Power Equipment Forum banner
21 - 37 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
OK now it seems I'm pissed at two different electric companies. It appears the installer put the black transfer switch wires to my main panel breakers, and then wire nutted the house black wire to the red. So not only do they not have any red on main panel breakers, a second electrician and electrical inspector missed it. Would there be any reason they did it this way?
So I was right? All you should have to do is swap them around. Be sure the main breaker is off before doing so!

Hopefully the transfer switches 3-way switches weren’t damaged (arced/fused contacts). Are the C & F switches harder to flip between the 3 positions compared to the other switches?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I’m guessing both electricians didn’t read the manual and assumed black went to the breakers or maybe they thought it doesn’t matter. I’m quite sure they aren’t reversible and it does matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
You were correct sir. It's just a hard one to swallow 2 sparkies and a inspector missed that. No it doesn't appear either c or f is harder to toggle. I'm about done redoing it per instructions. I should be testing in the next 10 minutes or so
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Also, before swapping the wires, confirm the proper wiring in the manual. Just to make sure proTran didn’t swap the wire colors for your model. I’m guessing this is highly unlikely though…

Please post back when you get it all sorted. We’ll be very interested in the outcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Reliance had me check the wires while I spoke with them via phone a week or so ago, they are in the correct order and color. Well, well.. go figure no more overloads! Seems to be working perfect now, I made sure to cycle sump pump and the gen barely even revved. Moral is don't trust electricians (just kidding) lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I am however a "why" kind of guy and my question still is why did 4 work and 2 didn't? Also the way it was, with the house black to transfer switch red, was that making the transfer switch and outside plug hot all the time? I.e. if a neighbor kid would have lifted that cover and touched a prong, would he have been zapped? I am only asking for when I give the installing contractor a nasty email/phone call
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I'm not an electrician but I put the same Reliance manual transfer switch in about 8 years ago and CAREFULLY followed the very good installation instructions included. It has worked great without any issues. My gen is a bonded neutral and I didn't try to unbond it and all works well, no issues at all. My house predates GFI outlets and the older Briggs gen does not have GFI outlets either, it that makes a difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I'm not an electrician but I put the same Reliance manual transfer switch in about 8 years ago and CAREFULLY followed the very good installation instructions included. It has worked great without any issues. My gen is a bonded neutral and I didn't try to unbond it and all works well, no issues at all. My house predates GFI outlets and the older Briggs gen does not have GFI outlets either, it that makes a difference.
I'm not an electrician either, but I've been trying to understand this issue (bonded vs floating) for some time. From what I have read, it is entirely possible for a bonded neutral generator to work just fine as you say under normal circumstances without tripping breakers or shocking anyone. However, we know many of the rules around electrical installations are designed to prevent shocks/fires in non-normal situations, so we need to hew to the rules just in case. My understanding is that the NEC codes and/or Utility company rules essentially prohibit a generator that is attached to the house panel from being bonded because that means the neutral and ground are bonded at two different places but only one is permitted. I believe the general intent of this rule is to prevent current that should be on the neutral wire from straying over onto a ground wire instead. Ground wires should only have momentary current on them in the event of a fault like a short which will cause a circuit breaker to trip. Can anyone provide examples of really bad things that could happen if the neutral and ground are bonded at two places? (In either normal or non-normal scenarios). I heard that the ground loop that is created by the two bonds can cause GFIs to get confused and turn off. But that doesn't seem like a "really bad thing" like a shock or fire. (It would be really bad if GFIs provide power and appear to work normally but do not prevent shocks).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
My gen is a bonded neutral and I didn't try to unbond it and all works well, no issues at all.
When the ground wires are bonded to the neutral at the main service panel, the current flows readily through the neutral from there to the supply transformer. But when the neutral and ground wires are also connected further back at the generator, they both carry current back to the main panel. This means that you effectively have two neutral wires running in parallel. The ground wire should not carry current (except in a fault), and there is the potential to electrify the metal components connected to it that the ground wire is intended to protect from becoming electrically energized.

As you can see, the code requirement has little to do with GFCI issues...they are just a victim of incorrect wiring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
When the ground wires are bonded to the neutral at the main service panel, the current flows readily through the neutral from there to the supply transformer. But when the neutral and ground wires are also connected further back at the generator, they both carry current back to the main panel. This means that you effectively have two neutral wires running in parallel. The ground wire should not carry current (except in a fault), and there is the potential to electrify the metal components connected to it that the ground wire is intended to protect from becoming electrically energized.
As you can see, the code requirement has little to do with GFCI issues...they are just a victim of incorrect wiring.
could ins=crease the
Thanks GenKnot. Your explanation reminds me that one of the biggest necessary precautions with generator connections to home wiring is cutting off connection to the utility grid. That prevents your generator from powering the rest of the neighborhood during an outage, possibly damaging your own wiring or generator, or electrocuting someone from the power company that is doing repairs during the outage. I believe home generator installations typically block the two "hot" conductors, but not the neutral or ground. I'm understanding your explanation to mean that because the ground and neutral is STILL connected to the grid, stray voltages caused by faults and improper wiring in your house or generator can STILL find their way onto the grid. Allowing a parallel ground/neutral path to your generator could increase the chances of that happening. Am I understanding that what you wrote correctly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Am I understanding that what you wrote correctly?
Actually, I don't see that the grid could be back fed by having the double N-G connections, but it is still wrong on so many levels that it shouldn't be done.

You are right about having the gen wired correctly thru the necessary interlocks so as to not create a situation where the grid is back fed. The "hots", as you said, are always disconnected. The neutral may or may not be disconnected...separately derived or not separately derived systems.
 
21 - 37 of 37 Posts
Top