Generators are very handy to have in the event the power goes out because of a storm or other natural event. They are a good backup system for heaters, freezers, well pumps and lights.
There are two different types of generators available. The first are portable models. These are very popular for those who need to run equipment away from electricity. Many are available for light duty residential use, while others are rated for heavier commercial and industrial use.
For information on safely using portable generators click here.
The second type is a fully automatic, permanently installed unit attached to a home or business in a fixed location.
These units typically can perform such functions as monthly self-tests and systems checks. They generally are directly wired into the main breaker panel and can operate the entire facility or a part of it in the event of an outage. In addition, some models can be configured to automatically turn themselves on when they sense a power failure.
While these units are the most expensive to purchase, they are also the most convenient to operate. You can have the generator connected to your breaker panel, by a licensed electrician, through a transfer switch. If you choose to have the transfer switch installed the electrician will get the necessary permits for the job.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE: The main breaker on your panel does not qualify as a transfer switch under the National Safety Code. Using it in such a manner is illegal.
Transfer switches are required because electricity from the generator can be sent through the meter base and into the distribution lines. This could be life-threatening to workers, neighbors, children or animals in the vicinity of a downed power line.
In addition, when power is restored it will flow back to your home, and can seriously damage or destroy a generator that does not have approved safety switching.
If you have questions regarding permanent generator sizing and installation please call Blachly-Lane Electric at 541-688-8711 and ask to speak to our operations or engineering department.