Electricity

Published on November 14th, 2012 | by Henri

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Safely installing a generator for back-up power

Q.    I live in the country and have suffered a number of power outages during storms, some lasting several hours. I am planning to install a generator in my garage to keep it dry and easily accessible. Do you have any recommendations on its installation?

A.    Do not install the generator in your garage or any enclosed structure! The combustion of any fuel-fired appliance generates deadly carbon monoxide. Install it outside and build a cover over it to protect it but leave at least two sides open.

Have a licensed electrician make the connection to your house wiring as it is absolutely essential that the generator be isolated from your power company lines with a transfer switch. Failure to do so can inadvertently send electric current back through the power company’s lines and that could kill a lineman working to restore the power who is under the impression that the line is dead.

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