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Recent Generator questions

My house has a 220v transfer box on my main breaker panel.

My house has a 220v transfer box on my main breaker panel. It was installed in 1999 and has a 3 wire Nema 6-20 plug. The original generator had a compatible female receptacle. That generator got stolen and I got a replacement: a generac gp5500. It has a Nema L14-30p plug. I am trying to connect things to make it work, as we have an ice storm bearing down on us. I have a male Nema L14-30p and a male Nema 6-20p, but my knowledge is tapped. What now?JA: What's the make and model? And can you guesstimate how old it is?Customer: Generate go 5500. Two years old. Tops.JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?Customer: Looks that way. Yes.JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?Customer: Different question, there.

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Kevin

Supervising Electrician

Diploma

4,542 satisfied customers
I'm building a backlapping machine for my Tru-Cut mower and

Hi, I'm building a backlapping machine for my Tru-Cut mower and just got a Marathon electric motor. 115v, FLA 6.1 (amps?), 1/3 hp. Yellow is on terminal 5 and blue is on 4. The label diagram for clockwise rotation is yellow 4 line 1, blue 5, and 1 line 1. Do I switch the blue and yellow? And which terminal is load and neutral? I see a green screw for ground. And what type of switch do I need to be in code?

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Sam Irvin

Electrical Systems Journeyman

62 satisfied customers
I am putting in a 400 service on a home. I have 2 200 amp

I am putting in a 400 service on a home. I have 2 200 amp panels inside fed with 4/0 al. what size should my feeders be ? aluminum 600 ? and the neutral ? what size pvc riser?

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Kevin

Supervising Electrician

Diploma

4,542 satisfied customers
Electrician question- my friend and I have each had problems

Electrician question- my friend and I have each had problems with outdoor motion-sensor lights malfunctioning at each of our houses. Is this bad luck or are motion-sensor outdoor lights generally considered unreliable? Mine worked for a week then started staying on or off for long periods, not responding to motion. Is there a fix for this?

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Kevin

Supervising Electrician

Diploma

4,542 satisfied customers
Generators: I have a 14 K Kohler and mostly everything is

Generators: I have a 14 K Kohler and mostly everything is tied in to the generator except the stove which we barely use. My question is if there's an outage which is extended and the neighbor asked to plug-in to my outlet outside what should I say? The installer never gave me a straight answer.

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Kevin

Supervising Electrician

Diploma

4,542 satisfied customers
I have a Generac whole house natural gas back-up generator

I have a Generac whole house natural gas back-up generator installed at my house. When the power company's service is interrupted due to a storm, etc the generator kicks on automatically and takes over until power is restored. My question is as follows: Is the electrical power that my generator creates (and for which I am paying the gas company for the gas consumption it uses) also being run through my home's electric meter and billed to me on my next monthly electric bill? In other words , do I have to pay the electric utility for power to my home that they did not supply? If that is the case, is there a legal means to have my generator's power output bypass the home's electric meter? It doesn't seem fair that I should be double billed.

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Steve G.

Chief Engineer

13,272 satisfied customers
I have a Challenger SL20(20-40) panel installed 26 years

Hi, I have a Challenger SL20(20-40) panel installed 26 years ago. I did not have any problems with the panel or the breakers and all of them are the original ones. I would like to install an Eaton Whole House Surge protector. Can a replace a 2-pole 30 Amp breaker at the top with the 2-pole 50A breaker recommended by the installation manual? I presume this will be a Cutler Hammer BR breaker, or do I need a CH type? Is it OK to mix-and-match breakers? Also, is it advisable to start knocking out punch outs from such an old panel? It will take some work to install the surge proctor since the panel is flush mounted between two studs. I hope there are some punch outs on on the top side. Thank you.JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?Customer: I am planning to install the surge protector, but have not started working on it yet.JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?Customer: No, I will hire a licensed electrician. But, I always want to know what they are doing.JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?Customer: I think that's all.

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Kevin

Supervising Electrician

Diploma

4,542 satisfied customers
I want to install a 100A subpanel that's 150 feet away from

I want to install a 100A subpanel that's 150 feet away from the main panel? What wire size do I use? Does the voltage drop because of the distance?JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?Customer: This is a new installation? I'm not an electrician just a general contractor.JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?Customer: YesJA: Anything else we should know to help you best?Customer: The main panel is 3-phase 208volts

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Kevin

Supervising Electrician

Diploma

4,542 satisfied customers
I want to install a portable generator hookup to our house.

I want to install a portable generator hookup to our house. Have done a bit of research and have a plan but have a question.JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?Customer: OOps hit return too soon. So I am acutely aware of the need to isolate from the power grid so I don't backfeed the system and will install the interlock device accordingly. My specific question is this: I have a spare 220 volt 50 amp breaker that I can use to feed the panel. I want to be able to energize both sides of the panel to get power to various circuits. My generator is 2 ea 2000 watt yamahas that I can hook parallel. During power outage I do not need 220 power for appliances, just refrigerators, lights, etc. If I connect the 2 poles of the 220 spare amp breaker together and feed 110 to them I think it will feed 110 to both sides but in the same phase - as opposed to the normal 180 degrees out. The would be OK for the 110 volt stuff, right? I want to make sure it would be OK if I were to neglect to turn off the breaker to the kitchen range on it would seem that since both legs are the same phase there would be no power to the range and I would be ok. Of course the connected poles of the generator breaker would be bad news if I were to energize the panel but the interlock device would prevent throwing the main breaker unless the generator breaker is OFF. Is there something wrong with my logic?JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?Customer: Yes. I am a mechanical engineer with good electrical knowledge but mostly on industrial 3-phase 460 volt equipment. Not licensed as electrician. I think my theory above is good but want to double check.JA: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?Customer: 25 years old. Have not spoken to an electrician.JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?Customer: Nothing else comes to mind. I have a sub-panel in the basement that is fed from a 60 amp breaker - 220 volts. That panel is for the lights and range in the basement. Only 220 volt equipment in the house is the 2 ranges. One from the main panel, the other from the sub-panel.

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Sam Irvin

Electrical Systems Journeyman

62 satisfied customers
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