Steps for installing a transfer switch

I would like to install a real transfer switch like this one
formatting link

Our house is wired for 200 amps, so this is the right size for us.
I plan on getting a proper permit, but I want to understand the work
Here's a picture of our power meter:
formatting link

I understand that the proper electrical placement of the TS is to
place it between the power meter and house main breaker. It is the
physical layout that has me confused.
The meter has a prepunched hole to the right, below the utility seal
line. Not sure if it is helpful. After the meter, the electric cable
goes right inside the house, to the panel that is right behind the
meter (maybe 1 foot long).
The question is, how to install a transfer switch here. I aam
obviously unable to open the meter to look, since it is sealed.
What is the normal location of the transfer switch? How is it usually
connected to the meter box?
I would think that if, hypothetically, the meter box had a prepunched
knockout hole a little above the meter, then I would tap there quite
easily, but it does not seem to be the case.
I want to do a 100% perfect job here, that would be inspected and all,
so I want to do it right. Any good assistance would be appreciated.
P.S. I would like to avoid suggestions like "just get a little 6
circuit emergen transfer switch", it is not the right one for our
Reply to
Loading thread data ...
I expect that I will need to get inside the meter, and will get proper permission.
I believe that that one is, but I will call HF or Cutler-Hammer to make sure.
Reply to
the transfer switch is a indoor one.
its better to have it inside to minimize kids messing around
install new cable from meter to transfer switch, then new cable to existing main panel.
How large a generator are you planning? if your from houston with that 13KW unit you might as well get a automatic transfer switch.......
Reply to
I thought that I could place a padlock on it.
I will double check how this T.S. is supposed to be used, I will call C-H tomorrow. (indoor vs outdoor rating and padlock/lockout availability)
I have a 7 kW Onan DJE generator,
formatting link
Reply to
Did you know theres a safe easier way:) Legal too!!!
I think its cutler hammer that has a special breaker for generator connection.
either the main breaker can be on OR the generator but not both.
completely code legal you install this dual pole 240 volt breaker connect your generator and your good to go.
Someone posted a link recently WAY cheaper than a transfer switch, no mucking with meter or even permits if your so inclined
Reply to
The first thing you should do is to determine if you want to put everything on the transfer switch or only the emergency equipment, and leave off the unnecessary items. If you switch everything you will have to have the electric company disconnect the power while you put the switch in the leads from the meter.
If you only want the emergency equipment to run ( furnace, lighting, refrigerator, freezer) then you put in a branch ckt and run all emergency the stuff off the branch ckt box. The switch is tied between the branch and the main box. This can be done without having the electric company turn off the power.
I would recommend you consult a qualified electrician.
Reply to
If you don't have ready access to the cable which leads from the meter to the main breaker, or if the cable isn't long enough to cut and wire into the transfer switch, you are going to need to get inside the meter to fit a new cable. Which means getting the electricity board's permission.
I would be inclined to get a professional electrician to do this. You also need to make sure that the transfer switch is suitable for mounting outside, if you intend to do so.
Best wishes,
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
Hey Iggy, what most folks do when installing a "Whole House" transfer switch, is to:
1. Have the electrician make arrangments for with the Power Authority to have a reconnect schedualed after figuing about how long the job will take, then break the seal and remove the Meter, replace the wires from the MeterBase to the Main Breaker with wires long enough to reach thru the short connecting conduit between the Main Panel and the Transfer Switch and connect to the Grid side of the Transfer Switch. 2. Add the wires from the common side of the Transfer Switch back to the Main Breaker in the panel. 3. Have the Power Authority Guy inspect the work, replace and reseal the meter. 4. Finish wiring in the Genset on the Genset side of the Transfer Switch, and your DONE, except writing the the cheque to the electrician, for his services.
Bruce in alaska
Reply to
Bruce in Alaska
Anyone who would replace a Main Breaker with the Meter (Power still on) still inplace, is either CRAZY, or STUPID..... which one are you???
Reply to
My panel is by ITE Gould. (which I think is compatible with homeline).
There is a company, but I do not like their product, personally.
Reply to
Yes, that's what I want. Everything on the switch.
I do not want that. I want the entire house on the generator/transfer switch, I would simply not use certain loads that are too heavy for the generator (like central A/C).
I have a decent generator that can power my entire house if I turn off A/C, pool heater, and use the electric kitchen range very sparingly.
Why should I shortchange myself.
Like I said in my original post, I am not interested in a transfer switch for a few circuits.
Reply to
Where I live I dont need to call them to shut off my power I just pull the metor out just outside my back door. I called them to let them know that there was no seal on it and that the glass was cracked he said "so what" None of the metors in this town have seal wierd eh! Made replacing my main panel alot easier.
john wrote:
Reply to
no one that you know
I have pulled a meter too no biggie power company thanked me for informing them...
Had fuse break off in its socket, pulled meter used needlenose to remove broken fuse replaced meter. 15 minutes tops.
Its not scary but its a good idea to turn main breaker off first so meter doesnt spark when removed and replaced...
again the replacement generator breaker elminates the need for a transfer switch, is NEC code compliant and if it werent for my computer troubles a couple days ago I would have a link
Reply to
You might be surprised trying to run your whole house with 7KW. Thing is, while breakers and the mains can withstand short transient overloads of 10X as when motors start, gennies have very little reserve capacity, maybe 20% at best.
Example: my 4.5 KW genny ( with no other load) won't start my chest-type freezer, which is rated at a couple hundred watts once running. Voltage droops, freezer and genny struggle for a couple of seconds until a thermal overload clicks in the freezer, cycle repeats ad infinitum probably until the T.O. in the freezer failed if I let it continue.
I'll defer to Bruce or other "real" electrician to advise you on wiring. It ain't rocket science, but being an EE does not make me an electrician! In MN EE's can be electricans if they pass the test (no additional education or apprenticeship required) -- but they do have to pass the test and I haven't. There's a lot of code stuff to know and it keeps changing every year.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Intellitroll (tm):
This should be good for a brief discussion of electrical safety.
Lucy, 'splain to me how shutting off the breaker (no current through the breaker or the breaker contacts, and snapping the breaker of the contacts ain't safe? With no current through the breaker, there's no current through the contacts to make an arc when the breaker is removed.
And what about those CRAZY and STUPID birds that sit on those uninsulated live wires that feed juice to the pole pigs?
Of course, after the breaker is out, don't be licking your finger and touching the the box's breaker contacts. And the new breaker must be put back immediately. A transfer switch breaker would have to have additional contacts, but in the main power "off" position the genny contacts and the house side contacts are isolated from the line.
Have fun with this one. I'm going to sit back and observe now.
Reply to
Dale Eastman
Bruce, thanks. Couple questions.
Would you say that the better place for T.S. is inside, as someone else suggested, rather than outside?
Can i use [more flexible and easier to work with] properly sized welding wire?
Reply to
Iggy, instead of an automatic transfer switch, we put in a manual one (i.e. just a big, properly enclosed knife switch setup). Manual control (if you are at home) is pretty easy, and I wonder what kind of erroneous responses you can get out of an automatic setup.
Our generator is (I think) 7.5kW, it works very nicely to run our house on the odd occasion we need it. It takes over the panel (via the big switch) and feeds the whole house, we just take care not to overload it. We decided we needed it after hearing about the ice storm (10 years ago?) here in Maine where many people were without power for over a week.
Reply to
Steve Smith
Putting everything on an undersized generator is just bad design and possibly hazardous. This is one Iggy should leave to a professional, IMHO.
Reply to
I already tried that Don (last year). I ran the entire house on the generator last year. The only things i turned off were a/c, hot tub heater, and I did not use the range. Everything else -- fridges, lights, computers, tv, etc etc etc, was running.
Two comments.
One is that besides the A/C, which I would not run off the generator, all other motors in my house are small.
Another is that this Onan DJE is not some sort of a cheap Harbor Freight or Home depot "consumer emergency generator". It is an expensive diesel generator that is supposed to last 20k hours between rebuilds, according to some people to whose knowledge i defer. It can, actually, take much larger surge loads as would less conservatively rated generators, as a percentage of rated load.
It is very heavy for its rating, it weighs perhaps 500-600 lbs. It has two cylinders and spins at 1,800 rpm.
sounds like the rating of that generator should honestly be a lot less than it is (or perhaps it is not producing proper voltage).
Yes, a lot of such code things are very sensible, once we know them, but not apparent without knowing about them.
Reply to

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.