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genrator/electrial question

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Bisi, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Due to the ice storm I have been without power for a week. I have a generator so I'm getting by okay except for water. I'm on a well which is wired directly into the panel at 240 volts.

    The generator has a 4 plug 240volt receptacle, all my 240volt outlets in house are 3 prong. I have a 3 prong welding receptacle in garage. I was wanting to get s numbler 10 wire with 2 male ends and plug one end into generator and other into welding socket and backfeed panel so I could run well. I know enough to disconnect main breaker.

    I was planning on using only 3 prongs of 4 prong generator outlet, that okay?
    Doesn't really matter anyway as Home Depot and Loews and electrical houses are out of plugs anyway.

    When did 4 prong 240 come about?
     
  2. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Code for generators requires a special disconnect switch for Generator use, preventing any back fed situation.

    If you have a Schematic for the generator I would advise wiring the well to the generator and keep it out of the breaker panel.

    You still need the 4 prong plug and a cable to the well. 240, FYI runs on 2 conductors and ground has no power carrying function, unlike 110.

    I think you had better get someone in the trade to just give you a little assistance.

    HM
     
  3. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    The four prong outlet on your generator has two hots, a ground nad a neutral. This is so you can supply a subpanel which requires a four wire supply. The subpanel uses one hot and the neutral for 110 volts circuits.

    You will need a fairly large generator to run a well pump. My guess is at least a 8 KW unit. This is because electric motors will draw at least twice the running current on start up.

    Back feeding is not a good idea. I did that on my previous home (through my 220 volt outlet in my shop). I installed a subpanel and a generator disconnect in my current home. I put everything I want to run on the generator in the subpanel. That way I leave the main breaker on and I can tell when the power comes back on.

    Jim Skeel
     
  4. Tracer

    Tracer Member

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    Bisi,
    The 4 pronge plug is used so you can have 2 hot 120 volt leads, 1 neuteral lead and a ground lead. Some folks will tell you that the "ground" and "neuteral" are the same but they aren't. The neuteral is used in your house to compleat the 120 volt circuits. For your well you can tie in at the starter box after shutting down the breaker in the pannel that feeds the well. You probabably already know to turn off the main (probably a 200 amp) breaker from the line. The wire you want to use going to the well should have at least 3 leads. 2 will be hot and the other (green) will be ground. When you buy a plug for the generator there should be a wiring schematic showing the ground, neuteral and 2 line conectors. Give me a call if you like and I can talk you through it. 503-999-4617 Del
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Jim, great idea. I will have to remember that.

    HM
     
  6. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    I did what Jim said, works great. My 8k gen runs my well, sump, TV, and whatever else I plug in. We have a woodstove so we can stay warm. I did put a battery backup on the sump in case the juice goes out and we are not home.
     
  7. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Thanks guys. Hopefully the power will be back on in a few days. I'm not going to do anything about the pump right now. I have plenty of snow and I'm melting it for water. Home Depot was out of number 8 and 10 wire yesterday and they didn't have any plugs either. Dito for Lowes.

    I just need to be ready for the next time. Just wanted to know if it was possible to run well on generator and how to hook up.

    I should know this stuff. I have an associates degree in industrial electric/motor and motor controls but that was 25 years ago and I never put the knowledge or should say lack of knowledge to use.

    Amazing what a guy can forget.
     
  8. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Besides turning off the main breaker in a panel when back feeding, the neutral should be isolated---a lineman working doesn't want to get hit with any voltage when its stepped up. Word to the wise.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  9. twopipe

    twopipe Member

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    get a generator panel. It has a main that is interlocked so it's either utility or generator supply, no possible backfeed. Then get someone who knows what to do, because you don't.
     
  10. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    The link here has a nice how-to with illustrations for doing it the quality way.

    The other way would be to switch you pump to an inlet receptacle, and use extnsion cords for it and the other appliances you want to use.

    The way good quality extenxion cords cost these days, the 100 or so bucks for the transfer switch would be my choice.

    HM
     
  11. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    635 G are you sure about the neutral. On my breaker panel the neutral/white lead coming from the meter is fastened to a lug on the same ground buss with all the other ground wires from the idividual circuits. Those grounds then are tied into a ground wire to a rod in the ground and there is also a ground wire to my incoming copper water supply line. I do not see how any curret could possible be back feed to the street if the main is opened as mentioned in previous posts. Just wondering. Bill
     
  12. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    JUst visualize the connection on any aspect of the utility ground goes bad or if the water company uses pvc your ground is not what it used to be. I would put in a 3 pole double throw switch and isolate the neutral & the two hots. This switch is a lot cheaper than lawyers. But, call your local electrical sub code official--get it inspected & get him to sign off on it. This way you're bullet proof.


    Phil Berkowitz
     
  13. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    If you have ever gotten hit with a shared neutral, open on one leg, you will soon learn to pay special attention to grounds and neutrals.

    (voice of experience)

    HM
     
  14. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    Last year I bought a Coleman 6750/8500 w/13hp Yamaha and digital readout, and wired mine the same as Jim Skeel. Everything works well, but when using it, I did notice incandescent bulbs under power sort of 'pulsate', rather than give a steady glow when fed from the utility. Is this normal, or related to the quality of the generator, or? Should have purchased one that is regulated maybe.
     
  15. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

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    Here is WARNING! DO NOT trust the outside disconnect. use the main inside breaker. I just had 2 yes 2 fail, was lucky that I had one gen unpluged and the other the disconnect did open. I wired direct through both.
    Also the 4 prong is a new thing [last10yrs] you have a ground [L shape] and a blade [middle] that is netral both are hooked to ground in panel[white and green]
     
  16. Buster1652

    Buster1652 Member

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    Bisi, Please take my advise and purchase a generator transfer switch. lowes has a good one make by reliance for $280 Then hire a competent electrician to install. Probably 50 to 75 dollar charge. This way you and your household are protected as well as the utility lineman. You must have a transfer switch in order to run a household generator. That is the law.

    The electrician will know exactly what to do in order to hook up your 220 circuit for your well pump. This will require two circuits from your transfer switch.

    I live in a rural area of Ohio and was running extension cords thru the house and was not able to run my well pump.

    You will be able to sleep at night knowing that you have a safe and reliable method of managing your power needs when your power goes out.


    Art
     
  17. Dale Z

    Dale Z TS Member

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    Hooking up a generator to backfeed your electrical panel thru a welder rec. DON"T DO IT. A licensed electrician and transfer switch are a he** of lot cheaper than the lawyers, the fines and the lawsuits you may encounter. Do it the SAFE and right way. Check with your local electrical inspector if you doubt this advice. He will be more than happy to give you the correct and least expensive way to accomplish the task.
     
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