Reminder: Never connect a generator to home wiring without transfer switch

John van Oppen john at
Tue Aug 31 05:37:44 UTC 2021

I told my wife that she is my critical load as such I like to treat our place like a datacenter.   House wide UPS for all lights and all bedroom and office outlets, large generator system, ATS and lots of fuel.   Last time I was at a nanog and the power went out she chuckled when I told her it was out, she had just come home from work and driven right into the garage with all the lights on thinking the utility was still working.

I did all my commissioning and calculations myself, even coordinated breakers for both sources into the sub panels, but I'm far from a home DIY when it comes to electrical.   My home 277/480v service is pretty cute compared to the stuff I normally play with and design.

I've cabled my other portables into panels at people's houses before but I refuse to talk them through how to do it, if you don't know how to properly pull the utility breakers etc you have no business temping anything up, and making cables that make it easy is irresponsible safety wise.

Power is serious business and mistakes can be very dangerous.

The last few days has me feeling for all the folks keeping the hospitals and critical facilities running in Louisiana, seems like most made it through pretty well, huge testament to planning and the reliability of backup systems.

-----Original Message-----
From: NANOG < at> On Behalf Of Mark Tinka
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 8:12 AM
To: Jared Mauch <jared at>
Cc: nanog at
Subject: Re: Reminder: Never connect a generator to home wiring without transfer switch

On 8/25/21 16:59, Jared Mauch wrote:

> This is why I personally spent the $$ on a proper standby generator with multiple ATS for the multiple panels.

Same here.

Massively painful, which led to some boring moments testing, testing and more testing. But after 5 months with electricians, electrical certifiers, battery vendors and inverter vendors (and a little voltage/amp sensor to capture slow voltage grid brownouts that kept tripping my battery), it's been solid for nearly a year. And looking good.

I can now travel and not worry about the Mrs. waking me up from my sleep, on the far side of the world :-).


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