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The right way is to run a feed from the generator to your main disconnect.
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By disconnect I mean your electrical meter where the power comes into your house. I doubt that's "in" your breaker panel.Yes, the wire would get expensive. It’s about 150’ to the generator.
The only disconnects are in the 2-200 amp panels.
Yes, I could see how cutting a switch in between the meter and panels would be the ticket!Howdy,
You are very limited with what you can do. The absolute best would be a transfer switch between the meter and your panels.
Here are some other methods.
Generator connection choices | SteelSoldiers
I will look into this system.Another option is to do a KIRK key interlock system between the main breaker and the generator breaker.
The lock on the main breaker is key retaining so when its turned on the generator breaker is locked open by the same key. You would have to open the main breaker to remove the key. Take the key to the generator breaker to close it.
Backfeeds can be done legally with an interlock (these are used on a panel with a main breaker, its typically a bolt on breaker slide) and feed breakers need to be either bolt in or have an additional means of anchor to the buss.As far as I know, there isn't any legal/approved method of "backfeeding" an electrical panel. As has been stated, only using a proper transfer switch or interlock in the breaker panel can a generator be safely/legally used to power your household loads.
What size generator are you using to power your house/shop?
This information is important because there are some methods that have a limit to how much current can be utilized. 30 or 50 amps are common for interlock setups (and finding an inlet plug larger than 50 amps can get pretty expensive)
One example of the above
A transfer switch mechanism that mounts in the utility meter socket, rated for either 30 or 40 amps. If you're only running a 5kw gen, the 30 amp is fine, running a 10k would require the 40 amp plug (and even then you don't want to load it up to 10kw constant load)
Larger than those you'd want some type of either manual or automatic transfer switch between the meter box and your panels. As I mentioned above, the fact that you have 2 200 amp panels likely means you have 400 amp service, which means you would have to get a 400 amp transfer switch installed.
Probably the cheapest thing you could do is run your new cable (or repurpose the cable you have going to the 70 amp panel in the shop if the generator isn't too large of output for it) and then split it off to power interlock switches in both of your 200 amp panels.
Final advise (and disclaimer), I don't know your local codes and such, so you are better off contacting a local to you licensed electrician to see what options actually meet your local codes and regulations, as well as any permits that are supposed to be filed before doing any electrical work
So a "backfeed" is where you take an outlet, such as the dryer outlet, and make a cord so that instead of power coming out of that outlet, you are feeding power into it.Backfeeds can be done legally with an interlock (these are used on a panel with a main breaker, its typically a bolt on breaker slide) and feed breakers need to be either bolt in or have an additional means of anchor to the buss.
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