Generator Safety

generatorMany residents who lose power may turn to emergency generators to ensure a continuous source of electricity to their appliances.

Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) urges residents to exercise extreme caution. While generators are a convenience in keeping appliances running during storm-related outages, they can also create hazards for homeowners and electric utility workers.

Safety Considerations

  • Always operate a generator in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions
  • To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a generator indoors or in attached garages
  • Only operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area away from air intakes to the home
  • To avoid electrocution, plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load

Prevent Backfeeding With a Transfer Switch

Homes must have a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.

  • A transfer switch allows your house to receive power directly from a portable generator as opposed to through the main circuit breaker normally supplied by SVEC
  • Transfer switches isolate the circuits supplied by the generator and prevent backfeeding

What is Backfeeding?

  • Most commonly occurs when a generator is connected directly to the electric panel or circuit in a home
  • Feeding power back into the utility system during an outage will energize the transformer serving the house
  • Poses a serious threat to service and tree crews working to restore power in the area

GenerLink Transfer Switch

If you desire to obtain a transfer switch for residential use, the cooperative has approved a meter socket based transfer switch by GenerLink: model number MA23-N or S. Visit the GenerLink website. Purchase the transfer switch through GenerLink by calling (800) 886-3837 and the cooperative will install it, for free.

Generator Safety Video