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Old 10-15-2008, 02:17 PM   #1
rachilders
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Default Generator to house hookup

I've been told that you can plug a portable generator into one of your homes power outlets and it will power the homes other outlets.

The procedure was this: Run a line from the generator to one of your homes outlets after cutting the external power off at the homes main power box. You can then use the outlets in your home as long as you don't exceed your generators power rating.

Does anyone know for sure (especially one of you electricians) if this is true?



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Old 10-15-2008, 02:44 PM   #2
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That is incorrect. Power has to be distributed through the main feed in the electrical panel. Now, you can hook up a generator and run it to the panel via a switch gear (switching the source from main power to generator power), which could send the generator's power through each circuit throughout the house that goes through that panel.



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Old 10-15-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up. I thought there would be more to it than simply running a power cord from the generator to an outlet.

OTOH, it seems if I run power DIRECTLY to the fuse box, the procedure will work and it can be done fairly easily.

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Old 10-15-2008, 03:09 PM   #4
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Being from Longview, you must have heard that from someone in Henderson

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Old 10-15-2008, 06:48 PM   #5
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I was born in Longview

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Old 10-15-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
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Lots of Texans on the forum I've noticed. Never heard anything about the OP. Always heard of generator hooking into the main feed box.

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Old 10-15-2008, 07:09 PM   #7
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How does it hook to the main fuse box, is there a sort of plug or do you have to clamp bare wires?

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Old 10-15-2008, 10:27 PM   #8
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You can 'SAFELY' (Safe, but I didn't say up to code!) wire your generator into your breaker panel a couple of different ways...
The way you describe isn't one of them.

If you insist on using an extension cord (or two) just plug into the genset and run the cords in the house and plug in the essentials directly to the genset, Fridge, a couple of lights, cell phone charger, what ever else you might need to use....
------------


BUT,
To answer your question,
YES. You can simply run an extension cord from your generator using the traditional male plug and plug that cord into a standard outlet using a NON-Traditional male plug on the other end.

This is a BAD IDEA on may levels, but it will work.


First of all, an extension cord is just too small to conduct much current,
You run the very real risk of starting fires.

Secondly, The 'Male' end prongs sticking out on the house end are 'HOT'! This presents a very real electrocution hazard.

Third, With the current passing into the wall outlet, there is absolutely NO OVER CURRENT PROTECTION in the line anywhere!
Again, if you over tax that circuit, it has a real chance of heating up and catching fire!

For all practical reasons, you shouldn't consider doing things that way, and you should discourage others for even talking about it and spreading the idea!

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Old 10-15-2008, 11:29 PM   #9
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This is what you will need for a connector since the contacts incoming will be 'Hot' and have to be protected,
AND,
The socket going into your electrical system will have to be protected also, since they stand a chance of being 'Hot'...

You might not need one this large, but you will need something very similar.
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------

The safest way to connect your generator to a home breaker panel is with an 'Interlock' or 'Lockout'.

There are some different types, but mine looks like,
An electrical box you install before your main breaker box,
With two 'Main Breakers' side by side.
There is a metal bar that has a flat sliding 'Tab' on it that will only let you have one breaker 'ON' at a time.

One breaker is connected to the outside 'Grid' service,
The other is connected to the generator.

Very simple and practical, you simply CAN NOT have the Grid power and the Genset power on at the same time!
-----------------------------

This is a schematic/diagram of a 'Transfer Switch' for home generators.



And here is the web site I stole that from,
http://www.smps.us/transferswitch.html

Here are some sources, articles...
http://www.generatorjoe.net/ts.asp?gclid=CNzf09ewqpYCFQObFQodox2Ixg
http://www.ronhazelton.com/howto/home_generator_installation.htm
http://mayberrys.com/honda/generator/html/transfer.htm
http://www.gen-tran.com/
http://cvfsupplyco-store.stores.yahoo.net/mahogetrsw.html
http://www.steadypower.com/catalog/rc_intro.php?gclid=CISN1f2uqpYCFQIWFQodJ2jVyg

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Old 10-15-2008, 11:31 PM   #10
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Default Suicide Plugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
I've been told that you can plug a portable generator into one of your homes power outlets and it will power the homes other outlets.

The procedure was this: Run a line from the generator to one of your homes outlets after cutting the external power off at the homes main power box. You can then use the outlets in your home as long as you don't exceed your generators power rating.

Does anyone know for sure (especially one of you electricians) if this is true?

What you are describing is called a "suicide plug". From Popular Mechanics,


13. RE: 4 Steps to Power Your Home When the Grid Fails
NEVER use a suicide plug. FIRST if you forget to turn off the correct breakers, you can KILL a lineman. if you reverse polatity you can KILL a lineman. if you fail to properly ground everything you can KILL a lineman.. it's nowhere reasonable to risk someone life so you can look cool, just run a cord if you don't have the proper transfer switch, installed by someone that knows what an isolated ground can do.


A better solution is to have an electrician wire a transfer switch to your service. That will keep the lineman safe.

Thanks for bringing this question to the table.


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