Being a lot Irish, I really don't want to spring for the full $600 - $1,000+ plus for a full up transfer switch installation. A am also opposed to the old Dryer Plug approach. Remembering to isolate the house with main breakers might work now; but as our brains age it looks like a good way to kill a lineman. Here are needs and a proposed approach:
Main Needs are: 1) Sump Pump main control circuit (basement) 2) Backup Sump Pump battery charger circuit (basement) 3) Furnace (central heat NOT air conditioning - basement) 4) Freezer (basement) 5) Refrigerator (main floor)
These five items are well within normal and surge capacity of the generator so I should have some capacity to run a few lamps.
1) Install a standard four prong female generator connection box so that 10/4 wire passes directly through the sill plate of the house. This will be done outside, or just inside of the garage door. (In either case the generator will, of course, be located well away from the house).
2) The 10/4 wire, from the box, will enter the basement and be routed down to about four feet above the floor via conduit.
3) At the bottom of the wire/conduit I will install a fourplex box and split the circuit into two 120v circuits with a standard two-plug receptacle on each. This will serve items 1) through 4) above via direct connection or extension cords. The longest cord run will be 15-20'
This circuit will be "dumb" and will not be hooked to the main house circuit.
When needed, we will move the generator outside of the garage and use a standard 4-blade, 30 amp, 30' generator cord to connect the generator to the dumb circuit which will serve basement needs. The fridge and lights will be served by a couple of the four standard 120v circuits on the generator.
Anyone else done something similar - or better? I do want to keep cost down and keep it safe. But it is a solution that MIGHT get used once every year or so.