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Old 02-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #16
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


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I did this a few years ago, also with a EU3000; only my run was 70'. I used 8/3. The labor is much more important than the material (at least it was in my case) and the /3 would allow an upgrade to a 240v generator twice as large.
How did your setup work for you, if I may ask? I know a couple folks with a setup similar to mine using the eu3000i and they power at least everything I'm trying to keep going through the transfer switch, albeit with shorter runs from their inlet boxes than 90-100'.

Good suggestion on the 8-3 (or heavier gauge?) wire for future growth to a 240V generator, thanks.

. . .

So, this thread may have beaten me down to craft a mini-structure that keeps the generator safe from elements. Doesn't help with making access for refueling during a storm any easier, but that's what it is to make this work and not lose much voltage, I suppose.

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Old 02-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #17
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


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If I want to move up to a generator rated at 45A with 54A max, (and a corresponding transfer switch), would I need to use to 6 gauge?

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:03 AM   #18
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Maybe I can chime in on my little setup. I went with a generator ready loadcenter made by reliance. I wanted to do a whole new breaker box because my old one was a Bryant and was maxed out. So I installed this load center and ran 10/3 uf-b out to my shed which is 56' away and installed a safety switch and power inlet box. Reason for the safety switch is so that I can switch that off when refueling instead of having to go down into the basement to turn off that 30 amp breaker. I went out and got a 6000/7500 generator made by powermate and it powers my house perfecttly fine except for one thing. I am able to power 2 refridgerators, 1 upright freezer, furnace blower, oil hot water heater and any lights that I need to have on. Ofource I wouldnt be able to use my central A/C (no biggy) and I have to watch how I use my range (if I wanted to use it though I can just use the microwave). The only problem that I have is that the upright freezer sometimes has problems starting up. Its kinda stupid how the electrician set up the circuits in the new box. I had told him that I wanted each side of the box to be as even as possible. Put my range and dryer or A/C on seperate. The problem I have with the upright freezer is not that that freezer and the fridge in the basement next to it are on the same breaker (which I know isnt right either) but he has that breaker along with my furnace blower and hot water heater all on the left side of the panel. The outlet box that powers those 2 items (fridge and freezer) are in a box that has 4 total outlets. I was thinking of running the righr side off a new breaker and placing that breaker on the right side in the panel. Im thinking that will fix the problem. I have dual wattmeters on my panel so I can see how many watts each side of the panel is using. The left side which had all the things on it was using 1100 watts when everything was running (exclusing that freezer) and when the freezer tried to kick on it jumped to 3000 watts. The right side though was only at 500 watts so Im thinking that if I switch that outelt that runs the fridge over to the right side of the panel that I will be ok. Sorry that I brought up this much about my situation but thought maybe my setup would come to use for others. I thought maybe my setupe could compare to that of wader in reguards to the size of the generator he uses. I dont think the one he wants to use will do everything he wants it to do. And its always better to go bigger and have extra wattage just incase down the road you change something.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:29 AM   #19
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Unless you have a Zinsco or Pushmatic panel, the side of the panel the breakers are on is irrelevant. Every other space vertically is an alternate phase.

As for your freezer starting and the 3000W you are seeing...that is a motor load. If that freezer was on its own phase by itself, when it starts you could EASILY see 2000-3000W from that alone.

So, please stop calling your electrician stupid because you are the one who is mistaken.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:51 AM   #20
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Each side of the panel is allowed 3500 watts each for a total of 7000 watts. But the way the panel is wired up from factory one leg of the generator powers one side of the panel. So in my case of it being a 6000 watt generator, each leg will get a total of 3000 watts per leg. I know you are an electrician but I also know that I am right on what I am saying. Each leg of the generator powers 1 side of the panel. I have these o ring conductors that slip over the hot wires as they go to the 30 amp breaker, 1 ring per each wire. That is what gives me my wattage readout. If it was wired up to where each hot wire lead went to both sides of the box, my readouts would be the same. It even says in the loadcenter label to keep the sides as even as possible.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #21
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


I understand and agreew with you that it doesnt matter if I have all my circuits on one side of the box because the main line is connected to both sides of the panel. But what I am saying is that when I have the main line turned off and I am instead using the generator to power the panel, each leg powers 1 side of the panel. Sorry about my last post as I didnt understand your statement right away. But you are correct in your response but I was simply talking about when using the generator not main power.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #22
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Unless you have some odd generator panel, all modern panels are the same when it comes to phase orientation. Each side of the panel alternates phases A/B/A/B, you can verify this with any 2 pole breaker in your panel (such as your water heater).

The two pole breaker is the same (in appearance) to two single pole breakers stacked on top of each other. You have 120V from phase A on the top and 120V from phase B on the bottom. Between phase A and phase B you have 240V.

If the panel's phase orientation was as you were saying, your two pole breaker would have to look like two single pole breakers attached end to end.

Just because you see a wire landing on a lug on the left side of the panel, and you see the other wire landing on a lug on the right side of the panel, does not mean that each side of the panel is opposite phases.

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Old 02-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #23
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


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I understand and agreew with you that it doesnt matter if I have all my circuits on one side of the box because the main line is connected to both sides of the panel. But what I am saying is that when I have the main line turned off and I am instead using the generator to power the panel, each leg powers 1 side of the panel. Sorry about my last post as I didnt understand your statement right away. But you are correct in your response but I was simply talking about when using the generator not main power.
It should not matter, I would like to see a picture of the panel you are describing.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #24
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Ok I totally apoligize but looking at that picture is how my box is set up. But heres another thing I forgot to mention. Snap a double pole breaker onto the top of phase A in that picture. That is where my 30 amp generator breaker is. So that breaker will in fact power phase A and B. Ok I understand that BUT isnt each of those phases still powered by a seperate lkeg on the generator? For example my generator is a 6000 watt gen. So that would be 3000 watts for phase A and 3000 for phase B. The generator has a 30 amp 240 volt plug and the breaker in the panel is rated for 30 amps. So that means each leg would be 15 amps at 120 volts correct? So if thats the case you would have 15 amps of 120 volts for phase A and the same for phase B. Any breakers in my panel for instance my range since its a double pole would be connected to phase A and B thus using both legs off the generator. Am I correct with this?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:19 AM   #25
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Yes, each leg would be a phase, but as I stated, the side of the panel is irrelevant. I could every breaker on the same side of the panel and each leg would be balanced.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:34 AM   #26
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Ok I un derstand that. Stupid me for saying what I said earlier. So I still have phase A that draws more than phase B. So I took the front panel off my box and looked to see what breakers were on phase A (which is the side thats eating up alot more than B. So I have 5 motor driven appliances which I need to have on during a power outtage. 2 fridges, 1 upright freezer, furnace blower, and oil hot water heater. The hot water heater and the upright freezer and 1 fridge are all on phase A. The fridge isnt a new one but its not an old one so its soso effeciant. The upright freezer is cave man old and I know those uprights use alot of power. My hot water heater takes 12 amps and cant be on a breaker thats more than 15 amps and btw its got other things that are on that breaker (garage door and garage outlets). On phase B I have my fridge upstairs which is new and effeciant and the furnace blower. The furnace blower is on a 15 amp breaker by itself and that fridge is also on a 15 with a few other things (yes I know very stupid setup). So what I was wondering is since phase A is power hungry due to that upright freezer and phase B only has a new fridge and furnace blower, could I go and put that 2nd fridge thats currently on phase A and put it to phase B to even out the draw alittle better? So instead of having a fridge, freezer and hot water heater on A I would have a fridge and hot water heater on A and the other fridge, freezer, and furnace on B. I know its hard to understand but I want to have the most power hungry unit (upright freezer) put on the same phase as the most effeciant fridge which also has the furnace.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:40 AM   #27
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


I can almost guarantee that if you switch the freezer to the other phase, you are going to have the same problem on the phase you switch it to.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:53 AM   #28
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


Even if theres a difference in the stable wattage between the phases? Phase A while that freezer was off was over 1100 watts but phase B was only at 500 watts.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #29
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


It might make a difference, it might not.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:37 AM   #30
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Which gauge wire from portable generator to transfer switch?


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So, please stop calling your electrician stupid because you are the one who is mistaken.
It seems very common for people here to refer to their tradesmen as stupid, when they in fact are greviously misinformed.


Last edited by Anti-wingnut; 02-09-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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