Looking for opinions on manual transfer switches

davehoFebruary 3, 2011

After this week's ice storm, I decided to bite the bullet & buy a generator. No heat plus the worry of what happens if the sump pumps needs to run & doesn't will do that. The model I'm getting is the Honeywell HW7500E.

Based on what I've come across on the web, I've narrowed my transfer switch choices down to the Gentran 301060 or the Reliance q310c. I'm leaning toward the Gentran simply because I like the way power gets from the main to the transfer switch. 1 DP 60A breaker vs 10 individual breakers means less mess in the main. Both are prewired, but I will likely be discarding the included wiring & running PVC conduit for the wiring since there really isn't an optimal spot close to the main which the included flex conduit will reach.

Does anyone have an opinion on these two switches? Since I'll be doing my own wiring between the main & transfer switch, is there another switch I should be looking at? My requirements are that it has a minimum of 10 circuits & has replaceable breakers. These switches can use Siemens QP breakers which are what my main panel uses. Both are available for right around $360. I would consider going up to $500 if necessary.



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Where circumstances permit, I much prefer installing a transfer switch/subpanel combo, and I avoid pre-wired "solutions". To my way of thinking, they either constrain your options or you end up rewiring and reworking them and get little or no benefit from the prewiring.

Can you re-run those circuits to a subpanel, or is that not feasible given your placements? Reliance has another series based on Siemens subpanels that is a lot cheaper than the model you are looking at, even after you buy breakers.

Also, if decide to discard included wiring and replace it with PVC conduit and new conductors, don't assume that you can match the sizing of the conduit and wires. Those transfer switches that put a whole bunch of small circuit conductors in a small-diameter flexible conduit get past UL certification because they qualify as a short (If you try to do the same thing for a longer distance, it'll kick in ordinary fill limits (40%) and, with ten or more conductors in a single raceway, you'll have to derate the wire sizes too.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Consider adding an inlet, breaker and interlock kit to your existing panel. I don't like interlocks much, but it seems as safe an alternative as either of the (so called) transfer switches you mention.

I believe that a manual transfer switch should go CLUNK when you pull the handle and have blades that provide a visible open. I don't trust interlocked breakers as typically used in residential and light commercial appplications.

Here is a link that might be useful: here are some interlock kits

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 7:34PM
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