said by dosdoxies: said by cowboyro: said by ptrowski:
I would eventually have the transfer switch wired in as well.
Get an interlock if possible. Much easier to use, much cheaper to install. You just backfeed the existing panel and can use any of the circuits you have instead of choosing 6-10 you need most.
In my case, I went with a Square D generator panel as I was out of spaces in my main panel and I was able to gain 6 spaces by giving up 2 in the main panel. This was cheaper and easier than changing the main panel. The circuits in my genny panel are heater (oil furnace), sump pump, freezer and refrigerator, kitchen (for microwave and coffer maker), and general lighting.
I did basically the same thing only I just bought that little metal bracket that sits between the 2 breakers and put it in my sub-panel. I had to move a few circuits around but in the event of a prolonged outage I can always back-feed the main panel by removing the bracket and turning off the main if I need to do something like use the washer\dryer or run the AC. I have most of the kitchen (Lights, Microwave, Fridge and a few receptacles), Garage (Door Opener, a few receptacles and Freezer), Gas Furnace, Sumppump, all my network gear (FiOS ONT, Router, WiFi), my office (3 PCs, 1 Server and lights), the TV w/ STB in the family room and the whole house fan. All told more then enough to stay comfortable during an outage.
All that said, the last outage that we had was for about 1 hour during the last tropical storm that came through, the power company restored the fuse that was knocked out during the storm and when all was said and done we were the only block of houses as far as you could see in any direction with lights for a week. It just pays to have a generator ready to go, you will never loose power for a long period again. Sadly I have noticed more and more houses adding generators so with that trend I suspect the next one will be bad.