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There are several ways. The safest is to have an electrician install a transfer switch. This allows you to connect a portable generator to its 4 prong outlet and prevents city power from entering the house and generator. You basically have a manual switch to decide if you want generator power or city. Its a safety thing. This will cost you at least $300 in parts plus the electrician.

There is also an cheaper alternative to a manual transfer switch. There definitely needs to be a safety device but a manual transfer switch is difficult and expensive to install plus it takes a good electrician to make a professional job. An interlocking device, such as the ones from interlockkit.com, mounts on the front of your panel and keeps the main breaker and the generator from being on at the same time. This ensures that the line physically cant be back-fed, which keeps lineman from being shocked and killed. It only takes an hour or so to do the whole job and meets electrical code.

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As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.

Before you do any work yourself,

on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,

always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.

IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOB

SAFELY AND COMPETENTLY

REFER THIS WORK TO QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

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Q: How do you connect a generator to your home?
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