Welcome to the The Garage Journal Board forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   The Garage Journal Board > The Garage > Lighting & Electrical

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-15-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
trackwelder
Alliance Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: n.y
Posts: 1,352
Default Backfeeding panel with generator power

With the recent ice storm in the northeast I have begun to think of how to power my house incase the power goes out. I am not an electrician by any means but can change an outlet or wire a plug. My neighbor states that I can trip the main breaker off any run a lead to my dryer plug to backfeed the panel and run my furnace and fridge. Just looking for opinions or experiences with doing this. I plan on having a new panel installed this spring and will add a transfer switch also.
trackwelder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 10:36 PM   #2
Junkman
Senior Member
 
Junkman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern CT
Posts: 5,027
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

If you back feed the power from a generator without the proper disconnect switch, you are doing an illegal act. I know that in CT, if Connecticut Light and Power find you back feeding without the proper disconnect switch, they will cut the lines to your home. They will not reconnect them until you properly upgrade the service. They are very forceful about this, since some linemen have been injured/killed as a result.
__________________
Philosopher Emeritus Of Garage Journal

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.
Junkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 12-15-2008, 10:48 PM   #3
IHI
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Iowa
Posts: 464
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Trackwelder, that is how i do my house, luckily only had to do it a few times though. JUST BE SURE YOU SHUT OFF THE MAIN BREAKER!!!!!!!! This cannot be stressed enough, it is a very concious thing that has to take place or you could possibly kill a man trying to fix the situation!!!!!

That being said, i just have a 10/3 wire drop i put a twist lock end on to plug into the 220V side of my generator, and i just feed that wire through my dryer vent from outside the house and disconnect a elbow so i can pull it through and plug the other end i put a dry outlet compatible plug on into the dryer outlet. I only have a 1200swft house but can power everything off the 6500W generator like nothing special. I dont let the wife to laundry obviously, but other than that, the entire house is fully functional heating or cooling wise.

but shutting off the main breaker is a priority, guy have been killed from this, and yes, if your going to upgrade service figure in a transfer switch and be done. When we get ready to add onto the house i have to move the service to the side of the house so that is when i'll have my sparkey put the transfer switch in.
IHI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 10:59 PM   #4
trackwelder
Alliance Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: n.y
Posts: 1,352
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

I definitely don't want to hurt anybody or risk losing my connection to the grid. Its just a pain running several cords. My uncle is an electrician maybe I can get him to rig something up.
trackwelder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 11:10 PM   #5
Junkman
Senior Member
 
Junkman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern CT
Posts: 5,027
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Northern Tool has a 200 amp disconnect switch that is reasonably priced. I have the same switch in my home, but I got it from the electrical supply house. They had a pallet of them and were selling them for $100 each. I only wish that I had bought more of them at the time.. This was about 4 years ago..
__________________
Philosopher Emeritus Of Garage Journal

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.
Junkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 11:21 PM   #6
trackwelder
Alliance Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: n.y
Posts: 1,352
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Thanks Junk now I just have to research that tommorow. Northern has a great selection to chose from, and I like the 30 amp waterproof twistlock outlet.
trackwelder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 11:23 PM   #7
Junkman
Senior Member
 
Junkman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern CT
Posts: 5,027
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

For inexpensive twist lock plugs and recepticles, watch ebay. I have found great deals on name brands such as Hubbel and Bryant. A lot of what I have is going to be converted to twist lock plugs. That way, people will stop asking to borrow my battery charger....
__________________
Philosopher Emeritus Of Garage Journal

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.
Junkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2008, 11:28 PM   #8
trackwelder
Alliance Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: n.y
Posts: 1,352
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkman View Post
For inexpensive twist lock plugs and recepticles, watch ebay. I have found great deals on name brands such as Hubbel and Bryant. A lot of what I have is going to be converted to twist lock plugs. That way, people will stop asking to borrow my battery charger....
Thats a good thought, I might run with that.
trackwelder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 05:19 AM   #9
larry4406
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 933
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

There was a thread on here recently, where a bolt on metal plate is applied to the service panel - it locks out the main breaker while the generator back feed breaker is enabled - prevents having both breakers engaged at the same time. This interlock/cover modification turned your existing service into a transfer switch and you did not have to install a new panel and move your circuits over - very clever.

I have a 50A 220V exterior mounted weatherproof outlet and a 50A matching breaker in my service panel. I took two 50A 4 wire range cords and bonded them together - so yes I have a cord with 2 males on it. When the power goes out, kill the main and all the breakers, connect the generator to the outlet with my cord, start the generator. Then I engage its 50A breaker, and then one by one bring on critical circuits like fridge, lights, etc. Works sweet.
larry4406 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 06:00 AM   #10
Torque1st
Senior Member
 
Torque1st's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: KC Metro, Kansas
Posts: 5,668
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

This plate?



There was a big thread a little while ago on this very subject. The subject probably comes up every time there is an ice storm or some other disaster anywhere in the country.
Torque1st is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 07:45 AM   #11
Tscott
Senior Member
 
Tscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Keystone Heights, FL.
Posts: 1,266
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Not to beat a dead horse. Oh who am I kidding beat away.

Sorry, but this is a very important thing to let people know. As stated above if you do not cut the main breaker you will energize the transformer and a large portion of the high voltage grid. So it is not just isolated to your transformer, and could easily kill a careless lineman miles away.

I think you have already made the decision to do it the right way. I think this is best as it is very easy to forget to do something as small as flip the main.

Tom
Tscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 07:56 AM   #12
Charles (in GA)
Senior Member
 
Charles (in GA)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: 50 mi south of Atlanta
Posts: 10,910
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

http://www.interlockkit.com/

http://www.generlink.com/about_generlink.cfm

Charles
Charles (in GA) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 08:32 AM   #13
dipper
Senior Member
 
dipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 756
Send a message via AIM to dipper
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Quote:
So it is not just isolated to your transformer, and could easily kill a careless lineman miles away.
The careless one would be the homeowner who didnt properly follow NEC codes when "rigging" up his generator cause he's cold or doesn't want his food to spoil....not the linemen who is out doing his job and is unaware.

Bottom line.....get a transfer switch!!!
__________________
-Dipper

20x22 Build Pics: http://s630.beta.photobucket.com/use...e/1_Demolition
dipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 10:33 AM   #14
sberry
Senior Member
 
sberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Brethren, Michigan
Posts: 10,857
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

I go for the eimple transfer switch for most normal homes, put the critical and a convenience circuit on it, helps avoid overloading the genset also. If not that have a set of plug and cord setups ready to go, change the furnace to a cord and plug deal.
I like the transfer panels vs the breaker lockout, helps limit the load.

Last edited by sberry; 12-16-2008 at 10:36 AM.
sberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 04:16 PM   #15
walrus
Senior Member
 
walrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 4,073
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

The main breaker does not interrupt the grounded conductor(neutral). Back feeding a panel can kill an unsuspecting lineman. If you can afford a generator to run your home in an outage, you can afford a transfer switch. Have it installed by a compentent electrician
walrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 05:31 PM   #16
trackwelder
Alliance Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: n.y
Posts: 1,352
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles (in GA) View Post
Any thoughts on the item in the generlink link. I am going to call the power company and see if thats approved by them.
trackwelder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 06:15 PM   #17
LoneGunman
Senior Member
 
LoneGunman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The Gunshine state
Posts: 2,082
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Thank you Walrus, one thing though, breaker interlock devices like the ones someone posted a pic of are a UL listed and acceptable means to feed a panel from a generator, they obviously do not break the grounded conductor either.

For the people who are so sure their main is off and feel good about it, you must not have run into any power crews doing repair work, they will not check to see if your main is off, they will see your illegal backfeed and either cut your drop away or cut your drop away and leave and be sure to tell your neighbors why they are leaving. This is not a rumor, I have seen it first hand here in Florida after the hurricanes a few years ago. I also witnessed two people arrested who thought they were not going to allow anyone on their property to cut their drop. I cut three or four myself.

Once the drop is cut, power is restored EXCEPT for the person with the cut drop, I heard of one guy who was out for two weeks AFTER the power was restored.
LoneGunman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 06:18 PM   #18
LoneGunman
Senior Member
 
LoneGunman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The Gunshine state
Posts: 2,082
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Quote:
Originally Posted by trackwelder View Post
Any thoughts on the item in the generlink link. I am going to call the power company and see if thats approved by them.
I've probably installed over 100 of them, I like them, they are a lot less money to install and you have the flexibility to pick and choose what you want on which you canot do with a transfer switch unless you spend big money.

My only gripe is they are so outrageously overpriced, it's a piece of sheet metal and a drill bit, I wish I thought of it. Panel manufacturers are making their own now and they are a lot less money than the interlockkit.com ones
LoneGunman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 07:57 PM   #19
Red Green
Senior Member
 
Red Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: South Central Michigan
Posts: 1,900
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

I have a couple questions how would having the Ground hooked up hurt someone? How would the power company know if you were backfeeding without a switch unless they came into your house?
__________________
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

"Unlike love respect can't be bought" H. Simpson
Red Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2008, 08:25 PM   #20
LoneGunman
Senior Member
 
LoneGunman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The Gunshine state
Posts: 2,082
Default Re: Backfeeding panel with generator power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Green View Post
I have a couple questions how would having the Ground hooked up hurt someone? How would the power company know if you were backfeeding without a switch unless they came into your house?
Nobody mentioned the "ground" the "grounded conductor" was mentioned, the "grounded conductor" is the correct trade term used for "neutral". In many places in Florida the dryer is in the garage, and the garages were usually open, easy to see the generator feeding the dryer receptacle.

In the cases where they had a backfeed they went door to door until they found it or just told whomever was outside gathered around their trucks looking for info, "we'll be back when there is no longer a generator backfeeding our lines" , the residents took care of the problem.
LoneGunman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:17 AM.