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Which is better for a transfer switch / generator wiring...

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by, Dec 5, 2006.

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  1. Hi,

    I have a transfer switch that switches 10 circuits. It supports 240V and
    has all the even circuits on one wire (black) and the odd circuits on
    another wire (red).

    I do not have any circuits connected to it that are 240V or have a shared
    neutral. So each circuit is 120V with its own dedicated hot and neutral.

    I have a 120V generator only.

    I ran about 80 feet of 10-3 between the power inlet (where the generator
    runs) and the transfer switch and main panel. The inlet is a Nema L14-30R
    so it has 4 conductors, ground, neutral, hot X, and hot Y. My concern is
    that the 10-3 might not have enough gauge to handle the current (up to 30A)
    at this length very well...

    What I have done is this:

    I wired the inlet and transfer switch as if a 240V generator was being used.
    The hot X on the inlet goes to 5 circuits, and the hot Y goes to the other 5
    circuits. I wanted the house to be ready for 240V in case someone ever uses
    it that way, but am going to use a 120V generator myself.

    I created a cable to connect my generator L5-30 to the inlet where I
    connected the hot from the generator to both X and Y and the ground to
    ground and neutral to neutral.

    The maximum the generator can provide is 29A @ 120V, so even at max using
    this configuration I am assuming that both the red and black wires in the
    10-3 will share the current at about 14.5A each and the neutral would carry
    the full 29A.

    Is this the best way to do this?

    I could connect the black wire to both sides in the transfer switch and not
    use the red wire at all. This would run 29A through the black and 29A
    through the white neutral. Is there ANY advantage to doing it this way

    All comments welcome!!

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