Whole House Manual Transfer Switch

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  #1  
Old 09-05-18, 02:27 PM
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Whole House Manual Transfer Switch

Hello all, question for you generator gurus out there...

I live in rural southern Georgia. We've had a spate of power outages recently and the rural areas never get the proper attention when it's time to restore power. I've recently purchased a portable generator (25kW/100amps/1 phase) and I'm looking to connect it to the house via a transfer switch. I'd like to use a whole house manual transfer switch, like the Generac 6335, to power the entire panel and allow me to choose what gets powered at any one time. The problem is I haven't been able to find a product which allows me to use the entire 100amps from the generator. Many panels seem limited to 50amps from the generator and, for those that aren't, I can't seem to find a power inlet port that's rated above 50amps.

What products can I use if I want a single load manual transfer switch which allows 200amp utility power while having the option to switch to 25kW/100amp generator service and allow the full amperage input? The generator uses an Anderson outlet designed for #4 THHN wire to deliver full power and has a 100amp breaker on this outlet.

Thanks for any help you can provide and let me know if more information is needed or if you have any advice/ recommendations for this project.
 

Last edited by tinygiant98; 09-05-18 at 05:07 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-18, 03:44 PM
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https://www.homedepot.com/p/Generac-...6382/203835694

Generac 63350 is 200A manual transfer switch.


What is your generator? I have never seen a portable 25kw generator. Do you means generator mounted on a trailer?

Generators that large will have to be hardwired.
There are quick disconnects available, but not a normal receptacle type normally used for smaller generators. A interface box is required if you do not want to hardwire.
Something like this.

Roam Technologies ? MTC 6001S - Single-Phase In-Line Generator Interface Box


If going that large, it might be worthwhile to just hardwire the generator and get automatic transfer switch and have it start the generator.
It would been better if you purchased a standby generator since they are already setup for automatic transfer switch and also has automatic test.
 
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Old 09-05-18, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for the pointers. To answer your question, we live on a farm and do not want to install permanent standby generators because we have multiple, remote buildings with individual meters to (potentially) power during an outage. The generator is a tractor PTO generator, not a standard gas-powered model, which is why the numbers are big. This allows us to move (drive) the generator between sites as required during an outage and use it as a portable welding/air compressor station for field work at other times.

The transfer switch you linked to can only handle 7.5kW, but I just found the Reliance Controls TTV2012D which is a 125amp (generator)/200amp (service) load center that can handle 31.25kW. I think it will suit our needs. The ROAM interface box is one I haven't seen before and looks like it might be perfect for what we need, so thanks for that pointer! It's the only input box I've seen above 50amps. I'm also considering hard-wiring the generator feed cable to the transfer switch and storing it in a waterproof box hanging on the wall by the meter, but haven't thought through the pros and cons of that yet.

Your help is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 09-05-18, 05:27 PM
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Sorry. I failed to check input rating for the generator side.
Manual transfer switches are basically just 2 2pole breakers installed on the bus with a interlock or link to keep 2 breakers from turning on at the same time.

So, if you have 2 spaces (a 2 pole breaker takes 2 spaces) available, you could install 100A breaker in your existing breaker panel (loadcenter) and install interlock kit.
This 100A breaker will have to seat next to the main breaker, so you may have to rearrange some breakers.

This may be easier and cheaper in most cases.


Another option I see is this.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Reliance...06DR/202216488

It comes with 60A generator input, but you can replace this breaker with 100A Type BR breaker which is around $40. Seems cheaper then what you have found.


Another cheaper solution I can link of is just buy a smallest load center with 200A main breaker, get 100A breaker, interlock kit for your panel, hold down kit for your 100A breaker, and feed through lug for your panel. (Feed through lug is not available for all panels)


Now you made your own transfer switch. Should be cheaper then transfer switches from the generator company.

There are some main lug panels with a option to add 200A main breaker or 200A panel with both main breaker and feed through lugs. You will have to do some research.
Probably easier if you visit a local electrical supply store.

Does your generator have any quick disconnect outputs?
I have never seen a PTO generator up close, but if it does not have any quick disconnect option that can handle 100A, you may want to add some to it.
 

Last edited by lambition; 09-05-18 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 09-05-18, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the information. I'm a huge DIYer, so I'll definitely be looking into the solutions you suggested. I'm not sure what you mean by quick disconnect on the generator. It has an Anderson plug and 100amp breaker for full power transfer. It can be disconnected quickly, but I don't think it's called a quick disconnect. They're are also several standard 120v and 240v outlets as you might see on any generator. Here's a link to the one I'm using.

https://www.wincogen.com/product/25ptoc-3/
 
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Old 09-05-18, 06:58 PM
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Quick disconnect was just a general term I used for any means of quick disconnect.
I never seen Anderson connector being used for AC power. Only have seen them used for DC connections.
If that is allowed, may be you can get the panel mount connector of same type and make your own inlet.
Looking at the generator you own, anderson connector they used appears to be regular in-line connector mounted with brackets. It is possible panel mount type does not exist and you may have to do the same.
 
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Old 09-05-18, 07:21 PM
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Take a look at Cam Lock connectors. It's not a residential kind of connector, but you can easily get 100-400A connectors that are reasonably quick release and weatherproof.

(I'll leave it to other's recommendations about the transfer switching apparatus)
 
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Old 09-05-18, 07:23 PM
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Check to be sure your panel will accept a 100 amp branch circuit breaker (side breaker). Panels have a maximum branch circuit breaker amperage limit because the fins in the back of the panel you snap the breaker onto have some amperage limit.

Alternatively (better) get a transfer switch unit as its own box and you don't need to worry about branch circuit breaker maximums for your panel.

I did not realize that a whole house transfer switch (one large handle, 100 amp double pole double throw switch or breaker) pre-assembled in its own box and approved for that purpose was that hard to find and buy.

You install the transfer switch unit above, or anywhere upstream of, the panel (load center) to be powered in its entirety by the generator.

Such a transfer switch does not preclude the use of a male receptacle aka quick disconnect of appropriate amperage on the side of the house where you attach a generator cord or other matching connector cord..

Not all folks want an automatic starting generator.
 
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Old 09-05-18, 07:41 PM
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I agree.....Camloks are great. I use them for powering high power sound systems. You can buy the plugs and receptacles separately and build your own configuration like I have. You could have multiple setups for your different buildings. The Cam-Lok J-series E1015 is rated for 150A.
 
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Old 09-05-18, 07:58 PM
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The interface box I suggested uses Cam-Lok and most industrial tow generators has Cam-Lok connectors.
It may be cheaper to build your own box, but won't look as cool

Might be a better idea to install Cam-Lok boxes at the house and make Anderson Connector to Cam-Lok cable.
That way you can also use larger industrial generators as well.
 
  #11  
Old 09-05-18, 09:34 PM
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Thanks for all additional info. I'm definitely looking at the cam locks with a custom cable. Finding a manual transfer switch is not hard, but finding one that isn't limited to 50amps or less is a little more difficult, especially when I want it to have standard 200amp line service on the other side. Also wanted one that could handle 200amp generator input for a future upgrade. I thought it'd be easier too. Finding an input port rated at greater than 50 was about impossible until lambition pointed me in the right direction. I think I finally have a handle on the system design and components now, thanks to everyone here. Just have to source the parts and install them now.
 
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Old 09-06-18, 03:41 PM
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https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-200-A...324R/100150463

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Siemens-...-205874580-_-N

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Eaton-200-A...Switch/3012381

Just found these.
This might be the best product if you plan going 200A input.

Apparently we have been searching with wrong term.
Double throw safety switch is what we needed.

Seems pretty expensive though.
 
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Old 09-07-18, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for the extra info! If I ever get this together, I'll update this post with some pictures.
 
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Old 09-10-18, 08:37 AM
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Wow--Dr. Frankenstein would have gone broke equipping his lab with these expensive knife switches!

Why so expensive for something so simple?
 
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Old 09-10-18, 12:08 PM
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I'm all for cheap as long as it meets the following requirements:

Safe and up to code, for obvious reasons.
Easy to hookup, since I'm constantly out of town and my wife and/or kids will have to do it.
Easy to operate, for the same reasons.
Must have an external hookup location, we don't want to have a door open during a storm.
Able to handle 200amp/50kW generator input for when we upgrade the generator.

I have no problem paying a little extra if it makes things easier for the fam while I'm out of town. What's your proposal? Would love to hear alternatives as I'm working on finishing the system design now and will be sourcing components next week.
 
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