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Old 06-07-2021, 08:09 AM   #1
etxranch
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Default Generator / electric panel question

Hi all, I'm looking to hook up a portable generator in case of emergency. As seen in the picture, the panel under the meter is feeding a 200 amp service underground to another panel inside the house. (About 100 feet away behind me)

My question is can I install the generator power inlet to this panel? (The house panel is out of slots)

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Old 06-07-2021, 08:12 AM   #2
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Yes. Need manual transfer switch or panel interlock to do it properly.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:13 AM   #3
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Yes, as long as you have a MCB in that panel.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:39 AM   #4
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A manual interlock device should be mounted just below the main breaker.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
Yes, as long as you have a MCB in that panel.
How do I tell? I attached a pic on the panel door.Name:  20210607_083734.jpg
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etxranch View Post
How do I tell? I attached a pic on the panel door.Attachment 1051986
My fault with the abbreviation.
Do you have a main circuit breaker?
If so, you would need the interlock kit that has been mentioned.
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:31 AM   #7
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I've been thinking of doing this for my house. I had an electrician give me a quote for over $2000! I about fell out. I definitely don't want to back feed the circuit and I'm not much of an electrician. That just seemed out of control on pricing
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by elhefe View Post
I've been thinking of doing this for my house. I had an electrician give me a quote for over $2000! I about fell out. I definitely don't want to back feed the circuit and I'm not much of an electrician. That just seemed out of control on pricing
If you have space in your panel and can move things around enough to install a two pole breaker in the top right position it should be fairly straight forward.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by elhefe View Post
I've been thinking of doing this for my house. I had an electrician give me a quote for over $2000! I about fell out. I definitely don't want to back feed the circuit and I'm not much of an electrician. That just seemed out of control on pricing
That's lots of money, but if you are unfamiliar with electricity and have to rewire lots of breakers then it might be worth the cost. Here is a video about how the power inlet is done:

https://youtu.be/osdz0_JNXpg

Last edited by etxranch; 06-07-2021 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:26 PM   #10
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Speaking from an electrical contractor perspective, material costs are through the roof right now. Aluminum wire is up 50-60% and copper is up 90-100%. And labor certainly isnít getting any cheaper.


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Old 06-07-2021, 12:31 PM   #11
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I bought the interlock switch and did it my self for around 100 bucks
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:37 PM   #12
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i just did this, it cost like 100$
the most expensive was the #6 wire from home depot was like 40$ for just a few feet for the whip
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
Speaking from an electrical contractor perspective, material costs are through the roof right now. Aluminum wire is up 50-60% and copper is up 90-100%. And labor certainly isnít getting any cheaper.


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Hope they come down soon. Just saw lumber dropped a little for the first time in months.
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:10 PM   #14
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Yes you can. Just got mine done to my house. Use a lic. elect. Most places require you get a permit and the power company might come out and pull the meter pan till switch is installed. I know what some are saying on here and I was told the same thing. But a lic. elect. and a good friend told no way. Do it right cause if some thing wrong you will be in a heep of trouble. Cost me $2300 because I waited so long and some of that stuff is hard to fine not even you can get it and the prices of material are going up every dad. My biggest cost was for my feed wire from generator to the switch box that was 85' but I wanted generator away from my house in my shed and made it a extra longer just in case. You might not have that problem looking at your pictures. Do not try to run power from your gen. to a dryer plug end people do that but God for bid if some happens and some one gets kill or you burn your house down. Cause if happens they will come check it. Good Luck but If I was you I would get it done by a lic. person Brother
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSMDTX View Post
Yes. Need manual transfer switch or panel interlock to do it properly.
This
Attached Images
 

Last edited by JFFB; 06-07-2021 at 01:54 PM. Reason: adding picture
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:44 PM   #16
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1.Can i see a pic of your panel with the door open? Not the door., the main breaker and dead front.
2. How big is your generator?
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:17 PM   #17
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There are reasons to use a qualified person.
One big one is if the job isn't done correctly and you DIY, something as simple as a lug not torqued correctly, homeowners insurance may not cover repairs and replacement of a burned down home.
A licensed and bonded electrical contractor would hold the liability for a mistake they make. That's one reason they cost more. That liability insurance isn't inexpensive to have.
Also if you ever sell the home and a permit wasn't filed then they could pull electrical service to the home until it is inspected and proven to meet code. If it doesn't meet code it could cost a lot more in the long run.

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Old 06-07-2021, 02:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRT View Post
There are reasons to use a qualified person.
One big one is if the job isn't done correctly and you DIY, something as simple as a lug not torqued correctly, homeowners insurance may not cover repairs and replacement of a burned down home.
A licensed and bonded electrical contractor would hold the liability for a mistake they make. That's one reason they cost more. That liability insurance isn't inexpensive to have.
Also if you ever sell the home and a permit wasn't filed then they could pull electrical service to the home until it is inspected and proven to meet code. If it doesn't meet code it could cost a lot more in the long run.

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Forgot to add that plus he told me that some of equipment people use also is not getting the proper current to your appliances in your house which if you are using this switch every will be fine. I feel much better now having this and its done right. The box is bigger and cost more than what he would use but guess what its like trying to buy ammo right. Its only going to get higher. That's the world we're living right. Sucks
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:55 PM   #19
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Yes. Yes it does.

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Old 06-07-2021, 03:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
1.Can i see a pic of your panel with the door open? Not the door., the main breaker and dead front.
2. How big is your generator?
1. Same as the attach pic without any breakers installed. Should be able to install a interlock

2. Generator is a 12000/9500w, looking to power a 2.5 ton ac and fridge at the least.Name:  ItemImage-566406-qcj746-5it66g-2mrx7o.jpg
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
Yes you can. Just got mine done to my house. Use a lic. elect. Most places require you get a permit and the power company might come out and pull the meter pan till switch is installed. I know what some are saying on here and I was told the same thing. But a lic. elect. and a good friend told no way. Do it right cause if some thing wrong you will be in a heep of trouble. Cost me $2300 because I waited so long and some of that stuff is hard to fine not even you can get it and the prices of material are going up every dad. My biggest cost was for my feed wire from generator to the switch box that was 85' but I wanted generator away from my house in my shed and made it a extra longer just in case. You might not have that problem looking at your pictures. Do not try to run power from your gen. to a dryer plug end people do that but God for bid if some happens and some one gets kill or you burn your house down. Cause if happens they will come check it. Good Luck but If I was you I would get it done by a lic. person Brother
Thanks for the advice. Yours sounds similar to mine. Did you end up installing the generator power inlet outside the shed or inside?
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etxranch View Post
Thanks for the advice. Yours sounds similar to mine. Did you end up installing the generator power inlet outside the shed or inside?

No the generator has the plug in already. Now just plug in trip switches to Ac Water heater and the whole house has power.


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Old 06-07-2021, 08:11 PM   #23
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https://www.amazon.com/EAT-PN200-Cut...a-819852908588

This Generator interlock.

https://www.amazon.com/Conntek-GIB14...3113444&sr=8-3

This cord and 50amp power inlet.

Material list
1 - 1" chase nipple
1 - 1" lock ring
1 - 1" plastic bushing
3 or 4 self tapping screws
Possibly a 1 3/8" bi-metal hole saw
About 9ft #6 thhn wire
1 Eaton BR250 breaker
Red white green phase tape

Place 2pole 50a breaker in upper right 2/4 position
Install power inlet on side of 200a panel. Might have to drill a hole for the chase nipple.

Yes the buss bar is hot.. dont touch it.
Use card board or such as needed for protection.
Run a black wire from breaker (2) to the black term of power inlet
Run a red wire from breaker (4) to the red term of inlet
Run a white wire from panel neutral to the white term of inlet
Run a green wire from the bonded neutral to the ground of power inlet box.

Install interlock per instructions..
Total time, maybe 2 hours.
You can shut off the main.. then its only hot on the top lugs where the wires from meter are terminated..
You just need a band of the phase tape colors on each end... say 1" from where its terminated.. no need to wrap the entire wire...
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:47 PM   #24
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I would mount 220v breaker and feed a plug like above. Always make sure the main is off if the generator is connected. Close main open the 220 breaker. You are good to go.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:54 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavrick View Post
I would mount 220v breaker and feed a plug like above. Always make sure the main is off if the generator is connected. Close main open the 220 breaker. You are good to go.
If you use the interlock mentioned above the main breaker and the generator breaker cannot be closed at the same time. Keeps someone from screwing up and backfeeding the grid.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
https://www.amazon.com/EAT-PN200-Cut...a-819852908588

This Generator interlock.

https://www.amazon.com/Conntek-GIB14...3113444&sr=8-3

This cord and 50amp power inlet.

Material list
1 - 1" chase nipple
1 - 1" lock ring
1 - 1" plastic bushing
3 or 4 self tapping screws
Possibly a 1 3/8" bi-metal hole saw
About 9ft #6 thhn wire
1 Eaton BR250 breaker
Red white green phase tape

Place 2pole 50a breaker in upper right 2/4 position
Install power inlet on side of 200a panel. Might have to drill a hole for the chase nipple.

Yes the buss bar is hot.. dont touch it.
Use card board or such as needed for protection.
Run a black wire from breaker (2) to the black term of power inlet
Run a red wire from breaker (4) to the red term of inlet
Run a white wire from panel neutral to the white term of inlet
Run a green wire from the bonded neutral to the ground of power inlet box.

Install interlock per instructions..
Total time, maybe 2 hours.
You can shut off the main.. then its only hot on the top lugs where the wires from meter are terminated..
You just need a band of the phase tape colors on each end... say 1" from where its terminated.. no need to wrap the entire wire...
Thank you for the details
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:28 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etxranch View Post
Thanks for the advice. Yours sounds similar to mine. Did you end up installing the generator power inlet outside the shed or inside?
Also not to confuse you my generator sits inside my shed door out of the weather. I just plug in my power cord to the gen and plug the other into the outlet on the breaker box.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:43 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
Also not to confuse you my generator sits inside my shed door out of the weather. I just plug in my power cord to the gen and plug the other into the outlet on the breaker box.
Outlet on the breaker box is in the shed too?
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Old 06-08-2021, 02:29 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etxranch View Post
Outlet on the breaker box is in the shed too?
No look at the picture of my box I posted. That's on box and meter pan at the house. I keep my generator in my shed away from the house because of fumes and noise. The outlet plug in is the little round outlet on the side of the big box in the picture.
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
This
That works, but definetly overkill.
Did you not have a main circuit breaker in your panel?
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:08 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
https://www.amazon.com/EAT-PN200-Cut...a-819852908588

This Generator interlock.

https://www.amazon.com/Conntek-GIB14...3113444&sr=8-3

This cord and 50amp power inlet.

Material list
1 - 1" chase nipple
1 - 1" lock ring
1 - 1" plastic bushing
3 or 4 self tapping screws
Possibly a 1 3/8" bi-metal hole saw
About 9ft #6 thhn wire
1 Eaton BR250 breaker
Red white green phase tape

Place 2pole 50a breaker in upper right 2/4 position
Install power inlet on side of 200a panel. Might have to drill a hole for the chase nipple.

Yes the buss bar is hot.. dont touch it.
Use card board or such as needed for protection.
Run a black wire from breaker (2) to the black term of power inlet
Run a red wire from breaker (4) to the red term of inlet
Run a white wire from panel neutral to the white term of inlet
Run a green wire from the bonded neutral to the ground of power inlet box.

Install interlock per instructions..
Total time, maybe 2 hours.
You can shut off the main.. then its only hot on the top lugs where the wires from meter are terminated..
You just need a band of the phase tape colors on each end... say 1" from where its terminated.. no need to wrap the entire wire...
I would go this route.
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:27 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
That works, but definetly overkill.
Did you not have a main circuit breaker in your panel?

I do but Iím following code. Iím not going to risk my house getting burn down or killing some one and losing everything I have because of a law suit. You just canít do thingís now days like we did before. Hey would love to have saved a bunch of money. But I spoke to my insurance company also good friends and was told donít do what these people are doing or telling you to do. But Hey go ahead. Iím just giving Good Advice. You can take a horse to the tank but you canít make him think.


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Old 06-08-2021, 03:33 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
I do but I’m following code. I’m not going to risk my house getting burn down or killing some one and losing everything I have because of a law suit. You just can’t do thing’s now days like we did before. Hey would love to have saved a bunch of money. But I spoke to my insurance company also good friends and was told don’t do what these people are doing or telling you to do. But Hey go ahead. I’m just giving Good Advice. You can take a horse to the tank but you can’t make him think.


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I am a master electrician with over 20+ years of experience. I think I know the code fairly well.
Your install is no safer or different than what Zmaxhunter suggested. You just cluttered up your wall and spent more money on time and material.

Last edited by Rubi513; 06-08-2021 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:42 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
I would go this route.

May be so. But not by a non lic elect. Iím not making money on this but only letting good home owners know to do it the right way. I knew I would hammered by some side junkies.


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Old 06-08-2021, 03:44 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
May be so. But not by a non lic elect. Iím not making money on this but only letting good home owners know to do it the right way. I knew I would hammered by some side junkies.


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Jesus...
Yes, itís done that way daily by licensed electricians...
The side junkie took your money...
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:57 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
Jesus...
Yes, itís done that way daily by licensed electricians...
The side junkie took your money...

Explain? He is a good friend lic and knows what he is doing. Try to find the right parts that are limited right now is a challenge. You say your 20 plus years doing this but your own here busting my balls. Who insureds your business?


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Old 06-08-2021, 04:19 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
Explain? He is a good friend lic and knows what he is doing. Try to find the right parts that are limited right now is a challenge. You say your 20 plus years doing this but your own here busting my balls. Who insureds your business?


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You have a 200 amp double pole double throw disconnect.
Itís overkill. Your generator isnít putting out 200 amps, but since your electrician installed it after the meter but before the panel it has to be rated for the 200 amp service that you probably have.
Had he done it the way Zmaxhunter recommended you wouldnít need the disconnect. Just the transfer device mounted on the panel.
Like I said, it works. Itís just overkill. Not sure how you got that I was ďbusting your ballsĒ over that...
Federated Reserve is the insurance company. We do about 20 million a year in electrical. Not bad for some ďside junkies ď.
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Old 06-08-2021, 04:56 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
You have a 200 amp double pole double throw disconnect.
Itís overkill. Your generator isnít putting out 200 amps, but since your electrician installed it after the meter but before the panel it has to be rated for the 200 amp service that you probably have.
Had he done it the way Zmaxhunter recommended you wouldnít need the disconnect. Just the transfer device mounted on the panel.
Like I said, it works. Itís just overkill. Not sure how you got that I was ďbusting your ballsĒ over that...
Federated Reserve is the insurance company. We do about 20 million a year in electrical. Not bad for some ďside junkies ď.

Yes Sir. Go back to rat killing. 20 mil and you have time to come on here and give grief. Like I said please read the post. You just canít go by every thing you need right now. I have to deal with Entergy. Maybe in Texas itís different. Sorry


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Old 06-08-2021, 05:02 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFFB View Post
Yes Sir. Go back to rat killing. 20 mil and you have time to come on here and give grief. Like I said please read the post. You just canít go by every thing you need right now. I have to deal with Entergy. Maybe in Texas itís different. Sorry


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I am just here to keep folks from getting screwed over like you did...
Entergy is just one of the many power companies I deal with.
They would have never been needed if your electrician knew what he was doing...
You keep spewing bs, and I will keep correcting you.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:59 PM   #40
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Could you attach a pic of the cord you use from the generator to the inlet box? What size wire is the cord?
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Old 06-08-2021, 06:59 PM   #41
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I have this same situation OP. Because I need to run outlets in the house, shop and garage I went with a meter mounted auto transfer switch. It was 700.00 but for me installation is almost zero and it allows me to run what I want where I want. Hook the generator to it, shut off what you don't want to run and done. The wait is 16 weeks to get one. I also ran it by the coop and they signed off no problem.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:14 PM   #42
Killer
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This escalated rather nicely. Them Killerwatts will always get you!
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:53 PM   #43
Rubi513
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txhunter3000 View Post
Could you attach a pic of the cord you use from the generator to the inlet box? What size wire is the cord?
See the 2nd link in post 23. This is for a generator with 50 amp receptacle.
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:12 PM   #44
Txhunter3000
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Let me rephrase. JFFB what type of cord did your electrician provide for your setup being it was 85'.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:05 PM   #45
Zmaxhunter
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https://www.amazon.com/EAROND-Genera...55773797&psc=1

50a power inlet, this cord is 15ft.. where as the other was 25ft.

https://www.amazon.com/EAROND-Genera...55773797&psc=1

50a power inlet

Can save a few more $ going this route..
You and JFFB do not have the same scenario..
I am a licensed, bonded, insured electical contractor. Ive worked across the country from Baltimore to Bakersfield. Cut my teeth on rigid steel conduit, massive amounts of motor controls in Ford and GM plants.Went out on my own in Jan.
2000. Lots of underground trenching, power to farms, country homes, center pivot irrigation systems, and yes, lots of generator transfer switch installations..
Will be wiring a Generac 12kw autostart unit soon and have another scheduled for install in July.
I dont sell my customers things they dont need.
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:32 PM   #46
JFFB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txhunter3000 View Post
Let me rephrase. JFFB what type of cord did your electrician provide for your setup being it was 85'.
Yes the cord was 85' long and was for 35 amps off my generator. I think he said 10/3so cord rated heavy duty sun water resisted 600Y F12. Its nice and not heavy and flexible easy to work with. Cost a little more. But here again some people on here busting my chops just READ from the beginning of my post he and most others cannot find the material they need right now. It's my own fault I did not do it sooner. Buts that's life. Maybe it is over kill but I'm own the good end now. Plus maybe people got by doing different things back then. He had to go from meter pan box out side and the wall to my breaker box and run a connection wire right inside my closet and I can promise you he did not have to do that a while back. He went got the permit him self and set every thing up. Inspector and Entergy came here and signed off on every thing. Sorry this post went Crazy at for me trying to help some one. I can assure you I did sleep in a Holiday Inn last night. Thanks Guys
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:48 AM   #47
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This is how I did it with guidance from an experienced electrician, my brother. Runs everything I need on a 5,500/8,000 gen.
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:23 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
https://www.amazon.com/EAT-PN200-Cut...a-819852908588

This Generator interlock.

https://www.amazon.com/Conntek-GIB14...3113444&sr=8-3

This cord and 50amp power inlet.

Material list
1 - 1" chase nipple
1 - 1" lock ring
1 - 1" plastic bushing
3 or 4 self tapping screws
Possibly a 1 3/8" bi-metal hole saw
About 9ft #6 thhn wire
1 Eaton BR250 breaker
Red white green phase tape

Place 2pole 50a breaker in upper right 2/4 position
Install power inlet on side of 200a panel. Might have to drill a hole for the chase nipple.

Yes the buss bar is hot.. dont touch it.
Use card board or such as needed for protection.
Run a black wire from breaker (2) to the black term of power inlet
Run a red wire from breaker (4) to the red term of inlet
Run a white wire from panel neutral to the white term of inlet
Run a green wire from the bonded neutral to the ground of power inlet box.

Install interlock per instructions..
Total time, maybe 2 hours.
You can shut off the main.. then its only hot on the top lugs where the wires from meter are terminated..
You just need a band of the phase tape colors on each end... say 1" from where its terminated.. no need to wrap the entire wire...
Looking to do this at my home. Is this "To Code" in most instances?
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:47 AM   #49
Rubi513
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Looking to do this at my home. Is this "To Code" in most instances?
Absolutely
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:09 AM   #50
ateague11
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I installed a transfer switch on my sub panel. Powers 6 circuits basically all the wall receptacles in my house. It wonít power my HVAC system but is enough for lights, tv, refrigerators, etc. I figure if I were to ever loose power when itís hot I will just get a window unit AC and plug into the wall. One conditioned bedroom is all we need to get by. All can run from a 3500 watt inverter generator
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