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Onan LT II Transfer Switch JB 7.5


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  #41  
Old 10-08-2017, 10:58:05 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Leon, what you did back in the blizzard in the 1970's is what I did during Hurricane Irene and Sandy, but the neighbors were my tenants. Worked very well, just took time to setup when the power went out. I think I can simplify things a bit using an ATS. I just need to figure out how under the circumstances outlined earlier.

Wayne, I need to "take ownership" during the power outages. Yes, I am the landlord and property owner. If I don't provide power during extended outages I will be the one to loose especially if I provide only myself power.

The following can and will occur during extended power outages if I don't provide for the house and tenants.

1) When their fridge goes without power and defrosts, it will leak and can go through the floor into a tenant's room below. This HAS happened one time in the past. Initially I though a pipe broke, but it was only the freezer part of the fridge that defrosted and leaked. In addition, if the tenant's food goes bad due to no electric, I know they will try to collect from me although I point out in their signed "rental agreement" that I will not be responsible and they are encouraged to apply for renters insurance. I can tell you I never had a single tenant apply for renters insurance. My relationship with my tenants ids very good and they always pay on time without reminders. Also, all my tenants have been with me for for several years. I don't want to upset this relationship.

2) No power, no heat or AC depending on the season. If there is no heat, the pipes can freeze and break. That is a major $$$$ for repair although I do all the plumbing (5 bathrooms, 3 laundry rooms, 3 kitchens, and heating system - hot water baseboard).

3) If power goes out and if their rooms become uninhabitable due to excessive heat or cold depending on the season, they will have no choice to go to a hotel or where ever there is electric for their needs. That could be expensive and without doubt they will try to deduct their expenses from their monthly rent. I hear about this all the time. I am a member for the past 16 years on a popular landlord forum on the web too and there is discussion on this from time to time.

There may be many more reasons, but I got to get leave now to do a welding job for a landscaper's mower that broke down due to metal stress cracks in the frame.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #42  
Old 10-08-2017, 12:52:54 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

You would need to check with your AHJ, but one possible solution would be to use your ATS only to start and stop the plant. Then each tenant's dwelling would be fitted with a two pole, double throw contactor. This would be enclosed in a suitable metal electrical box. The normally closed contacts would be supplied from the tenant's panel. The normally open contacts and the coil would both be supplied by the generator, NOT the ATS. The tenant's emergency loads would each be supplied by the common from their respective contactor.

YOUR dwelling could be supplied directly from the ATS, as normal.

Looks like I missed a few comments on the previous page. What I proposed is essentially what Leon has outlined.

If the contactors are rated for the voltage and current involved, the circuits are all properly protected, and the enclosures are all electrical enclosures, there is absolutely no reason the installation should not be allowed. They make nice enclosures with a built in back plate, specifically for this type of service.
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  #43  
Old 10-08-2017, 12:58:29 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

I think the only difference between your LTEU ATS, and the 100 amp CL unit is the amperage rating of the contactors. IIRC, the LTEU models were available between 30-200 amps. The only difference would have been various options such as battery charger, exercise clock, meter package, 2 wire to 3 wire converter, etc.

I remember being darned thankful that the LTEU series had connectors for the wiring between the enclosure and the door. For their size, those switches were heavy due to all the transformers mounted on the door for the plug-n-play voltage selector. They were a lot easier to handle during installation if the door was removed.

During the era that these were manufactured, it seemed like Onan was trying to standardize everything. The LTEU switches were all the same dimensions between 30-200 amps. At the time, the OT series switches between 150-400 amps were 30"Wx60"Hx16"D. It looked ridiculous to have a 200 amp service with a transfer switch that big. In some existing buildings, we couldn't use an OT switch because there wasn't enough available wall space to install it.

I posted on a recent thread regarding an Onan Techstar generator. Some years ago, one of our customers inherited one along with a 225 amp OT switch with the dimensions listed above. The guy was an avid outdoorsman, and his garage was full of hunting equipment. We were standing in the garage discussing the matter. After explaining to him why he didn't want that free Techstar installed in his back yard, I laid out the transfer switch dimensions next to his 200 amp panel. I joking told him that he probably wouldn't be able to resist the urge to use it as a gun cabinet. It was THAT big!
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  #44  
Old 10-08-2017, 01:21:26 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

I have long wondered why most transfer switch cabinets are SO MUCH BIGGER than the stuff inside of them!!

A gun cabinet lol, that's great! Just be sure to lay a sheet of rubber over the switch first.
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  #45  
Old 10-08-2017, 01:22:07 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
...Wayne, I need to "take ownership" during the power outages. Yes, I am the landlord and property owner. If I don't provide power during extended outages I will be the one to loose especially if I provide only myself power...
None of my previous landlords were as accommodating as you seem to be. All of them required renter's insurance as a condition of tenancy. None cared whether I had electricity or not.

To me, the most straightforward solution is a large (maybe 30+ kW) generator set and 3 suitably rated transfer switches. Parallel the 2 wire start leads, feed the normal source from each respective utility meter, the emergency source from your generator. Various disconnects may be needed to allow maintenance isolation and NEC compliance.

It won't be cheap, but your outage related problems go away. Even if the tenants decide that everything they own should be an "emergency load". You may have to consider a surcharge for each day you supply standby power.
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  #46  
Old 10-08-2017, 02:43:51 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne 440 View Post
None of my previous landlords were as accommodating as you seem to be. All of them required renter's insurance as a condition of tenancy. None cared whether I had electricity or not.
Wayne, I think the difference may be that this house is owner occupied. Some times I feel like a babysitter, but to be honest the money is good. If I could roll back time 25 years, I would have invested in at least 2 more multi-unit dwellings. As long as your properties are in reasonable condition and in good locations, you can make money. With my current situation, my tenants pay my mortgage, insurance, and utilities. Basically, I live here for free, but not much more.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #47  
Old 10-08-2017, 05:49:02 PM
Kevin K Kevin K is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
If I could roll back time 25 years, I would have invested in at least 2 more multi-unit dwellings.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
I'm not a landlord, but one of the most important things I learned from my friends in the business it to NEVER invest in a rental property with less than four apartments. Inevitably one apartment will be empty when tenants move in or out, and you still have the revenue stream from the other three to pay the bills.

If I were you, I would add a transfer switch, either manual or automatic, to each tenants power panel feeding a small sub panel. The sub panel would power the critical circuits that would be switched over to generator power: The heating system, refrigerator, overhead and stairs lighting circuit(s), and possibly power to the natural gas range. This would give each tenant heat, lights, hot and cold running water, refrigerator, and stove for cooking. The high power appliances such as washer, dryer, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, toaster oven, coffeemaker, room air conditioner, and so on would be unavailable until the return of commercial power. Then I would install ONE outlet in each apartment, fused at say 5 amps, that would allow the tenant to charge his cell phone, tablet, electric razor, run the cable modem, computer, router, small TV, radio, alarm clock and so on. But plug a hair dryer into it and OOPS, no power. You would be doing more than 99% of the other landlords.

You might consider wiring your 7.5JB for 120 volts only if you can. That way you would have 62 amps available to share with the tenants without worrying about overloading one of the windings.
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  #48  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:16:26 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Here you go - https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=172504

This and 3 transfer switches and you are set.
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  #49  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:56:26 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Tonight I was playing in the garage with the JB and the ATS. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I think I'm making a portable ATS that can be rolled to different locations and setup at anytime just as the JB is ready to do. Basically it functions like this: The ATS will be plugged into the utility's 240 vac such as through an electric dryer outlet or stove range or whatever outlet. In my case it will be my mig welder outlet. Temporary electrical cords will be plugged into the side of the ATS as seen in the attached pictures and the electrical cords will be temporarily routed to where they are needed. In my case, each of the tenant's dwelling may get one 120 vac 15 amp line.

Before a major storm my tenants and myself can prepare and plug their fridge, lamps or whatever into their electrical cord's outlets. While the utility power is still up it will feed power through the ATS and to the tenant's dwelling. When a storm hits such as a hurricane or major snow storm and the utility power goes down, the ATS will sense there is no power from the utility, wake up the JB, the JB will feed power to the ATS and through the lines to the tenant's dwellings. When the utility power is restored, the ATS will detect power from the utility, automatically shuts down the JB and retransfers power from the utility to the tenant's dwelling. The best part is no one has to be home for this to happen as the ATS will function as it should. Also, since this arrangement will be setup in advance of a storm, there will be no need to go into panic mode to setup everything during a nasty-azz storm when the utility goes down. No need to make any electrical modifications to the house wiring that may violate electrical codes. After the storm you simply roll the JB and the ATS into the corner of your garage and forget about it until next major storm. Anyway, there is still more to do. Does this make sense or did I lose it ?

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Last edited by JohnnyC; 10-09-2017 at 09:13:01 PM.
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  #50  
Old 10-09-2017, 09:06:11 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

I would like to have something similar able to be set up for either feed from utility and a generator or 2 generators. If you have the stuff, why not have fun with it?
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  #51  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:52:23 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Only problem I see is that each tenant must remember not to draw more than 30 amps @ 120 VAC and that leaves none for you! Note they each have 200 amp service. Also note, refrigerator compressors have a relatively high starting current, but your JB can handle a temporary over load, but be cognizant of this fact. Our fridge draws 20 amps starting and only 3-4 amps running.

What you are doing is what is called back feeding. Not code compliant. Think of this scenario. What if that 240 volt dryer circuit your ATS is monitoring fails, for example, the 2-pole breaker in your panel fails and then the utility power comes back on? Talk about magic smoke! I like your idea though. You know, it all depends on your tenants and the quality of the stuff (breakers and wiring) in your 200 amp panel. Now back to bed and hoping Billy is feeling better.

Last edited by Leon N.; 10-10-2017 at 02:01:23 AM. Reason: More
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  #52  
Old 10-10-2017, 07:38:41 AM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
...What you are doing is what is called back feeding...
He is using a transfer switch, and presumably the welder outlet as the "utility" input into same. How is that back feeding?

Quote:
...Not code compliant...
I'm sure there may be some obscure "you can't do that rule, but where?

Quote:
...Think of this scenario. What if that 240 volt dryer circuit your ATS is monitoring fails, for example, the 2-pole breaker in your panel fails and then the utility power comes back on?...
I don't see an issue. The transfer switch is designed to isolate the "normal" and emergency" feeds. The loads may see an outage, but that isn't spectacular.

I realize that there are pitfalls to designing your own appliance like this, one must consider all possible failure modes and modes of improper usage. Then try to make it fail gracefully, or at least without serious consequences. Often, it is more complicated than outside appearances indicate.
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  #53  
Old 10-10-2017, 11:58:47 AM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

In regards to code compliance, my concerns would be:

1. Most welding outlets are 240 volts, 3 wire. Does your utility power input to the ATS have a separate neutral and ground wire? If 4 wire, you're good.

2. The top output cord assemblies appear to be rated at 30 amps. Two of the cords terminate at boxes with quad receptacles. These receptacles will be rated for either 15 or 20 amps. Is there any fuse/circuit breaker protection to limit the 30 amps to the receptacle rating?

3. The lower output cord is rated at 30 amps, and terminates at a j-box that feeds four power strips. Do each one of these power strips have their own internal 15 amp circuit breaker? Some power strips have internal protection, and some don't.

Looking at the photos, it appears there is a circuit breaker mounted next to the quad receptacles on the transfer switch. This breaker presumably limits the current to those receptacles to 20 amps. If so, thumbs up. (no emoji)
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  #54  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:11:30 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

One technical problem would be unplugging the utility input, which would result in the loss of bonding.

That is actually a problem I have been working on (in the design phase) for a vehicle which has an inverter, a generator, and a shore power inlet. Some form of active, automatic bonding switch will need to be employed.

In this case, I don't see any harm in a local (within the transfer switch, for example) bond being established upon loss of main power, or upon transferring to emergency power.

Sure, it would be in parallel with the service bond if the input plug is still connected, but no current would flow in that path. The local bond may well serve to help clear faults, by virtue of its lower impedance, should they occur while on generator power.

In this case, ideally, a neutral switching transfer switch would be employed. Getting even more anal, I suppose that a ground rod should be driven at the plant... Though I don't think that is required for portable sets?
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  #55  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:39:04 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Loss of bonding? NO way should that happen and never introduce a second earth ground connection. If so then you are really asking for trouble. The utility neutral should not be switched in the proposed set up. That ground bonding from the service entrance panel should be carried throughout the entire proposed setup including the standby generator. The ATS, in my opinion should not switch the neutral in the proposed set up.
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  #56  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:47:26 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
Loss of bonding? NO way should that happen. <snip> That ground bonding from the service entrance panel should be carried throughout the entire proposed setup including the standby generator.
It would be, but only so long as the portable transfer switch is plugged in to the utility receptacle. Once it's unplugged, it becomes a portable generator set, and should have a local bond.
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  #57  
Old 10-10-2017, 04:46:18 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Good point, Vanman. I hadn't considered the utility power plug being unplugged while the system was in operation, which would result in a loss of the N/G bond. Of course, anything is possible and Mr. Murphy likes to lurk around.
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  #58  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:10:28 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Lots of comments throughout the day which I was reading, but difficult to respond due to work demands. Well., I am home so I will respond now.

Leon, I believe Wayne 440 answered correctly to your questions in post #52.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Dawkins concerns:
In regards to code compliance, my concerns would be:

1. Most welding outlets are 240 volts, 3 wire. Does your utility power input to the ATS have a separate neutral and ground wire? If 4 wire, you're good. Yup, I got a 4 wire setup as seen in the first attached picture of my mig welder wall outlet. I got 2 hots, neutral and ground

2. The top output cord assemblies appear to be rated at 30 amps. Two of the cords terminate at boxes with quad receptacles. These receptacles will be rated for either 15 or 20 amps. Is there any fuse/circuit breaker protection to limit the 30 amps to the receptacle rating? These outlets are rated at 20 amps. I have one duplex outlet wired to one leg and the other duplex outlet wired to the other leg. The breaker you see in the second picture is a double pole breaker. I want to kill power from both legs if one leg or the other is overloaded or shorts out

3. The lower output cord is rated at 30 amps, and terminates at a j-box that feeds four power strips. Do each one of these power strips have their own internal 15 amp circuit breaker? Some power strips have internal protection, and some don't. Yes, each of those power strips has a built in 15 amp breaker and they do work. These power strips are rated for continuous 125 vac 15 amp duty. Each tenant would get a power strip and if they over load it, the breaker will trip. 2 power strips are connected to one leg and the other two power strips are connected to the other leg. In total 30 amps per leg.

Looking at the photos, it appears there is a circuit breaker mounted next to the quad receptacles on the transfer switch. This breaker presumably limits the current to those receptacles to 20 amps. If so, thumbs up. (no emoji)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leon stated:
Only problem I see is that each tenant must remember not to draw more than 30 amps @ 120 VAC and that leaves none for you!
Each tenant will get one 15 amp power strip and that will be sufficient for a fridge, TV and lights. I did this already back during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. They will not be able to exceed a 15 amp draw.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the ground bonding issue, I intend to keep the portable ATS plugged into the utility power source (in my case the mig welder outlet) which is a 4 wore setup. I assume grounding would not be a issue in that case since the ATS is actually working as designed where as the load end is properly grounded through the genny and ATS and then to the utility house ground. If the utility power input plug mysteriously "falls out" of the receptacle I would assume then the setup will then fully function as a portable generator would. The power strips and what's plugged into them are totally independent of the house wiring as a true portable setup should be. Correct me if I'm wrong.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is ONE issue that I need to implement to make this setup safe that no one has mentioned yet which I am surprised. Anyway, many thanks for the comments and if need be lets further discuss the grounding issue if needed. As we all know, grounding issues seems to open many cans of worms and debate.


JohnnyC
New Jersey

***** I just reread the comments on the grounding and now I assume the issue is over the neutral to ground bonding, not necessarily a grounding issue, right???? -- It has been a long day at work...
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  #59  
Old 10-10-2017, 07:09:59 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

OK now I sort of get it. Each tenant will have to pull his fridge out from the wall and plug it into your to be supplied power strip. So you are going to run a cable from your ATS up the stairs to each apartment. You can keep the incoming panel earth ground as the single point earth ground even if the utility cable from the pole to the house is severed. Yes I guess that will work.

I thought you were going the use the in-house wiring and only power the dedicated branch circuit powering the fridge with all other breakers turned off.
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  #60  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:26:46 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
OK now I sort of get it. Each tenant will have to pull his fridge out from the wall and plug it into your to be supplied power strip. So you are going to run a cable from your ATS up the stairs to each apartment. You can keep the incoming panel earth ground as the single point earth ground even if the utility cable from the pole to the house is severed. Yes I guess that will work.

I thought you were going the use the in-house wiring and only power the dedicated branch circuit powering the fridge with all other breakers turned off.
Leon, I thought about using the in-house wiring, but the simplest solution would be two ATS and a second generator. If I add on or modify any of the house wiring, it may be hard to justify when it comes time to sell the house.

As for pulling out the fridges, that is not a problem. Actually it may be good as it would be the perfect time for them to clean the year(s) of dust and whatever rolls under the fridges. Also, I did this routine for Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Not a problem. The advantage of the ATS vs. no ATS is I can set things up before the storm hits and if the utility power goes out, the ATS will automatically wake up the JB and transfer the load to the JB. When power is restored, the ATS will retransfer back to the utility power and automatically shut down the JB and I won't have to be there for this to happen.

Now, back to the neutral / ground bonding issue: Should both the neutral and ground wires be bonded together INSIDE the ATS??????

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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