A portable or permanent generator can be installed by the member to provide backup power in the event of a power outage.
A generator can also pose a deadly threat to linemen working on restoring a power outage.
If installed incorrectly, a generator can essentially cause electricity to flow “backwards.” The backward flowing electricity (or back feed) will flow from the member’s generator, through the home’s electrical panel, and up to REMC power lines. This will place an unsafe voltage on a power line that a lineman would assume is “not electrified.” It is highly recommended that if you plan on installing a generator to have a licensed electrician perform this work. There are relatively inexpensive measures that can be put in place to protect the linemen working to restore the outage. If installed correctly, a “transfer switch” will not allow a connection between the generator and REMC power lines.
Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas.
There are many ways to incorrectly install a generator. If you currently have a generator and have questions in regards to the safety of the installation, please contact REMC at 812‐738‐4115.
- DO operate a generator outdoors in an area with plenty of ventilation.
- DO install CO alarms inside the home to provide an early warning of carbon monoxide.
- DO NOT plug a generator into the wall without installing a transfer switch to prevent backfeed.
- DO turn the generator on before plugging in appliances.
- DO NOT touch the generator with wet hands to avoid electrocution.
- DO turn off the generator before refueling with gasoline to allow it to cool down.
- DO NOT overload the generator.
- DO use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord rated at least equal to the sum of the connected appliances.
- DO NOT use a generator as a permanent solution.
- DO consult the owner’s manual for your generator for specific safety instructions.