Many of Roseau Electric Cooperative members have generators to supply their emergency electrical needs. It's important to use them safely and maintain them properly to get the maximum benefit from your investment.
A generator installation must have an approved double-throw transfer switch. The National Electric Code and your Cooperative requires this switch for two very good reasons.
First, it does not allow electricity from the generator to flow backward into the power lines. Without a double-throw disconnect switch, 240-volt electricity may feed back to your transformer which steps it up to 7,200 volts. As a result, a line crew working on the line or someone else who assumes the line is dead would be put in danger.
Second, the double-throw switch protects your generator from damage when the electricity is restored.
Many of Roseau Electric Cooperative's rural customers already have a pole-top or grade level double throw disconnect for their standby generator systems. Some preventative maintenance is required to ensure your disconnect will work when needed.
Have the remote switch on top of your pole checked periodically. This switch should be exercised and lubricated to ensure it is working properly. Also check the box for holes that would allow dirt to infiltrate the switch mechanism. All holes (except drainage holes) should be sealed with a good quality silicon caulk.
Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how to use your generator. If you have questions about purchasing or connecting a standby generator, please contact your electrician or call us at 218-463-1543 or 888-847-8840. It will be well worth your time to avoid costly and hazardous mistakes.