I was not sure what to call this thread....so here we go.
I bought a Generator that would power 10 - 20 amp circuits in my house. We live in the country and often lose power, especially in the dead of night in the winter...plus I travel. So wife does not love getting up in the middle of the night in a snow storm to stay in a hotel with our 3 year old.
OK....now the problem.
The Generator Installer got everything set, then went to wire the 10 circuits and said OPPPS, you are in trouble. I can only use "5" of the circuits you wanted, because the electricians when they built the house "cheated" and you don't really have dedicated circuits. For example...my hot water tank is gas, but on its OWN 20 AMP circuit, however coming into the main panel is a 12 - 3 line, one of the hots feeding the hot water tank, and another hot feeding the foyer lights, sharing a neutral.
So the way the generator is setup, he says I have to move BOTH circuits because the generator circuit takes control and I can't "split" the neutral.
Hopefully that made sense ?
With that in mind, what options do I have. My neighbor who is a EE told me that I could CHEAT YET again, and it might not be CODE, but the way your house is wired you would never have an issue. What he means is that I have 200 amp service with "dedicated" circuits in every room. In the example above he said I could combine the hot water line and the foyer line (runs a single light with 4 40 watt bulbs) together and I would NEVER come close to overloading that circuit.
He said I could do this with MOST of the circuits that are setup with this 12-3 shared neutral and I should be ok.
That does not feel right, but it might be my only option. I can't afford to re-wire my entire house. Is there any other way to perhaps put in a junction box and somehow split that back out...meaning move the 12-3 into a box, then take two 12-2 and run one to the main (aka foyer) and then run the other 12-2 into the genny panel for hot water. Or will this cause an issue with the neutral and when the genny kicks in all heck will break loose.
Ok...hopefully this is enough to get some guidance and of course if you need more details just yell.