NO service disconnect on generator install !


Old 11-27-06, 06:12 PM
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Exclamation NO service disconnect on generator install !

Just had a standby generator with a whole-house automatic transfer switch installed at my home but the contractor did not install a service disconnect between the electric meter and the transfer switch.

The installation manual with the ATS shows the utility power load coming into the ATS by way of a disconnect switch.

The setup is as follows: Utility power from the meter goes directly to the ATS (automatic transfer switch)(without a disconnect between the two). From the ATS the utility power ( OR generator power if utility company power is not available) goes directly to the whole house circuit breaker panel load center which DOES have a disconnect so I can keep power getting to any of the household circuits.

What this means is that the utility company power source to the ATS cannot be turned off without actually pulling the electric meter (and, given the little tamper evident lock, it is clear that one should not do that). The way I look at it, this is unsafe for anyone needing to service the ATS.

After the installation was complete, it was inspected by one of
four independent inspection agencies authorized/mandated by our utility company (Rochester (NY) Gas and Electric)and it passed.

Is my not having the above disconnect switch an unsafe or not-to-code situation which the inspector somehow overlooked?

Should I insist that the contractor come back and install a disconnect switch??

Many thanks for your guidance, Chuck
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Old 11-27-06, 06:29 PM
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I'm not an electrician by any stretch, but I have had generators in one of my business's. I did not have benefit of an automatic transfer switch, I had what they called a "double-pull double throw, in other words when the power went out I had to manually disconnect the feed from city power, start the generator and pull another switch that rerouted power from city side to generator side.
The reason you do this is that so if the city power came back on power from the generator did not go back through the city lines.
This what you ATS does, it does it seamlessly so there is no interuption of power whether by city or by generator and visa versa
I really doubt any inspector would not notice something of this magnitude.
If they have signed off on it relax then it was done to code and spec.


PS what kind of generator? Kw's? gas? propane? rubberband??
Old 11-27-06, 07:30 PM
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The ATS could be service disconnect rated. It is your service disconnect.
Old 11-28-06, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by joed
The ATS could be service disconnect rated. It is your service disconnect.
The unit is a Kohler 12 RES (10.4KW on Natural Gas) with a Kohler Model RDT 200 Amp Automatic Transfer Switch. There is an inch and a half long handle right next to the contactor assembly (behind the protection of the metal exterior cover) that one can use to check for the smooth operation of the contactor.

Quoting from the operation manual:
"Note: Never manually operate the transfer switch when the power is connected. Disconnect both power sources before manually operating the switch."

Also: "Disconnect all power sources before opening the enclosure"

These statements along with the "Whole-House Configuration Connection Diagram" showing the Normal Source (Utility Power) as coming from a diagram box labled "Service Disconnect" lead me to believe that this was referring to the need for a "Disconnect Switch" interposed between the electric meter and the ATS.
I can't find anywhere in the 58 page manual where it indicates that it is "service disconnect rated".

I hope this helps clarify the picture. Any more thoughts would be greatly appreciated, Chuck
Old 11-28-06, 10:05 PM
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It really comes down to what you want. I know I would want a service disconnect, even if it is not required by code. Having one makes servicing your equipment a lot easier.
Old 11-29-06, 04:13 PM
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Chuck i had the same exact problem! The electrician had to come back and install a disconnect between the meter and ATS. My ATS is not service entrance rated. I am not an electrician but I did have to go in the panel to set the exerciser. Not something liked doing while energized. I strongly recommend you have one installed. Its not a big deal.
Old 11-29-06, 06:01 PM
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I would recommend getting the "Gen-Set" serviced by the pros.
(A disconnect is not unreasonable)
If you have a life safety need for it,this would be best.

If for convenience, thats different, But should still be serviced by the pros'

I'm sure it (or it should) states' access by "Qualified personel only".
An owner does not make one qualified.

If not rated as service disconnect, Have one installed.At their expence.
I know, a bit against the grain, But they should know and include it.

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