Generators are basically motors that operate in reverse—they produce electricity when rotated, instead of rotating when supplied with electricity. Article 430 of the NEC® , which covers motors, is the longest article in the NEC. Article 445, which covers generators, is one of the shortest. At first, this might not seem to make sense. But you don’t need to size and protect conductors to a generator. You do need to size and protect them to a motor.

Generators need overload protection, and it’s necessary to properly size the conductors that come from the generator. But these considerations are much more straightforward than the equivalent considerations for motors.

Understanding Generators

Bad weather such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, ice storms, or other conditions can cause a loss of electrical power from a day to several days, depending on the damage to the utility grid. For anyone that’s been through this experience you realize how fundamental power is to everything that we do. But it is important to know what you’re doing to stay safe. The majority of deaths in a recent hurricane were linked to carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators.


Publications and Charts