Power your HOUSE with a Portable Generator

Power your HOUSE with a Portable Generator

Nearly every contractor owns a portable generator, but did you know you can power your house with one of these units? In this Build Show sponsored by Champion Power Equipment, Matt will show you how to set up your home to run off a portable generator.
Here’s the model we are showing in the video:

6250-Watt Dual Fuel Generator with CO Shield®

OSHA Safety Sheet – Portable Generators

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or Twitter https://twitter.com/mattrisinger

Huge thanks to our Show sponsors Polywall, Huber, Dorken Delta, Prosoco, Rockwool & Viewrail for helping to make these videos possible! These are all trusted companies that Matt has worked with for years and trusts their products in the homes he builds. We would highly encourage you to check out their websites for more info.



  1. Patriot70 on August 25, 2022 at 2:42 am

    You actually CAN power your home HVAC on a portable generator as well. For the longest time I believed that this was out of reach because of the massive current required when the HVAC starts up. A 5-ton system may take 70-90 amps at 240 volts (~20,000 watts) at startup which is well beyond the 7000 watt startup power of many affordable portable generators. Generators that can deliver 20,000 watts at startup are quite expensive. But, then I discovered the soft start kits, such as the Micro-Air Easy Start which is around $350. The soft start kit added to the HVAC system reduces this startup load to around 30 amps which is in the 7000 watt range. And, after the HVAC system is running it pulls around 6 – 12 amps which is in the max 2800 watt range. Portable generators that can deliver this 240 volts at 9000 watts startup power and 7000 watt running power can be had for around $900. This is perfect because you want to load the generator at only about 50-75% load (around 5000 watts) which would be enough the easily run the HVAC, refrigerator, and several other outlets and lights. Remember, the HVAC system doesn’t run continuously pulling a load, it starts up and runs only as needed to maintain temp in the house, then shuts down. An HVAC soft start kit is a game changer for running the house on a portable generator during outages, especially for the hot humid days after a hurricane comes along and knocks out power for several days.

  2. JB Bgin on August 25, 2022 at 2:46 am

    Alternate perspective: A Paid days work. Gathering materials, driving to and from your home. Doing the job. Going over to explain and site survey before and showing the finished work: some chincy braggers on here. Plan paying 8 hours. Stay safe and protected: literally: pay on the front end.

  3. ng17 on August 25, 2022 at 2:47 am

    Thank you, this was excellent!

  4. Robert Kohut on August 25, 2022 at 2:49 am

    …and you still have a cord with a 30 amp end for the generator and a 50 amp end for the inlet box (likely home made). Best to stick to 30 amp or 50 amp at both ends that match your needs and the generator outlet and then use a manufactured cord to plug the generator into your house.

  5. DESPERADO PHARAOH on August 25, 2022 at 2:49 am

    All these cyberattacks best believe they are planning to take down the power grid we should all be worried about that and be prepared

  6. Shawn Davis on August 25, 2022 at 2:51 am

    what kind of protection can be used to run sensitive electronics on the generator

  7. Stephen Chan on August 25, 2022 at 2:51 am

    Cooperation request:
    Hi dear Mr.Risinger, could you tell me how to contact you, we want to cooperate with you.
    Look forward to your reply.
    Thanks and best regards!

  8. Keith Bradley on August 25, 2022 at 2:52 am

    After what we just experienced, I’m definitely having it done this summer

  9. tony b on August 25, 2022 at 2:53 am

    If you’re worried about generated theft, place trip alarms around your property and chain the generator with a heavy chain . By the time the thief realizes he’s not being shot at he will be.

  10. Robert Campbell on August 25, 2022 at 2:53 am

    Frankly, the only type of generator safe for electronic components is an inverter generator. These are the only generators that generate clean power with THD less than 5%, like the utility power. Most modern appliances have micro chips in them which can be destroyed with ‘dirty" power..

  11. Henry Ascencio on August 25, 2022 at 2:56 am

    What kind of transfer switch is the one you guys installed?

  12. Garth Richert on August 25, 2022 at 2:57 am

    Thank you so much.

  13. Letit Flo on August 25, 2022 at 2:58 am

    No…no…no. Turn off breakers first. Switch first

  14. D Kat on August 25, 2022 at 2:59 am

    I do believe they should tell you to turn off all the switches in the sub-panel before you start the generator or use the transfer switch that kinda came late in the conversation.

  15. Muper San on August 25, 2022 at 3:00 am

    8 hours of an electrician’s time? Ouch, will be pricey.

  16. A on August 25, 2022 at 3:01 am

    Hi, a single phase house has an L1 and an L2, each being 120V. If you had 2 generators (the little suitcase inverter types), is there a way to power up the main panel, with L1 being fed from one generator, and L2 being fed from the other generator? Keep in mind they’d be sharing the neutral in this case. The 2 generators would need to be kept synchronized 180 degrees out of phase. Is there a way to set up such a system?

  17. Pelt Down Posse on August 25, 2022 at 3:02 am

    Put a couple of AC shakers in a couple of bedrooms. Now you have cooling too.

  18. iComplainer on August 25, 2022 at 3:03 am

    what can i expect to pay for this setup in there SF bay area?

  19. Navy Retired on August 25, 2022 at 3:04 am

    Question: Can a ""Y" plug adapter to combine a 30amp and 20 amp generator outlet be combined into one 40 0r 50amp plug?

  20. Max Love on August 25, 2022 at 3:05 am

    Did this to my house in less than an hour with a $50 plug, a 30 amp 240 breaker, and 25 feet of 10/2 wire. Don’t pay anyone to do this for you, it’s easy

  21. Daniel B on August 25, 2022 at 3:07 am

    how bout using the generlink and it solves all these problems of hooking up power ?

  22. Josh Mason on August 25, 2022 at 3:07 am

    It’s 120 and 240 volt!! Not 110 and 220!!! 🙄

  23. jimcooncat on August 25, 2022 at 3:07 am

    Wish you had talked about grounding! Off to find a better video.

  24. Noam Pitlik on August 25, 2022 at 3:09 am

    What’s Al Gore doing selling generators?

  25. Bilyboy on August 25, 2022 at 3:10 am

    For the record,most heaters can be ran off an extension cord. Just about all standard gas heaters will have a pig tail(standard plug)

  26. Alexander Wolfe on August 25, 2022 at 3:11 am

    Nice video. Can you speak more to generator grounding? Most portable generators have frame bonded neutral and ground. However, I’m finding out that if you run a house transfer switch, your generator should have a floating neutral, because the neutral is typically shared with the house and it is grounding through house ground rod. What could happen if generator is left in bonded neutral state and ran though house transfer switch and short occurs?

  27. Ripp Snortin' on August 25, 2022 at 3:11 am

    If you start the gen and then flip the switch, isn’t there going to be a period of time when the gen is feeding energy into the grid, which is the whole thing you are trying to avoid?

  28. Ron Car on August 25, 2022 at 3:13 am

    I was looking for a dual fuel new/used generator for many months in my price range dealing with @#$ sellers. I found a propane only with electric starter on Craigslist and I love it! Having a generator for a number of years I know what changes to have a different electrician to do. Having to ARGUE with him to add the garage door outlet was stupid! My Sear garage door opener is almost 60yr old! (House built in 1964) I plan to replace it with one that has a battery backup.

  29. Jason on August 25, 2022 at 3:14 am

    Here because of the Texas blackouts.

  30. Nghi Tran on August 25, 2022 at 3:14 am

    Wasted 10 min watching two dudes talking about nothing…

  31. ainchamama on August 25, 2022 at 3:15 am

    Who’s here from Ida?

  32. Scott Johnson on August 25, 2022 at 3:17 am

    I bought a Generac 7000EXL about 20 years ago. Still running like a top BTW. Back then portable gennies were identified by their continuous output, (mine would be 7KW), rather than their surge or start up output, (Mine would be12.5KW). Gennies on the market today highlight their surge output rather than continuous output hoping the buyer might think they’re getting a more powerful machine.

  33. buixote on August 25, 2022 at 3:18 am

    Our AC is about 3kW… I think we might be able to get away with a 7kW Generator, but not sure about inrush etc. Also, if anyone has any comments about the difference between conventional AC and heat pumps, both in terms of power usage and inrush current. I’ve seen "soft-start" components for folks using wells…

  34. Jerrl Evans on August 25, 2022 at 3:18 am

    It’s a two hour job. I just had it done.

  35. Jay Thorne on August 25, 2022 at 3:20 am

    Again, assuming your house is wired for separate circuits. Most aren’t. So, this is really for new builds.

  36. GeauxFYourself ! on August 25, 2022 at 3:21 am

    I was "foolish" and did it myself, took approximately 2 hours and considerably less than $200 in material. I’ll let someone else pay a union electrician $500 to screw a transfer switch to the side of the house, run three feet of 6/3 and snap a 50amp breaker in place.

  37. Emmett Dibble on August 25, 2022 at 3:22 am

    Odd…. I was on a generator for 6 weeks after Ike and I was able to run my entire house including the 5 ton A/C unit…. I would turn off the A/C or the Water heater but other then that, everything else was fine…. but what ever….

  38. Austin Tutor on August 25, 2022 at 3:22 am

    Who is here cause of hurricane Ida? 🌀

  39. David Perez on August 25, 2022 at 3:25 am

    Did he say turn the generator on and then shut off the city power???? 🥴🥴🥴 So if city power happens to come on while you start generator 💥 boom Kentucky fried house ……..

  40. Danny Upchurch on August 25, 2022 at 3:25 am

    8 hour day? Are u kidding me that’s a 2 to 3 hour job if ya don’t know what ya doing. I could do that in 45 to 90 mins depending on setup

  41. shawn michael on August 25, 2022 at 3:28 am

    He is wrong about your gas heater you can simply plug your gas heater in by wiring an electrical plug to your on and off power switch there for you can plug your heater into a much smaller generator if need be this is what I did so I don’t have to run a huge generator to it even though I have mine hooked up to the electric panel it’s nice to have this as a secondary option because I have three different size generators

  42. GamerDaddy on August 25, 2022 at 3:30 am

    Is it ok to leave a generator outside uncovered while it’s raining?

  43. Yannick Roy on August 25, 2022 at 3:31 am

    Hey 👋 Matt I’m curious 🧐 if you put in a transfer circuit panel on your real remodel house your building?!?

  44. Richard Flores on August 25, 2022 at 3:32 am

    Can’t find an electrician who isn’t trying to gouge me, need to take an electrical class for $50, lol.

  45. Snap-off on August 25, 2022 at 3:32 am

    FYI, you can just wire the dang generator into the panel if you need to, and you’re legal provided you know what you’re doing, keep others away from it, and can lock the main breaker open at the breakr or the panel it is in. Article 705.NEC702.6:
    “Exception: Temporary connection of a portable generator *without transfer equipment **_shall be permitted_* where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the installation and where the normal supply is physically isolated by a lockable disconnecting means or by disconnection of the normal supply conductors.”
    The term as defined in the 2011 NEC reads as follows: Qualified Person. One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved. (no degree or certification necessary, just basic knowledge training available everywhere)
    110.25 Lockable Disconnecting Means:
    Where a disconnecting means is required to be lockable open elsewhere in this Code, it shall be capable of being locked in the open position. The provisions for locking shall remain in place with or without the lock installed. (you can’t lock it with a chain or some other thing that is all removed when unlocked, the lock has to be a feature of your breaker box and be able to lock the main breaker open.
    Maybe you’ll be the first person to not immediately tell me I’m wrong and stupid for understanding plain English. You CAN _legally_ backfeed through your panel and do so without an interlock or a transfer switch if your breaker box has locking function, provided its a temporary connection of a portable generator. I cite that code as my evidence. Nobody should freeze because they saw this video and thinks they’ll be arrested if they turn the power on. We should have a video up to show how to safely do it for those who might make a mistake, but we shouldn’t hide the real data and feed out false data for the _in terrorem_ effect of people avoiding trying. (the real danger is the power coming back on grenading the generator, and the backfeed circuit not being up to the guage needed to power all the circuits, things never mentioned in a "its all illegal no exceptions even though there really is one" videos. I guess I’ll have to make it. The flames in the comments from electricians would be epic.

  46. Kenneth Payne on August 25, 2022 at 3:32 am

    I have a 16K Generac whole home generator , the alternator froze up . They want $8-11 thousand to replace the unit . If I get a 10K portable generator can I plug the line from the transfer switch into the portable generator to get power into the house to use (minus the central air of course ) ?

  47. Paul Johnson on August 25, 2022 at 3:34 am

    Great information on hooking up a dirty generator to the house. There are powerful viable clean energy solar powered lifepo4 lithium generators as an alternative to dirty fuel generators. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzb8OQJNDnc

  48. Christopher J-53 TheUS on August 25, 2022 at 3:34 am

    I’m doing the same thing too my Home, my Generator is on its way. An my Electrician will be installing it Professionally. Im doing Propane Mainly and Gas as my last fuel. Red Oak, Texas

  49. mujjuman on August 25, 2022 at 3:35 am

    Thank you for this informative video!

  50. Rip Oliver on August 25, 2022 at 3:37 am

    do you need a power surge protector between house and generator to protect sensitive electronics? I. e. smart thermostats and electronics that are hardwired to the house that you cannot plug into a surge protector inside. wondering if an RV surge protector would work if you can make adaptor

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