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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Adapter plug?

Hello all. I am in need of assistance and direction. I recently purchased a briggs and stratton p3000 watt generator and on the generator is a 3 prong outlet. My home is wired with a transfer switch with a 4 prong male connector in an external box. My question is the following. Is there anyway to get an adapter to go from a 3 prong to a 4 prong so that I won't have to rewire the box affixed to the side of the house.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 08:32 PM
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Hello all. I am in need of assistance and direction. I recently purchased a briggs and stratton p3000 watt generator and on the generator is a 3 prong outlet. My home is wired with a transfer switch with a 4 prong male connector in an external box. My question is the following. Is there anyway to get an adapter to go from a 3 prong to a 4 prong so that I won't have to rewire the box affixed to the side of the house.
No. That is a 120V generator. You need a 240V generator with a L14-30 or NEMA 14-50 4 prong outlet.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Is there no other way to connect the current generator to the electrical panel? Even if I do have to change out the external connection box I would be willing to do this instead of sending back the current generator I have purchased. I'm fairly certain I have seen others connecting this same unit directly to their homes.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 09:06 PM
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You would only be able to power one half of your electrical panel. And you could not have any 220V loads connected, or you'd damage them.

You'd have to see if you could find an electrician willing to do that. I suspect it may be a tough sell.

It could be much more useful to you (like if you need to run a 220V item), and is much cleaner/safer electrically, to wire a 220V generator in through your setup.

If your neighbors have the same generator wired in, you could ask them who did it, and how.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunner View Post
Is there no other way to connect the current generator to the electrical panel? Even if I do have to change out the external connection box I would be willing to do this instead of sending back the current generator I have purchased. I'm fairly certain I have seen others connecting this same unit directly to their homes.
You can use that generator to:
A. Power a very small cottage that only has a primitive 120V power service, or
B. Power a small 120V RV service, or
C. Power 1/2 of a 240V service that has absolutely no 240V items connected (unlikely, and probably illegal to do in any case).
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Ok I'm going to try to explain my setup a bit better. I have a transfer switch that is wired separate from my main electrical panel. In the transfer switch there is 0, none, nada 240 v circuits or appliances. I have picked up a L5-30p which I plan to wire to my existing cord. So this is going to go from L5-30P to L14-20r. My question is if I wire both legs of the r to the main hot on the p will this split voltage across two legs or will it allow for full voltage but reduced amperage amongst the two? Again I have no 240 volt appliances wired and don't plan to run any 240 v appliances as the only 2 in the home is the central A/C comp and the clothes dryer. I hope someone can clarify.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:28 PM
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If the transfer switch panel IS IN NO WAY connected to the main panel (highly unlikely), then what you are suggesting could be done per item A in my prior post to you. Careful attention would need to be paid to the the ground-neutral bonding in this scenario. This is how I power my small cottage on an island from a 120V generator through a small breaker panel with both hot legs joined.

However, if your transfer panel is powered from the main panel when the generator is not in use, then creating a Y connection between the two hot legs (which are normally 180 degrees out of phase with each other) is a dangerous scenario. Please don't attempt this. Return the 120V generator and get a proper 240V one and live happily ever after.

Last edited by tabora; 01-12-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I purchased the 120v generator because I only need it to run a few 120v appliances. Not to mention the fuel economy is much better. I am just wanting to make this as easy as possible without changing out the transfer switch for a 120v switch or swapping the generator.

So what you are saying is if it connected to the main panel then it could backfeed voltage that is 180 degrees out of phase to the 240v appliances? Alright, so if I isolate those appliances by simply turning off the breaker then they are totally removed from the equation. That being said if I Y connect the 120v to the 240v plug then the voltage should be shared amongst both side of the transfer switch correct?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 05:24 PM
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The only legal(?) and safe way to do what you want to do is to replace your 240V transfer switch panel/inlet plug with a 120V transfer switch / sub-panel that is only tied to one hot leg of your main panel. Then you will need to balance the normal load of the legs so that more "other stuff" is on the leg that your transfer switch panel is not connected to, to match against the complete load (main panel + TS panel) on the transfer switch's leg.

That said, your P3000 generator is only rated for 21.67 continuous amps at 120V. You're not going to be able to run all that much off it anyway... Good luck!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 07:58 PM
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That being said if I Y connect the 120v to the 240v plug then the voltage should be shared amongst both side of the transfer switch correct?
One possible method might be to make an adapter cable, to go from the generator's 3-contact L5-30, to the transfer panel's 4-contact L14-20.

Within this cable, you could connect the generator's single hot 120V leg to both hot leg wires that go to the transfer panel. Letting you feed 120V to both sides of the transfer panel, which must contain only 120V loads.

This bridge would be in the cable for the generator, which would NEED to be unplugged from the transfer panel before switching back over to utility power. The bridge would not be in the transfer panel itself, which would seem to make it safer, at least, in terms of reducing the risk of joining both of those hot legs together when using utility power.

The transfer panel should never allow utility power to connect to the plug for the generator anyhow, since that can be dangerous on multiple fronts. That can blow up your generator by feeding it utility power, or it can energize the wires outside your house while crews are working on them during an outage.
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