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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Portable Generator question

I may also consider installing a transfer switch if they are easy to install and easy to remove (if we ever do move, we've been in this rental unit for ten years and do not see moving in the foreseeable future).

I may just mount it next to the panel and run 10/4 out to an input receptacle through an existing hole in the back of the house. I looked up how to install a transfer switch and it seems easy, I am a little nervous about working in the main panel but I would cut the main breaker when poking around the panel.
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Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
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I would strongly recommend locating the model number of your generator on the following GenerLink pdf document to see if it is compatible with the GenerLink or other transfer switches that do not switch the neutral.

»www.generlink.com/CompatibleGenerator.pdf

If your generator is a Model # 030430 the Generlink compatibility list shows it is compatible with their product.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by Mr Matt:

I would strongly recommend locating the model number of your generator on the following GenerLink pdf document to see if it is compatible with the GenerLink or other transfer switches that do not switch the neutral.

»www.generlink.com/CompatibleGenerator.pdf

If your generator is a Model # 030430 the Generlink compatibility list shows it is compatible with their product.

They want floating neutral and no GFCI. If your genny has that or can be converted you're good to go.


leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
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said by fifty nine:

They want floating neutral and no GFCI. If your genny has that or can be converted you're good to go.

The wiring schematic for the generator shows no GFCI but it does show a Neutral-Ground bond. The schematic is detailed enough to show that the bond is at DP2 (the second of the dual 120V 20A outlets) with a wire from the ground screw (marked as terminal 5) of the outlet to neutral (marked as terminal 4).
Wire number 0 in the schematic is ground. Wire number 22 (and 33) is neutral.
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diroms

join:2012-10-20
West Simsbury, CT
Do you have a more detailed description of where the neutral-ground bond is on this generator? I'm running into the same issue. I do see a short wire going from the ground screw to the middle screw of the outside outlet. if i remove this short jumper, is this breaking the bond? thank you!


leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
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Based on the published documentation that short wire is the neutral-ground bond. I have a different generator at home (generac) and therefore can only go by the manual.

said by diroms:

if i remove this short jumper, is this breaking the bond?

Yes. You can make sure that it is the correct wire by measuring the continuity between ground and neutral before and after disconnecting that bonding wire.
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diroms

join:2012-10-20
West Simsbury, CT
thanks for your help. do i need to remove the wire entirely? i attempted to remove only the neutral side and the breaker on the generator still flipped as soon as it was turned on with cable connected to house.


leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
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Under no circumstance should a regular breaker drip because of a missing or present neutral-ground bond. A regular breaker monitors the current through the hot leg(s). It couldn't care less about what you are doing with ground and neutral wiring (with the caveat that a working return path has to exist for a current to flow).

It is different for GFCI or AFCI/GFCI combo breakers where an incorrect bond between neutral and ground would correctly indicate a ground fault condition and trip it, however that doesn't apply here.

If your regular breaker on the generator is tripping then you have either a severe overload condition (Even a 300% overload would take about 10 seconds for a thermal trip of the breaker. It would take almost 10 times the rated current for an immediate trip.) or a short circuit.

The first thing to check whether you are trying to backfeed utility power into the generator (which is an extremely dangerous situation). Disconnect the cable from the generator and carefully (without touching the pins yourself) measure whether there is any voltage on any of the pins. Regardless of the setting of your transfer switch or home breakers if using a lockout kit (try all combinations) there should never be any voltage between any pins on the cable going to the generator. If you detect voltage on the cable stop immediately and do not connect the generator (or anything else) to that cable until your home wiring has been fixed.

The next thing to check would be whether the connecting cable is wired properly. Especially with twist-lock connectors it is not unusual to see the wires connected in the wrong order because someone was looking at a picture of the plug instead of the markings on the plug itself (which are often hard to see). However with the L14-30 it really takes effort to mess it up: the ground wire is on the flagged pin (right angle bend, marked G) and the neutral wire is the opposite narrow pin (marked N) and the remaining two wide pins (marked X/Y or L1/L2) are the two hots (as long as they are not being connected together it doesn't matter which hot goes on which pin.

If the cable appears to be wired correctly on the connectors it may be defect (internal short circuit). With the cable disconnected from both generator and your home measure whether there is continuity between any two pins on one end of the cable (there should be none).
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diroms

join:2012-10-20
West Simsbury, CT
Great reply. I can't believe that I'd be backfeeding utility power to the gen. I'm using a reliance controls transfer switch installed according to the manual. with the switch set to line, there should be no power going through to the power inlet. i will check and see.

diroms

join:2012-10-20
West Simsbury, CT
using a voltage tester, with the cable still connected to the house outlet, i removed the cable from generator and verified that there is no power on any of the pins on the cable end.


leibold
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Sunnyvale, CA
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reply to diroms
said by diroms:

I'm using a reliance controls transfer switch installed according to the manual.

With all switches in the normal (utility power) position there is no connection from the generator to either utility power or the attached load even if you did get red and black wrong when installing the transfer switch. With red and black reversed, putting the switch into the generator position will connect the generator to the utility power grid instead of the intended load.

Is this one of the models with the integrated cable inlet or a hardwire model ?

With those models that have the cable inlet there isn't any generator side wiring that you would have to do yourself and eliminates the possibility of a wiring mistake. That would point to either a defect L14-30 cable or a defect transfer switch.

If you have a multimeter check the cable by putting it into the lowest Ohm setting (a beeping/blinking continuity tester works as well) and test with the cable disconnected from home and generator.

There should be 0 Ohm resistance or continuity between:
Plug Ground (top) to Receptacle Ground (top)
Plug Neutral (bottom) to Receptacle Neutral (bottom)
Plug Hot (left) to Receptacle Hot (right)
Plug Hot (right) to Receptacle Hot (left)

There should be no continuity (infinite resistance) between:
Plug Ground (top) and Plug Neutral (bottom)
Plug Ground (top) and Plug Hot (left)
Plug Ground (top) and Plug Hot (right)
Plug Neutral (bottom) and Plug Hot (left)
Plug Neutral (bottom) and Plug Hot (right)
Plug Hot (left) and Plug Hot (right)
You could do this test on the Receptacle end as well but the result would be the same and it is easier to ensure good contact on the plug end of the cable.
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