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How to Connect Portable Generator to Your Electrical Panel

A note of caution: There are safe ways to power your electrical panel with a generator. However, “backfeeding” your electrical panel is dangerous and can result in electrocution, fire, and death. Electrical currents should not flow backwards from dryer outlets to your panel. An attempt to backfeed your panel could harm a utility worker repairing lines nearby.

That said, if you are looking to connect your portable generator to your home electrical box, below is the safest and best way to do it.

Use a Transfer Switch or Safety Interlock System to Connect a Generator to an Electrical Panel

A licensed electrician is qualified to install a UL Listed transfer switch or safety interlock system to your electrical panel. A UL Listing certifies that the transfer has undergone critical testing and meets all necessary requirements for safety.

Transfer Switch: The transfer switch is a manual way of changing from utility power to generated power. In essence, you shut off one supply and switch to another. In this case, your generated power supply may come from a portable generator in a safe location nearby.

Safety Interlock System: There are a lot of products on the market to safely connect a portable generator to a house panel. The Reliance Electric Interlock product is a sub-panel with built in amp meters. It can be installed on a house with a standard house panel, which allows the homeowner to choose which equipment is added to the generator. The individual amp meters show how many amps are being added. As a result, this helps prevent tripping the generator output breaker due to overload.

Only a licensed electrical should install a UL Listed transfer switch or interlock system.

Two Cooper Teams to Help You

Cooper Electrical Services and Cooper Mechanical Services serve Myrtle Beach and the greater Grand Strand. Cooper is your source for all services electrical, mechanical, power generation and HVAC.

Are you trying to get the most out of your portable generator? Call Cooper for unparalleled expertise and service.