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Articles Generators Informational Topics

Safest Approach To How To Back Feed A Breaker Panel With A Generator?

Due to power outages caused by some natural disaster or lack of power, authorities sometimes cut off the power to the community.

So to provide power to our houses, we need some power sources like generators.

But the main problem is how to back-feed the breaker panel with a generator.

It can be very dangerous, and in some parts of the world, it’s considered illegal as it can even kill a person, and the back feed cord is often referred to as a suicide cord.

How To Back Feed a Breaker Panel with a Generator

There are some safety measures for back-feeding your generator with the breaker panel.

Firstly, turn off the main power while connecting the back feeding cord with the breaker panel.

Secondly, let the professional do the job because it can be very dangerous.

Thirdly, you should use a transfer switch to protect the back-feeding of current into the main panel, which can destroy the electric grid and harm the lineman.

How To Backfeed A Breaker Panel With A Generator?

It can be dangerous to back-feed a generator without a transfer switch. The transfer switch protects the reverse flow of current from the breaker panel to the power grid.

This article gives detailed guidelines on how to back-feed a breaker panel with a generator.

What Is Back Feeding?

The flow of electric current in a backward or reverse direction or the opposite direction of the regular current flow is known as back feeding. 

What Is A Breaker Panel?

The basic function of a breaker panel is that it controls the electricity distribution according to the requirement of every outlet.

It consists of multiple wires that distribute the power and a fuse protector that protects the breaker from damage.

Back To Feeding Your Home With A Generator (How It Works):

Power flows from the generator to the main power grid and is distributed to the whole house.

A back feed cable is used to transfer the energy from the generator to the power grid, which connects with the 240-volt outlet of the generator.

The rear feed cord connects with the two male plugs of the power grid.

Risks Involved While Doing Back-Feeding:

There are always risks involved while dealing with electricity.

Following are risks that can happen while back-feeding your house with a generator.

Inexperience Or Negligence:

While back-feeding, if you show negligence while dealing with the back feeding cord and connect the back feeding cord with the wrong terminal, it can be dangerous for you.

So it is better to hire an electrician to do your work to prevent yourself from any harm.

Tripping Over The Back Feeding Cord:

If someone trips over the back feeding cable, it will cause the line to lose, and that person can be electrocuted.

So to avoid this, if you have any pets, children, and older people in the house who can interfere with the cable, it is advised not to use the back feeding because it can even prove fatal.

The back-feeding line is also referred to as the suicide cable.

Back Feeding Is Considered Illegal In Many Places:

The basic drawback of using back feeding is that sometimes power from the panel backflows towards the nearby power station, which can destroy the grid station system.

Moreover, if workers work on the lines and this backflow happens, it can prove fatal. Due to this reason, governments of some countries declared this illegal, and you can get punishment while doing this.

It Is Not Being Able To Balance The Loads:

The generator has limitations; if power consumption exceeds its limits, it will cause disturbance while balancing the loads, and voltage will drop.

The generator provides 240 V by using two distribution lines, each providing 120 V.

If you use more circuits, it will lead to load unbalancing, so it is advised to use as many sockets according to the generator’s limit.

Power Disconnection Or Penalty Of Fines:

If the authorities find out that you are back-feeding, they can even cut your power and charge you fines because the reverse flow of current while back-feeding can destroy their power system, and they have to face severe consequences.

Guidelines To Follow While Back-feeding?

It is very important to take safety precautions when dealing with electrical equipment; it can be dangerous to engage with it without any safety precautions.

Following are the guidelines for back-feeding a breaker panel with a generator.

Always Use A Transfer Switch:

Transfer switches are used to prevent the back-feeding of current into the power system. The small portable generator is not required to use this.

Assess How Much Power You Need (Manage Electricity Properly):

 To provide energy to your whole house, you need a larger generator.

You should assess how much energy you require and arrange the size of the generator according to that.

Moreover, manage the load on the generator properly, use only those needed devices, and switch on unnecessary devices; otherwise, it will cause a voltage drop.

Some Solutions To Avoid Using Back-Feeding:

Back-feeding can be dangerous, so if you want to avoid this, you can opt for the following solutions to manage your work during a power shortage. 

  • Use a camping stove for cooking.
  • Use a manual washing machine. 
  • Use dry ice for storing perishable items. 
  • If you do not have dry ice, try to store perishable items deep in the refrigerator and avoid opening the fridge. 


So, the best way to back-feed your breaker panel with a generator is to use the transfer switch. Because while back feeding current can flow in the opposite direction and cause severe consequences of damage to the grid station, it can even prove fatal to workers. So the transfer switch helps to isolate the main breaker and the generator and manage the power flow.

See More:

How Does A Generator Work?
Types Of Generators

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About the author

Anthony Miller

Hello Guys! I am Anthony Miller, a high dynamo, communicative author, and editor of the Renewable Cop, always providing amazing, engaging, informative, unique, highly researched, and verified content based on all sorts of generators. Read more.

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