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Old 03-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
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Transfer Switch Question


I have what I believe is a simple question, but really was hoping to have the opinions of a few experts…..


I have a Coleman Powermate 110/220VAC 7200W transfer switch. It is fed through an L14-30 connector. The generator I’ve used with it is a 6500 110/220VAC Coleman. The ONLY things that are wired to this transfer switch are 110VAC devices.



My question is pretty simple. If I wanted to use a small 110VAC 1600W generator (or possibly two in parallel), would there be anything wrong with feeding the line voltage into BOTH of the line pins on the transfer switch input connector? It seems to me this would allow me to put the 110VAC on both sides of the transfer switch at the same time. Obviously I would lose a lot of power capacity doing it this way, but if the sum total of the power being pulled from all the loads on both sides of the transfer switch didn’t exceed the output power of the generator would it work? I could easily accomplish what I’m talking about by properly (or perhaps I should say improperly) wiring the connector that goes into the transfer switch.
Why would I want to do something so stupid? The 6500W Coleman is a beast, and runs loud enough for the wake the dead. The little Honda and Yamaha 2000W generators run so much quieter, and would be much easier to store. But of course, they are only 110VAC generators, not the 110/220 version. I would also appreciate the idea of being able to take them camping, something that would be impossible with the 6500W version.



Any reason (safety or otherwise) that what I’m saying wouldn’t work?
Given the power I’m inputting to the transfer switched is “switched away” from the breaker box, I shouldn’t have to do anything other than throw the main breakers in the box, correct? I’m thinking I don’t need to even touch the 220VA breakers in the breaker box, right?


Thanks!


Tom

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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Transfer Switch Question


Two generators running in parallel would require some expensive equipment to make sure they were in sync.

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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Transfer Switch Question


Honda makes a paralleling kit for the EU 2000 series. It is quite normal to do this in RV's. I think you should not try to feed each pin with a separate genny. Get the kit, parallel them, and then you're good to go.

http://powerequipment.honda.com/gene...lel-capability
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:02 PM   #4
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Transfer Switch Question


Ah, just to be clear......

Let's assume I'm using a single 110VAC generator. You're suggesting is WOULD be OK to run the hot output into both input pins on the transfer switch, correct?

Also, IF I used two of the smaller generators, I would absolutely use a parallel kit. I'm not concerned about that part. It's injecting the single hot line into both sides of the transfer switch I wanted to be clear on.

Thanks!

Tom
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
You're suggesting is WOULD be OK to run the hot output into both input pins on the transfer switch, correct?
I sure don't see that anywhere.

If you have a multiwire branch circuit in there, you could overload the neutral.

Take a look at what you want to power with the smaller generator. See if you can rearrange breakers so that those loads are on the same side of the switch. Otherwise get 2 small generators and a parallel kit.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #6
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Yes, you could conceivably power both sides from the single source. There is essentially no MWBC. The whole panel becomes just one circuit with switches (the breakers).

But how do you plan to eliminate any two pole breakers from the now 110 volt circuit?

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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Transfer Switch Question


Al,

That is exactly what I was thinking, but questions about MWBC made a bit twitchy.

It sure seemed to me IF the main breakers are thrown, and the transfer switch is usually two hots sharing one neutral/gnd, and you run the same source of power onto both hots, it's pretty much the exact same thing as running it off 220VAC with two different hots.

But, if those 220VAC hots are out of phase (which I guess they are), then the neutral never takes the full load from both hots at the same time. If I were to input double the current into a single hot, I guess that's 2x the current across the neutral, which would not be good.

Perhaps this is safest if I derate the transfer switch somehow. Not sure my brain can do this.....
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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"But how do you plan to eliminate any two pole breakers from the now 110 volt circuit?"

Couldn't I just throw them in the breaker box?

I don't have any 220VAC circuits hooked up to the transfer switch itself.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:12 PM   #9
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That's what I did with my Honda EU2000. I wired the generator cord to put 120v across both hots.

If MWBC stands for multiwire branch circuit, then yeah, that is problem if you are wanting to put both sides into your transfer switch. In fact putting either side in is dangerous unless you also turn off the main breaker. Probably best not to do this at all if you are going to be putting any part of a multiwire circuit into it.

BTW, I ran my furnace, refrigerator, freezer, computer, television, and a few lights off my EU2000 for 2 7 day outages. The generator tripped out once; presumably the fridge and freezer both tried to start at the same time.

Normally you don't have to touch the main breaker. In fact, you know you have power back when other lights in the house come on.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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Toller,

Thanks.

It's good to find somebody who has been successful doing this.

I had two questions.....

1) Did you turn off the 220VAC breakers in your breaker box just to insure there weren't any issues with multiwire circuits? I understand basically what they are, but have no idea how to insure I don't have any. Seems to me I could just throw the unused breakers in the main box to insure I get any other circuits out of the equation.

2) Did you install a jumper in the transfer switch or just custom wire the jumper cable? Seems to me that doing it in the plug-to-plug cable would be less permanent than modifying the breaker box.

Thanks very much for your input!

Tom

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