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Old 11-05-2010, 11:12 AM   #15
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What I did:
On the motor home: I installed a 30 amp twist lock outlet in one of the basement compartments where it is out of the weather, I also put 2 30 amp RV type outlets (on pigtails) next to it.

ON THE HOUSE:

I had a professional upgrade my 120vac service (new breaker box, note this is opional) and at the same time install a proper GENERATOR TRANSFER SWITCH from either Lowes or Home depot.

They then installed an "INLET" (like an outlet but male) on the back of the house and I built a custom extension cord to connect the two.

NOTE: The generator I have (Onan 5500) is 120 volt only.. Both outputs are the same, so 240 volt devices (Air conditioner, Dryer, Electric range) will NOT work off the Onan. 120 volt devices, (Freezer, Fridge, Furnace (Gas), Televisions, radios, computers and stuff that works with them, lights and such.. Work just fine.

So when I came home and found Frosty the air-blown inflatable snowman sleeping on the job, I grabbed the cord out of the basement, plugged the female end into the inlet, the male end into the outlet, hooked up the GEN-TURI to the motor home.. Pushed the GEN-START button on the dash, when I got confirmation of operation I went back to house and CLICK, lights, CLICK furnace, CLICK computer, CLICK televisions, CLICK freezer, CLICK refrigerator.

The smile on the wife... Worth the cost.

Load Shedding Automatic Transfer Switch - RTSJ200A3 at The Home Depot

That is a "Delux" model

This one is way less money but more work.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_330515-24212-RTSX100A3_4294857298_4294937087_?productId=3200923 &Ns=p_product_price|0&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Genera tors_4294857298_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_price %7C0
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:59 AM   #16
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I have done this successfully as well, from my barn storage area to my house. I got a lot of negitive feedback on this forum about this subject when I posted it. You MUST disconnect your main feeder breaker from the grid, then hook up and run your generator as you discribed. The difficulty I had was determining when the grid was once again powered back up, i.e. take a drive to neighbors to see if their power is back on. Once grid is powered up again, be SURE you turn off your generator, disconnect your "jumper cable", only then re connect your main breaker to power your house from the grid again.

Roger
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger.H View Post
I have done this successfully as well, from my barn storage area to my house. I got a lot of negitive feedback on this forum about this subject when I posted it. You MUST disconnect your main feeder breaker from the grid, then hook up and run your generator as you discribed. The difficulty I had was determining when the grid was once again powered back up, i.e. take a drive to neighbors to see if their power is back on. Once grid is powered up again, be SURE you turn off your generator, disconnect your "jumper cable", only then re connect your main breaker to power your house from the grid again.

Roger
The problem with shutting off or removing your main breaker is that your neutral wire is still connected to the grid.

Under the right conditions you CAN KILL a lineman working on the grid with that setup back feeding the transformer secondary thru the neutral.

The only safe way is with an approved transfer switch.

Paul
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DonGott View Post
I was really looking for someones response like Logthumpers that had actually done this at the generator. Great photo's Logthumper........man you've really been busy ........great ideas. Thanks guys !!!!
I have installed a 50 amp 120/240 volt outlet at my 7.5kw genset in the motor home. I will only us it if we are without power for a extended period to run my well pump so we have water. What you want to do can be done but use a transfer switch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. and have a licensed electrician or electrical contractor do the work. In most states a permit is required.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkendzor View Post
The problem with shutting off or removing your main breaker is that your neutral wire is still connected to the grid.

Under the right conditions you CAN KILL a lineman working on the grid with that setup back feeding the transformer secondary thru the neutral.

The only safe way is with an approved transfer switch.

Paul
I have a professionally installed & inspected 15K stand by generator that includes a 100 amp whole house automatic transfer switch. It does not disconnect the neutral.

The real danger of not using a transfer switch or lockout is that there are too many opportunities for mistakes. Worst case backfeeds the grid (and all your neighbors). A justly deserved case is connecting the grid to your generator when the power comes back on - makes lots of smoke! Making it impossible for both sources to be connected at the same time is critical.

By the way, interlock kits are available for many service entrance panels that can be used to physically lock out the main breakers before the generator feed breakers can be switched on. They are legal, safe & do not disconnect the neutral. Check Interlockkit for some examples.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:37 PM   #20
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My emergency plan is to just run an extension cord from the motorhome to the house. I will then select either the fridge, freezer, or furnace to be plugged into the cord. I rewired my furnace so that I have an outlet feeding the furnace with a standard plug that connects to the furnace. If necessary, I can unplug from that outlet and plug into my extension cord from the motorhome generator. This won't feed anything else in the house, but it also won't fry any linemen. Not planning for luxury, just survival. Can anyone see any flaws in my plan? Let me know and I'll keep adjusting, Thanks, HarveyP
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:53 PM   #21
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My emergency plan is to just run an extension cord from the motorhome to the house. I will then select either the fridge, freezer, or furnace to be plugged into the cord. I rewired my furnace so that I have an outlet feeding the furnace with a standard plug that connects to the furnace. If necessary, I can unplug from that outlet and plug into my extension cord from the motorhome generator. This won't feed anything else in the house, but it also won't fry any linemen. Not planning for luxury, just survival. Can anyone see any flaws in my plan? Let me know and I'll keep adjusting, Thanks, HarveyP
I like your plan.

Survival is really the issue in my mind. My plan starts with never being anywhere I need a heater...

Rick
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by vermilye View Post
I have a professionally installed & inspected 15K stand by generator that includes a 100 amp whole house automatic transfer switch. It does not disconnect the neutral.

The real danger of not using a transfer switch or lockout is that there are too many opportunities for mistakes. Worst case backfeeds the grid (and all your neighbors). A justly deserved case is connecting the grid to your generator when the power comes back on - makes lots of smoke! Making it impossible for both sources to be connected at the same time is critical.

By the way, interlock kits are available for many service entrance panels that can be used to physically lock out the main breakers before the generator feed breakers can be switched on. They are legal, safe & do not disconnect the neutral. Check Interlockkit for some examples.
Vermilye,
You are correct .... and the neutral disconnect is heavily debated and it's up to the local code enforcement agency, power company, and electrical inspector to make that decision. Some cities and towns require it and some still do not.

There are a lot of transfer switches that do not disconnect the neutral and are approved. There are also add on kits for the neutral disconnect available aftermarket.

Some generators have the neutral bonded to the ground internally and some do not. It is rare but again with the right conditions the genset could back feed thru the neutral to the transformer secondary and step up the voltage on the primary side. We have a lot of ice storms in the area and frequently see downed primary wires.

I cringe when I see a downed wire across a car or lying on the street and everyone thinks its safe because the lights are out for blocks.

IMHO the transfer switch with the neutral disconnect is the safest approach. I also think most if not all motor homes with a factory installed automatic transfer switch disconnect the neutral.

Paul
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:46 AM   #23
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Okay, let me start over. Maybe I should have asked this in a different way. Has anyone added a 50amp recepticle to their coach or directly onto the side of the bus generator?
Yes, my plans are to use my bus generator (if I have too) in case of emergency to supply power to my home. I store my bus in a barn next to the house and the panel is 10ft from my bus wall. My thoughts are to install a 50amp female recepticle on the bus and also install a 50amp female recepticle at the barn panel, which also feeds the house. I have an extra lenght of 50 amp extension cord, one end already has the male plug. I was gonna install a 50 amp male plug on the other end also. As long as the disconnect at the main feed meter panel is in the off position (disconnected from the grid) there should not be any issues. Right ??? No different than a backup auto start home generator that is used for emergency power outagges. The only difference is that I'm manually disconnecting from the grid instead of it being an automatic transfer switch. Has anyone done this? Thanks again.... Don
Any attempt to use back-up power without a transfer switch, if not installed at least inspected and passed by both a certified electrician AND the power company is illegal. The risk issue is not being fined..it is being prosecuted for homicide.
If power leaks/bleeds back thru the grid and is passed through a transformer, power company employees who think power is off are killed. YOU are liable both morally and legally.

No matter how competant a tinkerer, do not do without the power company signing off on the sytem; they likely won't sign off without a transfer switch.

For years I was VP of The Energy Alternative, we designed/installed/supplied such systems as part of our business. As such we were aware of many cases of things gone wrong. In one case a wet, icy tree limb fell on a non-certified but well wired home made systems'cable, shorted back thru the tree to a power line brushing the tree along the road and bled enough juice that once passed thru a transformer, killed a lineman. Without the power company certification to CYA...your screwed. With the certification...your covered from Murphy's Law
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