Notices

Hurricane Prep Generator Help

Old 09-07-2017, 04:54 AM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,190
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default Hurricane Prep Generator Help

After the storm passes I will backfeed my breaker panel from my generator through my dryer outlet using a 3-prong dryer cord. Generator outlet cord is 240V, 4-wire that includes a ground. Dryer cord is 3-wire, with no ground. When splicing the two together, what is done with the ground wire on the generator supply? Do I simply find a good ground post or do I need to tie it in to the neutral of the 3-wire dryer cord?
Old 09-07-2017, 05:12 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 113
Likes: 0
Received 91 Likes on 49 Posts
Default

How are you going to properly isolate your house service from the grid? Back feeding the grid can be deadly to others. Just FYI. Be safe.
Old 09-07-2017, 05:17 AM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 3,048
Received 1,427 Likes on 812 Posts
Default

I'm not sure about the wiring but be extremely careful doing that. You have to turn your main breaker off or power will be sent out to the lines in the street. Also if power comes back on with the gen running you will have serious issues. My house has a dedicated plug for the gen and I double/triple check that the main breaker is off before starting it up. You may already know this but you'd be surprised how many people that don't.
Old 09-07-2017, 05:20 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 5,969
Received 434 Likes on 271 Posts
Default

Open the main breaker on the panel to disconnect from the grid

Feed the panel via a dedicated 20 or 30A double pole breaker.

Run all four wires to the panel and put ground and neutral on respective buss bars in the panel.

Be sure generator doesn't put carbon monoxide into the house

Don't refuel it hot

Open all the breakers in the panel and only close the few that you need--reefer, lights, etc.

Manage the load on the generator via the breaker panel.

Good luck and be safe!
Old 09-07-2017, 05:24 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 804
Received 92 Likes on 51 Posts
Default

Pull the meter before you back feed if you can. If cant then shut off the main breaker.
Old 09-07-2017, 05:25 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Middle Sound, NC
Posts: 9,384
Received 1,960 Likes on 1,239 Posts
Default

Open up your panel and look. Most modern panels you will find that the neut buss (including the dryer circuit) is directly connected to the ground buss inside the panel. If so, since electrically common, the neut and gnd are tied there. To be extra safe you can hammer a stake into the ground near the gen and tie gnd to that, or a lead from gennie chassis to the rod. Or run a fourth lead from chassis/gnd into panel and tie to gnd there.

And yes, suicide cords are certainly not per code and not intrinsically safe. You need to absolutely be sure that main to street feed is open and there are no other ties from panel to other sources. I have done several of these rigs after storms and some old houses have absolutely crazy wiring. We had some surprises.

Be safe!
Old 09-07-2017, 05:27 AM
  #7  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Heart of Dixie
Posts: 2,186
Received 174 Likes on 111 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Auburn1 View Post
After the storm passes I will backfeed my breaker panel from my generator through my dryer outlet using a 3-prong dryer cord. Generator outlet cord is 240V, 4-wire that includes a ground. Dryer cord is 3-wire, with no ground. When splicing the two together, what is done with the ground wire on the generator supply? Do I simply find a good ground post or do I need to tie it in to the neutral of the 3-wire dryer cord?
What you are proposing is the absolute worst way to make the connection. Follow what BouyScout wrote as you have to get off the grid otherwise you are powering the grid. People have died when a line that should be cold is actually hot due to a neighborhood generator. Pulling the meter is the best way but most do not know how to do it.
Old 09-07-2017, 05:37 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,318
Received 138 Likes on 75 Posts
Default

Be sure to drink a 6 pack before doing any of this
Old 09-07-2017, 05:42 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Odessa, FL
Posts: 639
Likes: 0
Received 157 Likes on 98 Posts
Default

Risk-reward matrix says: "Call a licensed electrician."
Old 09-07-2017, 05:47 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 337
Likes: 0
Received 63 Likes on 45 Posts
Default

You should have a switch box so that your generator doesn't send power to the outside. At least turn off the main breaker from the outside. Your generator could send power out to someone working on the power lines and possible kill them. There is huge legal risk if you do not have the proper setup for connecting a generator to your house.

Depending on your area there is an inspection tag on the meter. You would need to cut that tag off to pull the meter. Getting a new inspection tag should be easy but the electrical company can be a pain about it.
Old 09-07-2017, 06:55 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Near Columbia SC
Posts: 1,001
Received 770 Likes on 369 Posts
Default

Couldnt you also just feed both sides of the panel with 2 cords connected to outlets that are on breakers that are not on the same side?

I mean if we're gonna redneck it up lets do it right

Oh and if you have made an extension cord with male ends on both ends, be sure its plugged in on the house end before plugging it in on the generator cause its gonna be hot on the other end.
Old 09-07-2017, 07:00 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cape Fear, NC
Posts: 11,796
Received 2,620 Likes on 1,620 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Big_Luke View Post
Be sure to drink a 6 pack before doing any of this
*of water.
Old 09-07-2017, 07:02 AM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: De
Posts: 2,563
Received 601 Likes on 308 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Big_Luke View Post
Be sure to drink a 6 pack before doing any of this
Hold my beer and watch this!

Name:  maxresdefault.jpg
Views: 793
Size:  59.9 KB
Old 09-07-2017, 07:07 AM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,190
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by Scupperz View Post
Risk-reward matrix says: "Call a licensed electrician."
In a perfect world I would agree, but this is for after Irma destroys my house and I'm trying to save the food in my fridge so I can feed the family for a few days and have a/c in one room for sleeping. Just recalling my days after Andrew.

The main will be open, which I've got taped to the panel so I don't forget, and the meter will be pulled if damage is catastrophic. The only loads will be the fridge, a portable a/c, and a few lights; all controlled through the breaker panel.
Old 09-07-2017, 07:08 AM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,190
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by Corndog38 View Post
Open up your panel and look. Most modern panels you will find that the neut buss (including the dryer circuit) is directly connected to the ground buss inside the panel. If so, since electrically common, the neut and gnd are tied there. To be extra safe you can hammer a stake into the ground near the gen and tie gnd to that, or a lead from gennie chassis to the rod. Or run a fourth lead from chassis/gnd into panel and tie to gnd there.

And yes, suicide cords are certainly not per code and not intrinsically safe. You need to absolutely be sure that main to street feed is open and there are no other ties from panel to other sources. I have done several of these rigs after storms and some old houses have absolutely crazy wiring. We had some surprises.

Be safe!
Thanks!
Old 09-07-2017, 07:12 AM
  #16  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,292
Received 769 Likes on 418 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by back at it View Post
*of water.
Drink a 6 pack of beer and stand in water.
Old 09-07-2017, 07:19 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 550
Received 142 Likes on 75 Posts
Default

In an emergency situation like this where you can't get an electrician to wire an input plug and switch over properly wouldn't you be better off just running extension leads and power boards to the appliances you want to run off your generator? That's what we are doing if we loose power until I can get the house properly wired. It's safer IMHO.
Old 09-07-2017, 07:20 AM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: RI
Posts: 7,081
Received 1,139 Likes on 646 Posts
Default

There is no neutral in a 220 outlet only a ground (unless purposely wired with a separate neutral. IMO it is not a best practice to use ground as a neutral at the end of a circuit but many do it. The genny ground will serve no purpose. you do need neutral for 110 circuits to work.




Remember, neutral carries current, ground does not unless there is a short.


I have an outlet that I purposely wired to be 50 amps with a ground and neutral that I can back feed. I rarely lose power now so it is generally short term.


The proper "quick" way is to at least have an outlet properly wired for the load through a breaker. Proper steps but be taken to mitigate risk of death (main off, all circuits off including feed, plug in genny to house, start, turn on feed breaker then turn on circuits as needed).


If you are not comfortable with electricity I would have someone help who is.
Old 09-07-2017, 07:23 AM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Venice, Florida
Posts: 16,901
Received 625 Likes on 345 Posts
Default

Wheres Rwidman when we need him?
Old 09-07-2017, 07:36 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,787
Received 1,065 Likes on 568 Posts
Default

use one of these




.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.