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Old 12-14-2005, 04:15 PM   #1
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Transfer Switching


A friend uses a generator to power his house during failures, but he doesn't use a Trans switch, He runs a 230V cord to his dryer plug and says to switch off the Main breaker [as to not backfeed] and all the other circuits that won't be needed and only 1 or 2 that are

Is this safe to do it this way?
Seems logical, but don't like to take chances
TIA>RC

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Old 12-14-2005, 06:51 PM   #2
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First let me say that I am NOT an electrician and I'm not 100% sure what the legalities of this are, or what the NEC has to say about it. It's fine to go back to the dryer outlet, but remember the power doesn't know where it should and shouldn't go, it will go into the house but it will also go back out to the main line. I think any transfer switch should be automatic. Relying on a person (any person who can make mistakes, forget, etc.) to do such an important thing is a bad idea. Take it from someone who has a bad memory, you wouldn't want to rely on ME to keep you alive if you were working out on the line.

The electricians will be along sometime and can answer more thoroughly, but that's my opinion.

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Old 12-14-2005, 07:08 PM   #3
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Transfer Switching


It is not leagal nor is it safe. Even swiitching off the main does not break the netural wire. People have been killled because of this very reason. The only way to do this without a transfer switch is use cord and connect directly into the genset.
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:27 PM   #4
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Transfer Switching


Even at that, don't you have to disconnect the hot and neutral somewhere between the "split" where you connect to the generator and the meter?...or is that what you're saying? I don't know all the terminology. The transfer switch (I thought) is the automatic switch that makes this disconnection I mentioned and connects the generator to the main panel?

But, you say:
Quote:
The only way to do this without a transfer switch is use cord and connect directly into the genset.
Without this switch isn't the connection to the pole still there? I can't imagine pulling the meter to break this connection every time the power goes out. If you use a cord, doesn't this safety hazard to the POCO linesman still exist?
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:37 PM   #5
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Transfer Switching


In the past 2 yrs. this is a hot topic around here. JB's right. If in doubt, call up your local utility and ask them.

The switch completely isolates you from the power grid until power is restored. Protect your linemen, bite the bullet and install the switch. While the electrician is there have him install the emergency breaker panel, you'll be good to go AND within Code. This WILL make a big difference if your house burns down or you kill somebody.
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:01 AM   #6
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Transfer Switching


Thanks Guy's
Having a new home, I agree it's not worth the risk
I have always run the cords direct to the indivdual appliance as needed, but now have N-G boiler so was hoping for an easy way out

Correct me when I'm wrong, I've never seen a schematic
In order for a transfer switch to work/wired properly? [trying to understand it's operation]

The main service feed, would have to be disconected from the panel and routed thru the T-switch, then back to the panel [seems like a lot of work for 200amp line]

Then when there is a Pwr FailR, the main is cutoff and the genset/switch only powers the chosen circuits tied back to the panel
Or
Does the Main, remain in the panel and controlled somehow differently
TIA > RC
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:35 PM   #7
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Transfer Switching


JP What I meant is to use a cord and connect it to the generator itself. All portable ones have a place to plug in a cord.
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Last edited by jbfan; 12-15-2005 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:58 PM   #8
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Transfer Switching


Yea, to the generator, but then isn't the power still going back........... ...OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, a cord directly feeding whatever you want to power, not going through the house feed.:o ...gotcha
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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Transfer Switching


Backfeeding a receptacle is a violation, profoundly unsafe, and a violation. Besides, with the generator running, that jumper cordset that you made up will have hot "prongs" on the end. Here's an old post that explores this in full detail: http://www.selfhelpforums.com/showthread.php?t=1924

Here's an article that shows a zillion ways to connect a generator in a compliant manner: http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homew...ator/index.htm
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:13 AM   #10
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Transfer Switching


Thanks md....

Now I have some info to prove him wrong [and dangerous]
Thanks for the links as well

What is your take on the Interlock system
Main feed> isolation and dedicated line to Gen breaker
or the Generlink?
Code legal?
TIA> Rich
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:40 AM   #11
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Transfer Switching


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape8p
What is your take on the Interlock system
Main feed> isolation and dedicated line to Gen breaker
or the Generlink?
Code legal?
TIA> Rich
Anything that bears the UL symbol that prevents simultaneous energizing of the utility power and the generator power is code compliant. Whether it be a Gentran panel, transfer switch, or a mechanical breaker interlock hardware kit. Whatever suits you. My preference is to install a double throw transfer switch (manual or automatic) before either the whole panel or before a seperate panel installed to contain "emergency circuits". There's lots of compliant options. Backfeeding a dryer receptacle is not one of them.
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:51 PM   #12
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Transfer Switching


My power company (Dominon NC Power) offers a portable generator Connection Hub for $995 installed beside and through the meter. (That includes delivery and installation.) It safely operates and controls everything through your existing breaker panel.
It can handle portable generators up to 12,000 watts, automatic or manual. It comes with a 20' cord to plug into your generator and the Connection Hub. A 50' cord is available for another $50 bucks.
It offers the flexibility to selectively operate virtually any circuit in your home with your existing panel, and eliminates the need for extension cords, transfer switches, limiting sub-panels, etc.
I will be able to run all of my 110v circuits at once, or switch them all off and just run my water heater long enough for a tank of hot water. My manual 5500 watt portable generator won't run the HVAC, but I can use my existing panel to control and run all else, as I choose.
An electricial contractor just quoted me $1,200 for a transfer switch to do basically the same thing as this Connection Hub.
Check with your power company.
Do NOT do any illegal generator hookup. Two out-of-state power company employees working to help restore power here were killed by an illegal generator hookup during the last bad hurricane that hit us (Isabel in 2003). Nothing is worth that.
Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:44 PM   #13
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Transfer Switching


Thanks Mike
That's the exact direction I was heading, quick easy and like to pay for convience, But
I called mu Utility Co today [Nstar} and talked to two different divisions
Neither had a clue, of what a what was needed> I even told them about the Generlink kit and they told me to hire an electrican even though the G_L company says it is the utility that installs it:confused:

This question begs to be answered though???????????
The UL approved Interlock kit, looks like it is just a plate that mounts on the main panel, that locks out the main breaker so you can switch on the Gen breaker so the power is fed thru and decicated Genset backfed breaker on the main panel

Unless there is info not provided, THIS DOES NOT ISOLATE the Main 200Amp breaker Neutral wire as others have stated as a source of hazard
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