Im new here, and Ive learned alot from many of these posts, although I have not found my exact issue yet, so I decided to upload this.
I have a question regarding my installation, if its safe, and if I were to have the generator running whilst the Utility Power eventually "re-energized" the Main Panel, would the Neutrals balancing loads from different sources (Utility and the genny) cause a problem of some sort at their shared Neutral/Ground busses at the Main??
- I BELIEVE a legitimate Transfer Switch uses the same principle here as it just extends the hot/line wires from the Main to the Transfer Switch, whilst leaving the Neutrals tied to the Main Panel (which would mean that when the Utility Power comes back on, the Genny is still powering the Backup Circuits, whilst its Neutral is tied to the Main Panel, which has ITS circuits powered from the Utility Company. (so they are sharing the same Neutral/Ground point..?)
Heres the info i have so far. I hope Im clear enough.
- I Rewired my Main Service Panel (120/240V Homeline 150A - white panel) a couple years ago.
- The Main panel is Grounded from the Service side of the Panel, to the Main Copper Water Pipe 6 feet away. (that #6 at the bottom of the Main Panel is bonded to the gas lines, and the #10 under it is the Backup SubPanels bond)
- I had no thought for backup power in the future, which is why there are 7 extra unwired 15A breakers in my new Main now.
- I extended my "black side" of the split-phase wires with black wires to my SubPanel, and the "red side" with white wires, to keep the same balance, more or less.
- The Backup Generator Subpanel (Siemens - gray panel) is my "economic" version of a Transfer Switch, with a mechanical interlock between the upper "30A generator" breaker and the lower "30A subpanel feed" breaker.
- My Generator cord is a L-14 30A "4-prong" cord with an adapter that has the two "hots" tied together because my genny is only 120V with an TT-30A RV plug; and all I found was this type of inlet plug for the exterior of the house (which I "economically adjusted"). I wired a 10/3 with bond from the 4-prong inlet through the top of the gray SubPanel.
- My generator is a 120V with a Floating Neutral, which, i believe, is proper for this installation, since the Neutral and Ground are only connected at one point - at the Main Panel. (or does it have to be at the "source" of the power (the generator) only? gee, i hope not)
- The SubPanel's Neutral busbar and Ground busbar had NO continuity when i tested them BEFORE I connected the Neutrals and Grounds to them, coming from the Main Panel. But since the Neutral and Ground wires are now connected ONLY at the Main Panel, the SubPanel's Neutral and Ground/Bond busbar now has continuity when I use a continuity tester on them at the SubPanel, which is okay, since they make a full circuit through my tester now, right?
- There are no MWBC on these 7 circuits.
I hope I gave enough info, and I really appreciate any help with this, as Im still leery to "test" the Backup generator power by engaging the 30A upper "backup" breaker, which would disengage the "Subpanel feed", powering the 7 SubPanel circuits via the genny, BUT yet the Neutrals are still tied to the Main Panel, STILL powered by the Utility company. Thanks again for any and all help with this.