Generator transfer switch question

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-02-16, 09:36 AM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Generator transfer switch question

Hi all, during a recent power outage I connected (for the first time) my 5k portable via the 120/240 outlet to the transfer swtich. Was in a hurry and forgot to turn off big stuff (water heater, central AC, and the like generator bogged and tripped, as you would expect. Now, with power back, if I connect the running generator and hit the test button, the switch cuts normal power to the house but generator power does not take over. Does the power actually need to be out for the generator to take over? Generator is brand new and the 120 outlets work fine, hoping I didn't cook the 4-prong. I reset the outlet, shut down and refired the generator, etc., no change. Thanks!!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-02-16, 09:42 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,638
Received 1,167 Votes on 1,082 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

We'd need to know what you have there for a transfer switch. Most times a manual transfer switch is used with a portable generator.
 
  #3  
Old 08-02-16, 01:00 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OK, I'll try to get a photo, couldn't find amy manufacturer info on it...Just has the wiring a circuit board inside, clear acces door with double 50A breaker, test and reset button and an indicator light that's green under normal power, flashing red-green while in test mode, but like I said I'll try to get a photo for ya.
Thanks!!
 
  #4  
Old 08-03-16, 12:40 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,638
Received 1,167 Votes on 1,082 Posts
A double 50A ?? It should be the same size as the main breaker if it's transferring the entire house.

Definitely going to need a picture for that one.
 
  #5  
Old 08-03-16, 08:02 AM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pics

Here's some pics of the outside & inside of the switch. Previous owners painted the whole thing so manufacturer, model & serial #'s are gone Anyway, the orange/red & brown/black combos run back to the meter and into the house. I agree the 50A clearly is not enough for a whole house set up, and there is double 50A on the panel in the house that I don't know what it runs, prob not a coincidence, will check on that. Might already be set up to run essentials only, not sure. In any case it does not see gen power in test mode. Sure appreciate your guys' time on this!!

Andy
 
Attached Images     

Last edited by A_Morse; 08-03-16 at 08:17 AM.
  #6  
Old 08-03-16, 10:45 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,638
Received 1,167 Votes on 1,082 Posts
I've been an electrician for MANY years and what I'm seeing there is a series of firsts.

What is the story with the electric meter. I've never seen wires coming out of one like that.
Do you have some type of consumption reducing system from the power company ?

I'm seeing what looks like a home made transfer switch. One contactor in series with a second one.

I'm seeing wiring clearly too small to be on a 50A breaker.
I'm seeing neutrals and grounds connected which may be correct if that breaker is the main breaker for the house.

Is this a full sized house or like a summer cabin ?

Name:  switch resize.jpg
Views: 113
Size:  45.7 KB
 
  #7  
Old 08-03-16, 11:55 AM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The wires at the meter are the red/orange & black/brown combos coming out of the second contactor, my guess is they go into the meter assembly as a means of entering the house. I've wondered about the bigger guage of the two myself, don't know what that's about. Utility power comes in to meter from behind. This is our house, full size, the main inside is actually 200A, which leads me to bleieve this switch set up was intended to run essentials only, likely off a NG manually fired gen set since there is plugged and abandoned gas pipe around the corner.
 
  #8  
Old 08-03-16, 01:50 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Also, here is the wiring diagram from the inside of the cover. Hope you can read it....

Name:  diag resize.jpg
Views: 129
Size:  22.4 KB
 
Attached Images  

Last edited by ray2047; 08-03-16 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Add croped and enlarged image.
  #9  
Old 08-03-16, 02:22 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Can't read it. Tried cropping and enlarging but lost too much detail. Can you take just a close up of the instructions. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
  #10  
Old 08-03-16, 02:52 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
I think that is a special meter that is sometimes leased from the electric utility that is made to accept a generator input. I know they are available from my serving utility but I have never actually seen one. If I am correct then this one is a bit different in having a separate transfer switch and control as (I think) these functions are contained within the meter itself in my area.

At any rate, the 50 ampere circuit breaker is ONLY on the generator power and it means a maximum of 50 amperes of load when running from the generator. That would mean a maximum of a 12 kW generator could be used.
 
  #11  
Old 08-04-16, 07:37 AM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,497
Received 83 Votes on 72 Posts
Just did some research and found that is meter base transfer switch. Not 100% sure how is is wired, but it does feed power directly to the meter base.

I found some picture of same panel, but failed to find manual or manufacture's name.

Anyway, you should test your few connections with a multimeter.
With generator plugged in and running, check voltage between red and black wires at the bottom of 50A breaker.
You should read 240V.

If not, check your generator's 240V outlet and cord.

If you get 240V, check top of the breaker. If you don't get 240V there, the breaker is faulty.

Next area to check will be the contactors (relays), but I'm not sure why there are 2 connected in series and when they are supposed to turn on/off.
I'm pretty sure output from last contactor should be 240V with generator in test mode. (orange/red, black/brown wires).

Check voltages between top and bottom terminals with and without transfer switch in test mode.

Contactors may be fried due to over current.
 
  #12  
Old 08-04-16, 05:00 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Works! I'm used to a tripped breaker being in a tripped position, this one wasn't. Had it hooked up and running last night and just for sh*ts & giggles flipped that 50A off and back on, voila! Really pretty much feel stupid on that, but I swore I tried that..... anyway, it's not set up to run selected circuits, so I have to everything but utility room light off then transfer power and bring fridges, furnace etc online one at a time. Works good, tho, THANKS for all of your time and effort!!

Andy
 
  #13  
Old 08-04-16, 05:58 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know. Your experience may help someone else.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: