Lots of folks in northern California are getting ready for PG&E’s PSPS (Power Safety Power Shutoff) during the main part of the fire season. Many are wondering if a generator could be an answer to the problem of being without power. It can but it has to be hooked up safely.
The best solution that we’ve found is a tri-fuel (gasoline, propane, natural gas) generator and a mechanical Interlock like those pictured here: they prevent the main breaker from being on when the generator breaker is on at the same time. It’s a safety mechanism to make sure that the power from the generator doesn’t go into the grid and hurt your neighbor or PG&E’s workers.
The Interlock approach also lets you power all the circuits in your house. If too much is being demanded of your generator, there is a 30 Amp circuit breaker in your home’s panel as well as a circuit breaker on the generator.