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-   -   Transfer switch or cutoff switch? (https://www.diybanter.com/home-repair/115279-transfer-switch-cutoff-switch.html)

rh455 July 26th 05 04:34 AM

Transfer switch or cutoff switch?
 

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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SQLit July 26th 05 05:25 AM


"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.


CH and others offer panels that will do the job for you. Home Depot used to
sell them.
I am unaware of a CH made switch to tie the main and your genny feed
breaker together. Not that they do not make one now I just have never seen
one.

I know what double pole switch is, and that will not solve the problem for
you.
A double pole double throw switch MIGHT. Depending on the installation. I
suggest you consider a 3 pole and not tie the neutrals from the utility and
the genny together.

Back feeding in any form is not a good idea. I doubt strongly that your 50
amp outlet is set up for 4 wires. IF it is 4 wire then...................

All you need is a 60 amp switch. 8750 divided by 240 is 36+ amps.

Best bet is call a pro in your area and have them inspect the situation and
give you pointers on what exactly needs to be done per your local codes and
authorities.




Around July 26th 05 10:59 AM

Check this link out
http://www.generlink.com/about_generlink.cfm

"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
------------------------------------------------------------------------
rh455's Profile: http://www.homeplot.com/member.php?userid=29
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toller July 26th 05 02:34 PM

Your double pole switch will not be adequate, though it will work. The
requirement is for a switch that will prevent both line and generator to be
connected at the same time. The DPST switch will allow you to do that, but
it will also allow you to forget to do it.
Someone suggested a DPDT switch. That would work if there is an
intermediate position in which neither is connected, or else you have the
same problem. And, unless it is UL listed for that application it still
will not meet code.

You might want to confirm this by emailing the manufacturer, but I don't see
a problem with your generator on a 7500w transfer switch. They have circuit
breakers in them, like what is in your breaker box. Your breakers don't
trip everytime you turn a motor on, does it? So I don't see why the
transfer switch should trip in a comparable situation. But it is easy
enough to check with the manufacturer.

The generlink someone recommended looks like a pretty neat solution; except
installation might be expensive. Just don't forget that you still have only
7000w, even though every circuit in the house is hooked to it!




HorneTD July 26th 05 02:38 PM

rh455 wrote:

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.



To comply with the US National Electric Code the connection arrangement
for your generator must be immune from human error. That means it must
be impossible to connect the generator to the public power lines even by
accident. Since it is physically possible to connect the generator to
the house with that double pole switch closed it is unlawful to connect
it that way. Additionally double male plugs are known as suicide cords
for a reason. One mistake means that you or a loved one could die. Do
it right or don't do it. The least expensive way to connect a generator
to the entire house would be to install a new SquareD feed through panel
ahead of your existing panel and install the SquareD interlock kit in
it. The cost of the equipment will be Two Hundred Fifty dollars ($250).
You would have to rearrange your existing panel to separate the
neutrals and Equipment Grounding Conductors (EGCs) onto separate buss
bars and isolate the neutral buss from ground. That new panel can be
tied in anywhere between the meter and the existing panel but if you use
an exterior panel you gain a place to supply outdoor equipment, branch
circuits, and feeders. The equipment could include well pumps, air
conditioners, pool equipment, jacuzzis, or fish ponds. The branch
circuits and feeders would be those serving separate buildings or the
loads I just listed. A two hundred ampere transfer switch, on the other
hand, would not give you any of those advantages and would cost $340 for
the indoor version of just the switch itself.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
for general use." Thomas Alva Edison

rh455 July 26th 05 02:47 PM


That's cool. I never knew anything like that existed. I'll call my power
co. to see if it's available here. I'll probably call Generlink to get
more info about the unit. Seems almost too simple. I'm wondering what
the inside of the unit looks like and how it assures not backfeeding
the utility pole.


--
rh455
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Duane Bozarth July 26th 05 03:46 PM

rh455 wrote:

That's cool. I never knew anything like that existed. I'll call my power
co. to see if it's available here. I'll probably call Generlink to get
more info about the unit. Seems almost too simple. I'm wondering what
the inside of the unit looks like and how it assures not backfeeding
the utility pole.


Just sounds like a small semi-auto transfer switch w/ a relay sensing
the generator output to open the line-feed breaker. The site is almost
useless for any real content, but it does say it it is a disconnect
when you close your internal breaker to supply the feed from the genset.

toller July 26th 05 04:30 PM


Additionally double male plugs are known as suicide cords
for a reason. One mistake means that you or a loved one could die.


You can hurt yourself on anything, and suicide cords are easier than many;
but are they really that dangerous?

If you opened your main breaker first, wouldn't it be perfectly safe to plug
into the backfeed outlet first and then into the generator? (yes, I know
that if you forget to open the main breaker it is potentially live...)

And if you foolishly plugged into the generator first it still wouldn't be
all that dangerous. Touching the hot alone would do nothing since the
generator is not grounded (and hopefully the genny has a GFCI anyhow). To
be hurt it would be necessary to touch both hot and neutral. While that
would hurt, unless it was on the chest (a difficult thing to achieve) it
wouldn't be particularly dangerous.

I know 10 people will jump on this and tell me that everyone know they are
really dangerous and I am fool to be questioning it; but HOW are they really
dangerous?



HorneTD July 26th 05 06:20 PM

toller wrote:
Additionally double male plugs are known as suicide cords
for a reason. One mistake means that you or a loved one could die.



You can hurt yourself on anything, and suicide cords are easier than many;
but are they really that dangerous?

If you opened your main breaker first, wouldn't it be perfectly safe to plug
into the backfeed outlet first and then into the generator? (yes, I know
that if you forget to open the main breaker it is potentially live...)

And if you foolishly plugged into the generator first it still wouldn't be
all that dangerous. Touching the hot alone would do nothing since the
generator is not grounded (and hopefully the genny has a GFCI anyhow). To
be hurt it would be necessary to touch both hot and neutral. While that
would hurt, unless it was on the chest (a difficult thing to achieve) it
wouldn't be particularly dangerous.

I know 10 people will jump on this and tell me that everyone know they are
really dangerous and I am fool to be questioning it; but HOW are they really
dangerous?



You are assuming that you are the only one that will try to use it and
that you will never be drunk, over tired, stressed out, or otherwise
impaired when you need it. Can you guarantee that it will never be
hooked up by some helpful neighbor or no it all teenager while you are
at work or out of town?

I have worked in fire and rescue since 1981. In those thirty years I
have attended about five serious electrical injuries. Of the two
electrocutions I can recall one was a cheater cord to bypass the safety
on an appliance during trouble shooting and one was a suicide cord that
was used to re energize wiring rendered dead by an open in the wiring.
As you might have guessed the decedent was a child of five years of age.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is committed to
seeking manslaughter charges against anyone who causes the death of an
outside wireman by back feeding. Feeling Lucky?
--
Tom Horne, Inside Wireman, IBEW#D841733
--
Tom Horne


Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to.
We're just working men and woman most remarkable like you.

Doug Miller July 26th 05 08:25 PM

In article , "toller" wrote:

Additionally double male plugs are known as suicide cords
for a reason. One mistake means that you or a loved one could die.


You can hurt yourself on anything, and suicide cords are easier than many;
but are they really that dangerous?

If you opened your main breaker first, wouldn't it be perfectly safe to plug
into the backfeed outlet first and then into the generator? (yes, I know
that if you forget to open the main breaker it is potentially live...)

And if you foolishly plugged into the generator first it still wouldn't be
all that dangerous. Touching the hot alone would do nothing since the
generator is not grounded


Dumbass! Touching the hot alone would give you a shock, potentially a fatal
one, because the generator *is* grounded -- what do you think it's sitting on,
anyway?

(and hopefully the genny has a GFCI anyhow). To
be hurt it would be necessary to touch both hot and neutral. While that
would hurt, unless it was on the chest (a difficult thing to achieve) it
wouldn't be particularly dangerous.


Wrong AGAIN. Will you PLEASE stop giving electrical advice? You're DANGEROUS.

I know 10 people will jump on this and tell me that everyone know they are
really dangerous and I am fool to be questioning it; but HOW are they really
dangerous?


Because you can get a fatal shock if you touch either of the hot prongs.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)

It's time to throw all their damned tea in the harbor again.


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