Transfer switch (or lack of one)

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by tac803, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. tac803

    tac803 Well-Known Member

    Lacking a transfer switch, If I pulled the main on the circuit breaker box and fed the power from a generator through an exterior plug, What could go wrong?
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    That will work, just have to be cautious not to turn on the switch when energized with your genset, you can electrocute a linesman working on the system down stream.

  3. tac803

    tac803 Well-Known Member

    Understood...It would have to be locked out for safety. Just keeping options open with temps in the single digits for the forseeable future....might have to improvise. Thanks or the quick response.
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    that's basically how I do it :D
  5. nj_m715


    I've done it and I posted a pic of my adapter cord the last time we talked about this. It's just a short cord with two male ends. As already stated be careful or you could get shocked.
  6. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    Your primary question has been addressed.

    Tell us about your generator and cord. How big is the generator and the cord you're connecting to the house? You may be needing to add a couple more steps or change a couple parts to make yourself safe and have the generator do what's needed.

    E.g. If your cord and the plug on the house is 110v, you'll only be powering 1/2 of your breaker box. Make sure you turn off all 220v circuits.

    Lots of other thoughts but tell us about your genset and cord(s) first.
  7. tommu56

    tommu56 Member

  8. tac803

    tac803 Well-Known Member

    Generator is 3500 watt gasoline powered. Nothing remarkable...The only 220 I have is the stove, and we'd be using the back up gas stove in the basement. I'd basically be powering the refrigerator, freezer, and furnace motor, as well as one or two lights. Cord is heavy duty outdoor rated 20 foot grounded extension cord that I'm going to wire an outdoor rated male plug to what now has the female end, It would be plugged in to a 110 exterior outlet with GFCI.

    Thanks for all the quality responses!
  9. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    OK, you sound good. BTW, why are you using an electric stove if gas is available? I haven't checked lately but I thought gas was running cheaper then electric.

    Watch the motor start-ups. An ele motor starting up runs 2-3 times it's rated wattage. E.g. A fridge may be a 1/3-1/4 HP motor (which is pretty darn efficient), but... starting a 1/3 HP motor requires 2x the power to get it spinning. That means a fridge running a 1/3 HP motor will need 2/3 HP to get going (which equals 500 watts).

    On a side note, I was born/raised in W. NY. Lived mostly south of Buffalo but lived in Allentown for a couple years as well. I've never regretted the day I moved out of NY...
  10. PopPop

    PopPop Well-Known Member

    I made up a cord with a male 220v plug for my generator on one end and a male dryer plug on the other end. I lock out the main breaker and plug the cord in the generator and the dryer receptacle. This powers up the entire panel with 220 v. All circuits will be live and you have to be carefull that you do not overload the rated generator amps.
  11. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    If you back feed thru an out door recepticle you are limited to the amount of power that you feed thru that circuit, IE 15 amps normaly , but the breaker on that circuit won't see the load as per normal and won't protect the part between the fuse box and generator so care must be taken not to overload that circuit and create fire hazard. a breaker of the same size as the one in the breaker box should be added at the generator end. breaker at least resetable ones only work in one direction acurately
  12. aklavik

    aklavik Well-Known Member

    if you have 220 volt output on your genset feed it through your dryer plug, this will supply both sides of your panel, im not sure if your gfci plug will back feed with out tripping, and 120volts supplied through a plug will only feed one side of your panel so 50% of your breakers will be dead, just a heads up, im not a know it all.:)
  13. tac803

    tac803 Well-Known Member

    Running electric stove primarily due to the fact that it was there when we moved in:D. Prefer cooking with electric, but have the gas in basement for back up...Wish I could join you in being a former NY'er obligations preclude that for now.
  14. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    I was going to suggest making something like that. I've seen them on some of the power equipment I work on. I didn't realize that it came as a turn-key kit. I like it.