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Connect portable generator to house power?

Question asked by tgammonphd on Apr 25, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 25, 2018 by brian.baughman


How can I safely connect a portable generator to supply power to a house?

The house has a standby generator which no longer works, and the stator and rotor windings are completely shorted.

I lease the house and thought a portable generator would be a more affordable solution.

The standby system is connected to house power through an automatic transfer switch. I was told by a generator service person (after he looked at the type of switch) that I could still use this as a transfer switch.


I thought that I could have an electrician put a junction box with a 50A outlet on the metal case housing the nonfunctional standby generator (where the buried power cables connecting to it surface). And then I could take a short RV cable and connect to the 50A outlet on the portable generator. However, an electrician came out and send no -- no temporaries.


His solution is to permanently install a cable (with a male end) to where the power is coming out of the house (from the transfer switch located in the mechanical room) which connected to the now defunct generator. He told me that I could wrap the cable around a stand for a water hose. 


I don't like the idea of having this permanently heavy connected cable with a plug -- besides inconvenient -- it is connected to building power through the transfer switch -- which seems like a potential electric shock hazard to me.


A would appreciate any advice. We need a generator because we live in an area that is frequently out of power and the outages can last for days. (I plan to connect the generator to a large propane tank which served the non-working generator.)