Thinking of gearing up a back feed for generator to your home? Well don’t you can seriously injure someone even fatally all because you did it improper.
Back feeding a generator to your home through an outlet or some other means connected to your panel is illegal. The generator can send power back to the utility back onto the street power putting utility personnel at risk of being seriously electrocuted and even be fatal.
Read on so we can explain as to why and how this could happen.
1.Back feed for generator through outlet
Many people will talk of tell you to just hook your generator to your dryer outlet. Just make sure you shut your main disconnect off of main breaker. There serious issue with this is very dangerous. Firstly of you forget to shut the main breaker off you can send power back onto the utility lines. This is know as back feeding.
This can also cause issues to the grid’s electrical infrastructure of the technicians that are trying to restore power during an outage.
Back feed for generator can also cause issues with the generator it self by means of a surge from the grid blowing the generator up or causing a fire.
2.Back feed for generator through panel
By back feeding the power to an outlet or panel you will need to have a male plug end to do this. This male plug end would be live and potentially electrocute you. The power from the generator would then go backward through your electrical panel.
This would follow the powerline to your home. The power from the generator would then feed backward through the street transformer back feeding the grid. So the power 120 volt 240 volt whatever would then be stepped up to street voltage between 3100 volt to 15,500 volt depending on your area and how the grid is designed.
At this point most of you are saying, ah it would just trip the breaker on the generator before it did anything. Ok so lets go into detail and enlighten al you diy guys reading this article on how to do this.
If you back feed your house via an outlet or panel to do it cheaply you will send power back to the grid. This may only be a short time until your generator breaker trips however it will be long enough for the utility to pick up on this power spike and trace it back to you. At minimum you would be facing large fine, most likely have your power disconnected for good and even a chance of prison time if you injured someone working on the utility lines.
Moral of the story, don’t do it.
3.Is it illegal to back feed a generator?
The law prohibits the back feeding of a generator to your home. It is a violation of Florida law. Back Feeding of the generator could be deadly as we have seen in the past.
Florida has a ban on direct contact with electrical utility facilities. It is illegal to plug the engine or starter of the generator directly into your home’s electrical supply. This could be a problem as power needs to be returned through your panel to the utility. Your home would not be properly heated or cooled as a result. If the engine is not on you could electrocute yourself or somebody else.
Moving back feeder unit
If you have a large generator that is not very light but still a generator and want to feed the generator into the panel at your home you can use a equipment back feed unit.
Do it properly and get a certified electrician.
4.What are the dangers of back feeding a generator?
Number one danger of backfeeding a generator is putting the life of the person that would be using that backfeed at risk. Remember these are professional linemen and electricians that are out there every day and not using safety equipment. They need electricity and generators are giving it to them.
So now that you are aware that it can be dangerous, as we are sure you are already as we tell you how to do it correctly so that there are none of these hazards.
5.Is it safe to back feed your house with a generator?
Back Feeding of a generator into your home is a dreadful thing to do because it’s a dangerous practice. The utility lineman get these high voltage lines, and the power is then sent to your house and it’s done all the time.
Inherent in this act of backfeeding is going to be the same risk to yourself and people around you. It will send the power back to your house too fast that the power could affect the physical person or even injures them.
What you should know about backfeeding
• Never attempt to backfeed your house, generator or even overhead wires by the same circuit. Doing this will put the employee at risk of being injured or even losing his/her life.
• Don’t confuse it with a generator power cord, you should never backfeed in between a generator power cord, that is illegal.
6.Should you turn off main breaker when running generator?
No. If you have a proper generator panel installed by a certified electrician, you shouldn’t have to. So when you are running the generator, you do not need to turn the main breaker off. When you are doing this always make sure that the main breaker at home is on as you will need it to sense when the power comes back on to tell the transfer switch to flip from generator back to the grid.
Again this is assuming you have had someone certified install this for you…… Getting our point across yet?
What to do while running generator?
Before you start any generator be sure that you check it and make sure it is in good condition. Properly placed and plugged in the outdoor generator outlet provided by your electrician.
7.Does generator turn off when power is restored?
Most permanent generators will come with an automatic shut-off feature to prevent a problem or transfer when the grid power comes back on.. The automatic shut-off feature is called an auto transfer switch. Many of these items also have a grid feed connected to it. The grid feed creates a signal to tell the generator the grid power is back on and the generator should shut off to save fuel.
It’s important that you have these engines turned off. However, there are generators that only have the automatic shut-off and no grid sensing feed may need to be turned off manually.
8.Can I plug my generator into a wall outlet?
Not without back feeding a generator to your home. If you do you are risking injury to the utility personnel by doing it wrong. If there is a safe way to keep the generator plugged in it is already being used.
Where can I plug a generator in?
When determining if you can put a generator into an outlet you need to make sure that the outlet is of sufficient size and voltage. This would most likely be a L14-30 R Type outlet on the outside of your house. If you think you might have an outlet that is too small you may want to ask an electrician to come over and check it for you. For example the 240 volt equipment 20 amp is too small. The standard is a 30 amp receptacle and if your outlet is smaller than that you should get a real electrician to come out and check for you.
9.Can you hook up two generators to a house?
Yes and no. Generators can be re-fitted to a couple of simple electrical devices that can be attached in a couple of different ways to two different circuits.
Both types of generators can be powered by the house (the in home power, the live-in power).
See also: 4 Ways To Keep Fuel Prices Down
Why a spare generator isn’t needed
In our opinion, a spare generator is not needed in most instances. If you can only go 2 days without power and 2 days without fuel and using then a spare generator wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
If you could go 6 months or more without power in your home. You would need to think again but for most people the solar would be sufficient as it has the potential to work much longer than the generator at its maximum power.
10.How do I run my generator to my breaker box?
This would be done with a generator panel. The power from your main breaker box would feed the generator panel and all of the circuits in it. During a normal power state the circuits would just run off the grid. During a power outage you would flip the breaker in the generator panel over to the generator position. This allowed power to the circuits from the generator power. It also makes sure you are not back feeding the grid.
If you hook up to the service panel by plugging a generator into a socket that is connected to the service panel (without a generator panel) power from your generator can travel straight to the service panel in your house causing damage to the service panel and risking electrocution and/or burns to utility personnel.
How does this happen?
It happens very easy when you only know how to use the plug part of the back feed and not understand the effect of the other parts.
11.Do you need a transfer switch for generator?
A transfer switch, also known as a safety transfer switch, allows power from the utility or the generator but not both at the same time. There is a physical breaker that need to be flipped
Basically you have to buy a special permit from your utility. A Transfer Switch permit costs $1,500 and is given by the utility for a limited period of time for maintenance work, repairs and start-up of a generator.
The utility has been promoting this practice for years because there are a few situations where the generator location would be operated for a specific amount of time so that the power company could reestablish power to the community.
12.How do you hook up a generator to a meter box?
You can purchase what is know as a Generlink. A Generlink is an auto device that gets installed by the utility behind your electric meter outside. It has a place on the bottom of it to plug your generator into and also has an auto sensing transfer for when the power come back on. This is so the power can flip back to the grid. These units are between $1,500 to $2,000 installed.
It is worth a mention that these do not shut the generator off when the power is restored. You will need to shut the generator off manually.
Now there are other methods you can do if you do not want to spend the money. You can purchase a cheap generator wall mount outlet. You can install this yourself because it is plug and play. On the outside it has a weather proof flanged outlet to plug your generator into.
On the inside it has cord ends so that you can plug things into it. This is only so you do not have to leave a door open while in use to run cords into your home.
This is in no way connected to your homes electrical system or the power grid.
Below is a link to amazon, in the search bar change it from “generator cords” to “generator plug in cords” and some should show up for you.