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Generator Transfer Switch, Opinions ?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    OK, I've decided Santa needs to bring me a generator , even if I'm that Santa:mad:

    Many moon ago, my Mom owned this house (she of the coal stoves, and registered Independent thinking ;)), and she was preparing to install a generator. She installed a transfer switch, but never got the generator (my step father would bring home a fire truck, which had a generator on it, and charge us up that way)

    It's looks alittle beat

    transfer2.jpg

    Label

    transfer3.jpg

    Before I call an electrician to check it out, do you think it will live, or am I pipe dreaming????

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  2. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I meant to put this in DYI ... can some one move it, please?
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Let's see the inside.
  4. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    OK, but how do I open it? I assume the metal push thingy upper right front near the white lever handle?
  5. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

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    I am NOT an electrician, but I know that the switch enclosure in your photo was not intended for outdoor use, and from the look of the photo, it has not weathered well.

    NEMA Type 1 Enclosures constructed for indoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts and to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt).

    If you have an licensed electrician that will hook this up for you, I would politely decline their services, even if they seem "affordable". A reputable electrician should refuse to work with this and urge you to acquire the correct equipment for your installation.

    Cheers!
  6. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

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    Also, from outward appearances this is a disconnecting switch and not a transfer switch.

    You will likely need a means of disconnecting your service from the utility that prevents back feeding current from your generator onto the utility grid. This can be deadly to utility workers and emergency responders. A proper transfer switch will usually have a mechanical disconnecting means that opens the main, before closing the back up power circuit.
  7. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    yes that is a disconnect. odds are your dad would disconnect from the grid and feed the house from it. very unsafe. what ever you decide on for a generator hook up, make sure it is a transfer switch and installed to code so no one gets killed.
  8. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Well, as my Mom would say "he strikes again".

    This box connects to the breaker box, which is on the inside wall to the right of this box (I assume it does, with the piping running to the right).

    So, what's "Plan B"?

    I'd like to charge 2 refrigerators & a chest freezer ( not at the same time), and maybe the well pump, is possible. Keep it simple, this is uncharted territory for me.
  9. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    As a licensed electrician in MA i would not hook that up for you. It's the wrong disconnect for outside and it is a disconnect and not a transfer switch. You need something like this http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Reliance-Controls-31406CRK/p1124.html or http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Reliance-Controls-31410CRK/p1136.html Depending on how many circuits you want to run on emergency power and your generator size. A licensed electrician would be charging approx $600-750 to install either of the above setups.

    The other option is an interlock kit http://www.interlockkit.com/, this should be used with a larger sized generator. You would still need the external plug on the side of the house and some wiring. Installed price approx $500-600
  10. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

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    I certainly mean no disrespect, but it sounds to me by your posts that you are not well enough educated to tackle this project alone.

    I would urge you to find a reputable and licensed electrician, and explain what it is that you would like to have done. If you are interested in learning more about the workings of your electrical system, explain this desire to them, and see if they are willing to teach you a little as they go.

    I realize that this likely adds significant cost to your desire of having a backup generator, but there are very serious life safety and property loss implications to improperly installed electrical work.

    Forgive me if I misunderstand. Electrical work is not difficult, but it must be done correctly and safely.

    Cheers!
  11. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I'll defer to any electrician, but that appears to be an "on off on" and not a regular "on off" disconnect, and as such, legal the last time I looked. Center (under the strap) is off and will allow you to open the box. Up (on) connects house to grid. Down (on) connects house to genset. Connecting to one disconnects other. Anyone?

    Ehouse
    MasterMech and LEES WOOD-CO like this.
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    No disrespect taken. And you are right I do not have the knowledge, which is why I posted for help. I was mistakenly lead to believe that it was a transfer switch, so I am glad I know now that it is not.

    Basically, I want to be able to keep the 2 refrigerators, and the chest freezer from going south (recharge every couple of hours is fine), and I'd love to be able to run the well pump, but if I can't run the pump, I'll deal with it until I can get city water in here (it's on the street).

    What are my best & least expensive options to get this done? That's what I need to know. Once I know, and I can do some research, I'm usually good to go. Bought a truck, a wood stove, trailer hitch (goose neck), trailer, and many other purchases this way, I think I can handle it once I have to basics and can make an educated decision.

    I'm not one of those hand wringing, manicured, whinny female types, if you get my drift ;)
  13. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Looking at the tag again, it says 30 amp, so couldn't be hooked to the main. Could work with a sub panel off the main box though. Once again, check with a licensed electrician.
  14. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Yes, sorry.... sub.... main is in the basement, and feeds the sub on the first floor. This, I know with out a doubt.
  15. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Who supplies the power to your house? When we lived in our old house all we needed was what I call a welders plug, when we had this house built we needed a transfer switch (I think it's NYS law, but check with who provides your electricity, they will tell you what you can have.

    Some info. http://www.smps.us/transferswitch.html

    zap
  16. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    National Electrical Code and every power company out there requires a transfer switch
  17. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    Check out my post a couple posts up. I listed a few of the easiest most cost effective ways to get r done.
  18. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Can I do this with out a transfer switch? I know I can recharge the appliances with out a transfer switch, but what about the well pump?

    Submersible, BTW. Electrical is in the basement.
  19. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    The same thing can be had at lowe's for $133.00. It's called a GE 100 amp emergency power generator transfer switch.

    Ehouse
  20. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    you could have a receptacle and plug added to the well, then it would plug in like a lamp. unplug the well and plug into the generator. couple of extension cords for the refrig freezer. simple and cheap.
  21. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Here's what I think's going on here. Mumsey had it right. You're probably coming off a 30 amp breaker, maybe a double 30 from the main panel, cable comes outside to the double pole double throw generator transfer switch because the genset can't be run inside (fire truck, where did he hook into the system?), then back in to the subpanel. Handle is up on the transfer switch so I'll bet everything you want to run off the genset is on that subpanel, even the well pump. Any labels on the panels? Time to summon your electrician to inspect the setup. That box is probably outdoor rated even though rusty, and appears to be a legal manual generator transfer switch. Let him (Her) throw it to the down position and see what drops out. Bet all you need is the properly sized genset.

    Ehouse
  22. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

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    I searched the GE part based on photo in the original post, and it is listed as NEMA 1 rated, which is not suited for outdoor use.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  23. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

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    I can see the "on" stamped @ top & bottom. Ask electrician if it could be moved inside.
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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  25. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    If it's been used outside and is not rated for it, I'd replace it with one so rated or with an inside one. In that case you'll need an outside receptical. How was the firetruck genny connected? Prolly get a new box for under $100. If your sub panel checks out that's probably the best way to go.

    Ehouse
    hilbiliarkiboi likes this.

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