HorneTD asked for pictures of my service entrance equipment to give
him a better idea of what is involved in installing a transfer
switch. The pictures have an explanation where the generator will go
(see ServiceEntrance), and the link to the generator page. There are
also pictures of the inside and the main panel.
The question of the day is, what method would be best. I can install:
1) outdoor WH transfer switch between the meter and the main panel
2) indoor WH transfer switch between the meter and the main panel
3) Replace existing panel with the panel with built-in transfer switch
such as http://www.nooutage.com/ttv2005c.htm
4) buy a main switch lockout and use that to feed the house from the
generator. It is probably not legal, but very cheap. I would rather
do better than that.
5) Buy a pre-wired manual transfer switch
6) Make a subpanel with a transfer switch between main panel and subpanel.
I would like to know what method is best. I am willing to spend money,
but I want to get the best bang for the buck. Also I would like to
pick a relatively easy route that can be done DIY.
Pictures of the generator are at
I went #5, an outside panel sounds potentialy dangerous and you cannot
monitor the metersand why go outside in the rain.
For DIY prewired and labeled unless your an electrician and have a day.
I know you want the best and have the cash but for 200$ my generac kit
included the panel, 2 watt meters, all prewired, exterior box, sockets
and extra plugs and cable to the gen. separate it would have been 400++.
I understand you want more than 12 circuits but if you consider what is
realy needed and surge loads your gen really cant handle more than 4-6,
although with monitoring it is what ever you want. Compare cost and
instalation ease of 12 prewired complete with instal to a custom setup.
A custom large set up will probably 4-6x more and not DIY . My 6
circuit complete instaled ready to run was 350$.
The best method is the one you decide on.
My suggestion is that what ever you decide on you make it as pleasing as
easy on the eye as posible looking toward selling your home.
Is your generator capable of powering the whole home? If not then why are
you considering powering the whole panel?
1. outdoor stuff costs more, but might be easier to install.
2. do you have the room for this
Both of these will require the meter to be pulled. Which around here means a
permit and inspections.
3. I would not, you already have a panel installed.
4. depends on cost and space needed.
5. might consider this, no permit needed, all work inside service rated
equipment not needed
It is not capable of powering the whole home if I want all bells and
whistles, electric range, hot tub, electric heater in the kid's room,
christmas lights etc.
It is capable of powering the whole house in economy mode, meaning
without AC and with limited/alternating use of the range and hot tub.
So, I want a whole house switch to be able to decide which circuits to
use and what not to use, given the limitations of the generator.
I have a furnace, lots of fluorescent lighting, computers on UPSes,
network routers, TVs etc, all of which use little energy but need to
be powered and are spread on numerous circuits. Also 2 refrigerators
and one freezer, same story.
That's, really the question for knowledgeable people such as yourself
and HorneTD. That's why I posted pictures.
Yep, I would dread this for certain reasons.
Yea, but I am also running out of spaces on the panel. Just an extra
consideration. The proposed panel has many more slots (36 vs. 28)
I do not understand this remark. The lockout that I had in mind is a
little plastic thingy with a combination lock, that goes over the main
A transfer switch could be mounted right next to your meter. Install
looks pretty easy. Only issue I see is the feed wires to your panel.
Just how far is it to your breaker panel? You may have to pull new wires
if your local inspectors won't allow splices.
It's ashamed that you have all those branch circuits coming out the top
of your breaker box. If you didn't or they could be moved locating the
switch right above your inside box would be the easiest and cheapest.
Just shorten the conduit, stick in the switch, and add three short
pieces of 2/0 wire and you are done. Good location logistically to. You
start the genset, go to main panel and chose which breakers to leave on
and throw the transfer.
Good choice if your utility will allow it.
You know better than that, or you wouldn't be here looking for answers.
Less flexible since you will have hard wire in your load choices.
Same as 5 ???
DIY ? talk to your local inspectors, if you ask they usually love to
give advice, just don't mention #4!!!
Whose slab is ready for the Genset, gotta find a crane company - bye
Unless The transfer switch contains the Service Over Current Protection
it has to be located immediately adjacent to the Over Current Protective
Device (OCPD) enclosure if it is located on the line or supply side of
that protection. For most inspectors that means the two enclosures must
be close nippled or nearly so.
You can certainly install an enclosed breaker or fused disconnect ahead
of the transfer switch. Then it does not matter were the transfer switch
is located, how long it's output feeder conductors are, or whether it is
listed as "Suitable for Use as Service Equipment."
The utility has no say in the matter unless they function as the
Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for the enforcement of the National
Electric Code or it's local equivalent. The utility works under the
rules contained in the National Electrical Safety Code. The enforcement
of that code, if any, is usually in the hands of the Public Service
Commission, Public Utilities Commission, or it's equivalent in your
state. In the District of Columbia, for instance, it is called the
Peoples Council. The utilities authority over the installation stops at
the demarcation point which is were their wires stop and yours begin.
The PUC/PSC sets the demarcation point. In many States the demarcation
point for an overhead service is the splices between the service drop
from the pole and the service entry conductors into the home. For an
underground service it may be at a hand hole located at the property
line, at the point the lateral is attached to the utility distribution,
or at a splice box just inside the building. The demarcation point does
not necessarily correspond to the meter location but the meters are
usually controlled by the utility.
A cost effective alternative is to use an outdoor main breaker panel as
your Service Equipment and add the generator interlock to that panel.
Since the existing panel in your basement will be supplied from the new
outdoor panel you will avoid any need to rewire the existing panel.
Those outdoor panels are available with feed through lugs off of the
main buss bars that will feed the entire ampacity of the panel's main
breaker to the panel they supply. Since that panel will be located
outdoors the inlet for the generator cord can be close nippled to the
The link below is to a document that goes over the installation of the
interlock kits in outdoor square D load centers.
One of the load centers available is equipped with feed through lugs on
the end of the buss bars that allow you to run the entire ampacity of
the panels main breaker to another panel. When this panel is equipped
with a the interlock kit shown in the previous link the panel will serve
as a transfer switch. The panel can be viewed at
I hope that answers the question.
[I want to find the best solution to transferring power from utility
to the generator. I have an ITE/Gould panel, which is compatible with
Thanks HorneTD. Thanks to your links etc, I found this "generator
It sounds like the perfect application for my needs. I install
generator cord backfed through breakers 2-4, and use the interlock kit
to ensure no backfeeding to the utility.
Is that so? Can I use this kit?
> [I want to find the best solution to transferring power from utility
> to the generator. I have an ITE/Gould panel, which is compatible with
> Homeline, supposedly.
> Thanks HorneTD. Thanks to your links etc, I found this "generator
> interlock kit":
> It sounds like the perfect application for my needs. I install
> generator cord backfed through breakers 2-4, and use the interlock kit
> to ensure no backfeeding to the utility.
> Is that so? Can I use this kit?
That kit can only be used in Square D equipment. It cannot be installed
in your ITE / Gould panel. That is why I suggested the installation of
an outdoor SquareD panel with feed through lugs between the meter and
the existing ITE / Gould panel. The power would come into the new
SquareD panel from either the meter or the generator and it would get to
the ITE / Gould panel from the feed through lugs in the SquareD panel.
Loads like your air conditioners can be resupplied from breakers in the
new SquareD panel thus freeing breaker spaces in the ITE / Gould panel
for interior loads. This will avoid extensive rewiring of the ITE /
Please be advised that unless those SquareD Homeline breakers are
labeled with a listing mark or packed with an insert from an electrical
testing laboratory that permits there use in the ITE / Gould panel then
you will be taking a risk in using them in your ITE / Gould panel. Only
the breakers marked on the panels labeling or recognized for use with
that panel by an electrical testing laboratory can be installed in it.
Using other breakers that appear to fit can lead to failure or burn down
of the panel. Once the buss bar attachment points become arc burned
they will never take any breaker in that slot. Use the breakers that
are tested for use with that panel.
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