Wiring a generator transfer panel into two electrical services

SlowcorradoOctober 3, 2011

Hi all, it's my 1st post so please go easy on me. I did a bunch of searching and haven't seen a question that matches mine, so I hope any answers can help me and others in the future.

I have a 2 apartment house with two 100A electrical services. I'd like to setup a way for my 3Kw portable generator to power some loads on both panels (sump pump in each unit, possibly refridgerators). The problem I'm having is with how to wire the transfer panel. Here's the model that would work great: Reliance Controls 31406CRK Here's a link to the installation manual: http://www.heater-store.com/images_templ/reliance-31406crk-install.pdf (link is also attached to this message)

After some research, I am pretty certain of these things: I can seperate the panel by connecting three of the switches to each of the electrical services. I can split and then connect the single GROUND wire to each electrical service's ground bar.

What I don't get is what do I do with the single neutral wire? Can I just split it and put it to both panels neutral bars, or is this a horrible problem/code violation? Thanks for any input, and if I need to clairify anything, just let me know!

Here is a link that might be useful: 31406 installation instruction manual

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My advice - buy some good extension cords, plug what ever you want to run into them. Then stay close to the generator so you can unplug some of the cords. You are likely to do so when the refrigerators cycle to defrost or both sump pumps run at the same time. 3kw isn't much and that rating is probably optimistic anyway.

(We sure are getting a lot of "I want to do such-and-such with a tiny generator and almost no money" questions.)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 10:12PM
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Thanks for your quick response. Basically you've described the way we have been running for the past few years. So far, we haven't had problems with the load, but I'd like to make an improvement in safety and ease of use for the tennants.

My question is really about that neutral wire connection. I would like to understand why I can or cannot wire it as I've described. It should fulfill all my other requirements once installed and will be able to support a larger generator in the future.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:21PM
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I really don't know, but my first reaction is, "Not just no, but Heck no!"

You state these are two different services, two different meters. Hence they could be provided from two different transformers, fed from two different phases. Which would make the neutrals pretty far apart voltage wise.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 3:43PM
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I'll defer to the "experts" here - but why not buy two of these transfer panels and connect both to the same gen' set?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 6:32PM
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"Which would make the neutrals pretty far apart voltage wise."
The POCO and the previous electricians will have these bonded together. The POCO does so at multiple points.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 8:27AM
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Ron Natalie

I've never seen a transfer panel that coiuld handle two feeders.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 8:14AM
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