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Question Regarding Generator Usage!!!


shadow745's Avatar
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09-30-08, 01:19 PM   #1  
Question Regarding Generator Usage!!!

My wife and I recently bought a Troy-Bilt 8000 portable generator (same as the B&S 30210) and it has 8,000 running watts and a surge capacity of 13,500. We already have a manual transfer switch in the main panel to separate the generator power from the incoming power supply. We have a 30 amp weatherproof box and 10-4 wire to install along with the proper 30 amp male/female plugs to make a cord set, maybe 10 feet in length. My question is once we plug this cord into the 240 volt side of the generator and send all 30 amps into the main panel how is it regulated to either go to a 240 need or a 120 need? I know alot of power comes into the main panel from our power supply company, but once it's in the main panel how is it regulated to either 240 or 120? Is there anything special that needs to be done for this change in amperage other than regulating it manually to each breaker? Thanks.

 
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09-30-08, 05:07 PM   #2  
I think a better place to ask this question would be in the electrical AC / DC forum. I know I have a basic idea for an answer, but I could be completely off base.

 
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09-30-08, 10:57 PM   #3  
The breakers that require 240 are on both legs while the ones requiring 120 are on one leg. It's done inside the box. I am not an expert on generator setup like this, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to hook it up that way....


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10-01-08, 07:42 AM   #4  
Posted By: cheese The breakers that require 240 are on both legs while the ones requiring 120 are on one leg. It's done inside the box. I am not an expert on generator setup like this, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to hook it up that way....
What's wrong with that setup? The power will be fed from the 30 amp 240 outlet on the generator into the main panel through a 30 amp breaker. To use this breaker the main power must be shut off. Once the generator current is sent into the main panel I've been told I can simply regulate what goes to each circuit by keeping some breakers on and some off as needed.

I guess I don't need to waste anybody's time here, as my brother is a certified electrician and can tell me what I need to know. Later!

 
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10-01-08, 08:05 AM   #5  
Shadow...you weren't wasting anyones time. It's just the wrong forum. This is more about fixing small engines.

Actually from just a non-Pro view, I think yer setup ok.

Some of the Pro's don't like the interlocks (what I think you have, not a transfer switch), but if installed, certified, and used correctly, I don't see them as a problem.

Copy and paste your post over to the AC electrical forum if yer still interested in opinions and answers.


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10-01-08, 09:41 AM   #6  
Wrong forum? I know is an electrical issue, but a portable generator is a piece of outdoor power equipment. Anyway, thanks for the reply.

Why would anybody have a problem with the setup Iinterlock) we have anyway? The power is sent to the main panel and then you just distribute it with certain breakers. May not be as convenient as a transfer panel, but works just the same.

The previous owner of this home had it installed and had the cord set about 100 feet away from the main panel and it is setup with a 20 amp plug and 12-4 cord set. He (why, I don't know) had the generator in a small utility room that is attached to the carport. Since I have a generator that cranks out 30 amps we have to re-do the setup. I already have the weatherproof box, plugs and wire to make a cordset... Just waiting for my brother to help me with it. Thanks for all the info.

BTW, this setup may not be the ideal thing to please some people, but in a perfect world I'd have a large whole house standby generator with an auto transfer....... and my setup sure beats running 8-10 drop cords through the yard and into the house. Later!

 
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10-01-08, 12:12 PM   #7  
Posted By: shadow745 Wrong forum? I know is an electrical issue, but a portable generator is a piece of outdoor power equipment.
Your not wasting anyone's time here, and no one here is trying to get your goat, we just don't want to steer you in the wrong direction.

Yes, this is the wrong forum for your question, at least if you want the best answers to your question. If your having trouble getting your generator started, running or making power this is the place.

Take a look at this thread, it may or may not help with your question.

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=360131

Or better yet, do as previously suggested and copy your question to the electrical forum for the best answers to your question.

http://forum.doityourself.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9

 
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10-01-08, 08:39 PM   #8  
Just like I said, I'm not an expert on this type of thing (electrical and wiring). I'm a small engine tech. I don't think setting up a generator like that will pass code in my area, but maybe it's fine for your area and/or purposes. I believe there are interlocks and other safety oriented things required in my area, but I'm not an electrician.


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10-02-08, 04:32 AM   #9  
The setup in our main panel is for safety. In order to utilize the 30 amp generator breaker the main breaker must be clicked off and a panel slides in place to allow the 30 amp breaker to be clicked on, therefore preventing backfeed. Later!

 
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10-02-08, 05:09 AM   #10  
Posted By: shadow745 The setup in our main panel is for safety. In order to utilize the 30 amp generator breaker the main breaker must be clicked off and a panel slides in place to allow the 30 amp breaker to be clicked on, therefore preventing backfeed. Later!
i've seen these setups before. allthough 'safe' as far as not being able to backfeed, they are not desirable from the point of view of generator manufacturers due to the 'potential' for generator overload. this is why standby units have a seperate subpanel/transfer switch. it limits load by limiting curcuits available. users of interlock systems must understand they have no control over when items like water heaters come on, water pumps, heat pumps, etc. also, you should be aware of load balance as far as which leg of your generator output is doing more work than the other. my ten curcuit gentran switch has a meter on both sides to monitor balance. as long as your system is code compliant and you understand the usage it will be fine. just not my preffered method.

 
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