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Old 07-04-2012, 08:37 PM   #16
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rewiring a portable generator


Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
Imagine what would happen if the jumper that energizes both poles were to be in the circuit while the utility power was on......

The only legal way to backfeed a panel with a generator is to make it physically impossible for both the utility and generator breakers to be on at the same time.

Rob
that would never happen with an interlock kit. The main would be off

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #17
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rewiring a portable generator


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Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
that would never happen with an interlock kit. The main would be off
True. An interlock kit makes it physically impossible to have both breakers on at the same time.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:50 PM   #18
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rewiring a portable generator


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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
I'd just wire it to both poles of a double pole breaker.
Hopefully some electrician will be along shortly to say why this is a bad idea, or maybe not?

My thoughts--
First, would it damage any 240 appliances to have the same leg on both sides of the load? Maybe now you've introduced any addition point of failure if you're having to remember to throw your double-pole breakers off...

Second, if you have multi-wire branch circuits with a shared neutral, those rely on the two hot's being opposite. By keeping both the same you will potentially overload the neutral--in this case the generator is capable of putting out 20-25A, which means a 15A MWBC could have an overloaded neutral

Third, what happens when the next guy shows up and doesn't take the time to understand this setup and makes a mistake?

It's better to do things correctly and safely then take short cuts--if you're in the dark in a storm, OK take a short cut to make the lights work and the fridge cold... but here you've got time to think and plan. You're intentionally doing things wrong over a matter of maybe $100-200 difference in what you'd pay for a replacement generator after selling the one you've got.

Or, if you wanted to keep this one, you could just do the single-pole interlock with one 30A breaker in the panel (and the next space empty) run out to an L5-30 inlet. Then you'd want to re-arrange your breaker box to be sure that your generator loads are all on the same buss----actually, that probably isn't code legal either? What happens to your 240V appliances if they have a single leg of power and not the other? Maybe you accidentally end up back feeding the other side of the buss through your stove or dryer?
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:54 PM   #19
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rewiring a portable generator


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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
I'd just wire it to both poles of a double pole breaker. Again, make sure you have an interlock kit on the panel, flipping this breaker on while the main breaker is on would create quite the light show in your breaker panel.
So you would take the hot and wire it directly to one pole, then put a short jumper from that pole to the other pole? That would basically power the entire circuit box with 110V and up to 30 amps?
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #20
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rewiring a portable generator


Quote:
Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
So you would take the hot and wire it directly to one pole, then put a short jumper from that pole to the other pole? That would basically power the entire circuit box with 110V and up to 30 amps?

Yes, but you probably can't put two wires under the same lug of the breaker, so you'd probably have to use two short pigtails to connect to each leg of the breaker.

It'd be the easiest way without rewiring the generator and for the few short times it would be needed in the event of a power outage.

It would be worth looking into if any MWBC's are installed, that would of course be an issue. 220 volt appliances won't be a problem, they'd just see 0 volts. It'd be the same as putting 2 single pole breakers for a 220 appliance on the same leg of a utility fed panel, measuring between the same leg will result in 0 volts. Only the 120 volt parts of the appliance would work in this case.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Yes, but you probably can't put two wires under the same lug of the breaker, so you'd probably have to use two short pigtails to connect to each leg of the breaker.

It'd be the easiest way without rewiring the generator and for the few short times it would be needed in the event of a power outage.

It would be worth looking into if any MWBC's are installed, that would of course be an issue. 220 volt appliances won't be a problem, they'd just see 0 volts. It'd be the same as putting 2 single pole breakers for a 220 appliance on the same leg of a utility fed panel, measuring between the same leg will result in 0 volts. Only the 120 volt parts of the appliance would work in this case.
Thanks for the info. I don't know if I have any MWBC's. How could I tell?
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
Thanks for the info. I don't know if I have any MWBC's. How could I tell?
Excluding your known 240V appliances--if you see any breakers next to each other in panel where one has a black wire and one has a red wire, they may be a MWBC. If you have NM wiring (romex) you can look for 12/3 and 14/3 entering the panel, that's usually a sign of it.

My kitchen uses MWBC for the circuits under the sink--dishwasher, disposer, kick panel heater. When re-wiring the existing ~65 year old circuits the electrician decided to put some of the old circuits into J-boxes and feed with 14/3, the result is that I've got 4 old circuits which form two MWBC (plus the kitchen ones, so a total of about 3-4 I suppose).

Depending on how much of a stickler your AHJ and electrician are, you may (should really) have a handle tie between any MWBC so that they both trip and are turned off at the same time.

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Last edited by bubbler; 07-04-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbler View Post
Hopefully some electrician will be along shortly to say why this is a bad idea, or maybe not?

My thoughts--
First, would it damage any 240 appliances to have the same leg on both sides of the load? Maybe now you've introduced any addition point of failure if you're having to remember to throw your double-pole breakers off...

Second, if you have multi-wire branch circuits with a shared neutral, those rely on the two hot's being opposite. By keeping both the same you will potentially overload the neutral--in this case the generator is capable of putting out 20-25A, which means a 15A MWBC could have an overloaded neutral

Third, what happens when the next guy shows up and doesn't take the time to understand this setup and makes a mistake?

It's better to do things correctly and safely then take short cuts--if you're in the dark in a storm, OK take a short cut to make the lights work and the fridge cold... but here you've got time to think and plan. You're intentionally doing things wrong over a matter of maybe $100-200 difference in what you'd pay for a replacement generator after selling the one you've got.

Or, if you wanted to keep this one, you could just do the single-pole interlock with one 30A breaker in the panel (and the next space empty) run out to an L5-30 inlet. Then you'd want to re-arrange your breaker box to be sure that your generator loads are all on the same buss----actually, that probably isn't code legal either? What happens to your 240V appliances if they have a single leg of power and not the other? Maybe you accidentally end up back feeding the other side of the buss through your stove or dryer?
I agree with you. Too many unknowns to risk doing something stupid. I will probably just backfeed one leg with 110v from the genset until I get another generator that can do 220. I'd prefer to keep with code.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
I agree with you. Too many unknowns to risk doing something stupid. I will probably just backfeed one leg with 110v from the genset until I get another generator that can do 220. I'd prefer to keep with code.
What happens to your 240V appliances if they have a single leg of power and not the other? Maybe you end up accidentally back feeding the other side of the panels buss through your stove or dryer?
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:26 PM   #25
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What happens to your 240V appliances if they have a single leg of power and not the other? Maybe you end up accidentally back feeding the other side of the panels buss through your stove or dryer?
I don't have any 220v circuits. All my appliances are gas or 110.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #26
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rewiring a portable generator


It seems there has to be a way to get a full refund on this unit. It was falsely advertised.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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rewiring a portable generator


I had an interesting conversation today with a Cabelas customer service rep. I decided I would call them and retell me story and see if I get a different outcome this time. I told the lady I had purchased the generator some time ago and told her how I later found out the generator was not what they had advertised. I told her about my conversation with the previous CSR and the emails I had sent where they acknowledged they flubbed the listing. She was surprised that they hadn't worked with me when I originally called about it. She said that due to the large amount of time that have passed since the original purchase they normally wouldn't accomodate a request like this but because it was their original listing fuex pas and the fact that the generator has never been started or even had gas in it they were going to take it back off my hands. They are going to have UPS stop at my house to pick the generator up (which I'm sure is not cheap). They will then either offer me a merchandise credit that I can use at a later time ( I checked the receipt and I paid $299 + tax at the time). She said if I want to order I new generator I can just pay the difference.

So this time the customer service was much better than the previous call.

Only problem now is that I don't really see an ideal generator that I'd like to get from them. THe only two I'd consider are the Champion 5500 Watt shown here http://www.cabelas.com/product/Champ...h-All+Products but unfortunately it looks way overpriced when compared to comparably spec'd generators from other stores. The other 240V generator they sell in my price range is the Generac 3250 http://www.cabelas.com/product/Campi...3Bcat104356980 which is 240V but is even less power than the model I'm returning. It sells for $469 which I'm fine with as far as price is concerned. I guess as long as it can run my fridge and some lights I'll be happy. I've heard Generac makes decent generators. I'd really like to find something in the 5500 watt range that sells for around $400-$600.

So I'm not sure what i should do. Maybe buy a kayak with the merchandise credit and then buy a generator somewhere else. lol
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #28
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Quick update. I sent the Champion back to Cabelas and got a $328 credit. Purchased a Generac GP6500/8000 which should be plenty powerful for almost everything (minus my AC). Best part is I got it from Home Depot for $499 instead of the $799 it normally sells for. Now I just need to wire that L14-30 into my new panel and install the interlock kit. Overall a pretty nice upgrade, $200 difference in cost after tax.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:09 AM   #29
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Buy a Honda!
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:39 PM   #30
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Buy a Honda!
Whats a 6500/8000 Honda cost? $2000? Not sure what you do for a living but too rich for my blood considering it will only get used 1-2 times per year at most.

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