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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
verify all wires on the cords and the connections.
somewhere you have a couple of wire flipped.
check the updated inlet.
pm if you need wiring diagrams.
i have color coded diagrams
OK. I will start with inlet box. I marked the wires before I disconnected them and am 100% sure they are connected the same as the electrician had them. I should note that I didn’t have a generator when the inlet box was installed and therefore, no test run was done. It is snowing on and off right now so I am going to wait a bit before I open the box. The wires coming from the house were BLACK, WHITE, WHITE and bare copper for ground. actually 2 bare copper wires. So if there is an issue it will probably be one of the WHITE wires in the wrong connection.


This may be a dumb question: I am just learning how to use a multimeter correctly so I will need the generator running and plugged into the inlet box to check the wires? Also I only ran 1 of the 2 the ground wires coming from the house to the ground screw in the box since that was how it was when I opened it to do the swap.

I really do appreciate the help and suggestions.
 

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The wires coming from the house were BLACK, WHITE, WHITE and bare copper for ground. actually 2 bare copper wires. So if there is an issue it will probably be one of the WHITE wires in the wrong connection.
This doesn't sound right.

Black is Hot and White is Neutral. The fact that you have 2 White wires means that one of them is Hot. That could very easily be mixed up.

This may be a dumb question: I am just learning how to use a multimeter correctly so I will need the generator running and plugged into the inlet box to check the wires? Also I only ran 1 of the 2 the ground wires coming from the house to the ground screw in the box since that was how it was when I opened it to do the swap.

I really do appreciate the help and suggestions.
Good deal on learning to use a multi-meter. It is the most useful tool for troubleshooting electrical stuff you can imagine.

As to the generator plugged in and running - NO. Go back to post #6 (< direct link to it) and read what I described with the extension cord and checking continuity through Neutral. This will get to exactly the question of the two white wires and which one is Hot. If you can't find the Hot, then get the extension cord on another circuit that is off the other hot rail in the breaker box.
 

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I am just learning how to use a multimeter correctly so I will need the generator running and plugged into the inlet box to check the wires?
Be VERY careful to note how you have the meter set and power options. If you are checking continuity (ohms) then make sure NOT to have gen running. Never check ohms on a live circuit. If you are checking voltage, then gen has to be running and meter set to volts (VAC). Don't shock yourself! :cautious:
 

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If you are checking voltage, then gen has to be running and meter set to volts (VAC). Don't shock yourself!
The problem with this is there is very likely a problem with the wiring. The idea is to correct it before applying any more power to the circuit. So, therefore, there needs to be some diagnostics to figure out the wiring PRIOR to powering up the circuit at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
FlyFisher - If I understand your directions correctly and I am not sure I do but here is what I think I am supposed to do:

Turn off main power - plug the generator extension cord into the 50A inlet box BUT not plugged into the generator - put generator breaker in breaker box to ON position and then test the prongs of the 30A to 50A adapter and then the prongs of the 30A cord.

GenKnot - I was going to test for volts since that is what I am used to doing. I can check a wire to see if it is hot so I don’t touch it. Lol. However, an easier and safer way to do this a bonus.
 

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Turn off main power - plug the generator extension cord into the 50A inlet box BUT not plugged into the generator - put generator breaker in breaker box to ON position and then test the prongs of the 30A to 50A adapter and then the prongs of the 30A cord.
Bingo. The breakers need to be in the position of getting generator power (with the mains disconnected). That is the purpose of your interlock - so you can not have the mains on with the generator on.

This also means that during your testing like this you will have no power in the house. As I understand it - you are in a cold climate. Do you have wood or pellet heat to keep going while you're doing your troubleshooting?

Test the continuity to verify the wiring BEFORE powering up the generator and plugging in. If you find a fault in the connections - then correct the issue and triple, quadruple check. When you are sure the pinning through the cables and to the generator plug is correct then plug in and power up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Bingo. The breakers need to be in the position of getting generator power (with the mains disconnected). That is the purpose of your interlock - so you can not have the mains on with the generator on.

This also means that during your testing like this you will have no power in the house. As I understand it - you are in a cold climate. Do you have wood or pellet heat to keep going while you're doing your troubleshooting?

Test the continuity to verify the wiring BEFORE powering up the generator and plugging in. If you find a fault in the connections - then correct the issue and triple, quadruple check. When you are sure the pinning through the cables and to the generator plug is correct then plug in and power up.
Great. No backup heat source but for the limited time I will have power off it should not be a problem in the house. Big problem is me freezing - older I get less I can tolerate the cold. Lol. It is 19 deg now and still on and off light snow - but since I do not have to open the inlet box snow should not be an issue. I have some errands to run so will check in later. Thanks!
 

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Though it’s possible, I doubt that that it’s miss wired. Its likely a loose connection causing voltage spikes. Hence the fried surge protectors. Since the cords are molded it’s not going to be a loose terminal lug but could be damage Or looseness in the receptacle ends or a loose connection at the inlet box, any junction boxes, or the breaker in the main panel.
 

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OK. I will start with inlet box. I marked the wires before I disconnected them and am 100% sure they are connected the same as the electrician had them. I should note that I didn’t have a generator when the inlet box was installed and therefore, no test run was done. It is snowing on and off right now so I am going to wait a bit before I open the box. The wires coming from the house were BLACK, WHITE, WHITE and bare copper for ground. actually 2 bare copper wires. So if there is an issue it will probably be one of the WHITE wires in the wrong connection.


This may be a dumb question: I am just learning how to use a multimeter correctly so I will need the generator running and plugged into the inlet box to check the wires? Also I only ran 1 of the 2 the ground wires coming from the house to the ground screw in the box since that was how it was when I opened it to do the swap.

I really do appreciate the help and suggestions.
????
hummm
this is a 120 / 240 gen and cord set right?
it should be
L1 as black
L2 as red
neutral as white
ground and copper or green

snap a pix of the inlet socket you are using
there also should be some numbers on it as well make sure the photo is clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
????
hummm
this is a 120 / 240 gen and cord set right?
it should be
L1 as black
L2 as red
neutral as white
ground and copper or green

snap a pix of the inlet socket you are using
there also should be some numbers on it as well make sure the photo is clear.
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Tire Wheel Bicycle Crankset Automotive tire


These are pics of the inlet plug, the back of the plug and the wires coming out of the house.

Here are the numbers I got starting with the wires inside of the inlet box:

WHITE + GROUND = 00.1
WHITE + Y = 04.2
WHITE + X = 14.2
X + Y = 18.8
GROUND + Y = 2.5
GROUND + X = 14.4
Some of the numbers jumped high but then settled down to what I recorded.

These are the numbers from the inlet box prongs:
NEUTRAL TO RT PRONG = 14.4
NEUTRAL TO LEFT PRONG = 2.0

Also checked continuity on adapter:
NEUTRAL + GROUND = OL
GROUND TO 1 HOT = 14.5
GROUND TO OTHER HOT = 2.2
NEUTRAL TO EACH HOT SEPARATELY = OL

The only reading that was below 1 was the GROUND TO WHITE inside inlet box.
 

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WTF, Two 6/2 NM-b cables… That’s not code compliant. An electrician installed this!? I take back my previous statement. All of a sudden it’s quite possible that wires are crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
WTF, Two 6/2 NM-b cables… That’s not code compliant. An electrician installed this!? I take back my previous statement. All of a sudden it’s quite possible that wires are crossed.
YES! An electrician with a relatively large local company.
 

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Here are the numbers I got starting with the wires inside of the inlet box:

WHITE + GROUND = 00.1
WHITE + Y = 04.2
WHITE + X = 14.2
X + Y = 18.8
GROUND + Y = 2.5
GROUND + X = 14.4
Some of the numbers jumped high but then settled down to what I recorded.

These are the numbers from the inlet box prongs:
NEUTRAL TO RT PRONG = 14.4
NEUTRAL TO LEFT PRONG = 2.0

Also checked continuity on adapter:
NEUTRAL + GROUND = OL
GROUND TO 1 HOT = 14.5
GROUND TO OTHER HOT = 2.2
NEUTRAL TO EACH HOT SEPARATELY = OL

The only reading that was below 1 was the GROUND TO WHITE inside inlet box.
The only thing you may be able to (no guarantee) determine testing at one end of the circuit is if you have any cross-continuity that shouldn't be there.

What would make that test not accurate is if you have anything plugged in to the circuit. In that case you are reading the resistance through the loads on the circuit and that would throw off the reading.

The only way to test for cross-continuity and have it be accurate is if there is nothing plugged in to the circuit. So to do that you need to clear every outlet in your house, or turn off every breaker in the box other than the generator breaker. In that case all you are testing is the connection from the generator to the breaker box in that case, and taking out the rest of the house circuitry (which is OK in that case because if you had cross-continuity with the rest of the house circuitry you would have long since had a bigger issue on your hands then what you are trying to troubleshoot here).

You need the extension cord to check continuity through the circuits - hots (both if you can get the extension cord on a circuit on each hot) and neutral. In this case you are creating a "closed loop" with the multi-meter reading the continuity/resistance of that "closed loop".

When you did your tests from the one end you were testing across the different leads, not close-looping one lead at a time.

You need to map out each lead individually - and that is where the extension cord comes in so you can create the closed loop that will allow you to do said mapping.
 

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Hopefully this is a bit more clear than just "words". Crude diagram, but still a better doodle than just the verbal imagery.

Again, on the L14-30 the 2x hot legs/pins don't matter on polarity. X could be L2 Y could be L1, or X could be L1 and Y could be L2.

What DOES matter is neutral is neutral. And that is the heart of the question. You have 2x sets of 3 conductor cables (2 "conductors" plus ground = 3). You need to map out where each black, white, and bare copper wire goes.

I did not include all the interconnects/adapters in the line between the generator and the breaker box - but they are all in question as noted in the brown box/yellow text.

Last comment is a bit of a safety consideration - using the Extension Cord method pictured and described - this keeps your finger pickers out of the breaker box. You shouldn't need to be in there to test existing circuits, so this method keeps you out of it. ;)



Rectangle Font Schematic Slope Parallel
 

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View attachment 10706
View attachment 10705
View attachment 10707

These are pics of the inlet plug, the back of the plug and the wires coming out of the house.

Here are the numbers I got starting with the wires inside of the inlet box:

WHITE + GROUND = 00.1
WHITE + Y = 04.2
WHITE + X = 14.2
X + Y = 18.8
GROUND + Y = 2.5
GROUND + X = 14.4
Some of the numbers jumped high but then settled down to what I recorded.

These are the numbers from the inlet box prongs:
NEUTRAL TO RT PRONG = 14.4
NEUTRAL TO LEFT PRONG = 2.0

Also checked continuity on adapter:
NEUTRAL + GROUND = OL
GROUND TO 1 HOT = 14.5
GROUND TO OTHER HOT = 2.2
NEUTRAL TO EACH HOT SEPARATELY = OL

The only reading that was below 1 was the GROUND TO WHITE inside inlet box.
a true what the heck moment on what the electrical guy did...

proper colors to this location of the inlet should to have been
L1 to Y as black
L2 to X as red
neutral to W as white
ground to ground symbol as green or bare

you could id the blacks and place red tape on one of them at both ends for the L2.

to id the black wire for the red tape;
first turn off the main breaker for safety
if you can operate a volt meter you could use a fresh 9 volt dc battery with clip leads
disconnect the generator inlet black wires at the breaker panel
place the + 9 volt on one of the blacks for the gen inlet at the breaker panel
and the battery - to the bare copper ground

next go outside with your red tape and meter
set the meter to dc volts and if it is not auto range style of meter set to 20 volts dc scale.
check the black wires one at a time till you get the 9 volts dc.
mark that wire with the red tape as a band or wrap around the wire.
check to make sure no other voltage on any of the other wires.
go back inside and mark that wire with the red tape as well.
this will be your L2 connection for the X on the inlet.

next check the other black wire as the same to verify that is the right wire for L1
and connect that to the Y on the inlet
no tape on that wire.

verify the white neutrals next the same way... not sure why they ran 2 of them.
you can connect both of them to the neutral buss bar in the breaker panel after you verify them.
and out side you will wire nut them together with a single 6 gauge white jumper wire to connect to the W term

on the inside wires L1 black to one leg of the duplex breaker for the interlock
and L2 red tape wire to the other leg on the duplex breaker for the interlock

triple check your work check all screw connections before you button up the out side as well as the inside panel covers
the cut in the main on the breaker panel.
step off to the side with one hand, and always turn your head from the panel (that safety thing).

then verify with the battery and meter the cord to make sure it is wired right as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Hopefully this is a bit more clear than just "words". Crude diagram, but still a better doodle than just the verbal imagery.

Again, on the L14-30 the 2x hot legs/pins don't matter on polarity. X could be L2 Y could be L1, or X could be L1 and Y could be L2.

What DOES matter is neutral is neutral. And that is the heart of the question. You have 2x sets of 3 conductor cables (2 "conductors" plus ground = 3). You need to map out where each black, white, and bare copper wire goes.

I did not include all the interconnects/adapters in the line between the generator and the breaker box - but they are all in question as noted in the brown box/yellow text.

Last comment is a bit of a safety consideration - using the Extension Cord method pictured and described - this keeps your finger pickers out of the breaker box. You shouldn't need to be in there to test existing circuits, so this method keeps you out of it. ;)



View attachment 10714
THANK YOU FlyFisher for the diagram. It is easier for me to visually see what you are saying than it is for to read and try to visualize something that I have not done before.

I did do the test earlier with all breakers in the on position. Looking at the diagram - I need to turn only one breaker on. Unplug anything in the sockets and turn off any lights. Plug in a regular 110v extension cord and test between the 110v extension and the generator 30A extension.

Two questions:
1). Do I need to test with the 30Amp gen cord plugged into the inlet box or can I test between the prongs of the inlet box and the 110v ext cord?
2). I am only interested in readings from ground to ground, neutral to neutral and hot to hot between the 110v ext cord and gen cord, correct?

Thank you for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
a true what the heck moment on what the electrical guy did...

proper colors to this location of the inlet should to have been
L1 to Y as black
L2 to X as red
neutral to W as white
ground to ground symbol as green or bare

you could id the blacks and place red tape on one of them at both ends for the L2.

to id the black wire for the red tape;
first turn off the main breaker for safety
if you can operate a volt meter you could use a fresh 9 volt dc battery with clip leads
disconnect the generator inlet black wires at the breaker panel
place the + 9 volt on one of the blacks for the gen inlet at the breaker panel
and the battery - to the bare copper ground

next go outside with your red tape and meter
set the meter to dc volts and if it is not auto range style of meter set to 20 volts dc scale.
check the black wires one at a time till you get the 9 volts dc.
mark that wire with the red tape as a band or wrap around the wire.
check to make sure no other voltage on any of the other wires.
go back inside and mark that wire with the red tape as well.
this will be your L2 connection for the X on the inlet.

next check the other black wire as the same to verify that is the right wire for L1
and connect that to the Y on the inlet
no tape on that wire.

verify the white neutrals next the same way... not sure why they ran 2 of them.
you can connect both of them to the neutral buss bar in the breaker panel after you verify them.
and out side you will wire nut them together with a single 6 gauge white jumper wire to connect to the W term

on the inside wires L1 black to one leg of the duplex breaker for the interlock
and L2 red tape wire to the other leg on the duplex breaker for the interlock

triple check your work check all screw connections before you button up the out side as well as the inside panel covers
the cut in the main on the breaker panel.
step off to the side with one hand, and always turn your head from the panel (that safety thing).

then verify with the battery and meter the cord to make sure it is wired right as well.
iowagold - Thanks for the time and help. I am going to try FlyFisher’s extension cord loop first because it seems easier to me and less chance of me messing something up at the breaker box. I like the idea of the 9v battery and then being able to get that on the meter to know you have a connection.

Thanks again.
 
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