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willpick
Premium
join:2008-01-28
Boca Raton, FL

separate Load Center instead of Transfer Switch

I would like to know if I can use a separate(not connected in any way to utility mains power) main lug load center to use for my portable generator instead of a transfer switch. This would be similar to using extension cords except, of course the wiring would be run through the attic crawl space using approptiately sized NM cable to the rooms-- then using wiremold raceways to one duplex outlet per room.

Is this legal and permitted by code? please respond---



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
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You could, but there are a lot of technicalities that would go with that. On a code level, I guess one would consider it an Optional Standby System.

Now, on a "common sense" level, it doesn't make much sense at all to do something like this. It's very odd, to say the least.
For all the wasted time, effort, and materials, you could have installed a manual transfer switch or an interlock kit and still had plenty of time and money left.
I can't envision any scenario in a residential situation where an overlay would be beneficial to transferring the load at the service main.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to willpick

Wait for the experts to chime in on this one, but here's my interpretation:

You'll need to treat this as a separately derived system, so:

-Make sure there is no neutral-ground bond in your generator
-The generator will have a four-wire connection to the panel
-Install the neutral-bond jumper in your generator load center
-Bond the ground bus of your generator load center to the existing panel's ground bus with #6 copper

Also make sure your generator has proper overcurrent protection (main breaker on the generator).

That said, unless you have some unusual circumstances, this idea will be far more work than using a prepackaged generator transfer switch.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

The expert beat me to it.


willpick
Premium
join:2008-01-28
Boca Raton, FL
reply to nunya

Thanks for the quick reply. I will most likely use the transfer switch method if i can find an electrician that's familar with such installs-- the 3 locals I called had practically no clue what a transfer switch is. I'll have to keep looking---



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

You'd think in Florida, back-up generators would be on every electricians front burner.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.