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Old 11-16-2012, 09:34 PM   #1
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


I have a 8000/6500 Honda generator that I am using to power our water pump and the cabin.

I have an extension cord with four wires and a power line that runs to the cabin with three wires. And I wired those three wires to the four wire extension cord, then plugged that into the generator on the side that says 120 volt and 240 volt.

Everything in the cabin came on as I turned on the switches. Then in the closet of the only bedroom, one of the lights flickered and went out. Then you could hear some zapping noise, and everything went out. But there was no breaker kicked anywhere. ??? And the generator was running harder than it should have been.

What did I do wrong? What do I do next?

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Old 11-16-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


Without knowing how you connected the wires we can't say. Sounds like it could have been a wiring issue in the bedroom, possibly a loose connection or arcing short.

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Old 11-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #3
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


Look for smoke from the ensuing fire caused by that short. Placing a load on a genset, and causing it to ramp up, means that you are causing damage to the Rectifier & resistor in the unit.

You really need to wire up a proper connection for the genset, vs. running a bunch of extension cords that are probably not any good.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:20 AM   #4
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegrapes View Post
I have a 8000/6500 Honda generator that I am using to power our water pump and the cabin.

I have an extension cord with four wires and a power line that runs to the cabin with three wires. And I wired those three wires to the four wire extension cord, then plugged that into the generator on the side that says 120 volt and 240 volt.

Everything in the cabin came on as I turned on the switches. Then in the closet of the only bedroom, one of the lights flickered and went out. Then you could hear some zapping noise, and everything went out. But there was no breaker kicked anywhere. ??? And the generator was running harder than it should have been.

What did I do wrong? What do I do next?

can you clearify the part the three wire is that from the POCO ( Power Company ) ?? and do you have breaker box in your cabin ??

I just hope that you are NOT backfeeding the generator power back to uility system which that is super dangerous.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


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Without knowing how you connected the wires we can't say. Sounds like it could have been a wiring issue in the bedroom, possibly a loose connection or arcing short.
I agree. It sounded like a short in the ceiling when the light went out.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Look for smoke from the ensuing fire caused by that short. Placing a load on a genset, and causing it to ramp up, means that you are causing damage to the Rectifier & resistor in the unit.

You really need to wire up a proper connection for the genset, vs. running a bunch of extension cords that are probably not any good.
This is a top-notch cord from Lowe's that is even bigger than it calls for. It sounds like there is a short in the ceiling, not in the wiring. And I haven't found any breakers that have gone off or any burns or shorts so far. But I thought I heard a short!
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #7
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
can you clearify the part the three wire is that from the POCO ( Power Company ) ?? and do you have breaker box in your cabin ??

I just hope that you are NOT backfeeding the generator power back to uility system which that is super dangerous.

Merci,
Marc
We're not on a power grid. Strictly runs from a generator. We do have a breaker box in the cabin. We're not backfeeding.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


Does not matter what the gauge of the cord is. What you did was cause a situation that is putting more stress on the rectifier & resistor in the generator from the dead short somewhere. So keep doing it, and that cabin will no longer be off the grid, it will be on the ground in ashes.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #9
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Does not matter what the gauge of the cord is. What you did was cause a situation that is putting more stress on the rectifier & resistor in the generator from the dead short somewhere. So keep doing it, and that cabin will no longer be off the grid, it will be on the ground in ashes.
We aren't still doing it. lol. We stopped the connection as soon as it happened. Not that stupid.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


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We aren't still doing it. lol. We stopped the connection as soon as it happened. Not that stupid.
Purple,
Read some of the other threads in this forum. There's a reason that you'll see a lot of replies that begin: Turn off the main breaker! Use a multimeter to verify!
The poster was just exercising due caution. We wouldn't want to read a headline some day that says DIYer electrocuted after following online advice.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #11
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Need help using GENERATOR to bring power to cabin


Dave, if they are Off the grid, there is no main breaker. It would just be a panel full of breakers for the circuits, with no incoming power from a electrical grid.

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