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Old 09-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #16
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New house under the old oak trees


It all depends on the species of the tree. Some oaks are susceptible to being blown over, or dropping huge heavy limbs. Particularly when you describe them as "some very big old oak trees."

You also have root related problems to contend with, and possibly fire hazards.

Again we have an OP that has given us no clue as to where this is going to happen (location). In my area, I would concur, cut some trees down or move the house to a location where you have more distance between the trees and the house.

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Old 09-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #17
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New house under the old oak trees


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I will use a receptacle that's rated well in excess of the generator output.
Not the point. The pros will be here in a few to describe why this is bad, but from a construction standpoint, putting in an integrated transfer switch when building the house will make everything easier down the road.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:52 PM   #18
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by code, you will need a transfer switch. it doesn't need to be fancy, a manual switch will work fine. lots of manufacturers make them with the appropriate plugs for a portable generator. i assume your generator is not large enough to carry the load of the entire house so you will need to selectively turn breakers off at your main panel before throwing the transfer switch.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:27 PM   #19
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by code, you will need a transfer switch. it doesn't need to be fancy, a manual switch will work fine. lots of manufacturers make them with the appropriate plugs for a portable generator.
Then maybe I should install a FUSED transfer switch on my meter pole rather than a fused disconnect switch. The transfer switch will easily serve the same purpose as a disconnect switch for the few times anyone might ever use it in an emergency.

Taking this approach also means I can build a generator enclosure at the base of the pole -- to protect and secure the generator, to keep it away from the house thus reducing the noise level, and for a place to store fuel and oil away from the house.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by owkaye View Post
Then maybe I should install a FUSED transfer switch on my meter pole rather than a fused disconnect switch. The transfer switch will easily serve the same purpose as a disconnect switch for the few times anyone might ever use it in an emergency.

Taking this approach also means I can build a generator enclosure at the base of the pole -- to protect and secure the generator, to keep it away from the house thus reducing the noise level, and for a place to store fuel and oil away from the house.
now you're talkin'...



do a search for nec 702.5, lots of good info out there.

what you were proposing would electrically work (my dad has a similar setup at his house ) but doesn't meet code. in fact, that approach is allowed as an exception where 'conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified individuals service the installation' but that's commercial/industrial stuff, not residential.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:46 PM   #21
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is this serious?? do all people cut trees near houses since they can fall on houses in most cities you can't even cut big trees unless they represent a very big danger
Where you live, maybe. Not here, unless in a historic district or something like that.

Considering the OP's oaks are, in his words, very big and old, I'd leave them alone and put the house somewhere else or cut them down. No way, in a storm/hurricane area, would I put a house anywhere near such trees. Every year around here, someone's killed in their bed by some falling branch in a storm.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:41 PM   #22
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New house under the old oak trees


If you are using a transfer switch, you will need to size the generator to the full load of the service.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:43 PM   #23
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If you are using a transfer switch, you will need to size the generator to the full load of the service.
only if it is an automatic transfer switch and doesn't have a load management system.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:52 PM   #24
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Correct. I was assuming that's what we were talking about since the Xfer switch would be in a remote location.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:28 PM   #25
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i just assume he is talking about a manual switch since he mentions manually disconnecting the service and starting a generator. yeah, if auto, more hoops to jump through.

personally, i think the manual ones are a little goofy, especially if you have critical stuff to run like sump pumps. it is better than nothing but murphy's law dictates that the only time you need the generator, you'll be away from home.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #26
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Considering the OP's oaks are, in his words, very big and old, I'd leave them alone and put the house somewhere else or cut them down.
Let me say again, the trees are staying and the house will be built under the trees. Now, to get back on topic:

Instead of the fused disconnect switch previously mentioned, I may install a manual transfer switch on my pole. Unfortunately I cannot find any FUSED manual transfer switches online, yet it seems I need to fuse the main on my pole so I can continue underground to the house.

Does the fuse (or main circuit breaker) go before or after the transfer switch? Or doesn't it matter? Here's my proposed path assuming the main breaker is first after the meter:

transformer
service drop
meter (on my pole)
main breaker (on my pole)
transfer switch (on my pole)
underground to the breaker box in the house

Is there any problem with this configuration?
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:32 PM   #27
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Depending on local regulations, you may be required to install a main on the outside of the house. The house will need to have all the necessary grounding rods, water, ufer.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #28
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I would use a meter/main combo box, with a generator interlock kit installed.

It has the meter, main breaker, feed-thru lugs, and you can add the generator interlock all in one enclosure.

AND, you can feed a future shop or garage from that box as well.

Click here for one example:



The interlock kit is a separate item.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:57 PM   #29
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I would use a meter/main combo box, with a generator interlock kit installed. It has the meter, main breaker, feed-thru lugs, and you can add the generator interlock all in one enclosure.
I did not know much about interlocks until you mentioned them, so thanks for suggesting this option. This would appear to eliminate the need for a transfer switch. It certainly offers cleaner solution and probably costs less, too.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #30
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New house under the old oak trees


But here's the thing, as someone that owns a generator, you quite often need it when you're not around, or it would be a hassle to have to manually get it all going, refueled, stopped and put away. One with an automatic start is a lot less trouble, and would have it's own control over a transfer switch.

But back to the trees, your big concern is going to be disturbance of the roots. Oaks tend to have a wide but very shallow root system. This is why so many topple over in periods a lot of rain. The soil gets soft, the wind picks up and over goes the tree because it's roots have lost their shallow grip. A construction site is VERY hard on tree roots. And it doesn't take much to damage them. This was also why I suggested your have an arbirist come out, to both check on the state of the trees AND to educate you on whether they'd be able to tolerate the abuse of the soil they NEED to remain upright and healthy. Otherwise you run the risk of them falling onto that new house.

Again, WHY are you thinking about the remote meter/switch idea?

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