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  • Whole house generator....

    Will have a new generator installed for the house this summer. The plan is for a two pole 200A transfer box, 15000Kw generator running on propane when the winter storms hit., to make life a bit easier.
    Wife and I verified all larger appliances and added the wattages. IF they all ran at the same time, it would be approximately 7800 watt. Although the generator is 15Kw, that's the surge power, and normally runs 12Kw. That's on gasoline. Propane is running 11Kw. So the house would run at about 71% capacity. That seems like a comfy spot. But...is it?

  • #2
    What is the install company saying? That sounds like enough to me. You including AC, Electric heat, etc as well?

    Sometimes the cost to bump up to the next Kw is nominal, might as well get a price. We don't have winter storms much but we have tornadoes etc in the summer, and it sure is nice to keep my AC on generator!
    Try

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    • #3
      check out GENERAC. FLY BY NIGHT GENERATORS ARE FAR FROM RELIABLE.

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      • #4
        The project was coming along quite nicely until the sparks started flyin'. Ran 24' of underground to the circuit panel. It is #6 3 with bare ground. All went well. Connected it to the 60
        amp breaker. White went to the neutral buss, bare to the ground buss. The socket is clearly marked red, black, white and green. Double and triple checked it all. Threw the breaker, with NOTHING connected to that socket and that's when ozone was being made and a brilliant flash, along with a loud humming. Immediately shut off that breaker and started checking.
        Here's what I found. I removed the black and the red from the breaker. Checking for voltage from the black to either ground or neutral results in zero. Same with checking the red with ground and neutral. However....checking the red to the panel hot and it shows 107 volts! There is NOTHING connected to either end of the red wire! Checking the black the same way and that shows 89 volts!! Yet there is no continuity between any of the leads. I pulled out that wire today. I have a remaining 26 feet from the same roll.
        Here's what I did with that 'new' piece. I put the wire neutral (white) into a power strip outlet neutral side. Put the bare copper into the ground of that same power strip. (Power strip isolates from main panel...) I checked voltage from the power strip hot to the 'new' red sire and it reads voltage!!! It's not connected to anything!! Same with the black! It also reads voltage. As if they're shorted out inside the wire jacket!
        I am stumped. For wires that are connected to NOTHING, I would think there would be a zero read. That is why the spars flew. The wires are somehow shorting out inside that jacket.
        Is that possible? I need some help.
        I plan on getting some new stuff from HD tomorrow, but need some expert help, suggestions....ANYthing!

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        • #5
          By the way, Hayzee, I purchased a Pulsar 15KV. Have yet to use it....

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          • #6
            I'm assuming you are using 6/3 UF-B flat grey underground cable. Are you using any bushings or box connectors where the cable passes through the walls of the service entrance panel & the socket enclosure? Maybe there's a sharp edge somewhere or a clamp is too tight, squashing the wires together. Try removing both ends of the cable from all connections and use an ohmmeter to check for shorts between the various individual wires. Where is the socket, by the way? What type is it? 9460? What's it mounted in?

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            • #7
              It was underground wire. The planned location was changed and I used less than half the fifty foot piece. Removed the suspect wire. As mentioned in the post, even the new, unused piece must be compromised. Continuity is good between the ends of each wire. That's all good. No continuity between any of the wire, black to red, red to white, white to ground. It's all good. However....insert the bare ground in the ground hole of a power strip. Insert a bared end of the #6 white wire in the neutral side of the plug. Now...this is where it gets strange... : I'm doing this experiment outside. Holding BOTH ENDS of the cable, I use the vohm to check for power. Insert the probe into the hot side of the power strip, the other probe contacts the red wire. Remember, I'm holding BOTH ends of the cable in my hands. NOTHING is connected to the black or the red wires. The red reads 107 volts. Move to the black, it reads 89 volts. To get a voltage read I suspect something internal in that cable jacket. Also, remember that this cable is new and unused, as is, out of the box. I did purchase new cable yesterday and will verify it today. BEFORE I go through the effort of threading IT through the house.
              Strange stuff....

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              • #8
                Before installing I did a test. Just now. Same result. To recap... :
                Plug in a small power strip to a known good outlet. It is 120, verified.
                stripped back about 18 inches of the outer jacket.
                Bared the end of the white jacket wire and inserted that into the neutral of the power strip.
                Inserted the bare copper ground into the ground opening of the power strip.
                Checked for continuity. All is good. No voltage between neutral and ground.
                Inserted red vohm probe into the hot side of the power strip.
                Touched the black probe of the vohm to the new red wire. 117 volts!
                Touched the black vohm probe to the cable black and it reads 117 volts!
                Both ends of both, cable red and cable black are not touching ANYthing!
                How can there be voltage to a wire that's not connected to anything???
                What am I missing???
                I will not install any wire into the circuit panel until I understand more clearly what it is that (I must be doing...!!) is wrong.

                I need some help.

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                • #9
                  25 ft of cable has quite a bit of capacitance. You probably have a high-impedance VOM, which doesn't draw much current, so it's seeing the effect of the capacitive coupling between the wires because you're using an AC voltage source. Try using a test lamp in place of the VOM., like a table lamp with an incandescent bulb in it. If it lights up, you definately have a short. The VOM uses DC to measure resistance, so it doesn't see the capacitance effect.

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                  • #10
                    Ah. I believe I understand. It is a digital meter. Would an analog act the same way? I ill try the lamp test. Great idea.
                    Thank you for helping clear this up....

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                    • #11
                      Fished some fresh #6 through the wall and along the floor joist t'night. The ground and neutral are connected in the main panel. Weather today kept me indoors. Plan to have the exterior outlet in place first tomorrow, then connect the two hots at the main. Hope that phase will be finished tomorrow.

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                      • #12
                        It's all connected up and working quite nicely. That is t' say...no sparks! Still have some things to finesse on the generator cabinet and building a platform for it by the house.

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