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Old 07-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #31
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Actually, it's against code and ILLEGAL to back feed any generator with out some safety device. (That would be a transfer switch, a disconnect switch, or disconnect from the grid.) Just turning off the main and turning on the generator breaker doesn't count. I have the disconnect switch. It costs less to buy, less to install, and gives you access to your WHOLE panel. It's just not stupid-proof. YOU have to figure out how much you can run W/your generator, and flip breakers accordingly. But, you can turn off all of them, and then turn on 1 heavy draw item, (well pump, maybe), and run it no prob. We got an 8K electric start Generac. The gen., all the parts, and the labor to install came to $2K even. I did a lot of research and a little fabrication myself to lower the cost a little.

I was under the impression Generac was made in the US. I think the OP mentioned they were not.......where did you come up with this info?
Here is one of the "toggle" devices I was refering to, they are called a generator interlock kit: http://www.nooutage.com/interlock_kits.htm#What does a typical installation look like?
Many certified master electricians use this method for people who aren't wanting to spend the money on the standby unit or even a manual transfer switch, this is the cheapest easiest method for hooking up to a portable sized generator and choosing which circuits to power, to my knowledge this is completely "legal", as far as hooking up without a safety device being illegal, to my knowledge it is only illegal for a licensed electrician to install something not up to code like that as they are supposed to have the knowledge and ability to do it up to code, if I myself decide to do a jerry rig job just to get me some power and backfeed through an outlet or something like that nobody is going to come throw me in jail, maybe if I forgot to flip off the main and a lineman got shocked then there could be some legal issues but if you are responsible and turn off the main every time the generator cops aren't going to come throw you in jail for running it that way and since do it yourself or remodel jobs aren't inspected the inspector will never know what is going on either. I am in no way advocating hooking up gennys unsafely I just find it humorous when people claim stuff like this is ILLEGAL when it is a building code or electrical code issue not really a legal matter. As I mentioned I have a 5000 watt and it runs my well pump as well as whatever else is going at the time no problem, as far as Generac their website states made in USA, my old boss is a dealer in all grades of Generac he had to do classes at their factory to learn about the maintenance and repairs, I don't remeber where it was but it was in the USA.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #32
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Well, call your power company for the final word on the applicable laws. And I do believe braking code is technically illegal. Has to be a law behind it if they want to be able to do something about it. And, I beg to differ, if you screw up and a lineman gets killed, you very well could end up in jail. Or, if you burn your house down, you insurance may refuse to pay out. BTW, being a remodel job or doing it yourself does not excuse you from getting a permit and having it inspected, and an electrician can loose his license if he does something that's not up to code, and something happens....

The interlock kit is what I was talking about, that's what I have, it completely meets code, and it's not just to save money. Although it does happen to be the cheapest method, I think it's the better one. It gives you the ability to run ANY circuit on your panel, & not be limited to just 6 or 10. My electrician said 7 times out of 10 he will install a transfer switch, and then get called back after the 1st power outage, because they figured out that they chose the wrong circuits to hook up. More $$.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:03 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blucoondawg View Post
Here is one of the "toggle" devices I was refering to, they are called a generator interlock kit: http://www.nooutage.com/interlock_kits.htm#What does a typical installation look like?
Many certified master electricians use this method for people who aren't wanting to spend the money on the standby unit or even a manual transfer switch, this is the cheapest easiest method for hooking up to a portable sized generator and choosing which circuits to power, to my knowledge this is completely "legal", as far as hooking up without a safety device being illegal, to my knowledge it is only illegal for a licensed electrician to install something not up to code like that as they are supposed to have the knowledge and ability to do it up to code, if I myself decide to do a jerry rig job just to get me some power and backfeed through an outlet or something like that nobody is going to come throw me in jail, maybe if I forgot to flip off the main and a lineman got shocked then there could be some legal issues but if you are responsible and turn off the main every time the generator cops aren't going to come throw you in jail for running it that way and since do it yourself or remodel jobs aren't inspected the inspector will never know what is going on either. I am in no way advocating hooking up gennys unsafely I just find it humorous when people claim stuff like this is ILLEGAL when it is a building code or electrical code issue not really a legal matter. As I mentioned I have a 5000 watt and it runs my well pump as well as whatever else is going at the time no problem, as far as Generac their website states made in USA, my old boss is a dealer in all grades of Generac he had to do classes at their factory to learn about the maintenance and repairs, I don't remeber where it was but it was in the USA.
Actually in many places violating life safety code is a legal matter Almost universally in the US it is a code violation to modify the panel cover of an electrical panel. If you aren't going to do it right then please do not do it at all. Jerry rigging a generator to your electrical box can result in injury or death to yourself or someone else. Is it really worth squabbling over a few bucks and/or legality?
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:18 PM   #34
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with these things being so inexpensive and apparently easy to install, why not do it the correct way?
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=202019403&R=20201940 3
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:06 PM   #35
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because some people do not find $319 to be inexpensive, the generator interlock device is considered the correct way and it is far cheaper. Dog I assure you it is not a code violation to drill a couple holes in a panel cover and install the interlock device. We don't talk to the power company about remodels or private electrical installations we consult the NEC code or a master electrician, we don't have to get a permit to do minor remodeling or install a generator, we only need a permit if we build new or put on an addition larger than 50% of the living area of the original building therefore these types of jobs don't need inspection, and actually we don't need a permit at all if we sign a waiver taking responsibility for all the building as our own general contractor, however we are then liable for everything and if we hire a shoddy tradesmen we cannot go after him for damages if he screws up, as far as code goes, it is illegal to break code it is enforced by building inspectors and it applies to card carrying tradesmen, the penalty for code violations is they are made to redo the work up to code to pass inspection and if it is a bad enough violation they could get their license yanked which would seriously effect their ability to make a living and possibly get a fine, and yes if someone were killed or injured due to an improper installation the court could get involved though here it would likely be a civil lawsuit against the tradesmen to compensate the surviving family, a do it yourselfer carries no license and in our state cannot really get into trouble for installing things however they want even if it's wrong, the idea is they don't have the proper training so they cannot really do anything to them for doing it wrong, we run into shoddy electrical work all the time that someone did their self and eventually called to have us repair, we look at it and shake our head and fix it, nobody goes to jail or anything for installing their own "illegal" wiring. The law is getting stricter, in 2013 all electrical workers will need a license, now an electrician can open shop and hire anyone and not train them properly and it's legal, however this still cannot stop the do it yourselfer. My generator connection is installed the same as with the interlock device however I don't have the interlock device yet, I don't consider this "jerry rigging" and you will see in my previous post I was not advocating "jerry rigging" and since I am the only one who uses my generator hook up and I know how to flip off the main breaker, nobody is in danger of being killed.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #36
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Here is an even easier and cheaper solution and it makes it impossible to have both line power and generator power on at the same time.

http://www.interlockkit.com/?gclid=CP3AlZ_ah7ECFcXe4AodvXFkFA

This has worked for me for several years now.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:14 PM   #37
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Here is an even easier and cheaper solution and it makes it impossible to have both line power and generator power on at the same time.

http://www.interlockkit.com/?gclid=CP3AlZ_ah7ECFcXe4AodvXFkFA

This has worked for me for several years now.
Yes these are the devices we were discussing, they are a cheap and perfectly legal method and allow you access to whichever circuits you would like to run without having to move them over to another panel.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:51 PM   #38
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One thing to keep in mind is that if the generator back-feeds through a 120 volt circuit, only the circuits on that side of the breaker box will have access to that feed.
On the other hand, if the 240VAC output of the generator is connected back through, say the dryer outlet, all the circuits on the breaker panel have access to the generator.
Of course the admonition of the many on this thread should be heeded. This is dangerous! Main breaker OFF. And it requires a male plug be connected to the output of the generator....Have all the circuit breakers at the box turned off and plug the plug in before starting the generator.
And the saying 'too many cooks...' certainly applies here. Only one person (you) should be doing any connecting and/or switching.

For those who might have forgotten the power formulas:
(These are resistive formulas. Motors involve power factors, inductive loads and such. Err on the side of caution.)
P=IE, where P is power, I is current and E is voltage.
I=P divided by E
E=P divided by I
For example, a generator capable of 3500 watts continuous output can supply about 28 amps. maximum on the 120 volt outlet, about 14 amps. out of the 240 volt outlet.

All, including me, should prepare for eventualities and do it the right way, as suggested by many on this thread.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:56 PM   #39
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P=IE, where P is power, I is current and E is voltage.
I love PIE!!!
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:58 PM   #40
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because some people do not find $319 to be inexpensive, the generator ......... and I know how to flip off the main breaker, nobody is in danger of being killed.
Seriously blu grammer and punctuation are your friend
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