Portable Generator Transfer Switch

Generac 30-Amp Power Transfer System (6-10 Ciercuites)I get a lot of calls from people wondering if they can remove the bonded neutral from their portable generator and install a manual transfer switch.

First, make sure you’re using a transfer switch that’s compatible with your make and model of generator.

Second, consider the following statement by Generac, leading manufacturer of quality generators:

“Some portable generators are intended for use on jobsites, and therefore are subject to OSHA regulations for GFCI protection on all receptacles.

These ‘contractor grade’ generators have their neutral wire bonded to the ground wire to pass OSHA inspection on job sites, and when connected to a [manual] transfer switch, this may cause nuisance tripping of the generator GFCI breaker.

If you’re using a neutral bonded generator to power a house or building through a [manual] transfer switch, then determine if the neutral bond wire on the generator can be disabled without voiding the warranty, preferably by a dealer or a qualified electrician.

NOTE: After this action, the generator will no longer pass OSHA inspection on job sites. Consult the manufacturer of your generator to determine if the neutral bond can be removed. If it can be disabled, then no modifications to your [manual] transfer switch installation are needed.

If the neutral bond cannot be disabled or voids the generator warranty, you must install a Switched Neutral Kit (model 6297) accessory with your [manual] transfer switch.”

The key to this is when you are connecting your generator to your residential electrical panel, you need to make sure the outlet on the generator you are connecting to is not GFCI protected.

If it’s not GFCI protected you are ok with connecting to any manual transfer switch, but if it is GFCI protected you need to utilize a switched neutral kit or a specific GFI manual transfer switch.

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