Posted by hebintn on February 17, 2007, 3:43 pm
I just recently purchased a used 5kw Honda generator that hadn't been
run for 5 years. After spending some time draining gas and cleaning
things up it started on the second crank. I've been researching how
to use it and now it appears that I need a transfer box installed at a
cost (including the electrician) of more than I paid for the
generator. I understand the safety issue for utility workers if the
isolation/transfer box is not used.
A friend said, "the cheap way, you cut the main breaker and backfeed
each side of the panel. I have done this for years with my generator
and it works great. You find one plug that has a circuit each side
of the panel. Use an extension cord with two male ends. Plug one
end into the generator and one into the house receptacle." Seems
reasonable as long as the main breaker is off to isolate the house
from the line coming into the house. Not that I don't trust my mate,
but I'd like some opininon on this approach.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Posted by (PeteCresswell) on February 17, 2007, 3:57 pm
I went the simplistic route: bought a 100-foot long extension cord made with
size 10 wire.
The gennie lives in my garden shed. The plan is to fire it up right in the
shed and run the 100-foot cord to one of the doors of the house and then run
sub-cords from there. I've tried it a couple of times just to test the idea
and it seems to work.
This generator is only 2kw and intended use is just a couple of refrigerators, a
PC workstation, a TV, and a couple low draw lights - and not all those at one
The cord wasn't cheap - but a lot less expensive than calling in an electrician.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on February 17, 2007, 7:00 pm
Backfeeding the panel without a transfer switch can lead to CRIMINAL
CHARGES, if for some reason power gets back in the lines and kills a
lineman. Now while I staed this theoritically if you put your 5KW
generator on the infinite load of your unpowered neighborhood a
breaker should trip or generator stall but still its a bad idea.
you never know where the break is close by it might kill....
transfer swiutches are hundreds of bucks
some main panel makers have a either or capability, a mechanical lever
that permits either normal line OR generator but never both being
comnnected thru a regular breaker on your panel, this way you use your
main panel to manage ytour loads, whole house AC OFF, fridge and few
lights on... etc
low cost safety fix
Posted by (PeteCresswell) on February 17, 2007, 7:45 pm
It looks like you're replying to the wrong post.
Posted by Vaughn Simon on February 17, 2007, 8:47 pm
"Backfeeding the panel without a transfer switch can lead to CRIMINAL CHARGES"
Please supply us with links to cases where CRIMINAL CHARGES have been filed
against folks who backfeed their panel. This brand of Internet "scare advice"
frosts my balls, and is just as wrong as the friend who suggested backfeeding.
That said, backfeeding of a panel is a very bad idea for a range of
reasons. Not the least of which is that you end up with energized male plugs
(the dreaded and well-named "suicide" cord). As others here have already wisely
posted, a simple system of drop cords can be a cheaper alternative. Another
advantage of drop cords is that you have a totally portable solution. If your
house has power but your brother's doesn't, you have options that would not have
with a fixed installation.