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Old 08-10-2009, 06:07 PM
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Default 220 generator plugged into dryer plug



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My Uncle retired from the electric company. He said that if you hook your 220 generator to the 220 dryer outlet that it would power the entire house...including the well...just remember to disconnect the main breaker for the house or the lineman will get a big surprise.

Any opinions on this?


--- Moderator Edit ---


If you want to wire in a generator, you should call an electrician and have it "properly" wired in by someone that is qualified to do the job.

This thread was closed because some of the advice posted in here could be dangerous.

Last edited by kev; 08-13-2009 at 02:55 PM..
Old 08-10-2009, 06:13 PM
bug-out-betty bug-out-betty is offline
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Its illegal in some places............
Old 08-10-2009, 06:28 PM
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A lot of people do this but like the OP said it is critical that you throw the main breaker so you don't risk killing a lineman half a mile away working on what he thinks is an unenergized line.

You may know what you are doing but let's say you kick the bucket and your stupid brother-in-law ends up with your generator and jerry rigged cable. He does not know better and uses the set up and kills someone.

For a few hundred dollars you can get an electrician in install a proper transfer switch
that WILL meet code and WILL keep your insurance comp happy.



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Old 08-10-2009, 07:18 PM
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Like others have said... Dangerous, possibly/probably illegal and not only could you injure/kill a lineman, you could also injure/kill your neighbor or family members if you don't pull the main disconnect and keep everyone away from the "suicide cord". Most people could do this safely, but there are some really stupid people out there...

That being said, it can/will work but you might not be able to power your whole house. It all depends on the output power of your generator and the load of your equipment/appliances. I've also heard of destroyed/burnt electronics from doing this, but have never seen it first hand. I have the equipment to hook our generator up this way, but so far, have never done it. Not even when we lost power for 3 days when Ike rolled through. We had enough water stored (didn't need the genny to power the well pump) and I used a HD extension cord to power the fridge for a few hours per day. I only ran the fridge for about 2 hours at a time, and only about 3 times per day.

Roger
Old 08-10-2009, 08:10 PM
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It will work great but it is a Very dangerous setup.
Dont take the chance of death of the poor fool out on the pole or the live male plug falling out of the dryer end and FRYING someone.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:21 PM
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If you have a suitable generator and if you have the knowledge to assemble a suitable cable this type of a setup can work. Dryer plugs are typically good for 50A 220V and are built with 6 Ga wire.

It might be a better idea to build a fool proof generator switching system. While I might elect to do the work my self, I think I would down load the schematics and purchase the switch in order to prevent my stupid brother in law from screwing it up (the prior poster must already know my brother in law).
Old 08-10-2009, 08:21 PM
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I think if the device is built for 220v its output will be 1/4 using 120V, or even less. I'd get it a step-up 120/220v transformer that is isolated.
Old 08-10-2009, 08:23 PM
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I have never used this method, however, I have wired in a 2 pole 50amp breaker into the panel and powered my house that way. Is it to code? Probably not. Is it safe? Yes. The generator has breakers to protect the cord to the breaker and the breaker protects the house. I also turned off the main, and once even pulled the meter and covered the opening w/ lexan. Is this the best setup? NO. But if the power is out and you need to pump water you gotta do what you gotta do.
Old 08-10-2009, 08:24 PM
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I suggest a transfer switch and a seperated power panel that the generator can handle...no need to run everything in the house?
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlungPup View Post
I think if the device is built for 220v its output will be 1/4 using 120V, or even less. I'd get it a step-up 120/220v transformer that is isolated.
Most generators put out 120/240. So if you wire your generator properly to your house, then everything will work right. Just turn off your AC, furnace and hot water heater. You can run your hot water heater if you turn off some of the other load first. I would run my heater for about 2 hours in the evening so we could all get showers. Then turn it off and run the other stuff.
Old 08-10-2009, 08:55 PM
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Test test test

Last edited by BigFootDriver; 08-12-2009 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:11 PM
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Yeah sure it will work. But it's not to code, it's dangerous, and it's probably illegal. Get a transfer switch set up and do it right. Unless you have really good fire insurance.
Old 08-10-2009, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanmills View Post
Yeah sure it will work. But it's not to code, it's dangerous, and it's probably illegal. Get a transfer switch set up and do it right. Unless you have really good fire insurance.
Fire insurance is not the issue. I'm not going to advocate anyone back load their home via the Dryer's plug but...

First the 30A breaker for the dryer circuit will protect the generator from supplying more than 30 amps to the dryer's wiring (which it is rated for). Second, all going thru the dryer circuit does is provide a way to get electricity into the both phases of your breaker box (instead of powering your breaker box from the grid via the MAIN, you're powering it from the generator via the dryer's wiring & breaker). Each phase supplies some circuits; ideally both phases draw/supply an equal amount of current/power.

As has been mentioned time and again in this thread, the issue is one of danger to workers on the grid, should your MAIN get set so your generator's putting it's electricity out onto the power poles AND one of liability/code violations...

Allan
Old 08-10-2009, 11:01 PM
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I think the key points here are:

1. It's not ideal.

2. One MUST pull the disconnect/meter.

3. You're limited to the 30A range, probably plenty. An attached (electrically, not neccessarily physically) garage with a welder outlet would yield you a 50A plug and suitable wire for the current. At this point you're getting in the 10kW range, that's for lightweights and not survival.

4. If you gotta- do it. But don't do anything stupid. Secure the cords, check for heating, "hot" smells.

Last edited by HotPrepper; 08-12-2009 at 02:19 PM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:07 PM
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I have a 220 welder plug in my shop bldg separate from the house. This is where I intend to connect my gen set. This keeps the gen about 100ft from the house and well sheltered.
Old 08-11-2009, 12:48 AM
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I built a second electrical system, where I wired a RV outlet in a waterproof box onto the side of my house. It is wired into a small electrical panel with circut breakers. I installed a new outlet next to the appliances I want to run on backup power. When the power goes out I just unplug the appliance and plug it into the backup outlet and fire up the generator. Since it is separate from the public utility you won't need a switch box. It is simple, safe and cheap to do it youself.
Old 08-12-2009, 12:54 PM
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it'l cost you like $100 to do the dryer plug trick, and $1000+ to have a transfer switch installed. you do the math!
Old 08-12-2009, 01:30 PM
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OK, I commented on this in a thread a while back and got my A$$ reamed for recommending it. It does work, that's how I have my generator set up with a plug in my detached garage. But, as I was told repeatedly previously - it can be dangerous. If you aren't comfortable with electricity and know exactly what needs to be done to make this work. Stay away. Improper gauge wiring, not throwing the correct breakers, improper wiring technique etc. can cause death.

That being said, mine works great and has for years.
Old 08-12-2009, 02:34 PM
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Default If you ain't got nothing, you've got nothing to lose

I thought threads encouraging illegal activity are against the rules.

You don't have to kill a lineman to get in deeeeep trouble with this setup.

So, bug-out-betty, you'd better update your equation with the fines for violating building codes, electrical codes, and the value of the lives you are putting at risk (those souls who are out in all kinds of weather to restore your power ... thanks,) and the possibility of burning down your house, and the possibility of your kid touching the exposed and powered end of the cord trying to be the man of the house when the power goes out when you are away ... etc., etc.

... and whoever quoted you the $1000 to set up the correct switch is a crook.
I got mine done for little over $200 (and that included the 25' 220 cord to run to the pole.)

* * * * * * * * * *

How are you going to feel when your home is uninsurable because no agent will advocate underwriting your stupidity?

If you can't do it right, just run extension cords.

Last edited by ex-hunter; 08-12-2009 at 02:42 PM..
Old 08-12-2009, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat49 View Post
My Uncle retired from the electric company. He said that if you hook your 220 generator to the 220 dryer outlet that it would power the entire house...including the well...just remember to disconnect the main breaker for the house or the lineman will get a big surprise.

Any opinions on this?
That is correct. That is how you back feed your panel. I have a seperate 40 amp 220 breaker that I hook up to my Generator That way I dont have to run the cable through the house to my range or dryer plug. I have a sub panel in My garage that runs off of that twin 40 . I just tap in right there and yes: MAKE SURE YOUR MAIN BREAKER IS OFF!! you could feed power into the lines ,blow your generator etc. Do not use a generator that is rated higher than the breaker you are using. Kingfish
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