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We have an off-grid cabin. Currently we have a Champion 7500 watt dual fuel generator powered with propane that is connected by a 120/240v cord directly into the cabin's electrical circuit panel. The high wattage and 240v service is needed to power a submersible water pump out in the lake that we use to pump water into attic tanks. When the generator is running, all of the electrical wall outlets in the cabin also are live with regular 120v service.

The current generator is too loud (likely 72+ dba) to run on a regular ongoing basis and we use it only for about 30 minutes every 2-3 days to fill the water tanks. I am interested in adding to our system a very quiet (52-58 dba) low watt 2000-3000 inverter generator for the sole purpose of providing power to an internet microwave receiver, wifi router and 2-3 laptops. The intention is to be able to work a full 8 hr day remotely via computer when at the cabin if necessary. (I know, why not actually take a vacation).

Is it possible to install a transfer switch that would alternate whether the cabin's electrical circuit panel is receiving power from the 120/240 v cord of the Champion 7500 generator or from a L5-30P (120v 30 amp) cord from a 2000-3000 watt inverter generator.

I am hoping to be able to make the regular electrical outlets in the cabin live with 120v service from the 2000-3000 watt inverter generator so we can be flexible where we plug in the internet equipment and our laptops. However the two generators would never be running at the same time. It would be an either or with us only starting one of the generators and using a manual transfer switch to then have only that generator's power feeding the cabin's circuit panel.
If this is doable, would I have the L5-30P go to one 30 amp generator power inlet box and the 120/240 v cord go to a different 30 amp generator power inlet box with the feed from both boxes going into the switch prior to feeding the circuit panel?
 

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You can just get an adapter for the cord you're currently using and plug that into your smaller generator. It would only power half of your panel, but it would work.

A quieter solution might be to get one of those battery backup units. Charge it with your current generator and use it to power the small stuff. The larger units can get expensive, so it really depends on what you need:

 

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Is it possible to install a transfer switch that would alternate whether the cabin's electrical circuit panel is receiving power from the 120/240 v cord of the Champion 7500 generator or from a L5-30P (120v 30 amp) cord from a 2000-3000 watt inverter generator.

I am hoping to be able to make the regular electrical outlets in the cabin live with 120v service from the 2000-3000 watt inverter generator so we can be flexible where we plug in the internet equipment and our laptops.
Yes! You absolutely can do this.

We have very remote property, also, that is on grid power - for now. I have some good ideas on how to go off-grid - wind/solar, with generator backup. We've had gen backup for years already - we're the 2nd to last property on the end of a remote spur of the grid. We're quite small potatoes when storms do knock out power, to say the least.

In any event - yes, you absolutely can power your cabin's 120v loads with a single 120v source. I do this with my portable power distribution set up. I use 6g SER cable as my main feeder cable then I can run to a break-out box that, on a split phase gen, splits the phases to 2 duplex outlets - 1 duplex per phase. On my EU2200i (120v only inverter) BOTH duplex outlets are powered. That is done by the hot wire from a 5-20p going to both hots on an L14-30R.

As to the question of if you can have both gens connected - yes you can. If you don't have utility power then a transfer switch should suffice - each ON position of the transfer switch would be either generator, instead of grid or gen it would be gen 1 and gen 2.

The other way you could do it if you don't have a transfer switch, rather the gen you have is your utility feed, then you could back-feed through a breaker* for the other gen. This would have to be a 2 pole breaker (the 2 poles being how you power up both rails of the breaker box). If you had a separate cable from the inverter gen you could use 3 conductor (hot, neutral, ground) all the way to the breaker then jumper across the breaker. This would be like the adapter I made below with 3 conductor wire jumpering across the 2 hots of the L14-30R (swap the L14-30R for your breaker). It most certainly can be done.

*Of course, you would only want one source "on" at a time. Be careful not to "back feed" the generator not being used. The same goes for utility power - NEVER back-feed to an unused source (gen, utility, inverter from batteries, etc - the only simultaneous device you can run is a proper grid-tie inverter that is designed to sync to a power source).

Note that when you are on 120v-only - keep any 240v breakers off that you might have. The 120v loads won't know any difference.

Below is the adapter I made to run 120v to both hots. This came up in another thread so I detailed it.

By the way, the 5-20p's I am using are really cool. Both blade pins can be rotated so you can set them for any 15-20a 120-240v configuration. Really handy.

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And one more picture - all the adapters and the "break out box" I made. The only other adapter not shown is an L14-30p suicide adapter. The big gen uses a 14-50 plug so I went to that for my main cable runs and adapt between it to what I need. Coming down the road is a proper breaker box. At the moment I swap the breaker on the big gen down to a 20 should I need to (they are BlueSea Systems breakers - pretty easy to work with).

Thread edited by moderator. The National Electrical Code specifies that no wiring or connectors, permanent or otherwise, should be configured or used in such a manner where users could inadvertently come into contact with live conductors. A "suicide cord," that is, a cord with male connectors on both ends readily presents this possibility.

It is not in the interest of this forum, or its users, to tolerate advocating or promoting unsafe practices such as the use of cords with male conductors on both ends, appropriately called "suicide cords," such as pictured below
.



9880
 

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If I understand your question this adapter will feed the 120V to both sides of the panel providing 120V to all circuits. No need for transfer switches, just use the existing cord you have. This is the first one I found, there are more out there.

they also have the tail version of that cord as well for a few more bucks.
kinda cool for a 120/240 30 amp inlet to be converted to a single leg input like a eu2200is gen.
 

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We have an off-grid cabin. Currently we have a Champion 7500 watt dual fuel generator powered with propane that is connected by a 120/240v cord directly into the cabin's electrical circuit panel. The high wattage and 240v service is needed to power a submersible water pump out in the lake that we use to pump water into attic tanks. When the generator is running, all of the electrical wall outlets in the cabin also are live with regular 120v service.

The current generator is too loud (likely 72+ dba) to run on a regular ongoing basis and we use it only for about 30 minutes every 2-3 days to fill the water tanks. I am interested in adding to our system a very quiet (52-58 dba) low watt 2000-3000 inverter generator for the sole purpose of providing power to an internet microwave receiver, wifi router and 2-3 laptops. The intention is to be able to work a full 8 hr day remotely via computer when at the cabin if necessary. (I know, why not actually take a vacation).

Is it possible to install a transfer switch that would alternate whether the cabin's electrical circuit panel is receiving power from the 120/240 v cord of the Champion 7500 generator or from a L5-30P (120v 30 amp) cord from a 2000-3000 watt inverter generator.

I am hoping to be able to make the regular electrical outlets in the cabin live with 120v service from the 2000-3000 watt inverter generator so we can be flexible where we plug in the internet equipment and our laptops. However the two generators would never be running at the same time. It would be an either or with us only starting one of the generators and using a manual transfer switch to then have only that generator's power feeding the cabin's circuit panel.
If this is doable, would I have the L5-30P go to one 30 amp generator power inlet box and the 120/240 v cord go to a different 30 amp generator power inlet box with the feed from both boxes going into the switch prior to feeding the circuit panel?
you could do a dedicated transfer switch just for the 240 pump to run off the 120/240 gen only.
that way you would not have a chance to get the 120/240 gen power to feed in to the little 120 only gen...
just a thought!
pm me if you need a link for those dedicated switch systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
they also have the tail version of that cord as well for a few more bucks.
kinda cool for a 120/240 30 amp inlet to be converted to a single leg input like a eu2200is gen.
So if I am undertanding this correctly, I would place this adapter on the male end of the 120/240 plug that is currently plugged into our Champion 7500 watt generator and then be able to plug that cable into a 120v/30 amp outlet on the smaller inverter generator? This is a great solution, because my hope is to use the small inverter generator 80% of the time and be able to turn on and off the small inverter generator from inside the cabin via bluetooth remote electric start. The Champion 7500 does not have remote start so I have to go out to where the generator is to start it. So on those occassions (every 3 days or so to pump water), I would just remove the adapter and plug the 120v/240v male back into the Chamption 7500. Do I have this right? No need for an actual transfer switch - my manual act of changing the plug is the transfer switch?
 

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So if I am undertanding this correctly, I would place this adapter on the male end of the 120/240 plug that is currently plugged into our Champion 7500 watt generator and then be able to plug that cable into a 120v/30 amp outlet on the smaller inverter generator? This is a great solution, because my hope is to use the small inverter generator 80% of the time and be able to turn on and off the small inverter generator from inside the cabin via bluetooth remote electric start. The Champion 7500 does not have remote start so I have to go out to where the generator is to start it. So on those occassions (every 3 days or so to pump water), I would just remove the adapter and plug the 120v/240v male back into the Chamption 7500. Do I have this right? No need for an actual transfer switch - my manual act of changing the plug is the transfer switch?
yup that would work well for you without any other switches!
 

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Just bringing attention to post #3 above, which has been edited.

The National Electrical Code specifies that no wiring or connectors, permanent or otherwise, should be configured or used in such a manner where users could inadvertently come into contact with live conductors. A "suicide cord," that is, a cord with male connectors on both ends readily presents this possibility.

It is not in the interest of this forum, or its users, to tolerate advocating or promoting unsafe practices such as the use of cords with male conductors on both ends, appropriately called "suicide cords," such as pictured.

Lots of newbies around here who may not be aware of the dangers of a suicide cord. Let's not get them electrocuted.
 

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So if I am undertanding this correctly, I would place this adapter on the male end of the 120/240 plug that is currently plugged into our Champion 7500 watt generator and then be able to plug that cable into a 120v/30 amp outlet on the smaller inverter generator? This is a great solution, because my hope is to use the small inverter generator 80% of the time and be able to turn on and off the small inverter generator from inside the cabin via bluetooth remote electric start. The Champion 7500 does not have remote start so I have to go out to where the generator is to start it. So on those occassions (every 3 days or so to pump water), I would just remove the adapter and plug the 120v/240v male back into the Chamption 7500. Do I have this right? No need for an actual transfer switch - my manual act of changing the plug is the transfer switch?
I asked about this same thing here not too long ago and got the same advice. I ended up making a short adapter cord that accomplished the same thing as that adapter plug. I was able to test it out 2 weeks ago. It worked perfectly. It really was that simple (well, once the guys here explained it to me :sneaky:)
 
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