Generator sub-panel.

A sub-panel for a generator hook up is wired into the main panel where it has a breaker for the generator subpanel. It has 3 blacks and a red going into the breaker. What are they trying to do. The sub-panel has breakers to run certain areas in-case the power goes out.


Where does the other end of these 4 conductors terminate, exactly? One set may go to lugs of the “normal power” end of a manual transfer switch, and the other set may go to a light bulb or something along those lines so that the HO knows when utility power is restored. Just a guess. No way to say without more information.

That breaker runs into the generator sub panel. The breaker in the main box reads generator. Isn’t this a double tap?

Those look like Square-D breakers that are designed for two conductors.

Thank you Jeff.

I gave you a greenie.

Yes, you did say that. Specifically, where do they terminate on the other end? This is a very important part of my line of questioning, because it may relate to a hazard.

I ask, because if both pairs of conductors terminate on the same pair of lugs in the generator panel, this is an improper installation. Conductors of that small of a gauge are not permitted to be paralleled. Even if the double tap was improper (which it’s not in that brand, as has been pointed out), the possible paralleled conductors are an equal or greater hazard.

If one set of these conductors feeds the generator panel with ‘normal power’, and the other set comes from the generator inlet, this is a GIGANTIC red flag waving, jumping up and down, safety hazard.

VERY important question:
Is there a double throw switch or some sort of anti-backfeed device?
Possibly a breaker interlock?

How is the generator feeding the panel?

"Possibly a breaker interlock?"

Since we had Hurricane Juan here 3-4 years ago, (the older part of our city looked like a tornado hit with the number of downed 70-80-100 year old trees) many homeowners are having a generator panel installed.

Every generator panel I have seen has two service conductor breaker banks (3 linked breakers for 3 conductors- two hot and the neutral). One bank of breakers is fed from the proper sized double pole breaker in the main panel and the other bank is fed from the properly sized generator. Both banks of 3 breakers are interlocked in an either/or manner- either one or the other can be “on” so that there is no possibility that power can be backfed through the house main panel to the utility lines from the generator while linemen are working on downed lines, etc.

THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about!