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Old 09-16-2022, 02:21 PM   #1
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Dangerous male to male extension cords

I am posting this in case any members are using same when connecting a generator to a RV

https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-R...soning-Hazards

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to immediately stop using and discard male-to-male extension cords sold on Amazon.com due to shock, electrocution, fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning hazards.



The extension cords have two male ends (a three-prong plug) and are generally used to “back-feed” electricity to a residence during a power outage by connecting a generator to an outlet in the home. When plugged into a generator or outlet, the opposite end has live electricity posing a risk of serious shock or electrocution. Additionally, the flow of electric power in the direction reverse to that of the typical flow of power circumvents safety features of the home’s electrical system and can result in a fire. The short length of some of these cords also encourages use of a generator near the home, which could create a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, these cords do not comply with applicable national safety codes, such as National Fire Protection Association 70 (NFPA 70).

These extension cords were sold in multiple colors and lengths and under various brand names. The extension cords were sold on Amazon.com for between $40 and $72. Some of the known Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) associated with these products are identified below. The ASIN is found in the product’s URL bar (typically after the product name and “dp”). The ASIN can also be found in the product details section of the listing on Amazon.com under “Additional Information.”
ASIN
B0953LWLDN
B095LHT5M5
B096VT4495
B095LRG6MH
B0933CJG16
B097TGQDQ6
B097BLRDTQ
B0953MSP65
B0953QGLZZ

CPSC urges consumers not to purchase or sell male-to-male extension cords and to stop using and dispose of these products immediately. Report a dangerous product or a product-related injury on www.SaferProducts.gov.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:24 PM   #2
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If they aren't sold people will just do like they always have-----make their own.

It's impossible to regulate or legislate against stupid.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
If they aren't sold people will just do like they always have-----make their own.

It's impossible to regulate or legislate against stupid.
You do have to be smarter than what you are playing with. Just another useless regulation that won't make any difference.
I have several male to male and female to female cords. Never used them to backfeed a house, but I do use them when my wife and her sisters spend all day setting up Xmas lights and don't pay attention to what end goes where.
Saves a lot of tantrum throwing that will occur if I tell them they have to reorient everything
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:56 PM   #4
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I see these recommended on FB groups way more than I care to. Just reposted this link + reminder to my site's FB page.
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Old 09-16-2022, 03:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
If they aren't sold people will just do like they always have-----make their own.

It's impossible to regulate or legislate against stupid.

Those that make their own have just a hint of mechanical ability. When you can buy it readymade let's all the morons test Darwin's theory.
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Old 09-16-2022, 03:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
If they aren't sold people will just do like they always have-----make their own.

It's impossible to regulate or legislate against stupid.
Darwin's Theory would weed them out .




edit... gotta learn to type faster
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Old 09-16-2022, 03:56 PM   #7
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The article failed to mention the real reason these are dangerous. Most people use them to power their house during an outage and don’t turn off the main breaker. This causes power to back feed into the grid and can kill workers repairing the fault. If used correctly, they are fine. I prefer my generator and extension cords.
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Old 09-16-2022, 08:11 PM   #8
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The article failed to mention the real reason these are dangerous. Most people use them to power their house during an outage and don’t turn off the main breaker. This causes power to back feed into the grid and can kill workers repairing the fault. If used correctly, they are fine. I prefer my generator and extension cords.
Not only do many forget to turn off the main breaker, they run the generators in the garage a) so they won't get stolen; b) because it doesn't disturb the neighbors.


FWIW it's not like CO deaths from portable generators is a huge number. The CPSC estimates that 85 people per year die from this cause.

Now compare that with something like bicycle deaths which is over 1,000 per year. Does that mean one is almost 12 times more likely to die when riding a bike than running a generator??

Yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous but so does trying to regulate stupid. Last generator I purchased had many warning stickers in numerous languages. Yet still people do exactly what the warnings tell them not to do.
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Old 09-17-2022, 02:46 PM   #9
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Legislating against stupid would be like banning the sale of all guns, people would make their own. Duh!
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Old 09-17-2022, 03:47 PM   #10
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So what would be the proper outlet/ connector to back feed your house with a portable generator without a transfer switch?
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Old 09-17-2022, 03:58 PM   #11
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Gen-tran sells a manual 6 circuit 30a transfer switch which I had installed years ago. When the power is out I connect a 3000 watt Honda inverter gen set. Works well for me and no Mickey mouse hook up and low fuel consumption
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Homebrew View Post
So what would be the proper outlet/ connector to back feed your house with a portable generator without a transfer switch?
I don't think there is a safe feed to the house without a transfer switch. We had one installed because I don't want to be responsible for killing a electrical repairperson.
We also have long extension cords to run from the generator to something like our portable airconditioner and refrigerators when we have a short term outage. Long extension cords are needed because the generator need to be 25' from the house.
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:23 PM   #13
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Hooking up a generator to a home requires some knowledge of your system. Back feeding at the wrong time will create your system to trip. Preventing the tripping is easy if you understand how it works.
Problem is there is nothing on the market to make it safer without a transfer switch.
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:34 PM   #14
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Those things are WIDOW MAKERS in the wrong hands
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
I am posting this in case any members are using same when connecting a generator to a RV

https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-R...soning-Hazards

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to immediately stop using and discard male-to-male extension cords sold on Amazon.com due to shock, electrocution, fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning hazards.



The extension cords have two male ends (a three-prong plug) and are generally used to “back-feed” electricity to a residence during a power outage by connecting a generator to an outlet in the home. When plugged into a generator or outlet, the opposite end has live electricity posing a risk of serious shock or electrocution. Additionally, the flow of electric power in the direction reverse to that of the typical flow of power circumvents safety features of the home’s electrical system and can result in a fire. The short length of some of these cords also encourages use of a generator near the home, which could create a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, these cords do not comply with applicable national safety codes, such as National Fire Protection Association 70 (NFPA 70).

These extension cords were sold in multiple colors and lengths and under various brand names. The extension cords were sold on Amazon.com for between $40 and $72. Some of the known Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) associated with these products are identified below. The ASIN is found in the product’s URL bar (typically after the product name and “dp”). The ASIN can also be found in the product details section of the listing on Amazon.com under “Additional Information.”
ASIN
B0953LWLDN
B095LHT5M5
B096VT4495
B095LRG6MH
B0933CJG16
B097TGQDQ6
B097BLRDTQ
B0953MSP65
B0953QGLZZ

CPSC urges consumers not to purchase or sell male-to-male extension cords and to stop using and dispose of these products immediately. Report a dangerous product or a product-related injury on www.SaferProducts.gov.
Thanks for the post. The product and issue may seem asinine to most of us, but many very smart people sometimes do stupid things. If this warning prevents even one person or kid from being hurt, it is well worth it.
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Old 09-17-2022, 07:27 PM   #16
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So what would be the proper outlet/ connector to back feed your house with a portable generator without a transfer switch?
A circuit breaker interlock. I would take a picture of mine, but I am camping at the moment. On my main circuit panel at home I have a 240 volt generator receptacle (the type with the male spade lugs) on a dual pole 60 amp breaker. There is an interlock lever made out of a corner bracket to prevent the main 200 amp breaker from being closed at the same time as the 60 amp generator breaker.

When I want to use the generator, I plug it into the receptacle and open the 200 amp main circuit breakers. This makes room for the interlock lever to move, which then makes room for me to be able to close the 60 amp generator breaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homebrew View Post
Problem is there is nothing on the market to make it safer without a transfer switch.
Yes, there is. It is called a breaker interlock that will prevent the main circuit breakers from closed at the same time as the generator breakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
I don't think there is a safe feed to the house without a transfer switch.
Yes. Again, it's called a circuit breaker interlock:

https://www.crescentelectric.com/pow...ical-interlock

Click image for larger version

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It's also easy to make one with a simple corner brace if your breakers are side by side.
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Old 09-17-2022, 07:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
A circuit breaker interlock. I would take a picture of mine, but I am camping at the moment. On my main circuit panel at home I have a 240 volt generator receptacle (the type with the male spade lugs) on a dual pole 60 amp breaker. There is an interlock lever made out of a corner bracket to prevent the main 200 amp breaker from being closed at the same time as the 60 amp generator breaker.

When I want to use the generator, I plug it into the receptacle and open the 200 amp main circuit breakers. This makes room for the interlock lever to move, which then makes room for me to be able to close the 60 amp generator breaker.



Yes, there is. It is called a breaker interlock that will prevent the main circuit breakers from closed at the same time as the generator breakers.


Thanks, I will look into a interlock for my main breaker.
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:38 AM   #18
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Circuit breaker interlock is the perfect way to go.
Much cheaper and easier to install than a transfer switch as you can pick and choose which circuits are needed if your generator can't run your entire load.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
You do have to be smarter than what you are playing with. Just another useless regulation that won't make any difference.
I have several male to male and female to female cords. Never used them to backfeed a house, but I do use them when my wife and her sisters spend all day setting up Xmas lights and don't pay attention to what end goes where.
Saves a lot of tantrum throwing that will occur if I tell them they have to reorient everything

People said the same thing about seatbelts

I suppose if drivers followed the rules-of-the-road no personal safety device would be required, although we know that’s not the case much like these double ended cords.
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Old 09-18-2022, 11:27 AM   #20
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Thanks, I will look into a interlock for my main breaker.
I also have an interlock device, allowing my portable 7500 watt 240 volt generator to backfeed my home during an outage. I think it was around $40 and took 15 minutes to install. The interlock, wiring and external generator inlet meet code.
We have a modest home, so our 7500 watt generator powers everything in the house including the air conditioning.
Along with that, I have an exterior 120-volt 20-amp duplex outlet that is fed by two 20-amp breakers (one on each leg in the load center and connected to each receptacle on the duplex outlet) that I use to power my 240-volt air compressor. In an emergency (if the big generator fails) I can backfeed one or both legs with my small 120-volt inverter-generators and the dreaded twin-male adapters, although I can't run any 240-volt appliances this way.
It's not something I'd recommend to anyone else, as there's certainly a risk of electrocution when using these adapters.
I can also use my 3000/9000 inverter/lifepo4 batteries to power a few of the circuits in the house at night (refrigerator, bedroom lights, etc) so that the generator isn't running at night.
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