Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

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Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by ndnboy on Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:34 pm

LOL, u guys helped recently with PC DIY so here goes a home electrical ?

I will finally be purchasing a portable generator in the near future to cover our home from future power outages. I have been pricing 5000-6000W units at Loews etc but would like to know what is invloved in wiring it to the house vs using dropcords. My house is on the old side of 35 yrs or so, and I dont have a main shutoff in the circuit breaker box. I have seen Transfer Switches listed on web and they look like they go to the box and connect the port gen.

-Can Trans Switch be used for an older home with no shutoff?
-Does it need to be done by lic electrician? (seems like obvious ans is YES)
-Has anyone done this and can provide feedback?
-Just stick with dropcords for the hopefully infrequent power outages????

Thx

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Re: Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by TT_05_Stang on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:26 pm

-Can Trans Switch be used for an older home with no shutoff? - you mean you dont have a main breaker?, if you have a main breaker which you should, then you only need the transfer switch
-Does it need to be done by lic electrician? (seems like obvious ans is YES) - NO but YES, it needs to follow code if you ever sell the house, or if your house burns down your home insurance will not cover YOUR faulty wiring
-Has anyone done this and can provide feedback? - Yes, I have done this before
-Just stick with dropcords for the hopefully infrequent power outages???? - depends what you want to run. a entire house will need closer to a 10k generator, just a few things with minimal lights, the generator you were looking at will run it
[b]

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Re: Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by Henny Penny on Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:31 am

A house of 35 years old should have either a main breaker in the panel or a main disconnect breaker located near the main service (Meter). The type of transfer switch found at Lowes or Home Depot can be install inconjuction with your panel box. you must choose the 5 or 6 circuits that you want to protect (Usualy 15 or 20 amp single pole circuits....sump pump, refrigerator, some lights.....). Due to insurance reasons as mentioned above...yes use a licened electrican...no permit should be needed.
If your house has gas heat and cooking i would recommend a home standby unit ( 10kw-20Kw ....by generac ) these units come complete with the transfer switch...these are totaly hands free . the transfer switch senses the outage then signals the generator to start, after the gennie reaches 240v/ 60hz the tranferswitch flips to generator power and the beer stays cold. All of this happens in less then a minute.....About 5 - 7 grand installed. You will need a plumber and a Licened electrican.
PM me i can get you the info, I do live in Dena, and I'm well aware of what those of you in Severna Park and Arnold went thru this week (They at least got all the traffic lights on south of Cypress creek rd.).
Good Luck
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Re: Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by svtwin73 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:18 am

I used to work on the generators hospitals use, large 3 phase Cats and distribution boxes. They make an electronic switch box that sense the power loss and starts the generator up, it can be hooked with any generator. The Honda dealer in Crofton has some. You need to be able to disconnect the main, so you don't feed back down the line.
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Re: Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by Henny Penny on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:46 pm

svtwin73 wrote:I used to work on the generators hospitals use, large 3 phase Cats and distribution boxes. They make an electronic switch box that sense the power loss and starts the generator up, it can be hooked with any generator. The Honda dealer in Crofton has some. You need to be able to disconnect the main, so you don't feed back down the line.
Hence the main breaker.
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Re: Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by ndnboy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:56 pm

Main Breaker is def not in the panel, I will have to check out by the meter, never checked : (

Def not looking at spending 5-7K, more like a 3500W in the $400 range or the 6-7000W units in the $7-900 range. Just wanted to know if the additional expense of the Trans switch would be worth the hassle-free operation for the hopefully not freg outages.

Looks like I will lean toward a 6-7000W unit, the 3500W looks like a very low minumum and may be pushing my projected use of Fridge, freezer, 5-6 lights, TV, laptop/router , I guess a space heater/stove as needed.

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Re: Electrician knowledge needed - Generator+Trans Switch+BOOM!

Post by Henny Penny on Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:46 am

Take the items that you want (their wattage rating) add them up, and rate that total at 80% to size your generator.Frig and freezer only cycle on as needed (The compressor does not runn constantly) also watch out for that space heater that would probably become your largest user....good luck. Things will calm down shortly (provided that we don't get another storm in the next 2 months.....then you should beable to find some deals.
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