Steps for installing a transfer switch

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Ignoramus16089 wrote:

Square D makes generator back feed interlock kits for several of their panels. I installed on in the new QO panel I recently installed.
http://ecatalog.squared.com/techlib/docdetail.cfm?oid 00892680126e4f
Pete C.
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Pete, your link did not work for me, sorry. If Homeline is a brand of Square D, I will just call them on the phone.
i
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Ignoramus4235 wrote:

You are correct, that link does appear to be hosed. This one works:
http://www.squared.com/us/applications/residential.nsf/LookupFiles/RetaiLinkDec2002small.pdf /$file/RetaiLinkDec2002small.pdf
I don't believe these kits are applicable to panel models other than QO and Homeline, even if the Homeline breakers follow the standardized 1" breaker format.
Pete C.
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Ignoramus16089 wrote:

I'm afraid you are out of luck on a transfer interlock kit as ITE/Gould is no longer manufactured.
If you install a Square D feed through lug panel ahead of your existing panel and add a generator interlock kit to it you will still come out cheaper than the full sized transfer switch for the materials the labor will be similar.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 20:32:43 GMT, "Tom Horne, Electrician"

Gee, don't tell the folks at Siemens Energy & Automation about that - they bought ITE and Crouse Hinds and Murray (and a bunch of others...) and a lot of the old stuff is still in production and available by special order. That, or they have published an approved substitution cross list for newer breaker lines.
They're still making new ITE Pushmatic breakers, and I know there's a 'rocker' style two-breaker interlock for them - I have one. Don't have any IDEA where I'll ever use it, but I have one.

If you must use SquareD stuff, at least stick with the Homeline line which is ALMOST "Industrial Interchange" size. (The bus stabs are slightly different, but you can make others fit in a pinch.)
If SquareD ever goes belly up, the proprietary bus QO stuff will be a problem to get replacements for. Reference Zinsco and Federal Pacific - You can get the 'Made Somewhere in Asia' cheap replacements from UBI, but IMNSHO they're downright dangerous.
--<< Bruce >>--
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But at least they work.
My luck with Homelines is abysmal. Since 1991, 3 of 4 homeline breakers in the pony panel to the Jennair cooktop have died.
They trip, and cannot be reset. [Even after removal from the panel ;-)]
I've never experienced _any_ other breaker failures (and I've worked on a fair number of systems of varying manufacturers).
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

Bruce I never intended to imply that parts were not available but that does not make my statement that main breaker interlock kits are not available. Since the panels themselves are no longer manufactured there is no likelihood of such an interlock kit becoming available.
I perceive you are a fan of so called universal breakers. Are you aware that the use of any breaker that is not laboratory listed or recognized for the panel in which it is installed is a violation of the US NEC. The use of so called interchangeable breakers in another manufactures panel is usually done in violation of the local electrical code. This is why professional electricians often carry the more expensive Thomas & Bettes breakers to use in universal panels because Thomas & Bettes is one of the few manufacturers to have their breakers tested for use in other manufacturers panels.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 17:12:42 GMT, "Tom Horne, Electrician"

I don't ever plan to deliberately use the "wrong" breaker, I carry a decent selection of both Murray/Siemens 'MP'-'QP' AND the Cutler Hammer/Challenger 'CH' on the truck, even though they overlap quite a bit - but they are the two dominant players in the market and you need to use the proper breaker for the panel. And I carry a decent selection of GE THQL/THQP and a smattering of Homeline.
But 25 years from now when you can't get the "right" breaker for the panel, if they're all using a standard form factor someone else's will fit in a pinch. If it's a proprietary form factor, all bets are off.
T&B's best 'substitution' product is the Zinsco Q and R38/RC38 clones, those I keep around. And they are type accepted, unlike the Taiwan UBI knockoffs.
NEC is important, but the customers also need their lights, refrigerator and furnace on for the night too. You can track down the "right" breaker on Monday, or get all the parts together for a proper Panel Change to a modern panel without it being a total panic rush because the customer is in the dark.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Hey Iggy, what most folks do when installing a "Whole House" transfer switch, is to:
1. Have the electrician make arrangments for with the Power Authority to have a reconnect schedualed after figuing about how long the job will take, then break the seal and remove the Meter, replace the wires from the MeterBase to the Main Breaker with wires long enough to reach thru the short connecting conduit between the Main Panel and the Transfer Switch and connect to the Grid side of the Transfer Switch. 2. Add the wires from the common side of the Transfer Switch back to the Main Breaker in the panel. 3. Have the Power Authority Guy inspect the work, replace and reseal the meter. 4. Finish wiring in the Genset on the Genset side of the Transfer Switch, and your DONE, except writing the the cheque to the electrician, for his services.
Bruce in alaska
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Bruce, thanks. Couple questions.
Would you say that the better place for T.S. is inside, as someone else suggested, rather than outside?
Can i use [more flexible and easier to work with] properly sized welding wire?
i
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I would install the Transfer Switch as close to the Main Panel as possible. Typically, adjacent with a 1 1/2" Dia. nipple in between, as you can run the new wires from the MeterBase into the Main Panel, and thru the nipple to the Transfer Switch, and then from the Transfer Switch back to the Main Breaker. This keeps the runs short, and makes for centrally located Home Power Managment, as you may want to drop some of the loads offline in the Main Panel when running OffGrid on the Genset.
You can use any UL 600V Insulated wire, of the appropriate size for the current, that suits you. It is the Insulation Rating that the Inspector will be looking at. Typically Welding Cable isn't rated at 600V, so you may have to find a suitable wire that has the UL Insulation Rating approprite to the service.
Bruce in alaska who likes Welding Cable for Battery Jumpers and Inverter Dc Feedlines.......
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OK, I like this idea a lot. I will do it exactly as you say, all my doubts have been resolved.

OK, I will definitely look for suitable 600v rated wire -- the flexible wire is so much easier to work with, it is worth the extra $$ -- not that much for just a dozen feet or so.
i
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What is the proper detailing for this nipple, to make it raintight?
Thanks, Wayne
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all unnecessary with that breaker kit..............
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Whats in that box with the wheels? Looks interesting

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generator. :)
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/onan/Diesel /
i

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On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 19:38:19 GMT, Ignoramus16089

It would be best there, but you might want a safety switch before that... You're going to make me go get my copy of NEC aren't you? The new one has a whole section on transfer switches and generator connections - and I didn't memorize the darned thing.
But with your luck, your local codes are locally written and totally different. They really aren't standardized that well.
Make it easy on yourself - Call your local city/county building inspector, make an appointment for a pow-wow and talk it over, ask him/her what he wants to see. You can over-engineer it and make it "perfect" - but why? KISS.

You could stick it to one side of the meter socket, and put a big nipple or fitting between the boxes - but it's not the preferred method. You would have to send the 'Utility In' and 'Switch Out' power going through the same conduit and through the same meter socket can, and it would be too easy to get an accidental backfeed out onto the utility lines. ESPECIALLY if someone else gets in there and isn't clear on the concept.
I'd put the transfer switch off to one side of the main, and abandon the wires going out the back of the meter socket can directly to the house breaker panel. Make a new house feed out the back of the transfer switch going inside to the house breaker panel. And at the bottom of the transfer switch you put a landing-lug box where the leads from the portable generator tie down.
Try to lay it out so the wires inside the transfer switch can do not physically cross inside the can - so if the wires get all hot and melty (technical term, I know...) they can't make an unintentional cross connection.

I've always seen them in commercial situations with the Utility Main Breaker placed ahead of the transfer switch, so they can open that breaker as a drop-dead "No Way In HELL it can backfeed" safety. The extra safety step makes the utility linemen working on the snapped lines much happier when they hear a generator running way off in the distance.
That way you still have the separate Fire Alarm disconnect in parallel with the Main Breaker as a place to monitor whether the Utility Power has come back up. (For a business they might turn off and lock the Main and kill the lights for non-payment, but they have to leave the Fire Alarm feed on or the insurance coverage goes away. And it's also a Life Safety issue.)
In a residential situation, if you want to change over the entire house on the transfer switch you'd need a separate fused switch or enclosed breaker to power the monitor light. And get the concept cleared by the local inspector. Otherwise, how do you know for sure when they've got the utility power back on?

If it's a safe place to make a hole, you can get a pilot drill and a knockout punch and blast a hole through the side of the can in about two minutes. They can't put knockouts everywhere anyone could possibly need them, or the can would fall apart...

"Perfect" is an unreachable goal unless you are Bill Gates and have a ton o' money to spend on "Perfect" - Lets see here... A 40KW or 60KW genset with a ton of excess motor- starting oomph and automatic transfer switch, a large fuel tank, and a big UPS inverter running all the critical systems in the house as hold-over - That'll only cost you 25 grand or so to set up...
The lights go out partially, you hear a very muted engine cranking and starting outside, and 15 seconds later all the lights pop back on like nothing happened, and will stay that way for days. And the genset is big enough that no power budgeting is needed, you can be working in the shop on the lathe with the AC up full blast while the Mrs. is baking in the electric oven, no worries.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Is this 200 amps at 120, or 200 amps at 240? You have 240 service, but are the amps 200 from hot to hot, or the sum of each leg to neutral? 200 amps at 240 is 48kw. I question because 48kw is vastly in excess of typical residential power requirements. Consider the possibility that the next size down the 100 amp unit, is the fit. The 200 amp unit is a HUGE box! It's designed to switch a 48kw hot load.
We have a master disconnect. The transfer switch is located between the master disconnect and the main panel. We use a second transfer switch to disconnect optional loads, and shunt them directly to a 2nd generator.

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I have a 240V panel, and the breaker says "200" on its handle. It is a breaker that would open if current through one of its legs exceeded 200 amps (that's a nominal rating, meaning that it would allow for momentary overcurrents to some extent).
While I rarely use 43 kW of power, I do at times use a lot of power. Example. I am TIG welding in my garage, my wife is cooking a lot of food on the range, my A/C is running, etc. That could easily add up to 140 amps or more (and would be a very rare occurrence).

Well, I would surely be happy to use a smaller and cheaper box, if it was possible, but it is my understanding that the rating of transfer switch should match the rating of the house's electrical service.

sounds interesting.
i
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Ignoramus20689 wrote:

Well you could put in a sub panel and put the transfer switch in the feed to the sub panel
I have been following this tread because I am thinking of going the sub panel rout. The down side is you have to decide which circuits will be on the sub panel. I my case its only the well. the outlets in the kitchen and the lights in the kitchen.
Bill K7NOM
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