September October 2010
Know the hazards of portable generators
Before purchasing or installing a portable generator for use during a power outage, consider these important safety issues:
BACKFEED- Plugging a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your house could cause backfeed. This occurs when electricity from the generator flows through the home’s wiring, out through the electric meter, and passes through the utility’s transformer, energizing the utility service lines. Backfeed can injure or kill a utility worker who is repairing a power line!
TRANSFER SWITCH- Operating a portable generator that is permanently wired to the house requires the use of a transfer switch. The transfer switch will mechanically disconnect the household’s circuit from the utility’s power supply system. A transfer switch MUST be used to avoid backfeed into the utility’s power system and is required by electric code.
INSTALLATION- Electric code requires that a licensed electrician install stationary generators that are permanently wired to the household’s electric system. The owner of the generator must acquire an electrical permit, and the unit must be inspected.
VENTILATION- Generators must be operated in a well ventilated area, never inside a home, garage, shed or partially enclosed space. The generator’s exhaust contains carbon monoxide (CO) which is deadly.
If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Kyle at 884-7191
Douglas County PUD is one of more than 2,000 public power systems providing power on a not-for-profit basis in the United States. Not-for-profit means power is provided at the cost of producing and delivering that power. There are no stockholders expecting dividends from the power rates. If you are a resident of Douglas County, you control the PUD by electing the Commissioners who set policies and hire a manager to direct the operation of the utility. This provides local control over the utility and responsiveness to community needs. This also means economic benefits of local ownership remain in the community in the form of low power prices.