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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Please forgive the newbie question-

I took the plunge and bought a generator- 9000 starting watts 7250 running. I’m looking to run my 1/2hp 220V well pump and 220V water heater.

my question is on the transfer boxes- I see a lot are listed as “4 single polls or 1 double, 2 single polls”. I need 2 double polls, but without going up to a 10 switch breaker box I can’t seem to find one. Can I just get a connector bar for the 2 single polls that don’t have one on a 4 poll transfer box? I know I need to stay under the rated wattage of the box.

My stepfather is good friends with an electrician and will be seeing him on Saturday. We will hire him to do the wiring, but all he sells is Generac, and I was hoping to buy a slightly less expensive brand and have him do the wiring. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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that gen might be a bit small to run the well pump

what is the exact make and model of the generator?
do you have natural gas or liquid propane at your location??
you are better off with gas for the water heater.

do you have the make and model of the well pump?
we need to look at the specs on the pump.

also the make and model of the transfer box you are looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply.

It’s a Predator 9000 generator (I know Harbor Freight isn’t know for the best, but it has good reviews and I’m hopeful it’ll pull its weight in an emergency)

the water heater is electric, I don’t have natural gas or propane at all.

I‘m looking for transfer boxes, I don’t have a specific one in mind, I’m just looking for a good economical way of doing this without jeopardizing safety.

From what I calculated the generator should do the well pump (I’ll need to look into the water heater further, it’s not easy to get to). I’ll include a picture of the well pump. I don’t know if you can tell this by the box, but it’s a 2 wire pump, if that matters. Thanks for the help!!!!
 

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Could you use an interlock on your main panel as opposed to the 10 circuit breaker box OR put in a subpanel with an interlock for just the water heater and well pump? Interlocks are usually cheaper and allow you the option to run other circuits.
 

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Well, Code M = 10.0-11.19 KVA/HP, so the label's assertion of Max 6.3A @ 230V looks about right...

1/2 HP 230V
-15 amp breaker plus fused disconnect with 8 amp motor fuses (recommended)
-10 amp fuses max. per NEC.

Looks like you'll have plenty of your 40ish starting amps left over for your water heater, depending on what you find out about its ratings.
 

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Yes I think an interlock would be an option. I thought the breaker box was completely full, but I just looked again and there’s 2 slots free at the bottom. My only question about that is- the house was built in ‘81, can this be done without re-wiring the whole house to bring it up to code? Or is there some sort of exception for this?

I’ll have to get back to the water heater and look at the power requirements on it. I’ll post them tomorrow. Thanks for the help!
 

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Yes I think an interlock would be an option. I thought the breaker box was completely full, but I just looked again and there’s 2 slots free at the bottom. My only question about that is- the house was built in ‘81, can this be done without re-wiring the whole house to bring it up to code? Or is there some sort of exception for this?

I’ll have to get back to the water heater and look at the power requirements on it. I’ll post them tomorrow. Thanks for the help!
they also make 2 place breakers to help on the low space count.

it all depends where you want to be on the project..
81 is not that old.
as long as it has copper on the inside of the house and nothing scary.. GRIN!!
you should be ok

it is nice to update the gfci's near sinks and bath tubs.
as well as in the kitchen.

is all of the house 3 wire outlets??
 

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Yes the house is all 3 wire outlets. From what I read on interlocks for cutler hammer (I think that’s who makes the box) it only requires 2 free spaces on the box.

I know they put a lot of devices on each breaker, luckily the well pump and water heater are on separate ones and alone.

Im including a picture of the water heater plate. As I understand it the 4500 watts per element doesn’t mean it’s 9000 total, because the elements are never on at the same time.
 

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snap a couple of pix of the cover door for the breaker panel.
i can look up the interlock part number.

i had done a 125 vac element smaller water heater element and a recirculate pump on a back up for a client back 12 years.
we used the larger 240 unit tank as a reserve holding tank for the hot water produced by the smaller 120 volt hot water heater..
it takes a long time to heat it up all at once.. but if it is only keeping the water hot it is ok!

we used it to keep the pipes from freezing as a whole house recirc system.
let me know if you need links on those parts!

i am in the middle of doing one of those at my location this month.
bi fuel on the water heating system.
electric as the back up for natural gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
snap a couple of pix of the cover door for the breaker panel.
i can look up the interlock part number.

i had done a 125 vac element smaller water heater element and a recirculate pump on a back up for a client back 12 years.
we used the larger 240 unit tank as a reserve holding tank for the hot water produced by the smaller 120 volt hot water heater..
it takes a long time to heat it up all at once.. but if it is only keeping the water hot it is ok!

we used it to keep the pipes from freezing as a whole house recirc system.
let me know if you need links on those parts!

i am in the middle of doing one of those at my location this month.
bi fuel on the water heating system.
electric as the back up for natural gas.
Sorry it took so long to get back. I’m including pictures of the Cutler Hamer box I have. So my idea for the interlock kit, (which requires 3 empty spaces on the top right) is- combining the top 4 breakers on the top 15/20/15/20amp into tandem breakers, freeing up 2 slots. Then, I have one single spot on the bottom that’s free and needs knocked out, so move the rest of the breakers (all dual) down one slot, giving me the 3 slots on the top right that I need.
Does that sound like it’ll work? Let alone make sense lol.
I do have a question- when I move the dual breakers down, each one will use the top spot of the breaker below it, and the bottom spot of the space it was in. I’ve not seen the inside of a box before, so I don’t know if it’s possible to space them like that? Or when you buy a box, do you buy it with the number, type and location of each breaker? Or doesn’t it matter? Thanks for the help!!!

UPDATE- I found an interlock kit that only requires 2 free spaces on the left. so hopefully I can just combine the top 4 breakers into 2 tandem ones, freeing up the 2 spaces I need.
 

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