Bad gen-set install

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I'm on a job where we're remodeling a basement. The GC said that I would have to move the generator panel. When I get on the job the first thing I find this :

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations006.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations005.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations008.jpg

This is the funny part. The HO paid some hack from NY with no license to install this. He ran 200 amp SEU cable from the xfer switch to the generator :

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations007.jpg

Aside from the obvious code violations and lack of an inspection sticker the first thing I ask myself is why didn't the installer put the weatherproof transfer switch outside next to the meter enclosure. Then I walked outside and found this :

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations001.jpg

This house didn't originally have a brick face. It was added after the fact. I pity the poor soul that has to change this meter enclosure. It's an under-ground service.

Then I walked around back to see the generator install and found this :

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations004.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations003.jpg
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/goldstar13397/Gen-setcodeviolations002.jpg

I haven't opened the generator as yet but I'd be curious to know just how he terminated the 4/0 onto the 100 amp breaker in the generator. What a mess !!! I'm sure the HO paid upward of $10k+ to have this gen-set installed and it's now going to cost another $6-$10K to have me correct it and take responsibility
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Be sure to post some after photo's so that we can see what it should look like when installed correctly. :)
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
With the looks of the brick, they must have busted it out to access the enclosure. I came across several installs where they used a nema 1 transfer switch outside, and just siliconed the cover!
 

Greg1707

Senior Member
Location
Alexandria, VA
Occupation
Business owner Electrical contractor
Transfer switch

Transfer switch

I am unfamiliar with this transfer switch. I assume this switch is installed between the meter and the main panel? Please explain for those of us with little experience with generators.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
IF the switch is "service rated", it can be installed between the meter and the existing main (service) panel.
A "service rated" transfer switch will have a service disconnect. Grounding on the load side must be brought up to Code.
If the transfer switch is not service rated it must have appropriate overcurrent protection/disconnect ahead.

Along with the host of Code problems with the install that goldstar faces, a generator installation incorporating an automatic transfer switch is required to have a generator capacity large enough to carry the calculated load, which, in this case me be an additional problem.
 
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RESI

Member
Location
Virginia
Along with the host of Code problems with the install that goldstar faces, a generator installation incorporating an automatic transfer switch is required to have a generator capacity large enough to carry the calculated load, which, in this case me be an additional problem.[/QUOTE]


I do see that the transfer switch has load shed capability, so that might be helpful in dealing with the generator capacity issue as related to the whole house transfer switch.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Along with the host of Code problems with the install that goldstar faces, a generator installation incorporating an automatic transfer switch is required to have a generator capacity large enough to carry the calculated load, which, in this case me be an additional problem.

I do see that the transfer switch has load shed capability, so that might be helpful in dealing with the generator capacity issue as related to the whole house transfer switch.[/QUOTE]

True, but we don't know what the load calculation is either. Just because they have a 200 amp service does not mean there is 200 amps of load.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Thanks. I've done that in the past but if I remember correctly the forum site limits you to a certain number of photos you can post in one message. I didn't want to take up that much space in my post so I thought it would be easier to do it this way.
Then you should post multiple messages, it is much easier to read when you don't have to do all that extra back and forth to see the images.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I am unfamiliar with this transfer switch. I assume this switch is installed between the meter and the main panel? Please explain for those of us with little experience with generators.
This is a whole house, 200 amp automatic transfer switch in a NEMA-3 enclosure. It would normally be located outside nippled into the meter enclosure. Utility power would then come out the back or bottom of the enclosure back into the main breaker panel. Emergency power from the generator would enter the bottom of the enclosure. You also have power sensing and low voltage wiring entering the transfer switch.

Technically it can be located indoors but the SEU cable between the meter pan and the xfer switch would have to be the shortest distance possible and as you can see from the photos it is not.
 
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goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I do see that the transfer switch has load shed capability, so that might be helpful in dealing with the generator capacity issue as related to the whole house transfer switch.
There is a Nexus load shedding module installed that comes with the xfer switch but the original installer did not interface any AC condenser control wiring into the module. You really only have to worry about anything that would come on automatically (like AC units). The house has 3 AC units (probably not more than 3 tons each). If they came on during an outage I would imagine that the 100 amp generator breaker would handle it but it would be a strain. However, I will have to do a complete survey to determine what other loads need to be considered.
 

fisherelectric

Senior Member
Location
Northern Va
Seems like in order to fix this mess you're going to have to start at the meter base which, among other things, would mean having the POCO redo the underground to bring it up outside the brick. Just curious what the homeowner's reaction was when you told him it all needs redone, when all he wanted was his basement wired. It almost looks like a new meter base might not even fit back where the old one was, or maybe have to redo that water (sprinkler system?) piping beside the meterbase.
 
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goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Haven't gotten that far yet. Haven't even gotten a contract yet. I told the HO I would go ahead and wire the basement as that was under a contract with the GC but that I wouldn't move the breaker panel or the xfer switch. However, I mentioned that once the EC came on the job to inspect my work and found not only the condition of the gen set but also that it was done without permits he has the right to cite you for a violation and a fine.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Haven't gotten that far yet. Haven't even gotten a contract yet. I told the HO I would go ahead and wire the basement as that was under a contract with the GC but that I wouldn't move the breaker panel or the xfer switch. However, I mentioned that once the EC came on the job to inspect my work and found not only the condition of the gen set but also that it was done without permits he has the right to cite you for a violation and a fine.
Does the installer that did not file a permit get any fines? That is who needs at very least, a slap on the wrist more than homeowners in general need one.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Does the installer that did not file a permit get any fines? That is who needs at very least, a slap on the wrist more than homeowners in general need one.
The HO feels badly enough that he hired this moron to do the work and that it's going to cost him big $$ to have it corrected. His choices are a) don't finish your basement, leave everything status quo and don't worry about this until you try to sell your house or b) pay me (or another electrician and a plumber with liccenses), to take the responsibility and take out permits to do it right. We'll see what happens.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The HO feels badly enough that he hired this moron to do the work and that it's going to cost him big $$ to have it corrected. His choices are a) don't finish your basement, leave everything status quo and don't worry about this until you try to sell your house or b) pay me (or another electrician and a plumber with liccenses), to take the responsibility and take out permits to do it right. We'll see what happens.
My question was does the inspector make any attempt to find out who did the installation with no permit or inspections and make them pay any fines or at very least have them on any record? If you don't at least slap them on the wrist they definitely will continue to operate against the rules.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
My question was does the inspector make any attempt to find out who did the installation with no permit or inspections and make them pay any fines or at very least have them on any record? If you don't at least slap them on the wrist they definitely will continue to operate against the rules.
I'll let you know if and when I get that far. If I were the inspector I believe I would want to do that. But, in reality, I think the only recourse the inspector has (at this point) is through the HO and I don't know if the HO is willing to give up that info. After all, he is equally at fault for trying to get this installed without permits and inspections. Aside from the obvious flaws in the installation I just can't wait to hear what the inspector says about the newly flushed-in meter enclosure.
 
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