Pricey circuit breaker in Auto Transfer Switch

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  #1  
Old 12-10-17, 01:30 PM
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Pricey circuit breaker in Auto Transfer Switch

Have a 17kw emergency generator whose 240 vac output is protected by a 65 A breaker before making connection in the Auto Transfer Switch (ATS) via a 200A breaker. This 200A breaker (Generac type 225AK) won’t reset (push to trip button is stuck in the in position) and a replacement is pricey. I have 2 questions:
1-Anyone know how to unstick the trip button on the Generac breaker?
2-Can I replace the 200A breaker with a 100A breaker in the ATS since the 65A breaker in the generator should open well before the 200A or a 100A breaker? It is about half the price to replace.
 
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Old 12-10-17, 03:07 PM
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The circuit breaker in a "main rated" transfer switch needs to be the size of the service. Basically 100A or 200A. There is no circuit breaker in the transfer switch that protects the generator. That is done solely at the generator.
 
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Old 12-10-17, 05:01 PM
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Distribution panel is 200A. The ATS has 2 200A breakers, one for the incoming utility power and the other for the incoming generator power. When the generator is the source of power, the connecting cable has a 65A breaker at one end (generator) and a 200A at the other end of the cable (ATS). What is this 200A breaker protecting? If the distribution panel attempts to draws more than 65A, the generator breaker should open. If the distribution panel attempts to draw more than 200A, both the 65A and the 200A should open.
Since the 65A breaker has not tripped while the generator has been supplying power to the whole house at least 12 times over the past seven years, i see a 100A breaker as safer than a 200A breaker. Is this a code issue? Just like a chain being only as strong as the weakest link, if the distribution panel gets loaded above 65A, a new and larger emergency generator will be needed or live with resetting the 65A breaker.
 
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Old 12-10-17, 07:23 PM
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It would seem logical that you could replace the 200A breaker with a 100A breaker for the generator.
I'm trying to recall if I ever noticed two large breakers in a Generac ATS. I don't understand the need for a second breaker for the generator. I mostly install Kohlers.
 
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Old 12-11-17, 05:19 AM
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Thanks for the response PJmax. The ATS (model KGATD0401200) carries the name brand Carrier but uses Generac 200A breakers internally. Contacting the service number provided by Carrier, I reach the Generac’s service department so my guess is the ATS is manufactured by Generac even though they won’t state this. My emergency generator is also a Carrier brand, but the owner’s manual states the warranty is provided by Generac. There must be or had been some branding agreements between Carrier and Generac. Maybe some of the old timer tradesmen in the audience could shed some light on the mystery and share it with us.
 
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Old 12-11-17, 06:30 AM
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HI, can you post a closeup pic of the front of that breaker? Also making changes to ATS would be a code violation.
Geo
 
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Old 12-12-17, 12:15 PM
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Sorry, but I don't have a digital camera, A picture of the breaker is shown in the website listed below.
http://www.ebay.com/b/Generac-Other-...822/bn_7624175

Trying to grasp the boundary of code violation. If the identification label on my ATS, a piece of paper that is glued on, falls off or becomes unintelligible, do I have to buy a new ATS because I or a repairman don't know the manufacturer, the manufacturer's model number or electrical rating. If I replaced a 5A fuse with a 4A fuse in the ATS (same size and voltage rating) and the device continues to function, is this a code violation? How do I know what NEC regulations were met in the manufacturing of the ATS? Appreciate any opinions you may have. Being retired, my mind wanders (or wonders) a lot.
 
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Old 12-12-17, 06:27 PM
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The problem is a little understood matter called Listing. The ATS is submitted to a NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and then torture tested to its breaking point. The entire ATS is then "Listed" as approved by the NRTL. Substituting any part of the unit will then void that listing.

Quite honestly, any circuit breaker that has the same physical size and mounting as well as similar or better electrical specifications will work BUT, if it is not the exact same model that was used when it was granted the listing by the NRTL, then the listing is void. This MAY not be all that important to you but some (many) jurisdictions require NRTL listing of anything installed within their jurisdiction. If anything went wrong with the ATS and it caused property damage you might have a fight on your hands with your insurance company to cover the loss.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 05:37 AM
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Furd, that was stated very well,beelzebob it would be your choice but with power shut off to that switch you maybe able to remove the screws from the front cover of that breaker and free up the button.
Is that breaker in the Tripped position now? Try operating the breaker handle a few times to see if that may free it up.
Geo
 
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Old 12-13-17, 06:21 AM
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Furd,
Thank you for the information, very interesting. Carrier, the seller of my generator and ATS offered an optional battery charger for the battery used to start the engine. In the installation guidelines it has the installer install in a 5A fuse and fuse holder in the ATS and wire it to provide 120 vac to the battery charger located in the generator. If the ATS was UL listed, it is no longer since the 5A fuse and fuse holder are add-ons ( installed after laboratory testing) and the new wiring may or may not meet the NEC. Is this a correct assessment?
Geochurchi,
Good advice. I removed the plastic cover and the "push to trip" button popped out. Now able to reclose the breaker so no need to replace a pricey breaker.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 10:24 AM
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The battery charger supply was suggested by the mfg.in the installation manual,that should be followed.
Geo
 
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Old 12-13-17, 11:33 AM
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My understanding is that UL or CSA testing is done on the devices when used per manufacturer instructions, which in this case would include the field-installed battery charger.
 
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