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We have always back fed to a 220 welding re-cep in the pole barn. It's probably not code, but when the powers out the inspectors probably not going to be around. ;)

You do have to remember to shut off the main though...If you don't it could be very bad for linemen working in the area...but cleaning a loaded gun is dangerous, yet we all know that, and remember to unload our weapons before we start cleaning them. It's just something you have to do to keep you and others safe.

my .02
 

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Wizard said:
Terry, you are right. It will not happen, because there is no connection downline. But, if you forget to throw the main (and it has happened), then there is the potential for backfeed.

I agree you can't fix stupid thats why people shoot themselves and others accidentally. I just can't afford or at least justify a whole house sytem. Right know I have nothing but with a 5th Wheel that doesn't have a generator I'll probably pick up a small Honda 110 V and I can keep my freezer cold if we do lose power and use for dry camping.
 

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Dry camping is a term that means no hook ups. Hook ups are water, electric and sewer or some combination of one, two or all of those. A lot of the National Park campgrounds are dry and we have wanted to see Big Bend before we head home one year. I was too cheap to spend $5-$6K to get one in the 5th wheel but it allows you to run an a/c if you need it and you can keep batteries charged up. A small Honda is quiet and compact will fit the bill at around $1,000 and I can use it for other purposes like rebuilding my old permanent tree stand with power tools.

Hey post # 300, guess I'm getting wordy in my old age.
 

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Before I retired from my alarm business I used a 7.5K generator in our office when the power might be going off (during storms). I had a transfer switch installed because I needed something fool proof for the ladies that worked in the office. The generator had electric start, and once started, flipping the transfer switch switched everything in the office (except the hot water heater) to the generator. Anytime you power something that makes or uses heat you need a much larger (more watts/amps) output on a generator. Just the cable coming from the generator to the transfer switch was super expensive. Having the 220 outlet near your main panel makes much better sense. If you haven't fooled with electricity now is not the time to try learning or experimenting. Hire an electrician and have him make you a "hook-up cable" with male connectors on both ends to go between your generator and your main electrical box. BEFORE you turn on power from your generator, pull the main breakers or throw the main breaker switch. Then flip off anything that makes heat like elec heaters, hotwater heater, elect clothes dryer, etc. A reasonably sized generator will power your lights, refrigerator, water pump, and heating system (if it's not electric). I have four different generators in different sizes. A 3500 watt one is permanently located beside my garage to power my house. An 1800 watt unit is small enough that it can go into the bed of my pickup and is then portable. I have a 500 watt unit mounted on the tongue of a covered 12' cargo trailer that is heated and can be used for a moveable office/shelter. And lastly I have a Honda that is only 65 watts it's not much good for anything, but it's cute and quite a conversation piece, it would power an RV refrigerator, but not much else. Get your generator set up before you need it and do a few test runs, might be useful in the winter if your power goes off.

NR
 

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I have seen been a part of many generators installs and prefer a transfer panel. A decent electrician should put one in for relatively little cost, especially if you can work ahead of him and cut out the access he requires. Try to narrow it down to just the wiring for him. I had a guy give me a price of under 100 one time, plus the panel of course, but find a place like CES or Grainger and that should be around 200. Home Depot is good for certain items, most things I can find a better deal on somewhere. Like any other purchase, find out where the pros are shopping and always ask if there is a discount. Military, senior citizen (many of our members here...), LEO, anything.

As to backfeed, what I have heard is not only the danger of a linesman being hit, which is minimal when your backfeed is 220V and they are supposed to be smarter than to ground themselves out, but it complicates the job of finding the outage when they are getting volts from a place where there aren't any. That can piss them off proper and when they track it down you will get a knock on the door and an angry, wet, cold, tired, hungry, hairy gentleman.
 

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If you use a back feed and pull the main breaker, there is no danger to any linemen, as the power from your generator will be confined to your house. Pulling or switching the main breaker is the key. As for a panel switch, it is the best, but it is the most expensive. Electricians where I live charge, and none of them will do it for free. Most of them won't give you or anyone else a discount. The cables and switching parts are expensive, if you get by for less than $500 you will be lucky, and there is no sales tax where I live. I've had an electrical license most of my adult life, being in the security business for 31 years. Don't fool with this if you don't know what you are doing, call an electrician and get an estimate. Don't try doing it yourself.

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