20 amp vs 30-40 amp Zinsco Breaker


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Old 11-11-14, 03:54 PM
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20 amp vs 30-40 amp Zinsco Breaker

My question is whether I can use a 220v-20 amp Zinsco circuit breaker instead of having to purchase a 30-40 amp??

We own a 13yr. old Generac generator that is only use during power outages and I would like to install a 220 outlet closer to the breaker panel. The breakers are of the old Zinsco type and have become quite expensive and since I have an unused Zinsco 220v-20 amp could I use it rather than going out and purchase a 30-40 amp?

Not sure if it means anything; the generator has 3 receptacles with 3 circuit breakers: two 120v; 1 has a 20 amp breaker, and the other has a 30 amp breaker. The 3rd receptacle indicates its 120/220 volt and has a 20 amp breaker.

Suggestions/Comments appreciated.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 04:21 PM
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What's the outlet for? To backfeed? Don't even go there.

You need an inlet and a transfer switch/panel/interlock.

It sounds like your generator is only rated at 20 amps, 120/240. The 30 amp receptacle you see, is it a 120 only?
 
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Old 11-11-14, 04:27 PM
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I would like to install a 220 outlet closer to the breaker panel.
If you mean a 240 volt receptacle you can't use a receptacle to connect a generator. You must use an inlet.
can use a 220v-20 amp Zinsco circuit breaker instead of having to purchase a 30-40 amp??
You can not connect a generator directly to a breaker panel without using an interlock or a transfer switch.

Someone will I'm also sure remind you in general Zinsco panels are considered risky to use but that is for another thread. http://inspectapedia.com/electric/Zinsco.htm
 
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Old 11-11-14, 05:06 PM
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Sounds from comments the generator is rated at 20 amp so the Zinsco breaker will work. Thanks to all for the input!!.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 05:33 PM
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No the reply was it is unsafe to connect a generator using a receptacle. No the reply was it is unsafe not to use a transfer switch or an interlock which probably doesn't exist for a Zinsco panel.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 05:50 PM
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Exactly, "interlock probably does not exist for a Zinsco panel". Considering other options??
 
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Old 11-11-14, 06:02 PM
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Transfer switch or transfer panel. Since it is only 20 amps a transfer panel is probably best.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 06:24 PM
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That's what I was thinking, not familiar how the transfer switch or panel functions so I need to do some studying to determine what is required to install either option and the least labor intensive alternative yet be safe. Again, thanks to all for the input.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 07:31 PM
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I'd suggest a plan B. Install a separately derived set of two duplex receptacles in the house run to an inlet outside. You could use a multiwire circuit off the 120/240 generator receptacle to provide two 20 amp 120 circuits. Then you could just run extension cords in the house to wherever you need power.

If your interested I can give you details.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-11-14 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 11-12-14, 09:29 AM
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I wouldn't spend anything on that project without getting rid of the Zinsco fire hazard. I would replace the Zinsco with a new modern circuit breaker panel and an interlock cover, if the local AHJ will approve an interlock cover.
 
 

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