Monday, November 5, 2012


How to connect a generator to your home without requiring you to open your electric panel.  (WARNING – THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS, consult an electrician or do at your own risk)
  1. TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKER (usually 100 OR 200 AMP)
  2. Create two male to male extension cords long enough to connect the generator to two separate 20 Amp outlets in your home:
    1. Cut the female end of your best extension cord (20 Amp extension cord is the best to use).  A 20 Amp extension cord has one of the two blades at a right angle.
    2. Replace the female end with a male end, making sure the Black and White wires are correct, THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.  In the picture above, the “w” is the white wire (neutral), the G is the green (ground), and the unlabeled one is the Black (Hot).
  3. Find a receptacle in the home that is a 20 Amp outlet.  It will look like this: <image002.png> Note the sideways “T” prong, signifying 20 Amps.
  4. Turn off everything in the home that you can. 
  5. Leave all circuit breakers on.
  6.  Plug in the extension cord to the generate and to the outlet. 
  7. Turn on the generator.
  8. Plug a lamp or something into the other outlet, verify you have power.  

At this point you will have power in half the circuits in your home.  To enable the other half, do this:
  1. Find an outlet, preferable a 20 Amp, that is NOT live. 
  2. Create a second cord as the first.
  3. Connect the second cord to the dead outlet and the other outlet on the generator.
  4. Verify the second outlet has power.

When you have this type of connection, it is important to realize that you are only providing at max, 40 Amps of power to your panel.  Only turn on necessary items such as your heating system and refrigerators.  Turn off everything else at the panel. 
Make sure that your generator is located OUTSIDE the home, with the exhaust facing away from the home.  Do not position the generator near a window or open doorway, as carbon monoxide is deadly and not detectable by humans.  Ideally, the generator should be 20 feet or more from the home.
If your generator takes oil, make sure you check it frequently so that you don’t seize the motor.

Thanks to Richard Shinnick for sharing!

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