cable and wired it to the twist on plug. Then he got a dryer plug and cable with three wires. Soldered the three wires to the four wires, covered it with tape, and plugged it in. Threw the main, turned off everything but the dryer breaker and a few lights and cranked it up. POP POP POP.
-- ng (email@example.com), November 01, 1999.
Just one more comment: if you try to run your whole house through the dryer circuit, you'll likely overload the wire from the dryer outlet to the main panel. There's a good possibility this will cause a fire, when the wire from the dryer to the panel gets hot, since the wire is not protected by its circuit breaker, because the juice is going through the wire BEFORE it gets to the circuit breaker.
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
-- Al K. Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 1999.
I'm tempted to NOT post anything about this. Afterall, we're flat out of sabretooth tigers and the gene pool is in need of repair. But...
DO NOT MAKE UP A CORD TO GO FROM YOUR GENNY TO YOUR HOUSEHOLD WIRING UNLESS IT PASSES THRU A UL APPROVED TRANSFER SWITH. THE CORDS ARE CALLED "SUICIDE CORDS" FOR GOOD REASON.
Then too, if you burn up your house doing this your insurance will NOT cover it. It's okay to run extension cords off the genny and plug your appliances into those.....DCK
-- Don Kulha (email@example.com), November 01, 1999.