Quick home electric question

General Discussion

  1. JDMopar

    JDMopar Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup: So, you do telephone work? HTC is the telephone company in Myrtle Beach, right? We live in the Asheville, NC area....but have a small beach place in Myrtle. :)
     
  2. JDMopar

    JDMopar Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I'd call the city until you get an electrician to look at it for you. If the electrical inspector comes out and looks at it, and finds a lot of problems....he may call the power company and have them disconnect the electricity until it's fixed and he re-inspects it. If the electrician can get the power flowing from the bottom of the new meter base that has the meter in it, to the top of that 200 amp breaker in the big panel, and then properly feed the smaller panel from the big one...you should be good to go.
     
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    • diymirage

      diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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      good point

      i do not plan on having them come out, per say, but i want to figure this one out and pic someones brain who knows more about it

      if i can find out somewhat of a time frame on how this went down and what not, maybe i can get this to where it is up to code and not have to lose sleep over it

      like i said, ill call the city tomorrow and see of any permits were pulled to move the meter from the north end (100 amp box) to the south end (200 amp box)
      i think @nm9stheham might have been on to something with the meter move that wasnt finished
       
    • nm9stheham

      nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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      Is the unused meter base newer than the meter base that feed the 100A panel? If so, then maybe the whole transfer to the new panel and base got aborted due to routing of the power to the new meter base and 200A panel. You gotta look at that... an aerial run may not work and an underground route may cut the driveway or septic field or something. You should not be routing that power feed through the house, as there is no breaker in line to protect it in case it shorts.
       
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      • nm9stheham

        nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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        Actually, cellular work. HTC ran the AT&T Wireless system in Horry County for a long time and we did work for them.

        That explains the Caldwell part....
         
      • diymirage

        diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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        I dont know...I'll see if I can find something to age it by

        I do know this, the used meter base (that feeds into the 100 amp panel) is on one of the orginal walls

        The unused base is on a wall that is outside of the original foot print of the house, so that one can not be the original meter base
         
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        • norshorblufish

          norshorblufish By the Big Water

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          The best advice I have seen here is get an electrician.
          You don't want mess with that kind of power.
          We don't want you or someone else getting killed because it wasn't done correctly.
           
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          • toolmanmike

            toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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            I didn't see but I thought I should ask, do you have a disconnect to the incoming line when the generator is hooked up? If you don't it's a great way to electrocute a utility lineman by back feeding electricity into the grid.
             
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            • diymirage

              diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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              Well, yes and no
              When I started this project I installed the breaker for the generator on the top right position of what I thought was the main box
              The plan was to then buy an interlock switch which does not allow the main breaker and the generator breaker to be on at the same time, you would have to switch the main off before turning the generator on, and vice versa
              But when I killed the 200 amp "main" breaker i found out it does nothing

              Now, there is still the 100 amp breaker on the smaller panel, which does disconnect the house from the grid so, as long as I kill that one before I flip on the generator we are safe...but that is relying on me, with no real safeguards

              I'll call the city tomorrow and see if there were any permits issued to the previous owners, that might shed some light on things
               
            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              Yes, could be a dangerous situation there. A licenced electrician is your best bet. Regardless of cost.
               
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              • 4spdragtop

                4spdragtop FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Man I hope your wills up to date for your wife's sake.
                 
              • jas0162

                jas0162 Well-Known Member

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                Just to be clear. Do NOT back feed your generator into a breaker on your panel. Any inspector without his head up his ass will fine the shit out of you and have your shit disconnected... if a lineman sees it you might get your ass kicked
                 
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                • diymirage

                  diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                  So, how does one hook something like this up?

                  (Not being a smartiepants, I want to do this right)

                  851890000089.jpg
                   
                • 67Dart273

                  67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  The short answer is "find out what meets code" I don't know if this is US or state by state

                  1...You MAY be able to buy a mechanical lockout for your box which is a simple metal device that locks the genset breaker off when the main is on, and vice versa. These MUST be built for the specific panel and are not available for all of them. Example of a lockout. I would contact local "folks" and see IF THESE CAN BE legally fabricated for your area. I would think the liability concerns would be tremendous. Also check if you can buy one of these that operates as a separate new box, which would have to be wired "cut in" between your meter and the main panel. The main breaker on the new box would have to handle the ENTIRE capacity of your service.

                  s-l1000.jpg

                  2...Alternatively you need some sort of genset control/ switching panel. One type used for home stuff has individual breakers to supply what you want to run off the genset. These can be switched individually. "How they work" is each and all of these genset breakers is wired into the main panel to the breaker of the circuit in the panel you want on the genset. They are simply a breaker and a SPDT switch. When they are "normal" they apply the load from the main panel individual brearker to the load. When the individual genset breaker in in the gen position, it cuts the load loose from that breaker in the main panel and switches the load to the genset breaker. Many of these I see DO NOT APPEAR to be weatherproof

                  hqdefault.jpg

                  -generator-transfer-switch-wiring-diagram-gallery-whole-house-transfer-switch-wiring-diagram-15b.jpg

                  3...."Whole house" genset transfer panel. This cuts into the main panel, breaks the feed from the main service, and connects the genset to the main panel. The advantage to this is that it powers the "whole thing." The DIS advantage is, that you may not have a large enough genset, and will have to go out and manually shut off the breakers you do not want powered when the genset is operating. The other DIS advantage is switch panel cost. Notice the "big ass" wiring. The contactor/ switchgear must be able to switch the entire main power capacity.......expensive

                  stall-standby-generator-with-automatic-transfer-switch-wiring-a-manual-generator-transfer-switch.jpg
                   
                • 67Dart273

                  67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  One last thing, and potentially simplist, BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO CHECK legality, is just a huge, gigantic, "big ass" switch. But this would have to be wire between the meter and the main panel, and therefore there is no breaker protection for this switch. Since it acts as a main disconnect, it may be OK

                  siemens-safety-switches-dtgnf224nr-64_1000.jpg
                   
                • diymirage

                  diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                  Thanks for explaining all that to me
                  The first option (mechanic lockout) is what I intended to do from the get go
                  I even moved all the existing breakers around to get the generator breaker on the top right position

                  It wasn't until later that I found I installed it in a sub panel and what I thought was the mean breaker, did in fact, nothing

                  IF i can get the meter switched to that spot, I will continue as planned

                  Otherwise, I need to really consider this while deal

                  option 2 is a no go, because no matter where i put the genny, i have circuits on both panels i need to run in order to keep things going

                  Even if I wanted to install this in the main panel (which I dont because it places the generator on the side yard, in the snow) I dont think I could because I dont have room on that panel for another 30 amp breaker...unless I could find a few more of the "split 15" breakers


                  option 3, the big ole switch, i would be OK with too, but again, it puts the genny out on the lawn

                  so i would really like to just get the meter moved and install the lock out
                   
                  Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
                • diymirage

                  diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                  i think i got this sorted out

                  plan A
                  move the meter to the 200 panel box, and install an interlock like this one
                  s-l1600.jpg



                  plan B (only if i cant move the meter)

                  upload_2020-1-13_9-0-26.png

                  install the generator on the 100 amp panel
                  replace the breakers marked 4-5 with these
                  s-l1600.jpg

                  and attach the circuits that are now wired into 2-5 on those 4 new breakers
                  that frees up spots 2-3
                  move down 30 am circuit 1 into spots 2-3
                  that frees up spot 1
                  install new 30 amp breaker in spot 1, hook up generator and install mechanical interlock

                  s-l1600.jpg

                  this will place my generator on the north side of the house, which i dont like, but i might be able to move it to the northern corner of the west patio, where it is still outside but under a roof and out of the elements
                  more importantly, both plan A and plan B include a interlock switch and are safe, correct?
                   
                • 67Dart273

                  67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  The problem with your last plan is there may not be a lockout made that will fit that configuration You will simply have to do some research. if not, you could install a big transfer switch 'ahead' of the last box. It's for sure a gymnastics act between affordability, convenience, and legality and safety

                  Also consider the safety of the generator.........lots of thieves make off with gensets, and all they have to do is listen and watch. If you can afford some wire, you can move it
                   
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                  • 4spdragtop

                    4spdragtop FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    A "quick" question, or 50 lmao.
                    Be a man call an electrician. Some of the home "shit" you do is ridiculous. We can only hope that you only take yourself out.
                     
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                    • diymirage

                      diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                      the last picture i posted, is a lock out made by eaton for the CH style panel i have, so that base is covered
                      if plan A or B turn out to be impossible, ill look into the transfer switch

                      other then you guys, ive actually talked to several people
                      but id like to get an idea of whats going on before i pry open my wallet and have someone come out and do what i might be able to do on my own
                      (im actually waiting on the city electrical inspector to get back to me, he should be able to put this whole thing to bed)
                       
                    • MiradaMegaCab

                      MiradaMegaCab Well-Known Member

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                      45AD08B3-E0A7-485E-B90F-017B4E1EBAB8.jpeg
                      First, don't call the city inspector.
                      Second, call an electrician.
                      That’s the short answer.
                      Sorry but.... you’re in way over your head
                       
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                      • diymirage

                        diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                        Ok, I forgot what I was talking about


                        Last plan, hopefully
                        I will have my buddy (a contractor) install one of these in between the meter and the main (the actual 100 amp main)

                        And wire the generator in the other end, agreed?


                        eBay
                         
                      • '73red-duster

                        '73red-duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        I have no idea how your inspectors are there, but here, if they came and saw what appears to be a mess that you have, they would have you disconnected in short order, and would stay that way until it was brought up to code. Sometimes, trying to save some $$$'s can be very expensive.

                        Just now read your last post. I would have your contractor buddy look at what you have. Even if he is not an electrician, he should be capable of telling if you have something safe or not.
                         
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                        • diymirage

                          diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                          Well find out here shortly, I just got off the phone with the inspector, he said he would swing by and look at what we have, and what needs to be done to be safe

                          Then I'll have my contractor buddy handle it and all will be well
                           
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                          • MiradaMegaCab

                            MiradaMegaCab Well-Known Member

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                            Do not have the city inspector come by!!

                            We’re all in agreement that your current service doesn’t meet code and is totally unsafe. Live wires in an open meter pan!
                            73RedDuster nailed it, your city inspector might just call the local power company and they’ll cut your service off. Typically removing your meter.
                            The city inspector might write you up for violations. Then you’ll definitely have to call in a licensed electrician.

                            Your previous idea of installing mini-breakers to make room for a 2 pole breaker is a little more involved as you must “phase” the existing circuits, as to not overload a neutral on a 3 wire cable (14/3 for example must have the black and red wires on separate “phases” so the neutral will not have the potential to exceed the amperage rating)


                            At this point, have your contractor buddy come over and install the transfer switch.

                            Regardless, that’s not gonna rectify other existing code violations.
                             
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