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Old 10-13-2018, 08:45 PM   #1
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Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


Recently moved into our home and I'm trying to straighten out my transfer switch setup before Winter rolls in. I have quite a few questions, but I'll start with these...

1) I would like to connect my air handler to the transfer switch. It's circuit is located in a separate breaker panel (top left of image) and takes up two 20amp breakers. Is it possible to do this when the circuit is not on the same panel as the other circuits wired to the switch?

2) Can someone explain the significance of the "15a or 20a" labeling on the transfer switch? My understanding is that for switched C and D, the corresponding breaker must be a 20a breaker, and the switches A, B, E, and F can have either 15 or 20a corresponding breakers. However, that seems odd...if C and D can handle 20a, why can they not be connected to a smaller 15a breaker?

Transfer switch is the Protran 31406C 7500watts
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:54 PM   #2
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


The reason for the restriction is those are 20 amp circuits and when the generator is in use there is no other protection for the circuits other than the breakers on this panel. Since it's quite likely that 15 amp circuits have 14gauge wire it's not legal for them to be fed from a 20 amp breaker. Obviously likes a state you can file 20 amp circuit from the 15 at breakers but you can't fully load the 20 amp circuit either.

By running the circuits thru this transfer switch they actually become 15 amp circuits the matter what the breaker in the panel for them is because the power always goes thru the transfer switch.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:49 AM   #3
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


You are also missing the handle tie for the two 20 amp switches, if you plan on using them to power the double breaker in the panel.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:48 AM   #4
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


FIRST, the logistics of why you want to connect your air handler to the genset needs to be worked out. What is your climate ? Mild Winters ? Are you wanting your AH to run for heat or cooling on emergency power ?

If so, what is the fuel for your heat ? If your heat source is a heat pump that uses auxiliary electric strip heat, then in the event of a power loss in the dead of Winter, you could have a major overload on your back up power system of 10 -20 KW possibly if the aux. heat kicks on.


And even for cooling only depending on your AC tonnage, your outside condensing unit compressor will be pulling anywhere from 18 - 25 amps maybe.
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Last edited by Gregsoldtruck79; 10-14-2018 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:22 AM   #5
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


What is the size and make of generator being used? If the genset is also 7,500 watts then you only have about 30 amps max out of generator.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


Quote:
Originally Posted by georgemcq View Post
What is the size and make of generator being used? If the genset is also 7,500 watts then you only have about 30 amps max out of generator.
That is why that switch has a watt meters on it. You can see if you are overloading or about to overload one or both sides.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:46 PM   #7
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
FIRST, the logistics of why you want to connect your air handler to the genset needs to be worked out. What is your climate ? Mild Winters ? Are you wanting your AH to run for heat or cooling on emergency power ?

If so, what is the fuel for your heat ? If your heat source is a heat pump that uses auxiliary electric strip heat, then in the event of a power loss in the dead of Winter, you could have a major overload on your back up power system of 10 -20 KW possibly if the aux. heat kicks on.


And even for cooling only depending on your AC tonnage, your outside condensing unit compressor will be pulling anywhere from 18 - 25 amps maybe.
My thought was to run the air handler for heating purposes. I have forced hot air via gas furnace with hydronic heating coil in the attic. I wasn't even considering running the the A/C since the compressor is a 4-ton unit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by georgemcq View Post
What is the size and make of generator being used? If the genset is also 7,500 watts then you only have about 30 amps max out of generator.
I would be using a Ridgid 6800w... https://www.ridgid.com/us/en/6800-wa...ered-generator
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:49 PM   #8
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


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Originally Posted by TheHolyCannoli View Post
My thought was to run the air handler for heating purposes. I have forced hot air via gas furnace with hydronic heating coil in the attic. I wasn't even considering running the the A/C since the compressor is a 4-ton unit.




I would be using a Ridgid 6800w... https://www.ridgid.com/us/en/6800-wa...ered-generator
Should be fine then, as your AH blower and controls will not pull over 7 or so amps total probably. But one note. Some of the newer furnaces with their super dooper solid state PC boards need "clean" power to run them or they buck up. The guys over at HVAC can help you with this ?? if they have your furnace name and model number to look it up.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:06 PM   #9
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
Should be fine then, as your AH blower and controls will not pull over 7 or so amps total probably. But one note. Some of the newer furnaces with their super dooper solid state PC boards need "clean" power to run them or they buck up. The guys over at HVAC can help you with this ?? if they have your furnace name and model number to look it up.
Thanks, I appreciate that input. The furnace is at least 8 - 10yrs old, and is already hooked to the transfer switch. I assume it hadn't been a problem before, but you what they say about assuming.

Is it actually feasible (safe) to connect the air handler circuit into the transfer switch when that circuit resides in a separate breaker panel? As of now, the circuits on switches A, B, E, and F are in the larger breaker panel, while the air handle is in the smaller (sub?) panel.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:11 PM   #10
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


I still haven't been able to find a clear answer in regards to if it is safe to connect a circuit from the second panel.

As of now, the circuits wired to the transfer switch are in the large panel (on the right in the picture). The air handler that I want to connect to the last 2 open switches on the transfer box has it circuit breaker in the smaller panel (top left in the picture). Is that going to cause any problems?
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:03 PM   #11
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Re: Generator Transfer Switch - Need some advice for setup


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Originally Posted by TheHolyCannoli View Post
I still haven't been able to find a clear answer in regards to if it is safe to connect a circuit from the second panel.
Assuming you have enough space in the offset nipple remaining there is no problem in doing so. Technically the first panel would require a label to indicate some of the wiring is disconnected by the second panel. A sane inspector would allow you to omit this since disconnecting power from the first panel also disconnects it from the second.
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