Steps for installing a transfer switch

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I would like to install a real transfer switch like this one
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberB163
Our house is wired for 200 amps, so this is the right size for us.
I plan on getting a proper permit, but I want to understand the work involved.
Here's a picture of our power meter:
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/onan/Diesel/z02_Installed/dscf0209.jpg
I understand that the proper electrical placement of the TS is to place it between the power meter and house main breaker. It is the physical layout that has me confused.
The meter has a prepunched hole to the right, below the utility seal line. Not sure if it is helpful. After the meter, the electric cable goes right inside the house, to the panel that is right behind the meter (maybe 1 foot long).
The question is, how to install a transfer switch here. I aam obviously unable to open the meter to look, since it is sealed.
What is the normal location of the transfer switch? How is it usually connected to the meter box?
I would think that if, hypothetically, the meter box had a prepunched knockout hole a little above the meter, then I would tap there quite easily, but it does not seem to be the case.
I want to do a 100% perfect job here, that would be inspected and all, so I want to do it right. Any good assistance would be appreciated.
i
P.S. I would like to avoid suggestions like "just get a little 6 circuit emergen transfer switch", it is not the right one for our situation.
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Ignoramus16089 wrote:

The first thing you should do is to determine if you want to put everything on the transfer switch or only the emergency equipment, and leave off the unnecessary items. If you switch everything you will have to have the electric company disconnect the power while you put the switch in the leads from the meter.
If you only want the emergency equipment to run ( furnace, lighting, refrigerator, freezer) then you put in a branch ckt and run all emergency the stuff off the branch ckt box. The switch is tied between the branch and the main box. This can be done without having the electric company turn off the power.
I would recommend you consult a qualified electrician.
John
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Yes, that's what I want. Everything on the switch.

I do not want that. I want the entire house on the generator/transfer switch, I would simply not use certain loads that are too heavy for the generator (like central A/C).
I have a decent generator that can power my entire house if I turn off A/C, pool heater, and use the electric kitchen range very sparingly.
Why should I shortchange myself.
Like I said in my original post, I am not interested in a transfer switch for a few circuits.
i

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Ignoramus16089 wrote:

(i.e. just a big, properly enclosed knife switch setup). Manual control (if you are at home) is pretty easy, and I wonder what kind of erroneous responses you can get out of an automatic setup.
Our generator is (I think) 7.5kW, it works very nicely to run our house on the odd occasion we need it. It takes over the panel (via the big switch) and feeds the whole house, we just take care not to overload it. We decided we needed it after hearing about the ice storm (10 years ago?) here in Maine where many people were without power for over a week.
Steve
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yep, that's exactly what I want, and that's what the switch that I mentioned in my original post, does.

I agree 100%. I would not install an automatic transfer switch in my worst nightmare.

Exactly my plan. Plus I am planning on sharing this with my neighbors, so that they can run some fridges and furnaces.
i
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Y'know, I recall a post someplace (I'll be dipped if I can recall where) about doing the "100% manual, total-switchover" thing. Let's see if memory serves me -
Wire generator to appropriate-sized box containing proper amperage power socket.
Wire meter side to an identical-but-separate box/socket nearby.
Wire house side to appropriate-sized box with a pigtail ending in a single plug that matches the two sockets, placed so that the plug can easily be plugged into either socket.
Grid operation: The house pigtail is plugged into the meter socket.
Generator operation: The house pigtail is pulled out of the meter socket and plugged into the generator socket.
Seems to me that would constitute absolutely failsafe generator isolation/switching for "Real Cheap", and should still be kosher to inspectors, assuming proper wire sizes/sockets/plug/etc. go into the work.
I also remember reading about a neighborhood "emergency power co-op" that had many of the houses set up in a simliar way, with the special purpose of keeping things cold/warm. A special FFF - "Fridge, Freezer & Furnace" circuit ran out to a setup as described. Normal operation had that circuit plugged into a dedicated box off the breaker panel. During an extended outage, a shared generator with a custom pigtail to a socket matching the house plugs made the rounds - A couple hours at each place kept everything frozen proper and/or warmed up the house.

EEP!!!!
RUN AWAY!
You're setting yourself up for a complete disaster if you try that action! You *DON'T* want to be dinking around running extension cords to neighbors when you're running off a genny - The losses in the cords will eat you (and your generator - and if things go completely wrong, one or more houses...) alive unless you're in a rowhouse/apartment building type situation. (and even then, you're dicey)
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Ignoramus16089 wrote:

Steve
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Where I live I dont need to call them to shut off my power I just pull the metor out just outside my back door. I called them to let them know that there was no seal on it and that the glass was cracked he said "so what" None of the metors in this town have seal wierd eh! Made replacing my main panel alot easier.
john wrote:

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I have pulled a meter too no biggie power company thanked me for informing them...
Had fuse break off in its socket, pulled meter used needlenose to remove broken fuse replaced meter. 15 minutes tops.
Its not scary but its a good idea to turn main breaker off first so meter doesnt spark when removed and replaced...
again the replacement generator breaker elminates the need for a transfer switch, is NEC code compliant and if it werent for my computer troubles a couple days ago I would have a link
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no one that you know wrote:

company when I first broke the seal to work on my breaker box , they never came out to replace it . My panel was replaced recently too - after I looked inside and saw the AC breaker arcing on the tab . Got a buncha poles not being used - yet . Also got the capacity to wire my shed/shop properly now , with it's own box . Which is where I'll feed the main panel from next time I need to use the generator . Betcha if my power usage goes down significantly they'll be out with a seal . And a warrant . Only ones that get to steal from the utility company here are the people in charge ...
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Ignoramus16089 wrote:

<snip>
If you don't have ready access to the cable which leads from the meter to the main breaker, or if the cable isn't long enough to cut and wire into the transfer switch, you are going to need to get inside the meter to fit a new cable. Which means getting the electricity board's permission.
I would be inclined to get a professional electrician to do this. You also need to make sure that the transfer switch is suitable for mounting outside, if you intend to do so.
Best wishes,
Chris
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On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 21:38:08 +0000, Christopher Tidy

I expect that I will need to get inside the meter, and will get proper permission.

I believe that that one is, but I will call HF or Cutler-Hammer to make sure.
i
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the transfer switch is a indoor one.
its better to have it inside to minimize kids messing around
install new cable from meter to transfer switch, then new cable to existing main panel.
How large a generator are you planning? if your from houston with that 13KW unit you might as well get a automatic transfer switch.......
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I thought that I could place a padlock on it.

I will double check how this T.S. is supposed to be used, I will call C-H tomorrow. (indoor vs outdoor rating and padlock/lockout availability)

I have a 7 kW Onan DJE generator,
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/onan/Diesel /
i
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Did you know theres a safe easier way:) Legal too!!!
I think its cutler hammer that has a special breaker for generator connection.
either the main breaker can be on OR the generator but not both.
completely code legal you install this dual pole 240 volt breaker connect your generator and your good to go.
Someone posted a link recently WAY cheaper than a transfer switch, no mucking with meter or even permits if your so inclined
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Anyone who would replace a Main Breaker with the Meter (Power still on) still inplace, is either CRAZY, or STUPID..... which one are you???
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You wrote:

Intellitroll (tm):
This should be good for a brief discussion of electrical safety.
Lucy, 'splain to me how shutting off the breaker (no current through the breaker or the breaker contacts, and snapping the breaker of the contacts ain't safe? With no current through the breaker, there's no current through the contacts to make an arc when the breaker is removed.
And what about those CRAZY and STUPID birds that sit on those uninsulated live wires that feed juice to the pole pigs?
Of course, after the breaker is out, don't be licking your finger and touching the the box's breaker contacts. And the new breaker must be put back immediately. A transfer switch breaker would have to have additional contacts, but in the main power "off" position the genny contacts and the house side contacts are isolated from the line.
Have fun with this one. I'm going to sit back and observe now.
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the main breaker most of the time needs wired in...not snaped in... Better shut off the power...
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snipped-for-privacy@lockhavenonline.com wrote:

When that is the case, I agree. Shut the main off, pull the meter.
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My panel is by ITE Gould. (which I think is compatible with homeline).
There is a company interlockkit.com, but I do not like their product, personally.
i

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