How to Connect a Generator to Your House: The Ultimate Guide
If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan. One option is to connect a generator to your house. This can provide you with power during an outage and help keep your family safe and comfortable. In this article, we will walk you through the process of how to connect a generator to your house.
We’ll cover both possible connection methods and offer some tips on safety and precautions. So read on for all the information you need to get started!
How do you connect a generator to your house
There are two ways to connect a generator to your house:
- Wiring the System
- Plugging it in
Method 1: Wiring the System
This method is more involved but will provide you with power even if the generator is not plugged in.
1. Determine the essential appliances and devices you need to power.
The first and most important step is to determine which appliances and devices you need to power. This will help you determine the size of the generator you need as well as how to wire it.
Keep in mind that some appliances, like air conditioners, require a lot of power to start up. So you may need to start with a smaller generator and then upgrade to a larger one as your needs change.
2. Consider the wattage or power consumption of the appliances and electrical devices you intend to utilize.
After you’ve determined which appliances and devices you need to power, the next step is to consider their wattage or power consumption. This will help you determine the size of the generator you need.
For example, a microwave uses 1500 watts, but a complete circuit of lights with CFC bulbs needs only 150 watts. Refrigerators consume about 1200 – 1500 watts when the compressor starts, but they have a starting capacitor that boosts the wattage for a few seconds until the fridge is up and running.
Televisions consume less than 1000 watts, depending on the type and size of the device. A small room fan may need around 500 watts, and so on.
There are several distinct wiring methods that may be utilized to connect a generator to a house. The following are the two most important ones.
3. Choose a wiring system.
There are many different wiring techniques for connecting a generator to a house. The two most prevalent ones are discussed below.
A) The Manual Transfer Switch (MTS)
The MTS is the most common way to wire a generator to a house. It is a simple device that is installed near the electrical panel. The manual transfer switches have two sets of circuit breakers. The first set is connected to the house wiring and the second set is connected to the generator.
To use the MTS, you simply throw the switch to the generator position and start the generator. This will provide power to the circuit breakers that are connected to the standby generator. The MTS is a simple and effective way to wire a generator to a house.
B) Consider an interlock kit.
An interlock kit is another way to wire a generator to a house. It is a bit more complicated than an MTS but it has some advantages. The interlock kit is installed on the main breaker panel.
It prevents the generator from being connected to the house wiring unless the main breaker is in the off position. An automatic transfer switch can also be used with an interlock kit.
The interlock kit is a bit more expensive than an MTS but it provides an extra layer of safety. You should only consider this option if you are comfortable working with electrical circuits.
4. Install an inlet box.
The inlet box is installed on the outside of the house, near the generator. It has a weatherproof cover and provides a safe and convenient way to connect generator to the house wiring.
It will connect to the generator with a heavy-duty extension cord. The inlet box should be installed by a qualified electrician. Generator connected to an inlet box is the safest way to wire a generator to a house.
5. Connect the generator to the inlet box.
Once the inlet box is installed, you can connect the generator to it . First, make sure that the generator is turned off and disconnect the power supply cord from the outlet. Next, connect one end of the supply cord to the generator inlet plug.
Then, connect the other end of the cord to the generator. Make sure that the connections are tight and secure. Finally, turn on the generator and flip the universal transfer switch on the inlet box to the “on” position. The generator is now connected to the house and ready to provide power.
Method 2: Plugging it in
In this method, you will be connecting the generator directly to the house wiring. This is done with a heavy-duty extension cord. It is important to note that this method should only be used if the generator is rated for the same or higher voltage as the house wiring.
1. Keep the generator at a safe distance from your home.
It is important to place the generator away from your house. This will prevent carbon monoxide fumes from entering your home and in case of generator failure, it will minimize potential damage to your home. The generator should also be placed on a level surface to prevent it from tipping over
2. Connect the generator to the outlet.
Connect the extension cords to your hookup’s prongs. The order of the prongs does not matter, as long as they’re all connected. If you have a three-pronged outlet, you’ll need a generator with three prongs, or an adapter to fit a two-pronged generator.
3. Plug attachment cable into your generator.
Your generator should have come with an attachment cable. This will be a thick, heavy-duty extension cord that is meant to handle large amounts of electricity. One end of the cord will plug into your generator, and the other will have three prongs that match up to your home’s outlet.
4. Start the engine
After proper checking, start your generator’s engine. You should now be able to access your breaker. Go to your existing breaker box and find the generator transfer switch that corresponds to the outlet you’re using. Turn off the utility power and start your generator main.
5. Check the wattage
Now that your generator is plugged in and running, you need to make sure that it’s not overloaded. Look at the wattage of your appliances and make sure that they don’t exceed the generator’s wattage capabilities. If they do, you’ll need to either get a different generator or unplug some appliances.
Assuming everything is in order, congrats! You now know how to connect a portable generator to house. In the event of a generator power outage, you’ll be able to keep your lights on and your fridge running. Just make sure to keep an eye on the generator and refuel it as needed. Stay safe and prepared!
Safety Tips and Precautions
Now that you know how to connect a generator to your house, there are a few safety tips and precautions that you should keep in mind.
1. Don’t overload the generator.
As we mentioned before, it’s important to make sure that you don’t overload the generator. This can damage the generator and cause a fire. Only use appliances that don’t exceed the generator’s wattage capabilities.
2. Keep the generator dry.
It’s important to keep the generator dry to prevent electrocution. If the generator gets wet, disconnect it from the power source and allow it to dry completely before using it again.
3. Don’t use the generator in enclosed spaces.
Generators produce carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t use the generator in enclosed spaces. Make sure to keep the generator at least 20 feet away from your home.
4. Let the generator cool down before refueling.
It’s important to let the generator cool down before adding more fuel. If you add fuel to a hot generator, it can cause the fuel to ignite and lead to a fire.
5. Regularly maintain the generator.
To keep the generator in good condition, it’s important to regularly maintain it. This includes changing the oil, checking the air filter, and more. Consult the owner’s manual for more specific maintenance instructions.
By following these safety tips and precautions, you can ensure that you and your family stay safe when using a generator.
If you have any questions about how to connect a generator to your house or want to learn more about generators, please contact us. We would be happy to help you out!