Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote power is needed. To make it safe and easy to connect a portable generator to your home or business’s power system, FKEC’s offers a “GenSafe”. GenSafe is a device installed at your electric meter, allowing you to easily and safely connect a portable generator to your structures existing wiring system.
Once is installed, a homeowner can simply turn off all breakers, plug a portable generator into the GenSafe outlet using the supplied cord, and then start the generator. Once tit is running, the homeowner can control which appliances receive power by turning on the appropriate circuit breakers at the breaker panel.
When in use, GenSafe automatically disconnects the meter from FKEC’s power grid to prevent dangerous “back feed”. Back feed can re-energize power lines and possibly injure repair crews working in the area. The device also includes a surge protector to provide a level of protection for appliances being powered by the generator.
All GenSafe instructions must be followed precisely to avoid damage to appliances.
Five Easy Steps
- Before an outage—install. Order a “GenSafe” device for your home, FKEC installs the device in 1-2weeks
- During an outage—turn off breakers. During a power outage, turn off all the breakers at your home’s circuit panel
- Connect—simply plug your generator into your “GenSafe” meter outlet with the provided card
- Start your generator
- Select appliances—at your circuit panel, select appliances according to power usage
For more information or to purchase a GenSafe device, call member service at (305) 852-2431.
Generator Safety and Proper Use
Improper use of portable generators can cause serious injury to residents, repair crews, and damage to homes and appliances. Prior to Hurricane season, inspect your generator and give it a test run. This is also a good time to check your extension cords to make sure they are in good condition.
Always follow your generators instructions and remember these safety tips:
- Always thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe operation of your generator.
- Remember, gasoline-powered generators produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Never run generators inside, or in a garage!
- Keep generators away from all open windows – including neighbors’ windows – so deadly exhaust (carbon-monoxide) does not enter the home or business.
- To be safe, buy a battery-operated carbon-monoxide alarm when you buy your generator. It works like a smoke alarm, sounding an alert if carbon-monoxide levels become dangerous.
- Be a good neighbor. If the power is out, your neighbors are probably sleeping with their windows open. Consider that the sound of your generator may not be music to everyone’s ears!
- Don’t leave a running generator unattended; turn it off at night and when away from home.
- Never refuel a hot generator or one that is running; hot engine parts or exhaust can ignite gasoline.
- Turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator.
- Turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator’s rated wattage.
- Overloading the generator can result in damage to appliances it is powering.
- You don’t need to run everything at the same time. Rotating larger items allows the use of a smaller generator, which costs less to buy and is easier to move.
- Refrigerators may only need to run a few hours a day to preserve food. Using a refrigerator thermometer, aim to maintain 40 degrees in the refrigerator compartment and 0 degrees in the freezer.
- Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring. Power from a generator connected to a home’s wiring will “back feed” into utility lines, potentially injuring or killing utility crew working to restore service.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator’s outlet.
- Use a heavy-duty extension cord rated for outdoor use to keep the generator safely outdoors.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for grounding the generator.
$875 + tax (generator size: up to 10,000 watts)
• Installation included. As a not-for-profit cooperative, FKEC is installing the devices at cost as a service to its member-consumers.
Generator not included
Benefits of a “GenSafe”
- Easily connects your portable generator to your home’s power system at the meter.
- Eliminates hassle of multiple extension cords or installing an expensive transfer switch.
- Automatically disconnects home from power grid and prevents dangerous “back feed” that re-energizes power lines and threatens repair crews.
- Includes surge protector, which provides a level of protection for appliances run by generator power.
- Allows homeowners to easily control which appliances receive power by turning on the appropriate circuit breakers at the home’s breaker panel.
- FKEC installs 1-2 weeks from purchase date.
- Installation takes about one hour.
- The homeowner must be present to review safety checklist with FKEC installer.
- The quick-connect cord is specific for each generator, so the style of plug required by the generator must be known when ordering the GenSafe device.
- The cord provided is 20-feet long. Longer cords can be purchased directly through Generlink, the device manufacturer.
Up to 10,000 watts
Remember, the capacity of your generator determines the amount of power supplied to your home, not the GenSafe device. Homeowners should purchase a generator that is rated to run the largest appliances needed during an outage.
GenSafe is only for use with portable generators to be temporarily connected.
Note, GenSafe cannot be used with bi-directional meters used by interconnected solar members (net metering).
Home Panel Capacity
Your home must be 200 amps or less.
The average home is 200 amps or less; to check look at your main breaker.
For more information or to purchase your “GenSafe” today call (305) 852-2431.
Please note: Combined loads will vary due to appliance demand. Rotation of appliances may be necessary due to starting wattage requirements and capacity of generator. Start up loads will peak higher than continuous load. Payment for the device cannot be included on your electric bill. Payment can be made by cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Call FKEC Member Service at (305) 852-2431. The GenSafe device can only be installed by an FKEC technician.
Payment cannot be included on your electric bill. Payment can be made by cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. We will install a 40-amp GenSafe device (capable of 10,000 watts maximum) with 75kA per phase surge protection built in. The purchase price includes either a L14-30 or 14-50 plug on a 20-foot/10 gauge Generlock power cord. Generlock is a unique fitted connector that allows you to plug your generator directly into GenSafe without needing a separate interconnection box.
Yes. GenSafe is an interconnection device that enables you to connect your portable generator directly to your home’s wiring system. During a power outage, your generator becomes your source of emergency back-up power. GenSafe is designed as an alternative to expensive transfer switches and hazardous extension cords.
There are a wide variety of portable generators available for purchase. When selecting a portable generator to connect to your home, you should ensure:
- The generator will not damage sensitive electronic appliances or equipment
- The generator can run the largest appliances and motors you will need during an outage
- The generator has the necessary 120/240-volt outlet with maximum rating or 40-amps and the four wire 30-amp or 50-amp receptacle required to connect to GenSafe.
The quality of power produced by a portable generator is also an important factor to consider when selecting your generator. If the voltage output is too low, it could cause motors, such as your refrigerator motor, to overheat. If the voltage output is too high, it could damage sensitive electronic equipment such as your computer or the digital controls on your heating system. To maximize your generator’s power quality, it is recommended that your generator have automatic voltage regulation. Electronic voltage regulation is preferred over capacitor or condenser type regulation in instances where sensitive electronic equipment is being operated.
During an outage, GenSafe allows you to select the combination of loads/appliances you want to operate by simply switching breakers in the household breaker panel. This flexibility makes generator sizing easy.
Visit the GenerLink website to see if your generator is compatible with GenerLink.
NOTE: Generators equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection will NOT work with the GenerLink.
GenSafe is equipped with a 20-foot power Generlock cord that has a 30-amp or 50-amp connector (depending on your generator’s output receptacle). The power cord should be as close to the actual measured distance from the meter to the generator as possible in order to maintain your generator’s power quality. Longer cords are available from the manufacturer at an additional cost.
Move your generator into position to be connected to GenSafe. Using the GenerLok power cord, insert the four-blade plug on the connecting cord into the outlet on the generator. Plug the GenerLok power cord into GenSafe by locating the “thumb guide” on the GenerLok connector. Align the “thumb guide” with the front of the GenSafe receptacle. Insert the connector; there will be a snapping sound when the connector locks in place.
Visit the GenerLink website for more information.
The appliances in the average home consume relatively low amounts of electricity to operate once they are started. However, many of them require a significant amount of electricity to start up the appliances. Please review your appliance guides to determine the start-up wattage required for individual appliances.
The GenSafe device offers several advantages over traditional transfer switches:
- GenSafe is installed outside your home at the electric meter providing easy access to your generator. Installation of a transfer switch may require re-wiring your home’s electric system.
- With GenSafe, you have the flexibility of selecting the appliances you want to run from your home’s breaker panel, up to the capacity of your generator. Most basic transfer switches have 6 to 8 hard-wired circuits. This limits the number of circuits you can connect to the transfer switch.
- Since GenSafe uses your existing breaker panel, you can operate any 120-volt appliance and most 240-volt appliance up to your generator’s capacity. Many transfer switches and sub panels have only one or two 240-volt circuits rated at 15 or 20-amps. Heavier loads, such as hot water heaters and electric ranges, may not be accommodated by transfer switches and sub panels.
GenSafe is designed to function as an interconnection device and serves to connect your generator to your home. There is no risk of damage to your appliances created by the GenSafe device however, you should exercise care when selecting your generator to ensure you are buying a high quality generator.
Your generator continues to power your home until you turn it off. Once you turn off your generator, GenSafe will automatically switch your home back to utility power. GenSafe has a built-in safety feature that prevents back feeding the generator’s power into the utility lines, eliminating hazardous conditions for you and for utility service personnel.
There is no regular maintenance required for the GenSafe. However, it is recommended that you test your generator every 3 months.
No, your utility meter will only run when the utility is providing electric power to your home. When using the GenSafe device, with your portable generator, you are automatically disconnected from the utility power supply and will not reconnect until you turn off your generator.
There are three indicator lights on GenerLink, two green and one red. When both green lights are illuminated, this represents a normal condition where utility power is present. When your utility has restored power you can deenergize and disconnect your generator from GenerLink. If the red light is illuminated at any time or in conjunction with a green light, there is a potential problem and you should call your utility immediately.
Your generator should have a circuit breaker that will activate in the event of an overload. If it does not have this feature, it is not suitable for use with GenSafe. If the generator’s circuit breaker trip’s, turn off all the household circuit breakers in your breaker panel, reset the circuit breaker on the generator, and restart the generator. Please refer to your generator owner’s manual for complete instructions on the safe operation of your generator.
Remember: generator exhaust gases contain deadly carbon monoxide. The generator should NEVER be operated inside, this includes basements, crawl spaces, and/or attached garages. Please consult your generator owner’s manual for complete instructions on the safe location for and operation of your generator.
Visit the GenerLink website to see if your generator is compatible with the device.
To remove, replace, or repair your GenSafe, you must contact FKEC. Only FKEC technicians have access to the GenSafe device. Do not, under any conditions, attempt to remove and/or repair GenSafe yourself. If the homeowner moves, a transfer or removal of the GenSafe device may be requested for only $100.