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Samuel Rock

Stand By Generators not to Code!

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NEC ARTICLE 702.5

Optional Standby Systems

(2) Automatic Transfer Equipment. Where automatic transfer equipment is used, an optional standby system shall comply with (2)(a) or (2)(b).

(a)Full Load. The standby source shall be capable of supplying the full load that is transferred by the automatic transfer equipment.

(b) Load Management. Where a system is employed that will automatically manage the connected load, the standby source shall have a capacity sufficient to supply the maximum load that will be connected by the load management system

So What this says in plain English is if your service from the power company is 200A then your generator needs to be 200A; If the generator is not 200A then you need to have a load management system installed.

.............................................................

I know that in my neck of the woods every generator that is installed does not have load management on it. I have been fighting to get the city inspectors to check for this since 2008 when this code went into effect.

I have not come across any homes with a generator installed since I have been doing insurance inspections, But this is going to be one of my pet peeves along with the suicide backfeeds! I have been preaching this for years at community meetings and at city council meetings. I always get the same response well it cost me $1800 less to install it without load management and my electrician told me it was optional.

If you get close to the big cities ie Baton Rouge, New Orleans, or Lafayette the same electrician that tells customers its optional in my back yard installs load management in his own back yard because he knows the inspectors look for it. I have taken this to state and local enforcement and no joy.

I was A Generac and Briggs dealer from 2007 until 2013 and I never sold a generator in my home town because I out right refused to install it against the NCE code. I just could not live with my self if some one was hurt over me attempting to shave a few dollars off the price of a job.

.............................................................

Any one have any experience with this in your market?

Sam

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NEC ARTICLE 702.5

Optional Standby Systems

(2) Automatic Transfer Equipment. Where automatic transfer equipment is used, an optional standby system shall comply with (2)(a) or (2)(b).

(a)Full Load. The standby source shall be capable of supplying the full load that is transferred by the automatic transfer equipment.

(b) Load Management. Where a system is employed that will automatically manage the connected load, the standby source shall have a capacity sufficient to supply the maximum load that will be connected by the load management system

So What this says in plain English is if your service from the power company is 200A then your generator needs to be 200A; If the generator is not 200A then you need to have a load management system installed....

Sam

Actually Sam, if compliance with 2(a) is selected by the installer, then the generator shall need to have only the capacity to serve the loads that are served by the transfer switch. It does not say that the transfer switch must serve all loads in the house, just those circuits that you want it to. More loads, more gen capacity.

What Chad said.

Welcome to the forum..and to the profession.

Marc

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Welcome to the forum..and to the profession.

Marc

Thanks

......................................................................

If it has a whole house transfer switch then it must service the load of the whole house! A whole house ATS comes in 200A or 100A configurations.

If it has a E-Panel transfer switch it must be able to run what ever is in that E-Panel. The E-panel ATS comes with A 100A internal switchgear.

If it has a 200A indoor GenReady Panel, Then the Generator must carry what ever loads are connected to the E-Panel portion of the GenReady Panel.

If none of the requirements are met it is not installed to code, The manufacture recommends it be installed to code. Since the unit is in violation it has no warranty and is considered a safety issue.

I would even be willing to say that if they had a 25-30kw generator that was connected to a 200A service entrance ATS and a load calculation per Article 220 I would be ecstatic about it..

If they had a 20kw generator on a 100A ATS I would be fine with it.

But the fact is if you have a house that is all electric and the power goes out in the winter what will happen when you have a 20kw or smaller generator and no load management.

Indoor heat strip 15kw

dryer 5kw

lighting load 1kw

Stove 2kw

water heater 4kw

That is 27kw in stuff that is all used at the same time on a normal day. This is not counting pool pumps, hot tubs, any 2nd water heaters, Or all the flat screens. and the genset is already 7kw over loaded.

So here is the drill, Its Christmas every one is in the house, its cold as the north pole and some puke hits a power pole and knocks it over. The sand-by comes up and trips the main at the generator that is only 80A.

The customer goes outside and checks the unit and resets the breaker, Every thing starts back up and the breaker trips again. They are trying to get Christmas dinner done as the whole family is waiting! The customer goes in the shed finds a bit of wood and shoves in between the breaker handle and the ledge on the generator. This frys the power head and I get called out the following day.

I find the wood, and explain to the customer why the generator burnt up. I explain to the customer that even if he had not placed the bit of wood in there that the unit had no warranty as it was installed against the NEC code and the manufactures recommendations. Customer calls me a A-Hole and refuses to pay my bill.

This was my first service call I ever had for for Generac! I have been chomping at the bit to set things right ever since. That customer ended up buying a 32kw liquid cool generator as Generac would not warranty his unit that was 3 months old! The same electrician that did not install the first one properly installed the new 32kw. That customer still talks crap abut me until this very day!

I was trying to avoid the epic long story and just say that the install was not to code and give the code that it did not meet. But maybe you will get a better picture of what I am trying to paint here. Every generator that is installed in St. Mary parish is installed in non compliance to NEC 702.5. I have been fighting this for 5 years now. Marc Call your local city inspection office and ask them for the generator installation permit package. The installer must do a load calculation per NEC 220 and if a 200A-SE ATS is installed and the generator does not carry the full load of the house then Load Shedding must be installed or the job will fail.

Sam

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I had my hands full with this place about a month ago, and wish I had spent more time getting specs. But this is typical for here, the essential circuits are in the generator panel, which serves as a subpanel when there's no emergency.

The emergency here was the somebody let Billy Bob handle some tools. [:)]

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I was trying to avoid the epic long story and just say that the install was not to code and give the code that it did not meet. But maybe you will get a better picture of what I am trying to paint here. Every generator that is installed in St. Mary parish is installed in non compliance to NEC 702.5. I have been fighting this for 5 years now. Marc Call your local city inspection office and ask them for the generator installation permit package. The installer must do a load calculation per NEC 220 and if a 200A-SE ATS is installed and the generator does not carry the full load of the house then Load Shedding must be installed or the job will fail.

Sam

St. Mary Parish has a code authority but I've seen firsthand how contractors bypass enforcement by bribing a third party code inspector and screwing the home owner or buyer. Louisiana is lax in pushing the Parishes, especially the coastal Parishes, to properly enforce the codes, mostly for political reasons. Lafayette is no exception. We home inspectors have no bite.

Marc

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St. Mary Parish has a code authority but I've seen firsthand how contractors bypass enforcement by bribing a third party code inspector and screwing the home owner or buyer. Louisiana is lax in pushing the Parishes, especially the coastal Parishes, to properly enforce the codes, mostly for political reasons. Lafayette is no exception. We home inspectors have no bite.

Marc

I wish it was a bribe here, our inspectors work for the parish or for the city. They refuse to inspect for proper generator installation hell some of them just don't inspect they just sign and go! If a generator is grounded its good is how they roll! In St Mary parish we have brand new homes getting built with no AFCI, Smoke detectors, and no outdoor outlets.

I can show you HVAC systems with 90%+ furnaces that have no fresh air ducted into the closet. Bathrooms with no fart fans, Kitchens with no GFCI.

The list just goes on and on it just relay does, Its like the builders are still in the 80s.

A lot of builders here will not hire a electrical contractor to wire a house, The pick up one of the rejects that got run out off from a electrical crew and get them to wire up the house. This still flys in St. Mary, Assumption, Terrebonne, and Lafourche parishes as the builders have licenses that are grandfathered in for this.

In assumption parish they do no inspect mobile homes because the parish council says it is a burden on the poor. When the power company shows up as long as you have 4 wires running to the indoor sub panel they will snap the meter in. They do not check for proper blocking, Anchors, Sewage, or Water.

I don't think it will go away any time soon in St. Mary or Assumption but Terrebonne made a big step 2 years ago and I was a big driving force behind it. Terrebonne parish no longer issues Electrical, HVAC or Plumbing licenses! You must go get a state license. So it will take a few years to fix but once the grandfathered contractors retire, shutdown, or sell out it will be a lot better. Even if the inspectors don't get better A contractor with a state issued license does better work than 99% of the ones with a local license. I think it purely due to the fact of the structured testing of your trade and business ethics/law. Most of the ones doing the shotty work would not pass the business part of the test not to mention they would not have enough capital in a company to even be able to apply for a state license.

This is something I will work on for the rest of my life if need be it is only fair to the people who are purchasing the junk that most of these guys build, repair, or remodel.

Sam

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An emergency use generator setup and a standby generator setup are different.

We have tons of houses around here with generators but very few of them are standby generators - the majority are emergency generators.

You are looking at the code for a standby generator. Was it installed as an emergency generator or a stand-by generator? It doesn't sound like it was the electrician's fault at all. If they sized the generator for emergency loads only and the homeowner was dumb enough to try and run the entire house despite the fact he was overloading the generator it's on him, not the electrician.

If it's only wired to sustain a 30 or 40 amp load you have to be careful to use the right language when you describe it in your report; because if you call it a "standby" generator in your report you are giving the customer the idea that it's meant to power the entire house when it is not.

If the homeowner jammed a piece of wood under the breaker - you have a clear sign that he was forcing the unit to exceed it's capacity. What kind of knuckle-dragging idiot does that?

All-electric house or not, Christmas holiday or not, as soon as that breaker tripped he should have realized that he couldn't run the full load on that unit and he should have shut down all non-essential circuits and limited use to only what was needed until all power was restored.

That means no big screen TV, turn off the pool filter, turn off the breaker to any hot tubs or whirlpool tubs. Turn off the water heater and only turn it on when necessary and don't use the electric stove at the same time that the water heater is turned on. It also means not using the clothes dryer until power is restored and only heating one room where everyone congregates versus heating the entire house. It means turning off Christmas tree lights and not running the microwave, etc..

Once power came back on he could have used all that extra stuff and then contacted the electrician to complain if it was supposed to have been a standby generator when it was installed.

It sounds like you have a case of a homeowner being an ignorant dickhead - not a negligent electrician. However, you might have a case where you misidentified it in your report and have left yourself wide open to liability. If that's the case, the fact that the homeowner was stupid enough to try and force the system to exceed it's capacity might cause a judge to rule that the homeowner must share replacement costs.

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The NEC only sees it two ways ARTICLE 701 Legally Required Standby Systems and ARTICLE 702 Optional Standby Systems

It is not required by law as this is not a large public building, hospital, nursing home, or other critical care provider! So we know that Article 701 does not apply!

So now we know that the property owner chose to install this and it is a WHOLE HOUSE APPLICATION it has a 200A Service Entrance Automatic Transfer Switch and the generator puts out 20kw that is 83A of current. The documentation from the installer states Stand-By Generator. The permit states Stand-By Generator.

The manufacture says

A permanently installed Generac home backup generator protects your home automatically. It runs on natural gas or liquid propane (LP) fuel, and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit. A home backup generator delivers power directly to your homes electrical system, backing up your entire home or just the most essential items.

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Photo of Load modules that connect to the above ATS and drop off large loads.

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Photo of Emergency loads only ATS

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We know that article 702 covers OPTIONAL STAND-BY SYSTEMS and we know that Article 702.4 of the 2011 NFPA NEC states.

702.4 Capacity and Rating.

(A) Available Short-Circuit Current. Optional standby

system equipment shall be suitable for the maximum available

short-circuit current at its terminals.

(B) System Capacity. The calculations of load on the

standby source shall be made in accordance with Article

220 or by another approved method.

(1) Manual Transfer Equipment. Where manual transfer

equipment is used, an optional standby system shall have

adequate capacity and rating for the supply of all equipment

intended to be operated at one time. The user of the

optional standby system shall be permitted to select the

load connected to the system.

(2) Automatic Transfer Equipment. Where automatic

transfer equipment is used, an optional standby system

shall comply with (2)(a) or (2)(b).

(a) Full Load. The standby source shall be capable of

supplying the full load that is transferred by the automatic

transfer equipment.

(b) Load Management. Where a system is employed that

will automatically manage the connected load, the standby

source shall have a capacity sufficient to supply the maximum

load that will be connected by the load management system.

So we know it transfers the whole load of the house automatically and it does not have enough power output to handle the whole load there for it must abide by the load management rule.

If it does not abide by the load management rule it is installed against code!

If it is installed against code the manufacture does not warranty the installation.

If it is installed against code the insurance company will not insure it.

In the state of Louisiana the contractor is only liable for it for a period of 12 months. So if it fails after this point he don't care!

The whole reason why this was even placed in the code book was after hurricane Katerina there was so many issues with insurance companies paying for OPTIONAL STAND-BY generators that was damaged due to over loading. It was addressed and I personally sat through two seminars when reps from Generac, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, and the insurance companies talked about the issue. They also talked about the installation of GFCI on portable generators to keep the average Joe from making a suicide connection to back feed a home.

There is currently cities and parishes that follow the rules to the Tee! Unfortunately mine is not one of them! [:-censore

Sam

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The amp rating of the ATS is sized to supply all loads in the house. The generator must only be able to meet the loads of the circuits in the transfer panel.

As such, an ATS rating of 200 amp on a house that has a 200 amp panel doesn't mean that the generator needs to supply all loads in the house, just the ones that are fed by the transfer panel.

If a house has a 200 amp main panel and you have a few vital 120 volt circuits in the transfer panel that calculate at 1 KVA total load then the ATS must be rated 200 A, the transfer panel at 1 KVA and the generator at 1 KW also.

The SE must serve all loads in the house but the gen must serve only those loads in the transfer panel. ATS must be sized for the higher of the two.

I think there might be some miscommunication going on here. If so, I hope my lousy writing isn't contributing to it.

I read the BR document. In my judgement, it doesn't support what you're saying.

Sam, to post in Bold typeface is to scream. It's considered a little rude here.

Marc

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The amp rating of the ATS is sized to supply all loads in the house. The generator must only be able to meet the loads of the circuits in the transfer panel.

As such, an ATS rating of 200 amp on a house that has a 200 amp panel doesn't mean that the generator needs to supply all loads in the house, just the ones that are fed by the transfer panel.

If a house has a 200 amp main panel and you have a few vital 120 volt circuits in the transfer panel that calculate at 1 KVA total load then the ATS must be rated 200 A, the transfer panel at 1 KVA and the generator at 1 KW also.

The SE must serve all loads in the house but the gen must serve only those loads in the transfer panel. ATS must be sized for the higher of the two.

I think there might be some miscommunication going on here. If so, I hope my lousy writing isn't contributing to it.

I read the BR document. In my judgement, it doesn't support what you're saying.

Sam, to post in Bold typeface is to scream. It's considered a little rude here.

Marc

I just don't know how else to put this, That is why I posted in bold!

There is no such thing as an emergency load only when you are transferring all circuits.

I meant its right there in black and white.. If a automatic switch is installed the generator must be able to run every thing that is connected to it or have load management installed.

It seams the only other people that understand this issue are people on the electrical boards and a hand full of city inspectors.. Here is what i will do let me do a load calculation sheet and show you why you can not run a all electric house on a 20kw gen set and it meet the code requirements with out installing load shedding.

I wold expect you to grasp this quick Marc.

I never said the generator has to put out 200A..

If your load cal calls for 150A then you need a 38kw gen set 150A*240V=36000W plus 2kw for safety.

If you load call calls for 125A then you need 32kw gen set.

If no house used over 100A then no one would have 200A and 400A service going to the house.

A 20kw gen set is just about the right size for a house with a 100A service.

If the generator you selected does not meet 702.4 "2011 code book" Full load rule then it must be the load management rule. If it does not meet nether one then it is installed in non-compliance to the code.

This rule is not for the ones that know hay I cant run every thing in the house when I am on generator power.. It is for the idiots that sue McDonalds because the coffee was hot!

Sam

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I have no dog in this hunt, but I'd also suggest calming down a tad. If you are seriously thinking about moving into inspection work, you need to grasp that this thing you are so worked up about, whether it is code compliant or not, is just another thing.

You will see lots of things that are not code or common sense compliant in inspection work.

It's best to put your opinion in clear impartial language based in credible reference material. Understand that various jurisdictions will interpret the reference material in different ways; because one says yes and the other says no is not proof of anything. Posting documents that need to be interpreted isn't an argument. I read all the documents and can interpret them either way.

Fabry's comment was my interpretation. Made sense, simple.

Again, I don't care. I would assign the entire thing over to the installer and indicate to my customer that all generator analysis and responsibility is theirs. That is a business decision, not an inspection decision.

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I have no dog in this hunt, but I'd also suggest calming down a tad. If you are seriously thinking about moving into inspection work, you need to grasp that this thing you are so worked up about, whether it is code compliant or not, is just another thing.

You will see lots of things that are not code or common sense compliant in inspection work.

It's best to put your opinion in clear impartial language based in credible reference material. Understand that various jurisdictions will interpret the reference material in different ways; because one says yes and the other says no is not proof of anything. Posting documents that need to be interpreted isn't an argument. I read all the documents and can interpret them either way.

Fabry's comment was my interpretation. Made sense, simple.

Again, I don't care. I would assign the entire thing over to the installer and indicate to my customer that all generator analysis and responsibility is theirs. That is a business decision, not an inspection decision.

I am not worked up... This is just something i would like as many people to understand as possible. And given that many of you would come across this it would be a good chance for you to point it out.. but you have to take what you are looking at for face value..

If you apply other logic like "well it was not installed to run every thing" or "its only important if the city is looking for it" does not null the fact that the unit can still get overloaded.

The fact when a generator is installed as a whole house system that is what it supposed to do.

If it is installed with a sub panel and only set up to run selected loads then that is what it supposed to do..

If it is installed improper then a Home Inspector is supposed to tell his or her client!

Sam

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I am not worked up... This is just something i would like as many people to understand as possible.

Sam

Go over to InspectionNews.net and talk to a guy named Jerry Peck about this. You'll truly enjoy his thoughts.

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I am not worked up... This is just something i would like as many people to understand as possible.

Sam

Go over to InspectionNews.net and talk to a guy named Jerry Peck about this. You'll truly enjoy his thoughts.

[:-eyebrow

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Marc,

Look at this load calculation and tell me a 20kw generator will run this house if it looses power in the middle of winter.

www.piertopier.us/hvac/general_load_cal.pdf

Sam

Completing such a calculation has nothing to do with this thread.

Marc

It has every thing to do with it. As that is what is to be calculated so that you know what the load of the home is. So if the generator can handle the load that work sheet comes out to then you meet the full load requirement and don't need load shedding. However if the gen set can not put that figure out it should have load shedding installed.

Sam

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Marc,

Look at this load calculation and tell me a 20kw generator will run this house if it looses power in the middle of winter.

www.piertopier.us/hvac/general_load_cal.pdf

Sam

Completing such a calculation has nothing to do with this thread.

Marc

The installer of a optional standby system is required to do a load calculation to verify the generator will carry the transferred load.

From the 2011 NEC

Article 702 ( Optional Standby systems)

702.4(B) System Capacity The calculations of load on the standby source shall be made in accordance with article 220 or by another approved method

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An emergency use generator setup and a standby generator setup are different.

We have tons of houses around here with generators but very few of them are standby generators - the majority are emergency generators.

You are looking at the code for a standby generator. Was it installed as an emergency generator or a stand-by generator? It doesn't sound like it was the electrician's fault at all. If they sized the generator for emergency loads only and the homeowner was dumb enough to try and run the entire house despite the fact he was overloading the generator it's on him, not the electrician.

If it's only wired to sustain a 30 or 40 amp load you have to be careful to use the right language when you describe it in your report; because if you call it a "standby" generator in your report you are giving the customer the idea that it's meant to power the entire house when it is not.

If the homeowner jammed a piece of wood under the breaker - you have a clear sign that he was forcing the unit to exceed it's capacity. What kind of knuckle-dragging idiot does that?

All-electric house or not, Christmas holiday or not, as soon as that breaker tripped he should have realized that he couldn't run the full load on that unit and he should have shut down all non-essential circuits and limited use to only what was needed until all power was restored.

That means no big screen TV, turn off the pool filter, turn off the breaker to any hot tubs or whirlpool tubs. Turn off the water heater and only turn it on when necessary and don't use the electric stove at the same time that the water heater is turned on. It also means not using the clothes dryer until power is restored and only heating one room where everyone congregates versus heating the entire house. It means turning off Christmas tree lights and not running the microwave, etc..

Once power came back on he could have used all that extra stuff and then contacted the electrician to complain if it was supposed to have been a standby generator when it was installed.

It sounds like you have a case of a homeowner being an ignorant dickhead - not a negligent electrician. However, you might have a case where you misidentified it in your report and have left yourself wide open to liability. If that's the case, the fact that the homeowner was stupid enough to try and force the system to exceed it's capacity might cause a judge to rule that the homeowner must share replacement costs.

A generator installed in a private residence is strictly an Optional Standby System. You can have an optional standby system that could transfer all loads or some loads.This based on the National Electrical Code article 702. There are NO "emergency" circuits in a house.

According to the NEC an Emergency system is legally required, article 700. Not to be confused with the Legally Required System article 701

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The Generac systems have a "Manual" switch in the control panel; I've sometimes fired them up just to show people it works, but I still defer the whole shebang to the installer.

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