Backup Generator Installation

Protect Your Home & Business from Power Outages with a Fully Integrated Backup Generator

Backup generators are integral pieces of equipment that provide power during utility outages. Typically fuel-powered, these machines run on gasoline, diesel, or propane. Their capacity varies widely, from small, portable models suitable for powering a few appliances to large stationary units capable of energizing an entire house or commercial building.

A critical aspect of using a backup generator safely and effectively is a generator transfer switch. This device allows for a seamless shift of power supply from the main utility to the backup generator during an outage, and vice versa, once power is restored. It also ensures that power lines are not inadvertently energized by the generator, thereby preventing a dangerous situation known as backfeed.

Electrical panels, commonly found in both residential and commercial properties, act as the nerve center for the property’s electrical system. They distribute electricity supplied by the utility or generator to individual circuits. Most panels are rated between 100 and 200 amps, sufficient for most residential and small commercial needs.

Installing a generator transfer switch involves a process that requires knowledge, precision, and adherence to safety guidelines. Although the steps are relatively straightforward, if you’re not a licensed electrician, it’s advisable to hire one to do the job to ensure safety and code compliance. Here’s a general overview of the process:

Step 1: Choosing the Right Transfer Switch:

Transfer switches are available in manual and automatic varieties, depending on your preference. Manual switches require someone to switch the power source physically, while automatic switches detect power loss and shift the supply source accordingly. The capacity of the switch should match your generator’s capacity and the rating of your electrical panel.

Step 2: Preparing the Installation: 

Turn off the main power at the electrical panel to ensure safety before you begin. Identify the circuits you want the generator to power during an outage, typically essential services like heating, lighting, refrigeration, and medical equipment.

Step 3: Mounting the Transfer Switch:

Mount the transfer switch near the electrical panel. Follow manufacturer guidelines regarding distance from the panel, ensuring easy access for wiring between the two units.

Step 4: Connecting the Transfer Switch to the Electrical Panel:

Connect the wires from the transfer switch to the circuits in the electrical panel that you identified in Step 2. This often involves removing the circuit’s existing wire from the breaker, connecting it to the transfer switch, then connecting a new wire from the switch back to the breaker.

Step 5: Connecting the Transfer Switch to the Generator:

Install a power inlet box outdoors where you’ll operate the generator. Wire this box to the transfer switch, following manufacturer instructions. The generator plugs into this box via a heavy-duty cable.

Step 6: Testing the System: 

Once everything is installed and secured, you can test the system. With the generator running, flip the transfer switch from LINE to GENERATOR. The connected circuits should now be powered by the generator. Switch back to ensure the system reverts to utility power.

Remember, each installation is unique due to variations in generators, electrical panels, and building layouts. Always consult an electrician if you’re unsure. By understanding the basic process, however, you can better oversee the project and ensure the job is done right. With a generator transfer switch properly installed, you’ll have reliable backup power ready whenever it’s needed.

Let NSW help you get your backup generator iInstalled properly so you can be ready the next time power goes down.

If you are considering installing a generator at your home, let NSW Master Electricians help you can sleep easy with an installation that is safe and reliable. We will guide you through the process of safeguarding your home against an electrical outage. Give us a call at 516-554-0278.