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Old 06-03-2011, 12:57 AM   #1
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Portable Generator Wiring


I'm wanting to set up a portable generator for my home. This would be my first genny install, and need some advice as to materials I would need.

The attached image is one idea I have, and I don't recall where I got it from (I've had it a long time), that I believe is a simple subpanel with 2 breakers that would, with the use of a lockout, prevent any backfeeding, in that when the generator is running, the 60a would be off, while when the 30a is off, the 60a would provide the utility service.

This would be installed WITHOUT a transfer panel (the lockout would provide that duty), and it would be Manual, not Automatic.

In this diagram, an "inlet receptacle" would be used (what's an "inlet receptacle"?), and, per the diagram, does it attach somehow to the female (FM) and male (M) cord that goes to the genny?
  • What type of subpanel do I need: brand, 100a, Does it depend on the brand of the main panel, etc.?
  • What type of Cord is required? I've heard of an SO type Cord, but not sure what that is or if it applies?
I'm really concerned about the connection from the Inlet Receptacle to the FM end of the Cord. How is that made?

I need the material list (types of panels, cords, etc.) so I can determine what it's going to cost me.

* Click image to Zoom



Last edited by sirsparksalot; 06-03-2011 at 01:06 AM. Reason: adding image
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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Portable Generator Wiring


anyone? anyone at all!

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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Portable Generator Wiring


BTW: I forgot to mention that the sub will be running off a 60amp breaker in the MAIN.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Portable Generator Wiring


You are really going about this the hard way. Invest in a small generator panel with 6 - 10 breakers and wire it into your main panel. They have individual switches which in effect are transfer switches for each circuit. No backfeeding, no chance of energizing the panel with the generator. Then all you need is a 4 wire cord to plug it in. The big boxes carry them and they are available online. Around $250-400 depending on how many circuits you want to control.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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Portable Generator Wiring


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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
You are really going about this the hard way. Invest in a small generator panel with 6 - 10 breakers and wire it into your main panel. They have individual switches which in effect are transfer switches for each circuit. No backfeeding, no chance of energizing the panel with the generator. Then all you need is a 4 wire cord to plug it in. The big boxes carry them and they are available online. Around $250-400 depending on how many circuits you want to control.
I agree
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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Portable Generator Wiring


GE 860 SCUGEN
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Portable Generator Wiring


Your idea is fine.

Square D makes a small 4 space, 8 circuit generator transfer panel just as you show in your drawing. The interlock is built in. It's 60 amp on the mains and 30 amp for the generator side. The blue box store has it online for $100.

You do need a 4 wire cord, not 3 as you're showing. Neutral and ground are separated.

An inlet receptacle looks like the male part of a plug sticking out of the box. It's usually at an angle and protected from the elements. The female end of the generator cord will connect to it, usually via a twist lock plug. In effect, you are plugging in the house, about $50 or so.

You can buy ready made cords (rip off) or make your own. Try SOOW cable, it's the weatherproof version.

I have the same setup as your drawing. I've had no problems at all in the past few years running a 5000 watt Sears 10 hp generator.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:08 PM   #8
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Portable Generator Wiring


I agree with missouri much easier, we put this switch in 2 yrs. ago and my wife operates it. The isssue is the next person to use your system could back feed and hurt someone.
http://www.gen-tran.com/eshop/10Expa...oductCode=3028
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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Portable Generator Wiring


josall...thanks for the link. I couldn't remember the name of the mfg. but I've seen the panels at Lowes and Home Depot. I went another route with mine after a ice storm kept us in the dark for 4 days 3 years ago. I purchased a permanent standby generator with auto transfer switch.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:12 PM   #10
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Portable Generator Wiring


nice!
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:23 PM   #11
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Since there seems to be some misconceptions here. The Square D generator panel I mentioned, and use, has a built in interlock. It will not allow you to backfeed the main panel.

Unlike some of the "cover interlock kits" that are on the market, the interlock is securely attached to the breaker. It is also a full fledged subpanel and uses standard QO breakers, including GFCI and AFCI if you require.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
You are really going about this the hard way. Invest in a small generator panel with 6 - 10 breakers and wire it into your main panel. They have individual switches which in effect are transfer switches for each circuit. No backfeeding, no chance of energizing the panel with the generator. Then all you need is a 4 wire cord to plug it in. The big boxes carry them and they are available online. Around $250-400 depending on how many circuits you want to control.
MoBound, I'm pretty sure that what you describe is what I've shown in the drawing. How am I going about it the hard way?
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:54 AM   #13
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Portable Generator Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by josall View Post
The isssue is the next person to use your system could back feed and hurt someone.
I don't see how they could do that with the interlock system. This is actually a manual transfer system, but in no way could both the 60 & 30 amp breakers be on at the same time.

??
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
MoBound, I'm pretty sure that what you describe is what I've shown in the drawing. How am I going about it the hard way?
In your original posting you imply that you will be making this from bits and pieces instead of buying a commercial product.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:22 AM   #15
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Portable Generator Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post

In this diagram, an "inlet receptacle" would be used (what's an "inlet receptacle"?),


http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Contr.../dp/B000BQT47S

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