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Thread: Generator?

  1. #11
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    How are you planning on planning to power all this stuff. Are you just gonna run extention cords to everything or are you putting some kind of a transfer switch in?

    Being able to shift power around your house is a nice thing to have.
    Vox Populi!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkingporkpork View Post
    How are you planning on planning to power all this stuff. Are you just gonna run extention cords to everything or are you putting some kind of a transfer switch in?

    Being able to shift power around your house is a nice thing to have.
    Use breakers in your main panel. Turn items off and on as needed.

  3. #13
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    All good information! Thanks

    As for cooking and heating - these are already taken care of, wood fireplace and propane grill.

    As for some sort of a switch to change power from grid power to the generator vs. running extension cords to the desired locations - that is undecided at this point. Will probably start out with just extension cords, although a switch of some sort, or maybe a separate set of breakers and outlets woudl be nice, I just do not like doing electrical work myself and will not be able to afford to have this done initially.

  4. #14
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    I used to backfeed from a 5kW genny into outlets at my old house using "suicide cords" (two male adapters) like AverageJo mentioned. Wrote down the step-by-step instructions to do it safely, for both setting it up and undoing it when the power was back on. Not recommending it, just saying it can be done safely.

    Didn't know about them at the time but a better method, and cheaper than a generator transfer switch, would be adding a new circuit breaker dedicated for the generator and using a circuit breaker interlock.



    Either the utility main can be on or the generator backfeed circuit on, but not both at the same time. If I had to do it again I'd probably go that route. It's easy to add a new circuit breaker if there's room in the bottom of the breaker box, and cutting a piece of sheet metal to make a custom fit interlock between the top "main" and the bottom "genny" breakers wouldn't be too difficult.
    Last edited by marked; 02-16-2017 at 10:25 AM.
    Everything marked, everything 'membered. You wait, you'll see.

  5. #15
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    We have both bedrooms wired in, as well as the bathroom. With those outlets we can run lights, wireless router and smart tv. Well pump, freezer, fridge, stove and water heater wired in as well. Security system has battery back up and runs on cell signal. I think that if you have water, some lights, stove and food storage covered, you're good.

  6. #16
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    I would think the most efficient use of the generator would be to have a robust battery bank the feeds the house, then just periodically have the generator charge the battery bank.

    Joe - NY

  7. #17
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    Back feeding can be done in a safe way. I have done it myself. but its not for everyone, because done wrong It can burn your house down and kill people working on the lines. Best to stay away from it if you don't know what your doing.
    Vox Populi!

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by porkingporkpork View Post
    Back feeding can be done in a safe way. I have done it myself. but its not for everyone, because done wrong It can burn your house down and kill people working on the lines. Best to stay away from it if you don't know what your doing.
    I'm not sure the proper term for feeding the power panel through a dedicated breaker that locks out the incoming (Grid) breaker is considered Back feeding, but let me put my EE hat on and I have worked in the Power Generation and Transmission side of Electrical Engineering:

    1. If you plan to feed your home through your Dryer Electrical and you do not switch off the main incoming breaker from the "Grid", you will burn up your generator. Reason is that you will be attempting to power the entire neighborhood with your Generator, in fact you will be trying to power the entire "Grid" with your 5KW generator. Actually what will happen is the 50 Amp breaker that would normally be supplying your dryer with 240 VAC will trip. The chance of you electrocuting a lineman with doing so would only be true if your line to the "Grid" had broken and the lineman violated safety regulations by not grounding all phases to each other and to ground.

    2. Assume you did throw the main breaker to your home and were backfeeding through the dryer outlet, you would be limited by that 50 Amp breaker protecting the wire to your dryer, which is what breakers do they protect the wire, not the end appliance, in this case the dryer. So you have that same 5KW generator feeding through the 50 Amp breaker to the rest of the house, 50 X 240 = 12KW, so factor in a margin, and you can only have a 10KW generator max, probably not a problem for most of you planning to do this.

    Rancher

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by azrancher View Post
    I'm not sure the proper term for feeding the power panel through a dedicated breaker that locks out the incoming (Grid) breaker is considered Back feeding, but let me put my EE hat on and I have worked in the Power Generation and Transmission side of Electrical Engineering:

    1. If you plan to feed your home through your Dryer Electrical and you do not switch off the main incoming breaker from the "Grid", you will burn up your generator. Reason is that you will be attempting to power the entire neighborhood with your Generator, in fact you will be trying to power the entire "Grid" with your 5KW generator. Actually what will happen is the 50 Amp breaker that would normally be supplying your dryer with 240 VAC will trip. The chance of you electrocuting a lineman with doing so would only be true if your line to the "Grid" had broken and the lineman violated safety regulations by not grounding all phases to each other and to ground.

    2. Assume you did throw the main breaker to your home and were backfeeding through the dryer outlet, you would be limited by that 50 Amp breaker protecting the wire to your dryer, which is what breakers do they protect the wire, not the end appliance, in this case the dryer. So you have that same 5KW generator feeding through the 50 Amp breaker to the rest of the house, 50 X 240 = 12KW, so factor in a margin, and you can only have a 10KW generator max, probably not a problem for most of you planning to do this.

    Rancher
    yea I was talking back feeding strictly thru a dryer plug and opening up your main feed coming in from the curb and then using your dryer circuit as now your "main feed".

    But using a mechanical interlock/lockout would be a safe option I think if you can't wire in a separate panel and transfer switch
    Vox Populi!

  10. #20
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    Apr 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkingporkpork View Post
    yea I was talking back feeding strictly thru a dryer plug and opening up your main feed coming in from the curb and then using your dryer circuit as now your "main feed".

    But using a mechanical interlock/lockout would be a safe option I think if you can't wire in a separate panel and transfer switch
    Yes sir. I do this every time we loose power. So far it happened maybe 4 times in last 20 years. So as you can see it is an emergency setup. It works well as I don't have to deal with cords laying around the house. And most of the items in the house work. In fact I don't even think kids know that we don't have power. They are watching tv showered and worm.

    Agin please be safe.

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