How To Connect A Portable Generator To A House

Be it any home appliance, it needs an electrical power supply to run, and these days, the power outages are frequent because of extreme weather and technical faults. Whatever the reason is, it becomes quite difficult to live without the power supply, and batteries are no longer a solution as they can only last for a few hours.

We have a reliable solution that we can use during the long hour of power outages, using portable generators. Portable generators are widely being used worldwide as the source of power supply and are specifically used when there is a power failure, especially from the national grid.

Instead of standby generators, portable generators are used mainly because they are less expensive, require no installation, can literally light up all your house, and most importantly, you can easily carry it anywhere.

The portable generator does not necessarily need to provide electrical power to all appliances, but we can use it to power only the essential devices to provide sufficient power uninterruptedly for a longer period.

Portable generators are being used for years, but many of us are unaware of connecting a portable generator to a house. As a result, they end up damaging the home appliances and the generator itself.

Therefore, it becomes necessary that you know the process of connecting a portable generator to a house to easily and quickly connect it in case of emergency and when there is a power outage in the city.

If you want to know more about the process, keep on reading this article. Here we will guide you through the process and let you know all the related details so that you can connect a portable generator to a house without facing any difficulty.

Connecting a portable generator

Primarily two ways can be used to connect a portable generator to a house. The one includes using the individual extension cords and the other one by using the transfer switch. What is the difference between both and which one is more suitable? Let’s find out about it below.

Using the extension cord

Extension cords are used occasionally for a small emergency that needs to supply power to a few individual appliances for a short period. It is cheap and requires no installation, but it is only be used for basic devices such as lights, microwaves, and a fridge.

The extension cord cannot be used for hard-wired devices, such as the furnace, ceiling fans, or water heater. In short, we can say that extension cords cannot use the full power of a generator and therefore cannot be used for devices that require higher voltages.

To connect a house with a portable generator using an extension cord, you need to connect one end of a cord to the generator and the other end to the appliances you want to supply power. Keep the generator at a distance; it is suggested to keep it outdoor. Use one extension cord or multiple cords as per your need and requirement.

Using the transfer switches

Connecting a portable generator to a house using the transfer switches is a more convenient, easy, and effective method; above all, it is less hazardous than extension cords.

It can power your entire house, including the air conditioners depending on the capacity of the generator you have. Once installed, you only need to start the generator and flip the switch whenever you are faced with a power outage.

It is usually set up near the main switch of your house, and it allows you to power any devices in your home with a generator. It makes the process easier, quicker, and safe. The transfer switch will enable you to control and manage the devices you need to supply power to. Eventually, it allows you to use the generator efficiently and effectively.

Generally, there are two types of transfer switches available; these are called manual and automatic. You can go for any of these, as per your set of requirements, and that lies within your budget.

The major benefit of using the transfer switch is that it prevents back-feeding; it keeps the utility power and generator separate. When the power comes back on, it does not feed into the generator, keeping the appliances and generator safe.

The transfer switch needs to be installed by an expert electrician, and once it is fitted down, you can use it as per your need.

Factors to consider before you connect a generator to a house

It would be best to keep in mind a few things before you connect a portable generator to a house. It will allow you to use the generator in the best possible manner and keeping you safe and secure.

  • Determine the number of essential appliances in your house to connect to the generator in case of a power outage. It is not compulsory to connect all the devices in a home at one time.
  • Look for the power requirement of each essential device you have selected in the first stage and see whether the generator is capable enough to supply the required amount of power or not.
  • Choose wisely whether you want to use the extension cords or transfer switches.
  • Always read the manual before you purchase or set up the generator in a house.
  • Keep the generator away from your bedroom, preferably outside your house, as it will create noise and smoke.
  • Please do not use the generator when it is raining or wet as you might get an electric shock.
  • When in use for a longer time, the parts of the generator heat up, do not touch it, and let it cool down after stopping the engine.