I have put off installing a transfer switch because the cable will need to
be run the length of the house (all those joists to drill through) and the
Well, I found a half price 5000w switch at HD and a half price right angle
drill at Ebay, so I am going to do it; but what cable size.
I have a 13a genny that satisfies all my needs. It would only require 14/2.
But as long as I am doing it, I might as well install a 12/3, as the next
owner might be more demanding. The cable won't be that much more, or be
that much harder to use. However, the 12/3 is only good to 4800w, and the
switch is 5000w. Would those lousy 200w make any real difference?
Obviously they would need a 5000w genny, and even then it would only be
above 4800w for very short and rare instances.
I really don't want to use 10/3. It is expensive and hard to work with, and
will require a significantly larger hole in the joists. Does code get
involved here? Can I simply say that it is only for use with 4000w and
smaller generators? I have no intention of ever going above 1600w, and
expect to live here for the next 10 years at least.
If you're running the length of you house, unless it's a very small
house the voltage drop may be excessive even though the wire won't over
heat. I run #8 for mine and just pulled it through conduit rather than
drilling through joists.
If you dont wire it to code you will have trouble with your insurance co
if there is a problem, also on sale or if the future owner puts in a
5000w unit and has a problem #8 is best for a long run. But how long,
10 may do. Why not relocate you gen location.
at the inlet. If the next guy wants to run 240v, he can replace the inlet.
I don't see any problem with that; if one hot comes undone, it will simple
disconnect half the transfer switch; it can't overload anything.
Hey, that might be answer. If I use a 5-20 inlet, no one can put more than
20a into it without replacing the inlet, so 12/3 is perfectly safe. (And if
he wants to use a 4000w genny, he can do so safely by just replacing the
inlet. He will simply be out of luck if he wants to use a 5000w.)
Since I only want to put in 13a, voltage drop is not a problem. (and it
isn't much of a problem at 4000w either, though 10/3 would certainly be a
better choice there.)
Is this making sense?
It makes sence to me but does the transfer panel have a problem. Arnt
they prewired for 220, just a thought. So you want to use half the
panel , right. You need someone that knows what to do or can be done.
I checked with the manufacturer. First they told me no, each hot had to be
to a different leg of 240v.
I asked him why, since the neutral can handle the 1600w. He then agreed
that for 1600w it was fine.
The problem is that someone might be dumb enough to try to run 5000w 120
through it, and the neutral would be overloaded; but with a 5-20 input, that
should not be an issue.
If you are talking about the main feed from the Generator on a 5000 watt
machine...running the length of your house...you need to run 8 guage
and be sure you run a ground wire too. Dont even think about 12 guage
As long as the cable is protected by an overcurrent device, say fuses or a
circuit breaker you could use a 5000 AMP transfer switch. As long as you do
not exceed the rating there is nothing that says you can not be under it.
Check your voltage drops to the end recpts to make sure the 12-3 is big
Did you provide for the derating of the 12-3. Your only allowed 80% draw on
a 20 amp circuit.
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