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Old 07-10-2009, 04:42 PM   #1
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


Hi, this is my first post here (glad I found the site).

I have a Briggs & Stratton Portable Generator which has a 120/240 Volt AC, 30 Amp, Locking Receptacle. I have moved my air conditioner (which needed to be done for other reasons) and had them leave the 240 line in place. This is now going to be my generator hookup location. I purchased the steel plate that installs into the main breaker unit which isolates the generator from the public utilities. Finally I'm going to buy the power inlet box show below.

MY MAIN QUESTION: Is there a device I can plug into my 4-wire cord that will show me how many watts I'm using? This would be very helpful as the generator only generates 8000 watts. I'd rather not go around adding wattage's of everything because some things are hard to calculate when it's running "whole house" with only certain breakers off. Does that make sense?

I'm also a little worried about the exposed prongs on this inlet box. Once I switch the generator over at the breaker... will those prongs be potentially deadly? (I'm more concerned about kids screwing around... you know how things happen).

Also, every box I find is rated for 7500 watts and my generator is 8000. Will that matter? Especially with my 13,500 starting watts. My friend turns over his 5 ton ac unit with the same generator I have so I'm hooping to do the same (we have similar houses). Unfortunatly he back feeds from his dryer which I think is dangerous.

Sorry for so many questions on my first post... ha!

Thanks a million


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Old 07-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


First things first. How many wires do you have at your A/C disconnect. What type and what size?

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #3
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
First things first. How many wires do you have at your A/C disconnect. What type and what size?
Well I know it has four wires.
However I'm not sure of the type and size. It's the standard 240 line they put in houses built in 1993 (North Florida) I guess. It's in an insulated flexible electrical tube coming out from my house so it's hard to read writing on the actual wire. I can do it if needed.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


If you post a link to the gen's spec's we can answer questions you haven't yet asked.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #5
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


Excellent idea!!! Thanks sooo much guys.

Briggs and stratton's web site appears to be down but these links show decent specs I think. I'll keep trying briggs's web site and post the official link (if I can find it)

I've owned the generator since last hurricane season.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...3632_200373632

http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....0210/p887.html

http://www.peakpowertools.com/Portab...p/gbs30210.htm


(actually I remember having that 240 ran a few years ago for a hot tub... later turned ac unit. The line is probably 8 years old. I remember because I was home waiting for the electrician when 9/11 happened. He still showed up too.)

Last edited by deeze; 07-10-2009 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


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However I'm not sure of the type and size. It's the standard 240 line they put in houses built in 1993 (North Florida) I guess.
There is NO such thing as a "standard 240 line".
240 is the voltage, and is only half the equation. It is the amperage that determines the size of the wire.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


Oh, and no, the exposed prongs will not become energized. That's an inlet, not an outlet.
That is the whole point of the interlock.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Oh, and no, the exposed prongs will not become energized. That's an inlet, not an outlet.
That is the whole point of the interlock.
I'm just cautious because it's a 240
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:27 PM   #9
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
There is NO such thing as a "standard 240 line".
240 is the voltage, and is only half the equation. It is the amperage that determines the size of the wire.
Okay... is there a need for me to remove some of the flex tube and identify the cable? It will be a small pain but I'll do it if there's good reason.

Also, is there a way to attach a device that will show me how many watts I'm using? That would be sooo helpful. I have one for regular wall outlet plugs.

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Old 07-10-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


Quote:
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I'm just cautious because it's a 240
I am not sure what that has to do with it.

The point it, that is an inlet. The power from the genset cord feeds IN to those prongs, and then on to the panel to feed it with the genny power. The interlock at the main panel (anti-backfeed device) prevents any chance of those prongs becoming energized (backfed).
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:44 PM   #11
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I am not sure what that has to do with it.

The point it, that is an inlet. The power from the genset cord feeds IN to those prongs, and then on to the panel to feed it with the genny power. The interlock at the main panel (anti-backfeed device) prevents any chance of those prongs becoming energized (backfed).
The point is I don't want to die by touching it... which is why I asked. You know, being cautious because I'm not an electrician I like to play with regular household wiring but 240's scare me...

When you say the "interlock" you're referring to the metal plate that prevents the "Main" and the "gen breaker" being on at the same time right? I aslo have an emergency disconnect out where the generator will be installed so that's assuring. Will go from main panel to emergency disconnect to power inlet box to generator.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:34 PM   #12
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


The interlock is a connection from your generator to your emergency panel. Normally this connection is made on the exterior of the house just outside from the where the emergency panel is. (If I am understanding the situation correctly).


The transfer switch is located in the emergency panel. That's the other interconnection that Petey was also talking about. I'm tired I guess.
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Last edited by Magnettica; 07-10-2009 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:43 PM   #13
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


What is the rating of the breaker for the old AC wires?
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:02 AM   #14
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What is the rating of the breaker for the old AC wires?
The rating of the breaker in this case wouldn't matter. What is important is the horsepower and voltage rating of the air conditioning condensing unit. If the locked rotor amp rating exceeds that of the generator you'll burn that generator coil out in no time.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:47 AM   #15
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8000/13500 Watt Generator House Hookup Questions


I was curious because he is using the old AC wiring to backfeed the panel. He's not using a transfer switch and emergency panel, just a mechanical interlock at the panel.

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