Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question
#19
  Re: RE: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by R Clark (I'm not an electrici...)
(11-28-2021, 07:50 AM)R Clark Wrote: I thought it odd that the circuits were extended in the manner that the electrician did the work.  I asked my regular electrician about this method, and he told me that's the way he would have done it since the original wiring configuration would not have provided enough slack to move circuits between panels.

That’s what I was describing above, except using an additional generator (sub)panel rather than a transfer switch for the entire panel. Using an additional small panel would leave empty slots in the main panel(s), which have to be filled, but just swapping circuits between two service panels wouldn’t since the total number of poles doesn’t change.
Tom

“This place smells like that odd combination of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet"
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#20
  Re: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by GaryMc ([size=small]Re the r...)
(11-28-2021, 11:14 AM)TDKPE Wrote: That’s what I was describing above, except using an additional generator (sub)panel rather than a transfer switch for the entire panel.  Using an additional small panel would leave empty slots in the main panel(s), which have to be filled, but just swapping circuits between two service panels wouldn’t since the total number of poles doesn’t change.

I thought you might be going that way, but I got wrapped in some of the terminology.  The installation of a "critical circuits panel" sounded like the addition of a new box.  I guess the move of my backup powered circuits to the left panel at my place is how my electrician "repurposed" my left panel into the critical circuits panel.  

The critical part of my post was the first four word sentence:  "I'm not an electrician."  
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Ray
(formerly "WxMan")
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#21
  Re: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by GaryMc ([size=small]Re the r...)
Your layout worked for you but if it had been a 12 or 15 kw generator ( perhaps budget driven), you might have ended up with one overloaded panel carrying the non critical circuits and a near empty criticals panel. Everything has to be accounted for in planning and costing before work starts.   An experienced contractor will calculate all those permutations with you.
Blackhat
Common decency is as rare as common sense. I figure there was only a finite amount of both made and its getting shared out among too many folks.


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#22
  Re: RE: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by R Clark ([quote="TDKPE" pid="...)
(11-28-2021, 12:26 PM)R Clark Wrote: The installation of a "critical circuits panel" sounded like the addition of a new box.  I guess the move of my backup powered circuits to the left panel at my place is how my electrician "repurposed" my left panel into the critical circuits panel.

Pretty much.  But you have a big generator, and two existing panels, so a full-amperage transfer switch for that one panel was probably the right move.

For the OP, with a smaller generator, the addition of a third panel with just a few critical circuits probably makes the most sense, though it’s worth discussing it with the sparky.  Cheapest solution is probably just a separate sub panel for those circuits (usually 6-8 in a typical gen panel), rather than a 200A transfer switch, but that’s something that would have to be priced out including labor.

I have a 4kW portable, so a separate panel was the right move, although I did the labor.  But a 200A transfer switch costs much more than my little 8 circuit panels, and I had no desire to cut in a big transfer switch anyway.
Tom

“This place smells like that odd combination of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet"
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#23
  Re: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by GaryMc ([size=small]Re the r...)
I also have 400 amp service with twin 200 amp panels. When I have investigated this in the past, I found out that 400 amp transfer switches are expensive. However, you can use two 200 amp transfer switches and it is cheaper. One is Master and the other slave. This was from the generator salesman I talked with. (Yeah, I trust salesmen as far as I can throw them).

Given that, I think simplest solution may be to put a transfer switch on each panel especially if you look at the labor required to move circuits to a critical circuits panel or to rearrange existing panels to only power one. However, I haven't got anyone to come out and do a formal quote. Its still on the order of $10k and it don't yet rise to the top of the budget list.
Rocket Science is more fun when you actually have rockets. 

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." -- Patrick Henry
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#24
  Re: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by GaryMc ([size=small]Re the r...)
Not trying to drag this thread too far off course, but I'm amazed at how many have a 400 amp service in their house. At 73, and having owned 7 homes (not counting how many we looked at) I've never seen 400 amps of service power. I did have a house that had 300 amps (1 200 amp panel, and a separate 100 amp in the garage that wasn't a subpanel) but they were still both fed by a single 200 amp meter (according to the co-op).
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#25
  Re: RE: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by fredhargis (Not trying to drag t...)
(11-29-2021, 12:50 PM)fredhargis Wrote: Not trying to drag this thread too far off course, but I'm amazed at how many have a 400 amp service in their house. At 73, and having owned 7 homes (not counting how many we looked at) I've never seen 400 amps of service power. I did have a house that had 300 amps (1 200 amp panel, and a separate 100 amp in the garage that wasn't a subpanel) but they were still both fed by a single 200 amp meter (according to the co-op).

I also have a 400 amp service.   This was needed because the wife was doing ceramics at the time and the kiln used 50 amps when she was firing.   If you add up the kiln, electric furnace, range, water heater, and dryer all running at same time you are over 200a.    Without the kiln no problem with 200a.     Roly
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#26
  Re: RE: Another whole-house (or less) Generator Question by fredhargis (Not trying to drag t...)
(11-29-2021, 12:50 PM)fredhargis Wrote: Not trying to drag this thread too far off course, but I'm amazed at how many have a 400 amp service in their house. At 73, and having owned 7 homes (not counting how many we looked at) I've never seen 400 amps of service power. I did have a house that had 300 amps (1 200 amp panel, and a separate 100 amp in the garage that wasn't a subpanel) but they were still both fed by a single 200 amp meter (according to the co-op).

the 2nd panel is really for more circuits.

Houses have a lot more circuits than they did 50 years ago. And circuits get added over the years.
I inspect houses from the mid 1900s with a 50 or 60 amp service. 1 receptacle and 1 ceiling light in the bedrooms. A couple circuits in the kitchen and maybe 2 in the living room and family room if it even has a family room. No outlets in the bathrooms. Now we have outdoor lighting and several receptacles. Lots of LED recessed lighting. Smoke/Carbon Monoxide detectors are on a circuit. A receptacle every 8 ft on the walls.
Neil Summers Home Inspections


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... Grey Mountain 3/2/21

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