Learn how to hook up a generator your house electric panel safely in this video. We run our house with a portable generator and transfer switch when the power goes out, and here we'll show you how to safely connect a generator to your circuit breaker panel.
IMPORTANT: do not run a generator in your basement or your garage. Gas engines create carbon monoxide, which will kill you. OK?
This is part of a series of emergency preparedness videos and articles we are writing.
To Hook Up A Generator, The Nuts and Bolts:
Using a portable generator is a more affordable way to power the house during a power outage. You can install one of those large generators with an automatic transfer switch, but we opted for the less expensive portable generator and a manual transfer switch. I installed the transfer switch myself, but you must follow local electrical codes, and if you are the least bit hesitant, or are not experienced in working on electrical panels, call a qualified installer.
To determine how many watts of generator power you need, figure out what appliances in the house you want to power with a generator. Each appliance will list on a label somewhere how many watts or amps the appliance uses. Use the formula: Watts = Volts x Amps to figure out how many watts you need to power your home.
At its most basic, that wattage number tells you how powerful a generator you need.
But I have found that I never use the full wattage of the generator I bought. If I had to do it again, I would have bought a smaller portable generator. The meters on my transfer panel barely move when powering most of my house. Something to keep in mind.
Let us know below your experiences and thoughts on generators and emergency preparedness, how do you prepare for winter storms?