Residential Generator: Two Important Aspects About It

A residential generator is life-saver for those who frequently suffer power breakdown. Apart from choosing the right generator, you need to be careful with its installation. It is advisable that you use a transfer switch instead of extension cords. With a single switch, you can connect all the electrical appliances with your generator.

Here are few tips on how you can wire the residential generator:

1. Switch off the breaker and remove the front cover of the breaker.

2. From the transfer switch box and main breaker box, take out two knock-outs. Fix wire clamps in            the holes.

3. Make a hole between the studs. The holes should be adjacent to the main breaker box. Now make holes connecting the studs to the breaker box. Fix the transfer switch box.

4. In the main breaker box, fix the 2-pole breaker. Connect the following wires:

  • white wire to neutral buss
  • Red and black wires to breaker
  • bare wire to ground buss

5. Take the 3-conductor wire into the transfer switch box. Connect the following wires:

  • Black and red wires to L1 and L2
  • White wire to neutral terminal
  • Bare wire to ground terminal

6. Decide upon those circuits that you want to power with the generator. Disconnect all the black and red wires of these circuits. Take these wires and make them pass out of the breaker box into the transfer switch box.

  • For wire extensions, use wire nuts
  • Add wire clamps
  • Remove all extra knock-outs

7. Make sure that you connect the wires in the transfer switch box.

8. Install the panel cover.

9. Tight all the wire clamps.

10. Plug in the generator.

11. Switch on the main breaker along with the new breakers.

12. In case you do not have much electrical knowledge, hire a professional electrician.

13. You can also hire an electrical inspector at the end. He/she can check your work.

Note: even when the main breaker is off, the inlet terminals is on.

Residential generator right size:

You need to choose the generator best for your house. The question is how do you that? There are some calculations you need to make to find out the right size of the generator. Confused? Take a look.

  • Find out the starting and running power requirements of all electrical appliances present in your home. Note: include all those appliances you want to power with the generator.

The power requirement of every appliance is mentioned in the manual or labeled on the appliance itself.

  • In few appliances, the information will not be mentioned in wattage but in amperes. Here, multiply the amperes with the volts mentioned on the appliance. You will get the approximate wattage requirement for that electrical appliance.
  • Add all the starting wattage requirements of all the electrical appliances.

Buy the generator that is able to support the sum total of the wattage requirement. This will ensure that in case of power breakdown, the generator is able to start all the electrical appliances.

  • Also add the running wattage requirements of all your electrical appliances. Choose a generator that is able to support the total running wattage requirement of all your appliances. This would ensure that the generator is able to run the electrical appliances you want.


Residential generators is available in different sizes and types.


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