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Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Portable Home Generators

portable-generator Summary: Portable electric generators for home use and the proper electrical connection to your home.


Check Out What Others Are Sharing at Ask the Electrician:
This is the first time I've used this kind of a service. So far, so good! Joseph from Virginia Beach, Virginia


The Benefits and Features of Portable Electric Generators


Electrical Video #1

Install a Generator Interlock Switch

Helping You to Wire It Right!

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Portable generators are handy for some applications

This series will take a look at portable generators and help you discover if they are the right choice for your temporary power application.

IMORTANT NOTICE:

Please do not use a generator indoors!

The exhaust from a generator is harmful and can kill you in minutes.

A portable generator should not be operated in a garage or basement.

Portable generators should be operated outdoor away from windows, doors and other vents that are part of the home.
generator-carbon-monoxide-danger

Types of Portable Electric Generators

portable-generator

Portable generators

  • A portable generator may be a good option for powering the home during a power outage. Portable generators offer the best value and are great for powering up individual essential circuits or small loads.
portable-generator

Is a portable home generator a good idea?

  • Consider these guidelines to help understand if a portable home generator is a good idea for your home.

Comments and Questions about Home Generators




related

Methods for Connecting a Generator to an Electric Service Panel


Hi Dave,
I wish to wire a 7kw backup generator into my exterior home breaker panel. The power goes out several times a year for several hours at a time.
Can I use a 2 pole breaker to connect the generator power to the panel?
I have a L14P box attached to the breaker box. This feeds the breaker, albeit on the output of the breaker.
The utility feeds into the 200amp up top goes dead, I turn this off. I plug in generator, turn on its 2 pole breaker and both legs are energized. I manage my load with normal breaker control.
Thank you,
JB

Hi JB,
Sorry but No - this is not an approved way to connect generator power to your electrical panel, in fact it is illegal because it is very dangerous!
The correct way to connect generator power to an electrical panel is by using an approved device that will only allow one power feed to be on at a time. This is commonly accomplished by using a transfer switch, a generator circuit panel, or by installing a circuit breaker interlock kit. These methods will prevent the generator from back feeding power to the electrical utility lines which can be lethal to emergency crews working to restore your power, and will also prevent the electrical utility from feeding power to the generator and damaging it once the power is restored.


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Electrical Wiring Tips for Home Electrical Wiring Projects

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See How to Wire it Right!

Learn more about How to Wire Generators and Transfer Switches
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RELATED

How to Wire a Generator

Daniel asks:
What 10 ga. wire is acceptable to run through conduit to power a 100 amp panel with a portable generator.
10 ga. Indoor Romex or 10 ga. UV cable per Ashford, Ct. code.

Dave’s Reply:

From what you have described, the wire type will depend on how the wire is installed and protected.

Type-NM wire is used for indoor wiring which installed inside walls and protected areas.

UV Cable is rated for outdoor use, however it must be protected as well.

A Type SO or SJ Cord is commonly used to connect portable generators for a temporary connection.

Keep in mind that a 10ga.copper wire is rated only for 30amps.

Be sure to identify the output rating of the generator that will be used, and use a transfer device, such as a circuit breaker lockout switch which is one of the most affordable.


How to Wire a Generator

Daniel asks:
What 10 ga. wire is acceptable to run through conduit to power a 100 amp panel with a portable generator.
10 ga. Indoor Romex or 10 ga. UV cable per Ashford, Ct. code.

Dave’s Reply:

From what you have described, the wire type will depend on how the wire is installed and protected.

Type-NM wire is used for indoor wiring which installed inside walls and protected areas.

UV Cable is rated for outdoor use, however it must be protected as well.

A Type SO or SJ Cord is commonly used to connect portable generators for a temporary connection.

Keep in mind that a 10ga.copper wire is rated only for 30amps.

Be sure to identify the output rating of the generator that will be used, and use a transfer device, such as a circuit breaker lockout switch which is one of the most affordable.

More about Portable electric generators

How to Wire a Generator Transfer Switch Video
What is the Basic Wiring Configuration for a Generator Transfer Switch: Each Wiring Termination must be correct for the Power Conductors of the Line or Load.

Connecting A Generator To A Home Video
How should I install the wiring to connect a generator to my home? Planning and Installing a Generator with a Transfer Switch: How to Connect a Generator to a Home.

Installing a Manual Transfer Switch
How to Select the Right Generator Transfer Switch: How to Save Money on a Generator Transfer Switch - These two items actually work hand in hand, and the end result will actually be how large the generator will be and there are a few more options that may be much easier to install and much less costly that a large transfer switch.

Generators and Power Quality
How to Select the Right Generator for Your Home Electrical Requirements

Off-Grid Power Systems and Surge Protection
Is my off-grid solar system and back-up generator connected right? Surge Protection for an Off-Grid System.

Electrical Requirements for Generators and Welders
I want to run my welder off a generator, can I put a plug end on the welder wire and plug the welder into my portable generator? How to Wire a Welder and Generator Plug.

Wiring the Ground for a Generator and Transfer Switch
How to Connect Grounding for Generators: The portable generator does not require a separate ground rod, however any electrical wiring enclosure including the generator transfer switch is required to be grounded to the ground system of the main panel of the home electrical system.

Residential Electrical Wiring Projects – Wiring a Light Switch
Home Electrical Wiring Electrical Wiring Question: I replaced a light switch with a new switch, now the pantry light works, but the range light fan doesn’t. This electrical wiring question came from Chadwick in California. Electrical Answer: How to Wire a Switch Light Switch Wiring Diagrams Wiring Diagrams Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed […]

portable electric generators - 2019