We own a 5000/6260 Watt generator that is used for temporary emergency
service during electrical outages. In our area (SE Kansas). Outages
related to thunderstorms and ice storms are fairly common. Outages
can last from a couple of hours to more than a day.
Being a lot Irish, I really don't want to spring for the full $600 -
$1,000+ plus for a full up transfer switch installation. A am also
opposed to the old Dryer Plug approach. Remembering to isolate the
house with main breakers might work now; but as our brains age it
looks like a good way to kill a lineman. Here are needs and a
Main Needs are:
1) Sump Pump main control circuit (basement)
2) Backup Sump Pump battery charger circuit (basement)
3) Furnace (central heat NOT air conditioning - basement)
4) Freezer (basement)
5) Refrigerator (main floor)
These five items are well within normal and surge capacity of the
generator so I should have some capacity to run a few lamps.
1) Install a standard four prong female generator connection box so
that 10/4 wire passes directly through the sill plate of the house.
This will be done outside, or just inside of the garage door. (In
either case the generator will, of course, be located well away from
2) The 10/4 wire, from the box, will enter the basement and be routed
down to about four feet above the floor via conduit.
3) At the bottom of the wire/conduit I will install a fourplex box and
split the circuit into two 120v circuits with a standard two-plug
receptacle on each. This will serve items 1) through 4) above via
direct connection or extension cords. The longest cord run will be
This circuit will be "dumb" and will not be hooked to the main house
When needed, we will move the generator outside of the garage and use
a standard 4-blade, 30 amp, 30' generator cord to connect the
generator to the dumb circuit which will serve basement needs. The
fridge and lights will be served by a couple of the four standard 120v
circuits on the generator.
Anyone else done something similar - or better? I do want to keep
cost down and keep it safe. But it is a solution that MIGHT get used
once every year or so.