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Old 11-06-2012, 08:53 PM   #31
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Originally Posted by Gensetter View Post
Exactly. And those types of high current switches go for $500+ sometimes.

...as if you could recommend one.........

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:26 PM   #32
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


Fellows, no name calling or personal attacks, we don't want to have to close this thread.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #33
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Exactly. And those types of high current switches go for $500+ sometimes.

Where did you two get "high current"

The OP transfer from main to sub is only 25 amps

So all he needs is a 25 amp switch and not that $500 monster you are talking about.

I have personally used ( a while ago) 30 amp DPDT switches in industrial applications where the inductive loads were far greater than we see in residential.

So, unless there is a code violation, please show me why I am wrong.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:04 PM   #34
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Where did you two get "high current"

The OP transfer from main to sub is only 25 amps

So all he needs is a 25 amp switch and not that $500 monster you are talking about.
This was explained by AllenJ earlier.


And please, show me what switch and in what enclosure you would use.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #35
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


Looks like you have lots of ideas posted to sort through. As infrequently as you would use a generator, I'd save my money and correct your panel first. Many of your wires are colors I haven't seen for house wiring. They look very "soft".... as in stranded which is good for commercial encased in conduit, but I'm not sure about residential.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:26 PM   #36
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Many of your wires are colors I haven't seen for house wiring. They look very "soft".... as in stranded which is good for commercial encased in conduit, but I'm not sure about residential.
LOL, awesome advice...
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:28 PM   #37
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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Fellows, no name calling or personal attacks, we don't want to have to close this thread.
I apologize for anything that may have come across as personal. My primary concern is giving safe advice to any member of this forum.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:59 AM   #38
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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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.
Getting back,

I think you need to get your facts straight
This is a DIY forum. People are interested in saving money and the contributors should recommend safe inexpensive solutions. Your broadbrush
comments would suggest that the most expensive solution is the ONLY solution. I am merely offering what I think is a reasonable design solution given the OP circumstances. PROVE IT WRONG.

1-The switch ampacity he needs is only 30 amps and any dpdt UL listed switch will handle the arcing and heat you are so worried about
This switch is rarely actuated so failure due to long term pitting of contacts is a non-issue.
2- I have used 30 amp dpdt switches in industrial applications years ago and they were less than 3 inches long
3-I have found a few by googling and if you are interested ,Surplus Center has one for less than $10. This doesn't mean I would recomend it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:51 AM   #39
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Back up generator for main panel in power outage.


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They look very "soft".... as in stranded which is good for commercial encased in conduit, but I'm not sure about residential.

Good observation....but are we sure it's NOT in conduit? Can't really tell from the photos. The colors aren't an issue, perhaps they had some left over from another job. But as you noticed, those sure aren't part of any romex cable.

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