Ok, so, here's the scoop:
I've got a main panel, with a 100 amp main breaker. I've got something like 16 or 20 breakers in there. I'd prefer to leave this panel alone. I've already replaced every breaker in there (except, of course, the main one). I've got a double breaker on there, rated for 50 amps, which goes to a subpanel right next to the main panel.
I've got 8 slots in that subpanel. Its circuits go to various places: the shop, the upstairs. I still have two open slots, enough for another 50 amp breaker.
The generator is sitting outside the house, a few feet from the wall where the main panel is, in it's own building.
Here's the plan: Drill a hole through the brick/cinderblock wall. Run a 6/3 w/g cable through the hole. Put a 220 dryer plug on one end, so it'll plug into the generator.
Inside the house, I've got a couple options.
Option one: Put another plug on the "inside the house" end of the cable, which will plug into an outlet permanantly wired to the subpanel, into a new 50 amp breaker.
Option two: permanently and directly wire the cable into the new breaker on the subpanel. (don't have a whole lot of room on that wall, so can't really move the subpanel around).
Option three: get a transfer switch. (don't really have the funds for this, and even if I did, I've got too many circuits to run).
The main advantage to option two: it seems safer, or at least more doofus proof. To get power, I'd need to 1.) turn off the main breaker. 2). engage the 50 amp breaker in the subpanel. 3.) plug in the cable. 4.) start the generator.
I did think of simply getting a bigger subpanel, but even if I had room, it would be a bear to rewire the heater circuit, etc. onto the new bigger subpanel.
I hope this is clear. Please let me know your thoughts: any and all advice is appreciated...