Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience?
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Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience?

This is a discussion on Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience? within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; For years we rarely lost power for more than a couple of hours at a time. Recently, we've had an increasing number of weather related ...

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Thread: Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience?

  1. #1
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    Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience?

    For years we rarely lost power for more than a couple of hours at a time. Recently, we've had an increasing number of weather related outages and oddly enough, new housing developments nearby and the Power Company upgrading the grid that services us. After talking to a friend who works for our Power Company, he told us that they are having a hard time employing enough Lineman so wait times to restore power are increasing.

    The recent hurricane knocked out our power for nearly 4 days and we made the decision to simplify our lives and put in a Transfer Switch to allow us to run our generators to power our home without the hassle of Power/Extension Cords getting in the way.

    Since Electricity is not my thing, I have hired a local certified/bonded/insured electrician that we have used before to install the Transfer Switch.

    Any Suggestions, Ideas, Tips or postings about your experience with Transfer Switch for a Generator will be appreciated.

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    I used one for my wind system years ago. Just an rv transfer switch, but it did the trick.

    Had it set to energize the coils from the battery bank. In my setup when the inverter kicked off because of low voltage in the batteries it would switch back to utility power

    You want the opposite in your case. Will you have autostart on your generator?

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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    Quote Originally Posted by soyer38301 View Post
    I used one for my wind system years ago. Just an rv transfer switch, but it did the trick.

    Had it set to energize the coils from the battery bank. In my setup when the inverter kicked off because of low voltage in the batteries it would switch back to utility power

    You want the opposite in your case. Will you have autostart on your generator?

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    Interesting setup you have.

    I am going with a Manual Transfer Switch, not an Auto-Start.

    My carport is the ideal place to set up the generator and to install the outlet to plug the generator into. The Electrical Panel is in the basement next to the garage so we'll only have to run the wiring about 30 feet and I already have a conduit from the garage to the Electrical Panel. We cannot hear the generator in the house when its running in the carport.

    That's my plan unless the electrician has a better one.

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    Yessir Mr. Slippy . . .

    Same thing here, except we don't have too awful many of those days or times . . .

    I did a combination thing in mine . . . as I have a "major" panel . . . and a "minor" panel. Major panel feeds everything in the house . . . including the minor panel . . . minor panel feeds all lighting, fridge, freezers, computer, and entertainment center.

    The minor panel can be fed by either my battery / inverter system . . . or by my generator. I have not finished the generator install . . . but it will be a simple permanent cable coming to the minor panel . . . and will give us basically everything including the stove and the AC.

    Notice at the bottom of the picture . . . there is an odd looking circuit breaker arrangement . . . what happens is when normal power goes off . . . I switch the breaker and it is mechanically equipped from the mfg . . . when you push it, it first shuts off the power that is coming to it . . . THEN turns on the other power. BOTH SOURCES ARE NEVER ON TOGETHER.

    Since most of our episodes are a couple hours or so . . . the first alternative is a car battery with a 2000 watt inverter (Harbor Freight . . . $120.00) . . . and since I have all LED lights . . . it lasts for several hours . . . using the normal light switches on the wall. My wife and I just forgo the computer and the TV during these times . . . and I don't have to mess with the generator.

    My whole system . . . 3500 W generator $350.00. . . inverter $120. . . battery $80. . . led lights $75. . . minor panel $60 . . . special circuit breaker from off Ebay $60 . . . plus I'm sure there was a hundred and fifty or two hundred in wire, fasteners, etc . . . but since I'm and honest to goodness cheap skate . . . I'm happy with my system . . . it is basically fool proof at this point . . . and I installed it all myself.

    May God bless,
    Dwight
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience?-electric-panel-1.jpg  

    Transfer Switch For Generator...Sugestions, Tips, Experience?-electric-panel-2.jpg  

    Last edited by dwight55; 11-11-2020 at 07:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwight55 View Post
    Yessir Mr. Slippy . . .

    Same thing here, except we don't have too awful many of those days or times . . .

    I did a combination thing in mine . . . as I have a "major" panel . . . and a "minor" panel. Major panel feeds everything in the house . . . including the minor panel . . . minor panel feeds all lighting, fridge, freezers, computer, and entertainment center.

    The minor panel can be fed by either my battery / inverter system . . . or by my generator. I have not finished the generator install . . . but it will be a simple permanent cable coming to the minor panel . . . and will give us basically everything including the stove and the AC.

    Notice at the bottom of the picture . . . there is an odd looking circuit breaker arrangement . . . what happens is when normal power goes off . . . I switch the breaker and it is mechanically equipped from the mfg . . . when you push it, it first shuts off the power that is coming to it . . . THEN turns on the other power. BOTH SOURCES ARE NEVER ON TOGETHER.

    Since most of our episodes are a couple hours or so . . . the first alternative is a car battery with a 2000 watt inverter (Harbor Freight . . . $120.00) . . . and since I have all LED lights . . . it lasts for several hours . . . using the normal light switches on the wall. My wife and I just forgo the computer and the TV during these times . . . and I don't have to mess with the generator.

    My whole system . . . 3500 W generator $350.00. . . inverter $120. . . battery $80. . . led lights $75. . . minor panel $60 . . . special circuit breaker from off Ebay $60 . . . plus I'm sure there was a hundred and fifty or two hundred in wire, fasteners, etc . . . but since I'm and honest to goodness cheap skate . . . I'm happy with my system . . . it is basically fool proof at this point . . . and I installed it all myself.

    May God bless,
    Dwight
    Pastor D

    I remember you posting about your project and it looks like a great system! I also converted all of my lights to LED bulbs.

    I just bought a 3400W portable inverter generator to go along with my portable 4400W. Both are Dual Fuel LP/Gas. Can I use the same Transfer Switch for both the inverter genny and the regular genny? Or better yet, can I "tie" the two genny;s together to achieve 7800w and run thru the same Transfer Switch?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippy View Post
    Pastor D

    I remember you posting about your project and it looks like a great system! I also converted all of my lights to LED bulbs.

    I just bought a 3400W portable inverter generator to go along with my portable 4400W. Both are Dual Fuel LP/Gas. Can I use the same Transfer Switch for both the inverter genny and the regular genny? Or better yet, can I "tie" the two genny;s together to achieve 7800w and run thru the same Transfer Switch?
    What you are asking . . . "can be done" . . . but you need a thingamajig that will synchronize the AC cycles . . . which in one word will just be EXPENSIVE. If you don't have it . . . when the switch closes that puts them both on line together . . . you have about a 330 out of 360 possibilities that you will damage the smaller of the two . . . like blow it up.

    Plus there are AC generator sets that get along well with others . . . and there are those who don't . . . and I never took the time to figure out why . . . just know they don't.

    Your best shot would be to sell both the small thingys . . . use the $$$ to buy one big one that will do the whole job . . . and you won't have to worry about it.

    May God bless,
    Dwight
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    If you want to run two generators together in parallel, They both have to be at the same frequency and in sync on their wave forms. It’s called synchronized. To do this the generators have to basically be identical and designed to operate in parallel. Their governors and speed droop have to be identical or the weaker unit will become a ‘load’ on the stronger unit. Honda makes some inverters designed like this. But you definately cannot take two dis-similar gennys and parallel them up.

    If you want more detail I can certainly get into specifics but basically no, slip you Can’t do that.
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    Appreciate it @dwight55 and @Chiefster23 !

    Our Home at Slippy Lodge is not a large home and the 4400W genny will be the one that I'll hook up to the Transfer Switch to run various things inside the home. The smaller, lighter and MUCH QUIETER 3400W Inverter will be my back up and I'll run that genny and hook up cords to power things.

    Life seems to be more and more about Money and Time Gentlemen! Yep, Money and Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwight55 View Post
    Yessir Mr. Slippy . . .

    Same thing here, except we don't have too awful many of those days or times . . .

    I did a combination thing in mine . . . as I have a "major" panel . . . and a "minor" panel. Major panel feeds everything in the house . . . including the minor panel . . . minor panel feeds all lighting, fridge, freezers, computer, and entertainment center.

    The minor panel can be fed by either my battery / inverter system . . . or by my generator. I have not finished the generator install . . . but it will be a simple permanent cable coming to the minor panel . . . and will give us basically everything including the stove and the AC.

    Notice at the bottom of the picture . . . there is an odd looking circuit breaker arrangement . . . what happens is when normal power goes off . . . I switch the breaker and it is mechanically equipped from the mfg . . . when you push it, it first shuts off the power that is coming to it . . . THEN turns on the other power. BOTH SOURCES ARE NEVER ON TOGETHER.

    Since most of our episodes are a couple hours or so . . . the first alternative is a car battery with a 2000 watt inverter (Harbor Freight . . . $120.00) . . . and since I have all LED lights . . . it lasts for several hours . . . using the normal light switches on the wall. My wife and I just forgo the computer and the TV during these times . . . and I don't have to mess with the generator.

    My whole system . . . 3500 W generator $350.00. . . inverter $120. . . battery $80. . . led lights $75. . . minor panel $60 . . . special circuit breaker from off Ebay $60 . . . plus I'm sure there was a hundred and fifty or two hundred in wire, fasteners, etc . . . but since I'm and honest to goodness cheap skate . . . I'm happy with my system . . . it is basically fool proof at this point . . . and I installed it all myself.

    May God bless,
    Dwight
    Short of a customer who's willing to shell out for an all-out pad-mounted genny and automatic transfer switch, that's pretty much what I install day these days for most people who want a small portable genny to run the minimals.... fridge, furnace, freezer, well pump, some lights and the computer. I put 4 of them in after the August derecho. I'm still waiting on the parts to become available to do 2 more.... the storm and the co*cough*vid has made things scarce.

    I install an L14-30 flanged inlet near a garage door and feed it to the E-panel. Then, just like your system, a manual transfer switch so the customer can just fire up their genny, plug the cord in, flip the breakers and they're at least living like it's 1920.

    The nice thing about this type of system is everything that's not on the E-panel is still connected to the grid. Once utility power is back on, all those circuits start working again so the homeowner knows to switch everything back, shut off the genny and roll up the cord.
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