How to Use a Portable Generator to Power a Home


Severe weather like heavy rains or snow can bring down power lines, cutting off the electricity to your home. Hurricanes and earthquakes can also cause extended periods of power outages. People with home-based businesses often can't afford to be without power, making it essential to have a backup plan. You can use an emergency generator to provide energy to your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Generator
  • Place the generator in a well-ventilated area and point the exhaust away from residences. Avoid shock and electrocution by placing the generator on a dry surface.

  • Wire the generator to your home by installing a transfer switch, and a flange outlet which allows you to connect the house directly to the generator using a heavy duty extension cord. Never plug the generator directly into a power outlet inside the home.

  • Fill the fuel tank for the generator leaving a 1 ½ inch air space between the gas and the top of the fuel tank, unless otherwise noted in your manual. Make sure you use the correct fuel for your tank (it may take diesel fuel). Cap the tank to prevent the gas from evaporating.

  • Plug the male end of the extension cords into the correct outlet on the generator. If you use a transfer switch, turn the switches to the "Generator" setting.

  • Turn on the ignition switch and set the choke to "Full Choke." Pull the cord to start the generator. Once the generator begins producing electricity, plug your appliances into your extension cords if you decide not to use a transfer switch. If you have a transfer switch, you should be able to begin turning on your appliances.

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  • Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images
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