Code as well as practicality on wiring a generator

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Old 12-19-13, 08:02 PM
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Code as well as practicality on wiring a generator

My brother in law has offered to give me his gas generator (3000 watt Champion) when he switches to a diesel in the coming weeks. He lives in the country and has power failures from fallen lines after every major snow fall, I expect them rarely in the city.

Would it be ok to wire the generator to a small panel in my basement, wire that to 2 unique wall plugs in the kitchen (one for the fridge and one for a light and misc) that are off the grid, and, here is the part I am in need of guidance:

My home heating is gravity fed hydronic, total electric demand is maybe 500 watts.

Could I wire an appliance whip with a twist plug into the main disconnect I have now, and have a twist plug fed by the generator mounted right beside it? Allowing me to unplug from the main feed and then plug in to the generator circuit.

In a nut shell, is having the furnace connected with a twist plug as opposed to hard wired to the disconnect a bad idea that is looking for trouble?
 
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Old 12-19-13, 08:48 PM
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Separated from Congratulations! You have a Generator.

Kiton, I've separated your question from the sticky note on general advice on installing generators, so that you can have a dialogue without having the answers get confused with the general advice.

To your question,
Would it be ok to wire the generator to a small panel in my basement, wire that to 2 unique wall plugs in the kitchen (one for the fridge and one for a light and misc) that are off the grid, and, here is the part I am in need of guidance:

Could I wire an appliance whip with a twist plug into the main [furnace] disconnect I have now, and have a twist plug fed by the generator mounted right beside it? Allowing me to unplug from the main feed and then plug in to the generator circuit.

In a nut shell, is having the furnace connected with a twist plug as opposed to hard wired to the disconnect a bad idea that is looking for trouble?
I don't see any problem with doing that. You'll have to ask your local permit office whether it complies with their adopted regulations.
 
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Old 12-19-13, 09:21 PM
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I don't know about the CEC but the NEC has something along the lines of fixed space heating equipment needs to have a dedicated circuit which is usually translated into meaning that cord-and-plug connections are not acceptable. I also know that there are some jurisdictions that regularly allow, or perhaps require, cord-and-plug connections on residential heating furnaces and boilers.

As Nash states, you have to ask the LOCAL code enforcement officer if it is allowable.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 05:18 AM
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Install a box (or 2 boxes) somewhere in the circuit to the furnace containing one "double 3-way" switch (aka double pole double throw, not a 4-way) and one male receptacle (inlet).

Connect the common (dark) terminals of the switch to the furnace hot lead and neutral lead. Connect the traveler terminals to the furnace circuit panel feed and the inlet (both hots and neutrals). All the hots need to be on one half of the switch, all the neutrals on the other half.

When you need to use the generator, flip the switch to the "inlet" position and use an extension cord to connect the inlet to one of the dedicated generator (female) receptacles.

This is one of the rare cases where you connect neutral wires to switch terminals.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 07:56 AM
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Thank you guys, I will check with the city after the holidays.

AllanJ, I like the idea of having two totally different "networks" with the generator completely off the grid as I travel for work and have 2 teen age daughters, and may not be here the odd time it is put in to use. Maybe I am over working this (which I tend to do sometimes) but it just seems a little more error free if the generator is totally off the grid.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 09:48 AM
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A transfer switch or interlock keeps the two sources of power from being able to be used at the same time.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 10:30 AM
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One of these will allow you to safely run your furnace with an extension cord without violating the hard wire code.

 
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Old 12-20-13, 01:31 PM
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Nice device Pat!
 
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Old 12-20-13, 11:17 PM
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Thank you Pat, maybe I take should take another look.
The one system I looked at did not leaving me feeling my daughter would be comfortable using. This

I downloaded the installation guide, it recommends installing the switch within 18 inch of the entry panel. Can I install this within 18 inches of the wall panel (or sub panel) located just beside the furnace? The furnace is close to the rear entry of the home, the main panel is at the very front corner. It would just be more convenient to replicate the installation on the wall panel.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 11:33 PM
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I see no reason why it couldn't go near the sub panel instead.
It would make sense that it get mounted near the panel where the load is coming from.
 
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Old 12-21-13, 01:56 AM
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One caveat with that switch, it does not switch the neutral connection. If your portable generator has a GFCI output receptacle you may find that it will trip as soon as you plug into that transfer switch.
 
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Old 12-21-13, 05:49 AM
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The furnace switch box could be installed anywhere, even near the furnace. But from the picture I assume that the switch box unit has a flexible conduit about 18 inches long to go to the panel breaker so if you put it somewhere else then you would need to add wire to the switch box add a junction box near it.

Should you get tripping of a generator ground fault circuit interrupter whenever you tried to use it then you would need to remove any ground to neutral jumper in the generator (if easily accessed or mentioned in the instructions) or unhook the green wire inside the "master inlet" where you plug the generator cord into the house wiring (here a small dedicated network).
 
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Old 12-21-13, 01:13 PM
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Here is another brand that switches the neutral and transfers automatically when ever power is plugged into the outlet. (Neutral switching can be bypassed.)

Amazon.com: Hts15-auto Automatic Generator Transfer Switch 15 Amp Single Circuit Powers Gas Furnace, Boiler or Pumps up to 1875 Watts: Patio, Lawn & Garden

 
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Old 12-22-13, 04:49 AM
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Is the HTS15 U.L. Listed?
 
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Old 12-22-13, 09:03 AM
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The Heezy website says UL listed components in HTS15. The similar product "EZ Generator Switch for bonded generators" website does not mention UL.
 
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Old 12-22-13, 09:58 AM
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I can't find either for sale in Canada, some of the US sellers want as much as 85 dollars for shipping on the Reliance unit.

The more expensive Generac plug is cheaper in the end once shipping costs are added. There are so many more affordable choices, on most items, that are available in the US.


Generac 6375 15-Amp 125-Volt Single-Circuit Outdoor Manual Transfer Switch for Maximum 7500-Watt Generators: Amazon.ca: Patio, Lawn & Garden
 
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