Ahhhh... the common backfeeding forum post... Here it goes!
I've beeing doing a lot of research on the topic (as I want everything to be safe). I know the correct way is to use a transfer switch, which I am going to do. I ordered the transfer switch and it will arrive tomorrow. Meanwhile though, I started doing the wireing for the transfer switch. I installed the 220 inlet outside where the portable generator will go, and ran the 10-3 (30 amp switch and gen) wire to the main panel. I need some elecricity right now, so I temperaraly installed a 30 amp double pole breaker and the 10-3 is wired to that so I can backfeed the panel.
Now... before I get a bunch of backlash, I know to open the mains... It's only the wife and I in the house and she doesn't touch the box (I've explained the dangers and she really has no urge to play with the breakers). I only run the generator when I need it... taking a shower (on a well), running the heat for a bit to keep the house somewhat warm, etc.... I'm not running the gen 100% of the time on this setup. I've very OCD when it comes to safety so I triple check everything... my order is this... 1. Check mains and backfeed breaker are open. 2. start gen. 3. connect gen. 4. check to make sure main and all breakers are off (open). 5. check to make sure main is off (open). 6. Open backfeed breaker. 7. Open only needed circuits. Yes... I know it's illigal what I'm doing and potitatally unsafe... but if done corretly, it can be safe.
My question is... I've been reading... and not quite got the right idea on how it works, but I've read that even with the mains off (open) you can backfeed through the neutral to the grid. Is this correct? I've also read, in order for this to happen, you have to wire the system wrong. Is that correct? My inlet plug is wired (W) - white wire (X) - Red wire (Y) - Black wire. At the panel, the ground and white wire go into the bonding stip and the black and red go into the breaker.
Last few questions... If the system was wired wrong, wouldn't you notice it when the house is running on gen power? I mean if one hot leg was accedently attached to the netural bar & lets say the white wire from the inlet was wired to the breaker, wouldn't that cut power to that half of the panel? Lastley... does a transfer switch open the netural wire to the outside? It seems like this "feeding through the neutral" could happen even with a transfer switch if the switch is wired wrong.
Sorry for the long post and any spelling errors... Thanks for everyones time.