Connecting a Generator to Your House (Without a Transfer Switch)

by Johnathan Roos
Last Updated on

Generators are impressive devices ideal for multiple purposes. There are many types, including portable generators for home use and standby units, mainly for power outages. No matter which model you have, it’s essential to know how to use it properly. They provide lots of electricity, so it’s desirable to have at least some basic knowledge about the matter.

Connecting a generator to the house without a transfer switch can be a bit tricky. That’s why we have prepared this guide to help you out. Of course, you should always be cautious when operating with electricity.

About Transfer Switches

By definition, a transfer switch is a “device” that turns ON and OFF the load between two electrical sources. If you connect a home appliance directly to the electrical panel, you expose it to a particular risk.

It is evident that these switches are essential to avoid damage to electronic devices. In this article, we will show you how to connect a generator without a transfer switch. However, you should get one whenever possible, since it will have an influence on all your home appliances.

Do I Need to Buy a New Generator?

It’s obvious that we are dealing with the situation with no transfer switch. However, it is usually not a problem with high-quality generators. The truth is that these cost more, but you wouldn’t have to deal with such issues. Generators such as SIMPSON SPG7593E are fantastic and provide a mesmerizing quality.

If you still want to keep your current generator, don’t worry. We will go through a few detailed steps and adequately explain everything you need to know to easily connect your generator.

How to Connect a Generator Without a Transfer Switch

Get the Right Tools and Materials

This might seem like a small step, but be sure to give it enough importance. Gathering the needed stuff before you start working around the generator is half the job done. When dealing with electricity, you should always be prepared and know that all the tools are within reach.

Interlock Kit

At first, you will need an interlock kit. It helps a lot in connecting a generator without a transfer switch, but it should also match the model of your generator. Moreover, it should be made for the exact model that you have. The nice thing is that these are very affordable and easy to find.

Circuit Breaker

Focus on the type of generator you have, and find the right breaker. Of course, it needs to suit your house specifications, too. Buying a two-pole double breaker with 30 amp is the right choice for almost any house and generator.

Wires and Cables

We are talking about 10 feet of 10 gauge wires. You should get at least two sets of cables, but also, it depends on the area of the property you have. Wires might seem a bit frightening for novices, but if you have a bit of patience, everything will work out well. Of course, be sure to get the wires of different colors. It’s ideal for quick identification while working and can often save time and nerves.

Some Safety Measurements

As always, when working with electricity, be sure to wear a pair of work gloves. You might also need protective glasses and work boots to protect you from electrocution.

Other Tools

Other tools that are always handy include pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, and electrical tapes. Be sure to get these before you start to work. Leaving the work only to acquire materials can be pretty exhausting and will significantly affect the concentration, which is essential when dealing with electricity.

Figure out Plug Type & Amperage

This is an important thing to clarify before you start. You need to have a generator with a large round plug and find the amperage close to the plug. Besides, you will also need to find some codes, read them properly, and adjust the materials accordingly.

Drilling Those Holes

At first, you need to drill the “accessibility” hole. It will help you pass the wires into the house, so the hole should be large enough for the wires to fit properly. A general rule is that you should find a location far from your generator. It should be as distant as possible. If you have thick walls, you can use a hammer drill, which helps a lot!

The Final Step: Connecting the Generator

In this step, you do the real work. That’s why it’s the most important. At first, you should mount a power inlet box far from your home, at least a few feet from the exterior wall. Of course, make sure that the hole is watertight, then gather some conduit and assemble it. We advise using some glue to be sure that everything is attached properly. It’s an important thing to do when it comes to your safety, especially when dealing with devices such as the generator.

The next thing you need to deal with is the generator inlet plug. Pull the wires from the conduit body and attach them to the plug. You can do it by eliminating 0.7-0.8 inches of the insulation wire. Using a screwdriver can help you tighten the end swell.

Then, you should prepare the breaker box. Keep in mind that black wire means X (or Y); green is for ground, while the white is common. Turn off the main breakers and place the wires properly. A general rule is to put them on the top right spot to leave enough room. Then, you can install the wires and brake retainer before covering it again.

In The End

Since we have come to an end, let’s mention a few things. At first, you should only use an interlock kit when installing a generator without a transfer switch. If you want to try other methods, keep in mind that it might be illegal in your state. Besides, always be sure to have protective equipment when working around the generator. If you run into any trouble or get confused, it’s the best idea to call an electrician.

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