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In the event of a city power cut can you use a single-phase 240V generator to connect across the two 120V phases supplying the house and would you still get 120V to neutral on each side?

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November 21, 2010 6:47AM

Answer

Yes you can BUT because you asked this question you should have a pro show you how to do it. Just to give you a worst case example, transformers work in both directions so if you feed the "city" with 220v your neighbors will enjoy your power until your generator burns up. Maybe 2-3 seconds!

Another thought

Yes, IF you have a neutral connection at your generator. If you do not connect the neutral you will not have 110v from hot to neutral. This is because your house must be perfectly balanced across the neutral to have the correct voltage divider to split 220V into 110V. This is near impossible in a residential situation. You need the neutral for 110V.

Also, buy a generator transfer panel if you plan to power your house off a generator. It's the law.

More

Not because it's the law, but if you don't have a transfer panel and you connect it directly to your panel you'll also be putting current to the lines coming into your house.

This is real scary for the electricians that come out to repair the power. The (city) power is off and they don't expect to see (feel!) any on your end. You could end up electrocuting someone.