10/3 Or 8/3 For Generator - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
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10/3 or 8/3 for generator

Hello Pro's

I am in the middle of my generator panel backfeed project. I wanted your advise on if i should use 10/3 or 8/3 between the breaker panel and the inlet.

From what I understand, 10/3 would normally be fine but here is the layout. From the breaker to the inlet is about 40 feet. Then an additional 25 foot 10/3 cable from inlet to generator.

So total distance from breaker to generator will be 65 feet. So would going 8/3 from inlet to panel do anything to prevent loss of amperage? or should I just stick with 10/3 because the loss will be minimal anyway?

Also, if I do go 8/3, is it OK to connect to a 30 amp breaker, or MUST 8/3 always connect to a 40 amp breaker? Thanks in advance!


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Old 12-03-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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I had the same question in my post and my total run was almost 80 ft. From the answers I got, 10/3 should be fine. I was told to use 8/3 if in the future I was going to upgrade to a larger generator.

With regards to the breaker size, as long as you don't put a higher amp breaker than what the wire is rated for, you're fine.

But I think what your getting at is since your gen probably has the 30 amp twist lock plug, you want a 30 amp breaker even if you use 8/3.


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Old 12-03-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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exactly. I would much rather have a 30 amp breaker instead of a 40 because if the breaker flips, I would prefer to go to the basement instead of having to go outside to the generator.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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AdamBNYC, 10/3 is FINE for your installation. #8 would work but it overkill.
You can put #8 on a 30A breaker, no problem
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
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