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Old 03-18-2008, 09:08 AM   #16
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


I think you have a good handle on what you wish to do Tron. The next step would be to call a couple local contractors who can spell out your options, prices, and brands. They will also be aware of any local codes involved. I also recommend staying away from Generac and it's offshoots. I have found warranty and service to be terrible.

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Old 03-18-2008, 11:28 AM   #17
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My comments in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
A whole house transfer switch will always be considerably more than an automatic transfer panel.

In actual fact, it is the opposite. A full ATS requires a Logic Panel. This ATS is capable of switching the full required load. The word "load" is important because it is all about the size & type of load & not about the words "house" or otherwise. Sorry Speedy.

I would NOT touch a Generac unit with a 10' pole. By this I mean I would not supply one. I will install one if it is customer supplied, but I will NOT have ANYTHING to do with the warranty.
From what I have read about this "Generac" unit, I also would not be touching it. There is no way that you can safely & automatically switch a large load from a "box" mounted at the rear of your KWH meter. This is quality vs quantity. Which do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
If you go with a whole house ATS then by code the Generator must be sized for the entire load. this can get very expensive depending on the size of your house... I myself would install a generator panel. and just relocate the required circuits and size the generator to that...
I don't see how this is true. Even though I am Australian & "wiring codes" differ greatly, there always remains the situation whereby "load shedding" can (& must) occur. This is usually achieved by DC contactors installed into switchboards. This is expensive but once this is done, the generator can operate at a reduced load until "normal supply" is returned. Unless the NEC rejects load shedding in a domestic premises, the OPs' situation is quite realistic ie he wishes to maintain "critical" equipment.

Some advice to the OP.
If you make the right decision (an ATS), make sure that the generator has a minimum "run-up" time of 2 minutes before it is put on load. Also, once it is on load, make sure that it cannot disconnect for at least 15 minutes. When it does disconnect, make sure it has a minimum "run-down" time of 5 minutes.
Further, it is advisable that you get a "Stand-by" generator & not a portable generator.

I have been designing & installing (in Australia) ATS units up to 6 000 (six thousand) Amps, for many years, into large switchboards.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #18
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by elkangorito View Post
In actual fact, it is the opposite. A full ATS requires a Logic Panel. This ATS is capable of switching the full required load. The word "load" is important because it is all about the size & type of load & not about the words "house" or otherwise.
I have to say I have no idea what you mean by this.

My point was about price. I can get a transfer panel for around $350. A main transfer switch is in the $1000 range.
That's all I meant.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:02 PM   #19
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I have to say I have no idea what you mean by this.

My point was about price. I can get a transfer panel for around $350. A main transfer switch is in the $1000 range.
That's all I meant.

Hi Speedy. In "my" terms (Australian/European), an ATS is something that comes with a "logic panel", which is something that does all the "loss of phase/power detection" & the timing. This is normal. The circuit breakers that accompany this type of panel are usually subject to the standard current ratings according the installation. In other words, almost all ATS units (99.9%) can be custom made to suit their environment.

Fortunately, in Australia these things are not common for domestic installations for a few reasons;
1] It does not snow everywhere in Australia.
2] Distribution techniques negate the need for "back-up" generators.
If someone (a company or a business) requires a backup power system c/w ATS, this cannot be done by an electrician but can be done under the supervision of a consultant. If an electrician does this type of installation, it is required to be inspected by an inspector of the electricity supplier before being energised. The reason for this is about;

1] Earthing & isolation. Is the system isolated from earth? Will it effectively isolate the users from electric shock?
2] Is the system effectively isolated from the "normal" consumer supply?
3] If "load shedding" equipment is installed, is it appropriate & will it operate effectively without being destroyed?
2] start up/shut down times.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:07 PM   #20
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


Both types are automatic standby controls. Both sense the utility supply and automatically switch over when there is an interruption. Both use double throw switches to prevent backfeeding the utility.

It's just one is a large transfer switch and the other is a small transfer switch built into a sub-panel with breakers.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:17 PM   #21
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Both types are automatic standby controls. Both sense the utility supply and automatically switch over when there is an interruption. Both use double throw switches to prevent backfeeding the utility.

It's just one is a large transfer switch and the other is a small transfer switch built into a sub-panel with breakers.
In my honest opinion (IMHO), there is no problem if the breakers can handle the full load current & the Prospective Fault Current (5kA?) of the OPs' requirements (200 Amps?) The next question is can the OPs' generator supply what he needs to supply? This now needs to be calculated carefully & therefore requires the OP to come back & tell us his required load in the finest detail.

Speedy, please understand that I know nothing about the NEC requirements. If we are to help the OP, it will take more than one of us to do so. I'm currently operating in purely "technical" mode with regard to this problem. I need your help.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:00 PM   #22
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


I appreciate everyones input on my questions. I will start off by saying that I have made some decisions in regards to a standby generator. I have decided to go with a model that includes something around a 10 circuit sub-panel with ATS. Two reasons have pushed me in this direction. 1) Cost. The sub-panel solution is less expensive to basically accomplish what I want, to restore power to the essential circuits in my house and I can live without the "luxury" circuits. 2) Moving the circuits to the sub-panel will do something nice that I didn't think about before... free up space in the main panel. I was down to about one free breaker space, but I should have 9 extras after the move (+10 - 2 for 100 amp sub panel breaker).

I say "something around a 10 circuit sub-panel" because I have yet to decide on a brand. All of the generators I have found so far are either Generac or made by Generac. I was leaning towards the Centurion (made by Generac) sold at Lowes because I know that for $65 they will not only bring it out on a truck, but put it where I want it with their fork lift. Getting it from anywhere else and I don't know what the cost would be for a similar delivery. Some of the online places talk about 15-55 days for delivery and "additional charges for lift gate service", which means that they will drop it off the end of the truck for me, but getting it into place is my problem.

I am a pretty hard-core DIY'er and will do most, if not all of the work myself, so paying for a contractor to upcharge me on the materials, delivery, and labor is not in the cards.

I am still looking for any non-Generac suggestions.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:44 PM   #23
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


See what you think of Kohler standby systems. There are others and then there is the high end stuff. I have some familiarity with the kohlers and so far they seem to be excellent units.

Here is a 12kw Lp or 10 kw NG with a price don't know anything about this website and i'm not pushing it. Just was a quick search reference to give you an idea.

https://www.stormgenerators.biz/cart/shopexd.asp?id=369


Might look around the the manufacturer website here....

http://www.kohlerpower.com/residenti...onNumber=13561
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:59 PM   #24
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


I don't think the Generlink company is related to the Genrac generator company.
While it won't work in this situation it is a very quick and easy way to install a transfer switch. No electrician is required. Some POCO will even install them free and bill you a $2.00 a month rental fee. No rewiring or modifications are required to your house wiring. You can take it with you if you move.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:58 AM   #25
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


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Thanks for the reply. I actually have one of those right now for my 2500w generator and it does work, but I have some very expensive saltwater aquariums in my house that if left off for very long, especially in the winter, spells disaster. This past winter the power went off when I was at work and I didn't realize it until I got home. I lost several hundred dollars worth of livestock and don't want to do that again. Also, the lockout is not very girlfriend-friendly. She doesn't even like to go in the basement, much less touch the electrical panel.
Not to change the topic of the thread, but I wonder, since it appears you have a good grasp on both electrical and tank setups, what I can expect for a rather standard 75gal SW setup in terms of wattage?

I anticipate Dual 150W MH Lamps with a skimmer and sump setup, among the other necessities.

Any thoughts? I would like to ensure I have the proper circuits reserved for this configuation.

Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:43 AM   #26
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Whole house automatic transfer switch?


300w lights
110w sump pump
250w heater
75w skimmer
100w powerheads

=835w total

You could easily run that on a single, dedicated 15-amp circuit, but if you have the panel space, you might want to run two instead. One for the lights and one for the other stuff. I would recommend GFCI for both since you are dealing with electricity and water (saltwater is very conductive). I have always been a fan of keeping the HID lights on a different circuit than the pump motors.

Also, I personally would probably consider going with maybe 250w bulbs and maybe some actinic VHO's as well. Bumping up to 250's would allow you a larger range of corals to keep and adding the actinics would make your light much less one-dimensional. Of course, it is more of an expense to do so and it all really comes down to what you want to put in your tank.

Since we are off topic anyway, here are some of my other DIY projects:


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Old 03-19-2008, 09:55 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TronCarter View Post
300w lights
110w sump pump
250w heater
75w skimmer
100w powerheads

=835w total

You could easily run that on a single, dedicated 15-amp circuit, but if you have the panel space, you might want to run two instead. One for the lights and one for the other stuff. I would recommend GFCI for both since you are dealing with electricity and water (saltwater is very conductive). I have always been a fan of keeping the HID lights on a different circuit than the pump motors.

Also, I personally would probably consider going with maybe 250w bulbs and maybe some actinic VHO's as well. Bumping up to 250's would allow you a larger range of corals to keep and adding the actinics would make your light much less one-dimensional. Of course, it is more of an expense to do so and it all really comes down to what you want to put in your tank.

Since we are off topic anyway, here are some of my other DIY projects:

That's one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:39 PM   #28
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That's one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
I missed the humor in that post but I'm a neophyte, perhaps you could shed some light.

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