You’ve heard the news, and you know it’s coming: there’s a hurricane on the way, and it could be bad.
You prepare your home as best as possible, but what do you do when things go dark, and you no longer have access to natural light or heat?
You may need to connect your generator to your house, depending on your situation. This article will help if you’re looking for information on how to connect a generator to your home in an emergency such as a natural disaster.
So that it automatically starts when the power goes out. That way, even if the power goes out unexpectedly, you won’t have to worry about how you will keep the lights on and stay profitable.
With so many different types of generators out there, this article will focus specifically on the smaller portable apartment generators that are perfect for tail-end storms like hurricanes.
Whether you have a larger industrial-sized generator at home or are considering investing in one, we hope this article helps inform your decision about connecting a generator to your home so that you’ll be prepared in case of an emergency!
How to hook up a generator to a house - Step by step process
In this guide, we will show installing a 50 amp power inlet box with an interlock kit so that in the event of a power outage, you can power your entire house using your portable home generator.
An interlock kit with this installation is simply a must, not just from a code standpoint but from a safety standpoint as well.
Suppose you’re planning on having one of these installed on your house, and you don’t feel comfortable around electricity, especially around that much. In that case, there is absolutely no shame in calling your local electrician and having them come out and install it for you that way, you know it’s done right, and you know that you’re also going to be safe.
So let’s start the process.
The tools & accessories that you need
- 50 amp inlet box
- Six gauge wire
- ¾ liquid tight
A 50 amp power inlet box:
It’s bigger than most of the power inlet boxes & at least wider than a lot of the power inlet boxes that you can buy. And that’s going to make it easier to wire all of this then up, and then it’s going to create less strain on those wires as they just sit in there.
I’ve had one of the reliance boxes that are like this one. The only difference that I can tell between this and that one is the lid is not spring loaded.
So this one you have to open and close manually, and on this, they’ve got this little green light that lights up when power is flowing through & to let you know that power is flowing through it.
Now one of the negatives or complaints I found with this box, and it seems like a lot of the boxes that look like this one, is that these knockouts that are all around the box are not knockouts. You can’t just bust these out like you usually would on a box.
These are actually going to have to be drilled, so that is just one of the knocks if you will not have real knockouts on this.
Six gauge wire
You need a six-gauge wire to be able to handle that amperage.
The wiring for a 50 amp power inlet box and, say, a 30 amp power analog box is pretty much going to be the same as far as how it’s wired.
But the wiring size will differ, so whatever is being installed, ensure that you’re getting the right wiring for your particular installation.
¾ liquid tight
I found with many of my installations that this works really, really well, and it’s also easy to install.
1. Drill the inlet box
Before starting the process, you need to drill the inlet box.
2. Shut down the electricity
Ensure that you’ve got the main breaker shut off, and then after you’ve got the breaker. Shut off, and then you’ll take a multimeter to confirm that there is no power flowing underneath that main breaker. This is for your safety.
3. Mount the inlet box
Mount your power inlet box up onto the wall. When I’m doing this, I always like to make sure that you are putting at least one screw into a stud in this case. So you will reuse that hole and then put the other two screws in as added support.
4. Adjust the conduit fitting
Insert them into the knockouts so that you can get a more accurate measurement of how long you need your actual conduit to be.
Safety protocols you should follow to hook up the generator
Many consumers don’t understand how a generator works or what dangers they may face when using one. Even if you have never used a generator before, it is still essential to know how they operate and what precautions you should take before connecting it to your home.
Follow these seven safety protocols when you hook up the generator to your house:
1. Ground your generator
When you have a generator, it is essential to ground it. This will help to protect your home from any damage that could occur if there is a power surge. If you do not ground your generator, you could risk your family and home.
There are two main reasons why you should ground your generator. The first reason is safety. The grounding will protect your home from damage if there is a power surge. The second reason is performance. Grounding will help improve the performance of your generator by preventing voltage fluctuations.
2. Install CO detectors
You should install carbon detectors when you use a generator in your house. Here’s why:
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly. A carbon detector will alert you if there are unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in your home. Install detectors near any potential sources of carbon monoxide, such as generators, furnaces, and fireplaces.
Taking these simple steps can protect yourself and your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
3. Turn off Breaker
As most people know, a generator is a machine that produces electricity. But what many people don’t know is that you should always turn off your breaker when connecting a generator to your house. There are a few reasons for this.
First, when the breaker is off, it ensures that no electricity will be flowing from the generator into the house wiring. This can prevent dangerous shocks and fires.
Second, turning off the breaker allows you to connect the generator directly to the outlet without going through any extra cords or adapters. This makes the process much simpler and safer.
Finally, turning off the breaker prevents any damage to your appliances or electronics from power surges. These surges can occur when you first start up the generator or if there’s an interruption in the flow of electricity.
4. Check electronic controls
However, before you connect your generator to your home’s electrical system, you should always check the electronic controls.
There are two main reasons why you should check the electronic controls before connecting your generator to your home’s electrical system. First, if the electronic controls are not correctly set, it could damage your generator. Second, if the electronic controls are not correctly set, it could cause a fire in your home.
To avoid damaging your generator or causing a fire in your home, always check the electronic controls before connecting your generator to your home’s electrical system.
5. Check the condition of the condenser & rotor
If you are hook up a generator to your house, it is essential to check the condition of both the condenser and the rotor. The condenser is responsible for converting the AC current into DC current, while the rotor helps to rotate the armature. If either of these components is not working properly, it could cause problems with your electrical system.
Checking both the condenser and rotor prior to connecting a generator to your home’s electrical system can save you time and money in the long run. A faulty condenser or rotor can cause your generator to work less efficiently, which means that it will use more fuel and produce less power. In some cases, it may even damage your electrical system.
6. Never connect your generator directly
When the power goes out, a generator can keep your home electronics running. But connecting them directly to the generator can damage your equipment or even start a fire.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your equipment safe:
Generators produce alternating currents (AC). Most home electronics run on direct current (DC). Connecting them directly could damage your electronics.
Use a power strip with built-in surge protection to avoid damaging your equipment. Plug the power strip into the generator, then plug your electronics into the power strip.
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for each piece of equipment. Some electronic devices, such as TVs and computers, have special requirements for generator use. Ignoring these instructions could damage your equipment or even start a fire.
7. Follow lock-out procedures
When the power goes out, a generator can keep your home warm, the fridge cold, and the lights on. But if you don’t follow proper procedures when connecting a generator to your home’s electrical circuits, you could risk electrocution or fire. Here’s why you should always follow lock-out procedures when connecting a generator to your house:
- To prevent shock hazards. Disrupt the main circuit breaker or fuse when connecting a portable generator to your home’s electrical circuits. This will prevent dangerous feedback currents from flowing through the utility lines and electrocuting anyone who comes in contact with them.
- To avoid damaging your appliances. Connecting a generator directly to your home’s wiring can damage sensitive electronics like computers and TVs. By using an approved transfer switch and properly grounding the generator, you can avoid costly repairs down the road.
Why You Should Consider Connecting Your Generator to Your House
You might want to consider connecting your generator to your house for many reasons. Depending on where you live and what the season is, you might be at risk for power outages from weather-related events like hurricanes, tornadoes, and even snowstorms.
Luckily, investing in a generator can give you peace of mind knowing that you have a backup power source in case the power goes out. But what if you have a larger generator and you need to connect it to your house?
Or what if you have a smaller portable generator at home and need to know how to connect it to your house?
In both cases, connecting your generator to your house can make it much easier to keep your lights on, appliances running, and other essential services during a power outage.