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Off-grid main disconnect witch

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  • Off-grid main disconnect witch

    I have been going off grid every night for last three months. Every night when I go off grid, I have to turn off the main disconnect switch from my house to grid. I know the main switch is a mechanical switch, by turning on and off, one of these days it will go bad. Is there an alternative way to go off grid and prolong the main switch life. Thanks for the help in advance.
    TNT

  • #2
    If all the power users are off anyway, might as well leave the main switch on. Bruce Roe

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    • #3
      Could be something technical with you're setup apparently, I heard something like this once before and thats what was said

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      • #4
        Are you connecting AC power from something to the wiring in your home after you've disconnected the main circuit breaker? What are you connecting, and how?
        Steve

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sdold View Post
          Are you connecting AC power from something to the wiring in your home after you've disconnected the main circuit breaker? What are you connecting, and how?
          Hi Steve, the 220v from the inverter wired to the main circuit breaker box of the my house. I use the inverter to power my house. Before I turn on the inverter, I turn off the main service entrance disconnect. The entrance service disconnect switch has to be off before you can turn on the inverter right? otherwise, the power from the grid will damage the inverter. How would you do it?
          Thank you,
          Tung
          Last edited by tnt2k03; 07-12-2018, 10:45 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tnt2k03 View Post

            Hi Steve, the 220v from the inverter wired to the main circuit breaker box of the my house. I use the inverter to power my house. Before I turn on the inverter, I turn off the main service entrance disconnect. The entrance service disconnect switch has to be off before you can turn on the inverter right? otherwise, the power from the grid will damage the inverter. How would you do it?
            Thank you,
            Tung
            It sounds like you are not using a transfer switch or other approved method of isolating your inverter from the grid. There needs to be an approved method to keep power you generate from being connected to the grid. Otherwise there is the chance you could have your system send power down the street and electrocute a worker on a pole trying to get the power restored to your area. Relying on you remembering to pull the main disconnect is not an acceptable solution.

            Read the National Electric Code article 702, especially 702.5 (Transfer equipment). You don't say where you are so I'll assume the NEC applies to you. Even if it doesn't, you still need to install (or have installed) at least an approved manual transfer switch if you don't have one. It sounds like you are just backfeeding a breaker into your panel, something like that.
            Last edited by sdold; 07-12-2018, 02:06 PM. Reason: Added code article
            Steve

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tnt2k03 View Post
              Hi Steve, the 220v from the inverter wired to the main circuit breaker box of the my house. I use the inverter to power my house. Before I turn on the inverter, I turn off the main service entrance disconnect. The entrance service disconnect switch has to be off before you can turn on the inverter right? otherwise, the power from the grid will damage the inverter. How would you do it?
              Get a transfer switch. They are relatively cheap and are designed for exactly this.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sdold View Post
                It sounds like you are not using a transfer switch or other approved method of isolating your inverter from the grid. There needs to be an approved method to keep power you generate from being connected to the grid. Otherwise there is the chance you could have your system send power down the street and electrocute a worker on a pole trying to get the power restored to your area. Relying on you remembering to pull the main disconnect is not an acceptable solution.

                Read the National Electric Code article 702, especially 702.5 (Transfer equipment). You don't say where you are so I'll assume the NEC applies to you. Even if it doesn't, you still need to install (or have installed) at least an approved manual transfer switch if you don't have one. It sounds like you are just backfeeding a breaker into your panel, something like that.
                Hi Steve, I am aware of that. However, if I ever forget to turn off the main entrance service, the grid power will already damage the inverter. I thought about the transfer switch. I know it normally used between the generator and the grid. When there is a power outage, it will automatically switch the generator. I don't if it work if it work with my setup.
                No, I don't run it off the solar panels, I am running of my batteries. I have a 10kw grid tied inverter from Sun Power for day time. Thanks for your input. I will get me a transfer switch.
                Thanks
                Tung

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tnt2k03 View Post

                  Hi Steve, I am aware of that. However, if I ever forget to turn off the main entrance service, the grid power will already damage the inverter. I thought about the transfer switch.
                  Transfer Switch is required by electrical codes for a very good reason and why we have inspection and approval processes to protect you and the public from you.

                  MSEE, PE

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tnt2k03 View Post

                    Hi Steve, I am aware of that. However, if I ever forget to turn off the main entrance service, the grid power will already damage the inverter.
                    No, if the power in your neighborhood is disconnected and you turn on your inverter and forget to throw the switch, there is no grid power to damage your inverter, but there is your power on the line to kill the lineman.
                    Last edited by sdold; 07-12-2018, 07:39 PM.
                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tnt2k03 View Post
                      Hi Steve, I am aware of that. However, if I ever forget to turn off the main entrance service, the grid power will already damage the inverter. I thought about the transfer switch. I know it normally used between the generator and the grid. When there is a power outage, it will automatically switch the generator. I don't if it work if it work with my setup.
                      There are automatic and manual transfer switches. Sounds like you want a manual.
                      No, I don't run it off the solar panels, I am running of my batteries.
                      How do you charge your batteries?

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                      • #12
                        Like everyone else has suggested it is very important that you purchase and install a proper transfer switch.

                        You are only one distracted moment away from blowing up your inverter, which is never fun. Also, there is serious risk of injuring or killing a lineman if your power is out and you simply switch on your inverter system and forget to turn off the main.

                        Manual transfer switches are not too expensive and mean you can't accidentally do something wrong.

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