Hooking up a generator to house


Hooking Up A Generator To House

Hooking Up a Generator to Power Your Home: A Practical Guide

When it comes to ensuring that your home stays powered, a generator can be an invaluable asset. Whether you live in an area prone to blackouts or simply want to have a backup power source for emergencies, knowing how to hook up a generator to your house is crucial. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to safely and effectively connect a generator to power your home.

Choosing the Right Generator

Before diving into the process of hooking up a generator to your house, it's important to choose the right generator for your needs. Consider factors such as the wattage required to power the essential appliances and systems in your home, as well as the fuel type preference (gasoline, propane, or diesel). Additionally, ensure that the generator you select has the necessary safety features and is compatible with your electrical system.

Location, Safety, and Permitting

Once you've chosen a suitable generator, the next step is to determine the ideal location for installation. Select an outdoor area that is well-ventilated and away from windows, doors, and other openings to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. Following local codes and regulations, obtain any necessary permits before proceeding with the installation.

Transfer Switch Installation

A transfer switch is essential for safely connecting your generator to your home's electrical system. This device enables you to switch between utility power and generator power easily. It also prevents back-feeding, which can endanger utility workers repairing power lines.

To install a transfer switch:

  1. Locate your main electrical panel and turn off the main power breaker.

  2. Consult the manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper installation positioning.

  3. Connect the transfer switch to your electrical panel following the provided wiring diagram.

  4. Ensure all connections are secure.

  5. Connect the generator to the transfer switch using the appropriate power cord.

Connecting the Generator

Now comes the moment to connect your generator to the transfer switch:

  1. Place the generator in a safe and designated spot outside your home.

  2. Using a heavy-duty power cord, connect the generator to the transfer switch inlet on the exterior of your house.

  3. Ensure the connection is secure and protected from the elements.

Start-Up and Safety Precautions

Prior to starting your generator and restoring power:

  1. Double-check that all connections are correctly installed and secure.

  2. Refuel the generator if needed, following manufacturer instructions.

  3. Open the generator's fuel valve and switch it on.

  4. Start the generator according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

Remember to prioritize your safety. Keep the generator at a safe distance from windows, doors, and vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, never plug the generator directly into your home's electrical outlets, as it can cause electrocution or pose a fire hazard.

Maintenance and Upkeep

To ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your generator:

  1. Regularly check and replace the generator's air filter and spark plug.

  2. Change the oil as recommended by the manufacturer.

  3. Keep the generator clean and free of debris.

  4. Perform routine maintenance tasks according to the user manual.


Having a generator to power your home during unexpected outages or emergencies is a prudent decision. However, it's crucial to connect the generator to your house safely and effectively. By following the steps outlined above, you can set up your generator and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable backup power source.