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Generator Interlock


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Well, I discussed several generator interlock kits I found for my Square D QO load center and finished the work today.

I purchased this QO Cover Generator and QOM2 Frame Size Main Breaker Interlock Kit

I also purchased a Generac GP15000E generator. 15,000 watts with 22,500 starting watts.

Here is the generator:

gen1-2.jpg

Generator connected to the interface on the exterior of the house

gen2-1.jpg

The interlock kit has a bracket that you install to make the breaker in the 2/4 position in the panel captive.

GenDisconnect1-1.jpg

Back of the dead front showing how the interface bracket attaches:

GenDisconnect3-1.jpg

Front of the dead front. Note that the interface bracket once the dead front is installed will not allow the main and the breaker in the 2/4 position be "ON" at the same time. The 2/4 breaker back feeds from the generator.

GenDisconnect2-1.jpg

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Yeah.

Nice rig.

What'd it run you, complete?

Generator from Amazon, $2,399 (Prime member, no shipping)

Generator Power Cord w/ Straight Blade 50a 220v $200 Amazon

Weatherproof Power Inlet Box w/ Flip Lid Home Depot $75

Squared D kit $49 Home Depot

Figure another $100 in #8 wire and assorted "stuff"

Reviews talks about it running 3 ton central air, but my main cent air is 5 ton. I do have a 1.5 ton that runs a couple of rooms over the garage. I'm going to do a little testing to see how things work out. I may just pick up a 15,000 BTU portable A/C to keep the master bedroom cool and not worry about the central.

Everyone here is helpful with their suggestions, so I figured I'd show the final product.

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So, just shy of 3k by the time you add up all the stuff one usually forgets. Not bad.

I've been pushing a few customers in remote areas to put together this sort of "survival system". It makes very good sense, and 3k is cheap insurance.

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So, just shy of 3k by the time you add up all the stuff one usually forgets. Not bad.

I've been pushing a few customers in remote areas to put together this sort of "survival system". It makes very good sense, and 3k is cheap insurance.

If you are giving them ball park pricing don't forget labor. I did a lot of the labor myself, but did pay an electrician to play around in the panels. I have two 200a panels side by side and only one of them will be powered. He had to swap ten circuits between the panels (five in each panel) so I would have the correct circuits powered. I had all wire pulled and everything installed so all he had to do was play in the panels.

I was lucky to have the Square D panels as Square D makes their own approved interface kit. There is a company out of NC if I remember correctly that makes aftermarket kits, but they are not "approved" by the manufacturer of the load center - if that matters.

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My 4 KW diesel power plant has run my 1 1/2 ton window unit for three days, 2 nights non-stop. Did so several times. I can refill while running. Never had a problem.

Your unit has a large surge capacity. I suspect it will run that 5 ton system of yours. Try it.

Marc

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What's the fuel consumption rate on that monster? I have you have a slew of 5gal cans ready.

It is a thirsty bugger. 10 hours at 50%, 16 gal tank. Yes, I usually keep several cans full, rotating them through mowers and other tools or the car gas tank. For my generators I usually fill it in the spring and add Stabil. it gets drained and refilled yearly. I use ethanol free gas and when I test run them monthly I shut off the fuel valve so it runs dry.

During a power outage I usually don't run it 24/7, but 10 - 12 hours a day.

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Where do you get ethanol free gas?

Not anywhere even near me. It sucks! Seems like they're all way upstate, all north and west of Albany.

I used to be a Stabil fanatic, then I started hearing bad things about it but could not find anything concrete about issues. Problem is, red Stabil does nothing for ethanol. Now for every day I use an enzyme treatment, like Star Tron, in everything from power equip, to race bikes, boat and our cars and trucks, and Stabil for long term storage, pretty much for over the winter and just the larger generators since they hardly get used. The small generator gets used at the track regularly.

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Where do you get ethanol free gas?

stations carry it all over

Check out Pure-gas.org

Since discovering ethanol free gas a few years back, I've started using it in everything except my car. It's amazing how much better everything runs. Mower, chain saw, tractor -- it's like day & night.

I use it in everything other than the car also. But on things like my generators (I have three[:-eyebrow ) I drain them each year and the drained gas goes in the car.

Everything does seem to run better.

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I actually finished the hardest part of this project today. I made a document template so i could make new overlays to identify all the circuits in both panels.

Now the question, as an inspector, how should I label this so it makes sense when you walk in and look at it?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, interesting twist to my back up generator project. I handled most of the wiring, but brought an electrician in ton finalize everything and play in the load center. We had to swap 5 circuits back and forth between the two panels so that the emergency circuits would be in the panel the generator supplied.

I had time Monday to test out the system. I threw the main on the back up panel and started the generator. Got it up to speed and engaged its breaker to supply power to the panel. Went back inside and turned on a few lighting circuits. Heard a pop when I turned one on but really didn't think anything of it. Well, I turned on the lighting circuit that controlled the laundry room that the panels reside in. Heard a pop above my head and no lights came on.

OK, even I can figure,out there is a problem now. Killed the breaker for the generator and shut it down. An inventory of circuits I turned in revealed that the fluorescent fixture in my fish tank and on the ceiling of the laundry room were dead.

A little late, but I grabbed my trusty meter and started checking things. Seems the generator was putting out 30v AC on one leg and 155v AC on the other leg.....

Dropped the brand new generator off at the service center today.......

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Well, interesting twist to my back up generator project. I handled most of the wiring, but brought an electrician in ton finalize everything and play in the load center. We had to swap 5 circuits back and forth between the two panels so that the emergency circuits would be in the panel the generator supplied.

I had time Monday to test out the system. I threw the main on the back up panel and started the generator. Got it up to speed and engaged its breaker to supply power to the panel. Went back inside and turned on a few lighting circuits. Heard a pop when I turned one on but really didn't think anything of it. Well, I turned on the lighting circuit that controlled the laundry room that the panels reside in. Heard a pop above my head and no lights came on.

OK, even I can figure,out there is a problem now. Killed the breaker for the generator and shut it down. An inventory of circuits I turned in revealed that the fluorescent fixture in my fish tank and on the ceiling of the laundry room were dead.

A little late, but I grabbed my trusty meter and started checking things. Seems the generator was putting out 30v AC on one leg and 155v AC on the other leg.....

Dropped the brand new generator off at the service center today.......

Nothing damaged?

Marc

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Tim, Aaaaaaaaah blind faith in its output. Sorry, live and learn.

When get your beasty back you may want to check the sine wave that is being generated before using any electronics.

You will need an oscilloscope. Something like an ARM NANO DSO201 Digital Storage Oscilloscope(low cost).

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Nothing damaged?

Marc

I lost 2 fluorescent fixtures. I'm going to guess they were on the high leg and took out the ballast.

One was in the laundry room (surface mount, 4 bulb) and I was looking for a reason to replace it anyway. There are now three recessed fixtures,with LED bulbs. The other was my fluorescent fish tank hood. Again, I was looking for a reason to get an LED hood.

When I figured out something wasn't quite right I had turned on about 6 circuits, all 120v. Most of my lights in the house have been replaced with LED bulbar and they worked. I also remember the display on the microwave oven was lit, but obviously I didn't try to operate it.

Those 2 fixtures are all I can find damaged.

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Tim, Aaaaaaaaah blind faith in its output. Sorry, live and learn.

When get your beasty back you may want to check the sine wave that is being generated before using any electronics.

You will need an oscilloscope. Something like an ARM NANO DSO201 Digital Storage Oscilloscope(low cost).

While I consider my self above average on the handy scale, an o-scope may be just out of my range.

Yes, it was blind faith, but I admit this unit was selected because it is a pure sine wave unit for use with electronics.

I'll have to ponder on how I can get it tested......

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It sounds to me like there was a loose neutral connection. Have the repair guy check the output before they give it back.

It should be fine the second time, but it is not too hard to test the output with a DMM before plugging it in. Nice job, BTW.

What bugs me about disaster planning is the disasters don't seem to happen when you are prepared for them. [:)]

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