Q's about Back-feeding Electricity from Generator

takagari

Candiru
MFK Member
Jan 13, 2009
218
23
48
Manitoba
wow good discussion guys

im just starting more school on my electrical engineering. and found the ground/neutral is a heated debate

basicly. your neutral is the permanent "ground" or return for the power coming off your hot.
yes you COULD use hot and ground only. i have done this just for giggles to see. and it works

BUT as said before. the ground is bare. the reason it is bare is really so its there for anything needing it.

if you tied your neutral to the box in the wall, say behind a light switch. someone who touched the screw could potentially get shocked.
so with only hot/neutral there is no way to ground your boxes. or the metal parts on appliances.

you ad in a ground so if, for example. your hot wire comes loose. and touches the box, the ground should in theory pop the breaker. and not allow you to reset it untill it is fixed.
 

pussyfishhunter

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 19, 2008
46
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canada
in my exp as an electrician i have seen diy'ers hurt themselves or start fires far too often. if u dont know what ur doing call someone who does.
make sure when your backfeeding 240v that if u put in the breaker u place it across both phases. if u dont u could blow something up or best case scenario trip a breaker.
 

cudatim68

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Oct 10, 2008
123
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Upstate New York
Thank you ALL.......
Very interesting and informative post. :headbang2
 

AquariumNerd

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 8, 2009
83
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uk. west sussex
You are all nuts. All you need is a power inverter, a devise designed for camping, you attach it to a twelve volt car battery, and it sues a switch mode power supply to step it up to ac mains. All you need is a car battery charger, a car battery, and the inverter. When you have power, charge the car battery. When power is cut, attach inverter to it, and away you go.
 

AquariumNerd

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 8, 2009
83
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uk. west sussex

I have wired mains since I was ten for fun, I also tried this. Don’t forget that you could create a ground loop by wiring to ground instead of live, or hot as you call it.
 

AquariumNerd

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 8, 2009
83
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uk. west sussex

if you have a good rc, it will cut out if you create a ground loop. If you use my idea for the inverter, it will cost around 30-60 for the lot, as the battery and charger can beer salvaged for free. There is not much wiring needed, and you will save your self the hassle. I think pussyfishhunter is volunteering to come out and do it for free!!!
 

AquariumNerd

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 8, 2009
83
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uk. west sussex
Dan Feller;2559191; said:
We're going on hour 6 of a power outage and it sounds like it may be a while.

I have two generators, a 5000W generator on wheels plus a 6000W Onan unit in our RV. In the past I have run messes of cords through the house. This is a real pain, plus I have to leave the door to the garage cracked open..

A friend told me about back-feeding the service through a plug, so I thought I would give it a try.

Before starting I shut off the service disconnect.

I made up a male-male adapter. I attached this to a 100' 12 gauge extension cord. I plugged the male end of the extension cord into an outlet and the female into my adapter (a plug off a power tool with a male adapter on it). It is very important to plug into the generator last, a live male end is a dangerous thing!

I tried going through an outdoor plug first. That only energized the circuit I plugged it into. The culprit turned out to be a GFCI that would pop as soon as I tried back-feeding.

Next I plugged it into a dedicated freezer plug (freezer not in use). This worked, but only with half of the circuits...

My thinking is that I only energized half the circuit board because of the 120V breakers.

The generator has a 240V outlet, but it is a twist-lock connection, which I do not have. When the hardware store opens I'm going to get the parts, then I can hook it up 240V. This will also get me twice the wattage out of my 12G cord.

Does anyone know if this will solve the problem?

If other people have different methods of hooking up their home service to a generator, please reply, as I think others may be encountering similar problems.

Please, no "Call a licensed electrician" replies, this is the DIY section.


Wire directly, if your wife pulls out the plug and it is live, she will get sizzled from that 5000W, which I highly doubt you need to run your tanks, unless you have a 2hp direct drive pump and 1000W heaters, sea life style.
 

Jgray152

Feeder Fish
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Dec 23, 2006
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You are all nuts. All you need is a power inverter, a devise designed for camping, you attach it to a twelve volt car battery, and it sues a switch mode power supply to step it up to ac mains. All you need is a car battery charger, a car battery, and the inverter. When you have power, charge the car battery. When power is cut, attach inverter to it, and away you go.


You have no idea what you are talking about. Do you have any idea how long a the battery will last? A standard car battery will not last for long at all, without doing the math, a couple hours maybe 3 with a lot of the essentials running in the house.

Idling a car or trucks engine requires more fuel than a generator and you are limited to the alternators output which is being used by the cars electrical system as well, no counting for the inefficiency of the alternator too.

You are nuts for trying to be a hero in this thread. Are you will to bet your life for 11 days on 1 car battery?

Your idea is common knowledge and only works for very short term usage. Around here in new Hampshire, some here out for 11 days straight. Do you know of any 12v batteries that will last that long? No luck trying to charge the battery as you have no power to charge it with.


 

Jgray152

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Dec 23, 2006
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Wire directly, if your wife pulls out the plug and it is live, she will get sizzled from that 5000W, which I highly doubt you need to run your tanks, unless you have a 2hp direct drive pump and 1000W heaters, sea life style.


How about the rest of the house?

Don’t forget that you could create a ground loop by wiring to ground instead of live, or hot as you call it.


Don't ever try this.
 
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