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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
picked up a portable Ford generator, FG5250PBR, only 4250 running watts - and I'm trying to figure out if I want a disconnect or a switch. got me reading about electrical, which is a bit wonky to me, don't really get it - but, kind of.

generator has a
L14-30R 30 AMP connector, 17.7 AMP rated for 240 Volt

I know you're not supposed to and I think I'm going to hire an electrician, but in an emergency - could one create a whip to this plug on the back of my house?

Gas Font Art Electric blue Plastic


I think this would be the correct plug to wire, AIDA NEMA 6-30P & 6-50P, 30 & 50 Amp, 250 Volt, 3-Prong Grounded Heavy Duty Angle Plug for Compressor, Ranges, Generator, Welder Replacement Plug, Industrial Grade, UL Listed, 030736 - - Amazon.com but it says on the back of the plug black, green, and white - and no red. but the wires from the generator would be black, green, white, and red. red and black being hot, white/neutral, and green ground I believe.

So, for the electricians and anyone smarter than me, how is this outlet on the back of my house 250 Volts if it is a single 120 hot as the plug suggests. In my limited knowledge and I'm not going to do this, it just bugs me I don't understand it - that plug on the back of my house should be two 120 hot connections, and a ground, to make 240 volts. I guess I just don't get the wiring, I'd think to back feed this you would not use the white, you'd use the two hot leads from the generator and the ground. Granted I have no real idea of how that plug is wired and it looks like it was rigged by a previous home owner to me.

I think I want an external plug and a disconnect on the breaker main, but I'd like to be able to upgrade to a larger generator down the road and not have to redo the plug or electrical work.
 

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220/240 is not just two 120-volt lines--they have to be out of phase. If you aren't absolutely certain what you are doing, don't do this.

I have a transfer switch I feed with my generator--and about the same number of watts as yours. It's an emergency generator whose purpose is to run the furnace, water heater, refrigerators and freezer, plus an extra line for a microwave.

It's not an EOTWAWKI system, as nobody can store THAT much fuel. Instead, it's for the more episodic power outage of just a few days. I have enough fuel (dual fuel, gas and propane) that I can run it for a couple weeks, intermittently.

The purpose of a transfer switch is to isolate the circuits in the house from the grid, so when they're being run by the generator they're not backfeeding electricity into the grid and potentially electrocuting a lineman trying to effect repairs.

You can, I think, achieve something similar by simply pulling the main house breaker which isolates the house from the grid, and MAYBE feed the house through an outlet, but you'd be limited to whatever the breaker feeding that line would allow.

Your best bet is to have an electrician do this, and if you can get a transfer switch, all the better. Mine has six circuits; I wish I had chosen one with 10 circuits, but it's not all that bad. It'll get us through a power outage in fine fashion.
 

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I added a dual fuel carb to my Honda generator and since we have moved, I have not set it up to run off our natural gas line coming into the house. I need to do that. This is a rent house, so I am not going to do any permenant wiring, just run extension cords to the appliances I need powered. Nice thing is.... on Natural Gas.... it can just run and run and run.
 

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You absolutely should have an electrician put in a double throw switch to isolate your house and then energize it from the generator. Be careful generator power is not "smooth" so electronics even your fancy appliances may suffer.

To answer your question, their are two types of 240 plugs, go to Home Depot and ask to see them. One has three and the other four wires. The three wire combines the ground and neutral.

I know electricity and when we had the power out for four days, I ran extension cords to the vital areas-kitchen, TV, internet, phone charger.... I told my wife she can do anything as long as the refrigerator is humming, when it is cold enough, I go outside and shut off the generator. Then it's snuggle up for a couple hours before it goes on again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I'm going to get a disconnect, which is just a little metal plate that goes on the breaker box, and the power for the generator is on the top breaker, so - you can't put both on at the same time. this way I can pick and choose what I want to run, certainly I won't be able to run my whole house, well - not all at the same time.
 

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If you want to have a generator hard wired to your house pay the money and get the real transfer switch. Installed by someone who knows and is insured if something goes wrong.
If you don't have the money for that do the extension cord dance. Run cords to the refrigerator, freezer and some lights. Simple and nobody gets electrocuted.
As far as dual fuel I would run propane off my own tank. Natural gas in some parts of the country is pumped thru the lines by electricity so a grid failure means eventually no natural gas.
if you run a dual fuel off a natural gas or large propane tank make sure it has a low oil shut off switch. They do use some oil while running and after many hours will run low and seize the engine.
 

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I just had electrical,work done, including installation of an Interlock Device / switch on the meter panel, as well as a feeder connection to hook the generator to.

The interlock allows use of grid power OR generator - not both. So when using the generator, the main breaker for grid power is off. This eliminates any possibility of back feeding to the grid. This setup allows use of the existing main circuit panel; no need to install a separate transfer switch sub panel.

The generator breaker in the panel is 30 amp, adequate for emergency needs (refrigerator, freezer, tv, cell phone charger).

The feeder box for the generator connection has an L14-30 4 prong male plug, which enables power to both sides of my main panel.

My generator is a 3700 /4500 watt equipped with a 3 prong TT-30 120v RV outlet.

I purchased an adapter plug designed for this purpose (TT-30 to L14-30) which bridges both hot prongs on the L14-30 side. This sends 120v power to both sides of the main panel. The plug was not cheap, but totally worth it to me.

This set up allows use of a modest size (and therefore more fuel efficient) generator to power selected 120 volt circuits / outlets in the house. I have drafted procedures calling for ALL unused breakers to be switched off (especially including all 220v appliances).

This arrangement has built in limitations as to what it will power, which I recognize and can live with. It is NOT intended to power the whole house, just keep the refrigerator and freezer running, along with a couple other small devices.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Lots of times plugs like the one in the picture are used outdoors in conjunction with a GFCI to provide 110 power to temporary loads like vacuum cleaners to clean out a car, lights for parties, pressure washers and stuff like that. I've got one outside my garage. I've got a heavy extension cord with 110 male plugs on each end that I use when the power goes out. I can turn off all the breakers including the main breaker, plug the cord into the generator and the exterior plug, and have power to the circuit that powers my workbench, dorm fridge, and overhead light. The generator's 110 outlet has its own 20A breaker so I still have overcurrent protection. You can do the same thing in houses that haven't been connected to the grid, or have the mains power turned off because no one lives in the house. If you need to say replace the floor in the living room, turn off all the breakers including the main breaker, and plug the male to male cord into any of the room's outlets, and all the outlets on the same circuit are connected to the generator through the cord. If you need to activate the outlets in another part of the house, just connect the generator to one of the outlets in that part of the house that uses the same circuit. Just make sure that you turn off all the breakers so you aren't trying to power half of the house's 110 loads through one outlet.
 

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If I lived in an area where the power regularly went off for days or weeks at a time, or the temps were extremely high or low, I'd install a more permanent system. Where I'm from in the southeast US, the temps seldom get above ninety or below freezing, and most of the time they are between eighty and fifty. Last year it was seventy five on Thanksgiving and seventy on Christmas. This year, mains power has gone off twice, and only stayed off for four hours at most. In the last several years, the power only went off for more than a day once when a meth monkey drove his car into a substation.
 

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safe way
Lots of times plugs like the one in the picture are used outdoors in conjunction with a GFCI to provide 110 power to temporary loads like vacuum cleaners to clean out a car, lights for parties, pressure washers and stuff like that. I've got one outside my garage. I've got a heavy extension cord with 110 male plugs on each end that I use when the power goes out. I can turn off all the breakers including the main breaker, plug the cord into the generator and the exterior plug, and have power to the circuit that powers my workbench, dorm fridge, and overhead light. The generator's 110 outlet has its own 20A breaker so I still have overcurrent protection. You can do the same thing in houses that haven't been connected to the grid, or have the mains power turned off because no one lives in the house. If you need to say replace the floor in the living room, turn off all the breakers including the main breaker, and plug the male to male cord into any of the room's outlets, and all the outlets on the same circuit are connected to the generator through the cord. If you need to activate the outlets in another part of the house, just connect the generator to one of the outlets in that part of the house that uses the same circuit. Just make sure that you turn off all the breakers so you aren't trying to power half of the house's 110 loads through one outlet.
You will eventually kill someone with the setup you use, or cause an electrical fire. This is a safe way to connect a generator to individual circuits. Reliance Controls 310AK Pro/Tran 2 - 30-Amp 10-Circuit Power Transfer Switch Kit w/ 25' Cord (electricgeneratorsdirect.com)

Or this to isolate the utility feed and select whichever circuits you desire to power, generator dependent. Step by Step on How To install a generator interlock kit and inlet box. - YouTube
 

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That receptacle on your house is a 50A for a welder. I installed one in my garage last year, and the 6/2 wire is indeed black, white, and ground. The black and white are both hot.

If you’re going to power the house with a generator, do it right. At the very least, get a mechanical lockout and a dedicated, 4-wire circuit to input the power. That 3-wire outlet is really not a good choice if your panel and generator are both 4-wire.

The thing I like most about my transfer switch is that I can monitor wattage on each leg to help balance the load, and see what my total draw is while different devices are starting and running. Also, my panel is still connected to the grid, so when the power does come back on, the things in my house not run off the transfer switch come back on, and I know immediately that grid power has been restored.
 

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Some one I know just had the electric done for a generator, ran her $1000. The day of having someone come to your house and do something for $300-500 is gone at least by me. Unless you have an in somewhere. This generator will run on gasoline, the plug is outside the garage on an outside wall, behind a locked gate.
 

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picked up a portable Ford generator, FG5250PBR, only 4250 running watts - and I'm trying to figure out if I want a disconnect or a switch. got me reading about electrical, which is a bit wonky to me, don't really get it - but, kind of.

generator has a
L14-30R 30 AMP connector, 17.7 AMP rated for 240 Volt

I know you're not supposed to and I think I'm going to hire an electrician, but in an emergency - could one create a whip to this plug on the back of my house?

View attachment 397787

I think this would be the correct plug to wire, AIDA NEMA 6-30P & 6-50P, 30 & 50 Amp, 250 Volt, 3-Prong Grounded Heavy Duty Angle Plug for Compressor, Ranges, Generator, Welder Replacement Plug, Industrial Grade, UL Listed, 030736 - - Amazon.com but it says on the back of the plug black, green, and white - and no red. but the wires from the generator would be black, green, white, and red. red and black being hot, white/neutral, and green ground I believe.

So, for the electricians and anyone smarter than me, how is this outlet on the back of my house 250 Volts if it is a single 120 hot as the plug suggests. In my limited knowledge and I'm not going to do this, it just bugs me I don't understand it - that plug on the back of my house should be two 120 hot connections, and a ground, to make 240 volts. I guess I just don't get the wiring, I'd think to back feed this you would not use the white, you'd use the two hot leads from the generator and the ground. Granted I have no real idea of how that plug is wired and it looks like it was rigged by a previous home owner to me.

I think I want an external plug and a disconnect on the breaker main, but I'd like to be able to upgrade to a larger generator down the road and not have to redo the plug or electrical work.
Dont hook a generator to that plug. It dosnt have a neutral. Sounds like you need to hire someone.
 

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thess02's advice is the best. I have an interlock because it's safe and the least expensive way to do it, whether you do it yourself or have an electrician do it. You say you might want to upgrade the generator at a later date. How much bigger do you want to go? Because a 30 amp L14-30 set up is good up through a 7000+ running watt generator. And with the interlock you have access to all your circuits. You can't run them all but you can pick and choose.

I don't consider myself the squeamish type. But I would not even consider using that plug you have in the way you're talking about.
 

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Do not do this.
At the very least, to prevent killing a lineman, being sued, and/or melting your generator, you must at least have an approved interlock on your breaker panel. In many places, only certain types of interlock installed by a licensed electrician will pass inspection.

A transfer switch is a much better solution.
Since you probably won't ever have a generator which can power the whole house like your electric utility co. does, a transfer switch which powers your essential circuits is a better and safer choice. ~$300 from Home Depot, etc.

If you considered your original plan for more than 1 second, you need to hire an electrician.
 

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That receptacle on your house is a 50A for a welder. I installed one in my garage last year, and the 6/2 wire is indeed black, white, and ground. The black and white are both hot.

If you’re going to power the house with a generator, do it right. At the very least, get a mechanical lockout and a dedicated, 4-wire circuit to input the power. That 3-wire outlet is really not a good choice if your panel and generator are both 4-wire.

The thing I like most about my transfer switch is that I can monitor wattage on each leg to help balance the load, and see what my total draw is while different devices are starting and running. Also, my panel is still connected to the grid, so when the power does come back on, the things in my house not run off the transfer switch come back on, and I know immediately that grid power has been restored.
The meters are great to have. They can be bought separately, that's what I did. There's one for up to 7500 watt generators and one for up to 12,500 watt. Here's a link to the 7500. The other would be MB125. https://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Con...,B08T9748PY,B012DHO4A4&srpt=ELECTRONIC_SWITCH
 

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The purpose of a transfer switch is to isolate the circuits in the house from the grid, so when they're being run by the generator they're not backfeeding electricity into the grid and potentially electrocuting a lineman trying to effect repairs.
Ohhhh. We’re getting solar power, and the fine print says if grid power stops, the solar power stops. I bet that’s why.

We have a battery bank and a generator, but neither is hard wired to our house. Extension cords to the fridge and the freezers, break out a propane stove and a heater, and then we can just wait it out.
 
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