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Generator hook up

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sammy004

New Member
I just bought a Gen. and I would like to hook it up to my house so I can turn it on when the power goes out. I would like to ask is can I just disconect the main line and hook up a spdt swict in between so if the power goes out i will just disconect it from the main line and hook it up to the GEN.
 

crust

Member
Well, that is the general idea of a "transfer switch". Some are automatic, the main trick is that a generator (unless its big) cannot supply enough power to run a whole house. The transfer switch systems either automatically or manually swtich the generator into only certain circuits. In the US the NEC requires a transfer switch so that the line power and your generator are always isolated. The switch you propose is the right idea, but is not designed for that purpose and cannot handle the currents to run the house.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I used a change-over relay for my generator, with a 240V AC coil. The coil is connected to the generator output - so when you start the generator it automatically switches over to that supply.

As it's only a 2KW generator, it only feeds part of the house - all the lighting circuits, the central heating electrics, and the downstairs ring main. Which includes TV etc. and the Microwave in the kichen.

Obviously you need to be aware what can and cannot be plugged in while the generators running - but there's nothing normally on it's circuit which it can't handle.
 

crust

Member
Well, that depends much on the location ... in my home, my A/C unit in the summer consumes almost 10kW to cool the house. It is unbearable to be there when there is a loss of power.
 

jem

Member
I know the feeling :lol: Used to live in Houston, TX. These days I am just about freezing to death!
 

Phasor

Member
Be aware that contacts in the changeover switch MUST be "break before make" types, otherwise when you switch, the generator will be momentarily connected to the mains, which will result in a cooked genny, if the two supplies are not in phase.
 
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