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Portable Generators, Transfer Switches and Cables, oh my!

APC UPS for Home and Office Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our APC offers including Home Office UPS, Surge Protectors, UTS, software and services and associated products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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Portable Generators, Transfer Switches and Cables, oh my!

This question was originally posted by Anonymous on APC forums on 7/10/2020


Hello everyone,,

I'm a relatively new homeowner (starting my third year) and I've been researching getting a 8000watt portable generator and having a manual transfer switch installed to power important appliances https://19216801.onl/ (fridge, freezer, electric range, potable well pump) etc.

Caveat - I barely know what I'm doing, and will have an electrician install the switch https://routerlogin.uno/.

Anyways, from what I can tell, all these transfer switches / gens use a 30amp 240v NEMA L14-30 cable from the gen to the exterior plug. My maths say 240x30 = 7200 watt. Some of these larger generators are 8000+ watts. Does that mean that above a certain size generator, you're going to have unused capacity as the outlet on the gen can only supply 30 amp? Is that the point where you would be looking at a standby generator instead of a cheaper portable, or am I missing something https://192168ll.link/?