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Old 10-11-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


I am interested in installing a dedicated outlet on my house in order to use a portable generator without running an extension cord into the house. I want to be able to plug the extension cord from the generator directly to the side of the house to get electricity at a dedicated interior outlet. Can I install an exterior outlet on the house wired to an interior outlet to accomplish this? I am also interested in doing this from my RV. I have batteries and an inverter installed in my RV and want to install a dedicated outlet from the inside of the RV to the outside of the RV so I can run an extension cord into the house on a (separate from the other) dedicated exterior and interior outlet as outlined above. Any input would be appreciated.

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


For the first case, to prevent mishaps use a weatherproof, probably male, connector on the outside of your house that is mechanically incompatible with commonly available 120/240v sockets and plugs.
It needs to be rated at the voltage and current it will be seeing.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

Even just running 12v from a vehicle battery into your house may be useful for emergency lighting. It can run a 12v, 100w incand. bulb for 3 hours.

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Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-11-2009 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


You need to install an INLET on the outside of the house. If you used an outlet you would need a cord with two male ends, commonly refereed to as a "suicide cord" for good reason.

Here is an example. There are many other size and styles.

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Old 10-12-2009, 12:20 AM   #4
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


"Suicide cord" never heard them called that before.

Good one!
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:38 AM   #5
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


I would suggest to connect the generator at the house main service panel via a manual transfer switch or lockout bracket.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Thank you for the replies. Before I reply here is some background of my situation. I have been living off grid (and will not be tied to the grid in the future) on generators for the past year and am setting up an interim off-grid system in my RV (where I live and work while I am finishing the house) and want to get that power into a couple of rooms of the house. I have 8 golf cart batteries and a 1000 watt 20 amp inverter installed in my RV (with a dedicated outlet inside the RV) in order to run my computer, satellite internet, small fans, etc., and will be installing 800 watts of solar panels on top of the RV early next year. The batteries are now being charged with a 5500 watt generator hardwired to the RV. I run an extension cord from the inverter through a window of the RV and into a window of the house to get electricity inside the house. I want to make this easier by installing dedicated outlets on both the RV and the house. As another interim solution for the house, I also have a 5500 (20 amp) and a 6000 watt (30 amp) portable generator to run the well pump and also run some things in the house such as the clothes washer, etc. I am getting power from the generators into the house by running an extension cord through the dryer exhaust. I recently had propane added to the house, so I want to hook up the clothes dryer next month and will need the exhaust and another way to get the extension cord into the house without having to use a window. I am a woman and have done some basic wiring but am still learning and want to wire this myself. So, in the case of the portable generators, you are saying that an inlet goes on the outside of the house and a regular outlet in the inside of the house, correct? What sort of extension cord would I use for this setup? Regarding the suggestion of connecting the generator to the main service panel, I was planning to get a larger propane (all my generators are gas) generator in a year or so in order to connect it permanently to the service panel, but didn't want to do it with a portable generator as I wheel it around the property to use for other things. Plus, I don't have a way to house the generator yet while it is running. In the case of the RV power, the inverter is set up next to an accessible wall and is not hardwired, and the RV is next to the room I want to power up, so I need to somehow have a set up where I can plug into the inverter inside the RV. So, how can I do this? Sorry for the long dissertation and thanks again for any help.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


My first post still stands. You need an inlet. The inlet can tie directly into the home distribution panel.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #8
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Okay, that sounds great, but what sort of extension cord do I use to get to the generator? Or do I need an adaptor of some sort?
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Quote:
Originally Posted by iabteri View Post
Okay, that sounds great, but what sort of extension cord do I use to get to the generator? Or do I need an adaptor of some sort?
Depends how far you are from the generator.
You need a hard service cord, at least 10 gauge the length needed(sticker shock)
A female twist lock end to match the inlet Joed posted, and an end to match the generator.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:51 PM   #10
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


I've been using a regular 50 ft. 12 gauge extension cord. I see I will need an adaptor for the inlet. I like the idea of wiring the inlet directly to the service panel as it is in the laundryroom anyways and convenient to the generator position. Insofar as getting the battery power from the RV into the house, I could also plug the extension cord into this same inlet. Any suggestions on what I can do to plug into the inverter inside the RV from the outside of the RV?
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:56 PM   #11
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Generally you want load connectors to have male pins [because shorting them doesn't do anything] and source connectors to have female sockets [because it's hard to short them].

You want a 5% or less voltage drop on wiring. #12 is 1.6 milliohms/foot so 50' would be 160 milliohms for two conductors.
5% of 120 is 6v and 6/0.16 = 38A. This current will probably overheat the wire insulation unless it's Teflon, but it does meet the voltage drop req'mt.
Ampacity is a separate issue. For your cord's insulation and where the cord is routed it might be 20A.

Bolted connections are better than plug-and-socket because the contact resistance is almost zero.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-12-2009 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:12 PM   #12
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Inlets come in all different configurations. You should not need a new cord end if you buy the inlet to match the cord.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #13
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Okay on the inlet configuration. I think I will invest in a new #10 extension cord and use #10 wire for the inlet to the service panel, so I can utilize the 30Amp generator. I am careful not to overload anything as I've been running on limited power for so long, but it would be great to have the higher capacity in the house, especially if I'm hooked up to the service panel.

Insofar as my other wiring project, what sort of configuration would I set up to plug into the inverter (which has a GFCI outlet) inside the RV from the outside of the RV and then into this new inlet (via extension cord) hooked up to the service panel? Also, is there a conflict if there are GFCI outlets inside the house?
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:59 PM   #14
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


Quote:
Originally Posted by iabteri View Post
is there a conflict if there are GFCI outlets inside the house?
More than one GFCI in the same string of outlets makes for difficult troubleshooting when one of them trips.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:02 PM   #15
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Installing dedicated outlet for generator only


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