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Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)


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Old 03-20-2017, 03:47:36 PM
AppleTech AppleTech is offline
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Default Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

OK - so I spoke with a local electrician and he mentioned that the most economical way for me to hook into my setup based on how my boxes are set up (primary mains box and a sub panel in the garage) would be to add a breaker to the main box and backfeed into that rather than going with an external transfer switch. Per code here it is OK as long as precautions are taken to prevent both power sources from being live at the same time. This kit seems to resolve that (http://www.geninterlock.com/product/...ansfer-switch/).

So I wanted to run my plans by everyone here based on my discussion with him as I also value everyone's input here. I have a 6.5NH that will be pushing 4-wire 120v out:

- Add a breaker to the main panel (dual 30-amp, one for each leg) for the generator to hook into
- Add the above linked generator interlock physical lock-out
- 30-40 foot run of #8 4-wire out to the generator pad (he recommended buried conduit as well as #8 in case I ever wanted to upgrade the generator to a higher-KW unit.
- In the same conduit, I would have a #14 3-wire hooked into the same panel (but obviously a different breaker) to feed a battery minder when on utility power.

And apparently reading up online I can probably do the work in the main box myself. I was a bit sheepish at first but it looks like all the connections are on the lower side (since it is an outdoor box) so I won't be getting my hands up near the mains... am I crazy?
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:59:43 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

In one word YES. You never want to work on a live system. One slip and you will find out why. I have never worked on a live system. Unless it was a system that could not be shut down. Hospital,nursing home,military base and so on. Then I had my hot gloves,rubber mats,hot blankets and a rope around me. So my helper could pull me off

You do not want to do this yourself. Because if something goes wrong and insurance company finds out you did the work. Insurance will be canceled leaving you to pay for ALL damage. Hire a qualified person,have an inspector sign off on it.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:13:52 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy J Shafer View Post
You do not want to do this yourself. Because if something goes wrong and insurance company finds out you did the work. Insurance will be canceled leaving you to pay for ALL damage. Hire a qualified person,have an inspector sign off on it.
Good enough reason. I can definitely bring them out to do the box install. Do the other portions sound reasonable?
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:12:28 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Sounds fine to me. But it will need to comply with the local codes.

I was involved in a case down here. Man backfeed through the dryer plug. Then left to go to town. Fire got started. By the time it was all over. His bill was over 1.4 million. He had to pay. He lost everything just to pay the bill.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:27:17 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

This probably will work for you.
http://www.interlockkit.com/
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:32:28 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Quote:
Originally Posted by I like oldstuff View Post
This probably will work for you.
http://www.interlockkit.com/
I saw that one first and that got me searching. The one I linked to is actually very similar but less expensive! Much cheaper than a transfer switch.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:50:30 PM
LRomero LRomero is offline
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Have you guys seen the electric meter interlock version? Don't know the pricing, just came across this last week when I was looking at ATS'.

http://www.generlink.com/about_generlink.cfm
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:15:46 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

GenerLink will only be marketed to electric utilities to resell to their residential customers.

http://www.generlink.com/about_pepcotech.cfm
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:43:47 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Upgrade the 14-3 to 12 gauge. Cost a few $ more but has a lot more capacity.

If you have a main breaker, I see little danger to you working in the box below it when it is shut off.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:57:30 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

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Originally Posted by Jim Rankin View Post
Upgrade the 14-3 to 12 gauge. Cost a few $ more but has a lot more capacity.

If you have a main breaker, I see little danger to you working in the box below it when it is shut off.
Thanks for the tip. That was my thought re: the box. The only live item would be above the main breakers, and I would not be going up there. I'm pretty meticulous and don't mess around. I also plan to never run my unit when I'm not home.

I can appreciate both sides of the fence!
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:02:39 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleTech View Post
...

So I wanted to run my plans by everyone here based on my discussion with him as I also value everyone's input here. I have a 6.5NH that will be pushing 4-wire 120v out:

- Add a breaker to the main panel (dual 30-amp, one for each leg) for the generator to hook into
- Add the above linked generator interlock physical lock-out
- 30-40 foot run of #8 4-wire out to the generator pad (he recommended buried conduit as well as #8 in case I ever wanted to upgrade the generator to a higher-KW unit.
- In the same conduit, I would have a #14 3-wire hooked into the same panel (but obviously a different breaker) to feed a battery minder when on utility power....
"4-wire 120v"? What's that?

IF you mean 3-wire 120/240 (Two hot lines plus one neutral) then OK.

Keep in mind the neutral does not connect to the chassis of the genset at the genset. The neutral wire from your genset connects only to your neutral bus bar in the main box. The chassis of the genset gets 'grounded' to the main panel through the bare (or green) #8 ground wire.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:08:02 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

The reason I say to kill all power. It's not easy to go into a power panel. Where someone has lost an arm and your job is to clean out the mess.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:38:43 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McIntyre View Post
"4-wire 120v"? What's that?

IF you mean 3-wire 120/240 (Two hot lines plus one neutral) then OK.
Yes sorry I meant 4 wire including the ground but you're right 3 wire is what I meant!
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:02:40 AM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

120 volts won't make a mess or make you lose any limbs. It'll just stop your heart.

So be careful not to touch anything that's energized.

Last edited by Vanman; 03-21-2017 at 01:31:28 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:41:59 AM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

The Generlink is a neat device. They won't allow them here so I called the utility and asked why. They don't want the extra length hanging on the meter socket which could cause damage if you push down on it. ..Lame...
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:10:47 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

OK I called my local Building/Codes folks. They said the only thing I will need a permit for is generator connection if I don't bury any lines - If I run them along the exterior of the house to the generator I won't need permits/inspection for that portion.

I spoke with the state inspector and he was intrigued by the generator interlock device and said it sounded like it met the requirements of preventing backfeed and thought it sounded like a really neat solution.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:44:45 AM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

Keep in mind -

The GenerLink site says -

Quote - GenerLink™ is installed by your local electric utility in less than 30 minutes. Unquote

Quote:
Originally Posted by I like oldstuff View Post
The Generlink is a neat device. They won't allow them here so I called the utility and asked why. They don't want the extra length hanging on the meter socket which could cause damage if you push down on it. ..Lame...
Considering the average consumer, it makes perfect sense to me.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:03:57 AM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

And it's only good for 30 amps (per their spec sheet).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RETCPO View Post
GenerLink will only be marketed to electric utilities to resell to their residential customers.

http://www.generlink.com/about_pepcotech.cfm
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:15:15 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

OK I'm in the process of wiring this up. I have the conduit run to my L5-14R and am pulling wire into the MAIN disconnect box. My one confusion is what to do about ground. Since this is the main disconnect, the bus bar is tied into the box ground and there is no ground bar. So what do I do with my neutrals and ground wires coming from the generator? Do they both get connected to the same ground/neutral bar? Note this is being inspected by local inspector (since I got a permit) so I need to know the proper way to do this.

Thanks!
-Phil
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:12:06 PM
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Default Re: Wiring up 6.5NH (Backfeed Discussion)

At your main service panel, the neutrals and grounds are bonded together by either a green grounding screw or a bonding jumper that attaches the neutral bar to the metal panel enclosure, per electrical code requirements. You will connect the generator neutral and ground to the panel neutral bar. (If you had run to the sub panel, the neutral and ground would have to be run to separate bars. The neutral in the sub panel would/should be floating from ground per code requirements.)

Assuming you have #8 wiring running from the panel to the generator, you should have four conductors. The connections will be as follows:

Panel
Black 120 volt hot (to 2 pole/30 amp breaker) > Generator M1 winding lead wire
Red 120 volt hot (to 2 pole/30 amp breaker) > Generator M4 winding lead wire
White neutral (to panel neutral bar) > Generator M2 & M3 winding lead wires (isolated from ground.)
Green ground (to panel neutral bar) > Ground to generator connection box.

You may need to sink a 5/8"x8' ground rod at the generator, and attach the ground rod to the generator frame with a piece of #8. Use a bronze acorn ground clamp on the rod. You can buy a galvanized ground rod or a copper-clad ground rod. Spend the few extra bucks and get the copper-clad rod. Galvanized rods will rust in the soil after a few years and be ineffective. I once read an article in a trade magazine about ground rods. It stated that galvanized rods were suitable for temporary services, Christmas tree lots, etc, and were effective for about 10 years maximum service. Copper-clad ground rods are suitable for about a 40 year service life.

Last edited by Steve Dawkins; 04-14-2017 at 08:31:09 PM.
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