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.
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
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.
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.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.
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
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
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.
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)
Don Bruder - firstname.lastname@example.org - If your "From:" address isn\'t on my whitelist,
or the subject of the message doesn\'t contain the exact text "PopperAndShadow"
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.
I have pulled a meter too no biggie power company thanked me for
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
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 ...
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.
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.......
Did you know theres a safe easier way:) Legal too!!!
I think its cutler hammer that has a special breaker for generator
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
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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