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How to Switch Hardwired Ceiling fan from Grid to Off Grid Connection via switch

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  • How to Switch Hardwired Ceiling fan from Grid to Off Grid Connection via switch

    BACKGROUND: I have a home with an unfinished basement. I am installing a substantial OFF-Grid system that will be dedicated 100% to this basement area. However, I am also going to wire the entire basement as an extension off my main Grid Panel (not connected to solar in any way - systems are COMPLETELY separate). I plan to basically Double-Wire the basement. For example.... If I want a wall socket by my bed - then I will basically run two SEPARATE circuits in and install 2 wall sockets - one labeled GRID, and the other labelled SOLAR. If I want a light to be powered from the grid, I plug it into the grid socket,a nd if I want to switch it to Solar, I just plug it into the Solar labeled socket. I have my reasons for this. I want every single outlet to be able to switch back and forth at will - so a system wide transfer switch will not work. It will cost me a bit of money, but I am ok with that because it suits my needs for this project.

    HERE IS MY PROBLEM / QUESTION: I am also going to have several things that are hard-wired. Ceiling Fans, the Blower on my whole house AC/Heat system, Sump Pump etc. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best way to be able to switch between the Solar and Grid circuitry on these hardwired systems. I' having a hard time communicating this concept to my electrician, who is I think being intentionally stubborn because he simply doesn't understand why I am wanting all this - which from my perspective is none of his business. Help?

  • #2
    you have other problems.

    You are wiring in an off grid system and then potentially connecting it to the grid as well as the house wiring. This means that the inverter and system needs to be fully to code and be UL listed etc.

    It is going to be difficult to do this to code.

    I understand your reasons are your business but in order to help you with your problem (the reason) and not the solution that you have come up with (double wiring), people are going to have to understand your reason (the problem) to suggest a workable solution.

    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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    • #3
      The "off grid" wiring will need to be totally separate from the house grid wiring including all grounding conductors.

      Hospitals do this with specific loads that are separate from normal building loads but to do this usually requires a PE designed electrical distribution system that includes all UL listed equipment and terminations.

      I do not doubt why your electrician is balking at doing the installation without the proper paperwork that must meet code requirements.

      Comment


      • #4
        Your electrician is probably not simply "being stubborn", but may be reluctant to do what you want for good reasons which you may not understand or may not me taking into account, starting with safety. Some other reasons might include building code conformance and requirements that the electrician must follow at the risk of liability and/or legal action against him.

        Another reason for reluctance is probably his reputation, perhaps with the AHJ. Then there's the practical matter that the electrician can probably make as much or more profit doing less off the wall work in less time, for less hassle and liability, and he knows it.

        What you want done is uncommon for good reasons besides it simply costs more for the redundancy. Suit yourself, but assuming the electrician knows more about his business than you know about it, I'd give his trepidation some thought and consideration. Part of the way he makes a living is by staying out of trouble.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by keepdoing View Post
          I will basically run two SEPARATE circuits in and install 2 wall sockets - one labeled GRID, and the other labelled SOLAR. If I want a light to be powered from the grid, I plug it into the grid socket,a nd if I want to switch it to Solar, I just plug it into the Solar labeled socket.
          OK. That may mean that you will basically need 4 outlets per location - 2 for grid 2 for off grid. (Sockets common the ground and it's likely that you will need separate grounds to stay code compliant, so you can't just use the top half for grid and the bottom half for off grid.)

          HERE IS MY PROBLEM / QUESTION: I am also going to have several things that are hard-wired. Ceiling Fans, the Blower on my whole house AC/Heat system, Sump Pump etc. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best way to be able to switch between the Solar and Grid circuitry on these hardwired systems.
          A/C is going to be difficult. You can't switch that while it's on; switching between two unsynchronized systems will be very hard on compressors. You'd have to shut down, make the switch, then restart.

          An electrician is generally not going to do this for you, because if you use the transfer switch without shutting down first and damage the compressor, he will be liable.

          For the rest you may be able to find transfer switches that switch everything (including neutral and ground) but they're going to be physically big; boxes with big handles on the side.

          I' having a hard time communicating this concept to my electrician, who is I think being intentionally stubborn because he simply doesn't understand why I am wanting all this - which from my perspective is none of his business. Help?
          His job is to provide you with a safe, legal and reliable electrical system - so of course he's going to have a lot of questions, and there will be some things he will refuse to do. He is asking you why you want to do this because there are much better/safer/more legal ways to do what you want. He's an electrician; it is, by definition, his business.

          Comment


          • #6
            My sump pump wasn't hard wired, but sometimes 2 pumps can be used. A higher one
            takes over if the lower isn't maintaining the level. Might be possible to have dual ceiling
            fans. There are actually multiple heat/AC systems in place here. Bruce Roe

            Comment


            • #7
              You are going to be better off with a whole house transfer switch. They make house sized ones for large backup generators. They can either be automatic $$$$ or manual $$.
              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you everyone - but someone on the https://forum.solar-electric.com/ was able to give me a perfect solution. Here was his suggestion, which is EXACTLY what I needed.

                "You might want to look at the multi- circuit transfer panels from Reliance Controls. The ProTran 2 line might do what you want. These panels can do transfers on a circuit by circuit bases. Each circuit is controlled by a 3 position toggle switch (Grid / Off / Solar) and is breaker protected. Simply substitute your inverter output for the generator output that the panel has on the label. These panels mount about 18" from you main panel, but control whatever circuits you chose to run thru the ProTran 2. And they are UL Listed and Code compliant (at least in the US)







                Just bought one here.....
                https://www.homedepot.com/p/Reliance...510C/206503336

                Comment


                • #9
                  Found a solution on another forum. multi- circuit transfer panels from Reliance Controls... the ProTran 2 line.

                  And for the record.... you people are a bit high strung. I've never seen so much leaping to conclusions. My 'electrician" is just a stubborn jerk. Has nothing to do with it being legal or to code. He just doesn't understand why I don't go with his moronic and incredibly expensive grid tie suggestions that do not accomplish what I want. He's now my ex-electrician, and I have someone else who got what I was trying to do in about 2 minutes of explanation - and thinks it is perfectly fine idea.

                  But thank you all anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You are welcome! I lost interest when you said you wanted to "double wire" the basement and have dual sockets all over the place.

                    Heck, even switching back and forth from on-grid to off-grid is crazy talk to me.
                    Dave W. Gilbert AZ
                    6.63kW grid-tie owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by keepdoing View Post
                      Found a solution on another forum. multi- circuit transfer panels from Reliance Controls... the ProTran 2 line.

                      And for the record.... you people are a bit high strung. I've never seen so much leaping to conclusions. My 'electrician" is just a stubborn jerk. Has nothing to do with it being legal or to code. He just doesn't understand why I don't go with his moronic and incredibly expensive grid tie suggestions that do not accomplish what I want. He's now my ex-electrician, and I have someone else who got what I was trying to do in about 2 minutes of explanation - and thinks it is perfectly fine idea.

                      But thank you all anyway.

                      you stated specifically that you did NOT want to use a central transfer switch, remember! This is a central transfer switch solution.

                      This is what happens when you ask for a solution but instead of stating the problem you want to solve, you state your perceived solution.

                      Dual wiring was your perceived solution...
                      OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by keepdoing View Post
                        Thank you everyone - but someone on the https://forum.solar-electric.com/ was able to give me a perfect solution. Here was his suggestion, which is EXACTLY what I needed.

                        "You might want to look at the multi- circuit transfer panels from Reliance Controls. The ProTran 2 line might do what you want. These panels can do transfers on a circuit by circuit bases. Each circuit is controlled by a 3 position toggle switch (Grid / Off / Solar) and is breaker protected. Simply substitute your inverter output for the generator output that the panel has on the label. These panels mount about 18" from you main panel, but control whatever circuits you chose to run thru the ProTran 2. And they are UL Listed and Code compliant (at least in the US)







                        Just bought one here.....
                        https://www.homedepot.com/p/Reliance...510C/206503336
                        From looking at the responses you got over at AZWS forum, there doesn't seem to be all that much enthusiasm for your plan over there either, and IMO only, not all that different than what you mostly got here. Nice cherry picking.

                        Not that it matters, but I'm with Butch on his comment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by azdave View Post
                          Heck, even switching back and forth from on-grid to off-grid is crazy talk to me.
                          The question, OP, and thread is nucking futs. This is how Bernie Sanders gets on a ballet.
                          MSEE, PE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by keepdoing View Post
                            And for the record.... you people are a bit high strung. I've never seen so much leaping to conclusions.
                            You mean like . . .
                            My 'electrician" is just a stubborn jerk. . . . his moronic and incredibly expensive grid tie . . ..
                            Yep.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              FYI: I am still double wiring on much of the home, because it is what is needed for the "****ing nuts" project. LOL

                              In regards to a system-wide transfer switch not working, I think I miscommunicated. I meant as a sole solution. As for you people being high strung - OH YEAH! You should ll take yourselves less seriously. In regards to my ex-electrician - I know him. You don't. Nuff said.

                              No wonder Solar isn't more widely adopted. Everyone in this industry is an asshole.

                              For instance, I wnet through 6 "Professional" Solar Installers. NONE could do what I wanted. Not saying they wouldn't. They said they COULDN'T. Technically impossible. And yet I am doing it. Also, they all badmouthed each others systems, loads of subtle trash talking. You people's problem is that you have created an echo chamber.... you aren't looking for solutions anymore - because your brains have calcified into your predetermined little walled gardens. But then again - thats the problem with America. Bunch of lazy capitolists

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