transfer switch neutral

somaeNovember 7, 2011

The information I have seen on the web on how to hook up transfer switches has seemed pretty unclear, to say the least.

It would seem simplest to disconnect the generator neutral from the ground - ground the generator chassis - and connect the generator neutral through the transfer switch to the breaker box neutral. I assume the breaker box neutral is always connected to the ground? If not, what would it connect to?

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petey_racer

What exactly are you trying to do?

What kind of transfer switch?

You should not have to mess with the neutral/ground bond in a portable generator.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:14AM
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somae

We've got a 7000W black max generator and I want to connect it to the breaker box main through a transfer switch.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:43AM
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Ron Natalie

If you don't know what you're doing, please get professional assistance.

The ground and neutral in your house should be connected together in exactly ONE PLACE: at the service disconnect. That may or may not be your breaker panel. If the transfer switch is before that panel (with a 7KW generator it better not be an automatic transfer), then that panel had better NOT have the ground connected to the neutral (and there better be a separate service disconnect ahead of the transfer switch).

If the transfer switch is one of the common small generator one, then the switched load is on it's own smaller panel downstream of the switch. In which case you leave the grounds and neutrals alone in the main panel and keep them seperate in the subpanel.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:55AM
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stinkytiger

Hi,

Ronnatalie is right in that the Neural and Ground should be connected in only one place. The confusion happenes because generators on the market are designed for different purposes and as a result had different built in wiring assumptions. You may have some across terms such as "Bonding" or "Unbonded" generators, and "Switched" or "Non-Switched" Neutrals.

The answer to your question therefore will depend on (a) the generator you have and (b) the transfer switch you have. You may have to make modificatons in that some generators can be unbonded, or bonded. You may be able to find that info in your genset manual.

Because the setup is "Site" specific and dependent on what equipment you have. A safe determination as what to do is difficult over the internet. If possible I would advise you go to a good electrican. Also because generator installation is not a "common" task, some electricians may not be "up to speed" on the issues straight off the bat so to speak. Try and find a guyn (or gal) who has done generator installs recently.

Take care and be safe.

best, Mike.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:18AM
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brickeyee

"You should not have to mess with the neutral/ground bond in a portable generator."

A lot of portable generators already have a neutral-ground bond that needs to be removed to use them as standby generators for a structure.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 4:30PM
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wirenut37

Wiring is not a hobby, hire a licensed electrician!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Ron Natalie

"You should not have to mess with the neutral/ground bond in a portable generator."

A lot of portable generators already have a neutral-ground bond that needs to be removed to use them as standby generators for a structure.

You betcha. Most have such a bond because it is assumed that a portable generator will be used in a portable situation, not wired into a structure wiring.

Some real fun comes when the electric start for these things are dubiously grounded as I can tell you when I was mounting one of these in a fire engine.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 10:21AM
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