If you live in certain areas, unfortunately there is the possibility of experiencing blackouts frequently. Even if you don’t experience a power outage as frequently as others, it’s recommended that you understand how to handle an emergency blackout situation. They can happen at any time, without warning, particularly in the worst seasons that bring bad weather.
The essential requirement you need to master is understanding how to connect the generator to your house without a transfer switch. Knowing this will help you restore generator power to your home and get the lights switched on again. To achieve this, take a look at the step-by-step process to assist you.
How to Connect Generator to House Without Transfer Switch
You might be greatly inconvenienced by strong winds and storms, which can lead to blackouts. These blackouts can potentially last weeks. Though connecting the generator to your house without a transfer switch as a novice isn’t straightforward, there are cases where you might not have a transfer switch to hand. For this reason, although it isn’t always simple, you can follow these emergency procedures to gain generator power again if you don’t have a transfer switch.
What is a Transfer Switch?
Transfer switches wire up to a power box in electrical circuits and are responsible for changing the electrical power load from one source to another. Two types of transfer switches are available. These are manual and automatic transfer switches.
Where a manual transfer switch works when a homeowner or individual turns the switch, automatic transfer switches work instantly, making an automatic handover to the generator and backup power when required. In other words, automatic transfer switches activate the moment they detect that the power source has depleted, and have a sensor to determine the power level; manual switches need someone to activate them.
To connect the generator to your house, using a transfer switch makes this easier. Without one, the connection can be unsafe. It also means you won’t be able to power as many household appliances as with a transfer switch.
Nonetheless, there are emergency circumstances where you will need to take this certain steps to reconnect to a power source, and you will need certain tools for the job.
Tools You Will Require
The list of tools we have provided are crucial to connect the generator to your house without a transfer switch. Take a look at the tools you will need below.
The existing breaker box you have already may contain some available slots that you can use. But if it doesn’t, a new breaker box will be required. The breaker box you choose should be appropriate for your specific generator. This means it should be able to handle your generator’s output. It should also be able to cope with your home’s power requirements.
An interlocking kit should be used when connecting the generator to your home without a transfer switch. It is crucial for the function of your generator, connecting the generator to the main panel. As with the breaker box, your interlock kit should suit the version of your generator. They are not too costly and are widely available.
When you purchase your extension wires, make sure you get enough sets. Also ensure that you get multicolored wires, including types of green wire, red wire and so on, to help you distinguish between them when wiring. At a minimum, three sets of wires are required.
Working with electricity requires the right tools. You should ensure you have the following safety tools before you begin working:
- Eyewear to protect your eyes
- Boots that have rubber soles to keep you grounded against electricity
- Strong gloves for working
Here are some of the additional tools you are going to need to connect a generator to your house without a transfer switch.
Before starting the job, make sure you have a screwdriver to hand. You will need a screwdriver to affix the terminals and tighten them. A screwdriver set with a range of different types is recommended.
Using a pipe wrench is important when connecting a generator to your home without a transfer switch. They will make it easier to tighten the pipe conduits and install them. You will then be able to pull the wires through the fully secured electrical pipe conduits.
You will need a hammer drill to create a hole through the mortar brick of your home. The hole you create with the drill will help you lay new wiring through from the generator to the home with ease.
Ensure you have a pliers to hand– a good pair – before you start working. You will need them to strip the wires that carry the power from your generator into your home.
What is an Interlock?
Getting your home powered safely during a blackout requires an interlock device. The device handles the power and increases safety for those who connect the generator to the house.
They work by permitting generators to supply reserve power. Interlocks also disable the potential for the generator and main power breaker to function simultaneously.
Processing of connecting Transfer Switch to the Home Generator
Here are the exact steps you can take to connect the transfer switch to your home generator.
Follow the laws in your state
You might not legally be permitted to connect the generator to your house without a well installed transfer switch, so take the law into consideration. The law for this will be different from state to state, so look into this before you start the process.
Prioritise safety from the beginning
Always wear safe clothing that protects you before getting to work. Never start work without boots. These will protect you from sustaining electrical damage by grounding you and stopping potential current. Wear gloves and protect your eyes with protective eyewear.
Find out the amperage and generator inlet plug type
Examine the amps of your generator and take a look at the generator plug type. This will inform you what is required when modifying the elements.
Create a hole by drilling into your home
Drilling the hole allows the wires to pass into your home from the generator. It should be of a sufficient size so the wires can fit through, so make sure it is not too small.
Gather together the set-up materials together and get to work
Put together the materials required for the set-up, which we have listed above. Then, start working with the power inlet and the power inlet box. You will first need to affix the power inlet and the power inlet box to the outer wall. Your power inlet should be some distance from the hole you have drilled (approximately three feet). Then, gather the electrical conduit (tube), assemble it, and attach it with glue.
Pull the wires out from the conduit and connect the wires to the inlet plug of your generator. Finally, start getting the breaker box prepared. To do it, first switch off the breakers at the breaker panel. Insert the wires into it and then cover the breaker box again when the job is complete.
Is a Transfer Switch a Requirement?
Although not all generators need transfer switches, they are recommended. For example, a portable generator won’t need a transfer switch. This is one advantage of a portable generator.
In terms of transfer switches, they have a crucial advantage over an extension cord. Continue reading to find out their other benefits.
National Electric Code
According to the national electric code, transfer switches are required. Any generator installation should follow this code, otherwise they count as code violations. So, when you power your electrical items with home generators, this will need a professionally installed transfer switch, as stipulated by the national electric codes and standards.
But there are circumstances and emergencies that can occur where some people need power and don’t have a transfer switch.
Safest Way of Connecting to Power
With a transfer switch you will be able to provide power to your appliances via a circuit breaker. When compared to connecting a generator without a transfer switch, this is the safest way to connect your home to power.
It makes it much safer for you to operate your household electrical items given that the generator connection can easily be broken if the breaker detects any electrical fault.
Easiest Approach During Emergencies
Keep in mind that one of the easiest approaches to restoring power to your home during emergencies and long-lasting blackouts is to use a transfer switch. It is a safer option and although generators that include transfer switches are more costly, it is well-worth using a transfer switch as it’s simpler.
In emergencies, it always helps to be fully prepared. Knowing how to connect the generator to your house without a transfer switch is a useful skill. It will make your life much simpler if you experience a natural disaster or long-term blackout and need to power your home.
To do it without any difficulties, it is recommended that you use an interlocking kit. As mentioned, an interlock kit is essential for your generator and helps it to function efficiently. Choose one that suits your generator.
Always remember, if your goal is to connect the generator to your house without a transfer switch, consult a professional electrician to help you go forward for safety reasons. After all, they are experts with electricity. This will make sure that you, your family, and your home remain safe and protected from harm. It will also ensure the job to restore power gets done quickly and efficiently and that your appliances function safely.