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Old July 27th 05, 12:29 AM
rh455
 
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Maybe I misunderstood the directions I was given. I was told to turn off
ALL breakers, then the main. Connect the cable to the generator, then
the wall socket. Crank the generator and let it warm up then turn on
only the breakers needed but keeping in mind not to overload the
capacity of the generator. I didn't see the risk of shock while the
main is off and the generator is off. I don't profess to be an
electrician by a long shot. I was thinking that a double or triple pole
master cutoff switch before the meter would make it impossible to
backfeed the utility pole. Is this wrong? I was told that the main
breaker may not have sufficient gap to ensure the electricity won't
"jump" the gap in the main breaker, but a safety cutoff switch has
several inches of clearance between the two.

Tom, I like the idea you have about the Square D box, but it does
seem like a lot of work. I see Square D sells a 200 amp breaker box
with the interlock switch already in it. Would this replace the box I
have now? I almost bought one recently, but didn't know enough about
it. My neighbor has a big master cutoff switch box outside next to the
meter. It's to cutoff power before it gets into the house to the main
breaker. That's where I got the idea. I really don't want a transfer
switch/box but I'm still weighing the pros/cons. I just think it's so
much easier and so much more flexiblity.


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  #12   Report Post  
Old July 27th 05, 01:07 AM
John Grabowski
 
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Check out these interlock kits for Cutler-Hammer Panels:
http://www.interlockkit.com/cuthamr0.html



"rh455" wrote in message
...

I recently bought a Coleman Powermate Genny. It's 7000 watts, 8750
surge. While I'd love to backfeed my main panel for convience reasons,
I do realize it's illegal and unsafe. I'm considering a double pole 200
amp cutoff switch before the meter. (The main line is buried, comes up
to the meter and exits behind the meter to the main panel inside the
house). The main panel is a Cutler-Hammer 200 amp box. I don't see
where an interlock switch(at the main breaker) is available for my box.
Would a double pole cutoff switch make it safe to backfeed? I have a
120/240 30amp plug on the genny and already have an existing 50amp
socket on the wall for my compressor. Can I backfeed the 30amp line
thru the 50amp socket?
If backfeeding can't be accomplished, I'd consider a manual transfer
switch if I could find the right switch for my application. Most are up
to 7500 watts but I don't know if that will be enough with the surge
capability of my genny.


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Old July 27th 05, 01:27 AM
rh455
 
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Excellent info John. I looked high and low and couldn't find an
interlock kit on CH's website. It looks like just a lockout plate and
decals in the kit. Isn't there two breakers in an interlock kit? One
for the utility power and one for the genny? If I do the interlock kit,
will I need another 30amp 240 breaker and wire it to another plug box to
connect the generator to?


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Old July 27th 05, 05:20 AM
Larry
 
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"rh455" wrote in message
...

Maybe I misunderstood the directions I was given. I was told to turn off
ALL breakers, then the main. Connect the cable to the generator, then
the wall socket. Crank the generator and let it warm up then turn on
only the breakers needed but keeping in mind not to overload the
capacity of the generator. I didn't see the risk of shock while the
main is off and the generator is off. I don't profess to be an
electrician by a long shot. I was thinking that a double or triple pole
master cutoff switch before the meter would make it impossible to
backfeed the utility pole. Is this wrong? I was told that the main
breaker may not have sufficient gap to ensure the electricity won't
"jump" the gap in the main breaker, but a safety cutoff switch has
several inches of clearance between the two.

I did it that way for 3 power outages, and it worked fine. I actually made
up a checklist and really checked it as done.
Assuming you follow the checklist, the main danger is that the main breaker
could be defective and not really open. Sure, you would probably just stall
the generator as it tries to power your neighborhood, but linemen have been
electrocuted this way, so it is a serious possibility.

And, as Tom points out in his reply to a post just above, you could be doing
it when you are tired or drunk and get it wrong, or somebody else could do
it and screw up. Besides, it is illegal, and supposedly the utility will
check houses with lights on; though I expect that is an urban legend.

I bit the bullet and installed a transfer switch a year ago. I haven't had
an opportunity to really use it (knock on wood...), but I feel better about
it as it is pretty foolproof.


  #15   Report Post  
Old July 27th 05, 02:39 PM
rh455
 
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If I install a manual transfer switch, should I get a 50 amp switch to
be safe since most 50amp switches are rated to 12500 watts? Is it
possible to connect a 30 amp plug (on generator) to a 50 amp switch?
Maybe if it's hardwired to the switch?


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Old July 27th 05, 03:18 PM
C & M
 
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Knowing nothing I'll add my two pence from that standpoint. I consulted
with a licensed and well experienced electrician. He installed a transfer
switch wich was $500 and his labor, another $400 as I recall and it works on
the alloted circuits as proven by a two day outage last year. It seems to
me that when you choose to energize the entire house on a small generator
you could overload it accidentally. And, as I said, since I don't know
anything about electricity I assume that this could cause a catastrophic
accident. No ones life is worth a savings of any amount of money.

"rh455" wrote in message
...

I recently bought a Coleman Powermate Genny. It's 7000 watts, 8750
surge. While I'd love to backfeed my main panel for convience reasons,
I do realize it's illegal and unsafe. I'm considering a double pole 200
amp cutoff switch before the meter. (The main line is buried, comes up
to the meter and exits behind the meter to the main panel inside the
house). The main panel is a Cutler-Hammer 200 amp box. I don't see
where an interlock switch(at the main breaker) is available for my box.
Would a double pole cutoff switch make it safe to backfeed? I have a
120/240 30amp plug on the genny and already have an existing 50amp
socket on the wall for my compressor. Can I backfeed the 30amp line
thru the 50amp socket?
If backfeeding can't be accomplished, I'd consider a manual transfer
switch if I could find the right switch for my application. Most are up
to 7500 watts but I don't know if that will be enough with the surge
capability of my genny.


--
rh455
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Old July 27th 05, 05:47 PM
toller
 
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"C & M" wrote in message
...
Knowing nothing I'll add my two pence from that standpoint. I consulted
with a licensed and well experienced electrician. He installed a transfer
switch wich was $500 and his labor, another $400 as I recall and it works
on
the alloted circuits as proven by a two day outage last year.


There are all kind of switches and difficulties of installation, so the
prices you give might be right for some.
But for normal installation of a 7500w switch, it should be about half of
that. (having just done one...)


  #18   Report Post  
Old July 27th 05, 09:23 PM
rh455
 
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I wouldn't be energizing the entire house, only select circuits to get
by. I'm debating the options of transfer switch or a master cutoff
switch which would cut power off before the meter. I'd know for certain
that the utility power is off before I could backfeed. I'm not committed
to either option at the moment, I'm researching before I decide. My
power comes out of the ground up to about 5' to the meter. The power
exits the meter from behind(into the wall) and into a perpendicular
interior wall about 5' to the breaker box. The breaker box is confined
in a narrow spot.(Not much room for a transfer switch). My neighbor's
house has a meter with a master cutoff box next to it with a lever on
it. The power exits the cutoff switch from behind to his breaker box.
To me, that's a positive way to cutoff power from the pole. I have
nothing between the meter and the breaker box but the main breaker. I'm
not opposed to a transfer switch, it's just that it would be difficult
in my situation.

C & M Wrote:
Knowing nothing I'll add my two pence from that standpoint. I
consulted
with a licensed and well experienced electrician. He installed a
transfer
switch wich was $500 and his labor, another $400 as I recall and it
works on
the alloted circuits as proven by a two day outage last year. It seems
to
me that when you choose to energize the entire house on a small
generator
you could overload it accidentally. And, as I said, since I don't
know
anything about electricity I assume that this could cause a
catastrophic
accident. No ones life is worth a savings of any amount of money.

"

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rh455

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[/color]


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  #19   Report Post  
Old July 27th 05, 10:22 PM
Pop
 
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I can't take this anymore; gotta speak up.

A Transfer Switch, properly installed, automatically
disconnects the wired ckts from the mains, meter,
incoming power, whatever you want to call it, all in
ONE motion, and gives thos ckts to the generator ONLY.

A cutoff switch, though functional enough, is ANOTHER
added action in order to isolate the generator from the
power coming in. First you have to throw the cutoff
switch, then hook up your generator - at LEAST two
steps, easily forgotten/mixed up in an emergency.
With a transfer switch, you can monitor the power
being used with the meter, how much is on which leg,
and even control what can or can't run.
With a cutoff switch, after you get the generator
hooked up and running, then you have to be sure you
turn off several breakers, or go around and make sure
"extra" things aren't running.
With a transfer switch, using it assures you
disconnected from the incoming power by virtue of its
design. A cutoff switch just disconnects the whole
house and that's all.
With a transfer switch, you can still know when
power comes back. Not so with a cutoff switch.

Some codes still require a cutoff switch regardless of
whether you use a transfer switch or not, because they
predate transfer switches for residences.
Yes, I have a transfer switch. Yes, I used it
during the Ice Storm on '98, for 5 days, in fact. No,
I'm not required to have a cutoff switch. My
installation was inspected and passed with flying
colors.
Best to check on local codes.

Just my two cents

Pop


"rh455" wrote in
message ...

I wouldn't be energizing the entire house, only
select circuits to get
by. I'm debating the options of transfer switch or a
master cutoff
switch which would cut power off before the meter.
I'd know for certain
that the utility power is off before I could
backfeed. I'm not committed
to either option at the moment, I'm researching
before I decide. My
power comes out of the ground up to about 5' to the
meter. The power
exits the meter from behind(into the wall) and into a
perpendicular
interior wall about 5' to the breaker box. The
breaker box is confined
in a narrow spot.(Not much room for a transfer
switch). My neighbor's
house has a meter with a master cutoff box next to it
with a lever on
it. The power exits the cutoff switch from behind to
his breaker box.
To me, that's a positive way to cutoff power from the
pole. I have
nothing between the meter and the breaker box but the
main breaker. I'm
not opposed to a transfer switch, it's just that it
would be difficult
in my situation.

C & M Wrote:
Knowing nothing I'll add my two pence from that
standpoint. I
consulted
with a licensed and well experienced electrician.
He installed a
transfer
switch wich was $500 and his labor, another $400 as
I recall and it
works on
the alloted circuits as proven by a two day outage
last year. It seems
to
me that when you choose to energize the entire house
on a small
generator
you could overload it accidentally. And, as I said,
since I don't
know
anything about electricity I assume that this could
cause a
catastrophic
accident. No ones life is worth a savings of any
amount of money.

"

--
rh455

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http://www.homeplot.com/member.php?userid=29
View this thread:
http://www.homeplot.com/showthread.php?t=56393



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rh455
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[/color]


  #20   Report Post  
Old July 28th 05, 01:35 AM
John Grabowski
 
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I think that these interlock kits utilize the existing main breaker and one
new 2 pole circuit breaker for the generator input. The two pole generator
circuit breaker will need to be located just below the main breaker in the
existing electrical panel. This insures that when the panel main is closed
the genny main is open. Shutting off the panel main will allow the genny
main to be turned on which in turn blocks the panel main from being flipped
back on.



"rh455" wrote in message
...

Excellent info John. I looked high and low and couldn't find an
interlock kit on CH's website. It looks like just a lockout plate and
decals in the kit. Isn't there two breakers in an interlock kit? One
for the utility power and one for the genny? If I do the interlock kit,
will I need another 30amp 240 breaker and wire it to another plug box to
connect the generator to?


--
rh455
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rh455's Profile: http://www.homeplot.com/member.php?userid=29
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