EFM on a generator

EFM on a generator

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:03 pm

I am just curious. Has anyone out there run their EFM off a Generator? I'm talking about the smaller type Generators. Just wondering. Around my area we DO have power failures... And sometimes they last as we are rural... As I am about to wire the EFM up I am consider putting a hookup in for a generator just in case.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:21 pm

Mark,

Why not just install a generator distribution panel.




We have our AA 260 wired through one similar to this. We also included the oil burner, well pump, freezer and fridge outlets and one for the tv to see what caused the outage. The gas grill would satisfy the cooking needs.


If we need the generator, we wheel it outside, hook up the cord from the generator to this switch panel and turn on whatever load we need. As long as you don't exceed the load I don't see where there would be a problem.

JMT's


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Rick
Last edited by Richard S. on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:39 am

Hey rick

Thanks for this! I never realized they made a box such as this. will need to look into it!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: e.alleg On: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:37 pm

Here is how I know most cheap people do it: in your electric panel install a 20 or 30 amp 2 pole circuit breaker. Run a length of 12/4 or 10/4 wire outside the house to a weatherproof outlet. Now you have a 220v welder hookup outside your house. You can add a 110v weatherproof outlet if you wish for running your electric chainsaw. Make a 220v 4 wire waterproof extension cord with 2 male ends, make sure one end matches up to the generator's 220v outlet and the other end matches your weatherproof outlet. When the power goes out, SHUT OFF THE MAIN BREAKER. This is critical, before you do anything shut off the main breaker. If you forget you can kill a line worker or back feed to your neighbors. Don't forget, stick a note on your generator do something just don't forget no matter what to shut off the main breaker. Now all you have to do is fire up the generator, outside of course, plug in the extension cord and run your house as normal. If you have a small 3,000 watt unit then plan on conserving energy but it will run everything you need in an emergency. The EFM draws less than 1,000 watts I would imagine it draws about 400 but Stoker man could let us know for sure. The other more expensive way to do it is buy a transfer switch. They are about $400 and it basically makes sure the main breaker is turned off before back feeding the panel. You need a transfer switch if you have an automatic standby generator, with a portable I really don't know if there is any code requiring it or not. I think back feeding a panel is much safer than running extension cords through the house. NEVER HOOK UP YOUR GENERATOR TO A WALL OUTLET! You could be back feeding 220v and 30 amps through a wire that is rated for 110v/10 amps and it isn't fused so you could have a fire in the wall very easily :evil:
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:38 am

Ealleg

this is really great advice! never thought of that. I already have a 50 amp service to my barn and a 30 amp breaker out there to run my welder... I never thought of just plugging it in there like that and backfeeding...

I'm glad I ask all these dumb questions! i'm learning.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: stoker-man On: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:16 am

It's a good idea, but like was said before, it's dangerous to lineman and other people. Linemen are aware of it, but your neighbor might not be, if you forget to turn off your main breaker.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:57 pm

Shutting the main breaker off or even pulling it is still not safe. You can still kill a lineman with the neutral, all three wires must be off the grid or you are in deep dodo.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:28 pm

If your local earth ground is correctly bonded to the neutral, and the two hot feeds are disconnected I fail to see how that's possible.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:33 pm

Hi Guys

thanks for MORE info now! I also am unsure how you would get feedback on the ground line if propertly connected to earth ground at the house. (which mine is)

I can possibly see issues MAYBE in older homes without ground rods or improperly hooked up grounds in the electrical box?

In any case I appreciate all the ideas. I like Ealleg's the best! now to find me a generator. one at a local auction in 2 weeks that is 6500 Watts... That'll do...

Thanks again!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:04 pm

Mark,

We got ours last spring at Lowes. We chose the Troy built 5000 model with electric start.





The beauty was that I already had a charge card, but the better half didn't. She applied for the card and they gave her 6 months free interest . :dancing: We bought this one to replace an old manual start unit that was always a PITA to start and then the last time I tried, it wouldn't start at all. :mad3: We have had the transfer switch since Y2K but never wired it in until last year. Sorta like buying a snowblower and then it doesn't snow enough the first year to use it. Get the electric start if you can. So easy to just press the button. The larger units do have a pretty good manual pull to them.
Got to think of using it later in life. :crutch:

I do start it once a month but only have a small amount of gas in it. If needed, I want good fresh stuff to run it. We always have a supply on hand.



Rick
Last edited by Richard S. on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:21 pm

Yanche wrote:If your local earth ground is correctly bonded to the neutral, and the two hot feeds are disconnected I fail to see how that's possible.



I guess the key word is correctly. I'm no expert, but we had a thread running last year in which an electrician stated the neutral must be transferred too or you risk killing someone. I'm not sure what all this means, but it looks like the same thing to me.

http://members.rennlist.org/warren/genfaq.html

"Using a generator with bonded neutral and ground in a system which does not switch neutral in the main panel leads to a potential safety issue. Neutral and ground will be connected at both ends of the extension cord, thus making them one conductor. As wire has a certain finite resistance, a voltage will develop when current flows through. This voltage will appear at the chassis and want to find a path to ground. Touch the chassis and you will be providing such a path. Normally this voltage is very low, but if there are problems elsewhere, it could become dangerously high. Safe operation can no longer be assured. Wired properly the neutral wire would be isolated at one end, preventing ground wire current and ensuring the chassis remained at zero volts."

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Electrical-W ... bond-1.htm

"Once you leave the main service, the neutral and ground are separate. So your sub-panel will have 2 hot legs a neutral and ground. The neutral bar is NOT to be bonded to the panel via the green 10/24 screw. Now for the reason.... If you were to bond the neutral to the box, then you will created a parallel neutral. The grounded conductor, or neutral, is grounded at the service. The ground is separate in the field for safety of a ground fault.Now by creating the second (parallel) path for the neutral, the egc becomes essentially another neutral, so that any current that is supposed to be travelling on the neutral is now shared on the egc, energizing any conduits, boxes, ceiling grids, metal studs, or metal parts on the way back to the source. the situation becomes worse if the neutral gets damaged, loose or broken, then all the neutral current is now on the egc, and because all the equipment is still functioning properly no one finds out until someone is killed or injured, perhaps an electrician taking apart a piece of conduit or box who unknowingly becomes part of the circuit. the egc is designed to carry fault current only in order to trip ocpd's, not to be a grounded conductor.

EGC = equipment grounding conductors

So to answer your question you can install a separate ground rod at those panels make sure the ground and neutral are separate.
If there is no grounding conductor in the branch circuits and the neutral is isolated from the case in the sub-panel, then leave it that way. Any attempt to "improve" the system by trying to use the neutral as an equipment ground would actually introduce additional hazards. Many of the early electrical systems did not include equipment grounding conductors. The problem is when we try to "upgrade" the system and mix grounded circuits with ungrounded panels. Either leave it alone or start over, there is no halfway patch."
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:31 pm

Use a transfer switch or don't do it. It's too easy to forget, have a brain fart, drink too much beer, have someone other than yourself try to do it, screw up, kill a line man or your neighbor.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:05 pm

I agree that a transfer switch is the best solution. But whole house transfer switches are expensive, require rewiring that involves your utility company and a permit and inspection. A huge automatic transfer switch came with my whole house generator and I haven't installed it because of those issues.

A sub-panel transfer switch is a possibility but that usually requires a lot of circuit rewiring which often results in wires not being long enough. Since wire splicing is not permitted it's tough to do right. Square D has a generator sub-panel that uses standard branch circuit breakers. The transfer switch main is also standard sub-panel breakers but has a mechanical lock that only allows one of the two breakers to be on. A clever solution. Home Depot stocks this sub-panel in my area. A good solution if your mail breaker is Square D brand because you can reuse your breakers.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:04 am

If you make an extension cord with two male ends, TAG IT ON BOTH ENDS! I made a 20 foot one some years back and rarely use it. One day my wife & sister in law had a need to use several extension cords at once. They gathered all the cords they could find and started stringing them together. At a certain point I realized they had grabbed the double ended one also. I went screaming out the back door and caught her sister just in time. She had already plugged one end in and was about to fiddle with the other end, which was then LIVE! Right then I made waterproof tags and tagged both ends with a warning.
If you are using a double ended one, make sure you plug into power last. If you plug into live power first, the other end is live.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: EFM on a generator

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:19 am

This is all great info. My box is maxed out so I would have to get creative to do this.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3