interlock vs transfer switch

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  #1  
Old 10-08-11, 07:44 PM
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interlock vs transfer switch

I have a small portable generator with a transfer switch. I want to get a bigger standby generator, that will power the whole house. But a transfer switch with all the circuit I need is pretty high. Is a interlock switch safe, and meet codes.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 08:38 PM
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Hi,

I personally dont like the interlocks but thats me.

It amazes me though how many homeowners want to power their whole House or think they can. In most cases you need about a 50 k gen I believe if you have 200 amp service.

The electricians that chime in will let you know if that is correct.

Its emergency power in my opinion and should power neccesary items. Refridge, freezers, heat, well, key lighting, TV and some outlets. Forget the central a/c. Power small window units if need be.

But if you have the money just get a large standby gen and ATS smart switch.

How big a gen do you need? How many watts is everything you want to power.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-09-11, 09:54 AM
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The size of generator will depend on how much load you want to run. (50kw gen is way too large!) IF you truly want your house 100% running on the gen, you need to go through and do a load calculation.

I also agree with lawrosa that a gen should be for emergency power. Figuring the wattage of each item you want to run during a power failure will determine your generator size.

Manual interlock switches are safe and do meet code.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
The size of generator will depend on how much load you want to run. (50kw gen is way too large!) IF you truly want your house 100% running on the gen, you need to go through and do a load calculation.

I also agree with lawrosa that a gen should be for emergency power. Figuring the wattage of each item you want to run during a power failure will determine your generator size.

Manual interlock switches are safe and do meet code.
Ok maybe I gave you the wrong idea. I have a 5000 watt generator now. It is fine, till the freezer or heater kicks in, then it trips. And it isn't a clean generator either. I don't need any where neither 50kw, I was looking at maybe 10 or 15kw, clean power. That will handle everything I have now, or anything I get later. I know it is for emergency power, but some winters, emergency power could be a week or two long.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 03:26 PM
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It is fine, till the freezer or heater kicks in, then it trips.
Yeah, my little gen cant power everthing either but I manage it. The well pump stays off until we need it. But then I need to turn the refridge off etc...

But I know some dont want to manage the power and alternate breakers. Its inconveinient but gives me something to do.

Also this is how you keep cost down. Those big gens are expensive. I look at it this way. My 3 lights, well, refidge, tv, and ceiling fans are far better the the 200 other homes in my development that are in the dark.

The down side, and It felt like a twilight zone episode I tell ya, was that I had a small crowd of neighbors around my house during the last power outage. I felt like it was going to be a " Lets get the guy with the generator", mob. Or could we shower at your house? Could you keep this food for me? Hey neighbor can I run a cord to your gen?... Stuff like that. I had to go in the house and lock the doosr...LOL. All while keeping an eye on the gen through the window.

Clean power? Yeah I read all that stuff on line. I have not had and issue at all. I think gen power is cleaner then the power company and think its all hype. But dont know. I am not an electrician.


Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-09-11, 06:08 PM
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The heater is likely what kicks it off.

A 10-15kw geny will likely do you just fine.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 06:52 PM
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Well Lawrosa, it's bad enough I don't have power and need the gen, but I don't want to add to it, by frying my flat screen, or computer, because I don't have clean power. I have read of people frying there pellet stoves, because they didn't have clean power. It could be some made up hip to get you to spend more money. But I look at it, as insurance, you pay a little now, so you don't have to pay a lot later. Warranty or not, once they see a power spike fried it, you are on your own.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 06:59 PM
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Lawrosa, I know the down side all to well. A few years ago we got hit pretty good with a storm. The next thing I knew I had 5 in-laws on the door step, and they stayed for like 24 hours.
 
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