How to Connect a Portable Generator to a House

By | 25.05.2016

Anything could happen. A tornado or a heavy rain could bring down the entire electrical system of a city. Under such circumstances, the best way to have backup power is by having a preinstalled portable generator. With this, you can ensure that all your electrical devices are running. But how to connect a portable generator to a house? Luckily, that is the basis of this article. Continue reading to learn more.

Connecting a Portable Generator to your house guide

Step 1: Know the appliances you plan to use, and then consider their wattage. 

Step 2: Choose an appropriate wiring system.

Step 3: Install inlet receptacle hookup

Step 4: Put the generator a couple of meters from your home

Step 5: Have the generator plugged to the hookup

Step 6: Have your attachment cable attached to your portable generator

Step 7: Check the engine

Step 8: Start the engine

Step 9: Switch the system

Step 10: Flip the braker

Step 1: Know the appliances you plan to use, and then consider their wattage. 

For example, a refrigerator uses roughly 1200-1500 Watts while a microwave uses 1500 watts. A TV uses slightly less than 1000 watts while CFL bulbs use 150 watts. Knowing the appliances you will use will help you choose the best generator.

Step 2: Choose an appropriate wiring system.

There are mainly two kinds of wiring system which are a manual transfer switch and an interlock kit. They are explained further below:

Interlock kit

Manual transfer switch

  • Interlock kits are very simple to install by oneself and are also the least expensive option. The problem is that they are illegal and tend to be quite unsafe. Interlock kits have to be installed completely correctly. It also requires that you have additional spaces in your current breaker box or even installed a new one. This has to be done professionally.
  • A manual switch transfer is a little bit more expensive equipment and which has to be installed by a professional. The good thing is that it is the safest option and also the legal one. It prevents you from electrocuting someone accidentally or even electrocuting yourself.

Speak with your local Planning Department, Department of Labor Industries or a local Power Company to know what is legally accepted in your area.

Step 3: Install inlet receptacle hookup

The hook up will be on the outside of the home and will contain a male connector. Check if your home already has a receptacle as most homes have them these days. If you don’t have it already, you will need it to be installed by a professional for your own safety.

Step 4: Put the generator a couple of meters from your home

A generator usually comes with a cable which you should use to put your portable generator as far from your house as possible. This way, you will be able to prevent any instances of your home catching fire in case of any mishap. Although quite basic, never ignore this safety precaution.

Step 5: Have the generator plugged to the hookup

On the end of your generator’s cords, there are some holes that you need to match to the prongs found on your hookup. After that, plug it in. most definitely, you will need to turn the plug connection for you to complete the connection.

Step 6: Have your attachment cable attached to your portable generator

The generator should include a cable which you should use to connect to your home. Have the attachment plugged in, and choose the voltage you want.

Step 7: Check the engine

Make sure that the engine’s throttle is in the right position and also that it has oil. It may also be necessary for you to preheat the engine with a glow plug, according to your place of residence.

Step 8: Start the engine

Read the manufacturer’s instruction carefully and use the guidelines to start the engine of your generator.

Step 9: Switch the system

Flip off the utility main circuit and turn on the switch to the generator main on your circuit breaker.

Step 10: Flip the breaker

​Flip the breakers on the system that you installed, turning on all of the loads one by one (slowly).

A portable generator is a very good way of preparing for any emergency. With this unit, you will be able to watch TV, light your house, power a fridge and run other electrical appliances the same way you would with power from the Mains. The above is how to connect a portable generator to a house.

Want to watch the video tutorial on how to install a transfer switch for a portable generator? Check it out!

>> 9 Portable Generator Tips and Tricks you need to know

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