It’s inconvenient when you experience a sudden electricity cut-off in your area. You may think of having a home power appliance as a backup plan.
However, not everyone knows how to hook up a generator to your house. Even if it’s easy, you still need some nitty-gritty advice not to make a mess.
This article will provide instructions to bring electricity to your house. Let’s get started.
Is A Transfer Switch Needed For A Generator?
The general answer is yes, as long as you ensure the machine is installed in a safe position.
You can connect the electricity directly from the alternator to the appliances and devices in your house without a switch since the default doesn’t require one. At the same time, there’s no safety guarantee with this type of setup.
The breakage of the unit can lead to electric shock, and the consequences can be even worse if the system is near the water or your main electric control panel.
You should install the alternator out of the range of 20 feet from the water or fuel tank, far from the panel, and ensure the ventilation works when you use it inside your garage. Besides, move it away from any obstacles that block you from approaching it in case of regular maintenance or emergency.
When you can’t meet these installation requirements, consider using a switch to avoid serious damage.
5. Methods To Connect Generator To House Without Transfer Switch
1. Connect Directly To The Main Electrical Panel
You can hook up a generator to the house by directly connecting it to the main electrical panel. However, it’s a dangerous method. If you insist on this plan, turn to a sub-panel to replace the wiring steps.
2. Wiring Through A Transfer Switch
It is an option to connect and disconnect the electric circuits from the alternator to your house. The device links the unit with the main circuit panel and intervenes in the power-providing process.
3. Wiring Through A Relay
A relay also assists in making generator connections to houses. The device is very useful in a power surge or electrical issue. Manipulating a relay allows you to turn on and turn off the machine automatically.
4. Wiring Through Breaker Box
The cheapest way to bring electricity from the generator to your house and avoid power disruption is by using the breaker box and applying a separate breaker with a wire as a connection. The main circuit breaker can stop the circuit to the alternator when needed.
5. Connect Through A Power Inverter
Creating a generator plug for a house via a power inverter is the easiest and most effective option. The inverter is in charge of converting the DC power to AC power by owning a “transfer switch.”
When the electricity goes out, this preset switch will connect the device to the alternator, and when the utility grid provides power again, the inverter can stop the connection.
How To Hook Up Generator To A House Without A Transfer Switch
List Of Needed Tools
- A generator
- A watt tester
- A measurement tape
- A hand drill
- Oscillating tools
- Power cords with different lengths
- Different types of connectors (including extension cords and plugs)
- A waterproof metal box
- Safety gear
Step By Step Guide
Step 1. Choose a place for the generator outlet
First, you should create a place for the outlet utility box. Choose a location within 50 feet of your house and opposite where you are going to put the generator.
Ensure no obstructions over your head or on the floor are bothering your work. Use the oscillating tools to make a rectangular hole in the wood surface and drywall or the drill for the concrete cement surface.
Step 2. Make a hole to connect the cables to the outlet
Before drilling a hole, you should make certain nothing is blocking your way. Estimate the diameter of the cables and make the hole bigger than that so you can bring the wires through without damaging them. Drilling again wastes a lot of time, so you’d better do it precisely from the first place.
Step 3. Cover your end plug with a waterproof box
The purpose of insulating the waterproof box is to protect the power outlet from being damaged by water or insects. Choose the box size according to your wire and seal it well.
Step 4. Wire the cables into the outlet
One end of the wire should be inserted into the outlet kit and the other one into the plug outside. During this process of assembling, you can use the sealant to seal in and outside the outlet so it can be waterproof.
Step 5. Test it
Switch on the power, plug in the inlet plug, and link the extension with the generator inlet plug. You can take a power consumption tester to read how much electricity your alternator provides to compatible devices.
How Do I Connect My Generator To My House?
Connecting a generator directly to your household appliances is unsafe unless you buy a switch that can hook an alternator of 125/250 volts.
If your house’s panel is only 100 amp, wiring to an alternator larger than that number is 100% not advisable. Remember that you should check the safety precautions before installing any devices.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Safety Switch To A Portable Generator?
If you like DIY projects, then the installation will only cost around $100-$150. However, the process becomes dangerous (getting injured is the lucky case) when done carelessly and improperly. It’s worth it to stretch your budget and acquire help from a professional electrician for safety reasons.
Manual Vs. Automatic Transfer Switch – What Are The Differences?
The automatic type works based on a series of sensors to turn the utility power to generator power and automatically connect the alternator to the house.
Meanwhile, the manual one, used in rare power loss areas, relies on the operator who starts the power transfer process to manually connect the power supply appliance to the house.
Learning about generator connection to your house is not impossible, even when you use no transfer switch. The process may sound simple, but it requires lots of attention and carefulness to successfully provide electricity during a power outage. Consider asking for help from a licensed electrician or contractor to ensure no negative consequences.
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