I will second (or third) everyone else's advice. If you need to be told how
to do this, you shouldn't be doing it. Quick reality check; do you break
just the hots, or also the grounds and neutral? You don't know, do you.
Then leave it alone.
If you install an new circuit incorrectly, it probably just won't work. If
you do this wrong someone could die.
In any event, you are probably better off with a simple commercial transfer
switch. Mine will power 6 circuits; and if you do it wrong, it just won't
(Sure, you could do a circuit or TS wrong so it is dangerous, but you would
almost have to try.)
(Answer to QRC, it depends on the generator.)
If it's really an emergency (longterm power outage), you break the seal
on the meter box and remove the meter. Now you are disconnected from
the grid and can do whatever you need to do (like carefully backfeed a
welder or range or dryer outlet). The power company will understand
when you call them to reseal the meter.
It would be safer to install a recessed-male plug somewhere instead of
using a dryer outlet. There's a reason double male cords are called
If it's just a short-term power outage, Just use extension cords and
don't try to connect the gen to the house wiring.
But you don't really want the male plug connected to a normal breaker in
the panel, either, because it would become live with exposed hot metal
parts if someone turned the breaker on by accident when the panel was
under utility power. That's at least as suicidal.
The safe way to do this is with the male plug connected to one input of
a transfer switch that is upstream of the main panel. The transfer
switch avoids any possibility of backfeeding, and it also means that the
male plug can never be powered from the utility. It can only receive
power from the generator, and pass it along to the main panel if the
transfer switch is set appropriately.
What you need ( and I think is required) is an automatic transfer
switch. When the loss of utility power is detected, the switch will
automatically disconnect the utility power and switch over to the
generator. The switch usually requires a control module for detecting
the change in voltage. Companies such as ASCO build switche modules.
They ain't cheap and with good reason. It has to be fool proof for
many of the reasons stated.
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