Emergency Generator


Sorry for the cross post.
Have a question about it's operation. I am a Jack of all trades, but a master of none.
Good friend of mine had a standby generator installed.
Before it was installed, his kitchen circuit worked just fine.
After Generator was installed, operating appliances in the Kitchen trips the CB. Problem is, or so I think it is, the CB on the standby generator panel trips.
In my opinion, it is not correctly attached.
My concern, is if in the event of a real power outage, it may back feed the street.
Am I wrong, or should the main CB trip if on regular power, and standby CB trip, only if on standby power.
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There is insufficient information in your post to come to a conclusion, however if we assume this is a transfer switch that has several individual branch circuits that replaced the existing circuit.... then perhaps the kitchen circuit is now 15 amps where is was 20 or more before.
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bilz2765 wrote:

What is the rating of the breaker in the transfer panel and what is the rating of the breaker for that circuit in the main panel? If the transfer panel has a lower capacity breaker then that is your problem.
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Without knowing much more about the situation, I'd guess (and that is one hell of a guess, too) that the transfer switch has circuit breakers (I have some that do) that are rated at 15 amps. The normal kitchen outlet breaker will be 20 amp, and likely that is what is the main problem.
Fix? Yes, you could consider a lower load on that circuit.
But, without inspecting the job, or you posting a very complete description of what was done (including schematics, etc.) anything here will be a guess at best.
I'd recommend you get a compentent electrican to come in and evaluate the situation.
If nothing else, post the brand, and model of the transfer switch, and a photo of it. Is it the one with the six breakers, and a current meter (or two) on it?
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Sounds like a GFI issue. Perhaps the kitchen circuits are on GFI breakers and the neutrals were not moved with the hot wires. Also, you're mentioning main breakers tripping. Are both the kitchen circuits and the main tripping, or are you just being overly general in your descriptions?
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On 6/25/2010 10:09 PM, bilz2765 wrote:

Wow, thanks for all who responded. Thank you.
I will find out about the breakers amperage, I hope tomorrow. May be the 15a instead of the 20a one.
I was still under the impression the Emergency Panel would only come into play when power was lost at the street.
The neutral wiring could also be a problem.
My friend is in the military, and just came back after his ninth tour. I want him to recover some before I start tearing his house apart. May not get the info for a few days.
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bilz2765 wrote:

For the circuits that pass through the transfer panel, they are drawing their power through that panel at all times. The transfer panel switches connect the load circuit to either the breaker in the main panel, or to the bus powered by the generator.
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This may not be so. Some (cheaper) boxes switch before the breaker, not after.

Personally, I don't think so.

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bilz2765 wrote the following:

Obviously, if the appliances worked before the installation of the generator and don't work after the installation, then it is a good clue that the installation is not correct. I am not an electrician, but first, I would pull the power cable from the generator and try the kitchen appliances. If they work, the generator is not properly installed.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

Pretty sure the generator is not related to the problem here, the issue is the transfer panel. Either it is not wired correctly, or the breaker in the panel is of too low capacity or is defective.
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If the CB on the gen panel is a double throw one, that means it can select to feed the kitchen from the mains OR the gen, that doesn't mean it hasn't a magnetic and thermal trip, that's why its tripping. If its of insifficient rating, eg your kitchen needs 25 A, but it's only 15 A, then you may change it with a larger one, but remember, that a CB protects the cable downstream, that means CB are matched to the cable they are connected to. If the cable is too thin for the thermal trip of the CB, then the breaker may not trip, but the cable will melt! Eg here in Europe, a 16 A CB is used with a 2.5 mm^2 cable (#16 AWG). If you use a 20 A CB for your convenience (to avoid continuous tripping) and the cable draws 20 continously, it will melt! In that case, first you upgrade the cable to a thicker one, and then the CB to a larger one.
HTH,
--
Tzortzakakis Dimitrios
major in electrical engineering
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I suspect your dealing with the type of transfer panel that diverts the loads one at a time. Each load to be carried by the generator passes through the transfer panel and is protected by a second breaker installed in the transfer panel at all times. The transfer panel breakers are often sized lower in ampacity than the circuits original breaker. If there is no twenty ampere breaker available in the emergency panel that can be swapped with the fifteen ampere breaker now on that circuit then you may need to install a different transfer arrangement. I have always found those one circuit at a time transfer switch setups to be trouble breeders.
Since that type of transfer arrangement is manual I would substitute the whole panel interlocked breaker arrangement that is now available for most recent panels from the original equipment manufacturers. Those are much simpler to operate and take much better advantage of the load diversity in the homes wiring. They also allow you to operate any load that the generator can carry instead of limiting you to only particular circuits. -- Tom Horne
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On 7/16/2010 11:25 AM, Tom Horne wrote:

It has the automatic transfer switch. I just was of the impression the generator panel only came into effect during emergency operation. Guess it is always in use. Hence the 15A breaker tripping under street power.
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