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Old 05-28-2008, 09:03 AM   #1
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Emergency Generator Question


Found this forum on google so am looking for some information. Well, Hurricane Season is here again and I have a portable generator hookup question. I want to back wire through my dryer outlet. Generator has a 4 wire 220 outlet and the dryer plug is 3 wire. Can I make an adaptor or is one available to convert 4 to 3 wire? Thanks

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Old 05-28-2008, 09:12 AM   #2
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You could do what you are suggesting but it is illegal. The problem is you can backfeed power out to the street and kill some poor lineman trying to restore your power. DON'T DO IT!

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Old 05-28-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Webbey1955 View Post
Found this forum on google so am looking for some information. Well, Hurricane Season is here again and I have a portable generator hookup question. I want to back wire through my dryer outlet. Generator has a 4 wire 220 outlet and the dryer plug is 3 wire. Can I make an adaptor or is one available to convert 4 to 3 wire? Thanks
This is unsafe and not advised. When you connect any form of generator/separate power source to your house, you have to provide a means to disconnect the utility source, i.e. a transfer switch. You do not want to create a situation where you can back feed the utility.

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Old 05-28-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
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Sorry, I didn't know it was illegal. I was planning on disconnecting the main breaker so it wouldn't go out of the breaker box before I started the generator. I just wanted to avoid the power cords from having to come into the house through an open window or door, and the cords around on the floor of the house in case of emergency.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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Emergency Generator Question


The problem with turning off the main breaker is that someone may forget to do it or turn it back on while the gen set is running. Result -- backfeed to the street and possible disaster! You need a transfer switch -- that will allow the gen set to supply the power or the utility to provide the power but not both at the same time. I know that transfer switch setups are expensive but much cheaper than living with the fact you killed someone or the lawsuit that would result from your negligence.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:13 AM   #6
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rjniles, I had another thought. Can I put a box on the outside of the house and another on the inside wall and just connect my power cable to the box on the inside and run cords in the house? That would not include the main box but still avoid the power cord from having to be run through a door or window. I can work around the cords on the floor in that respect.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:21 PM   #7
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Rather than getting involved with a box in and outside the house: the heavy duty plugs , recepticles and cable get expensive. Install a 3 inch PVC conduit thru the wall and install a cap on the outside. When you want to use gen set, remove cap and run cord or cords thru the conduit
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:27 PM   #8
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Or just do the RIGHT ting and install a transfer switch, or transfer panel, or main breaker interlock.

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