What is Electrical Backfeeding?

What Is Backfeeding a Generator?

Did you plug up your portable generator and things in your home melt down or burn up? Did you see the news where a power lineman was killed working on a line that had been energized? These situations and many more could be a result of electrical back feed. Electrical back feed occurs when power has not been isolated to a specific location, like your home.

What Causes Electrical Backfeeding?

When a power outage occurs, many people pull out the portable generator and plug it into a dryer outlet or some other non-approved method to power the items in their home. In doing this, danger can occur to not only your property but also to those working on your neighborhood power lines.

Backfeeding a generator allows for unfiltered electricity to flow through circuits and can cause an overload of some of the equipment or appliances that are on those circuits. Simply put, overloading those circuits can cause your television to burn up or your computer and sensitive electronics to melt down.

Properly-installed manual and automatic transfer switches isolate the power you will be creating with your portable or standby generator, which allows the power generated to be isolated to your home or business only. By isolating the power, you are keeping the power in your location and not overflowing back to the power company lines or your circuits. Hale’s has trained electricians on staff who can properly install a transfer switch for you, so connect with us and be prepared for the next power outage.

Using an approved manual or automatic transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician in the prescribed manner for your use and application situation will prevent damage to your home and property. In many locations, back-feeding your generator can be illegal and you may risk prosecution for having your power back feed into utility lines. Not only are local lineman at risk, but long distances up the power lines put anyone working on and repairing downed or damaged lines can be injured.

Can Backfeeding Be Done Safely?

Yes, but it is not recommended in any circumstance for your safety. Contact us today to get an estimate of what it will entail to safely install a manual transfer switch for your portable generator. Your safety is our concern, which is why we take the extra steps to ensure everyone is safe and will be able to enjoy life moving forward.

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Resources:
Electrician’s Library Oct. 6, 2016 http://www.electricianslibrary.com/what-is-backfeeding/
Dominion Energy https://www.dominionenergy.com/safety/electric-safety/generators