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Generator to furnace hook-up

cimarron8889's picture


Generator to furnace hook-up

Can it possible be this easy?

I have a 5000 watt Honda EB series generator and an oil fired two zone furnace in my home.  In the event of a long term power outage I run my refrigerator and chest freezer as needed with extension cords.  I am looking for a way to power my furnace in case of a long term winter outage. 

I was trying to avoid the use of a transfer box due to its cost and the fact I can do everything I need now except the furnace through a cord.  This is the solution that I thought of and I would like your comments on the feasibility, safety and legality of doing it.

My furnace is on a dedicated 15 amp circuit breaker.  My plan would entail cutting the romex that leads from the furnace to the electrical panel and installing a mail plug on the furnace side and a receptacle on the panel side.  During times of commercial power the furnace would be plugged into the receptacle.  During outages the furnace could be plugged into the rated receptacle on the generator.  There is no issue with back feeding.  The furnace would be run like this every few hours just to maintain a livable temperature and to allow for hot water for quick showers.

Comments and criticism on this idea?

Edited 8/31/2002 7:41:41 AM ET by CIMARRON8889

Edited 8/31/2002 7:43:19 AM ET by CIMARRON8889

(post #109622, reply #1 of 9)


Just curious.

I am wondering why you made this post today. When the identical post that you made yesterday, in general discussion, already has 6 reponses ???

: )


It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #109622, reply #2 of 9)

It was recommended to put it in the electrical forum.

(post #109622, reply #3 of 9)

This is not that electrical forum that I was refering to. Sorry for the confusion.

I was hinting at some forums such as


National Electrical Code Forum [Mike Holt's website]

{propero makes it difficult for me to go to those sites, copy and then paste them into this post but you can do a Google search and get there. The forun has a stupid frame system but on the left hand panel, there is an entry "Q & A Forums" so click on that.

There are also other forums such as "DoItYourself" forum which has an electrical section. I hope this clarifies this matter.


(post #109622, reply #5 of 9)


Actually it is very easy to put a link in a message. All you need to do is to put a fully quallified URL (starting with eh http:...) in a message and Prospero makes it a link.

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #109622, reply #6 of 9)

Thanks. The actual URL is

The prospero problem was that I was typing a post and wanted to go back an see the original message and a message [from prospero] popped up and asked if I wanted to forget about my post because I couldn't do that. I got the above buy copy and paste but can only do one at a time.


(post #109622, reply #7 of 9)

Open a new window in your browser.

When you want to reply to a message, RIGHT click on the reply button. Then choose to open in a new window. That way, the original message and all the other posts along with it, stay open and accessible in the original window. You can make your reply in it's own window, and switch back and forth between windows, to read the original, and the other posts.

You can also open as many new windows in your browser, as you wish to. And each of those windows can be directed to the other websites. Once there, you can collect all the other urls, one at a time, then come back to your reply window and paste them in, one at a time. Once all are collected together, then you can submit your post, with all the urls at once...


It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #109622, reply #4 of 9)

Totaly understood.

: )


It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #109622, reply #8 of 9)

I have thought of this problem. If your furnace operates on 120v at less than 20A a simple three-way switch, commonly used for hall lights, and a male receptacle, picture a small flip cover with three prongs recessed to take a female cord cap, should do it for you. The switch would be located well above normal switch height, about 6' works, and labeled 'Line/Gen' to differentiate it from a light switch.

This would allow you to run the furnace by plugging a cord into the male receptacle and flipping a switch. Easy. I have thought of installing one in my house.

(post #109622, reply #9 of 9)