The next power outage is not predictable. So, getting an emergency generator is of great importance. A generator is a great first step in protecting your family from power failure. It will provide emergency electrical power to a home when the main power source goes out. You might not need it to power all the home appliances. You might need it to power some essential appliances like the fridge, lighting the house, and so on. Here is a guide on how to connect a generator to the house.
Now you have gotten an emergency generator of your choice. Then the next step is to get it connected to the house. The first thing to do is to go through the user manual. It does not matter the type of generator you buy, consult the user manual. You will get detailed instructions and safety guidelines for you to follow before operating it.
- 1 Materials needed
- 2 How to Connect Generator to House
- 2.1 Check and know your generator plug type and amperage
- 2.2 Find an access Hole
- 2.3 Fix the power inlet box
- 2.4 Fit the conduit
- 2.5 Fix the Generator Inlet Plug wire
- 2.6 Push wires inside
- 2.7 Prepare the Breaker Box for Wires
- 2.8 Create enough Breaker Space
- 2.9 Install the generator breaker and wires
- 2.10 Set up a Breaker Retainer
- 2.11 Fix Interlock on the panel cover
- 2.12 Make sure you keep your family safe
- 2.13 Place the generator far from your home
- 2.14 Plugin your cable to the generator
- 2.15 Check the generator engine
- 2.16 Switch on the main
- 3 Conclusion
- Connecting wire
- Breaker interlock kit.
- Power inlet box
- 2 pole (double) breaker
- Generator extension cord.
- Gauge wire.
- Electrical conduit and fittings
How to Connect Generator to House
Check and know your generator plug type and amperage
First, determine the type of plug and the amperage of the generator you are working with. You can get this by checking on the plug-in generator. Or check your user manual. The most common type of sizes and amperage are Nema L14-20 – 20 amp, Nema L14-30 – 30 amp, and Nema CS6365 – 50 amp. Knowing this will allow you to get the material suitable for installing the generator. You will need to buy materials that fit your generator’s amperage and size. If the output on your generator is 30, you will need a 30 amp breaker. A 30 amp power inlet box, a 30 amp extension cable, and 10 gauge wire.
Find an access Hole
You can drill a conduit hole if you don’t have one. But try to drill the hole as close to the panel as you can.
Fix the power inlet box
Open the power inlet box by removing its front cover. Attach the PVC fitting to the power inlet box. Then mount the power inlet box on the wall using the tapcon screws.
Fit the conduit
Cut the conduit to the desired length. But let it fit in between the fixed power inlet box and the hole. Once it fits, you glue it down.
Fix the Generator Inlet Plug wire
Once you have fixed the conduit and the glue is dry. Then, we can start to work on the wiring. First, remove the cover on the conduit body. Make the wires pass through the conduit, one at a time, attaching them to the plug as you go along. Connect the terminals as appropriate and tighten them using a flat screwdriver or a nut driver.
Push wires inside
Make the wires pass through the conduit and into the house one at a time. Cover the conduit body and let the gasket fits properly. You can use expanding foam to fill up the gaps or silicone.
Prepare the Breaker Box for Wires
Make sure that all the branch breakers and the main power breaker are put off. Then take out the four screws of the breaker box to remove its front panel. Open the knockout and fix the conduit adapter. Pull the wires through the conduit, making them pass through the adapter and into the breaker box.
Create enough Breaker Space
The breaker interlock method requires that there is enough space to the upper right of the breaker. So you will have to move one or two breakers down. If space is not enough, you can make use of a small piece of insulated wire and a wire nut. But be careful not to wire nut aluminum and copper wires together because they will corrode over time.
Install the generator breaker and wires
Once you have created enough space, install the new breaker in the freed-up space. The red wire will go to one terminal on the breaker, and the black goes to the other. Fit white wire to the common bond rail in the box, and the green wire goes to the ground rail. You can find out the proper connection that is appropriate for your jurisdiction.
Set up a Breaker Retainer
You have to prevent your generator breaker from moving. So you have to pick it down by installing the retaining bracket.
Fix Interlock on the panel cover
Turn over the panel back and install the sliding interlock bolts on it. Now reinstall all the breakers on the panel. Make sure the breakers are in off position. Turn on the generator breaker while the main is still off. And make sure that the interlock allows for the position of the generator breaker. Or you need to change the panel cover’s position. Next, turn off the generator breaker and put on the main. Drop the slid so that the generator breaker will not turn on. Make sure that the main can be turned on easily. And if not you adjust the position of the panel cover.
Make sure you keep your family safe
Ensure to always confirm with your city specialists before doing anything that will put you or your family at risk. Make sure you do not connect your generator directly to your breaker box without an approved transfer switch. And don’t connect your generator to a washing machine or dryer outlet. If you do not have prior experience with electrical work, get your setup inspected. This is to ensure safety and prevent fire outbreaks.
Place the generator far from your home
The generator should be placed at least 15feets from your home. Or as far away as the length of the cable that comes with it. With this, you can avoid accidents that might occur if something goes wrong with the generator. You can also avoid the deadly effect of carbon monoxide from the exhaust of the generator.
Plugin your cable to the generator
Match and plug in the prong to the hookup. And you might have to turn the plug, say about 15 degrees to complete the connection.
Check the generator engine
See that the throttle of the engine is in the right position. Also, check for the oil gauge so that the engine has enough oil. Then start your engine following the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.
Switch on the main
Go to your breaker, put off the utility main and turn on the generator breaker. And turn on all of the loads one after the other.
Getting your generator connected to your home is very essential. This is because you can use the appliances in your home as you would use them when there is a power supply. As long as you do not exceed the power supply of your generator. So if you get your generator connected properly, you don’t have to worry about a power outage. Since all of your electrical appliances and lights will run just as they did before the power outage. Making use of the transfer Switch is surely the preferred method to get your generator connected to your house. Transfer switches make power management easy and you prevent damages.