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​How to Hook up a Portable Generator to Your Home ​in 2019

Last updated August, 2019

​Now that you realize that you have to live with the temporary power outages in your neighborhood, it is time to buy a good portable generator. A handy gadget to have around your home, the portable generator is the perfect answer when it comes to running your fridge, TV, and PC, in addition to keeping your home well-lit during power outages or any other emergencies like hurricanes or thunderstorms. Once you have acquired your portable generator, you need to know about certain important things before hooking it up.

How to Hook up a Portable Generator to Your Home

​​Quick help guide...

Select the appliances to run on your generator:

If you just want to run your TV, PC, fans, fridge, and freezer and have a few lights on, you would have chosen a gasoline generator with a power rating of 3,500W. This is indicated on the label on your generator, and such generators can run for up to 12 hours on a full tank. It makes sense to check the wattage requirement on each of the appliances you propose to use, and ensure that the total wattage does not exceed 3,500W when all the appliances and lights are in use simultaneously. While a televisions use around 1,000W, a fridge requires anywhere between 1,200 to 1,500W, though the initial torque requirement should be slightly higher. A CFC bulb requires around 150W while a room fan can do with around 500W.

The wiring system is important:

You can choose from a range of wiring systems to hook-up your
whole home generator. You may want to contact the local authorities dealing with power, the planning department, or the power company to check the legal formalities to be fulfilled if any. The laws vary from county to county and state to state. Make sure that you have an interlock kit installed. It needs to be approved by the breaker box and needs to be installed by a qualified professional. You may also want to have a manual transfer switch installed. Although it is slightly more expensive, it is probably the safest and legally permitted.

Have the inlet hook up outside the home:


Ensure that you never connect your generator to your breaker box directly. Have the inlet hook up fixed outside the house and go for a male connector that can connect to any panel system that is installed inside the house. Most probably the house will be provided with a receptacle, if not you may have to get it installed. Ensure that the installation is done by a professional and remains up to the code; otherwise, you may not be eligible for insurance coverage for your home.