30 amp generator hook up
A generator is a core tenerator to many people's emergency preparedness plans. Maybe you have a cool charcoal powered or a multi-fuel generator. However many fail to think through how exactly they will power the items they want to run when the grid is down. In June of my family experienced a 10 day power outage. It was eye opening.
Let me start by saying that the safest way of connecting a portable generator set or any other power source to a house wiring is via a transfer system. Fortunately, there are still some ways of energizing your house without a transfer switch, especially if you have a drier line. I personally would not recommend doing this. However, I realize that some people will do so anyway, so I have compiled here some information to help you do it technically right. Of course, this information generatog provided for general reference only without liability of any kind- this is not a professional advice! Remember, you can always use extension cords to feed stand-alone appliances. If you decided to go for it, be sure to observe the following basic rules and remember- you click it at your own risk.
Connecting Portable Generator To Home Wiring: 4-Prong and 3-Prong
Try to get the conduit hole as close to the panel as you can. Remove the front cover from the power inlet box. Remove a knock out and attach the PVC fitting. You can see here I opted for the water tight connector. Glue works just find too. Remove the cover on the conduit body. Pull the wires through one at a time attaching them to the plug as you go along. Use a large flat screwdriver or a nut driver to tighten the terminals. Green - Ground to the power inlet box. Push the wires through the conduit into the house one at a time.
Replace the conduit body cover, checking proper fit of the gasket. Remove one knockout and screw in conduit adapter or in my case a blue non metallic conduit adapter. The breaker interlock method requires the to most upper and right breaker space to be free. Generally you will need to move a breaker or two down. Most boxes will have enough spare wire to move things around a bit.
If you do not have enough room and your breaker is 30 amps or less you can use a short piece of insulated wire and a wire nut. DO NOT wire nut copper and aluminum wire together. They will corrode over time. You will need to pick up a wire splice at your local home store.
The red wire goes to one terminal on the breaker and the black goes to the other. Note: In a 2 wire home like mine - meaning no 3rd ground wire in the outlet box or the outlets in the home. It is acceptable in my jurisdiction to put the green ground wire to an open common terminal. It is not appropriate to use the ground wire for the common at the outlet. Now it is time to lock down that breaker from moving.
Install the retaining bracket. My retaining bolt was located between the main breakers and the 30 amp breaker. Turn the panel back over and install the sliding interlock bolts. Reinstall the panel with all the breakers in the off position. With the main in the off position turn the generator breaker to the on position. Ensure the interlock allows for the on position.
You may have to shift the position of the panel cover. Turn the generator breaker to the off position and drop the slide so it can not be turned on. Ensure the Main can be turned to the on position. Adjust panel cover if it will not.
If it does turn the breakers on one a at a time - with a 5 second delay between breakers. This will distribute the start up load. Attach decals included in your kit to your breaker box and the outside service box.
Avoid turning on HVAC, standard hot water heater and the stove unless your generator can handle it. As long as you can get past the initial start up load you can run a lot off of 30 amps.
Power off sequence:. Enjoy your set up. It has come in very handy for us. We can turn on overhead lights, wash clothes and keep our foo. Participated in the Apocalypse Preparedness Contest. Great Job pointing out the suicide plug.
Male to Male extension cords will kill you and burn down your house. Reply 4 years ago. You can follow a VERY simple procedure to not get electrocuted. Turn off power at the pole. Plug cable into receptacle and generator. Power up generator. No fires or electrocution unless you previously were a candidate for a Darwin award. Reply 5 years ago. Male-to-male plugs and cables cannot kill you unless you voluntarily unplug it with the power on!
Be sure you know what you are doing and prevent anyone from handling the system under operation. My system uses such cable and has been working since see my post above. With electricity you can have intrinsic safety. Male - male plugs are like just leaving insulation off wires hoping no one will touch both Raymond the problem with male to male plugs is not killing yourself but killing the linemen trying to restore power as you backfeed power into the grid. Don't use them, they are dangerous and in many areas illegal.
Illegal yes unsafe not if you follow proper procedures. Use the 20 amp generator plug in on a 20amp electric cord plugged into a 20 amp circuit plug and shut off the main circuit breaker. Agree with Raymond, since you not doing stupid things it's may be quick pragmatic solution. When you are down - it's not a time to drill a hole in a wall with a hand-drill huh?
In a generator scenario, this is very true. But I also want to point out that a male to male can be useful in some situations. In my previous home my tv was wall mounted. It was a code violation and just an all around no-no to fish the power cable down through the wall.
It made for a safe installation and also provided surge protection for my tv that way. I generally shudder when I hear or see people try to set up a generator for all the reasons you point out.
You did an excellent job and I like how you insure your generator is never tied into the grid. I have had no problems and my number one concern is not killing a lineman. Electrical generators can kill utility repairmen if powered on into the main. They must be isolated by a switch or breaker, and the main power switched out before the generator is powered on.
That is why a transfer switch is better than breakers because it is designed and built for multiple operations using a strong double throw knife switch. I also recommend locking the transfer switch to prevent accidental or un authorized operation.
Many transfer switches have special holes to fix the handle with a padlock. Power utilities may have laws that requires an inspection and certification before the homeowner can use a generator, and can apply heavy fines if the installation is done or used without their approval.
So easy to put that off because it will work without it but THAT is the killer if not done. Reply 6 years ago. My main breaker is not in the breaker panel but is mounted on the opposite side of the house.
How would you recommend I compensate for this? Don't use such a switch. Buy a transfer switch certified and rated for the purpose. The store SKU is The only problem with this is that the toggle switch would have to be listed and labeled for the application. I'm not sure you'll be able to find one. You can put a sub panel next to your breaker panel.
In between the two, you can wire a transfer switch. Wire the generator to the other line input. Wire the sub panel to the load output side.
Then move only the circuits that you want to be backed up by the generator from your original panel, to the new sub panel. Reply 7 years ago on Introduction. More by the author:. About: New content on my YouTube channel - consider subscribing! I heat with wood, fix broken things and love camping with my family.
I'm a closet solar nerd, enjoy auctions, not scared to dumpster dive and love hi… More About More Cowbell ». Note that if you rely on the cord for the grounding, obviously it will work only when this cord is plugged at both ends.
Be sure to do it before turning the genset on. In all cases double-check continuity between the frame and earth by an ohmmeter. To reduce risk, it is important to follow proper power-up and power-down sequences as described below. It provides a separate ground hole besides L1, L2 and N see diagram.
For our task it has the right number of leads, but a wrong geometry. To connect a genset to such a receptacle one can replace the socket in the generator cord by a 4-prong plug NEMA P.
This is a pretty much straightforward task. Then you need to follow the proper power-up and power-down procedures outlined above. If I had to do it, I would turn off the main circuit breaker, pull the drier receptacle off the wall, and disconnect all its wires. Then I would attach them to the generator cable one by one by using standard wire nuts with steel springs. The remaining green ground lead can be bolted to the metal wall box. I would also secure somehow the cable, so it would not be hanging on its leads.
Then you can remove the cover door. Remember that the panel may become energized from utility, so wear rubber gloves! Be sure your connection is downstream from main disconnect and not upstream, i.
Bond white and green leads to the neural bar and metal case respectively. Place a sign not to touch anything until genset is off. Turn off all individual breakers before starting up the genset to prevent its overload. Finally, turn on your unit and after it warmed up, activate those lines that you need, and do it one at a time. A final note. If your model is rated at watt or less, then most likely it provides only V. If needed, you can additionally move some key branches to that backed up bus by swapping the respective circuit breakers.
The information in this site is provided AS IS for technical reference only without guarantee and liability of any type , neither explicit or implicit. It expresses only a personal opinion of the author and does not constitute a professional or legal advice — see complete disclaimer linked below.
It is strongly advised that all the work be done by a licensed professional if you want to find one in your area or estimate the cost of the job- check out this site. This is by far the most helpful information I have found so far. Just a little confused though about the grounding. I have a 3 prong dryer receptacle which as I understand, has the neutral and ground bonded at the panel.
I have confirmed continuity from the the neutral to the ground on the generator at the twist lock connection. Is this the suggested method or do I need to either A. Run the ground wire to a metal pole in the ground or B. Based on your description, your genset probably has the neutral bonded to ground internally. If this is the case, you can just isolate unconnected green lead.
To be on a safe side, I would kill the mains, connect the genset via extension cable and check continuity from its frame to earth i. You need to be sure the frame is grounded, not just the twist-lock. This is all great advice, and information. A few years ago I back-fed V power from my Watt Colman through the ac circuit.
With the main off and the ac fuses pulled. After less than a minute I herd some pops, and could smell something cooking. I quickly shut down the generator and disconnected it. In the house I found burned capacitors, switches, and transformers. Later, doing a voltage check I found that one side of the generator receptacle was outputting V while the other 70V. Is a generator this much out of phase common?