Transfer panel at home with 2 main breaker panel

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  #1  
Old 03-23-16, 09:03 PM
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Transfer panel at home with 2 main breaker panel

I'm trying to install Reliance 31406CRK 6 circuit transfer panel at home with 2 main breaker panel.
This transfer panel switches only hot as with most transfer panel are. It has a thick (10AWG) neutral wire that just passes through from generator plug and a pair of hot (input and output) for each circuit.

There are circuit I want to transfer in both panels.
Since the transfer switch only provides 1 whip with all wires in it, I was thinking of running wires between 2 panels to bring wires from the other panel over.
However, this will cause neutral connection to only 1 panel and neutral to the other panel will be tied at the meter box. I know this will work, but is this allowed?
If not, will have to move over the circuits, which can be a big hassle with all the wires stapled behind insulation covered with silver foil. (those you find in unfinished basement.)

There are no breakers before these main panels and neutral and ground are bonded in both panels.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 10:53 PM
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That's pretty unusual..... a house with two main panels.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 04:17 AM
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Not that unusual with large modern houses. Many have 2 200A, 40 circuit or 100A 32 circuit panels. This house has 2 100A 32 circuit panel. Most of the circuits are very lightly loaded, but there are 35 breaker space taken, 4 of them being double pole. Many of them are outlets that don't even have any load.
Many empty space for more circuits in basement.

I have seen houses with 2 200A, 40 circuit panels as well.
 

Last edited by lambition; 03-24-16 at 04:36 AM.
  #4  
Old 03-24-16, 06:45 AM
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I would nipple the two panels together and move the circuits you want to put on the transfer panel all in the same panel.

The neutrals are interconnected someplace, either in a gutter or in the meter can, so it really doesn't matter.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 05:51 PM
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The neutrals are interconnected someplace, either in a gutter or in the meter can, so it really doesn't matter.
In that case, there is no need to actually move the circuit. Right?
Was planning on extending just hot wire into the panel transfer panel will be connected to.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 06:23 PM
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In that case, there is no need to actually move the circuit. Right?
I would not think so, but I am not there and can't see what you see.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 06:42 PM
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I actually have finished the job before getting an answer. Hope there is no problem with what I did.
I thought these were 100A panels, but they were actually Eaton 200A 32Circuit panels.

I did not have THHN wires laying around and did not want to purchase new role for something so short. So, I just used 12AWG and 14AWG romex and remarked white wire as hot. Used remarked white wires for utility power feed to transfer switch and used black wires for return. Connected ground wires to ground bus of each panel. Probably did not have to, but since they were just there, why not? .
 
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Old 03-25-16, 07:12 AM
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IMO - it is not a huge deal using short pieces of wire striped out of Romex for jumpers, but it is technically a code violation.

However, I do think it is a bad idea to use white wires and remarking them as hots as you may only do that in a cable. (also a code violation) If you are stripping wire out of Romex you can certainly use the proper colors. :NO NO NO:
 
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Old 03-25-16, 08:16 AM
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I agree that using the hot white wires should be replaced with the appropriate colors. It's quite confusing for the next person working on that panel.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 07:59 PM
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I do think it is a bad idea to use white wires and remarking them as hots as you may only do that in a cable.
I did not strip romex all the way. So, I think it can still count as cable. There is about 4" strip in between.

I did clearly mark (at least I tried to) white cables by taping them black. I think it should be obvious what I did if next person touching to panel knows what they are doing.

In this house, I found multiple dangerous violations.

This should used to have power vent water heater (uses PVC pipe for vent right outside the wall). Someone replaced that water heater with regular natural vent water heater, removed PVC vent and replaced with regular galvanized vent pipes right out side of the wall and for the termination, this guy used dryer vent with damper on it.
There weren't enough draft and there were burn marks around draft hood.

This could have killed someone from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Outlet for the power vent water heater should be dedicated, but someone pulled power line from this outlet to power water softener. Which I don't really have problem with, but when this was done, they used 14 AWG wire when this is 20A circuit.

Customer was complaining about basement flooding in big rain storm. Found Sump pump is dead. They didn't even know they had one.

There was sewer ejector pit under the concrete slab with some rough in drain pipes attached. It gets filled with water, but not a thing is attached, and no pump since it is not in use.
Found when they were installing rebars for the concrete slab, someone drove it into the pipe. LOL. Cheapest and easiest solution I could provide was just installing sump pump in it and treat it as 2nd sump pump.
 
  #11  
Old 03-26-16, 08:35 AM
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I did not strip romex all the way. So, I think it can still count as cable. There is about 4" strip in between.
Then that would be OK according to the NEC.
 
  #12  
Old 04-02-16, 10:57 AM
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OP's original issue is still there. So when on generator you get hot from the left panel and neutral from the right panel. It violates the all conductors in same cable/conduit rule. Need to move those two circuits to the left panel. Don't need to move where they enter the right panel as can extend them (both hot and neutral). Would require a warning label on right panel.
 
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