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Wiring, back up generator

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Nwcid, May 2, 2014.

  1. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I am getting ready to build a shop and trying to figure out my wiring plan. I have been reading as much as I can online and can't find an answer. I don't want to join another forum just to ask a few questions so though I might get some help here.

    As I said I am getting ready to build a shop about 50' from my house. I originally planned on just pulling a 60A circuit over with sub box to power it. I don't have any power hungry devices over there, lights, propane heater, battery charger/maintainers, ext.

    In my house I am moving out my wood stove and putting in a pellet stove. So I need a way to keep the heat on in both places now when the power goes out. I am putting in a transfer switch (10 circuit, more then I need) at the house so I (wife) can easily keep things going when the power goes out.

    So my question is how do I get the shop heat and a light or two on back up power? I was thing of just running two 30A circuits over vs one 60A. The only other option I can think of is still run one 60A circuit over and then run a separate circuit over just for the heat and a light.

    What is my best option?
     
  2. Lars

    Lars Clackamas Active Member

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    I don't think you can run 2 circuits over to your shop from the house. I'll have to look in my code book to make sure, it's been a few years since I have done any residential. I would get a transfer switch that can handle the 60amp load to your shop, you don't have to use all your shop stuff while on the generator. Do you have a generator and transfer switch purchased or picked out?
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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  4. Glock23gp

    Glock23gp Newport / Salem Active Member

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    You do not need to install a generator panel if you want the simplest means of wiring circuits to be fed by a generator. The easiest way is to:

    http://m.platt.com/platt-electric-s...-Covers/Eaton/CH8KFM/Products.aspx?pid=508803

    1. Buy a special listed generator cover for your panel as shown.
    2. Wire in a generator outlet from a 2 pole breaker in your panel (would be the top right two spots as shown in picture) to a generator plug outside.
    3. Build a cord to go from that outlet to your generator.

    When the power goes out simply flip off all the breakers in your house, fire up your generator, turn off main breaker in house panel and turn on 2pole generator breaker. Then start turning on the circuits you want fed by your generator (I have a list inside my panel cover).

    This way you can wire your shop the way you normally would and can still have power in your shop for the pilot light on your stove.

    In Oregon I would need to purchase a homeowner permit for the installation and am required to notify my local utility that I have my house wired for a backup generator. Since your in Washington you should check with your utility provider.
     
    Jablunty likes this.
  5. Jablunty

    Jablunty Vancouver Member

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    I have never even heard of these things. That sure beats the cost of a transfer switch.
     
  6. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Set it up so when the power goes out, the generator flips on, by itself.
    I also think the best generator is a portable one on A tandem axle trailer. Get a 45kw.
    That's my plan.
    Then when you move, pull it off the blocks, and drive away.
     
  7. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    Make sure that the circuit breaker is rated for a reverse feed.
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    With a transfer switch, how is it reverse feed?
     
  9. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    Most circuit breakers are one way. The reverse feed designation allows for feeding the panel.
     
  10. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Have you thought about Solar panels, a battery bank and an inverter for the shop? I have panels on my roof, 4 six-volt batteries and a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter for backup power. Pellet stoves don't need much wattage (beyond the hot rod start up) and a couple of lights don't draw much. It should run your shop for quite a while. Silent and after the initial costs its free. I have used mine in power outages to run several lights, a TV and a various other things for hours. As a heating backup, have you looked into a propane catalytic heater? I have one for my garage that heats it from 32 to 70 in just over an hour. No electricity (OK a very small amount as mine has a DC fan that runs on batteries) and indoor safe.
     
  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    With a transfer switch power is only going in one way to the breaker, the way it normally does. I am not back feeding the panel, one of the points of a transfer switch.
     
  12. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't sure if he was going the transfer switch route, or a backfed circuit breaker to feed the panel.
     
    Nwcid likes this.
  13. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Cost would probably be similar to what I have planned now. I have thought about it a couple times, I have similar set up in my enclosed trailer to what you describe.

    My gut instinct was to say no, because of snow loading, but I could use actual mounted panels on the shop. On my trailer I have flexible panels that are stuck to the roof. While I would not use it much I do like the flexibility of having a generator to use in other places as needed.
     
  14. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Already have the switch. Plan on getting most of it wired up this weekend.
     
  15. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    Are you rewiring your 10 circuits to the generator panel?
     
  16. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I am probably not going to use all the circuits. I could get by with 5-6 to power what I really need/want to. This house is wired funny so I might wire in a couple more that if we are out of power for more then a day or so I can run a few more things in the house as needed.

    I am mounting the 30A inlet somewhere on my porch and run 10g wire to the transfer switch. Then the switch is getting wired into the breaker panel. So there is just a single 30A, 120V plug between the generator and inlet/switch.

    I am adding a couple of new circuits to the house in the middle of my remodel. One dedicated for the pellet stove. Apparently I have to have a dedicated circuit for my microwave/oven hood. I have a closet with all of my electronics (stereo, computer, router, receivers, ect) that I am running a circuit to.
     
    solv3nt likes this.
  17. Gunwheeler

    Gunwheeler Somewhere in De Nile Active Member

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    The above does not meet the code (min. standard) and by making the switch over incorrectly can kill people.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  18. mccullogh

    mccullogh NW Oregon Member

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    I don't think you have to notify the utility unless that is a PUD thing or based on large KW generator. Are you sure that is correct or have a source so I could read further ?
     
  19. Glock23gp

    Glock23gp Newport / Salem Active Member

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    Gunwheeler im not sure how you think installing a listed panel cover doesnt meet code. McCullough I know for sure that the local PUD wants to know who has generators but I cannot guess what is required by other utilities. There is no source to quote since all utilities are different. Just trying to give all the advice necessary to someone that might not be familiar with the safety aspect of things with my over 15 years experience as a licensed Oregon and Washington journeyman electrician.