Portable Generator/Transfer Switch installation


Old 09-14-11, 04:33 PM
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Portable Generator/Transfer Switch installation

I have a 7500w portable generator and would like to wire it into my house wiring using a Reliance 10 circuit manual transfer switch in my unfinished basement with an exterior receptacle for connection to the generator

I'm in Cranford NJ

I understand all the electrical concerns of the installations, but am concerned about the physical concerns of an installation such as:

1. Is there a code requirement for how high the exterior must be mounted?
2. Can I use 10/3 romex (only ~25 foot run) to connect the receptacle to the
transfer switch as long as it is protected. per normal romex installation rules,
or is conduit and individual wires required?
3. Can the transfer switch be directly mounted to the cinder block basement wall
or is a wooden mounting surface required? And if so is there a size requirement
for the wooden surface?


Last edited by PeteF; 09-14-11 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-14-11, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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A few changes in your terminology are in order.

You do not install a receptacle for the generator connection but an inlet. It is a male connection that mates with the female connection on the cable between the house and the generator. Also, what you are calling a transfer switch is in reality a transfer panel; the difference is that a switch would be for a single circuit and the panel is for multiple circuits.

There is no code requirement for how high the inlet connection needs to be but common sense tells you that it should be higher than the expected snow level in your area. It also needs to be weatherproof when in use, something that many outside power inlets are not. This is a picture of my power inlet. It is mounted with the bottom about 30 inches above the ground. The lid hinges up to insert the power cable and then closes with an opening in the bottom for the cable.

Yes, you CAN run the type NM cable from the power inlet as long as it is all inside (except the actual connections) unless your LOCAL code requires conduit for all wiring. I used flexible conduit for mine because I already had the individual conductors and I like conduit.

No metallic electrical enclosure may be mounted directly onto a masonry surface but most metallic electrical enclosures have raised "dimples" that allow for a 1/8 inch air space between the metal back and the wall. If yours does not then you may use washers to space the enclosure off the wall. If you use plywood then technically it should be treated fire retardant plywood. Your LOCAL code may have something to say about this also.

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