Power outages happen quite rarely, but they’re always a huge nuisance. The only way to power up your household in an emergency is to turn on your generator. Do you already have one? If yes, let’s take a look at two safe ways of connecting it to your house.
1. Direct Connection (Without a Transfer Switch)
If you want to connect a generator to house without transfer switch, you have to follow these steps:
- Read the user manual – most people hate reading manuals, but not examining a generator user manual can destroy all the appliances you have beyond repair. You need to learn how to start your model properly, review all the unique cautions, limitations, etc.
- Test the generator – use the starting instructions from the manual to test-run the generator. If it doesn’t start, ensure that you do everything right or take it to the service. To avoid such a situation in an emergency, take the tool to a load bank generator test at least once a year and launch the engine every month.
- Move the tool outside – the rule of thumb is to place the generator at least 10 ft away from any openings. It means that you can place it right next to one of the outside walls, but at least 10 ft away from any windows and ventilation openings.
- Connect the appliances – there are two ways to do it. You can either run separate extension cords for every appliance or use a compatible gen cord to run just a single cord into the house. Regardless of the option you choose, you need to ensure that the wattage of the connected appliances matches the capabilities of the generator. It’s also very important to choose the right cord models to use the generator power to the full and avoid potential hazards.
- Run the generator.
2. Connection Via a Transfer Switch
Connecting a generator to your house via a transfer switch is more convenient and secure. It’s a much more complicated option, though, so you need to hire an electrician to install a transfer switch first. Technically, you can do it yourself, but you need extensive knowledge and experience in household electronics. Once the item is installed by a professional and tested, you have to do the following:
- Connect the generator to the transfer switch. Run a gen cord from the switch to the generator that is placed outdoors.
- Start a generator.
- Enable the transfer switch to draw power from the generator by flipping the main breakers from “Line” to “Generator.”
- Flip the needed circuits. You can flip only one circuit at a time to avoid an overload. It’s highly recommended to hang a chart of appliances that can run simultaneously. This will help you skip complicated calculations in an emergency. You should also mark every switch with a sticker and an appliance name on it to avoid mistakes.
Having a well-maintained generator in a garage and knowing how to use it effectively can help you solve a huge variety of problems. No matter what happens in the neighborhood, you will still have heating, fresh food, TVs, smartphones, and anything else. Stay tuned for more guides!