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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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2 edits

Portable Generator question

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For this generator (5500 running watts/8250 starting watts), what would be the best way to run this into the house (rental duplex, don't want to mess with the wiring but there are holes in the house that could be used to run a wire into the house). I would like to run a few appliances. I was thinking of running a wire to an outside plug and inside outlet). What would be the best setup. I do not want to mess with the house wiring but I can do wiring myself.

What I am thinking of doing is wiring one of these »www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?par···Id=PDIO1 on the outside and installing a 30 amp outlet inside near the top of the basement stairs. I just don't know how to distribute it throughout the house. I would need to convert that 30 amp outlet to standard plug-ins so they can be used with household appliances. I would run it from the the thirty amp outlet with extension cords (heavy duty). I bought the generator during an extended outage last year (and the poco power came on a few hours later).

It was not a planned purchase.

I am thinking of running essential appliances such as refrigerator and a few lights and a heater/ac depending on season. AC is a 5000 btu unit.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).

guppy_fish
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Lakeland, FL
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1 edit

It will cost you 1/2 gallon and hour fuel costs, even at idle with the beast, so the 10 cents to run the fridge from the electric company will cost 2 bucks an hour. Also your neighbors and code enforcement will be having a look to see if your a grow house

Not sure why you went this route, but nothing good will become of it



IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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downloadgenerator.pdf 51,675 bytes
said by guppy_fish:

It will cost you 4X-10X or more in fuel cost than paying the electric company, and your neighbors and code enforcement will be having a look to see if your a grow house.

Not sure why you went this route, but nothing good will become of it

What I am talking about is in the event of a power outage (like the one last fall that left us without power for three days).

I am just planning ahead for the next outage. I just don't want to go through the hassle of installing a transfer switch and I do not want to backfeed into the house wiring (as it will kill electrical workers who are restoring power). The house is a rental but I have some existing holes (about the size needed for dual coaxial cable from the old DirecTV dish). that I could run generator plug into the basement and install a 30 amp outlet near the basement stairs. From there, I would have to use whatever cords/plugs to convert it into standard plug-ins. I am wondering how to wire it so that I can use it with a standard plug.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).


leibold
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Sunnyvale, CA
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reply to IowaCowboy

This mix of portable/temporary and fixed installation is likely trip over some code compliance issues.

Why not keep it simple and don't install anything on the rental property and just get a set of sufficiently long outdoor extension cords (assuming the purpose of the generator is temporary use during power outages) ?

In case you are going forward with your idea, since you are planning to attach 15A / 20A 120V outlets downstream from the 30A connector you should include fuses or breakers in your design to provide overcurrent protection to those outlets.
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garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to IowaCowboy

+1 on the use of heavy duty (15 amp and outdoor rated) extension cords. That would be the way to go instead of building some sort of emergency power distribution box in the basement with a cord poked through a hole.



IowaCowboy
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reply to IowaCowboy

This is what I would use on the inside 30 amp outlet. What I am worried about is would it be the proper voltage, and amperage.
»www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-25ecodZ···vuqn81SU

What I am trying to do is run the wire into the house without having to crack the door open (as I like to secure the house as crime went up during the last widespread outage). The generator would be chained down as well.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

Well, it says it's listed, so the only issue is likely bringing the "extension cord" from the generator inside. That should be protected by a piece of conduit.

For emergency use only I guess this would work out alright.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

Check out this accessory set for your generator. Compare the price to the cord and splitter purchased separately.

»www.bjs.com/dek-universal-genera···=2004464

This is the manufactures specifications for the cord set and multi-outlet splitter:

»www.gxioutdoorpower.com/dek/accessories.php



davidg
Good Bye My Friend
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join:2002-06-15
none
reply to IowaCowboy

you are on the right track, put the inlet on the outside, outlet on the inside, and then use the twist lock adapter for your temporary cord. you will likely need to make the hole bigger for the wiring between the inlet and outlet though.
--
Lack of Preparation on YOUR Part does NOT Constitute an Emergency on Mine!



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to IowaCowboy

Best thing to do is just use extension cords. If you really want, get a 30A (L5) extension cord with 15A pigtails on it.



IowaCowboy
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reply to IowaCowboy

To crarify, I am planning on running 10/4 wire from the generator inlet that I will install on the back of the house to an outlet at the top of the basement stairs (like the one on the upper right outlet on the generator).

I want to know the name of that outlet and how to wire it. I am proficienat at electrical wiring as I have replaced light fixtures, switches, and outlets. One of my upcoming projects is to hardwire a timer on the front porch light.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).



Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand

said by IowaCowboy:

I want to know the name of that outlet and how to wire it.


It's a 30A twist lock.

--
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Red Green
Premium
join:2003-01-22
Possum Lodge
reply to IowaCowboy

Keep it simple. They make long cords that will have a plug for the twist lock on one end and 4 120 outlets on the other. That way you only have one cord running into the house and can run your other extension cords from one single point in the house. Being a rental property do you really want to do wiring to something you don't own? Would the landlord approve you doing this wiring?
--
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leibold
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Sunnyvale, CA
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reply to fifty nine

said by fifty nine:

If you really want, get a 30A (L5) extension cord with 15A pigtails on it.

He doesn't have any L5-30 outlet on the generator. L5 would be 120V only and L6 would be 240V only. His outlet is 120V(hot to neutral)/240V(hot to hot) which is L14 (probably L14-30 but I can't tell current rating just from the picture).
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leibold
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Sunnyvale, CA
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1 edit
reply to Coma

said by Coma:


It's a 30A twist lock.

Are you sure that the generator is using a proprietary (non-NEMA) connector ?

Edit: as Zach1 See Profile points out below, this is definitely not the correct plug for the generator. It is a non-standard connector that is not UL-listed and is only sold as direct replacement part (not to be used for new applications). If this were a 3-phase generator (it is not) the connector would be L15 (3-phase delta) or L21 (3-phase wye).
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JTY

join:2004-05-29
Ellensburg, WA
reply to IowaCowboy

I'd just get a generator cord, that has a twist lock on one end, and multiple outlets on the other. That's what I do with my B&S generator.


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

1 recommendation

reply to leibold

said by leibold:

said by Coma:


It's a 30A twist lock.

Are you sure that the generator is using a proprietary (non-NEMA) connector ?

The device in the link is intended for use with a 3Ph, 4W system.

»www.hubbellcatalog.com/wiring/da···L3431GCB
--
Zach


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand
reply to leibold

said by leibold:

Are you sure that the generator is using a proprietary (non-NEMA) connector ?


No, I'm not, but it shouldn't make any difference if the pin configuration is the same. Just wire it correctly.

--
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IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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reply to leibold

said by leibold:

said by fifty nine:

If you really want, get a 30A (L5) extension cord with 15A pigtails on it.

He doesn't have any L5-30 outlet on the generator. L5 would be 120V only and L6 would be 240V only. His outlet is 120V(hot to neutral)/240V(hot to hot) which is L14 (probably L14-30 but I can't tell current rating just from the picture).

It's a 120/240 30 amp outlet. Here is the specs for the generator »m.briggsandstratton.com/generato···sponder/
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Coma

The receptacle and the plug you linked to are probably keyed differently. Even if they're not, there's no reason for the OP to spend $70 on a plug.



shdesigns
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join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

The manual says use a L14-30 plug



leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
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Reviews:
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said by shdesigns:

The manual says use a L14-30 plug

Which means that the generator accessory kit posted by Mr Matt See Profile is a perfect fit for this generator:

said by Mr Matt:

Check out this accessory set for your generator.
»www.bjs.com/dek-universal-genera···=2004464


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Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy

If you check out the link to BJ's in my previous post in this thread, the generator accessory kit includes a 25 Foot 30 Amp 10/4 cord with an L14 Plug and L14 Socket. It also includes a Y connector with an L14 Plug and two triple 15 Amp 120 Volt outlets wired to each leg of an attached twist lock plug. Unfortunately you missed out on the sale last month when the generator accessory kit was offered for $99.99 which was an even better deal. You can purchase an additional 25 Foot 10/4 Extension Cord for $99.99.



49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to IowaCowboy

You want to keep this nice and simple, inexpensive and sort of legal?

Now this may or may not be possible but if you can cut a hole into the basement large enough to pass your cord through and cover the hole on the outside with a 50 amp weatherproof outlet cover, say something like this.

»www.hubbellcatalog.com/raco/RACO···herproof

This would allow you to drop a cord into your basement as needed and when not needed it can be locked shut and if and when you move out just leave it there covering the hole.

Wayne
--
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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
reply to IowaCowboy

This is something else I would consider if the poco is willing to install it.
»www.generlink.com/documents/Gene···ower.pdf



Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
reply to 49528867

The outlet cover is a neat idea. I use the dog door.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to IowaCowboy

said by IowaCowboy:

This is something else I would consider if the poco is willing to install it.
»www.generlink.com/documents/Gene···ower.pdf

I have one. Easy to use and goof proof. I used it for 4 outages so far including the October snow storm we had last year.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
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said by fifty nine:

said by IowaCowboy:

This is something else I would consider if the poco is willing to install it.
»www.generlink.com/documents/Gene···ower.pdf

I have one. Easy to use and goof proof. I used it for 4 outages so far including the October snow storm we had last year.

I wonder how I'd get the poco to install one. I don't see it listed on their website but I do see a "Special Metering Request" link on their website. My poco (Western Mass Electric Company/Northeast Utilities) is not the greatest in terms of customer service. I had to get the state DPU involved to get a faulty meter replaced.

I like the Generlink idea, with the house being a rental, they are easy to install and remove (requires poco tech visit as it involves breaking meter seals) and does not require modification of house wiring like a transfer switch.

--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).


IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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reply to IowaCowboy

I may also consider installing a transfer switch if they are easy to install and easy to remove (if we ever do move, we've been in this rental unit for ten years and do not see moving in the foreseeable future).

I may just mount it next to the panel and run 10/4 out to an input receptacle through an existing hole in the back of the house. I looked up how to install a transfer switch and it seems easy, I am a little nervous about working in the main panel but I would cut the main breaker when poking around the panel.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

I would strongly recommend locating the model number of your generator on the following GenerLink pdf document to see if it is compatible with the GenerLink or other transfer switches that do not switch the neutral.

»www.generlink.com/CompatibleGenerator.pdf

If your generator is a Model # 030430 the Generlink compatibility list shows it is compatible with their product.