How To Connect A Portable Generator To A Home Without A Transfer Switch

Last Updated on January 24, 2021 by

Are you wondering if it is possible to connect a portable generator to your house without a transfer switch? Are you also worried about whether you can do this without damaging your devices? Relax! With an interlock kit, you can connect the generator without any need for a transfer switch. You can hire the services of a qualified electrician to hook up your equipment. 

Steps To Connect The Generator Without A Transfer Switch

While a transfer switch is vital to prevent damaging your electronic devices, you can still connect your generator without one and still be safe. Sometimes you may not have the funds required to purchase this vital tool. Worry not! The following steps will help;

Collect The Necessary Tools And Materials

You can never succeed with any electrical connections unless you have the right gear in place. Make sure that you have everything you need within reach and in the right safety measures. The following items are necessary for a successful installation process;

Interlock Kit

With this kit, you are sure to connect your generator safely without a transfer switch. There are many different interlock kits available, and you need to get one that matches your generator’s model. Get a specific kit for your version. These kits are readily available and also budget-friendly.

Connecting Wires

Depending on your property, you will need at least three sets of connecting (electric wires). You will need about ten feet of 10-gauge wires. You can choose to use different colors for quick identification while working.


When choosing a breaker, it is advisable to pay attention to your type of generator. You also need to consider the specifications of your home. Look for a two-pole double breaker with a power of 30 amp as this will meet most specifications of a generator. 

Safety Tools

It would be best if you were careful when dealing with electrical items to be safe when working. Ensure that you have safety gear such as gloves and protective eyewear. A good pair of work boots will also go along way to protect you from electrocution. 

Other Items

You will also want to collect other common tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, chisels, electrical tape, and other electrical gears. These items will help to make the installation easy. 

Consider The Amperage And Plug Type

For a successful installation, your generator needs to have a huge round plug to fit both sides of the breaker. You can find the amperage near the plug as well as some codes. Make sure that you read the codes well and adjust the materials as per these codes.

Drilling A Hole

You will need to drill a hole on your wall that is enough to pass the electric wires into the house. Make sure that the holes are big enough for the wires to pass through and also fit properly. You will also need to look for a spot that is not near your generator. Keep it as far as you can. If your walls are thick, use a drill hammer to make the holes. 

Fixing The Elements

This last step is the most important as it involves doing a real job. It would help if you mounted the power inlet box at some distance from your home, away from the exterior wall. Make sure the hole is watertight and get the conduit and assemble it. Attach these elements properly using some glue to ensure they are safe. 

The next step is to wire the generator inlet plug. Pull each wire separately from the conduit body and attach the plug. Avoid using a 0.75-inch insulation wire and tighten the ends properly using a screwdriver. 

You will then need to prepare the breaker box and push all the wires into it. Make sure that you turn off the main breakers and branch well. Make enough room and place the wires on the spot at the upper right. Install the wires and breaker retainer, then complete the process by covering the breaker again. 

Be careful with the wires and fix them properly. Attach the red wire to one terminal on the breaker and the black one to the other. Fix the white wire onto the common bond rail inside the box and the green one into the ground rail. 

If you have a 2-wire home without a third wire in the outlet box, you can place the green wire to a common terminal in the open. 

Reasons Why You Need A Transfer Switch For Your Generator

You may not technically need a transfer switch in your home. However, there are various reasons why it is recommendable to install one in your home such as;

It Is A Requirement By NEC (National Electric Code)

According to the National Electric Code, it is a requirement that one must have a well-installed transfer switch when using a heavy-duty generator. You are not supposed to power electrical devices in your home without this gadget. 

If you plan to sell your home in the future, this requirement is crucial. It may lead to violations of the code if not properly installed. 

For Safe Connection Of The Generator To Your House

Extension wires can sometimes cause back feed which increases the risk of electrocution. If not properly fixed, the wires can also cause a fire that can destroy your property, lead to injury, or even death. 

Helps To Power Your Home In Case Of An Emergency

Most electrical appliances, such as furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters, are hard-wired. Such devices cannot be connected using an extension cord. A transfer switch also helps you to avoid the struggle of connecting your generator via extension cords whenever there is a blackout. Powering your home also becomes easy and safe.

Wrap Up

While it is possible to connect a generator to your house without a transfer switch, it has several risks associated with it. The technique will also limit the number of electrical appliances that you can power since most of them are hard-wired. You may also violate the National Electric Code if you plan to sell your property in the future. 

If you must embrace this technique, it should only be short term or if it is an emergency as you wait to get an expert to install a transfer switch in your home. 

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