Originally Posted by johnh123
When you use the generator to power home appliances, are you just running long extension cords? Or is there a way to tap directly into home power?
As with any generator, you could use a transfer switch -- both utility power and generator power are connected as inputs and the user selects one or the other as the output.
Of course the generator will only be able to run a handful of loads, so sometimes a "critical loads" sub-panel is installed. That's what we do here at home with our UPS system (2 inverters and 16 GC batteries).
Another option is to just use the existing main panel and turn off all of the large loads, leaving just the breakers for what you want the generator to run turned on.
(There is a method called backfeeding that does not use a transfer switch, but it is illegal in many places due to the potential danger to linemen if the main breaker is inadvertently left on. It's best to use a switch).
That said, for infrequent use, most people just run extension cords. Of course, the shorter the run the better, and ideally #10 gauge (or at a minimum #12) cords are used to minimize voltage drop and maximize available power.