Generators with built-in transfer switches can be expensive and very naturally not be in your budget. But in the face of a sudden power outage that could last for hours or days even, it is not ideal that you halt your life in the absence of electricity.

Under these circumstances, we do not want you to panic. Because we have just the right solution for you if you’re wonderinghow to connect a generator to house without transfer switch.

Why Should You Connect the Generator Without a Transfer Switch?

Whenever there is a power outage, the generator will not be able to power your home’s electrical system. That beats the purpose of having a generator in the first place.

A transfer switch would be your solution to this problem but what if you do not want to spend money on that right now?

Does that mean you have to bring in extension cords inside the house and create a hazardous mess inside the house? No, that is just an accident waiting to happen.

Extension cords will not be able to power up all your appliances and waiting for the power to come back cannot be a solution.

And so, you can connect the generator to your house with the help of the Interlock Kit. It is a cheaper alternative to transfer switches that can be used to connect the generator to your house very conveniently.

It is even easier to install interlock kits as opposed to transfer switches.  It does not require excessive wiring as well, so you won’t get into a mess while installing it. On top of that, the kit can be attached to the panel, so it does not need extra space.

Things You Will Need

You won’t work on your generator every day. Since it is something that can happen out of an emergency, you should be prepared.

There are certain tools you will need to know about and keep to yourself before establishing the connection between the generator and your house.

So, let us have a look at the things you will need to make it work:

Interlock Kit:  A generator interlock kit helps to power the generator safely during emergencies. It is the main tool of making the whole operation work. It works as the alternative to a transfer switch during a power outage.

Hence, the interlock kit must match the model of our generator. Or else the entire operation will fail.

Breaker: The breaker helps to integrate the generator to the place where it is connected. It also protects the generator from having any damage during an excessive power surge or any short circuits.

So, the breaker is an important part here. You must check the breaker’s compatibility with your generator – whether it can handle the generator’s power, and the panel where it is connected.

Electrical Wires: Since you will need a medium to make the connection of the generator to the house, a sufficient number of wires will be required. To avoid confusion, we suggest that you keep different colored wires.

Safety Gear: You will need to keep protective eyewear and gloves for your safety and protection while working on the generator.

Working tools: You will need different tools to ensure the setup. Keep a driller, screwdriver, wrenches, glue, and tape for different steps of this process.

Now that you are familiar with the things you will need, let us get right to the job!

How to Connect Generator to House without Transfer Switch

Now that you have an emergency supply pack prepared, we can go over the details of the whole process. This is a two-step method that must be performed carefully. Here is the outline of what to do –

  • Inspect
  • Set Up the Wiring
  • Install the Breaker
  • Install the Interlock
  • Connect the Generator

Before we talk about these in detail, we advise that you should keep children away from the place and maintain utmost safety while doing the work.

Inspect

  • First off, check the power of your generator to get an understanding of what devices you can or should run with it.
  • Next, you should consider determining which devices you want to run such as lights, TV, microwave, etc. Different devices require different power so you should see if your generator can operate the ones you want running.
  • Once you have thought that through, please ensure that you know about the wiring system of your house. You can do that by contacting the local authorities or the power company.

Set Up the Wiring

  • We need to connect the generator to a large round plug to make it work without a transfer switch. So, get a plug that is compatible with your generator’s model and mentioned amperage.
  • Now drill a hole in your house big enough to hold all the wires you will be attaching.
  • Install a power inlet on the outside. Try to mount it at distance from your house.
  • Start assembling the conduit so that you can gather the wires. You can use glue to do so.
  • Wait for the glue to dry down before you start working on the next step.
  • Now assemble all the wires in the power inlet properly to ensure a safe connection.
  • Wire the generator inlet plug by pulling the wires from the conduit one by one. You will have to remove some of the insulation in the process.
  • Once all that is done, we recommend you use a screwdriver to tighten it.
  • Next, you will have to install the breaker and connect the wires to it.

Install the Breaker

To install the breaker box, there are a few steps you need togo through. But keep in mind! You must follow the steps in the order mentioned.

Installing the breaker requires prepping the breaker box before the installation of wires. You will then have to create space for the new breaker as well as lock the breaker.

So let us have a look at the step-by-step process of installing the breaker.

  • For this step, at first, turn off the main power breaker.
  • Now remove the panel of the breaker and install a conduit adapter.
  • After that, start pulling the wires one by one inside the box.
  • Next, you should free up some space in the breaker box to install the new breaker.
  • Start installing the breaker in the open space.
  • Connect the white wire to the bond rail and the green wire to the ground rail.
  • The red wire will connect with one terminal while the black connects to the other end.
  • When that is done, you have to lock the breaker so that it does not move. For that, you have to install the retaining bolt.

In case your breaker box has no room for adjustments, you can use insulated wire to install the new breaker.

Install The Interlock

You will have to install the interlock on the panel. For that, drill holes on it and install interlock bolts.

Now you have to turn the breakers off to check if the interlock is working. Turn off the main power and see if the interlock switches the breaker on. Adjust the panel cover accordingly once you do it.

Connect the Generator

Before we talk about the whole connection process, you must know that it is best to install your generator at a distance from your house. Generators are very delicate machines that risk causing fire if something goes wrong. Hence install it as far as you can to avoid any harm in case of an accident.

Now let us talk about the process:

  • The first thing to do here is to establish a connection between the generator and the breaker box. For that, you will have to take the end codes of the generator and connect them to the prongs of the breaker box.
  • Now once you ensure that the connection has been established, we can go ahead with the plugging. So, it is time to plug in the generator.
  • Generators usually come with attachment cables so that they can be used at times like this i.e., in the absence of a transfer switch.
  • Use those cables to plug the generator and make modifications to the generator’s voltage as per your needs.
  • Now it is time to prepare the engine. For this, you will have to check the engine first to see if the throttle is in the right position.
  • If that is done, you can go ahead and start the engine. Check the user’s manual of the generator to see what the company’s instructions are on starting up the engine.
  • When you do that, do not forget to turn on the generator main and turn the utility main off.
  • We are almost at the end of the installation. Once everything is done properly, it is time to flip the breakers.
  • And that will get the loads to turn on slowly.

Things You Should Know About Interlocking Kits

Interlocking Kits are the alternative to the transfer switch. And there are a few things you should know about them before installing.

Interlocking Kits work as your electrical supply because they can turn off the main power supply while being used. So, it directly mounts on the control panel to lock the breakers.

Even though the kits work as an alternative for the transfer switch, they do not provide the same facilities as a transfer switch. It limits the power so that it can be provided to the most necessary appliances.

Interlocking Kits are legal in the US given that a licensed electrician approves them. So please make sure that you get a licensed electrician to check on your electrical system.After a professional checkup, they can suggest to you whether the interlock kit will work for you.

Avoid These Mistakes

Working with such delicate electrical appliances is not a very easy thing to pull off. So, remember to perform every task with the utmost care, keeping safety as your priority.

  • Do not make the use of interlocking kits a permanent solution.
  • Do not try to power more appliances than your generator can hold.
  • Do not use the wrong tools and wiring while setting up the generator’s connection.
  • Do not keep the main power on while setting up the connection.
  • Do not forget to put on safety gear while working on this.

Final Words

When there is a power outage for hours at a stretch, it can be very inconvenient for daily and emergency activities. Nobody would want to put a hold on life because ofpower shortage every now and then.

Maybe a transfer switch is not in your budget right now, but that does not mean you have to let the generator sit idle!

Now that you know how to connect generator to house without transfer switch, you can use the generator to its potential even during a power outage.

We wish you successful troubleshooting!

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