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shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Portable Generator question

The manual says use a L14-30 plug



leibold
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Sunnyvale, CA
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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
Want to go back to Iowa
Premium
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
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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.

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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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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.



Grumpy
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NW CT
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reply to IowaCowboy

Just a thought - install by other than a licensed pro could void renter's insurance coverage.

If by some chance your install was at fault for a claim, your personal assets liability is the excess of your coverage limits. In other words, if sued successfully for $250,000 and your coverage is $100,000 - you are on the hook for the difference, ie $150, 000 as supplied by your personal assets, in addition to your legal fees to defend yourself once your insurance carrier steps aside for the excess portion of your trial.

See also, »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrogation

Just sayin...



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by Grumpy:

Just a thought - install by other than a licensed pro could void renter's insurance coverage.

If by some chance your install was at fault for a claim, your personal assets liability is the excess of your coverage limits. In other words, if sued successfully for $250,000 and your coverage is $100,000 - you are on the hook for the difference, ie $150, 000 as supplied by your personal assets, in addition to your legal fees to defend yourself once your insurance carrier steps aside for the excess portion of your trial.

See also, »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrogation

Just sayin...

I don't think the licensed pro has anything to do with it. One can do their own work and the insurance will cover it IF a proper building inspection permit is pulled, work is inspected, and approval is granted.

Getting a pro to do the work and not having it inspected is equally problematic. In the end, it's the homeowner's responsibility to make sure all proper permits are in place (at least it's that way in Connecticut). Failure to do so can create insurance payment problems in the event of a claim.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

In this case, the OP is a tenant. So without the landlord's blessing, he can't (legally) do anything to the electrical system. Even with the go-ahead from the LL, he can't legally (in most jurisdictions) do the work unless he's licensed and pulls the proper permits. In most places the owner can legally do his/her own work provided the premises are owner-occupied. I know people do what the want but when things go wrong, one can find themselves referred to as "the defendant" with out any help from the insurance company(ies). I get several calls a year from people get who get busted doing unlicensed work and are willing to pay to "use my license" to pull permits and stand-by for inspections. Uh, not only NO but HELL NO!
--
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SwedishRider
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said by Zach1:

In this case, the OP is a tenant. So without the landlord's blessing, he can't (legally) do anything to the electrical system. Even with the go-ahead from the LL, he can't legally (in most jurisdictions) do the work unless he's licensed and pulls the proper permits. In most places the owner can legally do his/her own work provided the premises are owner-occupied. I know people do what the want but when things go wrong, one can find themselves referred to as "the defendant" with out any help from the insurance company(ies). I get several calls a year from people get who get busted doing unlicensed work and are willing to pay to "use my license" to pull permits and stand-by for inspections. Uh, not only NO but HELL NO!

You are right. Wasn't thinking about the tenant/landlord angle, but you are correct as pro is required in that case. I think permits are still required even if pro is doing the work as far as I know..


fifty nine

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

said by Mr Matt:

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.

They want floating neutral and no GFCI. If your genny has that or can be converted you're good to go.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to Zach1

said by Zach1:

In this case, the OP is a tenant. So without the landlord's blessing, he can't (legally) do anything to the electrical system. Even with the go-ahead from the LL, he can't legally (in most jurisdictions) do the work unless he's licensed and pulls the proper permits. In most places the owner can legally do his/her own work provided the premises are owner-occupied. I know people do what the want but when things go wrong, one can find themselves referred to as "the defendant" with out any help from the insurance company(ies). I get several calls a year from people get who get busted doing unlicensed work and are willing to pay to "use my license" to pull permits and stand-by for inspections. Uh, not only NO but HELL NO!

That's why generlink is perfect. It's utility equipment like th meter. In most places no permit is required.


leibold
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reply to fifty nine

said by fifty nine:

They want floating neutral and no GFCI. If your genny has that or can be converted you're good to go.

The wiring schematic for the generator shows no GFCI but it does show a Neutral-Ground bond. The schematic is detailed enough to show that the bond is at DP2 (the second of the dual 120V 20A outlets) with a wire from the ground screw (marked as terminal 5) of the outlet to neutral (marked as terminal 4).
Wire number 0 in the schematic is ground. Wire number 22 (and 33) is neutral.
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IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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2 edits
reply to IowaCowboy

I've done electrical work on this building before and the licensed electrician that wired this building did not follow codes. I always follow code when doing wiring and I have corrected sloppy work that the electrician did.

One of the things that he did that was a no-no is putting two wires on a screw terminal and putting more than one device on a single wire (stripping the wire in the middle and wrapping it around the screw terminal). The code enforcement in this city is very lax and I am surprised that they signed off when this building was built. Other projects I have done are lighting upgrades in the basement (went from standard lightbulb sockets to 4 ft T12 fluorescent lights that are hardwired). There must be something very wrong with the certification of electricians here when a non-electrician tenant follows codes more than a licensed electrician. The former landlord (before the building was sold) also did electrical work as well.

The enforcement of building codes in this jurisdiction is spotty at best. They cannot even keep up with buildings that are infested with rats/mice/roaches and buildings that are structurally unsound. The local building department is running on a skeleton crew because of severe budget cuts.

I do not want to turn this into a political discussion (as this is not the appropriate forum) but liability judgements can be rendered null and void in a bankruptcy filing if the defendant is unable/does not have the assets or resources to pay.

As for the work I've done myself, it was done correctly and in a workman like manner.

The transfer switch I may install has an instructional DVD and I have familliarized myself with the instructions. I should get some credit for my desire to install a generator correctly. Many times, tenants and homeowners alike will use what is called a so-called "suicide cord" (a cord with a male plug on each end) and they will plug one end of the cord into the generator and the other into an exterior or garage wall socket and backfeed it into the house wiring without isolating the house from the grid. This is very dangerous to the occupants of the building, can damage the generator, can burn the house down, and injure/kill utility workers when the current backfeed a through a transformer and becomes lethal current. I have read many horror stories about improperly installed generators. Not to mention the electrocution hazard to the occupants of the building. This is why the only way to install a generator is with a transfer switch.

I would also consider replacing some of the breakers with AFCI breakers but I think breakers for this panel may no longer be available. If the panel goes bad, I would be out of luck because replacing a panel is a little outside my comfort zone as I would have to handle the live incoming wires. If I go forward with the transfer switch install, I would turn off the main breaker and use a work light that I would plug into the generator (via an extension cord of course). Another mistake people make is running generators indoors. During the October snowstorm last year, a family was almost killed when they were dumb enough to run a generator in the basement. One thing I see electricians do that does not play well in my book is handling live wires. I ALWAYS cut power before working on wiring.

As for the landlord, the keyword is absentee. When something breaks, I am the one who ends up fixing it (whether it be a plumbing or electrical fixture). But she has no problem collecting the rent each month. If it was not for my vast knowledge of home improvement/repair, this place would fall to the ground.
--
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).



pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3

said by IowaCowboy:

As for the landlord, the keyword is absentee. When something breaks, I am the one who ends up fixing it (whether it be a plumbing or electrical fixture). But she has no problem collecting the rent each month. If it was not for my vast knowledge of home improvement/repair, this place would fall to the ground.

Do you have an agreement with your landlord to bill her or offset the monthly rent in exchange for these improvements/repairs? I'm curious about this process when the tenant does the repairs themselves, without a receipt or bill from a "professional" to document the expenses.


IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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said by pike:

said by IowaCowboy:

As for the landlord, the keyword is absentee. When something breaks, I am the one who ends up fixing it (whether it be a plumbing or electrical fixture). But she has no problem collecting the rent each month. If it was not for my vast knowledge of home improvement/repair, this place would fall to the ground.

Do you have an agreement with your landlord to bill her or offset the monthly rent in exchange for these improvements/repairs? I'm curious about this process when the tenant does the repairs themselves, without a receipt or bill from a "professional" to document the expenses.

We're on a verbal month to month agreement and we pay the rent on time each month. We do get a discount for lawn care/snow and ice removal. Other than that we don't hear from her, she never stop by, or inspects the house. We did hear from her husband a couple of weeks ago about a high water bill. Our less than wholesome neighbors (who I know are stealing cable TV, have out of control children, and his wife works while he does nothing, and they deserve to have their kids taken by CPS) have a kiddie pool that they kept draining and refilling. I think the landlord is starting to view them as problem tenants and he mentioned that they are trying to work out an issue with the landlord (I suspect they are behind on rent yet they have a late model SUV).

The landlord is not the best in screening tenants, the last tenants were rude and snotty but they minded their own business but did have loud parties at 2AM but did not have bad children (that would be better off in the foster care system) or keep asking to borrow my tools and other stuff that I PAID FOR WITH MY OWN MONEY!!! I have thought of buying a stepladder but it would end up in his garage. He and his kids have already ruined our picnic table.

If they were my tenants, I would serve them the 30-day notice to vacate the premises, or in better words; I would evict them before one of their reckless children ends up torching the joint. I would also keep their security deposit over the wasteful water usage (filling a kiddie pool without landlord permission as the landlord in Mass have to pay water) not to mention the damage their kids are doing.

Other than that, I mail my rent check on or close to the third of each month, which is when I get paid. She is pretty quick to cash the check. I take good care of our 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).


IowaCowboy
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reply to IowaCowboy

Click for full size
I pulled the cover off of the main panel today just to take a peek at the complexity of installing a transfer switch. Does not appear to be that complicated although I hope those two thick wires connected to the main breaker are insulated adequately (I am going to avoid those two screw terminals on the main breaker like the plague).. The neutral and ground are on the same bus (located in the upper right quadrant of the panel). If need be, I can have the poco pull the meter for an hour or two. The house was built in 1988. I don't like the sight of the aluminum wire but I think those are higher voltage cables.

I plan on wiring both 20 amp kitchen circuits (one has microwave and the other has the fridge) and the three lighting circuits and the GFCI circuit to the switch. The lighting circuits handle the plug-ins in the house. I need backup power because I have a medical condition that could be life-threatening in a power outage (I have to sleep on a ventilator at night due to life threatening sleep apnea). I cannot hire an electrician because I cannot afford one. The generator was bought by a relative last October during the snowstorm. It was a lucky grab as they were in short supply.

I cannot wire the heat to the transfer switch as the house has electric heat and the generator does not have the wattage to handle such a load. The generator is a 5500 watt unit. The water heater is electric as well. We have city water.
--
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).


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

You don't need a meter pull. You need to shut off the main.

The usual disclaimers apply, this is dangerous, better for a licensed electrician to do, yada yada.



pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to IowaCowboy

Aluminum service entrance cable is normal, nothing to worry about there.

There are some other issues that need addressing while you're in there, however.. the first one that jumps out at me is the white wires being used as hots (can't tell from the picture if they're double pole breakers). Additionally, the ground/neutral bus bar is a mess (I'm having a hard time even finding where the utility neutral is connected to it). Finally there's several instances of multiple conductors being terminated on the same screw.

I'm by no means an expert on residential work, so I'll defer to those that are to guide you through correcting this stuff.



IowaCowboy
Want to go back to Iowa
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA

The white wires are hooked into double pole breakers.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

I believe they still need to be identified as hots though by taping them.


itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to IowaCowboy

I would think long and hard about this as it sounds like you have just enough knowledge to be dangerous (and that statement includes me).

No electician would work on a live wire for a panel replacement. When we had ours done last October the POCO pulled the meter and then it had to be inspected and proof of that before they would even think about putting the meter back in. And it took almost all day as service reconnects are low priority for them.

Since this is a rental and you are not an electrician I'd never do any work on the systems. What happens if the transfer switch is defective and burns the place down? Since it was not installed by an electrician, that's all on you (and yes you would get nailed for it). Say something happens and it backfeeds? Again all on you.

I'd never touch it in a rental at all. Just use extension cords and be done with it. Or buy the place and then you can do all you want and not have to worry about it.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Wiring in a transfer switch does not have to involve a panel replacement. For a small selected circuit panel all you are touching are branch circuits.



IowaCowboy
Want to go back to Iowa
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1 edit
reply to itguy05

said by itguy05:

What happens if the transfer switch is defective and burns the place down? Since it was not installed by an electrician, that's all on you (and yes you would get nailed for it).

In that scenario, if the transfer switch was defective, then it would be the manufacturer that would be liable.

pike See Profile said that the wiring (done by a so-called professional electrician) in the panel was poorly done (such as using white wires as hots without marking them). They are 240 volt circuits because I recognize the breakers going to the electric baseboards as I turn them off in the spring and turn them back on in the late fall. I am wondering if the electrician used the incorrect wire to wire the heaters.

I have heard of 14/2 being used on three-way circuits instead of 14/3 and they use the bare copper as a traveler. There was an incident a few years back where a kid got fried because the the babysitter built a new garage and the electrician used 14/2 instead of 14/3 to wire a three way switch. The cost difference: less than $10 and a kid got fried because the electrician cut corners to save a few dollars.

I will agree that there are plenty of good electricians out there but like any profession, there are a few bad apples out there. Even physicians get in trouble for various reasons. It just seems with the rental properties I have come across that the landlord/developer hires the cheapest guy to come and wire the building (with instructions to keep it as cheap as possible). The electrician who wired the place has his name on a sticker in the panel but considering that this place was built in 1988 (nearly 25 years ago), he is probably most likely retired.

Another electrical project I have done (about a year ago and it did not burn the house down or electrocute anyone) was installing a vacancy sensor on the kitchen light, and my electric bill has gone down slightly as a result. With the high electric rates here, any device that can save power is worth the investment.

That loose piece of romex next to the panel was powering the timer for the now defunct lawn irrigation system (that was not in use when we moved in back in 2002) was powering the irrigation timer in a locked box on the outside and it was hooked into our power (which is illegal as it is powering landlord equipment on the tenant's meter).

--
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).

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

said by IowaCowboy:

said by itguy05:

What happens if the transfer switch is defective and burns the place down? Since it was not installed by an electrician, that's all on you (and yes you would get nailed for it).

In that scenario, if the transfer switch was defective, then it would be the manufacturer that would be liable.

I'm not trying to be a d!ck but seriously think long and hard about this. If something were to happen, in theory the manufacturer may be liable (need to read the warranty very carefully) getting them to pony up may be a challenge. As well as since you don't own the place you'll have the landlord, their insurance, your insurance, any other tennant's insurance, etc all breathing down YOUR back.

And you can bet it will happen as everyone will be trying to deflect the blame and the easiest person would be the one that installed it - ie: you.

If you owned the place, that's one thing but since you don't own it, I'd steer clear or let a pro do the work. That way if something were to happen you can simply deflect the blame to them.

I've done tons of electrical work at our old house including wiring up the workshop area. But I'd not tackle a transfer panel.


IowaCowboy
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reply to IowaCowboy

The generlink is out of the equation as I got the following e-mail from generlink.

Thank you for your interest in the GenerLink transfer switch. We have been
in contact with Western Massachusetts Electric but unfortunately they do not
allow any consumer owned products to be installed behind their meter. Please
let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
So this is the only option for a transfer switch left and this is what I may install. I can run the input in an existing hole leftover from when I had DirecTV (which has since had its wires cut). I read the instructions and it is not difficult to install.
»www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/sto···biYl5mc0
--
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).