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How to wire transfer switch
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30 Amp Generator Transfer Switch Kit Transfer switch
Purpose is to switch power off on specific breakers when you connecting generator to household breaker panel

Transfer switch at Amazon

Reliance 31406CRK manual/pdf
How to wire transfer switch
generator 120 and 240 volt generators are used for homes and construction businesses etc
Check the total wattage output, portability vs need
If you are connecting the power to you household electric panel, you MUST turn off main breaker and disconnect from power company service ... or use a transfer switch.

Generators at Amazon

How to wire 240 volt outlets
Main breaker panel without transfer switch
In a time of power outage, it is very important that generators are not sending power to the main panel, because that power will travel backwards out the main breaker and re-energize the distribution lines that enter house.
If the main distribution lines are still energized, that can be dangerous and slow the rate of repairs.
Transfer switch Transfer switch installed

Let's say the transfer switch has two breakers; one for 120V and one for 240V.
When the generator is off, the transfer switch breaker is pushed one direction. Power leaves from the panel breaker, goes to the transfer switch breaker, passes through the transfer switch breaker and then goes to 120-240V load.

When generator is ON, the transfer switch breaker is pushed the other direction.
So if you trace the route that power takes, let's say power leaves the main panel breaker and travels to the transfer switch breaker .... but cannot go farther. Instead power from the generator leaves the transfer switch breaker and travels to the load.

Each main panel breaker wired into the transfer switch will operate the same.
The transfer switch makes sure the generator is not being used to energize the entire panel, but only designated loads.

120 volt Breaker in main panel has 1 screw for the Hot wire.
120 volt Breaker in the transfer panel has 2 screws for hot wires, both in and out.
Make sure your 120 volt hot from main breaker panel connects to correct screw as marked on transfer switch. Test before you connect wires using a continuity tester.

twist lock plug     
Twist-lock plug will not pull out of receptacle
Use twist lock plug for extension cord that plugs into compressor
Install 20 or 30 amp as needed.
X Y terminals go to either Hot wire.
W is always Neutral.
G is always ground.
These are standard markings for 240 volt plugs and outlets.
Connect X to one hot busbar inside the transfer switch, connect Y to other hot busbar, ground and Neutral to respective terminals
Leviton 2711/ 125-250 volt/ 20-30 amp/ 3 pole
How to wire subpanel

3-way switch wiring

Toggle water heater to 120 volt

A 30-amp 3-way switch or SPDT switch can be added to the circuit so you can toggle 240 volt water heater to 120 volt any time you choose, including when the generator is operating. Works any time, not just when the generator is on.

Reducing 240V water heater to 120V is one of those rare things that can be accomplished with ordinary residential non-electronic water heaters ../. but does not apply to other appliances like water well, or electronic water heaters such as heat pump or tankless.

The explanation why this is true is wordy, but the reason is simple: the elements are resistive and thermostats mechanical. So it works.

Reducing to 120 volt reduces heat time by a factor of 4, so tank will heat 4+ gallons per hour instead of 16+....  gives you some hot water and more generator capacity to run lights, water well pump, grandpa's oxygen machine etc..
You can toggle any time, when generator is not running or even with generator running as long as generator loads are relatively balanced.
Balanced load: a residential generator produces two out-of-phase 120 volt legs, with 240V potential across both legs. If you draw too much power off one leg, it causes disturbance in the magnetic field around the generator, and alters the waveform of electricity ... which can affect electronic devices inside house, and overheat generator.
All 240 volt loads are automatically balanced because they draw from both legs.
If you want to use the 120 volt strategy, set up your balanced generator loads to accommodate the change, usually within a range of 80% watt rating of generator. You need to calculate volts amps watts of all affected loads when wiring the transfer switch. Remember, reducing water heater to 120 volt reduces amp draw. Refer to resource links.

The water heater cannot be turned off completely while generator is running because clicking main panel breaker does nothing. Switching to 120 volt is an option. Or adding a 30 amp SPST switch to either wire going to water heater..

30 amp switch controls water heater
How to change 240V water heater to 120V
Figure volts amps watts
How to wire 240 volt outlets
What is 3-phase
wire transfer switch
DPDT switch wiring

Locking plugs
Locking plugs

Locking plugs/ twist lock

Generator outlet is twist-lock, check wattage rating of generator, divide by 240 volts to get amps.
L5 is same configuration for 20P or 30P/ use for 15,20 or 30 amp
L6 is same configuration for 20P or 30 P/ use for 15,20, 30 amp
L14, 4-pole is same configuration for 20P or 30P/ use for 20 or 30 amp
125 volt 3-wire has silver, brass and green screws
250 volt 3-wire has brass, brass, and green screws
125-250 volt 4-wire has silver, brass, brass, green screws

Leviton 2611/ 125 volt/ 15-20-30 amp/ 3-pole
Leviton 2621/ 250 volt/ 20-30 amp/ 3-pole
Leviton 2711/ 125-250 volt/ 20-30 amp/ 3 pole

Locking plug Wiring diagrams
Wire 240 Volt outlet Resources
How to wire 240 volt outlets
Cooper 30 Amp switch Water heater can be controlled directly with 30 Amp switch.
Use green color-coded 30 Amp switch and & 10 gauge wire.

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30 amp switches
30 amp single pole switch
30 amp double pole switch
30 amp 3-way switch
30 amp switches at Amazon

See 30 Amp switch installation
Double pole double throw 30 amp switch

Toggle water heater between 120 volts and 240 volts

Use DPDT 30 amp with center off
Ordinary 30 amp 3-way switch will do same job, but without center off
Slower heating during peak electric pricing can save money where hot water is still needed during peak pricing.

Buy double-pole double throw 30 amp
2 DPDT switch with center off at Amazon
2 DPDT switch with center off at Amazon

How to convert water heater to 120Volts
See wiring diagram
See off-peak water heater options

Orange 10 gauge 30 amp breaker

Orange/ #10 gauge for for 30 amp circuits including water heater
with ground
10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp breaker

Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
with ground
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

Rolls of stranded wire

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
White 14 gauge 15 amp breaker

White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
with ground
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Copper ground wire
Use same size as other wire in circuit

Spools of ground wire
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