In my case, I have a lot of circuits, most of which supply some
important loads but draw very little current, like compact fluorescent
lighting. So choosing only very few of them would inconvenience me
I have a feeling I'm going to regret this, but here goes...
I too was concerned with the limited number of circuits available with
typical, sub panel type transfer switches. I have a 16kw generator,
and a 16 circuit sub panel type ATS. I have circuits that literally
draw less than an amp or two in most situations, never more than 5
amps. I just wired them together in the main panel. Kind of rigged my
16 circuit sub panel into an ever expanding sub panel, probably 24 or
more circuits are controlled now.
It's an automatic transfer switch, which I know you do not want, but I
did the same thing last year when a hurricane hit and I had a 6 circuit
manual switch. I had 6 circuits wired, but was using a fraction of the
generator's power. At the time, I had a 7500 watt generator, and
averaged about 2000 watts. So I added rooms as needed, with no ill
FWIW it's a Generac 5244 generator and matched transfer switch. I
thought about the service disconnect, whole house transfer switch, but
I know my family cannot control their energy consumption. When
breaking in my generator, my wife turned on the Advantium oven
(microwave on steroids). It kept up, but only because the 5 ton AC was
not running. And I cautioned about turning on lights when breaking
You have identified the correct switch. A two hundred ampere main
breaker results in the need for a two hundred ampere transfer assembly.
Be advised that a main breaker interlock kit will achieve the same
result at far lower cost. What brand and model is your main breaker
enclosure; such as your main distribution panel?
Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
Most times a new sub panel is installed, those circuits fed by the
generator are moved to it and the transfer switch is installed between
the old panel and new.
Why would you want to run EVERYTHING? That's a helluva big generator
Mostly critical loads, like lighting, refrigerator, freezer are put on a
if you power all circuits many will have minor l;oads like a light or
two on steps.
you turn off all heavy unnecessary loads.
a bit more work during a outage but actually more flexible.........
better than finding a critical load isnt on a generator line.....
This is my first post to this group, and I've been following this thread.
First, the NEC states that the conductors from the service entrance to the
main breaker (not being fused) should be as short as practicable.
Personally I would be very reluctant to install any equipment upstream of
Second, a sub-panel can be arbitrarily large, limited only by the maximum
breaker size allowed in your main panel. If you know that you are not going
to use certain loads, don't install them. Or move EVERYTHING over to the
sub. You will stilll have the safety of a breaker ahead of everything, and
you can take your monitor light off the main panel.
Just my 2 cents.
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