enter image description hereJust picked up a new generator after 23 years using the same one. Had to change over the three prong 220v plug in with a 220v twist plug. Been over a year since using backup power. Plugged in the 220 to generator then to GenTran. Went to basement to manually switch from line to gen - but the switch appears to be totally dead. Ignores off position - all power just stays on. Checked the generator to be sure it was outputting power and it was. Wouldn't really matter since off should be off(?).

All breakers are okay - none popped. Not sure where to look for troubleshooting this. Occurs to me that when I looked at old connector, I wrote down what wire the electrician attached where....I thought I was mistaken on my notes, but he had the white/green backwards (?) on the twist lock side (?) or am I wrong. I did check the receptacle attached to the house to be sure the white (neutral) was where it should be and green (ground) was where it should be and all was okay,figured I just wrote it down wrong. Weird too, that he also cut the white wire on the 220 plug and used the green as common. Am I not understanding something? I have a feeling I fried the switch....or popped some internal breaker or ?

Thinking about why this worked now after correctly hooking up connections, I wonder how it ever worked to begin with since it looks like 240V was over 2-wires all the way to the switch where I guess, it was somehow stripped down to 120V? Not sure how. Now I am using two 120 circuits over 3 wires then only combined to 240 for well pump. I have no idea how this could have worked with previous wiring......though it has been working for 23 years. All seems to be good now with the exception of voltage meters on the switch. That might have something to do with old vs new wiring scheme.


  • What you may be missing is the difference between neutral and ground. Do your 220v-only loads work? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '19 at 21:15
  • Got it going. Previous installer had the wiring screwed up (ground and common). Once I traced it all the way back, I was able to get things going. Guess I was lucky nothing actually fried. Though the power gauges on the transfer switch don't work.....but if that is all, I am counting my blessings. – Socratic Jan 26 '19 at 21:45
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's good you figured it out; would you mind posting your comment as an answer so future visitors can benefit from your experience? Thanks. – Daniel Griscom Jan 26 '19 at 21:54
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    Right, you just tried stuff until it worked. You are declaring victory. In fact, there are many configurations which work but which endanger your family. That's why we have a set of best-practices called the Electrical Code. You shouldn't be able to power a house from a 220V 3-wire connection, you really ought to post pics and more details so we can check it. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '19 at 22:03
  • Can you post pictures of the receptacles on your generator, as well as of the setup in the house? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 26 '19 at 22:20

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