Transfer Switch Installation for Generator

joel_mdSeptember 5, 2011

Hi everybody! I intend to get a 30-amp manual transfer switch so my important circuits can be powered via generator during a power outage. I will have an electrician do the wiring, but want to have a good understanding of everything prior to making the call.

I know that normally one would put in a 30-amp breaker on the main service panel and connect it to the transfer switch. However, I have two 150-amp main panels sitting side-by-side in my garage to power my house. Most of the circuits I want to power are on one panel, but a couple of important ones are on the other panel. Is there a way I can power circuits on two different main panels with one transfer switch?

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Ron Natalie

Most likely not. The usual reason that two panels are put in side by side is not a shortage of current capacity but that they ran out of breaker positions. With only 30A going to the generator, it seems unlikely that only moving a few circuits over is going to make any real overload issues.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 10:06AM
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So, you're suggesting moving some of the circuits from one panel to the other so that all of the ones I want to power with the generator are on one service panel?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:42PM
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Ron Natalie

Most of these cheap transfer switches are panels in their own right. You just connect the circuit to the breakers in the switch panel. The only issue is if the 30 A circuit (and the aggregate panel it is in) can handle the load of all the circuits you move to the generator panel

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 10:57PM
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