Running my house from a Generator, can I do this?....

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I recently moved into a new house in Michigan, that does not currently have a Generator hook up.
I just ran 4 guage wire to my garage with a 60amp breaker on both sides to run an Air Compessor/Welder/etc.
I'm wondering, could I take something like a 9000 watt generator, wire a plug for it into a 60 amp breaker in the panel in my garage. Then if our power went out, I go into the house, flip off the main breaker, and all the breakers except the subpanel, furnace, refridgerator, pump, and a few others.
Then I plug in and fire up the generator in my garage, or right outside it, and feed power into the house from that to run those select items?
This seems like it would be a great idea, just want to make sure that would be ok??
Thanks, James
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sparty wrote:

I hope you really mean outside only. Never put one inside unless you have a unit designed for it and know how to safely install it inside.

Let's start with the fact that it would be illegal and unsafe. You need a special connection box that assures that you are totally disconnected from the grid before you supply any power to your own home. Ignoring this can kill a utility worked who might be trying to restore power to your home and working on a line he knows is disconnected from the grid and therefore dead, that you have just powered up. You also would be powering up every other home in the neighborhood.
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Joseph Meehan

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I would be turning off the main breaker coming into my house first in this scenario, wouldn't I be disconnected from the grid then??
When I said inside, I was talking my 3rd car garage not the house. I could install the plug just outside my 3rd car garage and put a lock on it.
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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sparty wrote:

Yes, IF you could guarantee that the main breaker was always open before switching in the generator. The only way to do that is with a transfer switch that won't allow one to be connected without disconnecting the other first. There are either dedicated transfer switchs for that or some panel manufacturers have a low cost kit that installs a metal shield type device that goes over the existing panel to prevent the main and the connecting circuit breaker from being closed at the same time.
As Joseph pointed out, to do it any other way is illegal.

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Yes, but that's not enough for the electrical code. The code requires it to be impossible for both the generator and mains be connected at the same time. Double-male cordsets are called suicide cords for good reason, and are code violations too.
A goof during a blackout can cause major damage or worse.
If you're going to have a generator big enough to be worth doing this with, you should invest in a transfer switch and do it properly.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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sparty wrote:

In order to do this in a code compliant way you will need a separate run of wire to the house main lighting and appliance panel that will connect the generator inlet to the transfer mechanism. You cannot make one run of wire provide current in two different directions accept as a part of an expensive power management system that uses electrically interlocked contactors backed up by shunt trip breakers. It is far less expensive in a residence to run separate wires.
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Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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sparty wrote:

It will still not be legal, nor in my view safe. Even if YOU would remember to do it right, what if it happened when you were not at home and someone else wanted to turn it on?
It is both a legal issue and a safety issue. Don't try and second guess the electrical code. Every time I see someone who things they know better than the code, it is foolish. If you are going to do it, do it right.
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sparty wrote:

Yes, but it depends on YOU being perfect an ddoing everything right, besides anyone else that might try it when you aren't around. Get a Transfer Switch and do it right.
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You may well be absolutely certain that neither you nor anyone in your house will never make a mistake and screw that up, but the last guy to kill a lineman with his generator was just as certain as you are.
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I thought I might do that someday. That is, until I read about it here. About how one little mistake could have such severe consequences.
[snip]
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Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Well, against code at the best; disastrous at worst.
You need a special connection box that assures
It's called a Transfer Switch. Google for it.

More realitically, you could do some pretty good damage to your genset if you miwsire it and don't notice it. Or forget the sequence and apply line power directly to your genset. Smoke, fire, all kind os things become possible. Never depend on a dependable brain: It's gotta be foolproof to work, or as nearly so as possible.
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This is against the code rules, it is unsafe, and if something bad were to happen, you are liable.
I know,I know, your going to turn off the main before connecting and starting the generator, that is exactly what everyone who has caused damage to utility systems and or injury to utility workers has said, which is precisely why it is now totally against the rules to do it. Generator transfer switches are not that expensive, I think a manual switch to handle your generator can be had for around 300 bucks or so.Honestly, the liability is just too great, you try to save a few hundred bucks and someone gets killed or injured....is it REALLY worth it? Think of it like this, YOU know you would NEVER forget to switch off the main breaker, your wife and kids would NEVER touch the thing, BUT, one day during an outage a utility worker gets zapped......suddenly you remember the old saying......NEVER say NEVER.
George
sparty wrote:

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Ok, thank you all for your response, I will not do it this way then. I agree, there is a chance over the years, that somehow accidently, a person may forget to turn of the main switch.
I have seen something similar to what you guys are talking about in my brother-in-laws house. So what exactly do I need to buy, and is this something I could install myself? I am pretty proficient in wiring, just curious if it's possible to do it yourself, and what EXACTLY I need to buy.
Thanks again, James
George wrote:

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sparty wrote:

It is a power transfer switch. Any electrical supply will know what it is when you tell them what it is for. Note, there may be some local codes that apply in addition to the ones we know of.
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sparty wrote:

One method:
Go to your panel maker's web site. They may have a small kit for your panel that's approved (I know HomeLite does). It's essentially a sliding bit of metal that prevents the breaker connecting your generator and the main panel switch from both being on at the same time.
With a piece of aluminum, careful measurements, a Dremel, and a couple of screws, you can fabricate your own.
Anyway, the HomeLite thingy costs about $45 retail.
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> Ok, thank you all for your response, I will not do it this way then. > I agree, there is a chance over the years, that somehow accidently, a > person may forget to turn of the main switch. > > I have seen something similar to what you guys are talking about in my > brother-in-laws house. So what exactly do I need to buy, and is this > something I could install myself? I am pretty proficient in wiring, > just curious if it's possible to do it yourself, and what EXACTLY I > need to buy. > > Thanks again, James >
I would need to know the make and model number of your main panel in order to give you your best options.
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Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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I have a 150 amp HOM Square D Breaker Panel.
One of the options I'm considering now is a 50 amp Transfer Switch Panel, that goes next to your main panel. This has a Wire Bundle that you run into your main panel. Then you pull the hot wires out of the breakers that you want to bypass, connect them to these wires, then run more wires from that bundle into those breakers.
By doing this, I would be slightly rewiring about 8 breakers that I would want to run in the case of an outage, and all the rest would be left alone. If the Transfer Switch Panel is set to normal power, then it will allow the power coming into your house to power those 8 breakers in your main panel. If you switch it to Generator, then the 8 breakers are disconnected from the main power, and are then able to receive power from a generator. By doing this, there is no way to reverse power back to the main panel from a generator and vise versa.
This is a very slick and easy to install option. The only thing I don't like, is the price tag. It's somewhere around $300 - $400.
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sparty wrote:

sparty Because you have a Square-D Homeline panel you can obtain an interlock kit that will allow you to use a double pole breaker installed in position 2&4 as the generator breaker. The interlock kit prevents the 2-4 breaker from being closed until you have opened the main breaker. That kit runs about fifty dollars at an electrical supply house. The size of the breaker that you install in position 2-4 will limit the amount of current you can supply to your home through the connection. Your generator must be equipped with a 120/240 volt outlet for it's power to be safe to connect to the home in this way. No matter what size your generator is you may want to consider installing a fifty ampere breaker so that any generator that you would ever want to use, up to 12000 watts, could be connected through that connection. You then run a four wire cable from the panel back to were the inlet connector for the generator will be installed. The cable is sized for the size of the position 2-4 breaker. Fifty amperes is the largest size of inlet that is commonly available. The actual limit on the amount of current the line will carry is the sizing of the breakers on the generator. The simplest arrangement is to match the inlet to the outlet on the generator so that you will not need an adapter to connect the generator cable to the inlet. It is perfectly OK to use a twenty ampere inlet on the fifty ampere cable but if the generator isn't at least 5000 watts it is probably not worth connecting it to your home in this way. The power inlet you use should be weatherproof while in use. The total materials cost of this installation is approximately $200.
Once this installation is in place you can use any load in your home up to the ability of the generator to carry the total load. You are not limited to the particular loads that are connected to a special panel.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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That multi color gen you brought up may have poor power- not for circuits and last only 250-300hrs, you get what you pay for.
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