Electrician Training Electrical Certification
wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Electrical Question from Guy about Generator Connections

NEVER connect a generator in such a way as to back-feed your electrical system! This is extremely dangerous not only to your home but also the electrical utility crews who may be working on downed electrical wires.

Electrical Question from Guy about 220 Volt Wiring Diagram

Received from Guy a Handyman in Jacksonville, Florida

Question: I have a Generac 8550/5550 heavy duty generator with 120/240 30a ac and ran a romex type nm-B 10/3 600v wire into the garage to plug into the dryer, but after reading up on this bad idea I was wondering if I could take the wire into a stand alone panel box and run smaller circuits into the house to plug in refrigerator, window ac, lamp and maybe a tv on different outlets.

Additional Comments: This is a great website. Really nice for someone to share their wisdom with others. Thanks

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question.
Hello Guy – You are absolutely correct.
NEVER connect a generator in such a way as to back-feed your electrical system! This is extremely dangerous not only to your home but also the electrical utility crews who may be working on downed electrical wires.

The solution is to install a Transfer Switch and Sub-Panel specifically for essential circuits that you need to have on generator power. This is not advisable for a novice and it is best to have a licensed electrical contractor install this setup for you. Typically this is done with an building permit and inspection.
Be safe – not sorry!
Do it right the first time – you’ll sleep better at night!

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

For more information about 220 Volt Wiring Diagram
220 Volt Wiring Diagram

This link is helpful as a Handyman
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

Make sure not to miss these Resources for: Electrical Safety
Home Electrical Safety

Be Careful and Be Safe – Never Work on Energized Circuits!

For Best Results Consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Locate An Electrical Contractor in Your Area

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Not the answer you're looking for?
Browse other questions about this topic:

220 Volt Wiring Circuit Breaker Electrical Generator , ,

Or Ask Dave a Question

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Electrical Question from Guy about Generator Connections”
  1. Matt says:

    I recently purchased a Honda EM6500 portable generator and had a electrician install a sub panel and transfer switch. Before energizing it, he tested the generator and found that it was getting 8V through the ground. He indicated that this is too high of a voltage running through the ground and this could damage our TVs, computers and refrigerators.

    I have had numerous conversations with the dealer for this generator who has contacted Honda. They claim that this is a tolerable amount of voltage, of course I have no proof of this conversation other than my dealer’s word.

    I have two questions:

    1) Do you think that this level of voltage through the ground is considered normal operation for a unit like this (my understanding a top of the line generator)

    2) Do you agree or disagree that this level of voltage through the ground presents a real risk of damaging sensitive equipment in my house?


    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Matt,
      I do not like the idea of any voltage on a ground system except when a fault occurs, and that would be for a very short period of time until ground fault protection reacts and opens the circuit. For some power supplies and such equipment the ground is used as a reference, however that should not appear as a static reading of voltage on the circuit ground at all times.
      I would think that if the ground of the generator were bonded to an earth ground that the reading would disappear, and if that proved to be the case then the problem of voltage on the ground would be solved, however that still does not explain what is causing the voltage to be there on the generator side.
      It would be good to take a series of readings, especially when a load is added to the generator.
      I will do further research and add any significant discoveries.

      This is an open comment, and other views are encouraged.


If you are asking a Quick Question please make sure it is about This TOPIC:
“Electrical Question from Guy about Generator Connections”

Comments Posted here are Open for Quality Discussion and Participation.

By submitting you agree to our Site Terms