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tgc 04-30-2011 09:32 AM

Generator Connector Cable
I need a 30 Amp 220 V (4 wire) connection from a Generator to the a 50 Amp (220 V - 4 wire) RV Receptacle. I fully understand the dangers of backfeeding a panel and will kill the mains and also all the unnecessary sub circuits. The RV Receptacle is protected by a 50 Amp 220 Breaker and is fed with three (3) #6 Stranded and a #10 Solid Ground (Service Entrance Cable). My question is to temporary generator feeder line.

I have an abundance of #12 (3 Conductor, WITH Ground) Romex. Can I use TWO pieces of #12 and connect the Red's, Black's, White's and Ground's instead of buying some #10 wire. The 30 Amp connector for the generator will accept two strands fo #12 and I will be using a 50 Amp RV male plug.

I know that is this an oddball way to do it, but it seems to me that I have seen this done on high voltage, high amperage commercial feeders when you could not run the proper size.

Other than an oddball, is there anything UNSAFE about using two smaller conductors, paralled, to get a higher ampacity. This is done on home entertainment systems all the time.


jbfan 04-30-2011 09:53 AM

This set up is not code legal and very unsafe, and could end up killing someone!

Do it right or do not do it at all!

tgc 04-30-2011 10:02 AM

Thanks, Pirate, for your candid assessment of my project. Unfortunately, I can NOT install a proper standby system with a proper standby switch without extensive rewiring and also disconnecting the meter. Then, I would need to have a permit and an inspection. I AM capable of doing the job PROPERLY and have done such in the past, with four licensed electrical contractors on site and doing an interior rewiring upgrade. BUT, the local inspector and the Codes do not give me the leaway for such and several local Licensed Electrical Contractors state that the cost would be prohibitive and that my solution, following proper disconnect protocols would be safe...and they have similar arrangements at their own residences. NOW back to the question....

Perhaps, if I rephrased the question....I need a 30 Amp 220 V (4 wire) EXTENSION cable. Can I use TWO lengths of #12 Romex rather than one length of #10 Romex, assuming that the connections are tight and the individual conductors are properly polarized and connected.


frenchelectrican 04-30-2011 10:32 AM


For the last statement you mention double up #12's the answer is no Jamais do that at all.

I rather do this in correct safe way than try to double up the only time the code will allow double up when you get much larger conductor #1 or larger so just do it in correct way and you mention you have the electrician there then you should talk to them.


Jim Port 04-30-2011 03:40 PM

To the family of the lineman or anyone else I may have killed I apoligize. It was too much work to do it correctly. Hopefully your auto mechanic doesn't feel the same way about fixing the brakes on your car. :furious:

Red Squirrel 04-30-2011 03:53 PM

What I would do is hire a pro to install a cut off switch after the meter, so he'd be able to get it pulled and all that jazz. That job is rather simple so don't think it would cost that much. With that cut off now installed, you could go ahead and install a transfer switch and proper wiring after the cut off.

A cheaper option is to make an interlock system. Basically a mechanical method to stop the main and the backfed breaker from being on at the same time. Technically it has to be "approved" and all that, but if you want to stay on the cheap at least make one. When the power goes out suddenly it creates a bit of "excitement" and you may forget to turn the main off when you go start the generator.

sparks1up 04-30-2011 05:48 PM

Paralleling small wiring as you are contemplating is not legal or safe and quite honestly ridiculous to even consider. When you say stuff like that here nobody is going to take you seriously! Remember, this may be a DIY site but many of the people answering the questions posed are professionals trying to help you do it right and safe and when you say something stupid your going to hear about it! Please consider the lives of others and read on.

There are several companies out there that now make affordable interlock kits that can be installed on your existing panel (depending on the configuration) that will effectively lock-out the main and generator feeds to the panel making it so you cannot have both on at the same time.

If your main breaker is in your panel or if a main breaker can be installed in your panel this might work for you and be completely legal. Then all you need is a power inlet receptacle to plug your generator into. Check this link, but this is not the only game in town so shop it around and find an electrician that can make it work!

Missouri Bound 04-30-2011 06:40 PM your words "I cannot install a proper standby system" Then A. don't do it...or B. hire someone who can do it.
And a "proper" system can be installed in a matter of hours, by someone who knows what they are doing, and obviously that's not you. And if you think my words are harsh wait until the power company finds your illegal hookup.

AllanJ 04-30-2011 07:19 PM

You can run two thinner conductors paralleled instead of one fatter conductor for connecting loudspeakers to amplifiers but not for electrical current.

Check with your city inspector to see if an interlock kit with sliders or levers or cams is legal in your city. Also the kit has to fit your make and model of panel.

You can install a subpanel next to your main panel, move critical circuits to that subpanel, and put a smaller transfer switch between the main panel and the subpanel. This does not require coordinating with the power company. The generator will feed only the circuits in the subpanel.

If you need an expensive remodel (such as a whole-house transfer switch upstream of the main panel) to hook up the generator and do not want to spring for the money, leave the generator standing alone and get extension cords to plug refrigerators, recreational vehicle, and other appliances into the generator manually when you have a power failure.

Saturday Cowboy 04-30-2011 09:25 PM

we are not being mean, this is very dangerous. :eek: Please contact someone who is licensed. I don't care if you think you know how to do electrical-YOU DON'T. That much is obvious.

a7ecorsair 04-30-2011 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by tgc (Post 639612)
I AM capable of doing the job PROPERLY and have done such in the past,

So why the posting for help?:huh:

beenthere 04-30-2011 10:03 PM

This is a DIY site. Not a how can I recklessly endanger others site.
Since you want advise that is not safe, Thread closed.

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