Backup generator isn’t a complete standby power solution

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ATLANTA – With the winter upon us and major snowstorms often putting people without power, many home and business owners are scrambling to find ways keep the heat on and the food fresh, prevent frozen pipes and maintain power to critical appliances.

Some consumers and businesses will turn to a practical approach to keeping the power on – installing a back-up power source or portable generator. However, most people are not aware that a transfer switch is now required to be installed with any backup generator.

“Unfortunately, many consumers aren’t aware that a generator purchased by itself does not provide a complete standby power solution,” explains Paul Schnackenberg, inventor of the first compact manual transfer switch in the industry.

“If installed improperly, a back-up generator can create a wiring hazard and complicate efforts by a utility company to reconnect the primary power source.”

Installed next to an existing electrical panel, a generator transfer switch is the key to safe and convenient operation of portable or stationary generators for standby power. By isolating critical circuits using generator power from the rest of the house circuits, a transfer switch eliminates the dangerous risk of back-feeding the electrical utility.

* Install a UL-listed transfer switch between the electrical panel and the portable generator. If you do not use a UL-listed transfer switch, your generator installation could cause wiring hazards and serious injury.

* Always run your generator in a ventilated area outdoors.

* Never operate your portable generator in an enclosed area indoors, such as in a basement or garage. This can create exhaust fumes that could cause injury or death.

* Never connect your generator directly to your electrical panel. This can cause serious injury and damage if the main power is restored while the generator is operating.

* Test your generator and transfer switch once a month to ensure operation when actually needed.

* Follow the instructions provided by your portable generator manufacturer for safe operation.

Experts in the standby power industry strongly urge consumers to consult a licensed professional before installing any portable generator or transfer switch system.

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