Do you own a generator? Many people, especially those that live in houses have at least one. This is because it provides a feeling of safety that no matter what power will be running in the house. Whether there are storms frequently raging in the place where they live in or the electricity runs out, they like to have it as an option.
However, a problem is that generators can be a bit complicated to utilize properly and connect them to the house. Depending on the various types like portable and standby generators, slightly different rules and steps apply.
Not to mention that the situation is tougher when it comes to the connection without a transfer switch. Therefore, here we compiled the details you should know about how to connect generator to house without transfer switch, including which steps homeowners should follow in order to do this the right way. Yet it should be acknowledged that this way isn’t the safest to do, which is why people should try it in cases when the situation is urgent. So, let’s go!
What Is Required
Firstly, it’s important to realize that to connect the generator properly owners should have a few details prepared. They are mainly related to gear and tools suitable for the job. It’s certainly dangerous to start unprepared since the lack of transfer switch isn’t a part of a usual connection.
Therefore, what is needed includes:
- Breaker – To get this one right, people should know which type of generator they are utilizing. The breaker is largely dependent on that. Also, it’s vital to get a breaker that is compatible with the power requirements of the place where the generator is connected and the power of the generator itself. Only this way it can function as it should.
- Interlock kit – This is the key part as it’s responsible for connecting the generator to the service panel. However, the thing to look out for here is that it should fully match the generator model. Otherwise, you may experience certain troubles during the process and afterward.
- Wires – Electrical wires are also essential. In fact, the connection is made more secure by them. But they can be easily mistaken when assembling the generator. That’s why it’s recommended to use wires that are in various colors.
- Gear and tools – The process can’t be completed without the right gear and tools by your side. Starting from screwdrivers and drills to pliers and wrenches, the ones doing the job should be equipped with everything. Aside from them, they also need gloves and similar relevant gear to protect them from electricity and possible dangers that can come from it.
Methods And Steps To Follow - How to Connect Generator To House Without Transfer Switch
After this, what matters is to know how to make the connection with no transfer switch. In case people want it to be successful and efficient, they should abide by the exact methods and steps. So, in the following paragraphs, we’ll go over those that are commonly implemented.
Taking Care Of The Wiring
Step 1: Explore the electrical devices in the house
Many generators work on petrol with incorporated tanks. And when they are full, those tanks can hold power for around twelve hours. Because of this, you should identify which devices you want running. For instance, petrol generators are known to have the power of 3,500W in their bodies. This can ensure that the likes of TVs, lighting, refrigerators, and similar can operate smoothly.
Step 2: Check the power needed for your preferred appliances
Nevertheless, there are many appliances people need around the house all day. That’s why, to make sure the generator’s power can handle them all, you should know how much power each device needs to operate efficiently.
As a reference, a standard microwave can require around 1,500W whereas a circuit of light can be satisfied with as little as 150W. Then, depending on their size TVs need approximately 900W. Compared to them, a fan in a small room can work on 500W of power. Finally, freezers can increase their power necessity when the compressor starts running. Yet usually they can start with power between 1,200 and 1,500 watts.
All of this leads us to the conclusion that you should determine the required power in your house before connecting the generator.
Step 3: Analyze the wiring system
Legally, not all houses have the same wiring system. For this reason, you should contact the local authorities or the company that provides the power in your house and ask them about the legal system that was installed in the house. The advice should come from accurate places that know your place so that you prevent misleading. This is due to the fact that various cities, states, and countries have different rules when it comes to wiring systems.
Step 4: Install hookups
For this step, you need an inlet hook-up box. A detail to be mindful of here is that the mentioned hookups should be installed outside of the house. With this the male connectors will be recessed, thus evading the risk they cause as they stick out.
Afterward, these will be matched with any installed panel system in the house. However, have in mind that experts in this field should be involved in the whole process so that you can be sure that the installation is safe and legal and all appliances will continue running seamlessly.
Step 5: Put your and your family’s safety first
Understandably, you and your family’s safety come first. Therefore, you should look for manuals and guidelines connected to preventing fire risks, injuries, and electricity dangers while the installation is in progress. The key here is to check if everything is okay with the experts from the state so that you can ensure maximum safety. They should inform you about the possible hazards caused by the installation without a transfer switch and help you find ways to minimize them and their effect.
Aside from this, some things you should never do are connecting the washing machine and dryer to the generator as well as directly making the connection in the breaker box without a switch transfer.
Step 6: Set up everything properly
The one doing the installation should do everything to prevent a fire that can endanger the whole family. So, especially those without much experience in electronics should have someone more experienced do an inspection of the set-up before they start the process.
This way, even if an unwanted fire happens, at least the insurance company won’t decline the claim due to flawed wiring and other small malfunctions.
Step 1: Ensure safety
Connecting a generator without using a transfer switch can be harmful to you or your house if everything happens near your home. That’s why safety comes first.
To achieve it, move the generator away so that it isn’t located nearby the house where you live in. If not, you may risk your house catching fire if something doesn’t go as it should, which, make no mistake, can very easily occur.
Another reason why you should take the generator together with its cables away from your home is the issue with carbon monoxide. In fact, it can act as a poison to the people in its closest surroundings.
Step 2: Connect the generator and the hook-up
When you get to this step, the first thing you should do is to connect the end codes of your generator to the prongs of the hook-up. It’s important that you should plug in the generator only after you’ve done this. In some cases, users have to modify the connections by fifteen degrees to complete the match.
Step 3: Plugging in the attachment cable
It’s common for generators to come with this attachment cable that you require right now if you want to connect a generator without using a transfer switch.
With that being said, make sure that this cable is plugged into the generator. Afterward, you can choose to modify the voltage that you presently need. The next step is to match the turn in the other end with the receptacle.
Step 4: Preparing the engine
Before you embark on doing anything else, check to see if the throttle of the engine is in the position you want it to be in. After that, check if there is enough oil in the engine, too. The following factor depends on the place or region where you live. Thus, you may need to turn on the glow plug to warm up the engine.
Step 5: Starting the generator’s engine
There aren’t really many specifics to say regarding this step. That’s because all the necessary directions for booting up the engine of the generator can be found in the instructions or manual provided by the manufacturing company. It’s very frequent for users to get that with the purchase.
Step 6: Switch
In this part, the role of the breaker comes into play. Moreover, you should switch off the utility main. In turn, switch on your generator main and once you’ll do that, this step is completed.
Step 7: Flip the breakers
The installation of the system has been successfully finished. So, now what? The next thing you should do is flip all the breakers of the system. All of the loads should be switched on, one by one, in an easy and slow manner.
Step 8: Obtain utility power again
After all of this is executed without any issues, it’s time for you to reverse the order of operation. This will result in returning to the utility power again.
Connecting The Generator Without Transfer Switch Vs. Connecting With Transfer Switch
People rely on gadgets and machines now more than ever in history. Almost everything in our homes, as well as offices, and such require power. That can even include appliances like stoves or even chimneys.
But what happens when there’s a blackout? Without something to keep the power running, our homes and offices are rendered almost useless and uninhabitable. For that reason, among many others, a huge number of people turn to using generators. These machines fix this problem and connect all kinds of other machines, gadgets, and similar.
Now one of the most pressing questions when it comes to generators is how to connect them with your home. Should you do it with a transfer switch or without that? Let’s outline some of the facts as well as advantages and disadvantages.
Without Transfer Switch
One of the main differences between the two ways is that connecting without a transfer switch isn’t as safe as using a transfer switch. This has proven to be true mainly due to the fact that the transfer switch allows people to easily and securely stop electricity from the generator from flowing outside. Moreover, after the power is back in the house, they can stop the generator with a single switch.
Opposite of this, the danger of starting a fire in the house or other electricity-caused troubles is increased if there is no switch. Not to mention that in some states this way of connecting a generator isn’t even allowed.
However, the truth is that when the situation is urgent and there is a sudden loss of power and electricity shortage, people want to have it back on quickly and easily. This is why they turn to the generator and want to hook it up without a transfer switch. Yet as we previously mentioned, the owners that prefer it this way should make sure to stop the hurry and prepare everything they need, from tools to interlock kits and wires. Aside from the regular details we talked about before, some generators require longer extension cords, conduit body, and glue as well as an inlet box that’s higher in amperage and electrical conduit with fittings
Then, people should carefully follow the steps. Above all of them is the security of their family members and themselves. No matter when they perform the connection, it’s preferable to keep the family out of the house until the power runs from the generator and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Of course, the wiring and the whole installation system should be properly executed, as well.
After all of this, it’s certain that while this is a relatively easy and quick way, connecting without a transfer switch poses dangers to the household that you should consider when deciding whether to go for it. Another option to look into is utilizing a transfer switch.
To begin with, we should define what a generator transfer switch is. It represents a special switch that is used to switch the power source to the person’s house.
In usual circumstances, people get power from a central, main unit that distributes power through a cable to all of the devices in your home or office that need it so that they can be operational. This concept is completely shattered when there’s a power outage, a blackout or a storm. When you don’t have power, the logical thing to do is to shift the power source. Thus, instead of getting power from the electrical cable and the main unit, you’ll get power thanks to the generator.
This lasts until the disruption that caused the lack of power comes to an end. After that, you won’t need the generator and you’ll have to switch back to getting power from the central unit. Now when you go back from being powered by a generator to being powered by a central unit again, the power from the generator shouldn’t go through the main channel of the central unit. This step is very important because the power going out of the generator can be very dangerous. A transfer switch is there to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
More precisely, before you actually move from a generator back to the main electrical unit, you should press the ‘off’ button on the transfer switch of the generator. With it, you are a hundred percent certain that there is no power that can cause issues and do damages to your or your surroundings.
Even from all the explanations we’ve provided above, it’s more than evident that a generator transfer switch offers a plethora of pluses that are at the users’ disposal. Still, let’s take a closer look at some of them:
- Safety – Connecting a generator with a transfer switch is considered by many to be a very safe option. As we mentioned, with a simple press of a button, you know that the power can’t do damages. Additionally, you have more control over it that way.
- Helpful utilization – According to a few people, generators are pretty complex machines. Transfer switches provide help with utilizing the generator so that you can depend on it more when the occasion arises. That way you get to know all the features and specifications you may not have used before or even heard of.
- Pairing with an electrical tester – In many regions, a transfer switch must be used together with an electrical tester. This can be an important advantage as this tester provides another layer of protection against any power-related accidents. It’s another addition to ensuring the right usage of the generator whether it’s in your office or house.
- Programmed switches – With the rapid advancement of technology and innovation, the field of transfer switches of generators has, too, transformed and hasn’t been immune to the positive changes. With that being said, people have an option to buy programmed transfer switches. These switches immediately enable power to come from a generator instead of a central unit when a blackout or a similar occurrence takes place. This is a significant pro because your appliances as well as gadgets won’t be left without the power they need to operate. Instead, they’re switched to another source right away. So, users are more relaxed and at ease when they know they’re safer with a programmed switch.
Types Of Transfer Switches
No matter the type, the main role of the transfer switch remains as a mediator between two sources. In that sense, there is a difference regarding how all of this executed. Namely, there are manual and automatic ones.
If you use the former one, you’ll have to manually operate the transfer switch to transfer from one source to the other. That’s how it got its name. Also, it costs less, so it’s increasingly suitable for those who didn’t determine a larger budget for this purpose. Regardless, the small size, as well as the easy installation, are among the advantages.
On the other hand, the latter does that all on its own. The automatic transfer switch gets data that the source of the power doesn’t work and switches to the other one, which temporarily provides power, without the help of an actual person. What’s more, it’s more complex. That’s why it’s advised that a professional electrician should install it. But they’re more powerful and used in hospitals and places where every second counts. Also, if power outages are frequent, experts recommend this type.
All things considered, it’s clear that emergency situations call for desperate measures. And people grab their generators with the wish to connect them to their houses without using a transfer switch in the process. As we saw earlier, this is possible if they follow specific steps and have the proper tools and gear with them like the interlock kit, for one. Actually, it’s among the main things they need to perform this installation. Yet before doing this, they should be aware of all the dangers that come with it since they are playing with electricity. For this reason, to make sure you remain safe, you should call an electrician to do it for you. This is especially recommended if you don’t have enough expertise in this field. The other safer option to try consists of getting a transfer switch and using it to connect the generator to your house.
So, what did you decide? Have you tried connecting your generator to your house without a transfer switch? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments.
- 1 What Is Required
- 2 Methods And Steps To Follow - How to Connect Generator To House Without Transfer Switch
- 3 Connecting The Generator Without Transfer Switch Vs. Connecting With Transfer Switch
- 4 Without Transfer Switch
- 5 Transfer Switch
- 6 Final Words