A portable generator for the home is a perfect tool to have in case of an emergency. With that being said, many considerations need to be made to keep the portable generator well-maintained and safe for use.
The transfer switch is a necessary tool to be able to connect the generator to the house safely. It segregates the electrical load, which allows your home to run on either the power provided by your local electricity company or the generator power without mixing both sources.
However, there may be emergencies where it might not be available. Therefore, one needs to know how to connect a generator to a home without a transfer switch. This should only be done in cases of emergency unless you are a trained electrician. Full caution needs to be exercised since it is a potential safety hazard. It can cause an indoor fire, damage the power lines, or even endanger the linemen working outside.
Tools you need for how to connect a generator to a house without a transfer switch:
There are a couple of items that you need to connect a portable generator to one's house without a transfer switch.
Ensure that you have these items such as a drill, a wrench, a screwdriver kit, pliers, and electrical tape. You might need to have a couple of everyday household items handy like glue or chisels.
Generator Interlock Kit
The interlock is an alternative device that allows one to safely use a portable generator for their home in case of a power outage. While more affordable, it is less effective than an automatic transfer switch. Make sure that the kit matches the model and specifications of the generator that you currently have. Check if this is legal in your area and that a licensed electrician approves it.
While you need a new circuit breaker most of the time to do this, you do not need a new circuit breaker if your main breaker box has some empty spaces. Make sure that the type of breaker that you have is compatible with your generator. Ensure that your generator is capable of meeting all of your household's power requirements. A 30 double amp two-pole breaker would suffice to meet the needs of an average household.
It's best to use different colors to avoid confusion. You will need at least three sets, and at least 10 feet of 10 gauge wires may be enough, but the length depends on the area of the house. Make sure that it's enough to place your generator at a safe distance outside your home.
Safety measures are most important: protective eye equipment, insulated gloves, and work boots are some of the essential gear that you should have. Avoid attaching the generator directly to a circuit breaker in a fuse box or use a male-to-male plug.
Steps on How to Connect Generator to House without Transfer Switch
Check Plug Type and Amperage:
Ensure that the plug is compatible with your generator and check the amperage your generator is rated for. The amperage is written on the plug.
Drill a Hole in the Wall of Your House:
Since this is where the wires will pass, ensure that this is wide enough and does not cause clogging. Make sure that this space is as far away from the generator as possible.
Install the power inlet or a power inlet box at a safe distance outside of your home:
At the power inlet box, attach the conduit (you may need glue). Pass the wires one by one to the inlet box plug, ensuring that the connections are tight and secure.
Install your new breaker or a breaker retainer box:
Connect the inlet wires to the new breaker or the breaker retainer and cover the breaker box.
Note: When a power outage happens, you can use a power cord or a generator cord to connect your generator to your new inlet plug, which will connect to the breaker box. Remember that this method can only be used for emergencies. Other methods can cause severe damage to your property. Consider hiring a licensed professional if you want to install the interlock kit permanently unless you are confident of your skills.
While an automatic transfer switch should be used, there are alternate ways if you're looking for how to connect a generator to a house without an automatic transfer switch. Make sure you have the tools you need and follow the instructions.