Automatic transfer switch - typical wiring example?

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Old 10-23-09, 05:09 PM
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Automatic transfer switch - typical wiring example?

I'm going to buy a standby generator and in order to plan how much rewiring I need to do, I'm trying to understand how the automatic transfer switch is wired to the existing breaker panel.

I've not been able to find any examples of how they are wired. Specifically, do I need to run separate wires for all backed up circuits from the breaker panel to the transfer switch and back to the breaker panel? That's a lot of splicing.

Does anyone know of any place on the Web that shows a typical installation?

Thank you!
 
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Old 10-23-09, 10:19 PM
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There are quite few ways to wire up the transfer switch depending on where the transfer switch will be located and it this will be service rated or not and how big the generator you will plan to use.

The key issue is make sure you have proper size generator and keep in your mind if any equiment do have electric motor like furance fan or fridge etc will draw more current during starting time up to 6X of running amps or watts and also watch out with generator rating most useally have dual rating the running watts or amp and surge watts or amps that two key items you have to look for.

What type of fuel you will use for stand by generator will be Natural gaz or Propane gaz or Diesel fuel or straight gazoline ?

Those question will help you with more details.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 10-24-09, 08:45 PM
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I appreciate your response, but I am confident that the size I have chosen is actually a little larger than I need so I have no question about size or fuel type. My question is only about the wiring of the transfer switch to the breaker panel.
 
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Old 10-24-09, 10:41 PM
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Ok that fine and now let get to the point there one thing I will suggest this part due the transfer switch there is few diffrent wiring conneciton metholds depending on what name brand it is and will be used for whole house or just partal house useage on generator power soruce.

That is the key issue

If whole house transfer switch is located between the meter and main breaker this part can get little tricky due the permits requirement and code requirement but let me give you a head up what it will be done.

The whole house transfer switch set up between the main breaker and meter socket what it will be done is you will have to get a hold of POCO to cut the power off and run new conductor from meter socket to the transfer switch to Line side or Uility side then from transfer switch it will say Load that load side from transfer switch will go to the main breaker and there is third connection the word is generator that connection and conductor will go to the generator.

{ Normally most local area required a licensed electrician to deal with this plus POCO will have info into thier mainfest listing and have electrical inspector inspect the set up as well to make sure it is legit for your useage }

Now this part what I called partal house transfer switch

there is few diffrent ways it can be done all it depending on what brand name it is and what conferation it have I know most will have some forum of subpanel plus flexiable conduit some don't have flexiable conduit and some are right in the load centre { breaker box }

Once I know what brand name I can able or other members here will guide ya the correct way to hook up the transfer switch

And yes with partal house transfer switch expect a bit of spliceing in the load centre and yes it is legit in USA but in Canada useally not legit in most providces unless the local area do allow it.

The other thing you will have to watch very carefull is AFCI circuits they are kinda picky with it.
If you have AFCI let us know right away so we can able give you the correct prodcure with it.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 10-25-09, 03:06 AM
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Can you tell us if your transfer switch will be a transfer switch with load center, a transfer switch with a sub-panel, a transfer switch that will be feeding your whole house and whether or not it's a service rated or a non-service rated switch? Also, which brand of generator and switch?
 
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Old 10-25-09, 07:21 AM
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I don't know what "with load center" or "service rated" means but hopefully the following passages taken from the brochure answers those questions:

_______

Automatic Transfer Switch
with Built-In Priority Load Center

Rated for all classes of load,
100% equipment rated, both
inductive and resistive.

_______

The generator will be feeding only selected circuits - not the whole house.

Generac Gaurdian Model 05503:
http://zillerelectric.com/pdf/81014spec.pdf
 
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Old 10-25-09, 08:09 AM
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Yeah, you have the 14 KW pre-packaged with the 100 amp auto switch with 14 circuit load center.

It will come with the transfer switch pre-wired and the generator connections pre-wired.

Hopefully, your existing load center isn't on a finished wall. Not that it's a problem, just makes for a crappy install since your panel is flush mounted and the transfer switch is surface mounted. In this case, I usually install a subpanel and put a 100 amp switch outside to feed it.

The 2' long whip will have all the wires you'll need to connect to your panel. The circuits you want to run on the generator will just be removed from their respective breaker and wire nutted to the respective circuit in the transfer switch. All the wires are labeled as to the circuit number and ampacity.You will also need to move the neutrals for these circuits also. These wires will also be available.

In this whip, there will also be 4 wires (black, red, white, and green) These will feed the transfer switch from your main panel. The size breaker you'll use in your panel will be determined by the load you want on the transfer switch but not to exceed the ampacity of the wire which will also be marked on the wire.

Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

You can go to Generac.com Click on "service and support" then on the side click "owners manual search" eneter Model # 0055030 it will you then give you manuals that are available for this model. I would suggest the "install guide book" link.
 

Last edited by wirenut1110; 10-25-09 at 08:20 AM. Reason: added link information.
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Old 10-25-09, 08:16 AM
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Here is my opinion for what it is worth, when it comes to Gen/Tran switches.

A Uncle of mine worked for C&H (Cutler & Hammer) for many years. When he retired, he was the head of all the salespeople employed by C&H.

C&H was converted over to do military work during WW II and was at a disadvantage when in comparison to say AB (Allen Bradley) because when the war was over, C&H was set up to do military contracts and their prices and technology was just too expensive for use in most industrial applications.

As my Uncle would tell me, most of the switch gear at GM, Ford, Dodge, Anheuser-Busch were all Allen Bradley or Westinghouse or ABB etc...

C&H does make Gen / Tran switches, but their price is around $3500 - $5000, probably as much as 1/4th - 1/2 the price of the generator you are looking at.

How does a gen / tran switch work?

It monitors the electrical current in the system and when the system - power company looses power, it switches the power from the meter base - drop to the power generated by the generator.

With this type of system, it is required to have a generator that has a electric start system, because the transfer of electricity is done automatically.

A load center is used when you have a manual gen / tran switch, where you start the generator manually and you manually turn off the power coming into the house and switch it manually over to the power being generated by the generator. Once the transfer of power has been switched, you control which circuits gets the power first.

Usually the switch has at least 6 circuits and each circuit is connected to some type of load such as your refrigerator, furnace , heat pump, deep freeze, air conditioner, television etc.

As each circuit comes up to speed, you can switch on more circuits until as much power as possible can be used to power as many circuits as the generator can handle.

Where you have to understand that unless you buy a large 10,000 + watt generator, no smaller generator will produce enough power to supply power to the whole house all at one time. So with a load center - you control which part of the house gets the most power, or where you wish to have power first.

Light bulbs is a constant load so that is not a big factor when it comes to a generator.

What the manufacturer of your generator is telling us is that your generator has the capability to monitor the electricity coming into your home and can switch the power automatically when the power supplied goes out to the generated power and can power a frew circuits in the home.

Unless you are a certified electrician with a background in electricity, you are going to have to employ a electrician to wire this system into your home and have it inspected by a certified electrician before the power company will ok it for use.

This is not a job for a homeowner with a set of Craftsman tools and a ohm meter.

It is of my opinon that this generator and gen / tran switch is not the ideal application for your house.

My personal opinion is that you are better off with a stand alone system that monitors the electricity and starts the generator automatically.

As others have said, there is different ways to fuel the system. Natural gas being the preferred fuel due to the fact that it is the cheapest of the 3 and does not require any real maintenance of the fuel system, nor does it require you to manually refuel the generator. Propane comes in a close second. With those types of fuel, you do not have to change the oil as often and you do not have as much soot in the oil when you change it.

But no matter what type you use, sooner or later you will have to change the oil and do regular maintenance.

A typical gen / tran application is very expensive, but cheap in the grand scheme of things.

In my area, farmers understood this technology a long time ago. They bought generators that ran off the PTO of their tractors and they simply mounted a double pole / double throw switch on a pole and when the electricity went out, they hooked the generator to the outlet and they threw the switch and it disconnected the power from the farm circuit and connected the farm to the generator attached to the tractor.

When the power came back on, the neighbors called them on the phone, or the lights came on in their house and they shut off the tractor and disconnected the power cord and threw the switch and power was restored to their farm.

Unfortunately some people took it to the next step and directly wired the generator into the home wiring system.

This still works as long as the homeowner throws the main breaker before he / she connects the power to the breaker box. But too many times, people gets in a hurry and does it incorrectly and in the end many linemen were hurt because of power being back fed into the grid - which is the reason why it is illegal to install a generator onto a home electrical system without some type of gen / tran switch and why it is illegal to connect it yourself without having it properly wired by a electrician and having it inspected before the power company will ok it for use.

So I wouldn't worry what you need to do to connect it. I would buy as big of a generator as you think that you would need to supply power to your whole home and I would pay a electrician to come and install it for you.

Even if I was a certified electrician, I would not inspect my own work, because 4 eyes are better then 2 and what you might think is ok, might be a mistake and a second person might catch it before it becomes a major problem and hurts someone or burns the house down.

Buy the generator and pay someone to put it in for you.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 11:27 AM
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Now we are getting somewhere

Ok as Wirenut describing that is pretty stright foward task and yes the whip will attached to the load centre.

There is 4 larger conductors that is your power source to the subpanel/ transfer switch IIRC that will need 60 amp breaker { two pole verison } then the rest will have marked load and netural conductors it will be very well marked so you can not get this mixed up.

But let me give you a head up if you have electronic furance control if that get really funky when you run on generator power { ditto with UPS if you have it }
there is a dip switch on genertor unit by default it on 58-62 HZ so if that the case hit one dip switch I think it on #3 flip it that will lock the unit in true 60 HZ format that will clear up the issue { Wirenut are you pay attetion to this one ? }

otherwise you are pretty much good to go beside just double check the gaz supply line to make sure they are large engouh to handle the requirement for generator useage.

If you have more question just holler one of us will answer more question.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 10-26-09, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
{ Wirenut are you pay attetion to this one ? }
Not sure what you meant by this.

Originally Posted by french277V View Post
there is a dip switch on genertor unit by default it on 58-62 HZ so if that the case hit one dip switch I think it on #3 flip it that will lock the unit in true 60 HZ format that will clear up the issue
Merci, Marc
Just an FYI, that feature was only available on the Model 5416(18KW)that isn't available anymore. All the new generators are set to run at 60hz. It was dipswitch #4, On for 60 HZ, Off for 58-62.
 
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Old 10-26-09, 05:12 PM
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Thanks Wirenut for filling me in on that one and at least I know what to deal with it.

Merci.
Marc
 
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