Q:

How do you connect a backup generator to the wiring of a house?

A:

Quick Answer

Connect a backup generator to the wiring of a home using a transfer switch. The switch connects the generator to the circuits in the house you want to power when the electrical grid is not working. It prevents the generator from backfeeding into the power lines, which would endanger technicians working to restore power. It also prevents damage to the generator when the power comes back on.

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Full Answer

Connecting the generator through a transfer switch eliminates the need to run power cords through the house to power appliances during an emergency. Options include a manual transfer switch or an automatic one. The automatic switch starts the backup generator when it senses a power failure and ensures equipment continues working. With the manual switch, you start the generator and flip the switch. An electrician permanently installs the switch near the circuit breaker panel.

The National Electric Code requires the use of a transfer switch any time a generator connects to the wiring in the home. It is essential to prevent fires. The switch has several circuits, allowing the assignment of power to where you need it most. It allows you to maintain service for lights, refrigeration, furnace blowers and sump pumps. When the utility company restores the power, turn the switch back to the power grid, and turn off the generator.

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