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Home Generator Transfer Switch advice

Will L.

Well-Known Member
Boulder City Nv
Check with your local codes and soil requirements. The soil changes things so dramatically you wouldn’t believe it.

Imo you can’t have too good of earth ground. But if you have 2 rods and the soil is way more conductive at surface and not going down, you can make the area inbetween a danger zone.

I have seen inspectors argue with electrical engineers, and engineers argue with each other... this is by far the most grey area of grounding- at the ground- go figure.

More ground rods or even theoretical perfect grounding of fuel tanks in and of themselves is not always the best answer either. If a fuel tank of any kind is the very best ground above ground level- where do you think that lightning is gonna hit?

If lightning is your concearn- there are lightning rods specifically made for a reason. If I had the biggest trees near my house or didn’t have street lights near my house that will be he go to place for cloud sparkies- and was doing anything for it- I would be doing a lightning rod up higher than my house, and not actually on my house. I flag pole higher than the house is never a bad thing imo.

I have seen where the lightning hit the rod and sent juice down like it should, but still sent stray power to surrounding stuff. On a steel high rise- no worries. In modern homes...um

The trailer I grew up in- yeah white trailer trash, what a surprise- haha, had 4 huge mulberry trees around it. In 30 years 3 of the 4 got hit by lightning. Lot is only about 70’ x 100’. Trees all dead now from it but there was nothing else in the area that high and with the density where the 3 trees were against each other and so tall- they were the magnet.

After the first 2 that were together got hit, within a couple years of each other and suffered major damage the 3rd one was hit a decade later. Since they are all gone now, I spoke to a neighbor down the street who had the next tallest trees. Guess what- now his are getting hit.

If a part of the world is gonna have lightning playing around, the tallest and best grounded components loose, unless specifically built to withstand it.


Well it hits on 7 of 8...
Umm, 6500 watt and 14kva? No. Something is amiss there
It's the surge 'motor starting' rating. Like 10 sec till gen breaker pops. In ye olde days before marketing took Surge as the bigger number to use to sell a cheaper genset... Still have 27A at 240V to stay within after everything is running.

Original doc is gone, but, summery is here:

Back to if it's a good idea for a single load to be over 2/3 the genset capacity. Doing this limits me to a single genset as the other's can't power this central AC load. Than extreme load management to run other things like a microwave. The engine/genhead de-rate for extreme temperature, 110+, is not something to take for granted. 50 Weight Oil for an air cooled engine is in the Onan chart.

For redundancy it's better to power a smaller load split system AC unit. This would also cure the east end of the house being hotter than the rest all the time.

And then I am also looking at a backup generator setup for Mom and Dad's place. Same Central AC load numbers.