Tasmanian Government Logo

Department of Justice

Portable and temporary generators

Using a portable generator for temporary electrical supply

  • Don't plug or connect the generator into the home's wiring. Power from a generator connected to a home's wiring will 'back feed' into powerlines, potentially causing a safety hazard for you, your family, neighbours, electrical contractors and TasNetworks workers. It may also cause damage to your generator when mains power is restored.
  • Appliances can be plugged directly into the generator, but always read the manufacturer's instructions carefull, prior to doing so.
  • Use heavy duty extension cord that is rated for outdoor use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for earthing the generator.
  • As petrol and diesel powered produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes, always run portable generators outside the house, never inside or in a garage/shed. Also keep generators well away from from windows and doors, including neighbours, so the deadly exhaust fumes do not enter the home or building.

Portable generator capacity

Each generator has a rated wattage which limits the appliances it will safely power, please note the following;

  • Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper use and capacity.
  • Don't try to connect lots of appliances at once.
  • Rotate the use of larger rated appliances, as this allows the use of a smaller generator which costs less to buy and is easier to move.
  • Overloading the generator can result in damage to the appliances it is powering.

Temporary generator connections to an installation

Where there is a need to hard wire a generator to an electrical installation as a temporary power supply, the following must occur:

  • The electrical work must compy with the standards of work requirements.
  • The licensed electrical contractor responsible for the electrical work must ensure:
    • All electrical work is designed, performed, inspected, tested, verified and certified, to meet the standards of work requirements: and
    • The electrical work is notified.
  • The electrical contractor responsible for the electrical work is to:
    • Ensure there is no possiblity of back feeding the electricity distribution network, which may require the disconnection and making safety of the customers mains;
    • Tag the point of supply or connection to the network, and the tag must identify that there is the temporary generator connection in the installation, when it was connected and where it is located.
    • Ensure all tags used are weather proof and all information is legiable and perminant: and
    • Register the temporary generator's installation with TasNetworks by providing the following information:
      • the contractors name and electrical contractors license number;
      • the address at which the generator has been connected;
      • the six digit pole identification number, of closest network service provider's pole.
      • the generators capacity: and
      • whether or not the customers mains have been disconnected and made safe.