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.
Consider these guidelines to help understand if a portable home generator is a good idea for your home.
Comments and Questions about Home Generators
Methods for Connecting a Generator to an Electric Service Panel
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.
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.
Perfect for Homeowners, the Handyman, and Electricians Includes: Complete with Practical Hands On Wiring Instructions Installing Electrical Wiring for Generator Panels and Transfer Switches Loaded with On the Job Electrical Pictures and Wiring Diagrams Great Help for Wiring a Generator and Transfer Switch ....and much more. » Click here to learn more about Home Electric Wiring
How to Wire a Generator
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.
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.
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Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example, an Introduction.
See the overview of the course: Basics of Home Electrical Wiring by Example.
Installing a Home Generator
Electrical Project Skill Level:
Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Electrical Tools Required:
Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for installing the generator and transfer switch. Estimated Time:
Depends on the type and size of the generator and transfer switch and the available access to the project area. Electrical Safety:
Any existing electrical wiring within the immediate area that may interfere with the installation of the transfer switch may need to be relocated if necessary.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials:
Electrical parts and materials for generator wiring projects should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections:
Installing a generator and transfer switch must be well thought out and performed with a permit with all work being inspected.
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