Generator to house connection

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Old 02-08-10, 06:44 AM
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Generator to house connection

I have a B&S 5500 watt (8500 starting watts) generator I plan on using for emergencies. Since it has a 220 30A outlet I would like to do the following:

Install a weatherproof generator inlet on the outside of my garage and run one cable to the basement electrical panel. Then I would have an electrician wire a transfer switch to the main panel. I do not plan on using the generator to power the entire house - mainly well, sump and septic pumps and alternately fridge/freezer and a few lights.

I don't want to mess with conduit so what size cable would I need to run? I figure 10/4 would work since the total run would be about 30ft, correct?

Also, can anyone suggest a specific model of:

1) an inlet box that would be suitable (I saw this at Northerntool - http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...0924_200220924) and;

2) a manual transfer switch? (I saw this at Northern - http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...6574_200196574)

Thanks!!!
 

Last edited by calelettus; 02-08-10 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 02-08-10, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by calelettus View Post
I would like to do the following:
All sounds okay.

I don't want to mess with conduit so what size cable would I need to run? I figure 10/4 would work since the total run would be about 30ft, correct?
You want 10-3g NM-B "Romex" cable. (The bare ground wire is not counted in the 10-3)

1) an inlet box that would be suitable (I saw this at Northerntool - Reliance Raintight Power Inlet Box — 30 Amp | Transfer Switches | Northern Tool + Equipment) and;
The one you linked is just fine.

2) a manual transfer switch?
You want one more like this:

Reliance Controls Transfer Switch Kit — 10 Circuit, Model# 31410CRK | Transfer Switches | Northern Tool + Equipment

or

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...Product%20Page

The electrician will install this next to your main panel and move the critical loads like the pumps you mentioned over to this panel. Each circuit will have it's own breaker switch in the new panel. Reliance is a good brand, but it's not the only good one so don't feel like you have to get that one. Shop around a bit, they carry a lot of these at the big boxes and at electrical supply houses too.

The only other thing you might want to check is if your generator is able to start your pump(s) before you go through the expense of the hookup. A 5500W generator will have trouble starting some well pumps, especially if it's a long distance from the house or a deep well. For a few bucks you can make a temporary cord to wire the pump directly to the genny to do a couple tests and see if it will start.
 
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Old 02-08-10, 06:17 PM
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I did something similar, and couldn't start my 450' deep pump with my 5kw generator. Only then did I buy a multimeter with a clamp ammeter and measured the peak current draw. It turned out I needed to use the 7.5 kW generator I also had.

I used a squareD interlock instead of the your way. It allows you to power anything in the house but you have to be careful. Product Detail - Schneider Electric United States
 
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