Not an option for Gymmy Bob, unless it is on a pro bono basis.
Tip..you will need to do a lot more to hear a GB eulogy.
That Golden info you posted is useless. You need:
The Golden illusion is just one of a few 'tricks' this moron has down
pat, as a MO. GB also runs a Shaw account, for starters.
Some links that will help the uninitiated.
That's exactly why the codes REQUIRE, not suggest, a transfer switch.
Anything else is basically moot in a residential setting. Both code AND
emergency services AND insurance companies will frown very deeply and react
vehemently if/when they come across a device such as this discussion is
about in a residence where it's not expected nor allowed to be.
On Sun, 13 May 2007 16:59:19 GMT, Bruce L. Bergman
Interesting points Bruce, got me curious as to what exactly the
regulations actually say so I invested some time the other day at the
First, just so everybody is on the same wavelength (5,000,000 meters
if I've done the math right) I checked the definition of "Transfer
Switch" The closest I could come to a definition in the Canadian
Electrical Code is more of a functional description, section 14-612
(pg 88, 2006 edition) -
"Transfer equipment for standby power systems
Transfer equipment for standby power systems shall prevent the
inadvertant interconnection of normal and standby sources of supply in
any operation of the transfer equipment" Duh.
Rememer the "inadvertant" part for later.
The only other mention I could find in the document to transfer
switches was in section 32-208 requiring that transfer switches used
to power fire equipment has to be, along with some location &
labelling requirements, "approved for fire pump service"
Thats all there is in the CEC.
Onwards to the NEC, where apparently a larger budget allows for far
more verbose descriptions & More Capital Letters-
First, we get a real defintion for a transfer switch or "Switch,
Transfer" as the book in article 100-1 ( pg. 108 2005 ed.) prefers-
"An automatic or nonautomatic device for transferring one or
more load conductor connections from one power source to another"
Additionaly, the NEC goes into far more detail on when/where/what/why
for requirements, the real meat & potatoes of which is in chapter
seven "Special Conditions" where we are variously informed &
entertained with the requirements for "Emergency Systems" (Article
700, pg. 563), "Legally Required Systems" (701, pg. 567), and, most
applicable to us, "Optional Standby Systems" (702, pg. 570).
Obviously I'm not going to sit here & type in 8 or 9 pages of text.
Hell, I won't even type in "eight" or "nine". I will however, provide
some selected highlights-
Article 700- "Emergency Sytems" covers installations legally
required by municiple, state, federal, other codes or by goverment
agencies & are automatic in operation (apart from heath care
institutions covered in article 517). It applies to stuff like
emergency lighting, fire systems, required ventilation, pretty much
anything & everything that relates to public safety.
Pertinant to our thread Paragraph 700.3 states that "All equipment
shall be approved for use on emergency systems" The rest of the
section applies to things like testing, maintenance, specific wiring
requirements, genny maintenance etc. which, Thank God, is outside the
scope of this discussion.
Article 701- "Legally Required Systems" is again for, obviously,
Legally Required Systems. but not "Emergency Systems" as coverd by
article 700. As opposed to things in 700 such as "Fire", 701 applies
to things such as "Sewage".
Again, pertinant info (to us)- of interest is paragraph 701.7
"Transfer Equipment" that requires automatic operation & to be
"approved by the authority having juristiction". The following pages
cover pretty much the same ground as 700 does.
Article 702- "Optional Standby Systems" is where we start hitting
both portable & permanent installations used in places such farms,
homes, industrial/commercial sites etc. where loss of power "could
cause disscomfort, serious interruptions of the process, damage to the
product or process, or the like". I'm guessing Iggy's ice box fits
in there somewheres.
For our puposes the information of interest is located in paragraphs
702.4 "Equipment Approval"- "All equipment shall be approved for the
intended use" and 702.6- (Wait For It-) "Transfer Equipment". I'm
going to argravate my repetitive stress injury here & type in the
whole damn thing :(.
"Transfer equipment shall be suitable for the intended use and
designed and installed as to prevent the inadvertant (ed.- theres that
word again) interconnection of normal and alternative sources of
supply in any operation of the transfer equipment. Transfer equipment
and electric power production systems installed to permit operation in
parallel with the normal source (ed- i.e. UPSs) shall meet the
requirements of Article 705.
Transfer euipment located on the load side of branch circuit
protection, shall be permitted to contain supplementary overcurrent
protection having an interuppted rating sufficient for the available
fault current that the generator can deliver. The supplementary
overcurrent protection devices shall be part of the listed transfer
Transfer equipment shall be required for all standby systems
subject to the provisions of this article and for which an electric
-utility supply is either the normal or standby source.
Exception: Temporary connection of a portable generator without
transfer equipment shall be permitted where conditions of maintenance
and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the
installation and where the normal supply is physically isolated by a
lockable disconnect means or by disconnection of normal supply
All donations for Howard's Right Arm Medical Relief Fund are
So, where does all this leave us? As for "type acceptance", its not
mentioned anywheres. To me the term "Type Accepted" applies to a
specific design or form factor. Nowheres have I found any mention of
approved or required designs for the actual switching mechanism. I
personally have dealt with, both in Canada & the U.S., units designed
around manually operated & motor driven knife switches, spring loaded
contacts, breakers with mechanical interlocks, ganged breakers,
breakers with the "Kirk" locks and bizzare mechanical monstrosities
too evilly complicated to discuss here. These were all commercialy
built and/or installed, no home handyman hacked up higgledy piggledy
As for "Approval" itself, in Canada things appear to be pretty
(perhaps too much) straightforward, per CEC 32.208 "Approval" is only
required for units suppling fire pumps. Doesn't say by whom but I'm
guessing its up to the various local fire codes/inspectors to address
it. Same in the NEC , "Approval", and again it comes from the entity
legally responsible for approval of the equipment the transfer switch
is feeding per NEC 700.3, & 701.4.
We'll leave Articles 700 & 701 here as they don't apply to the
situation we're disscussing, namely Iggy's icebox. No goverment
agency in their right mind would ever wan't to take responsibility for
702.4 leaves in a bit of of a limbo situation, "All equipment shall be
approved for the intended use" begs the question "By Who". And does
it apply to the setup as a whole or to it's constituant components?
Consider- I'm aware of transfer setups used for homes (In Canada) that
consist of two main disconnect breakers, one on the main panel & one
on a seperated box next to the main panel (for the genset) that have a
sliding bar mounted between them so that it is impossible for both
breaker handles to be in the "On" postion at the same time. This was
deemed acceptable by the utility inspector. ( In fact I've seen the
same idea on commercial units albeit both breakers are in the same
panel) Both breakers were either UL or CSA approved, both installed
in acceptable boxes. Does the bar itself need approval from the
un-named, possibly un-maned agency?? Inquiring Minds Want To Know.
Until they find out it appears that the bar is kosher.
Yes, its possible to deliberately bugger the thing up & get both
breakers on at once,
But Not (theres that word again) Inadvertantly.
I honestly don't see the difference between this and the Kirk (or
similar) lock setup I described in my original post. Yes you can
defeat them if you want too,
But Not Inadvertantly.
Now, ask anybody who knows me & they'll tell you I'm an Idiot.
Actually, I'm a pretty darned good one. Hell, I've put in long hard
years deliberately honing my idiocy to a Dull Edge :).
I'll be damned If I could figure a way to *inadvertantly* defeat the
systems using the keyed locks.
Nor is there any mention, apart from the temporary connection
mentioned in702.6, of a requirement for trained personnel to operate
the transfer equipent. I think that any good lawyer (oxymoron?) could
make the point that, given tha the lack of a definition of "qualified
personnel" the guy who did the setup is the guy who is qualifed to
operate it. I can see where you may have nightmares over this, & I
personaly don't blame you, but there it is :(.
Now, niether I, Iggy, or anybody else here is out to murder linemen.
Hopefully we've moved pass the days when farmers would hook up thier
gensets to the main panel with an old pair of jumper cables.
Unfortunately we *are* seeing homeowners hooking up by plugging double
ended extension cords into wall outlets, these are the fools you
should really be worried about :(. Nothing but education is going to
fix this . However, it would appear that what Iggy is trying to
accomplish, & should be applauded for, is a safe system that meets his
particular requirements. From what I've been able to discover what I
think he intends appears to be, arguably. legal and apparently safe.
Now, if I've missed something in either the CEC or NEC, or theres
other pertinant (to this situation) regulations I'm unaware of I'd
love to hear about them as I think we can all satand to be better
educated on this subject.
Good post and nicely done!
One section forgotten (I can't rememeber the section and I don't have
my code book handy) is the quality of the workmanship claus. The
inspector can reject it if he doesn't think it appropriate.
The other item is "qualified". I believe you would have to have
somebody deem you qualified to apply this one.
I wonder where "drunk wife" comes into play here?
On Thu, 17 May 2007 16:19:04 -0500, "Solar Flaire"
If the inspector ever sees it :\.
Do you really believe all those folks buying wireing & boxes &
outlets & switches at Home Despot on Saturday afternoons all have
building permits & are going to hand the stuff over to a liscensed
electrician to do the work??
Lets just AssUMe everybody smart enough the be on Usenet can do house
wiring to acceptable standards :).
True, but "qualified" is a loaded term- I'm sure we all know of
presumably "qualified" electricians who shouldn't be allowed to plug a
wallwart into a wall recepticle. My experience is that utility
inspecters will pass something if it's "right", even if it isn't done
by the "right" person.
Have a look here for some examples of transer setups approved by
I know they don't. I'm not a licensed electrician. Personal story below.
Where I used to live if you went to the county court house and asked about
a permit they would have told you that you'd have to go to the next county
to get your driver's permit. I now live in an area where you have to have a
permit before you can even think about what you might build five years from
now. With that said, after jumping through many hoops, paying more money
than I make in 6 months and filling almost one complete drawer in my filing
cabinet with the necessary paperwork I started to work. I called and told
them I was ready for the county inspector to come out and see if things were
up to standards. He drove up, we talked about military service, his days
flying an old PBYand told me that ever thing looked fine and signed. He
never got of his truck.
To be honest with you if the codes are written clearly you don't need much
over a 60 IQ to wire a house. Code tells you what size wire from point A to
point B, how many outlets and/or lights allowed per circuit, max distance
between outlets, where GFI's are required. The problems start when you have
a strong electrictions union around.
A lot of them will pass stuff if its done wrong but done by the "right"
person, usually a "licensed" <insert profession here>. Let some "idiot home
owner" install things OVER CODE (i.e. using 10 ga wire when code only
requires 12) and see what happens.
I think a lot of AHJ could have some fun with, "...prevent the inadvertant
interconnection...in any operation of the transfer equipment."
One could take the position that "any operation" could include using two
keys simultaneously. And that's the crux of the whole argument. A real
transfer switch can't be put into two different positions at the same time.
Sort of like NEMA reversable motor controllers. Not only is there an
electrical interlock to prevent both contactors being picked up at the same
time, there is a mechanical bar that will not let one side pull in if the
other side is somehow jammed in.
While keylocks are familiar to many of us, and certainly the AHJ, they may
seem foreign to some homeowners. Someone's wife, who called the neighbor in
the middle of the night, may decide that in order to turn that second lock,
she needs to go get the key from the safe. No problem, she trots upstairs
with a torch, gets the second key and hands it over to the 'helpful
neighbor'. Who promptly 'interconnects' the normal and alternative sources
of supply. Inadvertantly.
"Qualified" personnel understand that the key-lock is meant to ensure only
one lock can be operated at a time. But someone 'unqualified' may just
assume the other key is kept in a 'safe place' and just needs to go retrieve
A simple slide-bar or other mechanical interlock is more 'foolproof' then
keylocks. Keylocks are more for when the two switches/breakers are too far
apart for a simple mechanical interlock.
It boggles my mind that people will put so much effort into justifying their
schemes to bypass the need for a proper transfer switch. It's not that
difficult - if you're sure your system is safe, call the people who do
electrical inspections in your area and ask. If they say "no", then are
you really stupid enough to do it anyway? Knowing that an unapproved
electrical installation is going to cause hell with your insurance if you
ever have a problem... If they say yes, get it in writing, do it, and
don't bother Usenet with the details.
Yes, two keys *could* be a problem, but I've never encountered an
installation where two keys were available. Kirk seems to make it
damned hard to actually get a spare key. The fact is keyed interlocks
are in use & therefore presumably acceptable by some, if not all,
As for a "real" transfer switch not being able to be put into two
positions at the same time-don't believe it. I've seen lots that with
a little messing around, or even failure of a simple spring clip, can
most certainly be in two positions at the same time. Caveot Emptor.
If you have two keys, nail the spare to the wall.
Or get rid of it . Placard the breakers against using two keys at
Tattoo operating instructions to the wifes forehead.
So she can read them by looking in a mirror.
The installations I've worked with certainly had lottsa little
lamiplax signs all over the place with operating instructions,
warnings, contact info- in short everything but next week's winning
lotto numbers :(. If the people can read & they read the sign, well
then I'd say they're qualified.
Agreed, but I was under the impression that was Igor's problem, the
physical layout of the existing panels ruled out the use of a single
box transfer switch.
Sounds to me like a $2K Kirk interlock system in order to replace a
$200 transfer switch.
One other point. Many of the Home Depot transfer switches will never
pass code in Canada. Home Depot has them hidden from the shelves in an
attempt to cover up their lack of code knowledge.
At least in the electrical isle, just about any advice that the employees
give is potentially "code info". There's likely plenty of legal CYA
going on, but it can't be _that_ cut-and-dried.
At least in the Canadian HDs I'm familiar with, the contractor desk,
electrical and plumbing areas has at least one licensed tradesmen on
staff most of the time, and I've not found them to give out any really
stupid info, nor avoid commenting on something to do with code.
The original comment:
I find really hard to take at face value. HD isn't going to risk
large fines (and potentially jail time) for selling unapproved
[Selling unapproved electrical gear is against the law in Canada.
Actions are rare, but they will do it.]
Given that his other comment about "automatic transfer switches" being
illegal here, and obviously they aren't, I'm not sure he'd recognize
an unapproved device if it bit him.
I've never looked for a transfer switch at HD. Their catalog carries
one, the generac one, I think. But, I don't have a clue about the
If they're "hiding them", it's probably because they _prefer_ to sell
these devices to people who know enough (eg: electricians) to ask for
one. And/or simply not enough people would want one to use up shelf
space for them.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
There is that reading ability thing again!
Where did you see me say they were selling illegal transfer switches?
The comment, once again to clarify was . HD has a shelf full of
illegal (in Canada) transfer switches and they hide them (not sell
them) to cover up their code ignorance. (the purchasing agent thinks
he is still in the US)
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