Even before you purchase a generator for your home, enquire about what type of installation is required by the generator. No matter which brand of generator you choose for your home, the unit has to be installed according to guidelines stipulated by the NEC (National Electrical Code). In addition to that you should also consider all relevant state and local codes, and the manufacturer's instructions. Before venturing to install the device ask yourself, are you competent and knowledgeable enough to handle such installation practice safely? If you are confident enough, then only take up the venture, otherwise get it installed by a qualified electrician.
The first lesson is: never hook up the generator directly to your home's electrical wiring; just plug the appliance into the outlet of the generator to draw power directly. The hooking up of a generator to your home's electrical system may lead to dangerous consequence as it may put excess power into your home electrical system from a generator and that may backfeed into the main line. The back feeding does not only damage your own electric line, it may cause problems for the electrical utility company and your neighbors as well.
It may even cause life threatening consequences for electric utility workers. Always use NEC prescribed products that will provide either an automatic or manual transfer between two power sources. The device that allows your standby generator to get connected to your existing electrical system is called an automatic transfer switch. This switch enables the generator start up automatically as power runs out.
It will take few seconds to stabilize before the transfer switch connects the generator to the electrical system. As power returns, the switch will disconnect the generator and the electrical wiring of your home will come back to its normal state once again. The model of transfer switch depends mainly on the size of the generator. Transfer switch may seem to be costly, but the uninterrupted power supply in the emergency situations justifies their costs. However, it is preferable to get the transfer switch installed by a qualified electrician. Proper placing of the generator is important.
It is recommended that you install it in the outside of the living area over a concrete padding. The place should be close to the home's existing fuel source. Don't place it near doors and windows; otherwise the harmful gases emitted by the generator will enter your rooms. In addition to the transfer switch, you should invest in a dedicated electrical sub-panel, for added safety. Certainly you will not need to power all your appliances as the power goes off.
There are certain equipments that will need uninterrupted power supply and a sub-panel helps you to connect all those important equipments to the generator. This will save your generator from overworking. Make it a point to thoroughly go through the instruction manual provided by the generator company.
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