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#173629 - 01/14/08 07:47 PM Portable generator hookup.
Niko Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 358
Loc: Campbell, CA
I think i am right on this but i need your thoughts as well.

The client has the portable gas powered generator hooked up with an extention cord through the outside wall to a independant duplex receptacle and has marked it generator.
This receptacle is not part of the existing circuitry.

I told the client first the SJTW extension cord has to get protected and second she can not have a permanent connection to the building.

I recommended to have the permanent SJTW cord removed. Install a flanged inlet at the outside of the building and during a black out use a generator cord to power the inlet which will power the inside receptacle.

Am I right on this and what is the NEC section?
I could not find anyhting about a portable unit permanently connected to the building in 445, 702, 705


Thank you for your input.
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#173633 - 01/15/08 03:03 AM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: Niko]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Sounds good, but a transfer switch is definitely needed.

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#173635 - 01/15/08 03:48 AM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: Texas_Ranger]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
The generator provides its own protection, beit with a breaker or mechanical limiting. The temp cord must be sized to the generator and use an appropriate plug.

Also, I'm a bit confused when you say "independant"- do you mean this receptacle is not connected to the electrical system in the house, it's simply providing a pass-through so they can leave the generator outside yet plug stuff in, inside?

Oooh, that sounds fuzzy NEC-wise, as it would count as a 2nd service to the building which is a no-no. Also, the ground wire must be grounded. Honestly, though, if the cabling is sized to the outlet (20A cabling for a 15A or 20A duplex receptacle), I don't see a problem electrically/fire-wise. I don't like the idea of backfeeding a receptacle, though, as that would leave the generator cord with energized prongs and a potential shock hazard- the exterior outlet should either be a male socket, or a permanant connection. I see no issues with leaving it permanantly connected, though it's probably not advisable to leave a portable generator out in the weather like that.

If the HO is going to this trouble, why not do it right and give them a full-up transfer switch?

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#173641 - 01/15/08 07:23 AM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: SteveFehr]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I recently had a job where the purpose was to upgrade just such a system. While I give praise that this customer decided to invest in a proper generator, transfer switch, etc .... I could not fault their earlier practices; they had done the best the could.

That is, every time the power went out, they trundled out the portable generator, and manually transferred the cord & plug connections of critical equipment from their 'normal' receptacles to a generator-only connected receptacle. The 'critical' loads were even within the capacity of the little genny!

Now, of course, they have plenty of power. With the auto transfer, they may not even notice when the power goes off. Is the new arrangement better? Sure it is. Was the former arrangement safe? I'd say "yes." .... Just not very 'user friendly.'

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#173646 - 01/15/08 09:39 AM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: renosteinke]
JValdes Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 308
Loc: South Carolina
Texas Ranger,
Automatic transfer switches are not required for portable generators. An inexpensive interlock kit will serve the purpose just fine. The one I will provide a link to is UL approved. However, you can find them for less money.
http://www.interlockkit.com
It is not advisable to tap into branch circuits. Take the generator power to a breaker in the main or sub panel and use the interlock, or take the power to the transfer switch.

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#173672 - 01/15/08 08:18 PM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: JValdes]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
Or, bust out the tin snips and some scrap from an old can. Be sure to grind off/bend the edges for safety's sake. :P


Edited by noderaser (01/15/08 08:19 PM)
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#173680 - 01/15/08 10:30 PM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: Niko]
Niko Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 358
Loc: Campbell, CA
Thanks for all of your input.

Edward
_________________________
Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live


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#173681 - 01/16/08 12:43 AM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: JValdes]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
 Quote:
Automatic transfer switches are not required for portable generators. An inexpensive interlock kit will serve the purpose just fine. The one I will provide a link to is UL approved. However, you can find them for less money.

No need for an automatic one for sure, but some kind of interlocking emchanical switch will be required to prevent the generator from backfeeding the grid under all circumstances.

The other method mentioned, basically a permanent extension cord inside the wall, is indeed safe but not very user friendly. It's most definitely cheap though.

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#173735 - 01/17/08 08:44 AM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: Texas_Ranger]
JValdes Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 308
Loc: South Carolina
Thats what the interlock kit does. Prevents backfeeding to the power grid and keeps the generator from blowing to bits when the power is restored.
"basically a permanent extension cord inside the wall" NEC violation. No cords permitted inside walls, for permanent use and not accesible. I assume you mean permitted cable or conduit?

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#173740 - 01/17/08 12:15 PM Re: Portable generator hookup. [Re: JValdes]
Ann Brush Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 155
Loc: Ohia
This application note from Schneider is very straight forward http://members.rennlist.org/warren/Gen_Panels_Appl_Note_EN.pdf
I often use it to explain errors people make.

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