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Old 11-06-2012, 10:09 AM   #16
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Again...i can not stress this enough...this is not a safe situtation...14awg is rated at 15amps...if it is landed on a 20 amp breaker your load demand could easily melt/burn a 14awg wire and not trip the breaker...
Let's be honest here...

First, let me preface this by saying that I am not advocating using #15 on a 20A OCPD. It's illegal, it's not something I would ever do nor would I recommend it.

However, let's try to be accurate when we say things. For the sake of conversation and education, 20A on a #15 will NOT melt it. As any electrician knows, in many situations a #15 can handle 20A. The NEC "dumbs-down" many wire sizes an extra degree for safety. But 20A on a #15 is most certainly not going to melt it.

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potenial is the problem..20amp circuit breakers allow more potential than the wire can handle..
Potential is voltage, not current. Voltage has nothing to do with this situation.


Last edited by Gensetter; 11-06-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:44 AM   #17
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Can't you do it by simply interposing a DPDT switch between the main and subpanel ., CT goes to subpanel.

Yep...that's a transfer switch.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #18
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Yep...that's a transfer switch.
I know; the term "transfer switch" may be too technical; for clarity for the OP it means he can wire it as he said, dual breaker to dual breaker in main and sub boxes, cut the 2 connecting wires and wire in the dpdt switch in the sub box. Cheaper (I think) than buying a generator panel for the same result without using an interlock.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:17 PM   #19
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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I know; the term "transfer switch" may be too technical; for clarity for the OP it means he can wire it as he said, dual breaker to dual breaker in main and sub boxes, cut the 2 connecting wires and wire in the dpdt switch in the sub box. Cheaper (I think) than buying a generator panel for the same result without using an interlock.
What switch do you recommend he use?
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #20
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Can't you do it by simply interposing a DPDT switch between the main and subpanel ., CT goes to subpanel.
and you are saying "transfer switch" is too technical?

I'd bet more people would know what a transfer switch is before a DPDT!!
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:45 PM   #21
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


"What switch do you recommend he use?

Don't have a clue.
Can you recommend one?
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:22 PM   #22
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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"What switch do you recommend he use?

Don't have a clue.
Can you recommend one?
No, I can't recommend one, that's why I would never recommend doing (or actually do for a customer) what you said.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #23
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Originally Posted by Gensetter;1045902[COLOR=red
]Let's be honest here...[/COLOR]


However, let's try to be accurate when we say things. For the sake of conversation and education, 20A on a #15 will NOT melt it.
Let's be. This is a DIY chat room. It's sole purpose is to help individuals with problems they may not quite have a grasp on. That being said, it is irresponsible for you to expound on anything the condtadicts the 15 amp breaker on 14 ga wire, 20 amp breaker on 12 ga wire NEC wiring guides.
When you take it upon yourself to expound on these issues in such a way you will encourage someone to do something that is potentially life threatening. That isn't the purpose of this room. If you need to prove your intellect and expound on theory, take it to a professional electrical forum. Bad advice can get someone killed. Sure as someone will take your words as fact and there will be a 14 ga. wire landing on a 30 or 40 amp breaker. Be responsible before you give advice.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:07 PM   #24
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
Let's be. This is a DIY chat room. It's sole purpose is to help individuals with problems they may not quite have a grasp on. That being said, it is irresponsible for you to expound on anything the condtadicts the 15 amp breaker on 14 ga wire, 20 amp breaker on 12 ga wire NEC wiring guides.
I disagree. I was very clear in my post. There ARE legal ways to to use #15 with higher than 20A OCPD's. I gave disclaimers so no one would make a mistake. Treating people like they are idiots is not the best way to go about this, be open and honest is. And the FACT of the matter is that 20A will NOT melt a #15.

Let me repeat that since you still don't understand it: 20A will NOT melt a #15 wire.

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When you take it upon yourself to expound on these issues in such a way you will encourage someone to do something that is potentially life threatening.
Again, I gave disclaimers and I was VERY clear that one should not do it. I NEVER encouraged someone to do ANYTHING.

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That isn't the purpose of this room.
Who are YOU to say what the purpose of this "room" is?

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If you need to prove your intellect and expound on theory, take it to a professional electrical forum.
Did you just find out the meaning of the word "expound" today and think you should show off your big word vocabulary? You are being a child and no one is impressed.
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Bad advice can get someone killed.
I never gave bad advice.
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Sure as someone will take your words as fact
My words ARE FACT. Instead of this big tirade, you should have focused on either proving my words wrong or keeping quiet.
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and there will be a 14 ga. wire landing on a 30 or 40 amp breaker. Be responsible before you give advice.
I was VERY responsible. I made an accurate post and I clearly made a disclaimer in it so that no one could possibly mistake what I said. Just because your comprehension skills are apparently smaller than your electrical knowledge, it doesn't mean that you should take it out on me.

I expect an apology. Both to myself and the people of this forum who you think are so stupid that you have to hide the truth from them.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #25
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


excuse my mis speak...voltage potential/amperes in current...I fear for only the safety and compliance of the install...as I said I would not recommend it with the status of this panel...safety first....
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #26
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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No, I can't recommend one, that's why I would never recommend doing (or actually do for a customer) what you said.

So, you are telling me that a competent electrician could not find a simple dpdt switch to mount inside a subpanel box and wire it appropriately.

I am completely stunned! I would like to know why.

I wish some electricians would weigh in on this
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:26 PM   #27
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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I disagree. I was very clear in my post. There ARE legal ways to to use #15 with higher than 20A OCPD's. I gave disclaimers so no one would make a mistake. Treating people like they are idiots is not the best way to go about this, be open and honest is. And the FACT of the matter is that 20A will NOT melt a #15.

Let me repeat that since you still don't understand it: 20A will NOT melt a #15 wire.

Again, I gave disclaimers and I was VERY clear that one should not do it. I NEVER encouraged someone to do ANYTHING.

Who are YOU to say what the purpose of this "room" is?

Did you just find out the meaning of the word "expound" today and think you should show off your big word vocabulary? You are being a child and no one is impressed.
I never gave bad advice.
My words ARE FACT. Instead of this big tirade, you should have focused on either proving my words wrong or keeping quiet.


I was VERY responsible. I made an accurate post and I clearly made a disclaimer in it so that no one could possibly mistake what I said. Just because your comprehension skills are apparently smaller than your electrical knowledge, it doesn't mean that you should take it out on me.

I expect an apology. Both to myself and the people of this forum who you think are so stupid that you have to hide the truth from them.

I get it...here you like to read your own words....I'll bet you like listening to yourself talk. Isn't there a "I'm great" forum that you could stay in?

And please...insult me. That makes you feel good and after all this is a DIY forum...you know, the forum that you said I didn't know what it's purpose was. Should I "expound" on that? I'm not going to question your intelligence or your purpose. Your advice is misleading. Disclaimers mean nothing after the fact. I've come to two conclusions....let me "expound". You are either a law student or a politician. Close enough? Here's your sign.....
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #28
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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So, you are telling me that a competent electrician could not find a simple dpdt switch to mount inside a subpanel box and wire it appropriately.
You need a switch that will handle the amperes going into the panel eligible for generator power. For a whole house transfer switch this means 100 amps or more. For a transfer switch for a subpanel the switch ampacity would be at least that of the breaker for the subpanel. The switch must be able to break that load (tolerate an arc) as well as carry that load. Transfer switches generally have springs that open the switch very quickly which in turn means the arc upon breaking the circuit doesn't last very long and therefore doesn't generate as much damaging heat.

Contrast that with a small double pole double throw slide switch less than two inches long in the front of an amplifier and used to select DVD player versus X-box game left and right audio channels and be able to handle perhaps one ampere.

By the time you find a "simple DPDT switch" that handles the ampacity, you are looking at switches called transfer switches.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-06-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:46 PM   #29
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I get it...here you like to read your own words....I'll bet you like listening to yourself talk. Isn't there a "I'm great" forum that you could stay in?

And please...insult me. That makes you feel good and after all this is a DIY forum...you know, the forum that you said I didn't know what it's purpose was. Should I "expound" on that? I'm not going to question your intelligence or your purpose. Your advice is misleading. Disclaimers mean nothing after the fact. I've come to two conclusions....let me "expound". You are either a law student or a politician. Close enough? Here's your sign.....
I see you are having fun here. Since you clearly can't refute what I said, and have chosen to take the low road once again, I find the only mature thing to do is put you on my Ignore list so that I won't have to see you attack me yet again.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #30
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By the time you find a "simple DPDT switch" that handles the ampacity, you are looking at switches called transfer switches.
Exactly. And those types of high current switches go for $500+ sometimes.

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