standby generator switch

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by geekknot, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. geekknot

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2016
    6
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    Hey guys searched for other threads on specific subject so started this one. I own a Generac 24/7 20kw LP fueled generator wired into the house 200amp panel professionally. Provides 2 legs of 60hz thereby servicing the entire panel and runs perfectly, due to proper servicing and always being provided natural gas. We are considering selling the house and I want to take it with me but leave the ''fixture'' switch attached to house. The service tech factory guy says ''unit won't operate without switch'' but I think factory tells him to say that for safety and future business. It does not make sense to me. We had to buy switch separately and although it is fancy with thinkers and checkers, fuses and contactors verifying that line voltage is not present before disconnecting automatically from grid and starting generator. Takes 20 seconds. I do understand the safety aspect of this; one MUST verify and isolate line voltage from the house before starting generator. The generator exercises for 30 minutes 1x per week, so it will run while line voltage is present, which tells me it would run if not connected to anything/ house or grid. Because switch is open disconnecting generator from line and house. I can start manually and verify with meter both 60hz legs, they are just not being allowed to go past terminal on generator. Therefore, if I take generator to location B, to use as a manually operated generator through designated circuits; understanding all safety conditions required; this unit should work or not be prevented from working by some pre engineered electrical safety crap designed into circuit board on generator. It looks fancy also with small communication wires that I believe communicate with switch on line voltage protocols. This is my concern. WILL IT WORK IF DISCONNECTED FROM SWITCH OR will it only work disconnected from switch if I do X,Yand Z with these communication wires to tell circuit board at generator it's OK to start.
    I have owners manuals schematics and can take pictures of anything needed to SAFELY figure this out or determine it's not good idea. Skill set is; I can safely handle the 2 power legs without killing myself or line worker, but these proving circuits and protocols, schematics....I got NOTHIN.
    Thanks in advance for real world advice, safety precautions, do's and don'ts, and furthering my knowledge of these circuits as this community already has just from reading and researching other interesting subjects.
    Generac model #0047231 Type code: SG020-A161.5N36PDYYC single phase 20 kw AMPS 166.7/83.8
     
  2. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Yes, it can be set up to work as a standard stand alone gen set. The only trick will be finding what needs to be disconnected or bypassed first which more than likely will not be all that difficult.

    It looks like the are several manuals that go with these types of gen sets for various installations and applications so given that it should be even easier to figure out.

    http://www.generac.com/service-supp...roductid=730f3cb2-e027-494f-b402-bc8abf603a68
     
  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,009
    3,233
    Yes, I think they are feeding you a line of bovine excrement.
    It will indeed operate without the panel, you just don't want to connect it to the new house wiring without a new interface panel, as I'm sure you understand.
     
  4. geekknot

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2016
    6
    1
    Thanks for conformation replys on service tech deceptive safety tip. So my solution will lie in the communication circuits between generator and switch wired into current addresses electrical panel. Any way I could get further direction on that or are there too many different configurations without specific info on mine?


    This topic started 6 months ago when a proving circuit in TOPIC switch decided to stop working. 4 days later, storm dropped tree across power lines leaving 22 residents behind 100 years. I sit in the dark with a 8500.00 generator that refuses to run until knuckle head comes out (week) and tells generator it's ok and me it must have switch to run.
    I don't want to burn up a circuit and have to pay knucklehead again, but now I really want to understand what these circuits are doing and how to isolate them.
    would a photo or schematic of wiring configuration help with specifics?
     
  5. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    You have time traveling storms or trees in your area? o_O

    Yes a schematic would be helpful but that link I posted also has many sub-links to schematics for your type of genrator as well.
     
  6. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    1,530
    If your taking the generator why not take the "fixture switch" from the house too? Then have it installed in the new house along with the generator. An electrician would/should be able to remove the wiring from the "fixture switch" ( whatever that is) to the main panel and put a block-off plug in the main panel entrance hole. Won't you need a "fixture swich" in the new house?
     
  7. geekknot

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2016
    6
    1
    Yes, all reply's are correct. All storms know when your generator doesn't work. And yes I could take switch. Assuming it cost as much to un-install as it did to install, I was thinking might be easier to leave it as benefit to house (sale). But I should price that out. That being said, I don't like all the thinking it does to allow me to start my generator! The only problems I have ever had with standby power have been with that switch!
    (3-total) and I knew that tech was blowin smoke at the stupid home owner when he told me I had to have it! Honestly, I would like to put it on or in a trailer with a distribution panel to use whenever /wherever I want.
    Thank you, everyone for your helpful and humorous replies. If I run into schematic challenges I will come back here...we can end thread.
     
  8. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Depending on what that "switch" does you may need it. Doesn't the switch also cut off the lines going out to the main voltage input? Without doing that you could electrocute a lineman working to restore power. Not sure if they(power company) could sue or hold you liable.
     
  9. geekknot

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2016
    6
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    Yes the switch does that! automatically. It can also be done manually, prior to starting generator. The question was about would generator operate like a regular generator without switch. the manual method.
     
  10. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Only reading the owner/operator manual for your generator model would tell you that. But that said it's still your responsibility not to inject power into the main supply lines when you start the generator. Would your wife or kids no how to do this if you weren't home?
     
  11. geekknot

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2016
    6
    1
    No they would not, currently, lol get it currently....but they should learn just like they should learn to back a trailer and stop depending on me to do it.
     
    shortbus likes this.
  12. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Standard operating procedure here for my backup gen set is to flip the big handle down on my main meter service box then back feed one of my 240-volt outlets.

    If the first one isn't done obviously the near infinite load of the utility system is way beyond the capacity of my gen set to run and thusly it would trip its own breakers or the breakers of the circuit I am back feeding.
     
  13. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    1,145
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    Seems like you have a broken and failure prone "switch".

    A typical "portable" generator interface would have a panel just for backed-up" circuits or an "interlocking breaker" where only one can be on at a time. There is a company that will modify a panel for you.

    Then, there's the case of what has to be manually bypassed and if all of the smarts are in the switch,

    You might want to look at ASCO: http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/...s/Pages/ascoseries185powertransferswitch.aspx

    for a replacement switch.
     
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