How to keep the lights on during a power outage using a generator

One of the biggest problems we here in Washington can encounter during the fall and winter months is having the power go out. Whether it’s a windstorm where a tree falls on the power lines or an ice storm where lines are down all over the place and power is out for days or weeks, these events can cost us down time at work if we work from home, loss of perishable food from our refrigerator and freezer, or even make us go someplace for warmth since our homes have no heat. At HB Electric Solutions we have a solution for these issues. We can install the needed parts for you to easily connect a portable generator to your home to keep things up and running.

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A little about portable generators Portable generators come from many different manufacturers, with different sizes, fuel usages, and the list goes on and on. There are many good brands out there, just be sure to do a little research and check the reviews before choosing which one you like best. As far as sizes go, as small as 5000 watts or 5Kw is sufficient to keep the lights, freezer and refrigerator running in your home. If you have gas heat, they will power the blower in the furnace to keep things nice and toasty inside when the power is out. From 5Kw up to 7.5Kw typically will have a 240 volt 30 amp receptacle on them allowing you to connect to your homes electrical system. Stepping up in size allows you to operate more items within your home. Once the 8000 watt or 8Kw mark is passed, most generators will come with one 240 volt 30 amp receptacle as well as a 240 volt 50 amp receptacle. This will power more and larger items such as a small heat pump or air conditioning unit, and electric water heater, or other larger draws of electrical power. Make sure to look at whether the generator you choose has manual start or an electric start option as well.

Connecting to your home

We like to use an item called a generator interlock kit to connect the power from the generator to your homes electrical panel. This is a device that installs in your panel to separate the utility power from the generator power. The last thing anyone wants to do is to feed your generator power back on to the electrical grid potentially causing harm to the ones trying to restore power to your home. This interlock kit along with a new breaker in your panel for the generator power and a generator inlet plug located on the exterior of your home will complete the items HB Electric can install to allow you to connect your generator to your home. You will need to supply the generator and appropriate size and length of cord to attach the generator to your house and allow the power to be restored while on generator power.


Installation of a generator interlock kit and generator inlet plug typically run between $800 to $1500 for most homes. Prices may vary depending on the type of construction of your home, the location where the generator inlet plug would be best suited for your needs, and the location of your property. An electrical permit will also need to be purchased at an additional cost.

Comfort and peace of mind all winter long

Having a professionally installed generator connection for your home will give you peace of mind and allow you to live comfortably through even the worst weather the Puget sound has to offer. Give HB Electric Solutions a call today at 253-256-7861 and we can assist you with your project or any questions you might have regarding getting your home set up for a portable generator connection.

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Serving University Place, North Tacoma, Fircrest, Puyallup, Fife, Graham, Bonney Lake, Tacoma & all Pierce County