Portable Generator Safety

Since the multiple hurricanes we have experienced in South Florida since 2004, our electricians at AG Electric have found many homes that have been wired to accommodate portable generator “hook-ups” to them. Most of these “hook-ups” are so dangerous that we are very concerned for the safety of the families living in these homes.  In an unscrupulous act for monetary gain, some builders have been installing receptacles for back feeding generator power into the breaker panel.  This does not meet code and is very dangerous for several reasons:

  1. Plugging your generator into your dryer or range outlet is never a safe option.
  2. If you have a power cord for your generator with a male plug at either end, this is a serious shock hazard.  The exposed prongs carry 240 v. when plugged into a socket.  You could be seriously injured or killed by using this lethal voltage.
  3. If you don’t have a transfer switch as is required by the National Electric Code, you could be back feeding the utility lines outside of your house.  This is a serious hazard to utility workers who are trying to restore power to your home.
  4. If you do not have a transfer switch and forget to turn off your main breaker when power is restored, and your generator is plugged in and running, it could explode and start a fire.  At the very least it will destroy your generator and possibly the wiring in your home.

Back feeding a receptacle in your house to provide power from your generator is very dangerous.

Fortunately, there is a safe way to connect power to your house from your portable generator.  It eliminates all of the hazards mentioned above and meets or exceeds NEC requirements.  Trouble identifying these hazardous conditions and need our assistance? Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or to schedule an inspection at (561) 734-4881.