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Old 12-21-2010, 09:18 AM   #1
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


Hello, Having to deal with lots of power outages of late, I've decided to purchase a portable generator and have it on hand for emergencies. I think I've got the size and wattages figured out but have questions on how to intall the wiring to the house.

My house has two electrical panels (it's kind of a big house!) One 200amp panel, one 100 amp panel. Unfortunately, I want to power up stuff on both panels during an outage.

My question is, how do I split my circuits coming in from the generator? Can I simply splice from the power inlet box? The generator has two 30A outlets on it. One 30A, 120V three prong. And one 30A, 120/240V four prong. Should I send one line to one box and one line to the other? Will this help balance the load on the generator or is that not applicable?

Any suggestions would be great!

Kurt

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #2
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


You are going to need to install transfer switches to prevent any possible backfeed of power from the genset onto the utility lines.

It does not sound like you will be able to power much for the portable genny. Have you looked into a standby genny powered by natural gas or diesel?

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Old 12-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


Let's assume I have two transfer boxes. One for each house panel. And that I have enough power from my portable genny to get er' done!

The question still remains of how to get juice to both transfer boxes? Can I just run one cable from the generator and split into both transfer boxes? Or so I have to run two seperate cables from the outlets on the genny's panel?
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


Rage,
There also is an alternative now available in some places called a "connection hub" that can be used in lieu of transfer switches, but it performs the same function...safety. It's connected to your existing panel through your meter.
http://www.dom.com/products/product-...connection-hub
I have this on my home (installed by my power company contractor) and you control your existing panel(s) through it and it serves the same safety purpose as transfer switches. Costs about the same or less I think.
I have a single residential 200 amp breaker panel. When I lose power and want to switch to my 5500w portable gen, I just turn off all 220v breakers (including HVAC and water heater) and it runs all of my 110v circuits through my existing panel. When I need hot water during a prolonged outage, I turn off all of my 110v breakers and turn just the water heater breaker on and run it long enough to heat up the 50 gal heater tank.
Works like a charm. It will handle up to a 12kw automatic gas-powered gen. Just something to look into. Do NOT hookup a gen to your service without protection for the line crews working to restore power.
We had two out-of-state linemen (from MS I think) killed restoring power after the last hurricane here due to some nitwit hotwiring a generator. Even if the panel main breaker is off, backfeed from a small gen can kill people.
Mike

Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 12-21-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:01 AM   #5
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


My guess would be that you only need one transfer assembly. Is not the 100 amp panel a sub panel fed from the main 200 amp panel?
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:29 PM   #6
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


No. I don't think so. The meter has two seperate lines coming in from outside the house going to each panel.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


I use something similar to this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-6-Circuit-Em...item2557d91322
at my house. It is a 6 Circuit EmerGen Manual Transfer Switch connected to one box, If you know that your generator can handle the amount of Wattage that you will be pulling, I don't see why you can't connect two boxes to one generator. Just make sure that one outlet can cover the amount of wattage your one breaker box needs and the other outlet can cover your other box. Don't go over your total wattage.

Dave
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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wiring portable generator into two house panels


The simplist way is to connect via a transfer switch,
at the point where both panels draw there power from.
But there are other issues to consider,
such as how to isolate the loads the genny cant power.
Usually they are switched out via the transfer switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Hello, Having to deal with lots of power outages of late, I've decided to purchase a portable generator and have it on hand for emergencies. I think I've got the size and wattages figured out but have questions on how to intall the wiring to the house.

My house has two electrical panels (it's kind of a big house!) One 200amp panel, one 100 amp panel. Unfortunately, I want to power up stuff on both panels during an outage.

My question is, how do I split my circuits coming in from the generator? Can I simply splice from the power inlet box? The generator has two 30A outlets on it. One 30A, 120V three prong. And one 30A, 120/240V four prong. Should I send one line to one box and one line to the other? Will this help balance the load on the generator or is that not applicable?

Any suggestions would be great!

Kurt

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