If you’re planning to install a whole house generator, it’s important to consider how the outlet will fit into your electrical circuits. If you have a two-pole transfer switch, for example, you’ll need to ensure that your new outlet is GFCI protected.
One of the smartest things you can do in a home remodel is to outfit your house with a circuit management system. These devices will automatically turn off the less important circuits, which will keep your electrical loads from tripping the breaker. The best part is that they are designed to be easy on the pocketbook.
There are numerous ways to go about implementing one of these power savers. Luckily, Generac has a long list of slick solutions to choose from. Their switches come in an array of styles and colors so there is sure to be something that suits your needs. To make the process as painless as possible, consider getting a professional to wire your new switch into your existing home wiring.
If you’re looking for a little help turning on your home’s electrical system without sacrificing your comfort, consider a circuit management system from Generac. They can help you keep your power flowing, no matter how many power outages you get.
GFCI-equipped generators trip off when using a 2-pole transfer switch
If your whole house generator is equipped with a GFCI, it will trip if it is plugged into a standard two-pole transfer switch. This is a violation of the electrical code. You can remedy this problem by installing a three-pole transfer switch.
The purpose of a transfer switch is to separate the generator-supplied circuit from the utility circuits. Backfeeding of electricity from a generator into the home can cause an electrical fire. Also, backfeeding may injure utility personnel. In order to protect both you and the utility personnel, you must ensure that the generator is connected to a transfer switch.
An interlock device is a metal bracket that is installed on a panel and covers the main cutoff switch. It slides back into the normal position when the utility power returns.
A transfer switch is an electrical safety feature that prevents overloading and overheating of your home’s electrical system. This feature also keeps incoming utility power from switching to standby generator power when you have a generator running.
GFCI-equipped generators use an interlock kit
An interlock kit is a system of slide plates installed in the electrical panel. It creates a mechanical barrier between the main breaker and the generator’s back feed breaker.
Using an interlock kit can save your family a lot of money and headaches. However, you need to make sure you get the right interlock for your home. This includes the proper circuits to switch on and off.
To do this, you’ll need to take measurements between the main breaker and branch breakers. You should also install a main circuit breaker with an appropriate amperage rating. Then, you’ll need an inlet box based on the largest capacity outlet on your generator.
Having a separate transfer switch is another option for connecting your generator to your home. This method requires a licensed electrician to install it. In general, installation of a transfer switch takes a day or two.
However, installing a portable generator using a standard outlet to backfeed your electrical system can cause injury or even death. For this reason, it’s best to avoid using this method.
Permits to install a whole house generator
If you’re planning to install a whole house generator, you’ll need to obtain a generator installation permit. Some permits require engineering drawings that show where the unit will go in relation to your home. You’ll also need a fire permit and gas tank permit.
Your local building department or zoning office can give you advice on which permits to apply for and how to go about it. Generally, permits cost about $10 to $500, depending on the fees set by your local building regulations.
Before applying for a permit, you should make sure your generator will fit within the local codes. Also, you should consult your zoning authority and make sure the generator is in line with your area’s air quality laws.
If your generator emits pollutants that exceed state thresholds, you may need an air permit. Generators under 37 kW may not require an air permit.
You may also need a plumbing permit. Some local authorities will only issue permits to licensed contractors.