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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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New Generator - got a wiring question

Imagine that.
Yeah, so I bought a portable Briggs P3000. I was wondering if instead of just running
the wires through a window or cracked door, is there a way to build an in/out outlet or outlets
into a door ? I've got some metal doors that go out on the porch where I'll keep the generator.
I thought it might be clean to run a plug from the generator to a male embedded in the door and
then have another female on the inside of the door in the house and continue on from there.
Anyone rig anything like that?

Thanks in advance for anyone's input.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 04:53 PM
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Read your situation and throw this out;
--How Often would you need it to go that route?
--I would be inclined to have a Transfer Switch or other Switches installed, with the Power Connection available on the porch or where you choose to install.
--If you opt for this installation, you allow yourself leeway for a larger gen downstream. Your Briggs is alright, but if you need to have some heaters or a/c going, along with the refrigerator. Also, if the witch is in place, then hot water would be available.
--Treat the hardwire as an home improvement and another upgrade.

Again, this just my random thoughts. I had the Trans Switch installed 12 years ago....and it is priceless. We live rural, power outages....but no inconvenience.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Ron,
thanks and maybe some day, but we're not there yet. The way my wife and I look at it is that at least
with this arrangement for a little over the $1000, we'll have internet, tv, fan and either the frige or
a tabletop oven or microwave. We might not even plug in the frige unless the outage is going on more
than two hours. Then if we wanted to cook we could unplug the frige for a little while and power
a countertop oven or microwave, then re-plug the frige. Thanks for the suggestion though.
This particular generator has a L5-30 connector in addition to the four standard 120v/20amp
outlets. I'm thinking that I could get away with just two plugs; one going to the kitchen and one
to the tv/office where internet stuff is. So, if I one L5-30 outlet thru the door, I could get
something like this (attached photo) - L5-30P Generator Y-Adapter Male Plug to U.S. 15/20-Amp Female Connectors
and plug in on the inside, one going to kitchen and other going to office. Do you think I'd be able
to utilize all the juice available from that generator over one "thick" cord coming from the generator
to the plug (maybe 10 gauge) to the door outlet and then split off like this? I'd get something like two
12 gauge cords for both.
I'm still assuming I can do this door plug thing, but I'm not an electrician so that's why I'm asking.
I was hoping that it's not that odd of a thing to do. If the door is too thin to accommodate the plug hardware,
I could put it in the wall, but more work as it's concrete block/stucco. Seems like the middle of the road thing to do
between running the cable through a window or door crack or opting for a switch.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg L5-30P to Y-adaptor 15_20_amp_females.jpeg (26.0 KB, 1 views)
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:32 PM
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It would be an unusual set up but doable as long as the door is hollow and thick enough to accept a box. Not sure the fire inspector or insurance company would be accommodating though.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:49 AM
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One thing to check on you generator is whether it is rated at 3000 watts to a single L5-30 outlet or is actually is rated at 1500 watts total split between all outlets. I say this because I have an older Coleman PowerMate 3000 watt generator that simply has two 120 v outlets rated at 15 amps each. I contacted Coleman and was told its because it was dual windings and technically puts out 240 volts but is not wired for it. Instead they just split the load to the dual 120 outlets and the only way I can actually get the full 3000 watt rating is by running two separate cords to separate appliances or lights. I though of making a home made 240 outlet for it but recently purchased a newer much bigger 7000/9000 watt champion generator and wired it into my panel with an inlet box and interlock kit.

By the way is your generator rated for 3000 watts max or continuous. I found my 2500 continuous /3000 max watt to be to small for my needs.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 09:49 PM
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First question, how often do you have outages and duration? Depending on frequency and duration, I'd just put a couple of 15A extension cords through a window, etc. If it's an ongoing issue, penetrate the wall and put a WP box where you can access your genset. If you go ahead with mounting a box it's not going to be small, and will be located low so you'll have a permanent trip hazard installed. You might consider just putting a raceway thought the door to feed the extension cords through. e.g. two inch metal conduit, get a couple of plastic pipe caps to keep kritterz out, you could also stuff with insulation when not in use.


As Ron J suggested, put a permanent connection on the porch, penetrating the wall and be done. Ready for upgrades when you decide 3KW isn't adequate, just make sure the raceway is large enough. Spend the $$ once.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romore View Post
It would be an unusual set up but doable as long as the door is hollow and thick enough to accept a box. Not sure the fire inspector or insurance company would be accommodating though.
I guess I'm just a newbee, but it would seem like something that
would be a fairly reasonable idea. It would be better than letting bugs
in the house along with CO. I hadn't even considered the inspection
aspect of it though. Thanks for bringing that up.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davefred99 View Post
One thing to check on you generator is whether it is rated at 3000 watts to a single L5-30 outlet or is actually is rated at 1500 watts total split between all outlets. I say this because I have an older Coleman PowerMate 3000 watt generator that simply has two 120 v outlets rated at 15 amps each. I contacted Coleman and was told its because it was dual windings and technically puts out 240 volts but is not wired for it. Instead they just split the load to the dual 120 outlets and the only way I can actually get the full 3000 watt rating is by running two separate cords to separate appliances or lights. I though of making a home made 240 outlet for it but recently purchased a newer much bigger 7000/9000 watt champion generator and wired it into my panel with an inlet box and interlock kit.

By the way is your generator rated for 3000 watts max or continuous. I found my 2500 continuous /3000 max watt to be to small for my needs.
Good questions and this is the kind of info I need because I'm only moderately knowledgeable about electric. The specs say the L5-30 is for 120 Volt AC, 60Hz, single phase loads requiring up to 2,600 watts at 21.6 amps. Peak wattage is 3000 and it will handle 2600 continuous. Would I be loosing any power over using two separate 120 V AC 20 amp outlets, or introducing any issues by splitting off this one outlet? I would certainly purchase cables of the proper thickness.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by exmar View Post
First question, how often do you have outages and duration? Depending on frequency and duration, I'd just put a couple of 15A extension cords through a window, etc. If it's an ongoing issue, penetrate the wall and put a WP box where you can access your genset. If you go ahead with mounting a box it's not going to be small, and will be located low so you'll have a permanent trip hazard installed. You might consider just putting a raceway thought the door to feed the extension cords through. e.g. two inch metal conduit, get a couple of plastic pipe caps to keep kritterz out, you could also stuff with insulation when not in use.
As Ron J suggested, put a permanent connection on the porch, penetrating the wall and be done. Ready for upgrades when you decide 3KW isn't adequate, just make sure the raceway is large enough. Spend the $$ once.
We get on average 2 long outages a year like maybe 4 to 10 hours. We get some brownouts, but of course this setup isn't going to help that.
That's an interesting idea about the raceway. Is that a common thing? Any particular one that's popular?
Sorry I'm not up on the terms; I don't know what a WP box is.
Also a bit off subject, but I was looking into how to keep the rain off this unit. I do have canopy over half of
the back porch. So, I've got about ten feet of roof covering and after that there's about another ten feet of screened in roof. I have noticed when I bbq, the smoke tends to gather under the canopy because there's a cement block lip, one block high that I think causes that to occur and even with the ceiling fan on, it just tends to swirl around inside that area. Turning on the fan actually makes it worse. In addition, the manual for this unit says not to run it in such a spot as CO will gather there. So, I thought I'd better run the unit out in the screened roof area and was looking into solutions. I saw those tent thingys but they are incredibly expensive for what they are. So, here's what I was considering. Our dishwasher just died and if I enlarge the hole in the bottom (washer lying on it's back), the unit will fit in there. The door can be opened to pull the start cord and the exhaust will go out the back. Since the dishwasher is essentially water proof, I know that will work. Question is whether it's too confined of an area. Would I need to cut additional vent holes other than the big hole where the exhaust will be pointed out? Yep, you might be a redneck if....
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 09:48 AM
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Think of raceway as a short pipe, length determined by thickness or door or wall. Do your measuring and visit an electrical supply house, they'll fix you up. WP=Weather Proof. IMHO genset needs to be protected from rain. You definitely don't want it close enough that the exhaust can enter your house! I've read about very "creative" enclosures folks have made for them, including getting a large dog kennel, cutting holes for intake and cooling air and exhaust. This is where it gets interesting, the genset is air cooled, which means it needs a good bit of air for cooling and combustion air, and large vent for the exhaust, so you want to protect it from rain, but allow it to get plenty of air and exhaust combustion products. I'm lost as to putting a genset where your dishwasher was, behind a cabinet door? Inside the house????? Enclosed in a cabinet??? These give off a lot of heat, mainly from the engine, but also from the generator which must be dispersed. Ignoring a rain proof location, if your worst case outage is ten hours, that's not bad at all, minimal trips to the frig and everything should be OK.
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