Generator Electrical Connection


This was a project to provide a convenient place to connect my generator to the house in June of 2020.

I did not want to connect my generator to the home electrical system, because it would require a much larger generator than I have now and would also be a major modification to the electrical system.  I did want to have a quick and convenient way to power some important items from the generator (specifically for work) in case the power went out, like the computers and associated equipment at my office desk, and internet and TV in the living room.

There is a covered deck at the side door of my house which faces the detached garage where the generator is stored.  Under the deck provides a dry location to place the generator in the rain.  I have a 3800W inverter-generator which is very quiet comparable to a standard generator and produces much cleaner power for sensitive electronic equipment.  This location toward the back of the house also shields what little noise there is from the neighbors.

I want to be able to roll the generator under the deck and plug it into a receptacle, so I modified a 12 gauge extension cord with two male ends to connect the generator to the receptacle, and mounted the receptacle to the wall under the deck.  I ran 12 gauge romex through conduit around the side of the house, tapping into the office and the living room under the cabinets next to the fireplace where I installed receptacles that were only powered by the generator.  I also use the stretch of conduit between the living room and office to run ethernet cable from the router in the living room to the office so the computers could be plugged in directly to the router instead of using wifi.

I have the equipment in both the office and living room plugged into UPS battery backups so when the power goes out, the computers and internet stay on.  I go outside, roll the generator under the deck, plug it into the receptacle and start it.  Back inside, I unplug the UPS's from the standard wall outlets and into the generator receptacles.  

I have another project planned to add a small deck and stairs along the back side of the house by the driveway that will extend up to the house under the side deck which will make it nicer to place the generator there.  I will be building some additional noise shielding around the generator and will move the receptacle closer to the front of the deck to make it even easier to connect.