Comments and Questions about Home Generators
Connecting a Generator to an Electrical Panel
Don, from Dennison, Ohio asks:
Can I run a 7kw generator thru a 20 ft cord to an inlet box and then connect into a 60 amp circuit breaker inside my 200 amp panel, to be my disconnect when the generator is not in use? The 60 amp circuit breaker is being used for the electric stove and I would use it because there are no empty spaces in my panel for additional circuit breakers.
Don, No - This is not an acceptable method to connect a generator to your home electrical panel, and the process is very dangerous because there is no way to disconnect the main utility power while the generator is operating, and the size of the circuit breaker would be incorrect as well.
The right way is to install an approved generator transfer switch which will provide power to the essential circuits of your home that need to be power when on generator power.
Another alternative would be to install a main circuit breaker interlock kit which is a linkage device that prevents both the utility power and the generator power from being in the ON position at the same time. The interlock kits are available for a variety of electrical panels, however the sizing of any of the materials used to connect the generator to the electrical panel must be sized to the specifications of the output capacity of the generator. This would include the generator cord and the panel circuit breaker. All generator power projects should be installed by a qualified electrician with a permit and have the appropriate inspections.
Transfer Switch Size and Installation
I have a 7KW Generac generator. The generator has a 70amp built in breaker. My house is a mobile home with a 100 amp circuit panel. I want to install a whole house weather proof 100 amp auto transfer switch. My question is can I use the whole house transfer switch even though the generator circuit breaker has the 70 amp breaker?
Frank, yes. The size of the transfer switch being matched to the size of your house panel and the load potential is fine. The size of the generator is protected by its own circuit breaker so that no matter how much potential load there is, the generator will only deliver what it is safely designed for. Then in the event of the home circuits overloading the generator, you will need to prioritize what the connected loads will actually be. If you choose to up-size the generator in the future, all the other components are ready.