*A blessingGod dropped a little surprise in my lap with this one. The first owner of our home had installed a hot tub in one of the back rooms and removed it when they sold the house. But instead of taking the wire with them, they cut it back in the panel and at the tub. If discovered this jewel crawling around in the crawl space after some freezing pipe problems. It turned out to be a 10ga 3 (10-3) strand wire with a ground, about 50ft long... this stuff runs for nearly $2/ft at the hardware store. Approximate value: $80. It runs right where I want it to go with some extra left over. Oh yea, 10ga wire is the perfect size for 30 amps of current... just what I need. Pretty cool!
Picking out a Transfer Switch
*Propane is an option... but the recent propane shortages have make me think twice about that option!
Where I landedAfter a few more hours cruising the Reliance web site, and another phone call to those guys, it finally clicked. My DIY spirit kicked in. Meet the TRC0603C from Reliance.
Note: It looks cheaper on Amazon than where I bought it.
Maybe you can save some money at my expense.
|TRC0603D - The D indicates a simple box with no meters or power inlet plug|
The product model code:
06 - It has a 60 amp breaker coming in from the main supplied power.
The allowable range for this 30A, 60A and 100A (03, 06 and 10)
03 - It has a 30 amp breaker coming in from the generator.
Same as above: the allowable range for this 30A, 60A and 100A (03, 06 and 10)
C - This unit has current meters measuring the two legs of the power coming into the panel from the generator.
Other options are
A- Power meters* and power inlet plug**
B- Power inlet plug**, no power meters
D- No meter, no power inlet plug** (the cheapest option)
*A power meter allows you to balance the legs of your generator. I recommend reading up on the topic if you are confused. I even did the work for you, click here.
**A power inlet plug would come in handy if you installed your sub-panel in your garage, or a similar room, where you could have a power cord coming into the house from your generator. This would make for a much easier installation. This was not an option at my house, as my panel and sub-panel are going in the basement.
Why I went with this option:
|The tandem circuit breaker I purchased at Menards, also available on Amazon here|
Following up on this one, I learned that my original circuit breaker panel was a different style of panel (check out this page to see what mine looks like). Apparently the old style breaker has "U-clips" and the new ones don't. Regardless, I spent approximately $75 on new circuit breakers to go into my sub-panel... it all adds up!
4) That would be the easy way, but it wouldn't be the Cowboy Way!
I grew up listening to the Ryders in the Sky radio show, which is where I heard that phrase... although some reports date it to Roy Rogers or earlier. Basically, I wanted to do this right. (Again, you could back-feed a breaker with a suicide cord, but that's dangerous and illegal!)
I wanted to make sure my wife could do this safely, in the middle of the night, in case I am away on business. I'll let you know how that goes if and when it ever comes.
Power Inlet Box:
One important note about whatever power inlet box you choose is to note the plug designation, or NEMA Configuration. On this box, it is a L14-30. IMPORTANT! You also want to make sure the plug on your generator matches this!