Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Finally unpacked, assembled, fueled and test-fired a Craftsman 5600 W generator that we picked up at Sears several months ago. Boy it is loud. It is just an emergency generator (not installed into our house electric system) and I just want to be able to run a few things off it, namely the freezer in the garage, the fridge in the kitchen, the sump pump in the basement, and the furnace. Problem is, the furnace is hard-wired into a house circuit and there is no way to plug it in to the generator. I'm thinking about going to the hardware store and splicing in some kind of transfer switch into that one circuit; it wouldn't be too hard to get an extension cord through the wall from the garage into the basement. Does anyone have pointers to info on what I need or how to hook it up? I don't want to call an electrician.

We're supposed to get 10 inches of snow here tonight, including some ice, so getting ready for a power outage is high on my list now...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
I would strongly suggest contacting someone very electrical savy before you attempt to wire your furnace yourself. I think there may be more to it then a transfer switch. You don't want to burn your house to the ground because you triedtosave a few hundred bucks. Also if you have a fire you may have insurance issues if they see your homemade splice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
This is a post I made on another forum a while back. If you have any questions regarding your specific application let me know. I am an EE.

If you want to feed multiple emergency circuits from the same transfer switch (but not the entire house) you will need a small subpanel with enough spaces to feed the number of circuits. It may be 'Main Lug Only' to save costs.

Designate either one or two spaces in your existing panel to feed your new emergency panel during normal times. If your generator is 240V you will need two spaces, if its 120V only once space will work. Mount an appropriately sized transfer switch near the existing panel and pull 2 hot wires, one neutral, and a ground between the two cans. The wire size will be determined by the breaker size you install in the main panel. Terminate each of the two hot wires to two of the feed terminals on one side of the transfer switch. Let the N travel straight through the transfer switch and to the new subpanel. Bond the ground wire to the transfer switch can and continue it to the new panel.

Attach your generator cord to the other set of feed terminals in the transfer switch. Continue the N to the new panel and bond the ground to the can before continuing it to the new panel. The type of male plug on the cord will depend on your generator.

From the load terminals of the transfer switch run your two hot wires to the new panel and terminate them on the main lugs. The N and ground have already been taken care of in previous steps.

Now just move the emergency circuits out of the main panel and into your new emergency panel and terminate to the breakers.

This is what I did when I had a small generator:


From left to right: Emergency Panel, Main Panel, Transfer Switch


I used the 2 pole 40A breaker at the bottom of the main panel to feed the Emergency Panel during normal times. Two #6AWG wires leave that breaker and go to one side of the transfer switch.


The other feed side of the transfer switch is connected to my generator cord.


The circuits I wanted to feed were not quite long enough to reach the new emergency panel so I spliced them in the ceiling.

It would have been better to put the transfer switch between the main panel and the emergency panel but I had to rearrange things due to space constraints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, that is a lot of good info and nice pictures. Maybe I will call an electrician. We already have a sub-panel that we installed when we did a bathroom renovation. I'm not sure I want to put in yet another panel and a big transfer switch. Our panel is in a finished part of the basement and it would mean ripping up some drywall.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top