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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Question about Transfer Switch on a generator



I have a 10,500 starting, 7,500 running generator and a reliance 10 circuit transfer switch that was professionally installed and working properly.

My question is can I (meaning a professional electrician) add more circuits (lights and outlets mostly) to the transfer switch? On the 110v switches I currently have lights/outlets on a couple switches; my microwave has its own switch, fridge and 2 outlets on another switch. As far as the 220v switches go, I have 2 baseboard heat units connected, and my water pump.

I really wanted my water pump and water heater on the two 220v switches if thatís possible to do? And can I add more lights/outlets to already wired 110v transfer switches?
I ultimately want my generator to run as much of the house as possible. I am not even coming close to half capacity on my generator. My current generator usage is only 25-30% (I know this due to LCD panel on generator) with everything running except the baseboard heating. Water pump, fridge, microwave do not run all the time as you know. With everything listed above and two baseboard heating units on 80 degrees, the generator runs at 60%. I would give up my baseboard heating for the water pump (I think its 30amp, probably why itís not already wired to my transfer switch) and get a portable electric heater to warm us up instead while on generator power)

Is there a way to convert 30 amps to work on my transfer switch? Or is there a way to directly plug in the water heater to the generator or something similar to this setup so I can have the water heater working when the power is out?

Thanks so much for the help with all of this!!

ANSWER: Mike,   Well you don't have all of this,  you have what you have,  you understand the start rating is for devices like electric motors, and so on,  that have a high inrush to deal with,   

It is pretty much the same as sizing breakers part science part experience,    I didn't see anything in your questions that would cause a problem    what you obviously don't want is to have everything on, and then turn on some motor load that brings the total circuit above rating, but an electrician who knows how to size this kind of thing, can give you options and a bit of "slop"  so everything will be within tolerances,     

What you need left with everything on, is the start up power to turn on inductive loads,   that rating is not constant duty, unless it is an entire resistive load,        so he or she will watch the motor loade and let you add whatever you want,     it is just a matter of keeping it all under the parameters, and it sounds like you are way under,   


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the response Will.

Just to make this clear, I can or can't connect my water heater to my transfer switch or directly to my generator? Everything was clear except this. I understand starting and running power. I understand not overloading my unit.

I just need to know how to connect/if possible my water heater to my reliance 10 circuit transfer switch. Or directly to my generator. I will not be doing the work. I just want to know if its possible and a little info on how so I can properly explain it to my electrician.

Transfer switch has 6 switches at 110v and 2 switches at 220v.

Thanks so much!!

Sorry  I guess I didn't catch that,     most hot water heaters are on a dedicated circuit,   I see no problem going through the switch,     you have room,     it is not one of the instant type heaters is it?

Instead of me writing all this out,  here is a little blog that nicely lists the transfer switch types and capacities,     I think this should answer any and all questions in a chart form,  if not let me know,  
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Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

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