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· Cool Member
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For those of you trying to connect your TV and DirecTV receivers to a generator, remember that you need to plug the SWM power source in as well. I learned this during Isaac last month (good thing I had some really long extension cords). Also, make sure to use surge protectors and not plug any electronic components directly into a generator.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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+1

I did not have SWM when IKE paid us a visit here but I did have a generator and 4, 100 foot outdoor extension cords to run to the TVs and computers in the house.
 

· Legend
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I installed a transfer switch after the ice storm several years ago with a plug on back of the house,just plug hit 10 switches on the transfer box powers my whole house on a 5500 watt generator. Be sure to also ground the generator it should have a place to put a ground wire.
 

· blah blah blah
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They say not to ground your genny to the house ground, I never understood that very well. I have my genny grounded to a ground rod that is driven in right next to my copper water main, But, even then, this ground rod is only 4 feet long, a ground rod is supposed to be 8 feet long.

Anyway, I once ran my DirecTV setup (and the rest of the house) for 6 weeks on a 5500 watt genny after hurricane Wilma. Ran great, although at the rate of 10 gallons of gas a day.
 

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JeffBowser said:
They say not to ground your genny to the house ground, I never understood that very well. I have my genny grounded to a ground rod that is driven in right next to my copper water main, But, even then, this ground rod is only 4 feet long, a ground rod is supposed to be 8 feet long.

Anyway, I once ran my DirecTV setup (and the rest of the house) for 6 weeks on a 5500 watt genny after hurricane Wilma. Ran great, although at the rate of 10 gallons of gas a day.
I think the reason you should not ground the generator to the house ground is to protect line workers who are trying to restore power. I, too, have a separate ground rod just for my generator, but it is a regulation 8 foot copper clad ground rod that I drove into the ground near where I park the generator. When the generator is in use, I use a car jumper cable to connect the generator to the ground rod.
 

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I've been thinking about bonding two 5 foot rods together - give me 8 feet of subsurface contact, and a foot above for cable clamps. This does not meet the letter of the code, but should accomplish the same thing. I had trouble enough driving the 4 foot rod, let alone drive an 8 footer.

fleckrj said:
I think the reason you should not ground the generator to the house ground is to protect line workers who are trying to restore power. I, too, have a separate ground rod just for my generator, but it is a regulation 8 foot copper clad ground rod that I drove into the ground near where I park the generator. When the generator is in use, I use a car jumper cable to connect the generator to the ground rod.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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JeffBowser said:
This does not meet the letter of the code, but should accomplish the same thing.
Whether it creates a battery or some other electrolysis issue, two rods within 6' of each other are not allowed by codes in several jurisdictions. In most of these cases, two 8' rods spaced more than 6' apart are required.

Do a web search for "two ground rods".
 

· Legend
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JeffBowser said:
I've been thinking about bonding two 5 foot rods together - give me 8 feet of subsurface contact, and a foot above for cable clamps. This does not meet the letter of the code, but should accomplish the same thing. I had trouble enough driving the 4 foot rod, let alone drive an 8 footer.
The trick to driving the grounding rods is that commercial hammer drills have an adapter that will let the hammer drill drive the ground rod.
 

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Right. Simple. If only I knew someone with the tools. :lol:

Combat Medic said:
The trick to driving the grounding rods is that commercial hammer drills have an adapter that will let the hammer drill drive the ground rod.
 

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Sharing a ground rod b/w a generator and your home's electric supply won't affect a utility worker whatsoever. Connecting any other part of your generator into your breaker panel/house electrical service (without a proper transfer switch) COULD indeed injure a utility worker. IRC requires at least 8' of continuous earth contact for a proper low resistance grounding system. Isometrically bonding two (same exact composition metal) 5' ground rods (where would you even get them this size?) together could be done, but most people don't have the proper tools to do this. Using a single 8' ground rod (available at any hardware store) would make the most sense. Some areas of Canada (for example) require dual 8' ground rods approx. 10' apart for new service installs.
 

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Had to deal with this after Hurricane Charley in '04. Ran a 100' extension cord up to the powered multiswitch in the attic of my 2-story home.

I had so many things plugged into my 5500W generator that when I had to shut it down to refuel I had to plug things back into the generator one or two at a time following a specific sequence as not to overload it all at once with the current spike associated with them starting up. Refrigerators, Freezer (these draw HUGE current spikes when they come on) and AC units first, then TVs, STBs, Multiswitch, Aquariums and lamps.

It only lasted a week but it felt a lot longer.
 

· blah blah blah
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A transfer switch is the proper way. Live in a hurricane prone area like I do, and you quickly learn taking shortcuts with dryer outlets is not the way to go, as some of my neighbors stubbornly insist on doing.

Cyber36 said:
The only way to harm a service worker is to NOT shut off the main switch at the top of the panel while your backfeeding..........
 

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HarleyD said:
Had to deal with this after Hurricane Charley in '04. Ran a 100' extension cord up to the powered multiswitch in the attic of my 2-story home.

I had so many things plugged into my 5500W generator that when I had to shut it down to refuel I had to plug things back into the generator one or two at a time following a specific sequence as not to overload it all at once with the current spike associated with them starting up. Refrigerators, Freezer (these draw HUGE current spikes when they come on) and AC units first, then TVs, STBs, Multiswitch, Aquariums and lamps.

It only lasted a week but it felt a lot longer.
What you were seeing with the refrigerators and freezers when they first come on is "inrush current". Takes only seconds (or less) to subside. But you did the right thing. If you hadn't pulled all the plugs before starting, you would have probably tripped the generators breakers. Once you have everything running, there will still be instances of inrush current each time the compressors in the refrigerators, freezers and AC units come on but the genny will handle that.

Rich
 
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