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Thread: Electrical question

  1. #1
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    Electrical question

    With the hurricane coming I'm sure we will lose our power for a few days. If a bumblebee passes gas near our utility pole we lose power for 24 hours

    I have a shallow well pump. 115 /120. I have a 6500 amp generator that runs the 2 sump pumps plus the refrigerator and a few lights but not the well pump.

    I was thinking of pulling the breaker to the well pump and cutting the line in half and putting in a male plug and female connector. I'd leave them plugged in unless the power went out. When it does I would unplug them then connect the male end of the line into the generator.

    Just wondering if this is safe and if it would it work. I'd hate to burn out my pump motor or burn down the house

    I wouldn't need it connected to the generator all the time. Just when we need water to flush the toilets, wash the dishes and clean up. Then I could unplug it.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  2. #2
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    I don't see any reason that wouldn't work, and it would still be safe - so long as the unplugging and reconnecting is done on a dead (circuit breaker pulled, or generator offline) circuit.

    I have a similar hookup for my oil furnace, so I'll still have heat if the power goes off in the winter.

    BTW, your 6500 watt (not amp, btw) generator should handle your sumps, fridge, few lights, and well pump pretty much simultaneously, unless maybe three of the items are trying to start at the same time. If the generater is rated for 6500 watts continuously, it'll handle something just over fifty amps at 120v~. Note that many generators are rated at 'intermittant max' though, and the continuous rating is only about 75~80% of that max rating.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Bob, that is a great idea. I've thought about how to run my well pump on a generator, but didn't come up with your plan. I don't know much about electricity, but what Jim said makes sense to me.

  4. #4
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    Yep, that is a good plan, that way nothing is backfed through the system. Don't go cheap on the extension cord to the generator.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Yep, that is a good plan, that way nothing is backfed through the system. Don't go cheap on the extension cord to the generator.


    I'll get to working on it today

    I have 5 or 6 10 and 12 ga extension cords. I usually run the heavy ga cords from the generator to the house and then branch off to the lights an fridge with 14 ga cords. I'll use the 12 ga cord to the well pump.
    HF is having a sale on a 500w generator for $89.00. I'm thinking about picking one up today and plugging my propane hot water tank into it. All it needs to run is the vent fan.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
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    Looks like I'm too late to buy a generator this time, but I think Bob is spot on with this idea, and I'm going to steal it.

    But here's my question - the 220v output of a generator has 4 contacts, and my well pump has 2 plus a ground wire. How does one make this work?

  7. #7
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    Ken i think you need to supply more info here.

    1) Can you take a picture of your generators outputs?

    2) In the case of your pump is it normally plugged in to a standard two flat pins an one round pin receptacle. ? Take a careful look at the receptacle before you answer because the orientation of the flat pins tell a story.

    I would expect that the pump is 120V and the pump would have a white black and ground wire coming from it.
    But you saying the generator only has 220v output sounds? ????
    normally you would have a mix or just 120v.
    If it were where i came from then i could understand only 220V or the UK but from generators i have seen here there is either only 120v or a mix.

    So lets see the genny before you do anything.

    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk
    cheers

  8. #8
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    Rob, I don't have a generator yet. The ones I'm looking for have both 110 and 220 output. My well pump is 220. I think I've got it figured out though. I just need to buy the right male plug and use the prongs that are needed, 2 hot, one ground, one can remain inactive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken werner View Post
    ...I think I've got it figured out though. I just need to buy the right male plug and use the prongs that are needed, 2 hot, one ground, one can remain inactive.
    That's correct. The four contacts you are seeing are two hots, a common, and a ground. For your 220v pump, you'll just need to use the two hots and the ground. (And it doesn't matter which hot line goes to which hot input on the pump.) All the 220v outlets and plugs in my shop have 4 conductors, but I'm only using three of them. The only reason I used the 4-conductor gear is I found a good deal on 4-pin twist-lock plugs and outlets on eBay. They were less expensive than the 3-pin equivalents.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Y'all know me and elektriks.
    But, what I do know is:
    The wife will really appreciate being able to flush the toilets.
    Once the worst of the hurricane passes you will find trucks with out of state plates all over selling generators.
    When I upgraded our generator from 3500 to 10,000 I shopped around. The tenners ran as high as $10,000.00. The best price I found was at Sam's. Under $900.00 that included shipping. I sold our thirty-five for $300.00. So came out just fine. Add another $400.00 to the electrician to put the well on the board. Worthwhile investment even if we never use it again.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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