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Old 09-22-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
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Generator hookup


I am trying to figure out the easiest and most reasonable way to hook up a 7500W portable generator. I know I can do a transfer switch or maybe an interlock. Right now I have 200 amp 30 breaker main breaker box that has no open breakers. My house is a 2006 Colonial with an attached inlaw addition added on in 2010. The main breaker box contains a dipole breaker that powers the sub panel for the in-law addition that took up the last 2 empty breaker spots I had. I do wish to power the sub panel so the inlaw can have power as well for their fridge at a minimum.

The problem with transfer switch is I need a lot of circuits due to the well pump taking up one dipole and the sub panel another. That uses up 4 right off the bat.

After that I need I have breakers I would like to power labeled:

Furnace
Fridge
Attic Air handler
Basement Air handler
Kitchen lights
kitchen outlets
Living room outlets

That brings me up to 11 circuits and most of the transfer switches are 6 or 10. I also wouldn't mind having lights in the hall and stairway upstairs powered and that would bring me up to 12. There are some 12 circuit+ ones but they get pretty expensive. I am assuming I need the air handlers in addition to the furnace to have hear (forced hot air).

I liked the idea of an interlock since I could manually just switch on and off the individual circuits needed subject to what the generator can handle, but it seems like you need to free breakers on the top right to do this and my box is full.

Any ideas on the best way to set this up?

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Old 09-22-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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What model panel do you have?

Thinking interlock here, if tandem breakers aren't an option to free up space in your main panel, you could add another subpanel - to move circuits out of the main panel to make room.

Lots of options.

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Old 09-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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GE Powermark Gold Load Center (3220) for the main (General Electric). Main has 32 breaker slots- all full. Looking at the box diagram the bottom 8 breakers show a/b so they look like they could be set up as tandem. They are currently doubled up on with 4 dipole breakers now for the well, 2 central a/c units, and the dryer installed in them.

Last edited by Agent0070; 09-22-2013 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Agent0070 View Post
I am trying to figure out the easiest and most reasonable way to hook up a 7500W portable generator. I know I can do a transfer switch or maybe an interlock. Right now I have 200 amp 30 breaker main breaker box that has no open breakers. My house is a 2006 Colonial with an attached inlaw addition added on in 2010. The main breaker box contains a dipole breaker that powers the sub panel for the in-law addition that took up the last 2 empty breaker spots I had. I do wish to power the sub panel so the inlaw can have power as well for their fridge at a minimum.

The problem with transfer switch is I need a lot of circuits due to the well pump taking up one dipole and the sub panel another. That uses up 4 right off the bat.

After that I need I have breakers I would like to power labeled:

Furnace
Fridge
Attic Air handler
Basement Air handler
Kitchen lights
kitchen outlets
Living room outlets

That brings me up to 11 circuits and most of the transfer switches are 6 or 10. I also wouldn't mind having lights in the hall and stairway upstairs powered and that would bring me up to 12. There are some 12 circuit+ ones but they get pretty expensive. I am assuming I need the air handlers in addition to the furnace to have hear (forced hot air).

I liked the idea of an interlock since I could manually just switch on and off the individual circuits needed subject to what the generator can handle, but it seems like you need to free breakers on the top right to do this and my box is full.

Any ideas on the best way to set this up?

this IMHO gives the MOST flexibility ...

Model: 6295

30 Amp Manual Transfer Switch Kit

Back up lights and appliances (up to 7500 Watts)

Protect 10 circuits now, and expand to 16 circuits as needs change

Position like a subpanel (flush or surface mount) inside the home or garage

Use with any portable generators equipped with a 30A twist-lock outlet
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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How many amps is the feed to the M-I-L subpanel?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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100 amps to the subpanel. I am thinking something like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-PowerM...2#.Uj8UmNIQZ5E

...attached with a Reliance inlet might work as long as I can tendem some breakers to free up some room?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Philly Master View Post
this IMHO gives the MOST flexibility ...

Model: 6295

30 Amp Manual Transfer Switch Kit

• Back up lights and appliances (up to 7500 Watts)

Protect 10 circuits now, and expand to 16 circuits as needs change

• Position like a subpanel (flush or surface mount) inside the home or garage

• Use with any portable generators equipped with a 30A twist-lock outlet
Sounds ok, but the cost is prohibitive from what I can tell. It will end up costing almost as much as the generator. I'll do what I have to to be safe and protect others, but right now the interlock sold by GE for my box and getting an inlet and generator cable seems like a more flexible and much cheaper option. I don't know if I go that route if I should have something to monitor the load like what comes built in one of those kits or not, though?

Last edited by Agent0070; 09-22-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Agent0070 View Post
100 amps to the subpanel. I am thinking something like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-PowerM...2#.Uj8UmNIQZ5E

...attached with a Reliance inlet might work as long as I can tendem some breakers to free up some room?

The link isn't working.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Generator hookup


Just how much do you expect to power with that small of a generator? Doesn't take much to start requiring more than that. Especially when you have to factor the starting loads of things like refrigerators and air conditioning compressors.

In order to pick and choose which circuits get protected you're pretty much going to have to redo a bit of wiring in the breaker panel. As in, which ones are supported by the generator and which ones aren't.

As I discovered it often ends up being a lot less hassle and about the same cost to just go with a 20kw unit instead. Whole house only requires a connection in-between the existing meter and the main feed to the panel. Nothing on the inside gets changed. That and going with an automatic start and running off natural gas makes it a hands-off operation.

Run the numbers, including the wiring changes.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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We would sell the 7500kw gen and panel installed for 2800.00

The 20 ow with gas hook up would be 7500.00 /8500.00 give or take



The manual one you can turn on and off what u need when u need it...
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:09 PM   #11
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We would sell the 7500kw gen and panel installed for 2800.00 The manual one you can turn on and off what u need when u need it...
"Give or take" what when it comes to rearranging the inside wiring to pick and choose which ones are covered or not?

The trouble with 'when u need it' is having to do so during less than ideal conditions. Like having to trudge out in the snow to dig it out of the shed. And then have to keep doing so to refuel it. Or while you're out of town and your freezer melts all over your floor (and anything downstairs).

There are less expensive built-in units, but then you're back to the added wiring costs.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
"Give or take" what when it comes to rearranging the inside wiring to pick and choose which ones are covered or not?

The trouble with 'when u need it' is having to do so during less than ideal conditions. Like having to trudge out in the snow to dig it out of the shed. And then have to keep doing so to refuel it. Or while you're out of town and your freezer melts all over your floor (and anything downstairs).

There are less expensive built-in units, but then you're back to the added wiring costs.
I do not think u get it ... U pick 10 to 16 circuits at install time ...they are on the gen panel...powered by poco ......then when power goes out hook up gen ... Know you have the circuits to turn on or off as needed
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Just how much do you expect to power with that small of a generator? Doesn't take much to start requiring more than that. Especially when you have to factor the starting loads of things like refrigerators and air conditioning compressors.

In order to pick and choose which circuits get protected you're pretty much going to have to redo a bit of wiring in the breaker panel. As in, which ones are supported by the generator and which ones aren't.

As I discovered it often ends up being a lot less hassle and about the same cost to just go with a 20kw unit instead. Whole house only requires a connection in-between the existing meter and the main feed to the panel. Nothing on the inside gets changed. That and going with an automatic start and running off natural gas makes it a hands-off operation.

Run the numbers, including the wiring changes.
I am not trying to run a lot, but the sub pane to send some power over to the inlaw and the well pump alone use up 4 circuits due to being dipole. Every room in my house is on a separate breaker as well as each refrig and every other major appliance. No a/c, just the air handler fans as I have forced hot air heat. I could care less about A/C. I like the flexibility of the interlock since it will allow me to shut off something temporarily and turn on something else if needed. I figure eif I had to I could even alternate refrigerators every few hours. All of my lights in the house are either CFL or LED and I would plan on only having 2-3 on in each house at any given time. I would cook on the propane grill, etc. The genny is 7000W running, 10500W starting.

I am hoping got be able to power, but maybe my expectation are too high? I have been trying to calculate the running wattage out with some charts online.

2 energy star 25 cu refrigerators (mine and inlaw)...guessing approx. 840W?x2= ~1680W
Well pump 1/2 hp ~1000W
Furnace (Oil) ~1500W
3 Air Handler Fans (upstairs, downstairs, and in-law) ~500x3= `1500W
Misc lights 6 CFL= 23x6= 150W

So, I would be at about 5830W with a little to spare for some other misc things as they come up like a radio or small LCD tv...and I could always flip the breaker on a fridge, etc. temporarily if I needed to run something larger for just a little bit.

Last edited by Agent0070; 09-22-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:30 PM   #14
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as someone has already said your motor loads will pull a lot more on start up, then die back to nameplate, also don't expect to get 7500 watts out of a generator even though it is listed. they just don't do it.if you start motor loads up seperately you will be ok. otherwise if several come on at the same time it most likely will bog the genny down.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:46 AM   #15
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as someone has already said your motor loads will pull a lot more on start up, then die back to nameplate, also don't expect to get 7500 watts out of a generator even though it is listed. they just don't do it.if you start motor loads up seperately you will be ok. otherwise if several come on at the same time it most likely will bog the genny down.
the 7500 w generac has about 9000 starting watts ...

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