TK Tips

Transfer Switch is Key!

For over 35 years I have installed generator systems and can tell you that the best way to use a portable generator is with a Power Transfer Switch. These indoor surface mounted transfer switches are designed for fast installation in residential applications. The 18-inch flexible conduit whip attaches to the load center and all wires are clearly marked. Select the circuits needed in an emergency and connect them to the Transfer Switch wire leads.
Transfer Switches feature a rugged powder-coated steel cabinet with resettable branch rated circuit breakers and non-defeatable (break-before-make) double-throw switches. Some models feature a wattmeter with accuracy of ± 3% throughout the entire range.
I then run a heavy 30 amp line to the inlet box near the outdoor location where your portable generator will be located when in use. This power inlet box is rain-tight and has a twist lock male adapter that your portable generator cord plugs into. So all you have to do when power goes out is:

  • Shut off your main breaker.
  • Pull out your portable generator.
  • Fill with fuel and plug in 30amp cord from generator to power inlet plug.
  • Start generator using the electric starter or pull cord..
  • Turn Transfer Switch Circuits you want to use from house power to generator power on at a time so you don’t overload the generator.
  • Sip tea and enjoy power.
  • When utility power returns, turn off Transfer switch circuits.
  • Shut down and unplug generator.
  • Turn on your main breaker. You are once again on the grid.

Remember you should hire a qualified Licensed Electrician to install these power systems. They must be installed to the National Electrical Code (NEC) as well as all state and local ordinances.
Well, I hope this article helps all of you with generator safety. If you have any other questions about Generators or electrical related issues feel free to email me and I will be happy to answer them.
If you live in MA I also will make house visits and free quotations for installations of these systems.
Thank you for reading.

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