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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.
If you make a closed loop it does not matter what you have plugged in because you are not checking through those devices. You are just trying to make a "closed circuit" between the "one" wire you are testing. Electricity takes the path of least resistance and you will have, technically, no load between the L14-30 and the extension cord.

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?
1. Yes, at first you want the L14-30 plug you connect to the generator in the circuit through the inlet box. This will have all the "parts" together as in what should be normal operation. Then once you run in to things that are not correct start peeling back the layers of parts and check/verify those. As @iowagold mentioned - commercially made cables may still be worth checking over to see if they are, in fact, correct.

2. Yes. That is the purpose of the cord being there. The most important part of the testing is to get your Neutral correct on the generator cord side from the L14-30 to the breaker box. With the wiring question in the inlet box (between it and the breaker box) - this is likely where your issue is and why you're going through all these "hoops". The Hot wire of the extension cord (black, the narrow blade on the plug/socket) should only connect to one of the hot pins on the L14-30 - if everything is wired correctly. There again, if it isn't and you are loading up neutral somewhere along the lines - that is exactly what you are trying to test for here - to map out the connections/wires as described in the brown box with yellow text in the diagram. If it is too hard to read copy the picture and save it to your computer then zoom in. On my web browser it doesn't let me zoom in to the image, only the base website/text.

Keep in mind that ground and neutral will be bonded together both at the generator and breaker box. So you should have continuity between ground and neutral. The important differentiation is between Hot and Neutral.
 

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1st 2 things I’d try.
  • tuen all the breakers off other than the gen breaker and make sure you’re getting 120from each hit to ground.
  • get a clip on current meter ( Lowe’s. 60
Bucks ). Start turning on each breaker snd see what the current draw is on each leg.

report back.
 

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1st 2 things I’d try.
  • tuen all the breakers off other than the gen breaker and make sure you’re getting 120from each hit to ground.
  • get a clip on current meter ( Lowe’s. 60
Bucks ). Start turning on each breaker snd see what the current draw is on each leg.

report back.
That won't be a good idea if the circuit from the generator to the breaker box is mis-wired. That has to be checked first at this point before putting any more power on the circuit. Only when the wiring is either known to be good or what ever issues are found are rectified should power be put on the circuit.
 

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That won't be a good idea if the circuit from the generator to the breaker box is mis-wired. That has to be checked first at this point before putting any more power on the circuit. Only when the wiring is either known to be good or what ever issues are found are rectified should power be put on the circuit.
Fully agree. I wouldn’t flip on any of the main breakers if the power isn’t correct. And to that point. That’s the easiest place to test the voltage for proper wiring through the cable snd the jumper.

probably should have specified.
with all the breakers off in thr panel( including the 50 amp generator breaker )
Plug everything in between the gen and the house. when the generator is running to can test between each hot leg from the gen set at the breaker.
You should have 4 wires you want to test.
Test the voltage from each lug on the gen breaker to ground and neutral.
if it’s all wires properly you should have
120 from the top lug to ground and 120 from the top lug to your neutral bar.
similarly if wires properly you will have 120 from the bottom lug to ground and neutral.
Also test between the top and bottom pubs and you should have 240.
if you have anything different than this then something is wired wrong.

with all the breakers off you shouldn’t harm anything further in the house.

you can also test this at the end of the cable. All you need to do is Google the plug type and check which pins are which. But from my perspective I would think the final test is at the gen breaker.
Cheers.
 

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But from my perspective I would think the final test is at the gen breaker.
Keep in mind, technically only an electrician should be in the breaker box. So if that is true (perhaps a big question mark on the "if" portion of that statement) -

The circuitry through the breaker box and the rest of the house is "correct".

That "should" leave the circuitry on the gen side in question, only.

In this case - the extension cord method I illustrated gets right to the heart of the question - and the extension cord brings the tap points from which to check those portions of the circuits right to the L14-30 that plugs in to the gen. Pretty convenient, eh? ;)
 

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Keep in mind, technically only an electrician should be in the breaker box. So if that is true (perhaps a big question mark on the "if" portion of that statement) -

The circuitry through the breaker box and the rest of the house is "correct".

That "should" leave the circuitry on the gen side in question, only.

In this case - the extension cord method I illustrated gets right to the heart of the question - and the extension cord brings the tap points from which to check those portions of the circuits right to the L14-30 that plugs in to the gen. Pretty convenient, eh? ;)
I wouldn't suggest anyone open a panel unless they are completely comfortable working around electricity. so - certainly safety 1st. If the owner isn't comfortable with electricity....getting an electrician to sort the issue is always the safest bet.
As for regulation...really depends on the city and state you live in. In Houston....homeowners are permitted to perform electrical work on a house they own...but i do know that is different across many states and as with anything - know whats permitted and not.


Homeowners
A person who perform electrical work on a dwelling that they own and reside in is not required by the state to be licensed as electricians.
For more information about homeowner exemptions, see 1305.003(a)(6).

Checking the cable works too. The only reason for the suggestion for checking the breaker is it eliminates everything else...including the gen wiring, the cable wiring, the adapter wiring and the inlet box wiring...one test lets you know its all either wired right - or not.
If its wired right and you have 240 across the lugs and 120 from each lug to ground ..then the problem is something else.
If not - then the owner will certainly have to start stepping through each cable ...throug without a long meter lead - almost no way to test the wiring form the inlet box to the breaker - other than opening up the inlet box and physically verifying the color cables connected to each terminal.

Most of these cables are labeled.
X & Y (hot lines) W ( neutral) and G ( ground)
L1430R plug wiring diagram

On an L14-30r Plug ( either generator or the female end of the cable) the ground is the connector that has the small L in it...If labeled - it will have a G
The connector directly across form the ground is the Neutral ...if labeled - it will have N...and the other 2 ( left and right of the ground and neutral) are the hots, if labeled will be X and Y.


If you want individual tests..
Generator.
Test the gen while running
  • You should have 120 from Ground to Each Hot ( left and right of the ground tab)
  • You should have 120 from Neutral to each hot
  • You should have 240 from hot to hot.

30 amp cable.
- Can be tested with voltage ( if plugged into the generator using the same method as above measuring voltage) or you can use the ohms setting on the meter and test it for conductivity. Your meter might have a setting for conductivity....looks like a wifi signal. This will beep when you have continuity. If the owner isn't used to using a meter there is a quick tutorial here
  • test the respective same lugs on each side of the cable
  • the L tab on the make to the to the L tab on the female ( ground)
  • the N tab U directly across from the ground from make to female
  • then the other 2...and to be honest...doesnt make any difference if these are reversed as they are both hots...BUT if you do find a problem....i wouldn't trust the cable

30m to 50A jumper
I honestly cant see the pin connections clear enough....but it looks like a standard ss2-50 plug.
Here the convention changes. There are only 3 pins ( H, H, N) and ground is built in the side of the plug....so still uses 4 wires
The convention of the tab with the L ( like on the 30 amp cables and generator) DOES NOT follow suit here.
The Ground is on the Side of the plug
The Hot legs ( X & Y) have the little L connector
the neutral is the straight blade connector


To test this with continuity ...go from the L tab on the 30A plug to the copper connector on the side of the plug ( G-G)
Test continuity from the tab across form the L on the 30 Amp plug ( N) to the flat tab on the 50 amp plug
Test the other 2 on the 30 amp ( left and right of the ground and neutral) to each L tab on the 50...and again. While it would ge good for the X to match X and the y to match Y...doesnt matter.

All is left now is the gen inlet box...which can only be tested with continuity and even then - youre going to need a long meter lead........
But as you've already removed that and clearly are comfortable - with handling the wires in the box...make sure that wires from the breaker connect to X & Y., the Neutral wire form the breaker connects to W and the ground wire form the breaker connects to G

Th owner mentioned connecting to the ground rods on the house
"I was a little confused with the 2 ground wires coming out of the house but I tried running the gen with one house ground attached to the box and not attached and no different results. "
Would like to get some more info on this. Was the reference to the ground wires the ones going to the outlet box or to a ground rod?

Best practice is to ground a generator. lots of debate that the cable connecting the generator to the home technically grounds the generator but if anything ever lets loose on the gen wiring....the ground directly connected to the generator frame may save someone getting electrocuted... BUT safety aside....connecting the generator to a ground vs not connecting the generator to the ground shouldn't cause this issue UNLESS something is wired wrong.

So - most of this pebbly isn't anything new to a person that has connected up a generator before but hopefully helpful see this owner.


If the owner is in Houston - i can run over and help test this for you.
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I wouldn't suggest anyone open a panel unless they are completely comfortable working around electricity. so - certainly safety 1st. If the owner isn't comfortable with electricity....getting an electrician to sort the issue is always the safest bet.
As for regulation...really depends on the city and state you live in. In Houston....homeowners are permitted to perform electrical work on a house they own...but i do know that is different across many states and as with anything - know whats permitted and not.


Homeowners
A person who perform electrical work on a dwelling that they own and reside in is not required by the state to be licensed as electricians.
For more information about homeowner exemptions, see 1305.003(a)(6).

Checking the cable works too. The only reason for the suggestion for checking the breaker is it eliminates everything else...including the gen wiring, the cable wiring, the adapter wiring and the inlet box wiring...one test lets you know its all either wired right - or not.
If its wired right and you have 240 across the lugs and 120 from each lug to ground ..then the problem is something else.
If not - then the owner will certainly have to start stepping through each cable ...throug without a long meter lead - almost no way to test the wiring form the inlet box to the breaker - other than opening up the inlet box and physically verifying the color cables connected to each terminal.

Most of these cables are labeled.
X & Y (hot lines) W ( neutral) and G ( ground)
L1430R plug wiring diagram

On an L14-30r Plug ( either generator or the female end of the cable) the ground is the connector that has the small L in it...If labeled - it will have a G
The connector directly across form the ground is the Neutral ...if labeled - it will have N...and the other 2 ( left and right of the ground and neutral) are the hots, if labeled will be X and Y.


If you want individual tests..
Generator.
Test the gen while running
  • You should have 120 from Ground to Each Hot ( left and right of the ground tab)
  • You should have 120 from Neutral to each hot
  • You should have 240 from hot to hot.

30 amp cable.
- Can be tested with voltage ( if plugged into the generator using the same method as above measuring voltage) or you can use the ohms setting on the meter and test it for conductivity. Your meter might have a setting for conductivity....looks like a wifi signal. This will beep when you have continuity. If the owner isn't used to using a meter there is a quick tutorial here
  • test the respective same lugs on each side of the cable
  • the L tab on the make to the to the L tab on the female ( ground)
  • the N tab U directly across from the ground from make to female
  • then the other 2...and to be honest...doesnt make any difference if these are reversed as they are both hots...BUT if you do find a problem....i wouldn't trust the cable

30m to 50A jumper
I honestly cant see the pin connections clear enough....but it looks like a standard ss2-50 plug.
Here the convention changes. There are only 3 pins ( H, H, N) and ground is built in the side of the plug....so still uses 4 wires
The convention of the tab with the L ( like on the 30 amp cables and generator) DOES NOT follow suit here.
The Ground is on the Side of the plug
The Hot legs ( X & Y) have the little L connector
the neutral is the straight blade connector


To test this with continuity ...go from the L tab on the 30A plug to the copper connector on the side of the plug ( G-G)
Test continuity from the tab across form the L on the 30 Amp plug ( N) to the flat tab on the 50 amp plug
Test the other 2 on the 30 amp ( left and right of the ground and neutral) to each L tab on the 50...and again. While it would ge good for the X to match X and the y to match Y...doesnt matter.

All is left now is the gen inlet box...which can only be tested with continuity and even then - youre going to need a long meter lead........
But as you've already removed that and clearly are comfortable - with handling the wires in the box...make sure that wires from the breaker connect to X & Y., the Neutral wire form the breaker connects to W and the ground wire form the breaker connects to G

Th owner mentioned connecting to the ground rods on the house
"I was a little confused with the 2 ground wires coming out of the house but I tried running the gen with one house ground attached to the box and not attached and no different results. "
Would like to get some more info on this. Was the reference to the ground wires the ones going to the outlet box or to a ground rod?

Best practice is to ground a generator. lots of debate that the cable connecting the generator to the home technically grounds the generator but if anything ever lets loose on the gen wiring....the ground directly connected to the generator frame may save someone getting electrocuted... BUT safety aside....connecting the generator to a ground vs not connecting the generator to the ground shouldn't cause this issue UNLESS something is wired wrong.

So - most of this pebbly isn't anything new to a person that has connected up a generator before but hopefully helpful see this owner.


If the owner is in Houston - i can run over and help test this for you.
Cheers
Thanks for the offer to come by. If I was in Houston I would take you up on that. I am in Montana and this not the time for a road trip. Lol.

I may have figure it out by using FlyFisher’s recommendation. Before hooking the 30Amp gen cable to the 30Amp / 50 Amp adapter to the inlet box I checked continuity of the 30Amp gen cable and the 30A to 50 Amp adapter separately. The 30Amp cable tested good on ground, neutral and the 2 hots. The 30A to 50A adapter tested good on ground and the 2hots but not on neutral. When the adapter and 30A cable were attached to each other same issue, no neutral.

I went through the test with a 110v extension cord and gen cable anyway and still had no neutral on gen cable with adapter attached. Then I unplugged the gen cable & adapter from inlet box and tested across the extension cord and the contacts in the inlet box.

I got a hit on one hot.
Extension ground connected to inlet box ground and neutral - and Ext cord neutral connected to Inlet box neutral and ground. I take it that is the bonding between the neutral and ground that is needed.

I am hoping that it is the faulty adapter. I will order a new one soon and check back in to report results. At least now I know how to test it when it get here.

I want to thank everyone for offering your expertise and advice. You guys are the best! (y) To Fly Fisher for the diagram and instructions. I do think that did it.

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!🍺
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Th owner mentioned connecting to the ground rods on the house
"I was a little confused with the 2 ground wires coming out of the house but I tried running the gen with one house ground attached to the box and not attached and no different results. "
Would like to get some more info on this. Was the reference to the ground wires the ones going to the outlet box or to a ground rod?
I was referring to the 2 bare copper ground wires that can be seen in the picture of the inside of the box. When swapping out the original inlet box I was focused on the wiring going into the back of the plug and only casually looked at how the electrician connected the copper wires coming from the house. I know the one copper wire that is not attached to anything was just that not attached to anything. It was the other one I was unsure of. It had a bend in it that looked like it was attached to the same connection that the box ground green clad wire was connected to. so that is where I connected it. I didn’t mess with the ground ground rod.

Adapter Adapter Electrical wiring Audio equipment Gadget
 

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Thanks for the offer to come by. If I was in Houston I would take you up on that. I am in Montana and this not the time for a road trip. Lol.

I may have figure it out by using FlyFisher’s recommendation. Before hooking the 30Amp gen cable to the 30Amp / 50 Amp adapter to the inlet box I checked continuity of the 30Amp gen cable and the 30A to 50 Amp adapter separately. The 30Amp cable tested good on ground, neutral and the 2 hots. The 30A to 50A adapter tested good on ground and the 2hots but not on neutral. When the adapter and 30A cable were attached to each other same issue, no neutral.

I went through the test with a 110v extension cord and gen cable anyway and still had no neutral on gen cable with adapter attached. Then I unplugged the gen cable & adapter from inlet box and tested across the extension cord and the contacts in the inlet box.

I got a hit on one hot.
Extension ground connected to inlet box ground and neutral - and Ext cord neutral connected to Inlet box neutral and ground. I take it that is the bonding between the neutral and ground that is needed.

I am hoping that it is the faulty adapter. I will order a new one soon and check back in to report results. At least now I know how to test it when it get here.

I want to thank everyone for offering your expertise and advice. You guys are the best! (y) To Fly Fisher for the diagram and instructions. I do think that did it.

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!🍺
Good to have a plan. If you want to face time when you’re troubleshooting …drop me a note.
cheers.
 

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Thanks for the offer to come by. If I was in Houston I would take you up on that. I am in Montana and this not the time for a road trip. Lol.

I may have figure it out by using FlyFisher’s recommendation. Before hooking the 30Amp gen cable to the 30Amp / 50 Amp adapter to the inlet box I checked continuity of the 30Amp gen cable and the 30A to 50 Amp adapter separately. The 30Amp cable tested good on ground, neutral and the 2 hots. The 30A to 50A adapter tested good on ground and the 2hots but not on neutral. When the adapter and 30A cable were attached to each other same issue, no neutral.

I went through the test with a 110v extension cord and gen cable anyway and still had no neutral on gen cable with adapter attached. Then I unplugged the gen cable & adapter from inlet box and tested across the extension cord and the contacts in the inlet box.

I got a hit on one hot.
Extension ground connected to inlet box ground and neutral - and Ext cord neutral connected to Inlet box neutral and ground. I take it that is the bonding between the neutral and ground that is needed.

I am hoping that it is the faulty adapter. I will order a new one soon and check back in to report results. At least now I know how to test it when it get here.

I want to thank everyone for offering your expertise and advice. You guys are the best! (y) To Fly Fisher for the diagram and instructions. I do think that did it.

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!🍺
I may have called it right (see post #4) suggesting a faulty adapter...if so, it's a (somewhat) easy fix.
Maybe I should go and buy a lottery ticket and see if my luck continues....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I may have called it right (see post #4) suggesting a faulty adapter...if so, it's a (somewhat) easy fix.
Maybe I should go and buy a lottery ticket and see if my luck continues....:)
You did call it. I guess I just expect things to work out of the box. :LOL:
 

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I got a hit on one hot.
Extension ground connected to inlet box ground and neutral - and Ext cord neutral connected to Inlet box neutral and ground. I take it that is the bonding between the neutral and ground that is needed.
Try moving the extension cord to an outlet that is off a circuit on the other side of the breaker box and verify your other Hot is correct.

As to the neutral and ground - that appears to check out. You should have continuity between them on both connectors (L14-30 and extension cord/5-15 connector) with the bonding in the breaker box.

The question on the inlet box remains the other Hot - so I'd say go through the motions to at least iron that out and verify where all of the wires in the pair of 6/2 cables go even though your question is mostly the 30a to 50a adapter at this point.
 

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I have a WEN8750 Inverter Gen bought new. Before I got the gen an electrician put in a 50A (4prong) outside inlet box installed along with an Interlock system for the breaker box and a 50A breaker in the breaker box for the gen. When I finally got a gen and hooked it up it blew out some LED lights (same brand cheap ones - did not blow out better ones I had) and a surge protector in the house. The gen did not run any of the breakers I tried such as refrigerator. I disconnected gen from house and everything ran as it should from main power.
Wow; you checked a lot of stuff so far already. Did you try wheeling the gen near the house and running a couple extension cords through the window rather than use the inlet box and house wiring? That way you could convince yourself that the gen itself was not blowing out the extension cord/surge protectors. (This may have been covered already; I read through the responses but didn't see it. Sorry if I missed it.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Wow; you checked a lot of stuff so far already. Did you try wheeling the gen near the house and running a couple extension cords through the window rather than use the inlet box and house wiring? That way you could convince yourself that the gen itself was not blowing out the extension cord/surge protectors. (This may have been covered already; I read through the responses but didn't see it. Sorry if I missed it.)
No problem. Early on I ran some 110 stuff off the generator w/o any problem but I didn’t have a way to test the 30Amp 120/240 generator outlet except through the inlet box.

We finally had a break in the weather - no new snow today. I checked continuity on the new adapter when I got it about a week or so ago, and it all looked good. But today I was actually able to do a generator to breaker box test and IT WORKS LIKE IT SHOULD!

I want to thank you guys again for all your help. I thought the problem was either the gen or the wiring in the inlet box. I used multimeters before but just to check voltage for live wires. I never suspected that a new out of the box adapter would be bad. Now that I know how to test continuity I will be checking all new cords I get. lol.
 

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you can always make a test plug with light indicators.
just like the ones for wall outlets
but for the larger twistlocks
 

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Congrats; the nightmare is over!
However, knowing that simple electrical items are, apparently, NOT tested at the factory is another nightmare :(
 

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most BIG production mfg stuff now only tests maybe 1 out of a 100 or a 1000 items..
that is how they make them for pennies on the dollar...

and why a hammer costs $20k for space program...
they have to buy $10k of hammers just to get one that passes the quality control.

i always check any gen or power cords when they are brand new.
you never know how good the work was of the guy who put it together.
 
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