Full Rated Manual Transfer Switch vs Multicircuit - Power Equipment Forum : Power Equipment Forums
User Tag List

 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Full Rated Manual Transfer Switch vs Multicircuit

Folks -
Thanks for all your help on my other thread (Contradictions & Confusion). I have a new question now. After meeting with an Electrician, he has convinced me to just do this right and put in a proper transfer switch. I'm ok with it I guess. However I'm still not on the same page with him on one item. He is suggesting a multicircuit transfer switch off my main panel...which I guess is pretty traditional. Since my house is broken up in to so many small circuits, trying to decide which ones to route to the switch have been a little painful. I suggested maybe going with a fully rated manual transfer switch at the service entry instead of off my main panel - which would allow me individual control of all the circuits at the main panel. Since my generator can't handle all of them at once, I'd need to shut most of them off before engaging the manual switch anyway, so why not just give me full access to all of them? His initial feeling was that this wouldn't work because I have a 110v generator, and the service entry is is 240v - and he wouldn't want my 220v appliances hit with 110v. Technically they wouldn't, because I would flip their breakers off before engaging the switch/generator.

Is there any reason I can't do a fully rated service entry switch? Any thoughts on why he might be pushing a multicircuit switch or why it might be preferable? Technically, the multicircuit swich has a 240v plug too...although no 220v appliances would be connected to the switch.

Just wondering how hard to push on this. A fully rated service entry switch seems like a better idea to me for future flexibility - but I also see very little chatter about them on the web.

Thanks for any thoughts/opinions...
LP
LeafPeeper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 10:15 AM
Member
 
wingless's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Florida
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Yes, all of those options may be safely implemented.

The existing generator creates AC from an inverter and is't a terrific long-term solution.

The Siemens main load center panel I installed, as-linked in this reply, permits a manual transfer switch of whatever size is required.

Note that if implementing a whole house transfer switch then all the wiring must be appropriately-sized and properly-installed. This means thick wiring routed in conduit, plus all the other requirements.

What is the main breaker size and which load center panel is currently installed?

For cost and effort, lowest is NEMA 1-15 in-line furnace plug receptacle; EZ generator switch; switched sub panel w/ circuits moved; new load center w/ integrated transfer switch and whole house transfer switch. It is possible the cost / effort on the later items might shift in rank depending on the specific details.
wingless is online now  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
The main breaker is in the garage at the service entry and is rated for 150Amps - and it's the only thing in the panel. From there, the thick wires run to the main panel in my basement. It just seemed logical to me to put a fully rated switch right there at the main breaker in the garage. As to the details of each panel, I don't know. I have a couple of pics if that would help.

Why would a manual, fully rated switch be the highest cost option? I can see the hardware being more expensive because it needs to be able to handle the whole house load, but it seems like it would be MUCH lower in labor cost to install. Obviously I could be wrong.

I've attached pics of the main breaker in the garage, and the main panel in the basement. The big gray wire coming out of the bottom of the main breaker is what runs to my basement main panel. Not sure if that will tell you anything.

Thanks,
LP
Attached Images
File Type: jpg thumbnail_garage main.jpg (210.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg thumbnail_main panel.jpg (86.7 KB, 3 views)
LeafPeeper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 10:57 AM
Member
 
wingless's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Florida
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Yes, w/ that existing 150 service disconnect, it should be possible / easy to remove and replace it w/ a 150A load center panel, like this one and use the previously linked transfer switch parts to get a good solution.




wingless is online now  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 02:18 PM
Member
 
wingless's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Florida
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
The Siemens main load center panel I installed, as-linked in this reply, permits a manual transfer switch of whatever size is required.
As-shown in that linked reply, the manual interlock / transfer switch will permit feeding 150A street power to the load center, or feeding 30A generator power to the load center, using this mechanical interlock, after swapping the existing service disconnect for this load center.

The 30A power inlet box would be placed near where the portable generator is placed.






wingless is online now  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 04:36 PM
Senior Member
 
tabora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Posts: 381
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
@LeafPeeper, when faced with these decisions, I opted for a meter-mounted GenerLink Transfer switch. It took me 10 minutes to install it, and now I have the ability to manage any and all loads in the main panels via circuit breaker selection. This couldn't be simpler! I'd never do it any other way again. It does require a 240V generator, though. This single widget replaced the use of the plug-junctions discussed in your other thread. They can be purchased at Home Depot and other online sources for a little over $600. More info here: GenerLink, Backup Generator | Global Power Products


Last edited by tabora; 01-27-2020 at 04:40 PM.
tabora is online now  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 05:28 PM
Senior Member
 
tabora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Posts: 381
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
To continue, you really can't do a "whole panel" transfer switch with your 120V generator. You MUST use a partial sub-panel switch running off your main panel and that's where the pain of pre-choosing your covered circuits comes in. This Reliance unit Reliance Controls ProTran 306A1 Indoor 120V Manual Transfer Switch (30A) would certainly work:

Last edited by tabora; 01-27-2020 at 05:33 PM.
tabora is online now  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Thanks @wingless and @tabora - but don't your answers contradict each other? I feel like such a newb. It sounded like Wingless was saying that I could indeed put a 150A subpanel switch in place at my service entry disconnect that would switch to a separate 30A line that was also feeding my load center/main panel. Tabora's response seems to indicate that's not possible. What am I missing?

Tabora - I actually did look into Generlink early on because it sounded perfect - but there are two problems. The first is that my meter is not on my house - it's on a pole 2 houses down before my power lines go underground. The second was the 240v requirement...so I dismissed it as an option. Maybe on my next house.

Assuming a fully rated service entry switch is out of the question, then I had planned to by the Reliance 310CRK kit -which is just a 10 circuit version of the one Tabora linked above. In the end it would work out fine, but the cost to install is quite high....I was hoping to get more flexibility and cheaper labor costs by going with the 'whole house' switch.

Thanks again,
LP
LeafPeeper is offline  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 06:02 PM
Senior Member
 
tabora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Posts: 381
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeafPeeper View Post
Thanks @wingless and @tabora - but don't your answers contradict each other? I feel like such a newb. It sounded like Wingless was saying that I could indeed put a 150A subpanel switch in place at my service entry disconnect that would switch to a separate 30A line that was also feeding my load center/main panel. Tabora's response seems to indicate that's not possible. What am I missing?
Perhaps @wingless did not realize that you only have a small 120V generator?
I've personally installed one of the Reliance 120V units shown with a 2800W generator, and the installation time was about an hour, maybe slightly more?

Also, realize that you can also install a personally owned meter (they're really cheap) on the house side of the disconnect switch you showed along with the GenerLink; if only you had a 240V generator...

Last edited by tabora; 01-27-2020 at 06:09 PM.
tabora is online now  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabora View Post
Perhaps @wingless did not realize that you only have a small 120V generator?
Ah...maybe not. Can you help me understand why it would be bad to feed 110v into a 240v input if I kill the breakers on the 220v devices? I'm assuming the generator would only feed one leg/phase rather than both legs/phases (I'm assuming there are two for 240v). Trying to figure out why it wouldn't work. The ProTran switch has a 240 receptacle too....so when it's wired in, they must be doing something so that a 110v generator would work.

This is at the heart of my confusion - so this is good discussion. Thank you guys SO much.

EDIT: For the 10 circuit switch, the electrician is estimating 4 hours....so maybe he's just trying to prepare me. The cost is way over what I wanted to spend for insurance/peace of mind that I'll probably never use....but if I'm going to do it, I want to do it once, and right.

LP

Last edited by LeafPeeper; 01-27-2020 at 06:11 PM.
LeafPeeper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Power Equipment Forum : Power Equipment Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome