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Discussion Starter #1
I got a question for you electrical guys on here.

I just wired my Honeywell HW5500 floating neutral generator to my main panel. I'm using Reliance Controls 30A 4-prong power inlet and wiring it to my exterior main panel and added a 30A breaker for the generator. My intent is only to power a few LED lamps around the house and my refrigerator/freezer plus maybe a fan. Definitely no the entire house. Also, installed an interlock for the main/30A breaker.

From research, since my generator is floating neutral, I ran the neutral and ground from the generator to the main panel's neutral/ground bar so its the only neutral/ground bonding point in the system. I did a test run with the sub-panel breakers all switched OFF and only flipped the 30A at the main panel to ON and the generator's breaker tripped. Any ideas as to what's causing this? The outlets on the generator are not GFI. It seems strange that the generator breaker tripped only by turning the 30A ON without any breakers from the sub-panel turned ON to add a load.

I'll probably get an electrician to swing by but wanted to ask in case there's something simple I can try first.

thanks
 

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you sub panel is for the items you described to want in an emergancy.the other breakers are fo AC which draws the higher amps. 5kw most likey isn't big enough for AC.
read a previous post about emergancy power for power failure.
I simply open auxillary sub panel breaker and plug genny into dryer plug AFTER opening sub panel. breaker. been doing that for power failures since 1976 no problems.on my sub panel i have everything but AC. on 5 KW. generator.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
you sub panel is for the items you described to want in an emergancy.the other breakers are fo AC which draws the higher amps. 5kw most likey isn't big enough for AC.
read a previous post about emergancy power for power failure.
I simply open auxillary breaker and plug genny into dryer plug AFTER opening aux. breaker. been doing that for power failures since 1976 no problems.on my auxillary panel i have everything but AC. on 5 KW. generator.
Yeah that's an option for some depending on house layout. In my case it's not an option so I chose the setup as described above. My sub-panel has everything except for the main 200A breaker which is outside in the main panel where I'm connecting the gen via 30A breaker/interlock. There are a few marked breakers in the sub-panel I will use for emergency power. I think my issue is with the ground and/or neutral causing the breaker to trip in gen.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
did you switch off the incoming power to the sub panel?
Incoming power is switched off with the interlock before the gen is connected. Then with the gen, the 30A breaker feeds the sub panel and as I mentioned, during the test all the breakers at the sub-panel are switched off and the gen still tripped.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
From the gen L14-30 connector using L14-30 cord to L14-30 power inlet box wired to the Main Panel where I installed the 30A breaker for emergency power:

Red wire - 30A breaker pole
Black wire - 30A breaker pole
White wire - Ground/Neutral busbar
Green wire - Ground/Neutral busbar
 

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you sub panel should have it's breaker on the main panel.
 

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Shouldnt the neutral go to the neutral buss...? I watched a you tube vid and the guy used the neutral buss and wired the green ground to the ground buss.....Good luck and let us know how it works out
 

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I think your gen has to have a ground rod and clamp because its not bonded. I'm not sure though. Lift your ground from the neutral connection and try it again. Bet it don't trip.
 

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Shouldnt the neutral go to the neutral buss...? I watched a you tube vid and the guy used the neutral buss and wired the green ground to the ground buss.....Good luck and let us know how it works out
The neutral and ground are the same at the main panel.
 

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Using 240V 2 pole output to a Panel, bond the neutral and ground at the generator output with a jumper so the neutral dosent float.. Take the cover off of the generator head and you will see the connections.
Before using the 120V outlets again remove the jumper to put the neutral back to floating to protect against a possible ground fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone. I’m going with a manual transfer switch instead of the 30amp breaker/interlock. It will be better and safer.
 

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I would hire an electrician, power is nothing to mess with. I had an electrician wire in a transfer switch for 800 bucks, including parts. Works flawlessly. If you want his contact info, let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Indeed. The breaker/interlock was about as far as I was going with it so working on getting someone out here to do it. Thanx!
 

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Thanks everyone. I’m going with a manual transfer switch instead of the 30amp breaker/interlock. It will be better and safer.
I used to install these for forum members as a side gig before my family grew with three kiddos. Just don't have the time anymore. A manual transfer switch is the way to go.

Home Depot sells a switch that can handle a 100 amp or less main breaker.

 
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