Many 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.
- 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.
- Check a generator’s compatibility with the GenerLink transfer switch by visiting their Generator Information page
- Download the How to Calculate your House Wattage for Generator Sizing — GenerLink (PDF)