New York Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my father purchased a nice diesel generator for us (fearing the worst this winter) It's 7,000 watts peak and 5,500 continuous watts from Buffalo Tools. A really nice rig! His initial thought (and mine as well) was to put it in the basement, pipe the exhaust outside and backfeed through the dryer outlet in the basement and be able to run off our fuel oil.

I did some reading today and need to do some more but there's a lot of people that say don't do it! Yes, it will work but if the startup/shutdown procedure isn't followed 100% then you could burn down the house and/or fry someone working on the outside lines. Our breaker box is a 100 amp box and the house wiring is BX for the most part (minus the dishwasher, range and oven).

Has anyone here tried this? It sounds like a nice easy way to do it but if the house does burn down I don't want the insurance to deny coverage due to faulty wiring done on my part. Or, even worse yet accidentally kill someone working on a line outside. Those folks have enough crap to deal with while fixing electrical lines in crappy weather.

Any thoughts or advice would be most appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking of keeping it in the garage and when need be open the garage door so the exhaust can escape. That's what I've seen a lot of people do around here. Damn, those transfer switches are expensive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
look into an interlock, same concept as what you want to do with the dryer outlet except it is the legal way to backfeed the house. basically it amounts to a dedicated breaker which can't be switched on to backfeed unless the main breaker is locked out. it gives you much more flexibility over what circuits to power in the house vs a transfer switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Diablo! I read a little bit about those but various articles and what not said that a transfer switch was the safest way to go and the completely legal way to go since I guess some states/cities don't like interlocks for code.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,682 Posts
I was thinking of keeping it in the garage and when need be open the garage door so the exhaust can escape. That's what I've seen a lot of people do around here. Damn, those transfer switches are expensive!
That how I run mine in my detached garage keeps it out of the snow and rain. It also cuts down on the noise. I wouldn't run it in an attached garage, I've heard too many stories over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,656 Posts
I run mine this way. It works very well and gives you the ability to energize all breakers as opposed to a transfer switch which could limit you to only those wired in. I wired in the dryer outlet a couple years ago during an outage that lasted 5 days. It is true that if you don't follow the procedure you could cause damage. The main thing to remember is, shut off the main breaker first, followed by all sub breakers. Plug in the wire from the generator to the dryer outlet and start the generator, then turn on the breakers you wish to use. NEVER turn the main on while the generator is hooked up. This is a proceed at your own risk setup and is not considered legal. If you are at all uncomfortable about doing it this way, seek a different alternative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,419 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hhmmmnnn ..
no on seems to e concerened with killing the LineMan ...????
This is why I'm kinda leaning toward an interlock.

Mrod,

I thought diesel and fuel oil were basically the same except one has green dye and the other has red dye. I'm still pretty new to this fuel oil thing, lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
As already posted, this is a common way to feed your house in an outage, it is also really dangerous if you do it wrong. Here's three things I can think of that could happen if you connect your generator and forget to turn off the main - OR - turn the main back on without disconnecting your generator:

1. Your generator tries to backfeed the entire neighborhood (or more). You pop the breaker repeatedly on the generator, or possibly damage it since many are not designed for repeated dead shorts.

2. You backfeed the grid, but you don't realize it because the wires from the pole are laying on the ground. You find out when somebody picks up the wire, or sits on a guardrail the wire fell on. Think local kid or teenager to put it into perspective.

3. You backfeed the grid,but you don't realize it. You find out when the power company restores power and the dryer outlet feeds your generator with full power. There's at least one story of a guy who burned his garage down when this happened. Luckily his garage was not attached to his house.

All of that said, I backfeed. It's cheaper, easier, and in some cases more flexible. It also requires a lot of thoughtful attention. It's not legal for good reason. You can have a catastrophe with just the wrong flick of a switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
I use the interlock kit. Ok for code here. Even if not where you are, it is far safer than a dryer back feed.

I recommend listening to this episode of the survival podcast. The guest does a great job at covering both the legal and illegal ways of connecting a generator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So the biggest thing is the main breaker? As long as it's turned off before I hook the genny in and the genny is powered down and disconnected before I put the main breaker back online it should minimize the risk of A) killing someone working on the lines and B) burning down the house?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts
ABSOLUTELY do not install a generator inside of your home.

As for back feeding invest in a proper transfer box and be done with it.

Everything is good till you get and insurance claim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,953 Posts
I was thinking of keeping it in the garage and when need be open the garage door so the exhaust can escape. That's what I've seen a lot of people do around here. Damn, those transfer switches are expensive!
A while back a friend of ours was dating this guy from the capital district. His Mother and Sister were killed by CO by doing that. He's not in the loop anymore, but a sad lesson I'll never forget...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
So the biggest thing is the main breaker? As long as it's turned off before I hook the genny in and the genny is powered down and disconnected before I put the main breaker back online it should minimize the risk of A) killing someone working on the lines and B) burning down the house?
That's it. A transfer switch, or an interlock, ensure it mechanically and physically. Once they're installed, you can't connect your generator circuit to the main circuit no matter what combination of breakers are thrown. Without it, only your personal attention and knowledge will prevent that mistake.
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top