How to Hook Up a Generator to a House

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How to Hook Up Generator to House

A portable generator offers electricity to the home in emergencies when the core power source shuts down. The US experiences more power shutdowns than any other progressive country.

This is due to the old grid and climate change. In 2020 alone, the total outage hours were 1.33 billion. This is 73% higher than the 770 million outage hours in 2019.

Purchasing this device is an effective step in shielding your family against power outages. Since no one can predict when the power will go off, it’s crucial to learn how to hook up generator to house. In this article, we will teach you exactly that.

The Available Choices To Connect The Generator

1. Extension Cords

This is the cheapest option, but it’s impossible to enjoy the entire power of a big generator. Plus, it takes much time to use these and poses safety risks.

2. Generator Cords

Use generator cords if you have a middle-size generator and convenient plugging in appliances. It can be plugged in 20- or 30 Amps generators.

3. Power Universal Transfer Switches

A universal transfer switch is a valuable choice with respect to safety, ease, and power. It’s ideal for large generators. This one sets itself apart from the rest as it can power circuits rather than appliances.

In general, any safe connection to the house will ultimately be done by wiring through the breaker box.

A Bird’s Eye View Of Hooking Up A Portable Generator

Step 1: Know Your Amperage And Generator Power Plug

Determine the critical information on a generator with a significant round plug. This fuels the two sides of the existing breaker box. The amperage is mentioned beside the generator inlet plug.

The most frequent amps are – 20 amp, 30 amp, and 50 amp.

Step 2: Gather The Supplies!

Assuming that you have a 30 amp plug, buy the following supplies. In case you have another type, adjust accordingly.

  • Breaker Interlock Kit.
  • 30 Amp Double Breaker that fits the main breaker box.
  • Wires.
  • 30 Amp power inlet box.
  • Conduit body and glue.
  • 30 Amp generator extension cord.

Step 3: Search (or drill) a Hole

Utilize a hammer drill to make an access hole. The hole should be in close vicinity of the panel.

Step 4: Position The Power Inlet Box

Discard the front cover of the box and attach the PVC fitting. Use glue to fix the power inlet box to the wall.

Power Inlet

Step 5: Glue The Conduit

Get a hack saw to cut the conduit. Don’t glue the conduit until you’re sure it’ll fix.

Step 6: Wire The Generator Inlet Plug

Discard the cover of the conduit body. Attach the wire with the plug. Erase half an inch of the insulation and tighten the terminals.

Step 7: Force The Wiring Inside

Take one wire at a time and push it through the conduit inside the house. If there are gaps between the house and conduit, fill them with foam or silicone.

Step 8: Prepare The Breaker Box

Turn off the breakers and remove the front panel of the breaker box. Remove a single knockout and fix the conduit adapter. Pull wires into the conduit and through the box.

Step 9: Make Open Breaker Space

The upper and right breaker space needs to be free. If there’s no space for moving the breaker, use a wire nut and insulated wire.

Step 10: Install Wires And Generator Breaker

Install the new breaker in the upper right corner of the breaker box. The green wire belongs to the ground rail, red and black wires will go to the terminals, and the white one goes to the bond rail.

Step 11: Install The Breaker Retainer

Lockdown the breaker to become stationary, and install an interlock on the panel cover.

Step 12: Load Test

  • Connect a generator and put it 15 feet from home. Turn it on average speed.
  • Attach the extension cord to the generator.
  • Attach an extension cord to the power inlet box.
  • Turn off all breakers.
  • Slide the interlock up and turn on the generator breaker.
  • Turn on the chosen breakers giving 5 seconds in each.
  • The generator will start taking on the load.

Merits And Demerits Of Different Generator Transfer Switches

A generator transfer switch is a professional and legal method to fuel your house with an emergency generator. The three prominent types with their pros and cons are listed below:

Automatic Transfer Switch

This type automatically recognizes a power deficiency, initiates the standby generator, and shifts the load to the device. It’s considered to be the best option.

However, it demands an all-time committed standby generator and will hurt your budget.

Manual Transfer Switch

Manual transfer switches are less costly and can be employed to hook up a generator. Its coverage is only limited to some breakers, which can be a hurdle to the user.

Circuit breaker board displays many switches

Breaker Interlock

The last type complies with the National Electric Code. If you want the most flexible and affordable option, consider this. In this arrangement, a breaker powers the current breaker box. The user can easily and safely turn it on.

It allows you to utilize almost all appliances without any tripping on extension cords.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does A Portable Generator Power All Appliances In Home?

An average portable generator can power only the basic facilities such as lights, refrigerators, and TV. Other services demand too much power and can’t be turned on like AC and tumble driers.

What Is A Dangerous Thing People Do During Power Outages?

Many people employ a double male plug as a power source, which is highly dangerous. It’s illegal in many regions, a fire hazard, a violation of electrical code, and you can get shocked due to the open prongs.

Why Is An Installed Transfer Switch Required?

This tool allows you to power appliances through the generator by utilizing the wiring system.

How Much Do I Have To Pay To Install Transfer Switch?

The switch and its installation are available in the price range of $500 to $1,500.

A Pile-Up!

So, now you are equipped with the skill of coping with power outages. You and your family can enjoy overhead lights and wash clothes with this handy set-up.