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Old 11-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #1
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Transfer switch for furnace?


Hi;
Can I install a small transfer switch for my gas fired furnace, so that when power fails, and I want to power the furnace from my portable generator, I don't have to do anything illegal?

I know that the best method to accomplish what I want to do is install a larger transfer switch and a sub-panel to power everything I want to run on generator power.
But I would like to minimize cost, so I am thinking of a much smaller transfer switch, just for the furnace.
One end would go to house power, as it does now; the other end would go to a male socket into which I would plug an extension cord from the generator.

Assuming that all components I use are compliant with code, and I get an inspection before using, is this a feasible method?
Would I need a circuit breaker in the line from the generator socket?

I also understand that the emergency cutoff switches (one at the top of the basement stairs, the other in the furnace room) must remain in the circuit regardless of the power source, so this transfer switch would probably be located close to the SE panel.

I have read Article 702 - Optional Standby Systems, in the 2008 code (which I believe my town is still using), but there is nothing specific enough.

Thanks for your advice.

FW

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Transfer switch for furnace?


Yes, you can.

Something like this?

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...cStoreNum=2676

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Transfer switch for furnace?


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Originally Posted by AandPDan View Post
Thank you!
Exactly what I was looking for!
I will assume that it must be installed between the circuit breaker and the first emergency cutoff switch, so that the switches can still be used to shut down the furnace.

FW
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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Transfer switch for furnace?


You're welcome.

Yes, it goes anywhere after the breaker and before your shutoff switches.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
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Transfer switch for furnace?


I've been thinking the same thing...my problem is my breaker panel is in the finished part of my basement a good distance from where I run my generator. Can the transfer switch be installed at the junction box by the furnace? I'll certainly consult my HVAC professional but I'm curious if I'm on the right track.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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Transfer switch for furnace?


You can put it pretty much anywhere you'd like, certainly very close to the junction box on your furnace.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #7
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Transfer switch for furnace?


Here's a lot cheaper way. Disconnect the power from the furnace shut-off. In stall a power cord on the shut off switch. Move the power cable to another box and install a receptacle. Then install another box and receptacle connected to the generator cable. If the power goes out unplug the cord from the power receptacle and plug it into the generator receptacle.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:49 AM   #8
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Transfer switch for furnace?


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Here's a lot cheaper way. Disconnect the power from the furnace shut-off. In stall a power cord on the shut off switch. Move the power cable to another box and install a receptacle. Then install another box and receptacle connected to the generator cable. If the power goes out unplug the cord from the power receptacle and plug it into the generator receptacle.
This sounds good but does it meet code?
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:40 AM   #9
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Transfer switch for furnace?


No, it doesn't meet code.

Check out NEC 400.7 "uses permitted."
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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Transfer switch for furnace?


Thank you, the last think I want to do is violate code and jeopardize my homeowners insurance. There have been instances where DIY'ers have done electrical/gas work without proper permits and when things went wrong the insurance company did not pay because the permits were not pulled nor the work done according to code.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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Transfer switch for furnace?


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Originally Posted by slickracer View Post
Thank you, the last think I want to do is violate code and jeopardize my homeowners insurance. There have been instances where DIY'ers have done electrical/gas work without proper permits and when things went wrong the insurance company did not pay because the permits were not pulled nor the work done according to code.
Exactly my thoughts. I will pull the necessary permits and get an inspection.

In my case, the transfer switch would be located close to the main panel.
I am considering a larger transfer switch though; one that could switch several other circuits. I absolutely abhor the idea of running extension cords through the house. I had to do it when power went out for 3 days during the October 29-30 snowstorm, but I don't want to have to do it again.
I believe that if the house is "generator ready", we would get more use from the generator, since it wouldn't have to be a long outage to make it worthwhile to run the genny if all you have to do is plug in and throw the transfer switch.

Only issue with wiring several circuits to a larger transfer switch, is the possibility of overloading the generator and thus tripping out its breakers, or stalling it out is higher, since anyone could just plug any appliance into a working receptacle; Thinking of my teenage niece plugging in her hair dryer...

FW

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