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 700 North Tryon Street
 Charlotte, NC 28202

 fax 704-336-3839

Generator Safety

To avoid electrocution:

  • Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy duty, outdoor rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.
  • Observe the generator manufacturer's instructions for safe operation.
  • Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet.
  • If connecting the generator into the house wiring, have a qualified electrician hook up the standby electrical system.
  • PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A GENERATOR TO THE PERMANENT WIRING OF THE BUILDING. 

Never store gasoline in the home. Gasoline, kerosene and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers. They should also not be stored in a garage if a fuel-burning appliance is in the garage. The vapor from gasoline can travel invisibly along the ground and be ignited by pilot lights or arcs caused by activating electric switches.

Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator.

For more information visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission for generator tips.

TRANSFER SWITCHES ARE REQUIRED BY THE NATIONAL ELELCTRICAL CODE.
When connecting into the house wiring it is necessary that a permanently installed transfer switch be installed to operate permanently wired equipment, such as a water pump, furnace blower/controls, room lighting, etc., there are important steps that require the utmost care to avoid electrocution. You must have a qualified electrician install a manual or automatic transfer switch.

A transfer switch permits transfer of the load from the household power source that is normally supplied by the electric utility over to the portable generator. The transfer switch should be certified by UL, CSA, or other independent test lab for this application, and be mounted within an electrical box. Transfer switches and related accessories designed for connecting a standby system are available from electrical supply stores. These accessories equipment includes:

  1. cord sets with special locking and recessed connectors,
  2. electrical boxes with controls for the branch circuits that will receive temporary power from the generator, and
  3. feeder cable to connect the existing electrical panel to the transfer switch.

When properly installed, the transfer switch will isolate the circuits supplied by the generator from those normally supplied by the utility. This prevents inadvertently energizing circuits in both systems, and reduces the possibility of electrocution resulting from contact with conductors presumed to be de-energized.


CONTACT:

•  For general permit information, please call 704-336-3830

•  For general electrical code questions, please call CTAC 704-432-4668

•  For Code Interpretations, please call Joe Weathers,  Electrical Code Administrator,  704-336-5379


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