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Hey all, I am in the process of getting my house setup for a generator. I am going to start out with something in the area of a 10Kw - 12Kw portable. I am thinking I would like to get a service entrance manual transfer switch for 200AMP. So I can have the utility power and the generator both connected to this switch, and then from the switch to my existing electric panel. Obviously no utility going direct into the electric service panel anymore. So the whole house would be powered from the transfer switch and I don't have to worry about back-feeding the utility. I would wire up an inlet box on the outside of the house that feeds into the transfer switch for the generator. My entire house won't get close to the 10Kw use, so I am not worried about that. Some questions if you don't mind...

1) Is my basic plan sound or bad idea?
2) I am having a real hard time finding an SE Manual 200AMP manual Transfer switch. I think I want something like this:


But HD doesn't actually have them, and I can't find anything similar online?

3) I am thinking at some point I may want to get a whole house standby, if that is the case, should I get an ATS for future purposes instead of manual, but just operate it for now in "manual" mode while I have the portable generator? Are there ATS that you can put into "manual" mode? Not sure if I would ever actually get the whole house standby so I am thinking the cost difference of ATS vs. manual may not be worth it? I can always stay with manual even if I get a whole house standby, right?

I really appreciate any insight to this!
 

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You should carefully consider how much power you really need during an outage, and balance that against the fuel consumption/cost and runtime. I do my whole house with a 6000/7500W generator through a GenerLink meter-mounted transfer switch and that's plenty, since I have an oil furnace for heat and primary hot water. The GenerLink only takes 15 minutes to install; check whether your utility is on board with them. A 10KW continuous generator is about the top end for them.
www.generlink.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You should carefully consider how much power you really need during an outage, and balance that against the fuel consumption/cost and runtime. I do my whole house with a 6000/7500W generator through a GenerLink meter-mounted transfer switch and that's plenty, since I have an oil furnace for heat and primary hot water.
www.generlink.com
Like I said... the one thing I am not worried about the power issue... any advice about what I asked?
 

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As I mentioned, the GenerLink is the easiest semi-automatic transfer switch I found (it switches when it sees generator power), and you can take it with you if you move, or sell it if you move up to a whole house standby with an integrated automatic transfer switch. They come as 200/30A or 200/40A units, and I have the larger one with built in surge suppression. You can buy them direct or through Home Depot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As I mentioned, the GenerLink is the easiest semi-automatic transfer switch I found (it switches when it sees generator power), and you can take it with you if you move, or sell it if you move up to a whole house standby with an integrated automatic transfer switch. They come as 200/30A or 200/40A units, and I have the larger one with built in surge suppression. You can buy them direct or through Home Depot.
Any links? I can’t find anything from generlink that is what I’m talking about. Would appreciate links!
 

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If you have room in your panel, I would just go with an interlock and a breaker for your generator. It does the same thing and should be cheaper. Put the generator input box where you want it, run a line to the new breaker, mount the interlock device and you're done. Powers the whole house just the same. This is what I did and it works great!

Example installation video:
 

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You want a 200A TS for 30A? Go with generlink or disconnect switch and save yourself a lot of money for something you'll never use. Down the road if you decide on a whole house unit, the 200A disconnect would be redundant and in the way. Your money.
 

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dan
so are you thinking you want it to switch over when you are not at home?
that is the only reason i would do an ats....
if you are out of town or state for your job... where there is low chance of getting home to switch over..
then yes on an ats unit... and a load management plan as well.

just do an interlock system... lower cost... and they work well..
you can do that on a primary disconnect just off the meter or on your
main breaker panel..

or do the 40 amp version of the generlink with the surge protection.
 

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Hey all, I am in the process of getting my house setup for a generator. I am going to start out with something in the area of a 10Kw - 12Kw portable. I am thinking I would like to get a service entrance manual transfer switch for 200AMP. So I can have the utility power and the generator both connected to this switch, and then from the switch to my existing electric panel. Obviously no utility going direct into the electric service panel anymore. So the whole house would be powered from the transfer switch and I don't have to worry about back-feeding the utility. I would wire up an inlet box on the outside of the house that feeds into the transfer switch for the generator. My entire house won't get close to the 10Kw use, so I am not worried about that. Some questions if you don't mind...

1) Is my basic plan sound or bad idea?
2) I am having a real hard time finding an SE Manual 200AMP manual Transfer switch. I think I want something like this:


But HD doesn't actually have them, and I can't find anything similar online?

3) I am thinking at some point I may want to get a whole house standby, if that is the case, should I get an ATS for future purposes instead of manual, but just operate it for now in "manual" mode while I have the portable generator? Are there ATS that you can put into "manual" mode? Not sure if I would ever actually get the whole house standby so I am thinking the cost difference of ATS vs. manual may not be worth it? I can always stay with manual even if I get a whole house standby, right?

I really appreciate any insight to this!
I am having this done with the EZ connect manual whole house transfer switch. Running into some difficulties with first electrician. He's trying to block me in now and not allow the entire house to be powered. Trying to do an traditional interlock type set-up which completely defeats the purpose of paying $600 for this switch. Contractors like to stick to what they know and talk you into accepting that. An interlock switch will absolutely not work for me. No power to AC, no power to pool pump, just house lights, appliances, etc. I have 27000 starting watts generator. Finally, he's working up what I want done. Have a second electrician with experience doing this coming out tomorrow.

I did order my switch from Home Depot. Generlink makes both switches. If you plan to get a larger generator at some point, the manual transfer switch is the better choice. Entergy the electric company in my area doesn't allow the use of the Generlink so for me it's not even an options. There seem to be quite a few companies that do not allow the Generlink.
 

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yea best to shop around with electrical guys...
find the right fit for you for sure.

in some areas of the country it is super hard to find "the guy"
one who has experience and can be safe as well as help build a system that can be easy added on to for future expansion or gen changes.

for the small gen folks i prefer to set it up as 50 amp interlock.
that will run most small to mid sized gens for back up power.

and multi fuel is the best plan so you have fuel choices in case things get real bad...
 

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New guy came said, easy peezy. Took all of 10 mins to map it and explain. They also do whole house, Generac, Kholer so accustomed to this sort of thing. Said the hardest part of my install was obtaining the switch as most stuff is backordered.

EZ-connect want to tie the switch in behind the meter with the normal wire that would be in a meter box. However, I have "house power box" guy called it. Its a breaker box with meter installed to the buss and no wiring at bottom, disconnects on bus with meter. So with no wires at the load side of the meter,bottom, they have to use a separate box to create wiring from the base of meter. That's what had the other guy baffled. He was looking for wires to connect to switch beneath meter but it's connecting to bus. Look at red and blue wires in diagram. No where to connect like that under my meter. Automotive tire Fixture Gas Rim Machine Gas Engineering Machine Motor vehicle Composite material Slope Rectangle Font Parallel Triangle I'll take pictures. I will be able to power whole house. If I switch to standby generator, I'll just have to change from the manual switch to an automatic as the wiring will be done. Concerned that my 27k generator could be easily overloaded with potential load from house.
 

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New guy came said, easy peezy. Took all of 10 mins to map it and explain. They also do whole house, Generac, Kholer so accustomed to this sort of thing. Said the hardest part of my install was obtaining the switch as most stuff is backordered.

EZ-connect want to tie the switch in behind the meter with the normal wire that would be in a meter box. However, I have "house power box" guy called it. Its a breaker box with meter installed to the buss and no wiring at bottom, disconnects on bus with meter. So with no wires at the load side of the meter,bottom, they have to use a separate box to create wiring from the base of meter. That's what had the other guy baffled. He was looking for wires to connect to switch beneath meter but it's connecting to bus. Look at red and blue wires in diagram. No where to connect like that under my meter. View attachment 10209 View attachment 10210 View attachment 10211 I'll take pictures. I will be able to power whole house. If I switch to standby generator, I'll just have to change from the manual switch to an automatic as the wiring will be done. Concerned that my 27k generator could be easily overloaded with potential load from house.
yup easy to do just add a few buss connections and a bit of wiring!

i would add in a load shed system in the future on the breaker panel gen side.
then you can priority set the devices in the house as automatic.
 

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New guy came said, easy peezy. Took all of 10 mins to map it and explain. They also do whole house, Generac, Kholer so accustomed to this sort of thing. Said the hardest part of my install was obtaining the switch as most stuff is backordered.

EZ-connect want to tie the switch in behind the meter with the normal wire that would be in a meter box. However, I have "house power box" guy called it. Its a breaker box with meter installed to the buss and no wiring at bottom, disconnects on bus with meter. So with no wires at the load side of the meter,bottom, they have to use a separate box to create wiring from the base of meter. That's what had the other guy baffled. He was looking for wires to connect to switch beneath meter but it's connecting to bus. Look at red and blue wires in diagram. No where to connect like that under my meter. View attachment 10209 View attachment 10210 View attachment 10211 I'll take pictures. I will be able to power whole house. If I switch to standby generator, I'll just have to change from the manual switch to an automatic as the wiring will be done. Concerned that my 27k generator could be easily overloaded with potential load from house.
New meter pans are like 50-100 bucks. Is it actually easier to add an additional box just to grab the service cables? A zoomed out shot probably reveals why.
 

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New meter pans are like 50-100 bucks. Is it actually easier to add an additional box just to grab the service cables? A zoomed out shot probably reveals why.
New meter pans are like 50-100 bucks. Is it actually easier to add an additional box just to grab the service cables? A zoomed out shot probably reveals why.
Really?? Tell me which one to buy for this Siemens 200 Amp 6-Space 6-Circuit Outdoor Meter Combo Load Center-MC0606L1200R - The Home Depot
 

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Ok. Got first quote to install switch. Because the meter combo box that I have only has room for 6 disconnects per code and no way to install interlock. Wiring this switch will require either a 200 amp breaker feeding out of the box I have now into a new box with all disconnects moved to new box or a lug especially designed to feed a subpanel like this Siemens - ECLK2225 - Lug Kit 2P 225A Subfeed - Req'S 4 Spaces - Allied Electronics & Automation which is not approved accessory for my panel . There is no way to change it to a meter box only and switch pans without complicating things even more. Line off the 200 breaker will serve as the utility line side in and line below will be generator in of service entrance switch. The middle will be the feed from all 6 disconnects back into house, pool,2 central air, furnace?, and dryer. Yeah, I know I could weld cables to bottom of meter or some code violation, as has been suggested. I need to do this within code. Didn't like the first estimate I have gotten, $2200 for labor and additional panel, 200 amp breaker, conduit, and wiring. That doesn't include manual transfer switch I purchased for $600. So that would push total to $2800.

So I think there are some cheaper ways to do it. If my intention is to ever go with a standby generator, this will lead me closer down that path. If I intend to never do that, there are likely cheaper ways to power house, one central air, and most importantly the pool pump in freeze conditions. Think I have about 2 more weeks to return this switch back to Home Depot! :LOL:

I have driven through my neighborhood looking at Generac installs. All have three boxes, original meter combo box, new box for disconnects and then the automatic transfer switch. The newest house has a meter box only, then breaker panel, then automatic transfer switch.

So far, three electricians, and my uncle a retired master electrician have looked at this. All say same thing. If I want to hook up a whole house service entrance transfer switch to my house, the path forward is the one described. I'm waiting for second estimate. White Gas Fixture Machine Font
 

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Ok. Got first quote to install switch. Because the meter combo box that I have only has room for 6 disconnects per code and no way to install interlock. Wiring this switch will require either a 200 amp breaker feeding out of the box I have now into a new box with all disconnects moved to new box or a lug especially designed to feed a subpanel like this Siemens - ECLK2225 - Lug Kit 2P 225A Subfeed - Req'S 4 Spaces - Allied Electronics & Automation which is not approved accessory for my panel . There is no way to change it to a meter box only and switch pans without complicating things even more. Line off the 200 breaker will serve as the utility line side in and line below will be generator in of service entrance switch. The middle will be the feed from all 6 disconnects back into house, pool,2 central air, furnace?, and dryer. Yeah, I know I could weld cables to bottom of meter or some code violation, as has been suggested. I need to do this within code. Didn't like the first estimate I have gotten, $2200 for labor and additional panel, 200 amp breaker, conduit, and wiring. That doesn't include manual transfer switch I purchased for $600. So that would push total to $2800.

So I think there are some cheaper ways to do it. If my intention is to ever go with a standby generator, this will lead me closer down that path. If I intend to never do that, there are likely cheaper ways to power house, one central air, and most importantly the pool pump in freeze conditions. Think I have about 2 more weeks to return this switch back to Home Depot! :LOL:

I have driven through my neighborhood looking at Generac installs. All have three boxes, original meter combo box, new box for disconnects and then the automatic transfer switch. The newest house has a meter box only, then breaker panel, then automatic transfer switch.

So far, three electricians, and my uncle a retired master electrician have looked at this. All say same thing. If I want to hook up a whole house service entrance transfer switch to my house, the path forward is the one described. I'm waiting for second estimate. View attachment 10252
they make quad breakers for the 1 inch form factor.
that would make more room for an interlock
 

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they make quad breakers for the 1 inch form factor.
that would make more room for an interlock
I don't see a place nor mention of conversion kit for a main breaker. They list the interlock kit however. I've seen the question asked but not clearly answered by Siemens as to whether main breaker, means of disconnect can be added. I don't think there is a place to put a main breaker? I am almost certain. If I have a new panel installed to replace that one with the ability to accept a main breaker and interlock, it would seem that I am playing the same amount of labor but not advancing toward the ability to add automatic transfer switch. I would save the cost of having to use the transfer switch however. Also code violation to have more than 6 disconnects in my panel so quad breakers would cause that to be exceeded.
 

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I don't see a place nor mention of conversion kit for a main breaker. They list the interlock kit however. I've seen the question asked but not clearly answered by Siemens as to whether main breaker, means of disconnect can be added. I don't think there is a place to put a main breaker? I am almost certain. If I have a new panel installed to replace that one with the ability to accept a main breaker and interlock, it would seem that I am playing the same amount of labor but not advancing toward the ability to add automatic transfer switch. I would save the cost of having to use the transfer switch however. Also code violation to have more than 6 disconnects in my panel so quad breakers would cause that to be exceeded.
so how many sub panels do you have?
i guess i would do this style of panel for the outdoor main meter panel and place the inter lock on it for the gen system
these are the standard 1 inch breakers.
click here foe Homeline 200 Amp 20-Space 40-Circuit Outdoor Ring-Type Overhead Service Surface Mount Main Breaker CSED Value Pack
then use the standard home line interlock
Homeline 150 - 225 Amp Load Center Outdoor Generator Interlock Kit

unless you need a larger meter setup... they do them up to 225 amps in the standard breakers.
you would take that standard 200 amp meter panel and swap out the 200 to a 225 main breaker.
from there they go in to the industrial stuff.
 

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so how many sub panels do you have?
i guess i would do this style of panel for the outdoor main meter panel and place the inter lock on it for the gen system
these are the standard 1 inch breakers.
click here foe Homeline 200 Amp 20-Space 40-Circuit Outdoor Ring-Type Overhead Service Surface Mount Main Breaker CSED Value Pack
then use the standard home line interlock
Homeline 150 - 225 Amp Load Center Outdoor Generator Interlock Kit

unless you need a larger meter setup... they do them up to 225 amps in the standard breakers.
you would take that standard 200 amp meter panel and swap out the 200 to a 225 main breaker.
from there they go in to the industrial stuff.
I have two sub panels. One is a 40 circuit 40 spaces panel for house, other is for pool. The panel you suggested would be good but the way I am set-up it would require much more extensive rewiring and all the stuff would not fit.

My community enforces the 2011 NEC electric code. I believe the NEC 2020 code requires a main disconnect at the entrance. 2011 NEC does not. Anyone with a main breaker and interlock kit would not need a manual service rated transfer switch. It's a waste of money. Just as I believe was suggested earlier, put on the interlock kit and a breaker inside main panel assuming you have room and be done.

Hurricane Ida has finally given my wife, a "die-hard" New Orleanian, pause about moving back when we retire. Katrina wasn't enough. So eventually we may move to large standby. If were were selling home , I didn't want to invest in standby and because of some other reasons. I'm going to have the manual service transfer switch installed because re-wiring 6 breakers/disconnects, adding the switch, and relocating those breakers into another panel seems to be a easier approach than say re-wiring and moving 50 breakers to new panel. Also this path leaves me wired for automatic transfer switch. An ATS would just be a swap out and rerouting conduit to match it's location as far as the electrical side.

I'm sure also, that I could have powered only one central air unit and the house sub-panel at a lower cost but I want to be able to select to power anything.
 
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