Home Generators and Back Feeding Electrical Power
How to Connect a Generator to a Home – There are illegal methods of connecting a generator to a home to provide temporary power that can be very dangerous, the proper way to connect generator power to the home electrical system is by providing a separation between the utility company power supply and the generator.
NEVER Back Feed A Home with Generator Power!
Electrical Question: I have a Briggs & Stratton portable generator model pro8000 01934.
I want to back feed the house and the GFCI trips.
It has the neutral bonded to the frame,and I want to float it and I can’t get any good wire schematics from Briggs,just 2 hours wasted on the phone with people who are clueless.
Where would I find the Neutral to disconnect?
Once I do, I will terminate with a connector for stand alone when needed.
This electrical wiring question came from: Dennis, a Electrician from Phillips, WI.
See more about Electrical Wiring for Wisconsin
Additional Comments: nice!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Dennis.
Why Back Feeding Generator Power to a Home is Very Dangerous
Dennis, I’m sorry but I do not recommend back feeding a home with power from a generator due to the electrical dangers involved not only in the home electrical system but also the danger of back feeding the electrical utility system and creating lethal voltage for linemen who may be working on the power lines.
Additionally, I do not recommend disconnecting the built in GFCI protection that is installed in the generator unit by the manufacturer.
How to Connect a Generator to a Home
There are illegal methods of connecting a generator to a home to provide temporary power that can be very dangerous and these methods should never be used.
The proper way to connect generator power to the home electrical system is by providing a separation between the utility company power supply and the generator power so that the two sources of power can never be supplying power at the same time.
In Cases Where You Need Emergency Power from a Generator
- Make sure the generator is out of areas where there may be flooding.
- Make sure the generator is on a level area where it is stable and secure.
- Store back up fuel in a safe outdoor location located away from the generator.
- Do not operate a portable generator indoors or near windows that may opened – exhaust fumes are hazardous and can be deadly.
- Temporary power connections must be made using heavy gauge extension cords that are rated for the circuit size as stated on the generator or the receptacle outlet of the generator.
- Do NOT back-feed the home electrical system or use cheater cords – THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
- Keep the cord receptacle connection at the end of the cord out of water.
- Do not connect an appliance to any power source that is exposed to water, unless the submerged portion of the equipment is rated for use in wet areas such as sump pumps.
- Do not cover an operating generator in such a way as to trap exhaust heat and cause a fire. Generators need space to dissipate heat and expel exhaust.
More about Generators for the Home:
This series covers a wide variety of topics all about home generators including sizing, selecting, connecting and safely operating this all important addition to your home.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
Wiring a Switch for an Air CompressorWayne asks:
I am wiring my 240volt air compressor using 10/3 to a lighted 30 amp switch to place by exit door to turn off when im away.
My question is: when I wire the switch I will have essentially two hots, do I place both the black and red on one screw and the black and red on the other?
Also its the lighted Leviton 3032-plr, a lot of the comments say I need to use the neutral to operate the light.
I dont know what to do with that.
Thanks for your help.
Wayne, The Leviton 3032-plr switch that you have described is for 120volt applications and will not work on a 240volt circuit.
A typical 240 volt air compressor requires two hots and a ground wire.
A neutral wire is not required.
A 120volt lighted control switch could be wired as an add on control circuit, however this would require a separate 120volt control circuit, a 120volt lighted switch, and a 120volt control relay with 240volt contacts rated for 30amps.
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