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How to Properly Hook Up a Generator to Your Home

Power outages can be devastating, especially if there are no backups. Sometimes, electricity takes a lot of time to come back and there are necessities that we cannot live without even for an hour. That’s why generators are not limited to huge facilities only, but they are being used at home as well. They are easy to connect to your house and sometimes can be adjusted by you without the need for an electrician. There are a couple of things that you should know to help you plug the generator correctly.

Size Matters

Before purchasing any generator, you need to figure out what appliances you would want to be running during an outage. After that, calculate their collective voltage to determine which size you should get.

The generator must be able to generate power for more than the number you previously established because currents aren’t always stable and you may use more electricity than you thought.

Generator Placement

It is of utmost necessity to keep the generator at a safe distance from your place. You shouldn’t put it inside the house, in an attic, or in the basement. That is a safety precaution to avoid the building up of carbon monoxide that is produced as a secondary product. When there is no ventilation, that gas can become fatal.

The best place would be the garden, however, don’t cover it with glass or a piece of cloth because it can heat up and start a dangerous fire. All you need to do is plug it to the hookup and hang it well on the wall or the fence. You must put the generator in an open area to keep the air around you clean.

Extension Cords

They are heavy-duty cables where one end is connected to the generator and the other to the appliance. They should be made of a non-conducting material and are thick enough to carry heavy currents.

You should avoid tangling them because coiled cords heat up and eventually melt. To properly hook them, you should plug the cable in a running generator and then plug the other end to the device you want to use.

Transfer Switches

They are widely used because of their ability to run more appliances than expected in addition to their high safety measures. There are two kinds of transfer switches, the first one is the manual switch that you can control for each device separately. While the other one is automatic and can sense any decrease in power and compensates it immediately.

You can forget about all the days that you spent tripping over long extension cables because the switches are connected to the portable generator which is directly hooked to the power source. It is advisable to use a ground rod made of copper when you get a transfer switch, and it should withstand as much as the heaviest utility that it is going to power.

Breaker Interlock

It is a kit that is set between the main breaker and the back feed one to prevent the generator from powering up suddenly and burning the power outlet. Also, the cord used to connect it to the generator is short. It is a safe alternative to the switches if you don’t have enough money but you still want to steer clear from electric shocks and falling over cords in the dark.


It is absolutely forbidden to play around with a lighter or a cigarette near a heated generator especially while refueling it. For starters, you should unplug it and let it cool down then carefully pour the fuel into the wide opening. Moreover, avoid keeping any heat-generating appliance near it such as blowers or barbecue grills.

It is important to clean the generator from any old fuel residue to allow it to operate at full power without any difficulty. You shouldn’t buy huge amounts in hopes of storing them, because chemical degradation occurs over time and it can ruin the generator.

Test Run 

Before trusting the backup too much, you need to test it to make sure of its efficiency. So, try to connect it to one device and then to the others one by one. It won’t take a lot of time and it is better to make sure that it works when you are not in a rush because, during an outage, you will be running around the house trying to figure out what went wrong.

Generators are growing more popular and are becoming indispensable. They are an important supplement to your house that will make your life easier. You can ask for the help of a professional technician or you can do it yourself if you have enough knowledge. Also, with the information provided, you are now ready to get your generator and plug it!

One thought on “How to Properly Hook Up a Generator to Your Home

  1. Check your generator for ants.
    My dads got infested and they got into the control panel.
    They ate up $900 worth of his generator.

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