You may need to use backup power in your house from time to time – depending on where you live, some will need a generator more than others. For example, in states like Florida, where hurricanes are prone to happen and wipe out power for weeks, a generator would come in handy.
In order to keep the fridge and lights running, you may need to take some shortcuts. As long as these “shortcuts” are done right, there’s nothing wrong with it. There was this one time where we experienced blackouts for two weeks because of a flood. This is something we weren’t prepared for, but we had a generator. The only thing we didn’t have was a transfer switch, so I thought we were in trouble.
However, after watching YouTube from my phone and reading what the experts recommended, I actually discovered a way to connect my generator to my house without having to use a transfer switch (this was a nice shortcut, and I’m glad I discovered it when I did).
Is a Transfer Switch for a Generator Required?
Technically, a transfer switch isn’t needed, but there are numerous reasons why professionals recommend having one installed in your house when connecting the gen to your home. For starters, it’s the safest way to connect the generator to a house. Using extension wires can cause issues, which will increase the risks of fire or electrocution. It’s also a requirement by the national electric code. When you use a generator to power appliances in your home, there’s a National Electric Code that states you have to have a well-installed transfer switch.
However, there are times where a person is stuck up the creek without a paddle …meaning they don’t have a transfer switch.
Connecting a Generator to Your Home without Using a Transfer Switch
It isn’t exactly straightforward when it comes to connecting a generator to your house without using a transfer switch. Before you move forward, please take note that in order for your generator to function safely, you will need to use a transfer switch. Using a generator without a transfer switch isn’t going to make for a safe and effective operation. However, if you find yourself in an emergency as I did, it will be okay.
When you’re dealing with electricity like this, you must prepare yourself with the right tools. Once you have everything in front of you, half the job is already done. Of course, you’re going to need the proper guidelines, but having everything ready is a great way to get started.
Things You Will Need
Interlock Kit – To connect a generator to your house without a transfer switch, you will first need to have an interlock kit. The interlock kit will help you connect with that transfer switch, but you will need to make sure you get an interlock kit that will work with your generator. The kit will need to be made exactly for your version. The good thing about these kits is that they’re not expensive and you can get them almost anywhere.
Breaker – Again, you will need to get a breaker that is suitable for your generator. The beaker should also work with your home specifications.
Wires – You will want to get at least three sets of electrical wires. When it comes to working with electrical wires, you need to take it seriously. Also, make sure you get wires that are different colors so that you can quickly identify them while you’re working.
Safety Measures for Connecting your Generator
When working with electricity, safety should definitely be at the top of your list. You’ll be working with electrical elements, so you shouldn’t skip past the instructions. Also, we recommend wearing a good pair of working gloves as well as protective eyewear. Don’t forget about those work boots that will keep you safe so that you don’t get electrocuted.
The rest of the tools you need are relatively common. This includes pliers, screwdrivers, electrical take, chisels, and wrenches.
Figure Out Plug Type and Amperage
In order to work with such a setup, the generator you have will need to have a big round plug that can fit both sides of the breaker. The amperage can be found close to the plug, and you will also find codes here. Adjust the materials depending on what the codes say.
Hole Drilling Time
Now it’s time to drill a hole. The hole will be there to help you put some electrical wires in your home. The hole should be big enough to make it so that the wires fit properly. The spot to put the hole shouldn’t be far from the gen. If you have super thick walls, then you will need to use a hammer drill.
Gathering Different Elements
Now it’s time to get down to the real work. We recommend mounting the power inlet box as far away from your house as you possibly can. It should be a couple of feet away on the outside of the wall. The hole you drilled should be watertight. Now, assemble the conduit – you can use glue in order to make sure you properly attach them. You cannot skip this step because this is there to keep everything safe.
Now, it’s time to move to the generator inlet plug and wire them. Go to the conduit body and pull the wires out one at a time and fix them up on the plug. To tighten the end, you will need to use a screwdriver.
Note: Black means X or Y. Green is for ground, and white is common.
Next, it is time to get the breaker box ready. Make sure you turn off the main breakers and then push the wires inside. Now it’s time to install the wires along with the breaker retainer. When you’re finished, cover it back up.
Only use the interlocking kit when you want to use a generator without a transfer switch. That is the only way you can get through this type of situation. Familiarize yourself with the laws in your state and don’t do anything that would be illegal as they are illegal due to safety reasons. If you’re confused about connecting a generator to your house without a transfer switch, and you doubt yourself, it would be a good idea to get some help to make sure it’s done properly.