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Old 02-14-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


I re-purposed an unused electric stove circuit to be a generator inlet.
The original stove is at an outside wall and approximately 25 feet of inside wiring away from the main breaker panel.
I was told that I might need a service disconnect either anywhere outside the house or right where the circuit first comes into the house.
I have 25 feet of waterproof outside wiring from a junction box to the inlet box.

Please note, I didn't see what a service disconnect would provide that I don't already have by disconnecting the twist lock but I read in another post that if the cable were energized that neutral could be disconnected before the 2 legs.

The service disconnect I purchased is just a single breaker in a box.
I will connect the house side to the breaker and have the generator inlet feed the box.

Is it better to physically mount this disconnect right near the generator inlet, or right near the junction between the outside wiring and the inside wiring?

My generator has its own 20A breaker. The original stove circuit had a 40A breaker which is now only used as an interlocked switch with the main breaker.

The inlet has a 30A plug so I use a 20A to 30A cord to connect my generator to it. The service disconnect has a 30A breaker in it which would never trip since the generator has its own breaker and which is lower, but I could switch to a generator with a 30A breaker someday. So I guess this breaker also protects the 30A plug from being used for up to 40A given the original breaker at the panel. If the inside wiring is suitable for 40A, and the outside wiring suitable for even more, is the 30A inlet plug actually the weakest link that it needs this protection of a 30A breaker?

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Old 02-14-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


You don't need a disconnect you either need a transfer switch or a panel you can mount an interlock in.

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Old 02-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


I already do have an interlock at the panel.
If I did need a service disconnect could you tell me which would be the better location to have it?

I actually don't understand the purpose of a service disconnect, such as whether it is only to protect risk from the inside wiring.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


What brand panel and interlock are you using? With the proper interlock installed you don't even need a service disconnect.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:49 AM   #5
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


The cord/plug is the service disconnect. There is no reason for a second.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


Thanks k_buz that is what I originally thought. Any chance you could find a citation in the code which says this? The other thread which indicated the risk of neutral being disconnected first, is that not a concern? I can think of two reasons. First, because this is an outdoor generator and we assume it will be turned off before connecting? Or secondly do we see it on account of the interlock, that one is expected to switch back to main power (with the inlet breaker off) before disconnecting the twist-lock even if the generator is still running? By the way, if this were a hardwired generator, without a twist lock plug, would it matter where the service disconnect would be located? I'd assume closest to the generator in that case, which is the equivalent of using the plug at the generator.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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location of service disconnect for generator inlet


Im assuming this falls under the "disconnect your loads to the generator before shutting it off"? If so than yes your cord does act as the disconnect BUT I went and installed a 30 amp breaker right next to my inlet box so that I dont need to unplug my cord everytime I wanted to turn of the generator for refueling. Not to mention I dont know how "safe" it would be to unplug a load and plug the load back in once generator is turned back on. I simply can leave the cord plugged in at all times, turn off the breaker and then shut down generator, refuel, start back up generator and turn breaker back on. Pulling the cord each time could be just as safe but throwing a breaker each time just makes it feel safer to me.

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