If you’ve ever used one during a power outage, it is critical to understand: How to connect a generator to a house? Generators may provide incorrect electricity that might harm your appliances or even spark a fire if not used properly. Here’s a guide on how to connect a generator to your house safely.
What You Need To Know Before Connecting A Generator To Your House
There are a few things you need to be aware of before connecting a generator to your home. How much electricity does your house initially require? This is crucial to understand since your appliances won’t operate properly or at all if you connect a generator that is rated for your house but they really need more power. On the other hand, if you connect a little generator, it will overload and cut off, or it will burn out.
The wattage of each appliance should be added together, multiplied by the number of hours the device will need to operate and used to determine how much electricity your house will need. For instance, your refrigerator might need 700 watts of power to function continuously for 24 hours. 24,800 divided by 700 watts is 16,800. The smallest generator size you need is determined by adding all of your appliances together.
Next, find your electrical system’s voltage. You may find this printed on your main electrical box somewhere. An electrician is required to help you choose the size of the breaker that powers your electrical panel. This is easily accomplished by multiplying voltage by amperage. You can figure it out if you have a 110-volt system by multiplying 110 by 10. (for amps). Add 220 times 20 for 220-volt systems.
You may look at generators now that you are aware of the smallest generator size that you need and the number of circuits that it must supply. In the electrical box, there is often one circuit set aside for connecting a portable generator to your home.
There will be one circuit in the electrical panel set aside for connecting a permanently placed generator. An overload breaker that can take higher energy could be required.
If you want to get one that is the right size for your house, look for a generator that has the perfect number of circuits. In order to properly wire your generator to your home, you also need to buy a transfer switch.
Last but not least, if you’re using an inverter-type generator, it may not be able to power motorized equipment, so think about buying a generator model with greater power.
How To Connect A Generator To Your House
Start by shutting off any circuits that you won’t be using with your generator.
In the electrical panel, shut off the primary breaker. If the panel is large, turn off all breakers except the one connected to an outlet so you can plug in your generator. Outlet A will be used to refer to this.
Plug the generator’s cord into Outlet A.
Installing the transfer switch comes next. Unplug all appliances and shut off the main breaker on your electrical panel. Outlet B should get a short cord with two prongs (this is on the same circuit as Outlet A). The outlet where you will connect your generator should have a longer cord with three prongs.
Put the short cord from step 3 and the long cord from step 4 into outlets A and B, respectively.
Make sure nothing is hooked up to Outlet B before turning on the main breaker in your electrical panel and turning on Outlet A. There is an issue if you hear a clicking sound coming from anywhere. Turn on Outlet B if you don’t hear the clicking sound.
Before adding additional appliances to the circuit, plug in each one one at a time to make sure it is operating correctly.
Call an electrician if you have any issues or are unsure whether everything is operating as it should.
You may operate a generator securely and prevent your appliances from being harmed by connecting it to your house in this way. Whole-house generators may be installed by firms if you don’t want to go through all this trouble.
The Types Of Generators And What Each One Does
Even though there are many different kinds of generators, we will focus on portable and whole-house models in this article.
Even during a power outage, your home’s appliances may be kept operating thanks to whole-house generators.
Certain portable generators can only power certain gadgets. If you wish to run appliances while camping or in any temporary setting, they are your best alternative.
When the main power supply is disrupted, their primary duty is to deliver electricity. But while you’re working on a project, you may also use them to power tools and other electrical equipment.
What You Need To Do To Prepare Your Home For A Generator
- Ensure that a reliable surge protector is protecting your home. This will reduce the chance that any power spikes may harm the electrical equipment in your house.
- Bypass each and every electrical circuit in your house (excluding the main circuit breaker). For instance, if you want to use a certain room for your generator, check to see if the outlet isn’t already occupied by anything like a TV or computer. By doing this, any incidents brought on by excessive power flow would be avoided.
- Avoid connecting anything to your generator, particularly electrical devices. Avoid doing this since doing so can result in a power overload, harm the generator, or, worse still, ignite a fire within your house. If you must use an appliance during a power outage, make sure it is plugged into a heavy-duty, exterior-rated extension cable that is attached to the generator if you must use an appliance during a power outage.
- Ensure that your generator has adequate electricity to simultaneously operate all of your gadgets. If you’re unsure about the size generator you need for each device, contact the manufacturer’s customer care. Before starting the generator, make sure your electrical system can withstand the additional current of your appliances.
- In your circuit box, turn off all of the breakers except the one that powers your generator. This is important because it will make sure that any outlets outside your home get power from the generator and not from another circuit in your house.
- You should only connect one generator to each circuit of your electrical panel in order to avoid overloading the circuits there.
- A heavy-duty, exterior-rated extension cable or cord that connects to your home should be plugged into the intake box on your generator, which should be attached to the generator. One or more extension cables that are approved for outdoor usage may be plugged into this box.
When the electricity goes out, you will be able to power your appliances if you stick to this advice on securely connecting a generator to your home. Always use a generator with the same amperage as your appliances, just in case. Make sure you have a portable gas-powered generator and a surge protector to keep yourself safe and protect your expensive equipment from any power fluctuations caused by the generator.
What Type Of Generator Should I Buy?
The ideal alternative is a portable gasoline-powered generator with adequate power to operate the appliance or appliances you need. Because these generators do not need to be hooked into your home’s electrical system, they are also simpler to refill.
Why Can’t I Use An Extension Wire To Power My Home’s Appliances?
You should use extension cables outside rather than inside your house. If you don’t know how to use an extension cable or if it’s too heavy, electricity could arc out of it and damage your appliances or even start a fire.
What Is The Difference Between A Big-Box Store’s Generator And A Professional Contractor’s Generator?
Generators from big-box retailers are often smaller and less powerful than those from contractors. The most important thing is that there isn’t a box with outlets for outdoor heavy-duty wires.
What Is The Difference Between A Portable Generator And A Semi-Portable Generator?
Smaller items like a refrigerator, TV, or a few lights are often powered by portable generators, which typically have shorter run times. A semi-portable generator is needed for large equipment like a freezer or an air conditioner. Additionally, a more costly portable generator is a semi-portable generator.
What Happens If I Don’t Hook Up My Generator Properly?
An incorrect generator installation might result in a hazardous electrical overload that could harm your appliances or, worse still, ignite a fire.
What If I Have A Large Number Of Appliances In My House?
If your home has several appliances, a generator with a higher amperage may be necessary. By doing this, you can protect your appliances from any changes in power that could happen if the power goes out.
What If I Don’t Have Proper Electrical Tape Or A Zip Tie To Secure My Electrical Cords?
Take the cable to a hardware shop and ask them to tape or knot it for you if you don’t have any electrical tape or zip ties to secure your electrical cords.