Generator Installation Question

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  #1  
Old 10-20-07, 03:59 PM
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Generator Installation Question

Hi,

I live in an area in upstate New York where power failures sometimes occur. Because of the location of the house, which is quite remote and near the end of the line for utility service, when power goes out it is possible that it will not be restored for three or four days. For this reason, I plan to install a 6000 watt (7200 peak) generator, which will be started manually when power goes out.

The house has 200 amp service in a Cutler-Hammer box. I plan to add two sub-panels located next to the main breaker box. The first will be a 60 amp Square D transfer switch (has two 60 amp circuit breakers connected so that only one can be in the "on" position at a time). I plan to add a 60 amp circuit breaker in the main breaker box connected by #6 copper standed wire to the "utility" circuit breaker in the transfer switch sub-panel. The "generator" circuit breaker in the transfer switch sub-panel will be connected by #10 cable to an exterior outlet located about 30 feet away from the sub-panel. The generator, when needed, will be plugged into this outlet.

The second sub-panel will be a Murray box with no main disconnect. The bus in this sub-panel will be connected to the bus in the Square D box. I plan to remove certain key circuits from the main breaker box and to install them in this sub-panel (freezer, refrigerators, emergency lights, oil-fired hot water furnace, and well pump).

Does anyone see anything wrong with my plan? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 04:07 PM
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Sounds fine. Good for you for doing it the right way!

Are you clear on all the codes and procedures for installing a sub-panel?
 
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Old 10-20-07, 04:19 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I know that the neutrals and grounds in sub-panels need to be separate, and that the neutrals are not to be bonded to the boxes. Is this what you meant?
 
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Old 10-20-07, 04:52 PM
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For the most part, yes.
 
  #5  
Old 10-20-07, 06:35 PM
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Generator

I would recommend a breaker interlock kit for your CH panel.
If you install this configuration, when you connect the generator, your main panel will be hot and you can manage your loads from there.
It is alot more convenient than installing subpanels and it gives you alot more flexibility when choosing your circuits.
Not only that but it will be considerably less expensive and time consuming.
We install these everyday and they work great.
 

Last edited by dezwit; 10-20-07 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Add
  #6  
Old 10-20-07, 07:17 PM
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Thanks, dezwit, for the information. I wasn't aware of the generator interlock kit until you mentioned it here. I already have all of the items mentioned in my original post, having acquired them over the years, so there is no incremental cost going the way I outlined. When my old house was sold and torn down, I was able to strip anything of value, including all electrical items, from it. However, your solution is much more elegant and I would go that route were I starting from scratch.

That being said, and knowing that I have all required equipment in hand, do you see anything wrong with my proposal, other than the fact that it gives me less flexibility?
 
  #7  
Old 10-20-07, 07:26 PM
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No, nothing wrong but it just seems like an awful lot of work to do and only creates more points for something to go wrong.
The real beauty of making your entire panel hot is that you have access to all circuits in your panel.
That means that you leave all the receptacle and lighting circuits hot so as you move from room to room, you can lead a fairly normal life.
Remember, if you overload the generator, it wil just trip the breaker on the unit.
Unless you live in a large house, you will be surprised how much you can run off that 6kW generator.
During the last hurricane, we had 8-13 people at our house for dinner every night to watch the World Series and my little 6500 portable kept all the lights on and gave us all the creature comforts we needed.
 
  #8  
Old 10-21-07, 02:10 PM
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You would use a generator "inlet" on the generator side of the transfer panel.
 
  #9  
Old 10-22-07, 05:28 AM
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Sorry. I used the term "outlet" instead of "inlet" to denote where the generator gets plugged into the electrical system.

Along those lines, other than grounding the generator to the electrical system through a ground cable, would anyone suggest using any other grounding means?
 
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