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Randy asked Can the hot wire of a 30 amp 3000w DC to AC inverter 120v be split and wired into a 220v plug? Gen swtc input?
I have a Reliance 30 amp Gen Transfer Switch with a 220 v plug that matches my generator. I will be removing the little bar that connects 2 legs to make the one breaker 220v I do not need 220 volts. But if I want the full 30 amp output of the gen I have to use the 220 plug out. I also have a DC to AC 3000w 30 amp 120v inverter that I would like to be able to plug into the 220v plug into the gen transfer switch. The reliance gets 220v just by tieing 2 breakers together which will be removed but I dont want to lose my capacity. Does this make since? Thanks I do not think I explained my situation well enough. I have a 30 amp 6 Circuit Generator transfer switch from Reliance for home power outage. The way it is wired inside is one hot powers the first 3 circuits and the 2nd hot powers the other 3 circuits. They made the switch so you can have one 220v circuit if needed by tying 2 of the circuits together one from each side of the 2 hot leads from gen out 220v. So if you use it this way your 6 circuit becomes 4 circuits 3 120v and one 240v. BUT if you do not want the 220v you can have all 6 120v circuits. its wired that one hot from the 220v plug from gen out powers first 3 and 2nd hot from 220v gen out powers 2nd 3 circuits. So the 220 out of the gen has 2 sep legs and one leg operates first 3 breakers other leg operates last 3 breakers in 120v mode. To get the full 3000w out of the gen you must use the 220v out with 2 hot legs into a 220v input on the transfer switch with 6 breakers. So this is fine for generator. BUT I also have a solar Inverter that is 3000w 30 amp but its output is 120v with only one hot. So I need to make a adaptor to split off the one hot and make it 2 hots so I can make a plug that will go into my gen transfer switch.
And got the following answer:
Hey Randy, yes, you can power the 6 circuits in that transfer box with a 120 volt 3000 watt inverter, as long as none of the 6 circuits is running a 220 volt appliance of any kind. We have the same setup here in our solar and wind powered cabin. In our case I wanted more than the 6 circuits, so I built up my own with a 100 amp home sized 24 circuit service panel, and a 50 amp 220 volt double pole double throw relay from grainger. I would not attempt to explain it here, but it works just like yours could. On your transfer panel you have an input plug for a generator, which as you found is wired internall for 220 by splitting the two hot legs and alternating which hot leg feeds which circuit. This is done so if you want a 220 circuit, maybe feeding a well pump to run on the generator, the 2 pole disconnect grabs both legs. As long as all you have is single pole 120 breakers in your transfer box, then all you have to do is get another cord identical to the one from your generator to the transfer box now, and wire it to your inverter output with both hot lines connecting to the single hot line of the inverter. When you unplug your generator, plug in the inverter and turn it on, the transfer box will sense a power source from your inverter, disconnect from the utility panel and connect both hot legs inside the 6 circuit panel to the inverter. Make sure your 3000 watt inverter has some form of overcurrent protection, this is usually in the form of a button type circuit breaker built into the inverter, near the output plug. It will usually have its amp rating stamped on the button, in your case probably around 25 or 30 amps. Then make sure your cord and plug from the inverter to the transfer box all meet or exceed that amp rating. This will allow your inverter overcurrent protection to protect the wiring from the inverter to the transfer box. If you do have a 220 circuit on your 6 circuit panel someplace, and you wire up the inverter this way, it won't damage anything, but the 220 item will not operate. You also mentioned keeping the capacity, understand that when the transfer box is pulling power from the utility, it has a 2 pole 30 amp 220 volt circuit breaker feeding it. This means you could have one side pulling 25 amps and the other pulling 20 amps, and everything will still run. During this time the 6 circuits are using 45 amps. Once you plug your inverter in and run all 6 circuits with one 3000 watt inverter, than 25 amps is all the entire transfer box has available now. In most cases this is plenty, but you can't run multiple heating appliances with that sized power source, like a toaster oven and microwave. Each one of those generally uses 12 to 15 amps, two will most likely overload your inverter, and its breaker will disconnect. So the "capacity" you mentioned will have to be less than 3000 watts no matter what size breakers are in that transfer box. Also if you're running the entire affair from a battery bank, like we do, those batteries might not last very long. Our system uses a 4000 watt sine wave inverter and all 50 amp wiring and disconnects through the relay to the 100 amp box, but the inverters output is limited to 4000 watts, or 35 amps, so that is our homes entire "capacity" when the inverter is powering things. That has worked fine for us for the last 12 years. We made it a point to purchase all energy efficient appliances over the years, and we use them juriously. I advise people all the time who are trying to do what you're doing now, picking "essential" loads for backup power, and they always tell me they just want to run a couple small things, like the fridge, TV, a few lights and the 6 ton AC unit. If you don't know what you're doing, the inverter and batteries will teach you better than I can during your first power outage. Good luck Randy, and take care, Rudydoo
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