33 votes

Can I backfeed a portable generator into my house's electrical system?

You know what, I'm going to repeat the answer found here to the same question. Here's that answer, short and sweet and to the point: ABSOLUTELY NOT!! This is NEVER an option. You MUST use some form ...
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  • 5,686
30 votes
Accepted

Can I plug a generator into a dryer outlet

ABSOLUTELY NOT!! This is NEVER an option. You MUST use some form of transfer switch or interlock, along with the proper male inlet. Also, a male-to-male cord is called a "suicide cord" for a reason....
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28 votes

Propane appliances throwing orange flames suddenly and generator's back firing

Let's learn about energy: BTUs. Put 1 pound of water (just shy of a pint) on the stove and stick a thermometer in it. Turn the stove on, and watch the water warm up on the thermometer. You're ...
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27 votes

Propane appliances throwing orange flames suddenly and generator's back firing

Kris' comment is likely a good reference. Consider to perform a test by operating only one device. If the duration of normal operation increases, or normal operation continues throughout the test, it'...
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  • 9,293
24 votes
Accepted

Propane appliances throwing orange flames suddenly and generator's back firing

Ask your propane company to check the gas pressure anywhere in the system and then fire all appliances in the system, the low pressure side (after the second stage regulator) should stay above 11 ...
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  • 256
18 votes
Accepted

New house generator AC breaker tripping

Found it! It’s the breaker. It’s in the wrong place, because somebody really worked to defeat the keying meant to force it into the right place. This is going to take a little explaining, though. ...
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12 votes
Accepted

using two outlets as extension cord

Yes, and I've done this myself. But not two outlets. The generator side one is an inlet. (These also come in a form-factor that is the same as an outlet). From the inlet, you use in-the-wall ...
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12 votes

Can I run my 40 Amp Range Stove partially on a 30 Amp generator

I'd take a third option here. You clearly have a place to store fuel and someplace where you can run it so I would suggest a propane tank and stove. Cheap, very long shelf life so long as it's ...
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11 votes

8500 W generator with L14-30 plug.. How to access full capacity for house?

Don't worry about it Breakers have a certain latitude to them, and can run slightly above rating for a short time. That provides for motor starting and short term overloads. You're not supposed to ...
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11 votes

What's the best way to connect transfer switch and sub panel?

Get a bigger subpanel You appear to have an automatic transfer switch, and the switching happens there. The 10? 12? space subpanel is just an ordinary run of the mill subpanel. It isn't special, it ...
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10 votes

Can I plug a generator into a dryer outlet

The transfer switch that MUST be used - as pointed out by Speedy - is essential that it be properly installed in conjunction with how the utility / house wiring is installed. The transfer switch and ...
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  • 61.3k
10 votes

Portable generator won't start

As gasoline evaporates it leaves a gummy varnish in the carburetor Gasoline sitting for three years in the float bowl of a carburetor will surely lead to some varnish. The hydrocarbons evaporate ...
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  • 201
10 votes

How can I plug my portable generator into a "wall outlet"?

You should replace the garage outlet with an inlet, such as this (Amazon, as an example). This way, you can use a standard male-female cord, either a standard extension cord or one made with the ...
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  • 7,862
10 votes

Can a switchover to backup power be seamless for a whole house?

This already exists COTS The Tesla PowerWall is the most high visibility version, but there are competitors, and you could even knock one together out of golf cart batteries and inverters. What ...
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8 votes

Generator connected direct to an Unused Breaker

Yes, but not safely nor legally. There are plenty of resources available explaining the risks of doing so and the right way do it. Here's one: This is dangerous. It is an electrical code violation. ...
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  • 105k
8 votes

Can I get 240v out of a 120v generator?

What you describe won't work, and it's not safe for you (or anyone else) to do what you describe. If you have a single phase 120 volt generator and you need to supply power to a 240 volt split phase ...
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  • 181
8 votes

Propane appliances throwing orange flames suddenly and generator's back firing

As an HVAC technician, some of these answers you're getting are really bothering me. Do not wrap anything around your tanks, especially anything electrical. They are designed the way they are for a ...
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  • 101
8 votes
Accepted

Can I run my 40 Amp Range Stove partially on a 30 Amp generator

Generally yes can use part of your range. Each burner is different, I've seen 8" burners use up to 2500 watts, smaller can be 1200 to 1500. I have even baked a pie. However I had to trick the ...
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8 votes

How can I supply 240v power to my home with 120v generators?

Two identical 12V car batteries could deliver 24V, and two identical 120V~ transformers at the same net could deliver 240V~. But two 120V~ generators can not simply be connected in series to get ...
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  • 2,362
7 votes

Can I plug a generator into a dryer outlet

I worked as a high voltage lineman for 30 years and have seen all kinds of squirrelly generator set ups. It is never a good idea to plug your generator into your home's wiring even if your turn your ...
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  • 81
7 votes

Propane appliances throwing orange flames suddenly and generator's back firing

From the look of the burn on the stove it is not to do with pressure. The flame would be short or lazy this is not the case. With this going on all at one time it is something in the gas. Propane CO ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Portable power distribution box

You absolutely need breakers for the 5-20 and 6-20 receptacles - can't connect those directly to a 40A breaker with any hint of safety. And all the outputs would benefit from GFCI protection, given ...
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  • 134k
6 votes

Can I backfeed a portable generator into my house's electrical system?

Old question, but common problem. There IS a sensible, safe, legal middle ground between backfeeding and a full-blown (and expensive) transfer switch: a circuit-breaker panel interlock switch. An ...
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  • 584
6 votes
Accepted

How to determine (not estimate) starting amperage of a motor?

Measuring the startup load is as easy as using a clamp on meter and turning the air handler on and off. The startup load will be high for a split second, then drop down to a steady load. Use Ohms ...
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  • 4,765
6 votes
Accepted

How to operate generator transfer switch?

Each switch has 3 positions, as labeled on the right hand side of the panel: GEN OFF and LINE. In their current position, the normal electrical feed is going to each circuit. If you move the switch ...
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6 votes

Generator has 4 prongs, can an adapter be used?

You cannot just use an adapter and hook your generator up to your house electrical panel. You need a transfer switch to isolate your service from the power company when your generator is in use. ...
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  • 53.7k
6 votes

House generator with 4 prong female end

That is an improper connector for a "suicide cord" - remove it and replace it with a proper "inlet." Which is a "male connector you mount on the wall." Never heard of the ...
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  • 134k
6 votes
Accepted

How do I replace a generator's 4 pin socket with a 3 pin socket?

This is largely impractical. Your generator's 240V is 120V-neutral/ground-120V with 240V between the two hot wires, and 120V from each to neutral/ground Your house power is 240V-Neutral/ground. One ...
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  • 134k
5 votes

What do I do with the neutral and ground when wiring a transfer switch?

There can only be one point in the system where neutral and ground wires are joined, and this is usually in the main panel. Therefore, you must lift the bond from the generator, or disconnect the ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Getting full power from my backup generator to my electrical panel

Ok you wrote a book. Proposing all manner of third rate hackery. And what does it boil down to? You want to get 5000W out of your 5000W generator. Quick question. What is 240 x 21 ? By my ...
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