Originally Posted by speedster1
...I admit I'm not that knowledgable about electrical systems. I'm just trying to understand and learn some things.
This is one of those things which has a *long* list of things to learn about! And when I make a list for something, like to go shopping, I always leave something off!
Anyway I will try to list the various issues / things to learn about...
First of all electrical codes/rules are not "wiring instructions to get it to work", rather many of those rules are for safety in case "something happens". An electrical malfunction, an unauthorized person is able to come along and flip a switch which causes a dangerous situation, future home owners might be placed in danger by plugging something in, etc.
And those rules have been created because of terrible things which have happened in the past. People have been electrocuted, homes have burned to the ground, etc.
So one thing to learn about is what all can go wrong...
-A wire becomes disconnected between the generator and the home's electric panel. What can happen if that wire is one of the hot wires? If a neutral wire? If a ground wire? (Or a combination of the above?)
If the neutral wire came loose between the house and the generator, is the generator wired to the house in a manner which could cause the metal frame of the generator to become energized? Perhaps a small child or animal touching the generator could become electrocuted?
-The power from the electric company goes out, you are not home. Other people in the house go to the electric panel and start flipping breakers / switches. Is there a possible way they could cause electricity from the generator to be sent out "backwards" on the electric company's lines? Might someone think a down power line near your house was not live, but in fact it is live (powered by your generator)?
-Ground loops and electrical "noise" caused by multiple grounds.
-Read about how a "main" electric panel has a neutral/ground bond, but a subpanel does not. Why is this?
-A generator with an integral GFCI and neutral/ground bonds on either side of that GFCI - The GFCI keeps tripping. Why is that?
-A generator can power 50 amps, then is connected to a house electric panel and in turn to a 75 amp load (things turned on in the house). How is the generator protected? Could someone other than you do this accidentally when you are not home?
-Could a generator be connected to a home's wiring system so that the 3rd grounding plug on outlets no longer functioned properly? Could this cause metal cases on appliances to become "hot" and electrocute someone touching them if there was a loose connection on one of the wires to the generator?
That is all I can think of. Basically overcurrent protection which protects the wires from becoming temperature hot and causing a fire. Protection from electrocution if any particular wire loses its connection or otherwise. Protection to keep the generator's electricity from going out on the electric company's power lines no matter who is flipping breakers or operating the generator. And problems with "ground loops".