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Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

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  • Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

    I have some hunting land that has a shed on it. This shed has power running to it but sees minimal usage during the course of the year. As the Power Company charges me $30 a month for the service plus actual usage, I'm thinking about abandoning the service altogether and going a different route.

    My thought was to back feed power from a generator into one of the wall outlets to power the lights in the shed along with the fan powered kerosene heater. Can I safely do this? My plan was to make a double male ended cord using 12 or 10 gauge wire to run from the generator to the wall outlet. Will 12 gauge be heavy enough or should I go 10 gauge?
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.


  • #2
    Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

    A male-to-male cord is 1000% absolutely NOT safe, no matter how you look at it. They don't call them dummy cords or suicide cords for nothing.

    Get a piece of rubber type-SO cord and wire it to the first box. Then put a male plug on the end. This way you can plug it right into the genset.

    You can also install a male generator inlet box and wire that to your shed. This way you just plug in an extension cord.

    If it is all one circuit #12 is fine.

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    • #3
      Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

      Dave, a double male ended cord (aka suicide cord) is not a good way to go. Also you would want to be completely physically disconnected and isolated from the utility so there is ZERO chance of backfeed into the grid.

      In a pinch what you propose would work, but the danger makes it unsafe and certainly not a method to be used with any frequency.

      There are receptacles for what you want to do that will allow the use of a properly sized power cord and they should be available at your local electrical supply. Also, HD carries RIDGID cords for use with their generators, you could just change the plug to match your generator if the supplied plug did not work.

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      • #4
        Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

        if your abandoning the service from the power company, why not just feed the power from the generator in to the main breaker box, as if it was the power company then the plug on the cord would be correct, just hard wire it,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #5
          Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

          BHD, I really wish it were that simple. Unfortunately, the main breaker box is in an already abandoned/unusable cabin from which the shed gets its power. Time, neglect and the elements have really taken their toll on the abandoned cabin so it will have to be demolished in the not too distant future. When that happens I'll be forced to disconnect both the cabin and the shed from the grid. I'll definitely be looking into something like that male generator inlet box that Speedy Petey mentioned.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

            Can you go inside the cabin, physically disconnect the wiring that feeds the shed, and then rip out that cabling? Your shed would then be physically disconnected from the grid. Then do as BHD suggested.

            I would think you could mount a 30A four prong male box to the shed and then use this to feed the shed's load center. You'll have to bury a grounding rod and bond the load center's neutral and the generator's ground to it. I'd also be sure you have GFCI outlets in the shed.

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            • #7
              Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

              norther tool caries the the revers receptacle as well as Pre made cables, there not that cheap if you do not just want a hard wired cable going into the old breaker box,

              you can find them on Ebay as well and many other places that sell generators and transfer

              switches,
              the reverse receptacle,
              http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...nsfer-switches
              cord sets,
              http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...cordsets-plugs

              you will need to match the units to the generators power output, and or plug rating,
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

                Originally posted by BHD View Post
                norther tool caries the the revers receptacle as well as Pre made cables, there not that cheap if you do not just want a hard wired cable going into the old breaker box,

                you can find them on Ebay as well and many other places that sell generators and transfer

                switches,
                the reverse receptacle,
                http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...nsfer-switches
                cord sets,
                http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...cordsets-plugs

                you will need to match the units to the generators power output, and or plug rating,
                Yes, those power inlet boxes are nice. I have a 30A one feeding my transfer box, and a cord to link up my generator.

                I guess if this is a shed in the typical sense, I'd question the amount of effort and cost I'd be putting into it. A multi-outlet extension cord snaked through a hole in the wall might do the trick.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Be careful of carbon monoxide from the generator engine

                  Have a battery-operated smoke alarm and battery-operated CO alarm.
                  $18.97 at Home Depot and Lowes.
                  I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                  It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                  "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

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                  • #10
                    Re: Can I Do This And Is It Safe?

                    one thing you have not mentioned is the noise. i don't know about you but having a generator blasting away sorta defeats the purpose. i camp. old fashion camping. no tent or radios or anything that make noise. quiet. just me. i would take genny out and camp in the back yard to see if i could deal with it. i'm not beating you up, just food for thought. breid..............

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