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Onan LT II Transfer Switch JB 7.5


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  #31  
Old 10-07-2017, 08:52:08 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

It has been awhile since I posted about my LTII ATS and the 7.5 JB combination.

Just to bring you up to date, I got my ATS working perfectly on my "garage work bench" and adapted a Gencon controller to it for monitoring it's functions however in reality the ATS really serves no purpose to me since I have a 2 family house (with 3 families inside) with two separate 200 amp services. I do not see a way to reasonably incorporate 1 transfer switch to run basic functions such as fridges, heat and basic lighting of a multi service house. I can easily wire it into my utility power, but when the ATS is in standby mode someone will be paying for the other's power from the utility as the utility power output from the ATS will be shared to all in the house when in standby. I'm not sure if I am making myself too clear.

So, the question is ---->> How can I incorporate a single ATS into a multi service house for some of the basic circuits that would be needed during an extended outage?

During Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene I had my old Westinghouse in my garage running without an ATS. Each family got a 15 amp extension cord line which was routed from the outside and through their window. Each family was able to plug their fridge, a lamp and TV into their line. Each tenant was instructed to run the least amount of electrical devices as possible. During those days, my third floor tenant's 16 year old daughter had to look "pretty" and was using her hair dryer and curling iron which at time bogged down my old generator.

Anyway, looking for ideas to incorporating my ATS into my house with separate services.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #32  
Old 10-07-2017, 01:04:41 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

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Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
So, the question is ---->> How can I incorporate a single ATS into a multi service house for some of the basic circuits that would be needed during an extended outage?
The short answer is...you can't, without some creative wiring and code violations. Besides, your transfer switch is only rated at 30 amps, so you will be limited as to what you can do with it.

I know you would really like to incorporate this transfer switch into your electric service. You can do that for the service that feeds your portion of the house. You will need to install a 30 amp, 2 pole breaker in your existing panel to feed the ATS, and install a small panel (4-6 circuits) that is fed from the ATS. Then you will need to relocate the circuits you want on emergency power to this panel. The reason I say you will need a 4-6 circuit panel is so you don't overload the ATS contact ratings. If you install two 15 amp (emergency circuit) breakers on each line of the transfer switch, that will equal the rating of the ATS contacts. Since the actual load will be less than the branch circuit breaker rating, you can increase the number of breakers, but you don't want to over-do it. Bear in mind that all the current of your emergency circuits will have to pass through the 30 amp, 2 pole breaker that feeds the ATS, so that will be your choke point when operating on utility power.

If you want to provide your tenants with some emergency power, a manual transfer switch similar to the these will work. http://reliancecontrols.com/indoor-pro-tran.aspx These devices have multiple switches that are designed to easily connect to individual branch circuits. They are limited to 20 amp circuits max, but that should be fine for lighting circuits, refrigerator and 120 volt furnace or boiler circuits. You will only need to run one cable from your generator or breakout box to the transfer switch. It won't be automatic, but it will take minimum time to set up for emergency power and transfer the loads.

Not knowing where the services are located at your dwelling and the availability of wall space, you may need to locate some of this equipment outdoors. The manual switches are available in indoor and outdoor enclosures. You can also buy them without the generator inlet plugs, and install the inlet plug remotely from the manual transfer switch. This is helpful if you install the switch indoors and the inlet plug outdoors. It will prevent having to leave an exterior door open for the generator cord to pass through.

Unless you are planning to permanently install your JB, I don't see much benefit to installing the automatic transfer switch other than retransferring to utility power, once it is restored.
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  #33  
Old 10-07-2017, 05:31:52 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Here is something to think about wrt your question: How can I incorporate a single ATS into a multi service house for some of the basic circuits that would be needed during an extended outage?

The following suggestion is just food for thought.

#1 When power goes out, both 200 amp feeders go dead.

#2 Sounds like you want critical branch circuits attached to the standby JB via a transfer switch and you are willing to foot the bill, i.e. provide free power to your tenants fridge, heater etc.

#3 Those critical branch circuits each will need a "smart box" for lack of a better term which contains a hold-in relay which disconnects only those circuits critical circuits from there respective 200 amp feeder when the power fails.

#4 In each of those tenants smart boxes, there needs to be a feed to your JB 30 amp transfer switch which will pick up those critical loads and no other loads.

#5 Now can this be made code compliant? I would think so, but I am not sure.

#6 Who is going to pay for this rework? If it was me, I would investigate doing it myself and get it inspected and signed off by the local electrical inspector.

Just some early thoughts that came to my mind. What do you think? I like the question, JohnnyC!
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  #34  
Old 10-07-2017, 09:24:41 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dawkins View Post
The short answer is...you can't, without some creative wiring and code violations. Besides, your transfer switch is only rated at 30 amps, so you will be limited as to what you can do with it.

My exact thoughts too and since others live in the house, it must be code compliant.

I know you would really like to incorporate this transfer switch into your electric service. You can do that for the service that feeds your portion of the house. If I just do my part of the house leaving the tenants in the dark, I think collecting the rent for the following month may be a problem.

You will need to install a 30 amp, 2 pole breaker in your existing panel to feed the ATS, and install a small panel (4-6 circuits) that is fed from the ATS. Then you will need to relocate the circuits you want on emergency power to this panel. The reason I say you will need a 4-6 circuit panel is so you don't overload the ATS contact ratings. If you install two 15 amp (emergency circuit) breakers on each line of the transfer switch, that will equal the rating of the ATS contacts. Since the actual load will be less than the branch circuit breaker rating, you can increase the number of breakers, but you don't want to over-do it. Bear in mind that all the current of your emergency circuits will have to pass through the 30 amp, 2 pole breaker that feeds the ATS, so that will be your choke point when operating on utility power.

If you want to provide your tenants with some emergency power, a manual transfer switch similar to the these will work. http://reliancecontrols.com/indoor-pro-tran.aspx These devices have multiple switches that are designed to easily connect to individual branch circuits. They are limited to 20 amp circuits max, but that should be fine for lighting circuits, refrigerator and 120 volt furnace or boiler circuits. You will only need to run one cable from your generator or breakout box to the transfer switch. It won't be automatic, but it will take minimum time to set up for emergency power and transfer the loads. I like your idea. Something for me to look into.

Not knowing where the services are located at your dwelling and the availability of wall space, you may need to locate some of this equipment outdoors. The manual switches are available in indoor and outdoor enclosures. You can also buy them without the generator inlet plugs, and install the inlet plug remotely from the manual transfer switch. This is helpful if you install the switch indoors and the inlet plug outdoors. It will prevent having to leave an exterior door open for the generator cord to pass through. I already have the access hole in the side of the house already taken care of. I use a decoy dryer wall vent that actually works for routing things through the exterior wall up to 4 inches.

Unless you are planning to permanently install your JB, I don't see much benefit to installing the automatic transfer switch other than retransferring to utility power, once it is restored.
Thanks Steve for your input. Good food for thought.

JohnnyC
New Jersey


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
Here is something to think about wrt your question: How can I incorporate a single ATS into a multi service house for some of the basic circuits that would be needed during an extended outage?

The following suggestion is just food for thought.

#1 When power goes out, both 200 amp feeders go dead. That is correct. Both are dead from the utility side

#2 Sounds like you want critical branch circuits attached to the standby JB via a transfer switch and you are willing to foot the bill, i.e. provide free power to your tenants fridge, heater etc. Critical branch circuits is the goal, but I don't want to foot the bill for utility power for my tenants when the ATS is in standby and the branch circuits are being fed by the utility

#3 Those critical branch circuits each will need a "smart box" for lack of a better term which contains a hold-in relay which disconnects only those circuits critical circuits from there respective 200 amp feeder when the power fails.

#4 In each of those tenants smart boxes, there needs to be a feed to your JB 30 amp transfer switch which will pick up those critical loads and no other loads.

#5 Now can this be made code compliant? I would think so, but I am not sure. All would need to be code compliant for anything permanent. It would be too much of a liability if something goes wrong and people die and the cause goes back to non-compliant add-ons.

#6 Who is going to pay for this rework? If it was me, I would investigate doing it myself and get it inspected and signed off by the local electrical inspector. I , and only I do all my own work. The house was made in 1924. When I bought it in 2001 it was wired with knob and tube as well as BX from the 1940's. There was actually 3 electrical services, but the house is only a legal 2 family so I had to rewire it as a duplex with 2 services. The permit was pulled by a former neighbor that is a licensed electrical contractor, but all wiring was done by me and inspected. In the late 1970's I worked for a licensed electrical contractor and went to school for it back in those days. Electrical wiring for me is not a problem and I trust no one else but myself to do the job. I guess I followed those foot steps when I restored all my Onans too.

Just some early thoughts that came to my mind. What do you think? I like the question, JohnnyC!
Thanks Leon for your input.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #35  
Old 10-08-2017, 05:38:28 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

I need to clarify my comment #2 and #3.

#2: No JohnnyC, you would ONLY have to pay for the juice you provide during an outage, that is the fuel to run the generator. Should not be very much even if it is an extend d outage. See comment #3.

#3: What I envisioned as a smart box is very simply a small bud box with three romex connectors. Inside, you mount one single-pole double-throw contactor. The normally closed (deactivated) contactor is always supplying utility power, 120 VAC to for example, the fridge. The normally open contactor is connected to the 120 VAC from your JB.

When the lights go out, your JB provides 120 VAC to this relay coil, opens the utility side and closes the JB side and Wha La, your tenant has his fridge powered. You are only messing with the "120 VAC black wire" in this specific branch circuit.

Yes, it sounds a bit crazy, for example, one must check that no other loads are on the fridge circuit. So you would have to do some homework.

Technically, I am sure this scheme would work safely. Would like to know what rule is being violated?
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  #36  
Old 10-08-2017, 07:56:49 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
I need to clarify my comment #2 and #3.

#2: No JohnnyC, you would ONLY have to pay for the juice you provide during an outage, that is the fuel to run the generator. Should not be very much even if it is an extend d outage. See comment #3.

#3: What I envisioned as a smart box is very simply a small bud box with three romex connectors. Inside, you mount one single-pole double-throw contactor. The normally closed (deactivated) contactor is always supplying utility power, 120 VAC to for example, the fridge. The normally open contactor is connected to the 120 VAC from your JB.

When the lights go out, your JB provides 120 VAC to this relay coil, opens the utility side and closes the JB side and Wha La, your tenant has his fridge powered. You are only messing with the "120 VAC black wire" in this specific branch circuit.

Yes, it sounds a bit crazy, for example, one must check that no other loads are on the fridge circuit. So you would have to do some homework.

Technically, I am sure this scheme would work safely. Would like to know what rule is being violated?
Leon, I understand your idea but hesitant to implement it. I don't know what code(s), if any, it violates, but I'd hate to find out if something should go wrong such as an electrical fire or death. Maybe my best bet is to have two JBs and ATS boxes on standby that are hooked up independently of each other for each service. Actually, my 6.5 NH may be a suitable 2nd generator for the 2nd service at my house and LT ATS boxes pop up on CL frequently at reasonable prices. The easiest solution is to just throw each resident a 15 amp line from the generator and let them plug into it what ever they want as I did in the past. I don't know what I should do

JohnnyC
New Jersey

*** Update - After posting the above response and mentioning the idea of running 2 separate generators and ATS and how frequently LT series ATS's appear on CL, I found one at a decent price. It is the 100 amp version, but does not have several of the time delay relays that would be desirable however it will work. The seller wants $100 and has been posted for a month. I'm sure he would take $50-$75 CASH to see it gone. The seller is located about 1.5 hours away from me.

https://longisland.craigslist.org/el...285610928.html

Last edited by JohnnyC; 10-08-2017 at 08:10:39 AM.
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  #37  
Old 10-08-2017, 08:21:28 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

ATS Question for the gurus

What is the difference between a 30 amp version and 100 amp LTEU 100L ATS other than what I circled in the picture below? I got the exact 30 amp version and it looks 100% identical as far as I can see other than what I point out in the picture. The attached picture is from an ATS for sale on CL that drew my interest this morning (see my previous posting for details)

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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  #38  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:13:44 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

JohnnyC, yes, you have a predicament that can be an embarrassing situation where by you but not your tenants have power.

Re your comment: "The easiest solution is to just throw each resident a 15 amp line from the generator and let them plug into it what ever they want as I did in the past. ---".

That is exactly what I did during the Blizzard of '78 when our neighborhood lost power for 12 days in the dead of Winter. I used two 250 foot rolls of Romex 12-2 WG and provided 120 volts to my adjacent neighbors so they could run their furnaces and fridge. That worked out very nicely. Of course I told them no heavy loads like toasters, irons etc. That would be the quickest and cheapest approach.

What I did back in '78 I would not do today. Different neighbors, very young, not so friendly, never around. Times sure have changed.

BTW, if I am not mistaken, you mentioned 200 amp service. Then the associated ATS must have a 200 amp breaker on the line(utility) side. Is that correct?
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  #39  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:24:13 AM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

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Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
...The easiest solution is to just throw each resident a 15 amp line from the generator and let them plug into it what ever they want as I did in the past. I don't know what I should do ...
My advice - (I'm presuming that you are the landlord here) the "easiest solution" is to elect not to take ownership of the utility's obligation to provide electricity.

IF you want to make a "good neighbor" gesture, install few easily accessible weatherproof-in-use outlets (perhaps on your garage outside wall or ??, NOT in the tenant's premises) that are only energized when your standby power is. If your tenant wants to string his/her own cord over to it during an outage, fine. If not, that's OK too.
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  #40  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:36:58 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Onan LT II Transfer Switch / JB 7.5

Wayne, I like your ideas. The utility's obligation is tenant specific assuming each tenant pays their own electric bills. I still feel somewhat queezy when I have lights and my neighbors do not. I cannot run wires across the street. As for my adjacent neighbors, well like I said earlier.
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