Recent generator purchasers often come up with this question; can you plug a generator into a wall socket?

No, you shouldn’t because it will lead to fatal consequences.

You won’t be harming your electrical system only. You could also face some legal problems as well. So, to know more about why it’s a bad idea, read on.

For your convenience, we have also shared some safety guidelines on how do you hook up a portable generator to your house. Read them and save yourself from disaster!

Why You Cannot Plug a Generator Into A Wall Socket:

Below are the reasons why you should plug a generator into a wall socket.


This is a major concern that worries homeowners when plugging a generator into a wall socket. It happens when a potent, unfitted electrical current over boosts the electrical system of your house. Therefore, it results in an endless feedback loop, where the current goes the wrong way.

As no breaker is installed on the wall socket, permanent damage happens. Even more, the potential hazard of electrocution rises, as the amount of electricity flowing is not filtered.

Let us see some of the risks associated with backfeeding:

↯ Electrocution

As stated above, backfeeding increases the hazard of electric shock even outside your house. This happens when the overloaded electrical current overflows into your public system from the house.

Engineers or electricians, if working near the power lines, might receive the life-threatening jolt of electricity. After knowing this, you certainly would not like the blame to be funneled to you.

↯ Risk of Fire

It goes without saying that electricity should not be meddled with. A generator is way more powerful to handle, so it results in backfeeding.

Eventually, the accumulated current will cause wires in the electrical system to heat up. The result? Excess electricity causes fire.

↯ Damage to Generator

Yeah, the generator carries the risk of getting damaged itself. The excess electricity might result in the generator getting burned out.

This, again, raises the potential risk of fire, the primary safety concern when handling electricity. It can also thrust the expense of replacing the generator at you, which can be avoided easily by hooking up a portable generator correctly.

Aren’t the issues mentioned above enough to prevent you from plugging a generator into a wall socket? Well, this should be the one, then. You should know that this is illegal. As the dangers the connection poses affect your home and the general public, it causes legal issues.

If you break the US National Electric code, which restricts backfeeding strictly, you will be highly accountable.

↯ No Insurance to Cover the Damage

As you know, plugging the generator into a wall socket is illegal. Your insurance provider will provide no compensation for the backfeeding damage. It also carries extra safety risks.

This leaves you solely responsible for the additional costs linked to repairing any fire damage or fixing your house’s electrical system.

How to Run Extension Cord from Inside to Outside

Other Safety Guidelines to Connect a Portable Generator to Your Home

Multiple reasons show why plugging a generator into a wall socket can be disastrous. While this might not be a suitable option, other safer means exist. Safely connecting the generator to your house requires you to ensure that the generator and power grid are not simultaneously connected to your main utility.

Many electrical guidelines can be followed to do so. Check them out below.

Choose Generator Size Wisely

Size definitely matters if you want to have a safe connection. If you have the intention to power having some extra in-built capacity, you must choose the right size.

We often get asked about what size generator to run the window unit and fridge. It vastly depends on the other appliances. For running both the window unit and fridge, portable generators starting from 5000 watts (W) would suffice.

However, if your house is large, you need to consider a bigger size to provide sufficient voltage.

How much is a generator for a 2000 sq ft house? To power the entire house, users should opt for a 25 kW generator. Do not undersize your generator. Otherwise, the appliances might get damaged.

Employ Transfer Switch

By far, this is the easiest and safest way to connect your portable generator to your home. A certified electrician is needed to install your transfer switch. Even though extra expenses incur, they are worth it, considering the long run.

You would need extension cords to connect it. Now how to run extension cord from generator into house?

You can connect the generator with the particular four-pronged extension cord using the power inlet box, which usually stays outside your home. Later, the power inlet is linked to the transfer switch to be installed into the house’s main panel.

The homeowner will select the most vital things that require power using the transfer switch. Thus, the generator will be connected to generate power to the breakers of the preselected appliances.

Lastly, the owner just needs to flip the switch from the transfer switch box to utility power.

One question that users often ask is – Can you use an extension cord permanently?

Absolutely not! Employing extension cords is vital for your safety. Nonetheless, they deteriorate fast when in continuous use, creating a highly hazardous fire risk or electric shock.

Worn-out extension cords might pose harm in ways you can never imagine. Thus, it’s always encouraged to change/replace your extension cords when their warranty expires.

Install Interlock Switch

An interlock switch can also be a safe getaway. It functions in almost the same way as the transfer switch. In an interlock switch, the power flows into a switch situated in the main breaker panel.

You can then shift between generator power and main power, making it easy to decipher which you shut off and ensure they don’t operate simultaneously.

Final Words

In this fast-paced world, a generator backup is really essential to guarantee a quality living style. We hope this article answers your question – Can you plug a generator into a wall socket? Be sure to follow all the safety guidelines when plugging your generator. Hope you had a good read!

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