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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm wanting to set up a portable generator for my home. This would be my first genny install, and need some advice as to materials I would need.

The attached image is one idea I have, and I don't recall where I got it from (I've had it a long time), that I believe is a simple subpanel with 2 breakers that would, with the use of a lockout, prevent any backfeeding, in that when the generator is running, the 60a would be off, while when the 30a is off, the 60a would provide the utility service.

This would be installed WITHOUT a transfer panel (the lockout would provide that duty), and it would be Manual, not Automatic.

In this diagram, an "inlet receptacle" would be used (what's an "inlet receptacle"?), and, per the diagram, does it attach somehow to the female (FM) and male (M) cord that goes to the genny?

  • What type of subpanel do I need: brand, 100a, Does it depend on the brand of the main panel, etc.?
  • What type of Cord is required? I've heard of an SO type Cord, but not sure what that is or if it applies?
I'm really concerned about the connection from the Inlet Receptacle to the FM end of the Cord. How is that made?

I need the material list (types of panels, cords, etc.) so I can determine what it's going to cost me.

* Click image to Zoom

 

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Discussion Starter #3
BTW: I forgot to mention that the sub will be running off a 60amp breaker in the MAIN.
 

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You are really going about this the hard way. Invest in a small generator panel with 6 - 10 breakers and wire it into your main panel. They have individual switches which in effect are transfer switches for each circuit. No backfeeding, no chance of energizing the panel with the generator. Then all you need is a 4 wire cord to plug it in. The big boxes carry them and they are available online. Around $250-400 depending on how many circuits you want to control.
 

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You are really going about this the hard way. Invest in a small generator panel with 6 - 10 breakers and wire it into your main panel. They have individual switches which in effect are transfer switches for each circuit. No backfeeding, no chance of energizing the panel with the generator. Then all you need is a 4 wire cord to plug it in. The big boxes carry them and they are available online. Around $250-400 depending on how many circuits you want to control.
I agree:thumbsup:
 

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Your idea is fine.

Square D makes a small 4 space, 8 circuit generator transfer panel just as you show in your drawing. The interlock is built in. It's 60 amp on the mains and 30 amp for the generator side. The blue box store has it online for $100.

You do need a 4 wire cord, not 3 as you're showing. Neutral and ground are separated.

An inlet receptacle looks like the male part of a plug sticking out of the box. It's usually at an angle and protected from the elements. The female end of the generator cord will connect to it, usually via a twist lock plug. In effect, you are plugging in the house, about $50 or so.

You can buy ready made cords (rip off) or make your own. Try SOOW cable, it's the weatherproof version.

I have the same setup as your drawing. I've had no problems at all in the past few years running a 5000 watt Sears 10 hp generator.
 

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josall...thanks for the link. I couldn't remember the name of the mfg. but I've seen the panels at Lowes and Home Depot. I went another route with mine after a ice storm kept us in the dark for 4 days 3 years ago. I purchased a permanent standby generator with auto transfer switch.
 

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Since there seems to be some misconceptions here. The Square D generator panel I mentioned, and use, has a built in interlock. It will not allow you to backfeed the main panel.

Unlike some of the "cover interlock kits" that are on the market, the interlock is securely attached to the breaker. It is also a full fledged subpanel and uses standard QO breakers, including GFCI and AFCI if you require.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You are really going about this the hard way. Invest in a small generator panel with 6 - 10 breakers and wire it into your main panel. They have individual switches which in effect are transfer switches for each circuit. No backfeeding, no chance of energizing the panel with the generator. Then all you need is a 4 wire cord to plug it in. The big boxes carry them and they are available online. Around $250-400 depending on how many circuits you want to control.
MoBound, I'm pretty sure that what you describe is what I've shown in the drawing. How am I going about it the hard way?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The isssue is the next person to use your system could back feed and hurt someone.
I don't see how they could do that with the interlock system. This is actually a manual transfer system, but in no way could both the 60 & 30 amp breakers be on at the same time.

??
 

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What is the amp capacity of your generator ?
In Australia the generator change over switch
completely disconnects the mains input,
so there can never be any back feeding,
Its the safest way,
But you will need a substancial multi pole switch to do it.

Heres what we use for genny inputs-


Some times there are two or three of these,
You might need a bigger one,
but you get the idea.
The USA use a different pin configeration
but same idea.
 

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As long you use the manual transfer switch you are fine and there are quite few approved transfer switch which it is ready for generator purpose with build in interlock cam or lever so it designed both breaker CAN NOT able to be on the same time on the generator and uility power source.

And you will have to get permit for this one to keep your arse safe on this one due many area is cracking down hard with illegal set up.

SqD or GE or CH ( Culter Hammer ) or Seamens., all are good and I know there are couple generator specfic panels but IMO I will stick to the common namebrand in case you have issue with breaker due some specfic generator panel do not have push on breaker { some will have push button breakers } due some case you will need GFCI or AFCI breaker if your area do require it.

Merci,
Marc
 
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