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One important lesson we learn on the way to becoming licensed electricians is to have a healthy respect for electricity. Sometimes we learn it the hard way, though our trainers try to avoid that. We also learn that electricity does things its own way, not our way. We have to follow the rules of physics as well as state and local Myrtle Beach, SC area laws when we perform electrical work.
The inspector is not nearly as fierce as a high-current circuit miswired. Due to the nature of the power involved, we highly recommend our generator hookup service or at least a consultation with a licensed electrician when connecting a generator to supply your home with backup power. Beyond that, here are a few tips about your options for backup power connection and the risks involved.
If Someone Mentions “Backfeeding” in any Form, Shake Your Head and Walk Away
A good example of how electricity makes the rules, not us, is the idea that anywhere you can get power out of your home’s wiring is a place you can put power back in. Things are a bit more complicated than that, and backfeeding is also illegal. Circuits in your home are carefully designed and rated, and this approach is like fishing with dynamite. You might get the results you’re looking for, and, well, you might get other results. Not to mention the concept that the outlet with the power is hard to touch for a reason, and the plug, which has no power, is the part that is possible to touch. Reversing that is asking for serious, call 911-type trouble. A quality generator hookup service is a way to avoid trouble, with expert help.
Interlock Kits and Transfer Switches
A lot of effort has been put into designing ways that your home’s power source can be switched from the power company to your generator. Avoiding the interaction of the two power sources is the idea. Your generator hookup service can install either of these, which provide different levels of convenience in protecting you against trouble. The interlock kit protects against accidents, while the transfer switch handles the switchover in addition to providing basic protection. Automatic transfer switches sense the need for backup power and handle the switchover, allowing you and your family to note the blinking of the lights and go on with your day. Our generator hookup service can explain to you the difference between these manual and automatic power switchover features, and help you choose the one that meets your needs and budget.
Locating and Installing the Generator Unit
In addition to a basic generator hookup service, if you choose a stationary unit, perhaps one that runs on natural gas for convenience, selecting the location will be an important factor. You need access to the power panel, and also want to stay some distance away from your house, generally at least 20 feet. That’s to keep dangerous exhaust away from your home, even though modern generators are designed with carbon monoxide protections. With such a lethal gas, caution is a good idea even with modern protective features. Likewise, though many generators run quite quietly, there is always some sound and vibration, and distance helps mitigate that. Our generator hookup service has placed many generators, and will have a few good suggestions for you to consider.
Generator Installation Permits and Plans
From the concrete footing on which the generator is installed to the electrical wiring, chances are the city is going to be interested in what you’re planning to do. Another benefit of a generator hookup service is experience in dealing with the usual legal requirements, and making sure that the job goes smoothly. They’ll be ready to answer any questions the city inspector has about the design of the physical and electrical installation, and will probably include strategies that make life easier or safer for the homeowner, but that inexperienced installers would not know to do. In the case of portable generators, the process is simpler but the basic electrical work will still need to be handled professionally, including proper approvals as needed.
Wiring Inside Your Home for Generator Power
You may have noticed that some facilities such as hospitals have specially-colored power outlets, especially in the patient rooms. Backup power can be directed only to critical needs, as the hospital does, allowing you to select a generator with enough capacity to meet your home’s basic needs, but not all of its features. You might power a limited set of lights, omit the stove but power the refrigerator, and with separate circuits, you can make sure you plug critical equipment into the outlets that receive backup power, and connect power-hungry luxuries to regular circuits that will be off while backup power is operating. Our generator hookup service can arrange for an electrician to perform the necessary rewiring in your home to make sure your power goes to critical locations like your home office and kitchen, while providing just lighting through most of the home, or some other configuration to your liking.
If you’re moving from a portable generator to a fixed unit, or upgrading your generator’s capacity or performance, our generator hookup service can create a plan to switch the units and their wiring to meet your updated needs. They’ll make sure that your existing physical and electrical installation is sufficient for the new unit, and make any necessary changes with a minimum of complexity. Perhaps you’ll want to upgrade your transfer switch to a more automatic one, or install remote monitoring for one of our newer smart units. They’ll take care of it all.
Your Full-Service Generator Experts at Mister Sparky Generators
Our team has the experience to install your generator so it’s easy to use and reliable to operate. Our experience with the Myrtle Beach, SC area requirements makes us the ones to call.