lancems007
Good morning gentleman,

I'm about to pull the trigger on either a Generac 8KW or 10KW standby propane generator with the EZ switch. The problem is, both have 15A breakers and I'm unable to use them. I would like to switch them out for 20A breakers. From lurking here, it appears that isn't an issue as long as I switch the wires from the EZ Switch to the main breaker along with installing a new breaker. Is this accurate?

I have a few other pertinent questions as well:

What size wire should I use?

What type of breakers will work?

Do I need the replace any wires from the generator to EZ switch?

Finally, as I understand it, the wiring bundle from EZ switch to the outdoor connection box is 30 ft. Is this correct?

How long is the connector from the generator to the outdoor connector box?

I appreciate your help and guidance on this purchase!

Also, would it be possible to swap a 20A 120V breaker to a piggyback 20A/20A 120v? I wouldn't be powering anymore than a hall light which is on a separate circuit that I didn't have room for.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
Rather than thinking of rewiring from the EZ Switch to the generator, you need to choose the proper model of EZ Switch to match the intended loads and you also need to make sure the generator is sized correctly for the loads as well. This may require the assistance of a knowledgeable electrician. These choices are part of what's required to have a system that meets applicable electrical codes.

I'm sure that you will need to replace wires between the EZ Switch and your breaker panel if you increase the sizes of any of the breakers. That [U]may[/U] mean that you would have to build a completely new (larger) flex conduit from the EZ Switch to the breaker box to keep the installation up to code.

I do not believe, based on reviewing the EZ Switch spec sheet, that there are any connections provided between the generator and the external connection box. Those connections and the conduit should be installed by a licensed electrician.

I presume that, by "piggyback breaker", you are referring to dual breakers in one slot. You could use these but proper wires would have to be added to the conduit that goes to your existing breaker box. This would probably mean a total rebuild of that conduit. Again, sizing of the whole EZ Switch (to get the wire sizes to the generator correct) and proper sizing of the generator is critically important.
Skip Douglas
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murphy
lancems007;11428 wrote:

What size wire should I use?

Breakers are sized to protect the wire.
What will be connected to the circuit is what determines the wire size.

Here is a table of the the correct breaker versus wire size.

[url]http://www.renovation-headquarters.com/wire-gauges.htm[/url]
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lancems007
SkipD;11432 wrote:
Rather than thinking of rewiring from the EZ Switch to the generator, you need to choose the proper model of EZ Switch to match the intended loads and you also need to make sure the generator is sized correctly for the loads as well. This may require the assistance of a knowledgeable electrician. These choices are part of what's required to have a system that meets applicable electrical codes.

I'm sure that you will need to replace wires between the EZ Switch and your breaker panel if you increase the sizes of any of the breakers. That [U]may[/U] mean that you would have to build a completely new (larger) flex conduit from the EZ Switch to the breaker box to keep the installation up to code.

I do not believe, based on reviewing the EZ Switch spec sheet, that there are any connections provided between the generator and the external connection box. Those connections and the conduit should be installed by a licensed electrician.

I presume that, by "piggyback breaker", you are referring to dual breakers in one slot. You could use these but proper wires would have to be added to the conduit that goes to your existing breaker box. This would probably mean a total rebuild of that conduit. Again, sizing of the whole EZ Switch (to get the wire sizes to the generator correct) and proper sizing of the generator is critically important.



Skip, I'm confused. The EZ Switch comes pre-packaged with whatever generator I choose. The 8KW comes with a 10 circuit panel and the 10KW comes with a 12 circuit panel. I don't have the option to choose my own.

My dilemna is.....I only have one 15A 120V circuit in my whole breaker panel. Nearly everything I need to run is a 20A 120V, besides a 20A 240V well pump and a 30A 240V water heater. I've decided not to backup my heatpump as I have a backup heat source that uses very little electricity. So, no matter which EZ switch I choose, it leaves me with a boatload of unusable 15A breakers.

I've read elsewhere in another thread that one installer has probably 1500 15A breakers because he has to switch them out to 20A all the time. My presumption from reading other threads was if you swap the 15A breaker to a 20A and in turn, replace the wire the 15A EZ Switch breaker carries to the main panel to a heavier gauge, that you're good to go. Is this wrong?
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ceb58
lancems007;11428 wrote:
Good morning gentleman,

I'm about to pull the trigger on either a Generac 8KW or 10KW standby propane generator with the EZ switch. The problem is, both have 15A breakers and I'm unable to use them. I would like to switch them out for 20A breakers. From lurking here, it appears that isn't an issue as long as I switch the wires from the EZ Switch to the main breaker along with installing a new breaker. Is this accurate?

I have a few other pertinent questions as well:

What size wire should I use?

What type of breakers will work?

Do I need the replace any wires from the generator to EZ switch?

Finally, as I understand it, the wiring bundle from EZ switch to the outdoor connection box is 30 ft. Is this correct?

How long is the connector from the generator to the outdoor connector box?

I appreciate your help and guidance on this purchase!

Also, would it be possible to swap a 20A 120V breaker to a piggyback 20A/20A 120v? I wouldn't be powering anymore than a hall light which is on a separate circuit that I didn't have room for.


Hire an electrician that is qualified and insured.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
lancems007;11438 wrote:
Skip, I'm confused. The EZ Switch comes pre-packaged with whatever generator I choose. The 8KW comes with a 10 circuit panel and the 10KW comes with a 12 circuit panel. I don't have the option to choose my own.

My dilemna is.....I only have one 15A 120V circuit in my whole breaker panel. Nearly everything I need to run is a 20A 120V, besides a 20A 240V well pump and a 30A 240V water heater. I've decided not to backup my heatpump as I have a backup heat source that uses very little electricity. So, no matter which EZ switch I choose, it leaves me with a boatload of unusable 15A breakers.

I've read elsewhere in another thread that one installer has probably 1500 15A breakers because he has to switch them out to 20A all the time. My presumption from reading other threads was if you swap the 15A breaker to a 20A and in turn, replace the wire the 15A EZ Switch breaker carries to the main panel to a heavier gauge, that you're good to go. Is this wrong?
Here's the problem. By code, a generator must be able to power everything it is automatically connected to. Thus, if you bought a generator that's supplied with a transfer switch loaded with 15A breakers and you swap all of the breakers out for 20A breakers, and if you load the 20A circuits up near their limit, the generator may not be able to handle the load.

The bottom line is that the [U]total[/U] of whatever loads are connected to the generator via the breakers in the transfer switch (whether or not the loads are actually turned on) cannot exceed the capability of the generator. Proving this requires some calculations that meet the requirements of the code. So, before you order a generator, you should employ someone who is qualified to help you do all of the calculations and figure out what generator/transfer switch combination that you should order.
Skip Douglas
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ceb58
SkipD;11440 wrote:
Here's the problem. By code, a generator must be able to power everything it is automatically connected to. Thus, if you bought a generator that's supplied with a transfer switch loaded with 15A breakers and you swap all of the breakers out for 20A breakers, and if you load the 20A circuits up near their limit, the generator may not be able to handle the load.

The bottom line is that the [U]total[/U] of whatever loads are connected to the generator via the breakers in the transfer switch (whether or not the loads are actually turned on) cannot exceed the capability of the generator. Proving this requires some calculations that meet the requirements of the code. So, before you order a generator, you should employ someone who is qualified to help you do all of the calculations and figure out what generator/transfer switch combination that you should order.


Skip, your thinking is correct/incorrect. It doesn't matter what size breaker is in the ATS that doesn't determine the calculated load. The OP is probably in a situation where the dwelling was wired with #12 and the OCP is 20amp. However that doesn't mean that they must stay on a 20amp it depends on the load they could operate fine on a 15amp.
The thing that you get into now is what code cycle are you on? And having to deal with AFCI breakers. I do not think the piggybacks will work with the stab busses in the ATS. I have used Cutler-Hammer breakers for replacements.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
The key thing that I was trying to get across is to be sure that the generator is sized properly for ALL of the intended loads that would be connected through the automatic transfer switch. This has to be calculated before even choosing the generator.

In addition - it is possible to buy a generator separately from the transfer switch if this makes more sense for the particular application.

A qualified electrician on site could be a big help in specifying the requirements for the job.
Skip Douglas
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Canada_Guy
ceb58;11449 wrote:
However that doesn't mean that they must stay on a 20amp it depends on the load they could operate fine on a 15amp.


In Canada, 15-amp circuits are the norm, but we are starting to see 20-amp circuits for kitchen counter plugs. On a 20-amp circuit, there is a 20-amp breaker, 12 ga wire and a 15/20 amp receptacle (like the one in the left picture).

I would think if I wanted to run one of these circuits on a 15-amp breaker, I would need to change out the receptacle to be a 15-amp style (to prevent someone from pluging in a device that had a 20-amp plug on it).

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Skip Douglas SkipD
We in the US have the option of using either receptacle type on a 20-amp branch circuit. The 20-amp receptacle cannot be used on a 15-amp branch circuit, of course.
Skip Douglas
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ceb58
Canada_Guy;11451 wrote:
In Canada, 15-amp circuits are the norm, but we are starting to see 20-amp circuits for kitchen counter plugs. On a 20-amp circuit, there is a 20-amp breaker, 12 ga wire and a 15/20 amp receptacle (like the one in the left picture).

I would think if I wanted to run one of these circuits on a 15-amp breaker, I would need to change out the receptacle to be a 15-amp style (to prevent someone from pluging in a device that had a 20-amp plug on it).



In the USA the 15amps are normal also except for the 2- 20amp circ. for the kitchen counter, 1-20amp for the laundry and the 20amp circuit. for the bath. The NEC allows 15amp recpt. on 20amp. circuits as long as there is more than one. But if it is a single recpt on a 20amp circ. then the recpt. must be rated 20amp.
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